Stories for April 2015

Released Thursday, Apr. 2

Ecumenical Patriarch grants interview to Jesuit journal

Father Antonio Spadaro, the director of the Italian Jesuit journal La Civiltà Cattolica, has conducted a lengthy interview with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople, who holds a...

Jerusalem patriarch: Holy Thursday homily

Patriarch Fouad Twal, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, celebrated the evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper at the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. After preaching about the love that...

Turn to the Lord in your weariness, Pope exhorts priests at Chrism Mass

Following the celebration of Terce from the Liturgy of the Hours, Pope Francis presided at the Chrism Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica on Holy Thursday morning. During his homily, Pope Francis...

Easter message of Christian leaders in Jerusalem

The heads of the Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant communities in Jerusalem have issued their annual joint Easter message. “Here is located the site of the Empty Tomb, the place where God’s...

Orthodox churches discuss upcoming synod agenda

Representatives of a dozen Orthodox churches gathered in Chambésy, Switzerland, to discuss the agenda of the Pan-Orthodox Council that will take place in 2016. According to the Moscow...

Released Friday, Apr. 3

Vatican embassy in Washington plans to add security fence before papal visit

The Vatican embassy in Washington, DC, has asked local zoning officials to approve construction of a 6-foot high security fence around the embassy grounds, “in anticipation of the visit of His...

At Good Friday service, papal preacher notes world's indifference to suffering of persecuted Christians

The preacher of the pontifical household, decried the silence of silence of the world in the face of Christian persecution, during his homily at a penance service in the Vatican basilica on Good...

Pope encourages peace talks in Colombia, plans visit there

In a message to the bishops of Colombia, Pope Francis has said that they must “not lose energy or hope” in working toward a final accord that would end the nation’s long years of civil...

Pope leads Stations of the Cross in Roman Coliseum

Pope Francis presided at the Stations of the Cross in the Roman Coliseum on Good Friday, April 3. The meditations for the traditional ceremony-- written by Bishop Renato Corti of Novara,...

Papal statement mourns killings at Kenyan university

Pope Francis has issued a statement denouncing the terrorist attack that killed at least 148 people at Garissa University in Kenya. Armed members of the Islamic group al Shabab assaulted the...

Released Saturday, Apr. 4

Pope Francis: Easter Vigil homily (full text)

"Tonight is a night of vigil. The Lord is not sleeping; the Watchman is watching over his people (cf. Ps. 121:4), to bring them out of slavery and to open before them the way to freedom. The Lord is...

Released Monday, Apr. 6

Pope Francis: Easter Message Urbi et Orbi (To the City and the World)

Following Mass on Easter Sunday morning, Pope Francis delivered his Easter message Urbi et Orbi (to the city and to the world). “Dear Brothers and Sisters, Jesus Christ is risen! Love has...

State agency backs bakery that refused to decorate cakes with message critical of homosexuality

The Colorado Civil Rights Division ruled that a bakery in Denver did not engage in discrimination when it refused to decorate cakes with messages critical of homosexuality. In 2014, William Jack...

President Obama issues statements for Passover, Easter

President Barack Obama has issued statements on Passover and Easter. “Michelle and I join our fellow Christians around the world in observing Good Friday and celebrating Easter this weekend,” he...

Report: Islamic State blows up church

The Islamic State has blown up a church in Al-Hasakah Governorate in northeastern Syria, according to a report by the Syrian Arab News Agency. The Church of the Virgin Mary, located in Tal Nasri,...

Ukrainian Catholic leader issues Holy Thursday letter to priests

The head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, the largest of the Eastern Catholic churches in full communion with the Holy See, issued a Holy Thursday letter to priests. “On this day, as we...

Jerusalem patriarch: Easter homily

Patriarch Fouad Twal, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, celebrated Easter Sunday Mass at the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. “Every day in the Middle East, we are witnesses of tragic...

Delhi churches under police protection

In the wake of attacks on six Christian institutions in Delhi between December and February, police in India’s capital were directed to provide protection for 259 churches and other institutions on...

Russian Muslim body denounces Islamic State

Russia's Muslim Spiritual Board has denounced the Islamic State, according to a report from the Interfax news agency. The Islamic State’s adherents “erroneously interpret Islam as a religion of...

Pope challenges world leaders' silence on persecution of Christians

The international community cannot remain “silent and inactive” in the face of persecution of Christians, Pope Francis said during his midday audience on Easter Monday April 6. The Pope spoke of...

Head of Rome's Jewish community sends Easter greetings to Pontiff

Rome chief rabbi sends Easter messages to Francis, Benedict (ANSA) Rabbi Riccardo Di Segni, the leader of the Jewish community in Rome, sent his “cordial and sincere” greetings to Pope Francis...

Indian Christians bear witness by forgiving persecutors

In a commentary piece for Outlook, India’s leading secular magazine, that appeared on Easter Sunday, Anto Akkara (a regular contributor to CWN) explains how Christians have attracted their neighbors...

American Catholic, Baptist leaders join in call for civil debate on religious liberty

Catholic and Baptist leaders have joined in a statement calling for a serious national discussion of religious liberty in the US. Two Catholic archbishops, two spokesmen for the Southern Baptist...

Massachusetts bishops oppose death penalty for 'Marathon bomber'

The Catholic bishops of Massachusetts have issued a statement voicing their opposition to the use of the death penalty in the case of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the “Marathon bomber.” Tsarnaev is on...

Released Tuesday, Apr. 7

Report: world’s Muslim population will nearly equal Christian population in 2050

The Pew Research Center has published a new report entitled “The Future of World Religions: Population Growth Projections, 2010-2050.” The report found that in 2050, if current trends continue,...

5 priests minister in Yemen as civil war rages

As civil war intensifies in Yemen, five priests, all of them Salesian, remain in the nation to minister to an estimated 3,000 Catholics in four cities. Most of Yemen’s Catholics are workers from...

Europe’s bishops call for greater respect for Roma people

The president of the Council of the Bishops’ Conferences of Europe has issued a statement calling for greater respect for the Romani (or Roma) people, who are sometimes referred to as...

Philippine president invites cardinals to study peace deal with separatists

Philippine President Benigno Aquino III has invited three prelates, including Cardinals Luis Antonio Tagle and Orlando Quevedo, to join an advisory council that will evaluate the Bangsamoro Basic...

Vatican foreign minister hopes interreligious dialogue can counter religious violence

Archbishop Paul Gallagher, the Holy See’s Secretary for Relations with States, spoke with The Australian about the Vatican’s efforts to use interreligious dialogue as a means to counter religious...

Opposition to French bill on presumed consent in organ donations

The website of the Bishops’ Conference of France has published an article by Father Patrick Verspieren, SJ, expressing opposition to a proposed change in French law on organ donations. Under...

Israeli supreme court sides with Catholic monastery, Palestinian homeowners over route of security wall

Catholic Church officials in Israel have won a key victory in the nation’s supreme court, which ruled against the construction of a security wall through land owned by a Salesian monastery. The...

Kenyan prelate: heighten security, fight radicalization of youth in aftermath of Garissa massacre

Cardinal John Njue of Nairobi has called for stronger security measures in the wake of a terrorist massacre at Garissa University. In an interview with Vatican Radio, the Kenyan prelate said...

Does Cardinal Müller see new role for Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith?

The prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has proposed a new role for his office under Pope Francis, suggesting that the Congregation should “provide the theological structure of...

English bishops release advice to voters on coming elections

The Catholic bishops of England and Wales have issued guidelines for voters in the upcoming elections, saying that Catholics should be guided by a “desire to build a world in which respect, dignity,...

Immigrant from Bangladesh is key suspect in rape of nun in India

Police in India have revealed that a key suspect in the gang-rape of a Catholic nun is an illegal immigrant from Bangladesh who apparently bribed a border official to enter India. Mohammad...

President Obama raps 'less than loving' Christians

President Barack Obama took aim at “less-than-loving expressions by Christians” during an April 7 address to an Easter prayer breakfast at the White House. Departing from his prepared text, the...

Released Wednesday, Apr. 8

Number of priestly ordinations in US to rise 25% this year

595 men are expected to be ordained to the priesthood in the United States in 2015, an increase of 24.7% over last year’s figure of 477, according to data released by the United States Conference of...

Patriarchate denounces ‘rebellion’ of California’s Chaldean bishops

The Chaldean Catholic Patriarchate has issued a statement denouncing the “rebellion” of Bishop Sarhad Jammo, the head of the Chaldean Catholic Eparchy of Saint Peter the Apostle of San Diego, and of...

60,000 Nigerians flee Boko Haram for Cameroon town

Fleeing militants of the Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram, 60,000 Nigerians have taken refuge in Narwa, a town in northern Cameroon. “We saw [an] unimaginable number of Nigerian refugees,”...

Vatican newspaper publishes article decrying radical French secularism

L’Osservatore Romano has published an article denouncing the decision by RATP, France’s state-owned public transit company, to remove the words “for the benefit of Eastern Christians” from 250...

Report predicts 9 million fewer Catholics in France in 30 years

If current demographic trends continue, the number of baptized Catholics in France will fall from approximately 44.1 million today to 35.2 million in 2045, according to the French Christian magazine...

5 injured in attack on church in Egypt

Gunmen fired upon a Coptic church in a suburb of Alexandria, Egypt, on the night of April 5, according to media reports. One guard and four passersby were injured in the drive-by...

Moscow patriarch’s Easter greeting to Christian leaders

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church, the largest of the Eastern Orthodox churches, has issued a paschal greeting to the heads of non-Orthodox churches. “Giving praise to the Lord for His...

‘Children are never a mistake,’ says Pope

Continuing his reflections on the family, Pope Francis devoted his April 8 general audience to suffering children. “From the first moments of their lives, some are rejected, abandoned, and robbed...

Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte, retired Archbishop of Montreal, dead at 78

Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte, the retired Archbishop of Montreal, died on April 8 after a long illness. A native of Montreal, Jean-Claude Turcotte was ordained to the priesthood in 1959 and...

US seeks to extradite former Salvadoran colonel to face charges for killings of 5 Jesuit priests

The US Department of Justice plans to extradite a former Salvadoran military officer to Spain, where he faces charges for the 1989 murders of five Jesuit priests in El Salvador. Inocente Orlando...

Released Thursday, Apr. 9

ACLU lawsuit targets Catholic aid to refugees, unaccompanied minors

The American Civil Liberties Union announced that it will file suit “to order the federal government to release documents related to how groups that are awarded government funding contracts are...

Biden cites Pope Francis in White House prayer breakfast talk

At the recent White House Easter prayer breakfast, Vice President Joe Biden cited Pope Francis. “I never fail to get a renewed sense of hope and possibilities when I attend Mass on Easter...

Cardinal Napier criticizes Cardinal Kasper

Cardinal Wilfrid Napier of Durban, one of the four presidents-delegate at the upcoming synod of bishops on the family, criticized Cardinal Walter Kasper in three recent postings on his Twitter...

US, Vatican officials discuss nuclear nonproliferation

The United States’ Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security has traveled to Rome to meet with Vatican officials on April 9 and 10. “Under Secretary [Rose] Gottemoeller...

Ecumenical Patriarch issues statement on water

The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, who holds a primacy of honor among the Orthodox churches, recently issued a statement on the “human right to water and sanitation.” “Water is a...

Holy See to take part in leading contemporary art show

The Holy See is among the dozens of states with a national pavilion in the Venice Biennale, a leading contemporary art show founded in 1895. The show begins on May 9 and concludes on November 22;...

English lay Catholics back priests' statement affirming Church teaching on marriage

More than 500 lay Catholics in England and Wales have signed a statement of support for Church teaching on marriage, echoing a recent statement issued by Catholic priests. “As laity, we all know...

Vatican cardinal raps politician's 'absurd' campaign against Roma people

The president of the Pontifical Council for Migrants has denounced the “absurd” comments of an Italian political leader about the Roma (gypsy) people. Matteo Salvini of the Northern League had...

Italian media sensationalize priests' scandals

Italian media outlets are carrying sensational stories about two allegations against Catholic priests: one who has been accused of soliciting homosexual partners, another who has been accused of...

Slovakian president meets with Pontiff

Pope Francis met on April 9 with President Andrej Kiska of the Slovak Republic. A brief Vatican statement released after the meeting said that the “cordial” discussions, centered on bilateral...

Papal nuncio sees 'disgrace' in living conditions at refugee camp overrun by Islamic State

Islamic State forces have seized control of the Yarmouk refugee camp outside Damascus, raising fears that the jihadist group could launch an offensive against the Syrian capital. But the apostolic...

Pope speaks out on Armenian genocide

The Armenian genocide of 1915 “places before us the darkness of the mysterium iniquitatis," Pope Francis said as he met on April 9 with a group of bishops of the Armenian Catholic Church. The...

Cleveland diocese sets morality standards for high-school teachers

The Diocese of Cleveland, Ohio, has set new standards for teachers at parochial high schools, matching the standards already in place for elementary-school teachers. The new rules stipulate that...

Released Friday, Apr. 10

Obama administration calls for national ban on conversion therapy for minors

Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to President Obama, said that the Obama administration supports proposed federal legislation that would ban conversion therapy for minors. “Conversion therapy...

Bishops call for participation in March for Marriage

The chairmen of the US bishops’ Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth and Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage have invited their brother bishops and the faithful to...

Report: Vatican declines to approve French ambassador’s nomination over homosexuality

In January, the French government appointed Laurent Stefanini as its ambassador to the Holy See, but three months later, the Vatican has not approved the appointment—leading to European media...

Catholic aid worker killed in Syria

Safouh Al-Mosleh, an Eastern Catholic worker for Caritas Syria, died during the bombing of Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, on April 7. The situation has worsened in Aleppo in recent days following...

Controversies at Catholic schools in Iowa, Nebraska over teachers and same-sex marriage

150 students and alumni at Dowling Catholic High School in West Des Moines, Iowa, took part in a protest against the Diocese of Des Moines’ decision not to offer a full-time teaching contract to a...

Vatican official offers Mass for Tunis terrorist victims

Participants in a recent meeting of the Apostleship of the Sea, chaired by the secretary for the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerants, emphasized that dialogue with...

Georgia's President Margvelashvili meets with Pope

Pope Francis met on April 10 with Presideng Giorgi Margvelashvili of Georgia. The Vatican announced that the Pontiff’s brief conversation with the Georgian leader focused on Church-state...

At UN, Vatican envoy laments lack of progress toward nuclear disarmament

In an April 9 address to a UN session on nuclear weapons, Archbishop Bernardito Auza reminded world leaders that “the Holy See has not ceased to raise the moral argument against the possession and...

Among US voters, Catholic party affiliations match those of overall population

In a study of the religious and political affiliations of American voters, Pew Research has found that Evangelical Protestants are moving steadily toward the Republican party, while Catholics and...

Year of Mercy will be formally announced on Saturday evening, April 11

Pope Francis will formally announce the Jubilee Year of Mercy at a ceremony on Saturday evening, the eve of the feast of Divine Mercy. The “bull of indiction” proclaiming the Jubilee, entitled...

Cardinal Kasper: Year of Mercy 'corresponds to the signs of the times'

Cardinal Walter Kasper, whose book on God’s mercy drew special praise from Pope Francis, has said that the Jubilee Year of Mercy “corresponds to the signs of the times today.” Speaking to Vatican...

Cardinal Sarah: Catholic Africa will resist any effort to change Church teaching

L’Espresso profiles Cardinal Robert Sarah, the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, speculating that he could be the first Pope from black Africa. Cardinal Sarah, a native of Guinea,...

Yet another priest murdered in Mexico

For the 10th time in two years, a Catholic priest has been murdered in Mexico. Father Francisco Javier Gutierrez was shot in the head, and his body was found by the roadside outside the town of...

Kenyan bishops ask government to raise security level after Garissa massacre

Responding to the massacre of university students at Garissa, the Catholic bishops of Kenya have issued a statement proclaiming there hope that “the government will get to the bottom of this problem...

Scottish bishops tell voters: put life first

The Catholic bishops of Scotland are encouraging voters to consider the sanctity of life as “the fundamental issue” as they weigh candidates in the coming British elections. In a pastoral letter...

Catholics in Holy Land celebrate Easter this Sunday

Catholics in Jordan will celebrate Easter on April 12, in accordance with a new agreement that unites the day of the Easter celebration for Orthodox and Catholic believers in the Holy Land. In...

Released Monday, Apr. 13

Pope decries economic inequity in the Americas

In a message to the Summit of the Americas, which brought together leaders of 35 North and South American leaders, Pope Francis decried unjust economic disparities. “Inequity, the unjust...

Transmit the beauty of consecrated life, Pope urges those involved in formation

Pope Francis met with 1,300 consecrated men and women are involved in the formation of young religious and called upon them to convey to postulants and novices the beauty of consecrated life. The...

Pope outlines plans for the extraordinary jubilee of mercy

Emphasizing the centrality of the Sacrament of Reconciliation and highlighting the importance of the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, Pope Francis has issued Misericordiae Vultus [The Face of...

Pope laments Armenian genocide, proclaims 36th doctor of the Church

Celebrating Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica on April 12 for the faithful of the Armenian rite, Pope Francis officially proclaimed St. Gregory of Narek the 36th doctor of the Church. In a...

Thomas ‘was able to touch the Paschal Mystery,’ says Pope

Pope Francis devoted his April 12 Regina Caeli address to St. Thomas’ encounter with the Risen Lord eight days after Easter. In “the salvific contact with the wounds of the Risen Lord” the...

Turkey recalls ambassador to Holy See, protests Pope's statement on Armenian genocide

The government of Turkey has recalled its ambassador to the Holy See, protesting a strong public statement by Pope Francis condemning the Armenian genocide. The Pope said that the deaths of an...

Lay members of papal commission on abuse meet to voice concerns on Chilean bishop's appointment

Four lay members of a papal commission on sexual abuse have met with the panel’s chairman, Cardinal Sean O’Malley, to voice their concerns about the appointment of a Chilean bishop who has been...

New Jersey Catholic teacher who criticized gay-rights advocates is reinstated after suspension

A New Jersey woman who was suspended from her teaching post at a Catholic school because of Facebook posts criticizing homosexual activists has been reinstated. Patricia Jannuzzi will return to...

Council of Cardinals continues discussions on Vatican reform

The Council of Cardinals, the 9-man body appointed by Pope Francis to provide advice on reorganization of the Roman Curia, is meeting in Rome this week. The 3-day meeting, beginning on April 13,...

Pakistani Christian teen dowsed with gasoline, burned by Islamic group

A Pakistani Christian boy is in critical condition after he was doused with gasoline and burned by a group of Muslims, the Fides news service reports. Nauman Masih, who is 14 years old, was...

Archdiocese of Buenos Aires recognizes SSPX group

Cardinal Mario Poli of Buenos Aires, Argentina has recognized a branch of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) as an “association of diocesan right,” marking the first time that the breakaway...

English cardinal confirms that cathedral in Mosul has been desecrated by ISIS

Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster, England, has confirmed that troops of the Islamic State have desecrated the Catholic cathedral in Mosul, Iraq. Cardinal Nichols, who traveled to Iraq to...

Iraqi premier meets Chaldean Patriarch, urges Christians to stay

Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako met on April 11 with Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who voiced his concern about the “difficulties” facing Christians in the country, and...

Released Tuesday, Apr. 14

USCCB committee chair supports framework for dealing with Iran

The chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace Committee has welcomed the adoption of a framework by the United States, its allies,...

In message for World Day of Prayer for Vocations, Pope Francis reflects on exodus

The Holy See Press Office has released “Exodus, a fundamental experience of vocation,” Pope Francis’s Message for the 52nd World Day of Prayer for Vocations, which will take place on the Fourth...

UN secretary general to speak at interfaith Vatican meeting on climate change

The Pontifical Academy of Sciences has announced that it is sponsoring a workshop on April 28 “to help build a global movement across all religions for sustainable development and climate change...

Pope’s Twitter following surpasses 20 million

Pope Francis’s Twitter following surpassed 20 million on April 12. It surpassed 10 million followers in October 2013. The Twitter account now has 8.5 million followers in Spanish, 5.9 million...

Christian neighborhood shelled in Aleppo; city may fall to Islamic State

Syrian rebels fired rockets at a Christian neighborhood in Aleppo, the nation’s largest city, on the night of April 10-11. As efforts to bring about a ceasefire in Aleppo collapsed, Christians in...

Officials named for Vatican economic offices

Pope Francis has named Msgr. Luigi Mistò, 62, as the secretary of the administrative section of the Secretariat for the Economy. Msgr. Mistò will assist Cardinal George Pell, the secretariat’s...

In Easter message, Moscow patriarch recalls victory over Germany

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, the head of the largest of the Eastern Orthodox churches, has issued his Easter message to the Russian Orthodox faithful. “When spiritual heroism becomes the substance...

Armenian genocide was ideological, not religious, says Armenian prelate

The Armenian genocide was motivated by ideology, not religion, the head of the Armenian Apostolic Church in Cilicia told Vatican Insider. But he added that today, the Turkish government is seeking...

Dangerous conditions at St. Patrick's cathedral force repairs, Cardinal Dolan says

New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan has revealed that St. Patrick’s cathedral was in dangerous condition before a recent restoration effort began. “We’re talking about repair, because literally,...

Full schedule released for Pope's June trip to Sarajevo

The Vatican has released a full schedule for the June 6 visit to Sarajevo by Pope Francis. The Pontiff will leave Rome early in the morning, arrived in Sarajevo after a one-hour flight. Following...

Papal trip to South America set for July?

Pope Francis will travel to Ecuador, Bolivia, and Paraguay in July, the Associated Press has reported. Citing Italian media reports, AP says that the Pontiff will spend two days in Ecuador,...

Pope not worried about Islamic threats to himself, Archbishop Gänswein reports

Archbishop Georg Gänswein has said that Pope Francis is not frightened by reports that the Islamic State has targeted him, but he is very concerned about the jihadist group's persecution of...

France still waiting on Vatican response to ambassador's nomination

The French government is still awaiting a Vatican response to the nomination of Laurent Stefanini as ambassador to the Holy See. Stefanini’s nomination has been on hold for three months, and...

Hindu extremist: India should sterilize Christians, Muslims

A Hindu leader has called for the sterilization of Christians and Muslims, to curb the population of religious minorities and ensure the predominance of Hindu culture in India. Deva Sadhvi...

Russian Orthodox Patriarch supports creation of Palestinian state

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow has declared the support of the Russian Orthodox Church for a Palestinian state. The Russian prelate said that the Palestinian people should have their own state, "in...

One year after kidnapping, over 200 Nigerian girls still missing

One year after the kidnapping of 276 girls by Boko Haram terrorists in Nigeria, the country’s Christians are still hoping “that one day we shall receive that good news” that they are safe, says...

Released Wednesday, Apr. 15

Support International Religious Freedom Act, says USCCB committee chair

The chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace has called upon members of the House of Representatives to pass the Frank Wolf...

Cardinal Tucci dies at 93

Cardinal Roberto Tucci passed away on April 14, five days shy of his 94th birthday. Born in Naples in 1921, he entered the Society of Jesus at 15 and was ordained to the priesthood at 29. He took...

Cardinal Turkson speaks on women and conflict resolution

Cardinal Peter Turkson, the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, delivered the opening address at a conference devoted to women’s leadership in conflict resolution. The US...

Bishop: Turkish Christians ‘embarrassed’ by Pope’s remarks on Armenian genocide

Bishop Louis Pelâtre, the French-born apostolic vicar of Istanbul, said that Pope Francis’s remarks on the Armenian genocide have caused a “great sensation” in Turkey. Ilsussidiario.net reported...

Survey: Thailand, Armenia are the most religious nations

Predominant Buddhist Thailand and predominantly Christian Armenia are the world’s most religious nations, according to a survey of nearly 64,000 people conducted by WIN/Gallup International...

Man and woman are different and complementary, Pope emphasizes in audience

Continuing his catechesis on the family, Pope Francis devoted his April 15 general audience to “the difference and complementarity” of man and woman. Stating that man and woman “as a couple” are...

Cardinal Pell moves out of Vatican bank location, into new permanent office

Cardinal George Pell, the prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, has moved out of his temporary office in the headquarters of the Vatican bank to a new location close to the other offices of...

Another German cardinal raps push for Communion for divorced/remarried Catholics

Cardinal Walter Brandmüller, the retired president of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences, has said that pressure for change in the Church’s teaching on the indissolubility of marriage...

Vatican-reform planning likely to continue into 2016

The Council of Cardinals—the 9-member group advising Pope Francis on Vatican reforms—concluded its 9th meeting on April 15. A Vatican statement released at the close of the meeting indicated that...

Pope meets family of Asia Bibi, Pakistani woman facing death sentence

Pope Francis met on April 15 with relatives of Asia Bibi, the Pakistani woman who is facing a death sentence for alleged blasphemy. Following his regular weekly public audience, the Pontiff met...

Turkey's leaders lash out at Pope for recognizing Armenian genocide

Turkey’s top political leaders have issued angry statements denouncing Pope Francis for his statement recognizing the Armenian genocide. Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned the...

iPad donated by Pope Francis auctioned for $30,500

An iPad donated by Pope Francis has been sold at auction for $30,500, with the funds destined for a Catholic school in Uruguay. The Pope gave the iPad to a priest in Uruguay, who in turn offered...

Released Thursday, Apr. 16

Pope renews condemnation of terrorist attack in Kenya

Pope Francis received the bishops of Kenya in audience on April 16 and renewed his condemnation of Al-Shabaab’s recent killing of over 150 Christians at Garissa University College. “With you, I...

Catholic share of world population increases; sisters and seminarians decline

A new edition of the Vatican statistical yearbook has been published, offering a statistical glimpse of the Church as of December 31, 2013. Between 2005 and 2013, the number of Catholics...

Vatican completes doctrinal assessment of Leadership Conference of Women Religious

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) has completed its doctrinal assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), the umbrella organization for the majority of the...

USCCB, Catholic Charities officials back legislation on reform of prison sentencing

The chairman of the Domestic Justice and Human Development Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the president-elect of Catholic Charities USA expressed support the...

Vatican confirms papal trip to South America in July

The director of the Holy See Press Office has issued a statement confirming that Pope Francis will visit three South American nations in July. The Pope will visit Ecuador from July 6-8, Bolivia...

Historic cathedral returned to Russian Orthodox Church

The Russian government has returned Smolny Convent and Cathedral to the Russian Orthodox Church, according to a report from AsiaNews. The convent, whose centerpiece is the cathedral, is located...

Pope-emeritus Benedict marks his 88th birthday

Pope Francis offered his daily Mass for the intentions of his predecessor Benedict XVI on April 16, as the retired Pontiff celebrated his 88th birthday. "I would like to remind that today is Pope...

San Francisco: critics call for removal of Archbishop Cordileone; archdiocese fires back

More than 100 prominent Catholics signed a full-page advertisement in the San Francisco Chronicle urging Pope Francis to replace Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone. The paid advertisement charged...

Syrian archbishop urges clergy to stay in Aleppo despite risk of slaughter

The Melkite Catholic Archbishop of Aleppo, Syria, is urging the clergy not to abandon the city, despite the danger that it could fall to the Islamic State. “I am asking my priests to stay,”...

Armenian genocide memorials muted in Turkey

Armenian Apostolic Patriarch Aram Ateshian of Constantinople will celebrate the Divine Liturgy to mark the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide, risking the wrath of the Turkish government,...

Another surprise call from the Pope: journalist in Argentina stunned

Pope Francis has once again made headlines with an unexpected phone call, this time to a journalist in his native Argentina. Alfredo Leuco, who writes for Clarin in Buenos Aires, penned an open...

Vatican envoy regrets UN emphasis on abortion, efforts to curb population growth

The Vatican’s representative at the UN decried campaigns to promote abortion and contraception, in two separate addresses this week. Speaking at an April 15 session on sexual violence in armed...

Released Friday, Apr. 17

Vatican spokesman: papal trip to Cuba is a possibility

The director of the Holy See Press Office said that there is a possibility that Pope Francis may visit Cuba in September. “The Holy Father has taken into consideration the idea of making a stop...

Victory for Pennsylvania dioceses against HHS mandate

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito has issued a temporary order halting enforcement of the HHS mandate against Catholic charities and schools associated with the Dioceses of Pittsburgh and...

Pope thanks Papal Foundation for support

Pope Francis received members of the US-based Papal Foundation in audience at the Apostolic Palace on April 17 and encouraged them to transmit “the one, holy, catholic and apostolic faith that comes...

12th-century French church partially destroyed

The church in the French village of Saint-Martin-le-Beau sustained significant fire damage on April 17. Twenty cars near the church, whose bell tower dates to the twelfth century, were also...

South African bishops denounce attacks on immigrants

Thousands of foreign nationals in South Africa have fled their homes for shelters after mob attacks in Durban left five dead. “We understand the anger that the people may be feeling towards the...

Cardinal Francis George dies after long battle with cancer

Cardinal Francis George, the retired Archbishop of Chicago, died on April 17 at the age of 78, after a long battle with cancer. Cardinal George, who for years had been a leader in the American...

Vatican envoy demands UN keep 'eyes wide open' to persecution of Christians

Speaking on April 17 to a UN session on the persecution of Christians, Archbishop Bernardito Auza said that world leaders should approach the question “with both of our eyes wide open.” “And as...

Pope will join US seminarians to honor Bl. Junipero Serra

Pope Francis will visit the North American College in Rome on May 2, to participate in a day devoted to Blessed Junipero Serra. The Holy Father will celebrate Mass at the North American College:...

Immigrants clash on refugee ship; Muslims throw Christians overboard

Italian police arrested 15 Muslim immigrants on April 16 after a brutal incident in which at least a dozen Christians were thrown overboard from a boat leaving carrying refugees from Libya to...

Released Monday, Apr. 20

Christianity should not be restricted to private sphere, Pope tells Italy’s president

Pope Francis received Italy’s new president in an April 18 state visit and said that while Church and state are distinct entities with distinct roles, religion in a pluralistic society has a public...

Combat human trafficking, Pope urges

Citing the example of St. Peter Claver and St. John of Matha, who ministered to slaves, Pope Francis called upon Christians to combat human trafficking. The Pontiff made his remarks during an...

Papal telegram following death of Cardinal George

Pope Francis has sent a telegram of condolence to Archbishop Blase Cupich of Chicago upon the death of Cardinal Francis George. “I offer heartfelt condolences to you and to the clergy, religious...

Pope to address charismatic Catholics in St. Peter’s Square

The Holy See Press Office has announced that Pope Francis will address Catholics involved in the charismatic renewal in an outdoor audience. The gathering will take place on July 3, the feast of...

Be committed to a ‘revolution of tenderness,’ says Pope

Pope Francis received members of the International Catholic Society for Girls on April 18 and urged them to commit themselves to a “revolution of tenderness,” to which “Jesus opened the way through...

Pope calls upon faithful to proclaim Christ as ‘the living and only Savior’

Reflecting on the readings from the Mass of the day, Pope Francis devoted his April 19 Regina Caeli address to the duty of each Christian to witness to Christ. At the heart of witness, said the...

Pope appeals to international community as African immigrants flood Italy, perish at sea

Following his April 19 Regina Caeli address, Pope Francis lamented the deaths of migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea and appealed to the international community to offer assistance. The Pope...

28 Ethiopians reportedly killed in new Islamic State massacre

Islamic State terrorists in Libya apparently killed 28 Ethiopian Christians, describing them as representatives of the “enemy Ethiopian Church,” in a new massacre. A video that showed the...

Syrian Christians hold out hope for kidnapped bishops, priest

The apostolic nuncio in Syria has reporting mounting fears about the fate of two Orthodox bishops and a Catholic priests who remaining missing two years after being abducted. Archbishop Mario...

September 23 canonization set for Blessed Junipero Serra; Vatican rejects complaints of racism

Pope Francis will preside at the canonization of Blessed Junipero Serra on September 23 in Washington, DC, the Vatican has announced. The Pope had disclosed in January that he hoped to canonize...

Vice-president of US bishops' overseas charity is partner in same-sex marriage, group reports

A senior executive of Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the overseas charity of the US bishops, is involved in a same-sex marriage, the Lepanto Institute has discovered. Rick Estridge, the...

Scottish priest sentenced by Church tribunal for book charging 'gay Mafia' influence

A Catholic Church tribunal in Scotland has sentenced a priest to three months of penance, after finding him guilty of damaging the reputations of others with a book in which he complained of a...

Solid faith will resist tribalism, ideology, lure of wealth, Pope tells bishops of Gabon

Meeting on April 18 with visiting bishops from Gabon, Pope Francis encouraged them to draw inspiration from the missionaries who brought the faith to the African nation “in heroic conditions” 170...

In annual message to world's Buddhists, Vatican suggests joint effort against slavery

Buddhists and Christians should work together to combat slavery and human trafficking, the Vatican said in an annual message to the world’s Buddhists. The message, issued by the Pontifical...

Meeting European rabbis, Pope pays homage to deceased leader of Rome's Jewish community

Pope Francis met on April 20 with representatives of the Conference of Euroepan Rabbis, and used the occasion to pay tribute to the former chief rabbi of Rome, Elio Toaff, who had died last week at...

Jihadists hope to stir Muslim-Christian divisions in Kenya, Islamic leader warns

The jihadist warriors of Al Shabaab are hoping “to spark a religious conflict in Kenya between Christians and Muslims,” a Kenyan Muslim leader told an audience in Nairobi. Al Shabaab, a terrorist...

Released Tuesday, Apr. 21

Abuse scandal’s total cost: $2.9 billion since 2004

The clerical abuse scandal cost American dioceses and religious orders $119,079,647 between mid-2013 and mid-2014, according to a report released on April 17 by the United States Conference of...

USCCB president pays tribute to Cardinal George

The president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops paid tribute to the late Cardinal Francis George of Chicago as he requested prayers for the repose of his soul. “As archbishop of...

LCWR leaders praise Pope, curial officials

The president-elect and past president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) praised curial officials following recent annual meetings in Rome. The meetings are distinct from the...

Report: administration of Pontifical Oriental Institute dismissed

The superior general of the Society of Jesus has dismissed the rector, vice-rector, and two deans of the Pontifical Oriental Institute, according to a report by Italian journalist Sandro...

Vatican foreign minister: international community must do more to counter Islamic State

The Vatican’s Secretary for Relations with States said in an interview that the international community should do more to counter the Islamic State’s persecution of Christians. “How can you be...

Pope accepts resignation of Bishop Finn

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-Saint Joseph, Missouri, nearly three years after the bishop was found guilty on criminal charges for failing to report...

Vatican letter rues high youth unemployment

The Holy See Press Office has released a letter by the Vatican’s Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, on the occasion of the annual national day for the Catholic University of the Sacred...

Today's Church is a Church of martyrs, Pope says

“The Church today is a Church of martyrs,” Pope Francis told his congregation at daily Mass on April 21. Reflecting on the day’s reading from the Acts of the Apostles, which recounted the...

Nigerian bishop: Rosary will overcome Boko Haram threat

A Nigerian bishop has said that Jesus appeared to him and told him that the Boko Haram terrorist group can be defeated by the Rosary. Bishop Oliver Dashe Doeme of Maiduguri told the Catholic...

Pope sends message of solidarity to Ethiopian Orthodox leader after killing of 28 by Islamic State

Pope Francis has sent a message of condolence and solidarity to the leader of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, reacting to the massacre of 28 Ethiopian Christians by Islamic zealots in Libya. ...

Austrian missionary nun murdered in South Africa

An Austrian missionary nun was killed in her home on KwaZulu-Natal, in South Africa, on April 19, the Fides news agency reports. The body of Sister Stefani Tiefenbacher was discovered early on...

Al Azhar University denounces 'heinous' killing of 28 Ethiopians

Al Azhar University, the Egyptian institution that is regarded as the leading intellectual center of Sunni Islam, has issued a statement condemning the murder of Ethiopian Christians by the Islamic...

European Union must take 'drastic' action to save immigrants after tragedies at sea: Cardinal Marx

Cardinal Reinhard Marx, speaking in his capacity as president of the Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Union (COMECE), has called for action by the European Union in the face of...

Vatican, UNICEF launch worldwide peace-through-education program

The Vatican has joined with the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) in a new initiative to promote peace through education. The collaborative...

Released Wednesday, Apr. 22

Chile: priest to offer ‘Mass of hope’ in opposition to new bishop

Father Pedro Kliegel, a parish priest in Osorno, Chile, is offering a “Mass of hope” on April 22 to express opposition to the recent appointment of Bishop Juan Barros, who has been accused of...

Rabbi: Pope Francis concerned about Western sanctions against Russia

The president of the Conference of European Rabbis said that Pope Francis told him that he is concerned about the effects of Western economic sanctions on the Russian people. Rabbi Pinchas...

Cardinal Baldisseri speaks about the Magisterium and the search for new languages

Speaking in Warsaw on April 18, Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, the Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops, told Catholic journalists that “your main task, in the words of Pope Francis, is not to...

Church attack foiled in France, says interior minister

France’s minister of the interior announced that police have prevent a church attack planned by a 24-year-old Algerian student. Documents found during the suspect’s arrest “established beyond...

Pope laments devaluation of ‘stable and generative covenant’ of marriage

Pope Francis spoke about the complementarity of the sexes and the covenant of marriage in his April 22 weekly general audience. “Man and woman are of the same substance and are complementary,” he...

Pontifical academy calls for world anti-trafficking agency, campaign against prostitution

At the conclusion of a plenary assembly devoted to human trafficking, members of the Pontifical Academy for Social Sciences said at a press conference that there is an urgent need for an...

Confirmed: Pope will visit Cuba in September

Pope Francis will travel to Cuba in September, the Vatican has confirmed. Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican press office, announced on April 22 that the Pope would visit Cuba...

Would-be French ambassador to Holy See meets with Pope; nomination remains stalled

Pope Francis has met privately with the French government’s nominee to become ambassador to the Holy See, but the nomination remains unconfirmed. A French government spokesman announced on April...

Turkey must acknowledge Armenian genocide, says Maronite Patriarch

Maronite Catholic Patriarch Beshara Rai has called upon the government of Turkey to acknowledge the reality of the Armenian genocide. The Lebanese prelate stop to reporters as he left for...

Turkey will commemorate Armenian deaths-- but not genocide

Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu says that his government will commemorate the mass deaths of Armenians at a 100th-anniversary observance on April 24. But he has refused to use the term...

On Earth Day, Pope says 'see the world through the eyes of God the Creator'

Recognizing the worldwide celebration of Earth Day on April 22 at the close of his regular weekly public audience, Pope Francis encouraged the faithful to “see the world through the eyes of God the...

Vatican worried by impasse in Israel-Palestine talks, envoy tells UN

“The Holy See is deeply concerned at the total lack of progress of the negotiations between Palestine and Israel,” the Vatican’s representative told a meeting of the UN Security Council on April...

Most Muslims reject religious violence, Pontifical Council says, advocating more dialogue

The need for dialogue with Islam is greater today than ever before, the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue proclaimed in a statement released on April 22. The Pontifical Council...

Italian court: sex-change operation does not annul marriage

An Italian court has ruled that a sex-change operation does not make a marriage invalid, but noted that the ruling does not suggest legal approval of same-sex marriage. The odd ruling, from a...

Eight US Catholic colleges plan commencement honors for anti-Catholic figures

The Cardinal Newman Society (CNS) has found eight cases in which American Catholic colleges and universities plan commencement honors for public speakers who have taken clear public stands against...

Boko Haram violence spreads into Cameroon, bishop reports

Boko Haram, the Islamic movement that has conducted a campaign of terror through Nigeria, is also wreaking havoc in Cameroon, a bishop has told Aid to the Church in Need. Bishop Bruno Ateba of...

Released Thursday, Apr. 23

Irish court: 30-year delay in bringing abuse suit is ‘inexcusable’

The second-highest court in Ireland has unanimously dismissed an abuse suit against the Religious Sisters of Charity. The woman who filed suit alleged that beginning in 1977, at the age of 12,...

Southeastern Europe’s bishops discuss pastoral care of families

In preparation for the upcoming Synod of Bishops on the family, the presidents of the bishops’ conferences of southeastern Europe met in Bucharest from April 17 to 21 to discuss challenges in the...

25-year high for women’s religious vocations in England, Wales

The number of women entering religious life in England and Wales rose from seven in 2004 to 45 in 2014, the highest number in 25 years. Eighteen of the 45 entered cloistered communities,...

French prime minister: 178 Catholic churches under police protection

After a planned terrorist attack on two French churches was averted, Prime Minister Manuel Valls announced that “specific protection” is being provided to 178 Catholic places of worship. CNN...

Armenian Apostolic Church: canonization of 1.5 million genocide victims

On April 23, the Armenian Apostolic Church is canonizing all of the victims of the Armenian Genocide, a century after it began. Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russian and Francois Hollande of...

Belgian primate plans to live with new religious community upon retirement

Archbishop André-Joseph Léonard of Mechelen-Brussels, the primate of Belgium since his appointment by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010, has announced that upon his retirement, if his successor permits, he...

Estonian Orthodox gravitating toward Ukrainian Catholic Church?

In Estonia, parishioners are leaving Orthodox churches affiliated with the Patriarchate of Mosow to join the Ukrainian Catholic Church, according to a representative of the World Congress of...

Refugees from Mediterranean tragedy buried in Malta at inter-religious ceremony

Catholics and Muslims in Malta joined in a memorial service for the 800 immigrants who died in a tragedy on the Mediterranean Sea. The bodies of 24 people, from among the hundreds lost at sea,...

Italy's quick-divorce law takes effect

A new Italian law allowing quick divorces took effect on April 22. The new law, which allows for a divorce to become final in six months if both parties consent, had passed with the support of...

No simple solution to immigrant crisis: Italian bishops' spokesman

The secretary-general of the Italian bishops' conference has said that "all routes must be taken, all solutions must be adopted," to prevent a recurrence of the disaster in which an estimated 800...

Cardinal Danneels reportedly urged Belgian King Badouin to sign liberal abortion law

Two prominent Belgian political leaders have confirmed reports that Cardinal Godfried Danneels tried to persuade King Baudouin to sign a liberal abortion law in 1990. Despite the advice of the...

Pastor halts firearms training, on bishop' orders

A Michigan priest has rescinded his decisions to sponsor firearms-safety classes at his parish, on orders from his bishop. Father Edward Fride had encouraged his congregation to purchase firearms...

ACLU suit challenges federal funding for Catholic programs aiding immigrants, citing lack of access to abortion

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has formally filed a lawsuit challenging federal funding from programs run by Catholic agencies to support immigrants. “We have heard reports that...

Nuns walk out of San Francisco Catholic high school to protest pro-homosexual program

Five women religious teaching at a Catholic high school outside San Francisco boycotted their own classes last week to protest a program that they regarded as sympathetic toward a gay-rights...

Bishop intervenes to block lecture by Sister Jeannine Gramick in North Carolina

A Catholic parish in Charlotte, North Carolina, has cancelled a scheduled talk by a nun whose advocacy for homosexuals has drawn cautions from the Vatican and the US bishops’ conference. Bishop...

Vatican celebrates Pope's 'name day'

The Vatican celebrated April 23 as a holiday, marking the feast of St. George, the patron saint of Pope Francis, who was born Jorge Bergoglio. Msgr. Guillermo Karcher, an Argentinian priest and...

German bishops' report: laity want change in Church teaching; many priests do not pray regularly

The German Catholic bishops’ conference has made public a report on a survey of the faithful in preparation for the October meeting of the Synod of Bishops, finding a “gap between the lived reality...

Vatican has not decided on proposed French ambassador, agency reports

The Vatican has not yet made a decision regarding the appointment of a new ambassador from France to the Holy See, the respected Roman news agency I Media reports. Contrary to rumors that have...

Pope's visit causes twist in pro football schedule

The National Football League (NFL) revised its schedule for the 2015 season to accommodate a visit by Pope Francis to Philadelphia. Philadelphia's Archbishop Charles Chaput wrote to NFL...

Released Friday, Apr. 24

Religious leaders issue open letter on marriage and religious liberty

Over 30 Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, and other religious leaders have issued a joint open letter affirming their “commitment to promote and defend marriage—the union of one man and one...

Activists, congressmen prod Obama on religion envoy

Following a vote of 402-22 in the House of Representatives and a voice vote in the Senate, President Barack Obama signed the Near East and South Central Asia Religious Freedom Act in August...

President Obama welcomes Pope’s ‘expression of views’ on Armenian genocide

A century after the beginning of the Armenian genocide, President Barack Obama issued a statement noting that “the Armenian people of the Ottoman Empire were deported, massacred, and marched to...

Colombian bishops lament euthanasia protocol

In response to an order from the nation’s high court, the Colombian government has issued regulations permitting terminally ill adults to choose physician-assisted suicide. Stating that every...

Italy: priest arrested for murder

Father Gratien Alabi, a Congolese priest who ministers in Arezzo, Italy, has been arrested on charges of murdering and concealing the corpse of Guerrina Piscaglia in May 2014. Piscaglia, 50, sent...

Vatican cardinal visits Cuba

Cardinal Beniamino Stella, the prefect for the Congregation for the Clergy, has begun a five-day visit to Cuba ahead, the Spanish news agency EFE reported. The Holy See Press Office recently...

Report: Pope to criticize Argentine hierarchy’s actions during dictatorship

Pope Francis said recently that he has ordered the opening of the Vatican Archives to shed light on the Church’s actions during the Argentine military dictatorship (1976-83), according to an...

Moroccan government minister's polygamous plan stirs public debate

The Moroccan government has been shaken by news that two cabinet ministers plan to be married, with the man involved taking his 2nd wife. Habib Choubani, the minister for civil-society relations,...

Soccer star Maradona meets Pope, calls himself 'number-one fan'

Argentina’s legendary soccer star, Diego Maradona, met with Pope Francis on April 22, and pronounced himself the Pontiff’s “number-one fan.” Maradona was in Rome with representatives of the South...

Nations may fear 'legal consequences' of recognizing Armenian genocide, says Lebanese prelate

Many nations are afraid to acknowledge the Armenian genocide because “they fear the legal consequences,” according to Maronite Catholic Patriarch Bechara Rai. In a statement released from...

Italian prosecutor says his investigation stopped terror attack on Vatican in 2010

An Italian prosecutor has claimed that his investigation prevented a terrorist attack on the Vatican in 2010. “Our activity was indispensable to ensure that the irreparable did not happen,” Mauro...

Czech president visits Pontiff

Pope Francis met on April 24 with President Milos Zeman of the Czech Republic, on the 25th anniversary of the restoration of diplomatic ties between that country and the Holy See. A brief Vatican...

Keep faith growing, Pope encourages bishops from Namibia, Lesotho

Pope Francis spoke of the “flourishing Christian faith” in Lesotho and Namibia, as he met on April 24 with bishops from those African countries. In his message to the bishops, who were concluding...

Belgian court finds archbishop culpable for failure to act on abuse complaint

Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard of Brussels has been ordered to pay €10,000 (about $11,000) to a victim of sexual abuse, after a Belgian court found that the archbishop failed to take action on an...

Vatican envoy speaks at UN about extremists' recruitment of young followers

Broken families, failed expectations, and alienation are factors in pushing young people into violent extremism, the Vatican’s delegate said in an address to the UN. “The family is the first...

Released Monday, Apr. 27

Pope Francis pays tribute to St. John Paul II

Pope Francis met with members of the John Paul II Foundation during an April 25 audience that took place in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace. Paying tribute to St. John Paul II, who...

Pope Francis ordains 19 men to the priesthood

Pope Francis ordained 19 deacons to the priesthood at St. Peter’s Basilica on April 26. Three of them were educated at the Pontifical Roman Seminary, nine at the Neocatechumenal Way’s Roman...

Papal prayer, solidarity for Nepal’s earthquake victims

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, sent a telegram of condolence in Pope Francis’s name on April 26 following an earthquake that left thousands dead. “His Holiness Pope...

Foundress of religious institute beatified in Canada

Sister Marie-Élisabeth Turgeon (1840-81), the foundress of the Sisters of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, was beatified in Quebec on April 26. Cardinal Angelo Amato, the prefect of the Congregation...

Christ is the Good Shepherd, Pope emphasizes

Reflecting on the day’s Scripture readings at Mass, Pope Francis devoted his April 26 Regina Caeli address to Christ as the Good Shepherd. “Unlike the mercenary, Christ is a caring, guiding...

Papal telegram to Divine Mercy conference

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, sent a telegram in Pope Francis’s name on April 26 to participants in a conference in Gela, Sicily, devoted to Divine Mercy. The Pontiff...

Coptic teacher, students arrested for ‘contempt of religion’ in Egypt

A Coptic Christian teacher and four of his students were arrested for “contempt of religion” after a Muslim discovered a video of the students mocking the actions of Islamic State militants. The...

Thousands attend March for Marriage in Washington

During an April 25 march in Washington, thousands of people witnessed to marriage as the union of a man and a woman. “My dear friends, marriage is and can only be the union of one man and one...

All are called to holiness, Pope reminds Benin’s bishops

Pope Francis received the bishops of Benin in audience on April 27 and expressed gratitude to God for the large numbers of conversions and priestly and religious vocations in the West African...

US priests urge Synod to issue clear affirmation of Church teaching on marriage

A growing number of Catholic priests in the US have signed a statement urging the Synod of Bishops to “make a clear and firm proclamation of the Church’s unchanging moral teaching” on...

Vatican official unsatisfied with Europe's response to immigration crisis

The president of the Pontifical Council for Migrants has voiced his dissatisfaction with European leaders’ response to the immigration crisis. Cardinal Antonio Maria Veglio said that an agreement...

Swedish queen meets with Pope

Pope Francis met on April 27 with Queen Silvia of Sweden, who was in Rome to participate in a Vatican conference on human trafficking. Queen Silvia was accompanied by her daughter, Princess...

Released Tuesday, Apr. 28

Bakery owners ordered to pay $135,000 over same-sex wedding cake

One year after ruling that the owners of an Oregon bakery violated a non-discrimination law when one of its owners declined to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple, the Oregon Bureau of Labor...

Anniversary of St. John Paul’s canonization recalled

Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals and St. John Paul II’s secretary of state during the latter portion of his pontificate, was the principal celebrant at an April 27 Mass in...

Pope Francis to celebrate outdoor Mass in Washington

Pope Francis’s Mass for the canonization of Blessed Junipero Serra will be celebrated outdoors, outside the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, according to a statement...

Vatican cardinal: Jaricot a ‘bright star’ in Church’s evangelizing efforts

Cardinal Fernando Filoni, the prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, traveled to Lyon, France, where he upheld Ven. Pauline-Marie Jaricot as a model for lay involvement in...

Mexican cardinal laments nation’s corruption, violence

The president of the Mexican Episcopal Conference lamented widespread corruption and crime and said that the principal reason for the decline in the nation’s Catholic population-- from 95% in 1975...

Pope, UN secretary general push for worldwide action on climate change

Pope Francis welcomed Ban Ki-moon to the Vatican on April 28, as the UN secretary general arrived to address an interfaith conference on climate change. Participants in the conference-- ranging...

Cardinal Mamberti receives additional appointment

Pope Francis has named Cardinal Dominque Mamberti, the prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, as the president of the Commission of Advocates. Cardinal Mamberti, who remains...

Christian exodus contributing to rise of militant Islam in Middle East: Maronite Patriarch

The steady exodus of Christians from the Middle East is weakening the position of moderate Muslims, warns Maronite Catholic Patriarch Bechara Rai. The Lebanese prelate told a UNESCO audience in...

Syrian archbishop says government could defeat Islamic State if foreign nations cut support

A Syrian Catholic archbishop has described the country’s President Bashar Al Assad as “a good man,” although he quickly added that he did not intend a political endorsement. In an interview for...

Pennsylvania's top court restores conviction of Philadelphia cleric on abuse charge

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania reinstated the conviction of a top cleric from the Philadelphia archdiocese, overturning the ruling by an appeals court. Msgr. William Lynn was convicted in...

Bishop reports 'very, very frightening scene' after earthquake in Nepal

Bishop Paul Simick of Kathmandu said that the April 27 earthquake created “a very, very frightening scene” in the capital city of Nepal. Bishop Simick—the only Catholic bishop in Nepal—told Aid...

Turkey invites Vatican to exposition: conciliatory gesture after diplomatic row

The government of Turkey has issued an invitation to the Vatican to visit the country’s pavilion at an international exposition that opens in Milan this coming weekend. The invitation represents a...

Christians used as scapegoats as Sunnis, Shi'ite struggle for power, Iraqi prelate says

Christians in the Middle East are being caught up in a power struggle between Islamic sects, says Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako. The Iraqi prelate said that Christians are being...

Papal charity sends $100,000 to Nepal earthquake victims

The Pontifical Council Cor Unum, the charitable arm of the Holy See, has pledged $100,000 in immediate relief to victims of the earthquake in Nepal. The donation from Cor Unum, which will be...

Political demonstrations turn deadly in Burundi as president seeks 3rd term

Political demonstrations in Burundi have turned violent, resulting in several deaths, as protesters oppose President Pierre Nkhurunziza’s campaign to win a third term. Father Emmanuel...

Released Wednesday, Apr. 29

Supreme Court hears oral arguments in same-sex marriage case

The US Supreme Court heard arguments on April 28 in Obergefell v. Hodges, a case which, when decided in late June, has the potential to strike down all state laws that define marriage as the union...

Kentucky court upholds right of business to refuse to print gay pride T-shirts

In 2012, Hands On Originals, a business in Lexington, Kentucky, refused to print gay pride T-shirts. Two years later, the city’s Human Rights Commission ruled that the company had violated an...

Victory for Nashville Dominicans, other Catholic entities against HHS mandate

Without comment, the United States Supreme Court has ordered a federal appeals court to reconsider its ruling that the Michigan Catholic Conference and other Catholic entities fall under the purview...

Pope laments broken marriage bonds, calls for equal pay for equal work

Continuing his catechesis on the family during his April 29 general audience, Pope Francis lamented the decline of marriage and said that men and women should be compensated equally for equal...

Revere and have compassion on the poor, Pope says in video appeal

In a video message to homeless actors at a performance that took place under the auspices of the Diocese of Rome’s Caritas organization, Pope Francis called for compassion on the poor. Recalling...

Pope meets with Ecuador’s president

Pope Francis met privately on April 28 with President Rafael Correa of Ecuador, who was in Rome attending a workshop on climate change sponsored by the Pontifical Academy of Science. The Pontiff...

Three suspects charged in death of Austrian missionary nun in South Africa

Police in South Africa have arrested three people in connection with the murder of Sister Stefani Tiefenbacher, an Austrian missionary who was killed in KwaZulu-Natal on April 19. Police said...

Nuclear deterrence is unstable; weapons should be eliminated, UN envoy tells UN

The Vatican’s representative has told a UN audience that “the theory of nuclear deterrence is too ambiguous to be a stable and global basis of world security and international order.” Speaking at...

Nigerian troops free 300 women kidnapped by Boko Haram

Nigerian military forces have announced the liberation of about 300 women and girls who had been kidnapped and held hostage by Boko Haram terrorists. The hostages were freed when Nigerian troops...

Catholic-school teachers in New York threaten a strike

Teachers at parochial schools in New York have threatened a 1-day strike to protest plans for school closings in the archdiocese. The work stoppage also reflects the dissatisfaction with members...

Nigerian archbishop says industrial countries should bear brunt of fossil-fuel restraints

Cardinal John Onaiyekan of Abuja, Nigeria, has argued that the developed countries of the industrial world should bear the brunt of efforts to curb fossil-fuel emissions, rather than imposing the...

Released Thursday, Apr. 30

Action urged on pro-life legislation

The National Committee for a Human Life Amendment (NCHLA), which works closely with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops on legislative matters, is calling upon pro-life citizens to...

Cardinal Canestri dies at 96

Cardinal Giovanni Canestri, who served as archbishop of Genoa from 1987 to 1995, has died at the age of 96. Born in 1918, Cardinal Canestri was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Rome in 1941....

Vatican climate-change conference calls for ‘rapid world transformation’ to renewable, low-carbon energy

Participants in an April 28 Vatican workshop on climate change have issued a final statement. Scientists, religious leaders, and business and political figures, including the UN secretary general...

International community’s indifference to Mideast Christians is reminiscent of Pilate, says prelate

Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, the Prefect of the Congregation for Eastern Churches, lamented the indifference of the international community to the fate of the Middle East’s Christians. Stating that...

Armenian church seeks return of historic headquarters

The Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia, one of the two most prominent sees in the Armenian Apostolic Church, has filed a lawsuit in Turkish court in order to gain the return of its historic...

Coptic Orthodox leader denounces court decision on divorce

The head of the Coptic Orthodox Church, Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria, has denounced an Egyptian court decision permitting Coptic Christians greater latitude to remarry following divorce. The...

Pope institutes commission to reform Vatican’s media operations

At the recommendation of the nine-member Council of Cardinals, which is advising Pope Francis in the reform of the Roman Curia, Pope Francis has instituted a new commission to reform the Vatican’s...

Nigerian bishop rips Obama administration for pushing African nations to accept homosexuality

A Nigerian bishop has renewed his complaint that American foreign-aid officials are “making aids and grants to Africa conditional on our accepting anti-life values.” Bishop Emmanuel Badejo of Oyo...

Ecumenical work is obligatory, Pope tells Anglican-Catholic commission

Working for Christian unity is not an option but an obligation, Pope Francis told members of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) at an audience on April 30. “There is a...

Despite dangers, Christian pilgrimages still focus on Holy Land, Middle East

The Roman institution sponsoring pilgrimages, the Opera Romana Pellegrinaggi (OPR), continues to focus on trips to the Middle East, despite the rising dangers of conflict there. Msgr. Liberio...

Pope's prayer intentions for May 2015

The Vatican has announced the prayer intentions of Pope Francis for May 2015. The Pope's universal intention is: "That, rejecting the culture of indifference, we may care for our neighbors who...

Philadelphia priest returned to prison after court decision reinstating conviction

A prominent priest of the Philadelphia archdiocese has returned to jail, after the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania overturned an appeals-court decision and reinstated his conviction on...

Lay Catholics should be involved in politics, Pope says

“If Christians dissociate themselves from direct involvement in politics, it would be a betrayal of the mission of the lay faithful,” Pope Francis insisted in a message to a group of Italian...

Radical Islam coming to Benin, prelate reports

Militant Islam is making its presence felt in Benin, Archbishop Pascal N’Koue of Parakou told the Fides news service. The archbishop, who is secretary-general of the country’s episcopal...

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