Stories for June 2015

Released Tuesday, Jun. 2

European, African bishops discuss family ahead of Synod

Four months before the opening of the next Synod of Bishops, representatives of the Council of the Bishops’ Conferences of Europe (CCEE) and the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and...

Bishops urge international community: protect eastern Congo from jihadists

Bishops of the ecclesiastical province of Bukavu, a city in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, have asked the international community to take action against local jihadist training...

Patriarchate welcomes Al-Azhar’s promotion of a more moderate Islam

The efforts of the influential Al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo to promote a more moderate Islam are “commendable,” according to an analysis published on the website of the Latin Patriarchate of...

Churches desecrated in northern France

A Catholic parish in Le Havre and a Russian Orthodox church in Cormeilles-en-Parisis were desecrated in recent days. In addition, an attempt was made to break into the tabernacle of a parish in...

Do not forget persecuted Christians, Syrian patriarch urges West

Instead of seeking to impose Western-style democracy in the Middle East, the Western powers should act concretely to assist persecuted Christians, the Syrian Catholic patriarch said in an interview...

Pope will come to Sarajevo as a ‘messenger of peace’

Four days before Pope Francis’s apostolic journey to Sarajevo, the Holy See Press Office has released a video message from the Pontiff to the Catholics of Bosnia and Herzegovina. “I come among...

Coptic Orthodox Church tightens control of monastic life

The Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church has issued regulations that tighten bishops’ authority over male and female monasteries. Monasteries will be required submit names of prospective...

Philadelphia archdiocesan music director resigns, citing differences with Archbishop Chaput

The director of liturgical music for the Philadelphia archdiocese has resigned, explaining that he has had “irreconcilable differences” with Archbishop Charles Chaput about appropriate music for...

New Vatican financial standards serve pastoral needs of Church, says FIA chief

Encouraging transparency and accountability in Vatican financial dealings is “a moral duty to the Church,” the new head of the Vatican’s Financial Information Authority (FIA) said in an exclusive...

Papal commission member steps up attack on Cardinal Pell

Escalating his attack on Cardinal George Pell, Peter Saunders—who told an Australian television audience that the cardinal has an “almost sociopathic” approach to abuse victims—has now suggested...

Sex-abuse accusation could explain unsolved Montana murder mystery

The unsolved disappearance of a priest in Montana in 1984 may be related to sexual abuse. In April, when the Diocese of Helena released a list of the priests and other Church employees who had...

World's Catholic population up, but sacramental practice in decline, study shows

The world’s Catholic population has grown by over 400 million since 1980, with the fastest growth coming in Africa and Asia, according to a new study by Georgetown University’s Center for Applied...

Released Wednesday, Jun. 3

Supreme Court backs job applicant in religious-freedom case

In an 8-1 decision, the US Supreme Court has sided with a Muslim woman who was not hired by Abercrombie & Fitch Stores because she wore a hijab, or headscarf. In 2008, when Samantha Elauf was not...

Syrian prelate begs West to intervene against Islamic State; cathedral severely damaged

As the forces of the Islamic State advance in Syria and Iraq-- with millions of Iraqis in flight, in the words of L’Osservatore Romano's June 3 front-page headline-- the Melkite Greek Catholic...

Pope expresses closeness to the Chinese people following ship disaster

At the conclusion of his general audience on June 3, Pope Francis prayed for the victims of a ship disaster on the Yangtze River in China's Hubei province. Over 400 people lost their lives as a...

Canadian commission calls for papal visit, apology to Native Americans

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, which was established in 2008 to examine the treatment of Native Americans in religious residential schools, has issued its final report. From...

Nigerian priest killed in robbery attempt

A Nigerian priest and his brother were killed during an attempted robbery in Ondo State. As bandits shot at a car in which Father Goodwill Onyeka and his brother were riding, the fuel tank...

Pope calls for ‘poorer Church’ to offer assistance to Christian families in poverty

Continuing his series of Wednesday reflections on the family, Pope Francis devoted his June 3 general audience to the plight of impoverished families. “Today we consider one of the conditions...

Venezuelan cardinal calls for dialogue amid unrest

Amid increasing civil unrest, Venezuelan Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino called for political dialogue and “the toning down of harsh and polemical speeches.” With shortages of basic necessities on...

Confirmed: CRS vice-president involved in same-sex marriage has resigned

A Maryland man who is a partner in a same-sex marriage has resigned his post as a vice-president of Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the Catholic News Agency has confirmed. CWN reported last week...

President Obama will be keynote speaker at Catholic Health Association convention

President Barack Obama will deliver the closing address to the annual assembly of the Catholic Health Association (CHA), the organization has announced. President Obama will speak to the CHA on...

Cardinal Pell receives backing from other Australian prelates-- and from a liberal critic

The Catholic archbishops of Australia have issued a joint statement in support of Cardinal George Pell, the Vatican’s prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, who has been charged with...

Vatican Secretary of State underlines importances of liberal education

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State, underlined the key role played by Catholic education in a June 3 address to a conference marking the 70th anniversary of UNESCO. “Culture...

Head of Vatican liturgical office says Pope Francis urged him to continue work of Benedict XVI

The prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship has disclosed that Pope Francis asked him to “continue the good work in the liturgy begun by Pope Benedict XVI.” Cardinal Robert Sarah told the...

Irish archbishop distances himself from Cardinal Burke's criticism of Irish voters

Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh, the Primate of All Ireland, has distanced himself from Cardinal Raymond Burke’s criticism of Irish voters who approved a referendum to recognize same-sex...

India's prime minister expected to visit Catholic church

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to visit an ancient Catholic church when he travels to the state of Kereal this summer. The prime minister will be in Kerala sometime in July or...

England sees rising trend in women entering religious life

The Independent, in a puzzled but generally favorable article, notes that the number of women entering religious life in England this year is higher than at any other time in the past 25...

Released Thursday, Jun. 4

Court rules parish rectory isn’t exempt from property tax

A state tax court has approved a county assessor’s decision to levy property tax on a parish rectory in Astoria, Oregon, according to Forbes. “Although [Father John] Tran does write sermons and...

Cardinal meets with Congo’s president, asks for reopening of Catholic radio and TV

Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya of Kinshasa, a member of the Pope’s advisory Council of Cardinals, met with the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s president, Joseph Kabila, on June 2. Last...

Vatican newspaper article: suppression of femininity does not bring about equality

The English-language edition of L’Osservatore Romano has published an article critiquing the idea that the suppression of sexual difference, particularly a woman’s fertility, brings about equality...

Report: Putin to meet with Pope

Vladimir Putin will meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican on June 10, according to an Italian media report. The Russian president, who met with the Pontiff in 2013, will arrive in Italy on June 9...

Prophet Nahum’s tomb threatened by Islamic State advance

Forces of the Islamic State are ten miles away from Alqosh, a largely Chaldean Catholic town that is the site of what is believed to be Nahum’s tomb. The Old Testament prophet’s tomb is located...

Europe’s Eastern Catholic bishops discuss family

Four months before the next Synod of Bishops on the family, the Eastern Catholic bishops of Europe have gathered at a Czech monastery to discuss the family. The meeting is not open to...

Pope’s 2nd encyclical to be released June 18

The Holy See Press Office has announced that Pope Francis’s second encyclical letter will be released on June 18. The Pontiff’s first encyclical, Lumen Fidei (The Light of Faith), was dated June...

Ukraine: churches now permitted to establish schools

Ukraine’s parliament has passed a bill permitting churches to establish schools, according to the Religious Information Service of Ukraine. Until the law was passed, church-related charitable...

Russian Orthodox Church ends dialogue with 2 Protestant communities

The largest of the Eastern Orthodox churches has severed its ecumenical dialogue with two Protestant communities. The Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations explained: ...

Cardinal Kasper: Pope never approved my proposal

Cardinal Walter Kasper has admitted that Pope Francis never endorsed his proposal to allow divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Communion. The German cardinal, who offered his proposal in...

Papal abuse commission steers clear of Pell-Saunders dispute

After a member of the special papal commission on sexual abuse unleashed a public attack on Cardinal George Pell, the full commission released a statement that endorsed neither the attack nor the...

Vatican-France relations remain cordial stalled ambassador's nomination: Cardinal Parolin

There is no “crisis” in diplomatic relations between the Holy See and France, despite the stalled nomination of a new French ambassador to the Holy See, the Vatican’s Secretary of State has said....

Pope leads Corpus Christi celebrations in Rome

Pope Francis said that the Eucharist is “not a prize for the strong but a source of strength of the weak,” as he led the traditional celebration of Corpus Christi on June 4, which is observed as a...

Expect resistance to reform of Vatican media operations, says Lord Patten

Efforts to streamline the Vatican’s media operations will meet with “foreseeable opposition and resistance,” according to the chairman of a papal commission charged with recommending a plan for...

Irish bishops not certain priests will continue to act as official witnesses for civil marriages

The president of the Irish bishops’ conference has said that it is not yet certain that Catholic priests will be able to continue presiding at civil marriages, in light of the national referendum...

Liberal European bishops planning media campaign before Synod?

Most of the journalists who attended a closed-door meeting on May 26, at which European bishops discussed proposals for the Synod meeting in October, have not yet reported on the event, notes Andrea...

Support group for parents of homosexuals denied bid to exhibit at World Meeting of Families

An organization serving Catholic parents of homosexual children has been denied a place in an exhibition at the World Meeting of Families, the National Catholic Reporter reports. An official for...

Vatican names Bishop Fellay to hear canonical charge against SSPX priest, despite bishop's suspension

Bishop Bernard Fellay, the head of the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), reports that he has been appointed by the Vatican as judge in the canonical trial of an SSPX priest. Bishop...

Released Friday, Jun. 5

Extensive vandalism at Catholic cemetery in Quebec

Numerous headstones were smashed or overturned at Saint-Charles Cemetery in Quebec City on the night of June 3. “The extent of damage is without precedent for a cemetery in Quebec,” said Father...

Australian bishops: ‘Don’t mess with marriage’

The bishops of Australia have released “Don’t Mess with Marriage,” a pastoral letter on the same-sex marriage debate. “It is unjust, gravely unjust, to legitimize the false assertion that there...

Canadian bishops’ conference distances itself from residential schools

The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) has responded to the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, which was established in 2008 to examine the treatment of...

South African bishops renew criticism of spending on President Zuma’s compound

The Justice and Peace Commission of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference has renewed its criticism of excessive spending on renovations to Nkandla, President Jacob Zuma’s...

Bishops: ‘We want a different Guatemala!’

Amid increasing anti-government protests, Guatemala’s bishops issued a statement denouncing government corruption. The bishops stated, “We want a different Guatemala! … We need to break the cycle...

Iraqi prelate calls for additional military action against Islamic State

The Chaldean Catholic archbishop of Erbil, the capital of Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, called for additional military action to stop the “cancer” of the Islamic State. “Military...

Former Deloitte & Touche CEO named Vatican’s auditor

Pope Francis has named Libero Milone as the Vatican’s auditor general, a position created during the 2014 reform of the Vatican’s financial structure. From 2003 to 2007, Milone, now 66, served as...

Preview of encyclical? Pope sends encouragement to UN conference on climate change

Addressing the problem of climate change is a moral duty, which mankind can fulfill “only if we act together and agree,” Pope Francis said in a message to a UN conference on climate change, now...

Minnesota archdiocese faces criminal charges for failure to report abuse

A Minnesota prosecutor has filed criminal charges against the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis for failing to report sex-abuse charges against a Catholic priest. Saying that archdiocesan...

Mercy sums up the Gospel, Pope says

“Mercy is the word that summarizes the Gospel,” Pope Francis said on June 5 as he addressed the general chapter of the Priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. “We might say that [mercy] is the...

Pope reminds missionaries: put Christ, not aid programs, at center of work

Missionary work should always be centered on Jesus Christ and on the work of evangelization, Pope Francis said in a June 5 address to members of the Pontifical Missionary Societies. “Please, with...

Myanmar: writer imprisoned for 'insulting' Buddhists

In Myanmar, an influential writer has been sentenced to two years at hard labor for “insulting” Buddhism with his public criticism of nationalist Buddhist monks, the AsiaNews service...

Report: 1 million children held in world's prisons alongside adults

The Fides news service reports that over 1 million children are being held in prisons around the world alongside adults. In several African countries, Fides notes, children can be sentenced to...

Chilean President Bachelet meets with Pontiff

Pope Francis met on June 5 with Chile’s President Michelle Bachelet. The 45-minute conversation touched on a number of different topics, including bilateral relations between Chile and the Holy...

European bishops take contrasting approaches in meetings to discuss family, prepare for Synod

Separate meetings of European bishops—one in Rome, one in Poland—have shown dramatically different approaches to questions of marriage and family life, reports The Tablet. A meeting of German,...

Rome parish takes homeless, poor on pilgrimage to Shroud exhibition in Turin

With the help of a donation from Pope Francis, a parish in Rome took 50 homeless and poor people on a pilgrimage to the exhibition of the Shroud of Turin. Santa Lucia parish organized the trip...

Ukraine issue will be in focus when Putin meets Pope

The conflict in Ukraine will loom over a meeting next week between Pope Francis and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Vatican has confirmed that the Pope will meet with the Russian leader on...

Released Monday, Jun. 8

41 martyrs recognized; 6 other sainthood causes advance

In an audience with the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints on June 5, Pope Francis approved decrees of the martyrdom of 37 priests and lay faithful, clearing the way for their...

Papal condolences following Ghana explosion

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, has sent a telegram of condolence in Pope Francis’s name, following an explosion at a gas station in Ghana that left over 200...

Increase workplace protections, Holy See diplomat urges

Addressing the annual International Labour Conference, the Holy See’s leading diplomat in Geneva lamented economic inequality, called for greater protections for workers worldwide, and praised small...

Corpus Christi encourages us to ‘imitate what we celebrate,’ says Pope

Recalling that the feast of Corpus Christi was being celebrated in many nations on that day, Pope Francis reflected on the Holy Eucharist during his June 7 Angelus address. At the institution of...

5th meeting between Pope, Argentine president

Pope Francis received President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner of Argentina in audience on June 7. It was their fifth meeting since he was elected Pope in March 2013. In its statement on the...

Pope Francis: ‘we are coming close to a decision’ on Medjugorje

In a June 6 evening press conference during his return flight from Sarajevo to Rome, Pope Francis commented on the alleged Marian apparitions at Medjugorje, denounced the “cancer” of consumerism and...

In Sarajevo, Pope pleads for peace, laments ‘worldly’ religious, decries ‘filthy’ programs

Two decades after the conclusion of the Bosnian War, Pope Francis visited Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, on June 6 and pleaded for peace. The visit was his eighth apostolic...

Cardinal Pell's lawyer urges Saunders to withdraw 'false allegations'

A lawyer representing Cardinal George Pell has asked Peter Saunders to withdraw “false allegations” against the prelate that he made on an Australian television broadcast. In his letter to...

Father Volpi, apostolic commissioner to Friars of the Immaculate, dies in aftermath of stroke

Father Fidenzio Volpi, who had been appointed by Pope Francis as apostolic commissioner of the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate, died on June 7. He had been seriously ill since suffering a severe...

Ukrainian archbishop says Europe must address his country's crisis

The leader of the Byzantine-rite Ukrainian Catholic Church has said that the continuing violence in Ukraine is Europe’s most serious crisis since World War II. “The aggression against Ukraine is...

Council of Cardinals holding 10th meeting this week

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. After the most recent meeting of the...

No standing still on spiritual journey, Pope tells pilgrims

“Pilgrimage is a symbol of life,” Pope Francis said in a message to participants in an annual pilgrimage to the Marian shrine at Loreto, Italy. A pilgrimage, the Pope explained, “makes us think...

Counter gender ideology, encourage confessions, Pope urges bishops

Pope Francis warned against the influence of gender ideology in a June 8 message to visiting bishops from Puerto Rico. The Pope told the bishops, who were making their ad limina visits, that the...

Soccer championship drives Corpus Christi celebrations indoor in Rimini, Italy

In Rimini, Italy, where Corpus Christi celebrations usually take place in the central Piazza Cavour, diocesan officials decided to move the ceremonies to the city’s cathedral this year, to avoid...

Released Tuesday, Jun. 9

Abortions down 12% in US since 2010

The number of surgical abortions in the United States has declined 12% since 2010, according to the Associated Press, which cited statistics from the 45 states that keep data on abortions. The...

Canonical visitation of French religious community

A canonical visitation of the Monastic Sisters of Bethlehem has begun at the behest of “Rome,” according to La Croix. The community, which has a Carthusian spirituality, has flourished since its...

Attack on priest in France

A priest wearing a cassock was grabbed from behind, choked, and punched in the face as he left a theater in Antibes, a city of 77,000 in southeastern France. The victim, Father Laurent...

Protect the oceans, Ecumenical Patriarch urges

Describing oceans as “one of the most precious gifts of our Creator,” the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople has issued a statement for World Oceans Day. “As the invariable model of...

USCCB: protect National Housing Trust Fund

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has asked Catholics to lobby on behalf of the National Housing Trust Fund, a federal program created in 2008. “The House of...

Report: church destroyed in Pakistan

The Fides news agency reported that six Christians were beaten and a Protestant church was destroyed in Chakwal, a city of 100,000 in Pakistan’s Punjab province. Before the incident took place, a...

Religious freedom commission: US should do more to assist religious minorities in Iraq

Recalling the first anniversary of the fall of Iraq’s second-largest city to forces of the Islamic State, a federal government commission has urged the United States to do more to protect Christians...

Religious freedom is ‘barometer’ of a society’s freedom, says Vatican’s foreign minister

In a June 8 address delivered in Strasbourg, France, the Vatican’s Secretary for Relations with States likened religious freedom to a “barometer which indicates accurately the true level of freedom...

Bishops to voters in Philippines: oust corrupt politicians

The Catholic bishops of the Philippines have issued a pastoral letter asking the faithful to reject “notoriously corrupt” politicians in June 14 elections. The pastoral letter cautioned voters...

Pope's warning against 'seers' seems aimed at Medjugorje

Pope Francis encouraged the faithful to be on guard against “visionaries” – in a remark that seemed to aimed at the ‘seers’ of Medjugorje--during his homily at Mass on June 9. In a comment...

Pope planning residence for the homeless at the Vatican?

Pope Francis plans to open a lodging for the homeless at the Vatican, the ANSA news service reports. The 30-bed residence would be staffed by volunteers. Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, the papal...

Christian Patriarchs plead: help us survive in Syria

The five Christian patriarchs of Antioch have joined in a public plea for help for Christians in Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East. Meeting in Damascus, the five patriarchs—representing the...

Released Wednesday, Jun. 10

Obama pays tribute to Catholic Health Association, Campaign for Human Development

President Barack Obama addressed a Catholic Health Association conference on June 9 and paid tribute to the organization’s role in passing the Affordable Care Act of 2010. While supporting the...

Union leaders, community organizers in Rome ahead of papal trip

Encouraging Pope Francis to speak about racism, imprisonment, immigration, and economic justice during his apostolic journey to the United States, 20 union leaders and community organizers are in...

Amid civil war, South Sudan’s church leaders pledge to be models of reconciliation

Inspired by the example of Rwanda’s Christians 21 years after the Rwandan genocide, South Sudan’s bishops and other Christian leaders pledged to be models of “reconciliation and forgiveness in our...

Ghana’s bishops frustrated with government following flooding

Following deadly annual flooding in the nation’s capital, Ghana’s bishops expressed frustration with government officials. Officials should not “give building permits to people who build their...

Ukrainian Catholic leader: nation’s Christian culture challenges EU’s secularism

The head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church said that the nation’s Christian culture “may become a challenge for the awakening of secularized Europe.” Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk...

Vatican newspaper article: synod should not focus on the remarried and same-sex unions

It is unfortunate that the public debate surrounding the upcoming synod on the family “has had the effect of restricting the discussion almost exclusively to access to Communion for those who are...

US, Holy See sign agreement on combating tax evasion

The United States and the Holy See have signed an agreement to combat tax evasion. “This agreement – which is the first formal inter-governmental agreement between the Holy See and the United...

Pope reflects on families and illness

Continuing his Wednesday reflections on family life, Pope Francis devoted his June 10 general audience to illness. Jesus’ “desire to cure suffering is a central part of his ministry, coming even...

Vatican announces subtitle of Pope’s new encyclical; Orthodox prelate to be present at release

The Holy See Press Office has confirmed that Pope Francis’s second encyclical will be entitled Laudato Si (Praised Be), a reference to St. Francis of Assisi’s Canticle of the Sun. The press...

Pope approves process for holding bishops accountable in abuse cases

Pope Francis has approved new norms that will allow for disciplinary action against bishops who fail to take action on sex-abuse complaints. The norms call for the creation of a new tribunal,...

Sweeping reform of Vatican media operations gains approval

The Council of Cardinals has approved plans for a thorough overhaul of the Vatican’s media operations. The plans call for the integration of all Vatican offices involving publicity and...

Council of Cardinals concludes 3-day meeting, announces major initiatives

The Council of Cardinals concluded a three-day meeting at the Vatican on June 10, announcing the approval of major initiatives to hold bishops accountable for their handling of sex-abuse complaints...

Sustainable development must put humans at the center, Vatican representative tells FAO

Speaking on June 10 to a session of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Vatican’s representative suggested that rather than speaking of “sustainable development,” the body should...

Vatican official suggests: waive intellectual-property rights on medications for poor countries

A Vatican official has suggested waiving some provisions of intellectual-property treaties in order to give poor countries easier access to medicines. Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the permanent...

Ovary-tissue transplant allows woman to restore normal fertility

A woman in Belgium has given birth to a healthy baby girl after receiving a transplant of her own ovarian tissue, in a procedure that could provide a means for women to achieve pregnancy after...

Italian film composer directs premier of new Mass honoring Pope Francis

Ennio Morricone, the Italian composer who has won multiple award for his film soundtracks, directed the premiere of a Mass honoring Pope Francis on June 10. The Missa Papae Francisci was...

Polish bishops release tough new sex-abuse policies

The Catholic bishops of Poland have released new policy guidelines for handling charges of sexual abuse by clerics. The new policies, which went into force in March, call for the immediate...

Islamics blamed for massacre in Democratic Republic of Congo; leaders appeal for help

Civic leaders in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have joined the country’s Catholic bishops in saying that a massacre in the Beni territory was carried out by Islamic extremists. The...

Aid to the Church in Need tops €100 million in grants for 2014

Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) supplied more than €100 million ($147 million) in support for embattled Christians in 2014, the international Catholic charity has announced. ACN, which sponsors...

Pope meets with Putin, presses for peace in Ukraine

Pope Francis called for a “sincere and great effort to realize peace” in Ukraine, as he met on June 10 with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. During a 50-minute conversation that was described...

Released Thursday, Jun. 11

US bishops approve statement on race relations, hear reports

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops began its three-day meeting in St. Louis on June 10 and approved a statement on race relations. “Gathering here in the city of St. Louis, so near...

Irish bishop: consider married priesthood, female deacons

An Irish bishop said that he will ask his brother bishops to institute a commission to study the possible ordination of married men to the priesthood and women to the diaconate. “I think the...

Death threat against Indian cardinal

Cardinal Telesphore Toppo of Ranchi, India, has received a death threat, reportedly issued by a Maoist group. “You have made moolah by spreading religion, which is why you should give some cut to...

Patriarch laments Islamic State’s takeover of Mosul

The head of the Chaldean Catholic Church, an Eastern Catholic church in full communion with the Holy See, has issued a message on the first anniversary of the fall of Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest...

Pope speaks to Baltic bishops on secularism and the family

Pope Francis received the bishops of Latvia and Estonia in audience on June 11 and lamented the “dangerous perils” of relativism and secularism. “After having long been oppressed by regimes...

Pope meets with Canada’s prime minister, discusses religious freedom

Pope Francis received Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in audience on June 11. According to the Holy See Press Office, the two discussed “Canada’s commitment to defend and promote religious...

Save those dying of hunger, Vatican official pleads at world’s fair

Speaking at the world’s fair in Milan, the prelate who oversees the Vatican’s internal affairs emphasized the importance of feeding the hungry. The theme of Expo 2015 is “feeding the planet,...

Italian bishops rap anti-immigrant rhetoric

The president of the Italian bishops’ conference has taken aim at political leaders who are rallying public opposition to immigration. “Feeding fear is never good counsel,” said Cardinal Angelo...

In speech to FAO, Pope lists obstacles to elimination of world hunger

In a June 11 address to representatives of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Pope Francis said that “we must respond to the imperative of access to necessary food is a right for...

Toronto Catholic-school trustees urge delay in implementation of mandatory sex-ed curriculum in Ontario

Two trustees of Toronto’s Catholic schools have called for a one-year delay in the implementation of a new sex-education curriculum, saying that it does not reflect Catholic teaching on love and...

New tribunal should look at bishops' past performance, says lay member of papal abuse commission

A lay member of the papal commission on sexual abuse says that a new Vatican tribunal, created to judge bishops accused of negligence, should examine past instances of abuse and negligence. Marie...

In Belgium, 1.7% of all deaths involve 'non-voluntary' euthanasia

Nearly 2% of all the people who die each year in Belgium are euthanized without their request or consent, according to a new study published in the Journal of Medical Ethics. Belgium has been a...

Rhode Island bishop buries unborn child whose body was discovered in sewage

Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence, Rhode Island, has presided at the burial of an unborn child whose body was found in sewage at a wastewater-treatment plant. The body of the unborn child, now...

Nigerian priest kidnapped; diocese waiting to hear ransom demand

Bishop Felix Ajakaye of Ekiti, Nigeria, has told the Fides news service that diocesan officials have not yet heard from kidnappers who abducted a local priest on June 8. Father Emmanuel Akingbade...

Vatican bank furnished crucial information for fraud charges against Italian religious order

Italian prosecutors are crediting the Vatican bank, the Institute for Religious Works (IOR), with providing information that has led to criminal charges against the executives of a nursing-home...

Canadian archbishops cool toward request for papal visit and apology to Native Americans

A Canadian archbishop has drawn criticism for saying that the country’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission was “reaching for the moon” with its request that Pope Francis visit Canada within the...

Released Friday, Jun. 12

US bishops approve draft of priorities for 2017-2020

In what the leadership of the bishops’ conference described as a “straw poll,” the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops on June 11 approved a working draft of its strategic plan for...

Temporary victory for Priests for Life in HHS mandate case

The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, which has ruled that Priests for Life is subject to the HHS mandate, has halted enforcement of the mandate against the organization pending an...

Italian cardinal writes book criticizing Kasper proposal

Cardinal Ennio Antonelli, who served as president of the Pontifical Council for the Family from 2008 until his retirement in 2012, has written a book strongly criticizing the proposal to admit to...

Cardinal Sarah praises ad orientem worship, suggests appendix to Roman Missal

Paying tribute to the Second Vatican Council’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy as a liturgical “Magna Carta,” Cardinal Robert Sarah called for a more faithful implementation of its text, lamented...

2nd Catholic church opens in Abu Dhabi

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, traveled to the United Arab Emirates, where he dedicated Abu Dhabi’s second Catholic church. The church will minister to Catholic...

Pope Francis will visit Central African Republic in November, says nuncio

Archbishop Franco Coppola, the apostolic nuncio to the Central African Republic, has announced that Pope Francis will visit the nation in November, according to a report by Agence Africaine de...

Vatican Secretary of State reports on diplomatic pacts with Israel, Palestine

The Vatican’s Secretary of State said that the Holy See’s recognition of a Palestinian state should help, not hinder, the cause of peace in the Middle East. Cardinal Pietro Parolin said that “an...

Pope unworried by debates within the Church

Pope Francis downplayed the severity of disputes within the Church, spoke about the Christian view of feminism, and underlined the need for practical ecumenism, in a June 12 meeting with priests...

Vatican decision on Medjugorje not likely soon, spokesman says

Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican press office, told the National Catholic Register that a Vatican ruling on the authenticity of the alleged Marian apparitions at Medjugorje is...

Syria's Assad meets with Orthodox prelates, pledges support against Islamic terror

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad met on June 11 with bishops of the Syrian Orthodox Church, and spoke of his determination to resist “a terrorist, extremist though, which knows neither borders nor...

Iraqi prelate to West: help liberate Mosul, or open doors to refugees

Syrian Catholic Archbishop Yohanna Mouche of Mosul has called upon world leaders to recover the city from the Islamic State. If the Western world is unable to oust the Islamic extremists from...

Airplane chaplains serve diverse needs in 'cities within cities,' Pope remarks

In a June 12 meeting with airport chaplains, Pope Francis observed that airports are “cities within cities, where multiple realities intertwine and overlap.” The Pope told the chaplains that...

Poland's premier meets with Pontiff

Pope Francis met on June 12 with Poland’s Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz, for a brief conversation that centered on plans for the papal visit to Poland in 2016 for World Youth Day. The meeting also...

Released Monday, Jun. 15

Be active in parish life, Pope tells Italian Scouts

Pope Francis received members of the Association of Italian Catholic Guides and Scouts in audience in St. Peter’s Square on June 13 and encouraged them to take an active part in their parishes and...

Rebuild society on love of God, Pope urges Italian judicial body

Pope Francis received members of the Italian Superior Council of the Judiciary in audience on June 13 and said that globalization has been accompanied by an “ideological colonization” that...

Pope Francis: God’s Word is fruitful in our lives if we are humble

Reflecting on the day’s Gospel reading at Mass (Mk. 4:26-34), Pope Francis told the crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square that the Word of God is fruitful in the lives of the humble. “In the...

Encyclical on environment intended for all, Pope says

Following his June 14 Angelus address, Pope Francis spoke about his upcoming encyclical. “As it was announced, an encyclical letter on the care of creation will be published,” he said. “I invite...

Decrying attacks on family, Pope emphasizes importance of mutual love

Pope Francis opened Rome’s annual diocesan convention on June 14 and called for a moral and spiritual renewal of the city. The Pontiff cited the example of parents of young children who have to...

Archbishop Nienstedt, auxiliary bishop resign

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Archbishop John Nienstedt as Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis and has appointed Archbishop Bernard Hebda, Newark’s coadjutor archbishop, as...

Vatican will try ex-nuncio for possession of child pornography, sexual abuse of minors

The Vatican City State will try a laicized ex-nuncio on charges of the possession of child pornography and the sexual abuse of minors, the Holy See Press Office has announced. The trial of Józef...

Arms merchants increase suffering of Christians in Middle East, Pope charges

The world has finally begun noticing the suffering of Christians under persecution in the Middle East, Pope Francis said on June 15, but “traffickers of death” continue to encourage war that adds to...

Memory of Jan Hus should spur reform, quest for Christian unity, Pope tells Czech Protestant leaders

The figure of Jan Hus—the Czech priest and reformer who was burned at the stake for heresy in 1415—should be a “reason for dialogue” between Catholics and Protestants, Pope Francis said in a June 15...

Tulsa diocese drops partnership over sponsorship of gay-pride march

Bishop Edward Slattery of Tulsa has ended a partnership between the diocese and the Oklahoma Center for Community and Justice, after the Center sponsored the city’s gay-pride parade. Bishop...

Colombia's president meets with Pontiff

Pope Francis met on June 15 with Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos Calderon, for a discussion that centered on the peace talks aimed at ending years of civil war in the South American...

Patriarch's new book makes case for just war to defend Christians in Iraq

Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako of Baghdad argues that military action against the Islamic State is justified. “In these circumstances, making war is legitimate,” writes the...

Leaked version of papal encyclical is not final draft, Vatican says

An Italian journal has published a leaked version of the forthcoming encyclical Laudato Si. But the Vatican has said that the published version is not the final text of the papal...

Released Tuesday, Jun. 16

African bishops meet, will ‘speak with one voice’ at Synod

The presidents of African national and regional episcopal conference gathered in Ghana from June 8 to 11 to discuss the upcoming Synod of Bishops on the family. Fifty prelates, including five...

US bishops, black evangelicals discuss family life on anniversary of Moynihan report

Fifty years after Daniel Patrick Moynihan, then Assistant Secretary of Labor, raised the alarm about the increase rates of illegitimate births among African Americans, a group of US bishops gathered...

Pope approves synod participants from nearly 40 nations

Pope Francis has ratified the names of participants chosen by nearly 40 episcopal conferences to take part in the upcoming Synod of Bishops on the family. The decision, made May 22, was announced by...

New Michigan law protects religious foster-care, adoption agencies

Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan has signed legislation permitting faith-based adoption agencies to operate in accordance with their religious mission. The legislation prevents “faith-based agencies...

Sisi invites Pope to visit Egypt

President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt, joined by the head of the Coptic Orthodox Church, has invited Pope Francis to visit Egypt. “There is no official confirmation on what newspapers publish,...

CRS leader to be part of Vatican presentation of encyclical

The Holy See Press Office has announced that Carolyn Woo, president and CEO of Catholic Relief Services, will be among the four presenters at the release of Pope Francis’s second encyclical, Laudato...

Holy See Press Office suspends credentials of journalist who leaked encyclical

Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Holy See Press Office, has suspended the credentials of Sandro Magister, the Vatican reporter from L’Espresso, the Italian journal that leaked a version...

Polish bishops will oppose change in teaching at Synod

The Catholic bishops of Poland will oppose any change in Church teaching regarding marriage and sexuality at the October meeting of the Synod of Bishops, a spokesman has announced. “There’s no...

Most American Catholics accept evidence of climate change; split on man's role

In a survey released just before the release of a papal encyclical on the environment, the Pew Research Center has found that a substantial majority (71%) of American Catholics are persuaded that...

Indian cardinal: prime minister has not fulfilled promise to protect Christians from violence

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has not delivered on his promise to protect the Christian minority from Hindu extremists, Cardinal Telesphore Toppo has charged. Speaking to Aid to the Church...

Russian Orthodox spokesman: common date for Easter celebration acceptable-- if Orthodox calendar is used

Responding to a statement by Pope Francis that all Christians should celebrate Easter on the same date, a spokesman for the Russian Orthodox Church has said that the proposal would be welcome—as...

Most Lebanese considering emigration, Melkite Patriarch reports

Most of Lebanon’s people are considering emigration, and 35% are reporting waiting for travel visas, the Patriarch of the Melkite Catholic Church reported as he opened a Synod of Melkite bishops in...

French Muslim leader: empty Christian churches should be converted into mosques

A French Muslim leader has suggested that the Christian churches which are no longer in use in France should be converted into mosques. If Christians are no longer using churches, he said, they...

Released Wednesday, Jun. 17

Cardinal Wuerl emphasizes importance of solidarity amid rising individualism

In an address delivered at AFL-CIO headquarters on June 15, Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington emphasized the importance of solidarity. He said: Recent popes have spoken about certain...

Church burned down in Indonesia

A Protestant church was burned down in Indonesia’s Papua province on June 15, the Jakarta Globe reported. “This is the first time a church is burned down in the central mountains [of Papua],”...

Arrest made following death threat against Indian cardinal

Indian police have made an arrest in connection with a death threat against Cardinal Telesphore Toppo of Ranchi, according to a UCA News report. The suspect bore an animus against a third party...

Syrian Orthodox patriarch begins visit to Rome

Ignatius Aphrem II, who became patriarch of the Syrian Orthodox Church in 2014, began a four-day visit to Rome on June 17, L’Osservatore Romano reported. The 50-year-old patriarch will make a...

Concern for the poor is not Communism, Pope says in homily

Pope Francis preached on poverty during his June 16 homily at the Domus Sanctae Marthae. “Many times, we hear: ‘But this priest talks too much about poverty, this bishop speaks of poverty, this...

Major interreligious gathering in Kazakhstan

The fifth Congress of the Leaders of World and Traditional Religions took place in Astana, Kazakhstan, on June 10 and 11. Congress attendees, including UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, reflected...

Focolare co-founder dies

Father Pasquale Foresi, who was ordained in 1954 as the first priest of the Focolare movement, has died at the age of 85. The movement, which emphasizes a spirituality of unity and is formally...

Pope reflects on the death of family members

Continuing with his series of Wednesday reflections on the family, Pope Francis devoted his June 17 general audience to the loss of family members. “In our ongoing catechesis on the family, I...

Papal appeals for environment, refugees

At the conclusion of his June 17 general audience, Pope Francis spoke about the environment and refugees. “Tomorrow, as you know, the Encyclical on the care of the ‘common house’ that is creation...

Spain: Benedictine religious leaves community to join political struggle for Catalan autonomy

A Spanish Benedictine nun has left her religious community to enter politics, running for the leadership of a Catalan separatist party. Sister Teresa Forcades—described by the ANSA news service...

St. Paul archdiocese enlisting top lawyer to handle criminal charges

The Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis is hoping to enlist a leading criminal lawyer to handle the response to criminal charges lodged against the archdiocese for failing to report sex-abuse...

Consistory announced for canonization of parents of St. Therese of Lisieux

The Vatican has announced a consistory for the canonization of several new saints, including the parents of St. Therese of Lisieux, to be held on June 27. Pope Francis will preside at the...

Climate-change theorist named to Pontifical Academy of Sciences

Hans Joachim Schnellnhuber, a German physicist and prominent voice on climate change, has been named by Pope Francis as a member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. Schnellnhuber is the...

Benedict XVI planning summer stay at Castel Gandolfo

Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI will spend two weeks at Castel Gandolfo, and will make a rare appearance at a public ceremony, during the summer months. The retired Pontiff, who has shunned publicity...

Released Thursday, Jun. 18

Leading Russian Orthodox figure meets with Pope

Pope Francis received Metropolitan Hilarion, the chairman of the Department of External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, in audience on June 15. The two discussed “the dire situation...

Arson attack on historic church in Israel

The Church of the Multiplication of Church of the Loaves and Fish, built on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, suffered extensive damage in a June 18 arson attack. An elderly Benedictine monk and a...

Armed robbery of headquarters of bishops’ conference in South Sudan

Thieves dressed in military uniforms attacked the headquarters of the Sudan Catholic Bishops’ Conference in Juba, South Sudan, on June 18. South Sudan’s Catholic Radio Network reported at a guard...

9 dead in attack on South Carolina church

A gunman entered Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church in Charleston, South Carolina, on June 17 and killed nine people who had gathered for a prayer meeting. The church is the oldest...

Pontifical council posts cardinal’s critique of Kasper proposal

The Pontifical Council for the Family has posted the full text of “The Marriage Crisis and the Eucharist,” Cardinal Ennio Antonelli’s critique of the proposal to admit those who have remarried...

Pope Francis’ 2nd encyclical released (includes link to full text)

The Holy See has published the text of Pope Francis’s second encyclical letter, Laudato Si’, subtitled “on care of our common home.” The encyclical, dated May 24 (Pentecost Sunday) and released...

Working document of upcoming Synod of Bishops to be released June 23

The Holy See Press Office has announced that the instrumentum laboris, or working document, of the upcoming Synod of Bishops on the family will be released on June 23. Three of the synod’s...

Released Friday, Jun. 19

USCCB welcomes Laudato Si’

The president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued a statement on behalf of his brother bishops welcoming Pope Francis’s second encyclical “with an open heart and with...

Supreme Court backs church in lawsuit against Arizona city

In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court struck down an Arizona city’s ordinance that had hindered a church from posting directional signs to its Sunday services. Gilbert, a city of 230,000,...

President Obama issues Ramadan statement

President Barack Obama has issued a statement marking the beginning of the month of Ramadan. “As the new crescent moon brings in the holy month of Ramadan, Michelle and I send our warmest...

UN leader, Obama praise encyclical

President Barack Obama and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon issued separate statements on June 18 welcoming Pope Francis’s second encyclical letter. “I welcome His Holiness Pope...

Encyclical will inspire Caritas ‘for years to come,’ says cardinal

The Philippine cardinal who serves as president of the Church’s confederation of relief and development agencies said that Pope Francis’s second encyclical will “inspire the work of Caritas...

Cardinal criticizes presidential candidate’s remarks on encyclical

Cardinal Peter Turkson, the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, criticized comments made by presidential contender Jeb Bush as he discussed Pope Francis’s encyclical Laudato...

Pope meets with Syrian Orthodox patriarch, laments persecution of Christians

Pope Francis received the head of the Syrian Orthodox Church in audience on June 19 and lamented the “terrible trials” suffered by Christians in the Middle East. The Syrian Orthodox Church, which...

Holy Land’s bishops condemn arson attack on historic church

The Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land has condemned the June 18 arson attack on the Church of the Multiplication of Church of the Loaves and Fish, built on the shore of the Sea of...

Vatican envoy urges UN: protect children in wartime

The Vatican’s representative at UN headquarters in New York has called for more effective international action to protect children in warfare. Archbishop Bernardito Auza told a UN Security...

Vatican statement for Ramadan: Christians and Muslims should unite against religious violence

In a message to the world’s Muslims, issued for the start of Ramadan, the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue has called for cooperative action against religious violence. The Vatican...

Archbishop Nienstedt sought to limit investigation of his conduct, report charges

Archbishop John Nienstedt, who resigned his week from his post as Archbishop of St. Paul-Minneapolis, Minnesota, had earlier tried to limit an investigation into charges of personal misconduct that...

Did Vatican cardinal plan to keep transaction secret from Pope Francis?

An Italian police wiretap reportedly caught a ranking Vatican official saying that Pope Francis should not be informed about a proposed €30-million ($34 million) transaction. In an investigation...

Pope praises sporting spirit in address to Special Olympics competitors

Pope Francis gave his encouragement to Italian competitors in the Special Olympics at an audience on June 19. “It is beautiful and meaningful that young people and adults find in sport and...

Released Monday, Jun. 22

St. Paul and the martyred dioceses of North Africa are our models, Pope tells biblical scholars

Pope Francis received members of the Catholic Biblical Federation in audience on June 19 and spoke extemporaneously in response to remarks by Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, the federation’s new...

Pope Francis: the world of work should be open to the young

Pope Francis received members of the Italian National Federation of the Knights of Labor in audience on June 20 and emphasized that the world of work should be open to the young. Italy’s current...

In Turin, Pope venerates Shroud, addresses Salesians, speaks to youth about love

On June 21, Pope Francis began a two-day pastoral visit to the northern Italian city of Turin, where he venerated the famed Shroud and delivered five talks and a homily. Speaking to workers who...

Pope asks Waldensians for pardon

On June 22, Pope Francis concluded his two-day pastoral visit to the northern Italian city of Turin and asked the Waldenses, or Waldensians, for pardon for actions by Catholics in history that “were...

Mexico's top court rules for same-sex marriage

Mexico’s Supreme Court has ruled that governments throughout the country should grant legal recognition to same-sex marriage. The court’s June 19 decision was based on the finding that...

Catholic & Orthodox patriarchs urges Christians to join moderate Muslims in campaign against extremists

The Catholic and Orthodox Patriarchs of Antioch have called upon Christians to work with moderate Muslims against the rise of religious extremism. Noting that many Muslims are “working with their...

Massive rally in Rome supports traditional family, opposes gender-theory education

Several hundred thousand people gathered in Rome on June 20 to demonstrate in support of the family and opposition to gender theory and the legal recognition of same-sex unions. Despite steady...

Notorious Irish pedophile priest should never have been ordained, probe witnesses argue

An Irish investigation commission has heard evidence that a notorious pedophile priest may have molested more than 200 children, and that he should never have been ordained, since his misconduct was...

Nigerian priest released by kidnappers; diocese says no ransom paid

A Nigerian Catholic priest who was kidnapped on June 8 has been released unharmed, the Fides news service reports. Father Emmanuel Akingbade was abducted by armed men, who broke into his rectory,...

Historic church on Sea of Galilee reopens after arson attack

Thousands of Israeli Christians flocked to the Church of the Multiplication of Church of the Loaves and Fish, on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, for Sunday Mass on June 22, as the church was...

Ghana: bishop troubled by people's habit of cursing

In Ghana, a Catholic bishop has chided the faithful for invoking curses on people with whom they are angry. Bishop John Yaw Afoakwah of Obuasi said that the frequent use of curses—often on the...

Indian bishops decry sexual assault on nun

India’s Catholic bishops have issued a statement condemning a sexual assault on a nun in Raipur, and calling for increased security to protect Christians. A woman religious of the Salesian...

Allies should have bombed rails to Nazi death camps, Pope says

Pope Francis criticized the world's "great powers" for failing to curb the Nazi Holocaust during World War II. In off-the-cuff remarks during a visit to Turin, the Pope said that the Allies were...

Released Tuesday, Jun. 23

USCCB president, local bishop lament Charleston church massacre

In the days following the massacre at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and the...

Bishops back First Amendment Defense Act

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, the chairman of the US bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, and Archbishop William Lori, chairman of the bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee for...

Vatican newspaper discusses Argentine influences on Pope’s encyclical

Writing in L’Osservatore Romano, journalist Silvina Perez discussed the Argentine influences on Pope Francis’s new encyclical. Argentina’s Matanza River basin, she said, is “ranked number eight...

4th Fortnight for Freedom begins

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has begun its fourth annual observance of the Fortnight for Freedom to raise awareness of threats to religious liberty. This year’s theme is “the...

Greenland approves same-sex marriage, adoption

In a 27-0 vote, Greenland’s parliament recently approved same-sex marriage and the adoption of children by homosexual couples, according to a report by the Library of Congress’s Global Legal...

European bishops’ conferences discuss gender theory, refugees

The secretaries-general of Europe’s episcopal conferences gathered in Prague from June 18 to 21 to discuss gender theory and refugees. “Inclusion, compassion, and equality are the terms that,...

Orthodox cathedral desecrated in Alaska

An Orthodox cathedral was recently desecrated in Kodiak, Alaska, according to an Alaska Public Media report. “It’s clear from the pattern of destruction that this dear soul is deeply troubled and...

Synod of Bishops releases working document for October meeting

The Synod of Bishops has released the instrumentum laboris, or working document, of the 14th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, which will take place in October and be devoted to...

Sister Nirmala, successor to Mother Teresa, dead at 81

Sister Nirmali Joshi, who succeeded Mother Teresa of Calcutta as the leader of the Missionaries of Charity, died on June 22 at the age of 81. Sister Nirmala was born in Ranchi, India to Hindu...

Papal foundation weighs proposals for funding development projects in Latin America

The board of the Populorum Progressio Foundation—set up by St. John Paul II to provide support for development projects in Latin America—is meeting in Guayaquil, Ecuador this week to evaluate...

Released Wednesday, Jun. 24

Continue ecumenical dialogue in face of division, Pope says in message

Pope Francis, in a message released on June 23, recalled the 50th anniversary of the formation of the joint working group between the Catholic Church and the World Council of Churches, an...

Do more to help refugees fleeing the Islamic State, USCCB committee chair urges

The chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration called upon the Obama administration to do more to help Syrian and Iraqi refugees, especially those who have...

Court rules against Texas diocese in HHS mandate case

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that East Texas Baptist University, Westminster Theological Seminary, the Catholic Diocese of Beaumont, and Catholic Charities of Southeast Texas are not...

Buddhist-Catholic dialogue focuses on suffering, liberation, and fraternity

Forty-six Buddhists and Catholics from the United States have traveled to Rome for six days of dialogue devoted to suffering, liberation, and fraternity. “Catholic-Buddhist interreligious...

Pope Francis: ‘maintain and protect the marital bond’ for the sake of the children

Continuing his series of Wednesday reflections on the family, Pope Francis devoted his June 24 general audience to the wounds suffered in marriage and family life, especially the wounds suffered by...

Patriarch urges Muslims to work for Iraqi reconciliation, unity

In a message to Muslims on the occasion of Ramadan, the head of the Chaldean Catholic Church, an Eastern Catholic church in full communion with the Holy See, called for national unity and...

Holy See diplomat assesses draft of UN’s new development agenda

Archbishop Bernardito Auza, apostolic nuncio and permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, has issued a statement on the “zero draft,” a document that, once finalized, will guide the...

Indian government takes action against Caritas

The Indian government has placed Caritas India on its watch list, saying that the Catholic charity may be "involved in anti-India activities." “Any transaction that the organization makes through...

Negative judgment on Medjugorje could split Church, says noted Italian writer

As rumors swirl in Rome that the Vatican will soon issue a statement on the reported Marian apparitions at Medjugorje, a noted Italian journalist has warned that a negative judgment could prompt...

Israeli bishop fears rise in anti-Christian violence by Jewish extremists

Attacks on Christian churches in Israel by Jewish extremists reflect a dangerous trend toward greater violence, a Catholic bishop has warned. Bishop William Shomali, an auxiliary of the...

Irish police informed in 1973 about notorious pedophile priest, commission told

Irish police were informed of sexual abuse by a notorious Irish Catholic priest as early as 1973, an investigating commission has been told. A psychiatrist informed the gardai (police) in 1973...

Egyptian government in systematic campaign to eliminate literature by Islamic extremists

The Egyptian government is removing extremist Islamic literature from libraries, bookstores, and mosques, the Fides news service reports. Sheik Mohammed Abdel Razek, an official of the...

Exhibition of Shroud concludes in Turin; 1.5 million pilgrims attended

About 1.5 million people attended the public exhibition of the Shroud of Turin, which concluded today. Archbishop Cesare Nosiglia said that this year’s exhibition, which began on April 19 and...

Released Thursday, Jun. 25

USCCB committee chair backs bills on exports, travel to Cuba

The chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace has expressed his support for the Freedom to Export to Cuba Act of 2015, sponsored by...

President Obama: remarks at dinner during Ramadan

The White House hosted an Iftar dinner on June 23 to mark the end of fasting on one of the days of the month of Ramadan. Ramadan began this year on June 17; it concludes on July 17. “Our...

Armenian Catholic patriarch dead at 75

The head of the Armenian Catholic Church has died of a heart attack, according to a Lebanese media report. Born in Cairo in 1940 and ordained to the priesthood in 1965, Nerses Bedros XIX Tarmouni...

Registration for World Meeting of Families nears 12,000

The number of paid registrants for the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia was 11,821 as of June 15, according to a statement released at a Vatican press conference on June 25. Besides the...

Individualism is greatest wound to families, says Italian cardinal

In an article that appeared on the Vatican newspaper’s front page, Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti of Perugia said that an “individualistic mentality” is the wound that most damages family life...

Indonesian court upholds ban on interfaith marriages

The Constitutional Court of Indonesia has upheld the nation’s 1974 ban on interfaith marriages. The nation’s bishops, according to AsiaNews, supported a change in the law. In the world’s most...

Philippine cardinal welcomes overture by Islamist rebels

In a move hailed by a Philippine cardinal, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has begun to surrender its weapons following a peace agreement. Beginning in 1978, the MILF used violence in...

Prelate: the Church in Pakistan refuses to be silenced

As 15,000 people gathered at the Portuguese shrine of Ronda da Lapinha to pray for persecuted Christians, the president of Pakistan’s episcopal conference said that the Church there refuses to be...

CDF reaches negative judgment on Medjugorje, Italian journalists report

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) has reached a negative conclusion regarding the authenticity of the reported Marian apparitions at Medjugorje, according to Italian media...

Holy See 'presides in charity,' Pope reminds future nuncios

Speaking on June 25 to future Vatican diplomats, Pope Francis said: “The true authority of the Church of Rome is the charity of Christ.” The Pope reminded students at the Pontifical...

Irish archbishop files defamation case against TV network for portraying him as a pedophile

An Irish-born archbishop who resigned in 2010 from his post in Nigeria has filed a defamation lawsuit against the television network that identified him as a pedophile. Archbishop Richard Burke,...

UN committee demands Ireland allow referendum votes on legal abortion, women's position in home

Two referendums must be held to vindicate the economic, social and cultural rights of women in Ireland, according to the United Nations. A referendum on abortion and another on the position of...

Pope receives B'nai B'rith delegation, speaks of Catholic-Jewish friendship

Pope Francis met on June 25 with a delegation from B’nai B’rith International, and expressed his gratitude to predecessors who had advanced friendly ties between Catholics and Jews. The Pope...

Coptic Pope denounces 'Gospel of Barnabas'

Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II has denounced the “Gospel of Barnabas,” a document discovered in 2012, as a fraud, the Fides news service reports. The Egyptian prelate said that the “Gospel of...

Criminal charges against Minnesota archdiocese imperil payments to abuse victims

The criminal charges filed by local prosecutors against the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis could endanger insurance payments to victims of sexual abuse. A settlement with abuse victims...

Chaldean Patriarch suggests single unified patriarchate for Iraqi Christians

Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako has made a dramatic appeal for unity among the embattled Christians of Iraq, suggesting that three ancient churches should combine in a single...

Released Friday, Jun. 26

$25M given to retired religious from national collection

The National Religious Retirement Office has granted $25 million to 394 religious communities to help pay for medication, nursing care, and other expenses associated with the care of retired...

Don’t hinder development of pollution standard, USCCB committee chair tells Congress

The chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has urged Congress to “oppose legislation and appropriations riders...

Pope recalls collaboration with Armenian Catholic patriarch

Pope Francis has sent a telegram of condolence following the death of Nerses Bedros XIX Tarmouni, the patriarch of the Armenian Catholic Church. Recalling his “close collaboration” with the...

European bishops’ conferences to discuss pastoral care of migrants

Bishops and other representatives from Europe’s episcopal conferences will begin a four-day meeting on June 29 to discuss the pastoral care of migrants. “We cannot pretend that nothing is...

Holy See, Palestine sign comprehensive agreement

The Holy See and Palestine have signed a comprehensive agreement on the life and activities of the Church in Palestine. The agreement, signed at the Apostolic Palace on June 26, takes the place...

Melkite bishops lament secularization, add Latin-rite saints to liturgical calendar

The bishops of the Melkite Catholic Church, an Eastern Catholic church in full communion with the Holy See, held their annual meeting in Lebanon from June 15 to 20. In his opening address,...

Paulists leaving Canada

Amid declining priestly vocations, the Paulist Fathers are leaving Canada, where they have ministered for over a century. “This is a decision no religious community wants to make," said Father...

Archbishop Forte lists 5 key synod issues

In remarks published in Famiglia Cristiana, Archbishop Bruno Forte discussed what he sees as the five most important issues of the upcoming Synod of Bishops on the family. Archbishop Forte, the...

No Vatican decision yet on Medjugorje, leading journalist reports

Directly contradicting a report that circulated widely in the Italian media yesterday, a leading Vatican journalist has reported that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) has not...

US Supreme Court rules all states must recognize same-sex marriage

In a sweeping historic decision released on June 26, the US Supreme Court has ruled that the Fourteenth amendment to the US Constitution requires all states to grant legal recognition to same-sex...

400-year-old Jesuit college in London will close

Heythorp College, a 400-year-old Jesuit institution in London, will close in 2018, administrators have announced. Heythorp College specialized in philosophy and theology, and provided advanced...

Education-- especially of young women-- is vital work, Pope tells leaders of scouting movement

“Education is the indispensable means for enabling girls to grow into active and responsible women,” Pope Francis said in a June 26 address to delegates of the International Catholic Conference of...

46 new archbishops to receive pallium

Forty-six newly appointed archbishops will receive the pallium this year, with Pope Francis blessing the vestments during Mass on the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, June 29. The pallium is a white...

Released Monday, Jun. 29

Papal video message to peoples of Ecuador, Bolivia, and Paraguay

As Pope Francis’s apostolic journey to Ecuador, Bolivia, and Paraguay draws near, the Pontiff has spoken to the peoples of those nations in a video message. “My wish is to be with you, to share...

4 blesseds, including St. Thérèse’s parents, to be canonized on October 18

During an ordinary consistory of the College of Cardinals, as Pope Francis and the cardinals celebrated Terce (Midmorning Prayer) in the Apostolic Palace, the Pontiff formally approved a decree on...

Pope appoints envoy for commemoration of death of Jan Hus

In a Latin-language letter dated April 9 and released on June 27, Pope Francis formally appointed Cardinal Miloslav Vlk, the retired archbishop of Prague, as his special envoy for the commemoration...

Catholic-Orthodox unity ‘one of my main concerns,’ says Pope

Pope Francis told a delegation from the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople that the restoration of “full, visible communion” between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox churches “represents...

Encyclical on environment ‘filled us with immense satisfaction,’ says Ecumenical Patriarch

In a message to Pope Francis issued in commemoration of the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople welcomed Pope Francis’s encyclical on the...

Vatican communications efforts merged, new office will supervise work

Pope Francis has established a new Vatican office, the Secretariat for Communications, to supervise all of the communications and public-relations efforts of the Holy See. The new office,...

Pope asks: ‘Do we believe that Jesus can heal?’

In his June 28 Angelus address, Pope Francis reflected on the Gospel of the day (Mark 5:21-43), which recounted the raising of a synagogue official’s child and the healing of a woman with a...

Be men of prayer, faith, and witness, Pope tells metropolitan archbishops

Pope Francis entrusted the pallium to 46 metropolitan archbishops appointed during the past year and exhorted them to be follow the example of the apostles and be men of prayer, faith, and...

Pope links apostles, Marian devotion

In his Angelus address delivered in St. Peter’s Square on June 29, the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, Pope Francis recalled that the two saints came from distant lands to proclaim the Gospel in...

US bishops' statements on Supreme Court ruling

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops has provided a useful collection of links to statements by dozens of American bishops responding to the Obergefell...

Syrian Orthodox prelate begs West: stop arming Islamic militants

Syrian Orthodox Patriarch Ephrem II pleaded for Western nations to stop providing weapons for Syrian militant groups, in an interview with Vatican Insider. “We are not asking the west for...

Questions raised about financial dealings in Paraguay diocese whose bishop was removed

An Associated Press report has uncovered financial irregularities in a diocese in Paraguay whose bishop was ousted by the Vatican last year. Bishop Rogelio Livieres Plano was removed from his...

Al Azhar condemns ISIS, urges defeat by 'every possible means'

Al Azhar University, the Egyptian institution that is regarded as the leading intellectual authority of Sunni Islam, has condemned the “heinous” violence of the Islamic State, the AsiaNews service...

Speaking at UN, Cardinal Turkson stresses link between climate change, world poverty

The president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace underlined the link between environmental degradation and world poverty, as expressed in the papal encyclical Laudato Si’, in a June 29...

Released Tuesday, Jun. 30

Papal condemnation of terrorist attacks

Stating that “the Holy Father once again condemns the violence which generates so much suffering,” Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, sent out telegrams of condolence in Pope...

Pope Francis visits Pope Emeritus Benedict

Pope Francis visited with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI at the latter’s residence for a half hour on June 30, according to the Holy See Press Office. Pope Francis, according to the press office,...

Pope’s activities curtailed during summer

The Holy See Press Office has announced that Pope Francis will not hold his Wednesday general audiences during the month of July. The audiences will be resumed in August in the Paul VI Audience...

Leading Russian Orthodox figure meets with 3 Vatican officials

Metropolitan Hilarion, the chairman of the Department of External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, met on June 26 with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State. The...

Pope Francis: ‘yes’ to Jewish roots of Christianity, ‘no’ to anti-Semitism

Pope Francis received a delegation of the International Council of Christians and Jews in audience on June 30 and said that the Second Vatican Council’s document Nostra Aetate “represents a...

Peruvian cardinal rips US Supreme Court decision

Following the recent US Supreme Court decision, Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne of Lima offered strong criticism of same-sex marriage, calling it “imperialism, colonialism,” according to a...

Report: Pope to visit Kenya in November

A spokesman for Kenya’s president said that Pope Francis will visit the African nation in November. “The Vatican has formally contacted the government about a visit to Kenya in November,” said...

Pope's prayer intentions for July 2015

The Vatican has announced the prayer intentions of Pope Francis for July 2015. The Pope’s universal intention is: “That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of...

Supreme Court blocks enforcement on Texas law setting safety standards for abortion clinics

The US Supreme Court has temporarily blocked enforcement of a new state law in Texas that would have required abortion clinics to adhere to standards similar to those in place for other medical...

Full schedule set for Pope's visit to US, Cuba

The Vatican has released the full schedule for the September visit by Pope Francis to Cuba and the US. The highlights of the papal trip will be an address to the UN on September 25 and a visit to...

US Supreme Court rejects Oklahoma prisoners' appeal against execution by lethal injection

The US Supreme Court has declined an appeal from death-row inmates in Oklahoma, who argued that the state’s use of a controversial drug in executions was a form of “cruel and unusual punishment”...

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