Stories for September 2015

Released Wednesday, Sep. 2

German bishops’ conference: grant sanctuary to refugees only as a last resort

As thousands of migrants and refugees enter Europe from Africa and Asia, the migration commission of the German Bishops’ Conference has published a brief document on the tradition of granting...

Stay out of political campaigns, Ukrainian Catholic leader reminds priests

As Ukraine prepares for local elections on October 25, the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, reminded priests that Church and state have a...

Federal government urges employees: work from home during papal visit

The federal government’ Office of Personnel Management has asked federal agencies to discourage employees from commuting to Washington during the three days of Pope Francis’s visit to...

2 Catholic activists freed in Vietnam

Two young Vietnamese Catholic human rights activists have been released after serving four-year prison sentences on charges of plotting to overthrow the government. Despite pressure, the two...

Russian patriarch criticizes Ukrainian Catholics; Eastern patriarch says ‘real’ Ukrainians are Orthodox

In a meeting with the head of the Orthodox Church of Alexandria, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow criticized the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church as well as Orthodox churches in Ukraine that are not in...

Christian, Muslim leaders discuss plight of Christians in Syria, Iraq

The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and KAICIID, an interreligious-dialogue initiative founded by Austria, Saudi Arabia, and Spain, are sponsoring a conference in Athens on September 2 and...

Orthodox bishops discuss pan-Orthodox council

140 bishops of the Patriarchate of Constantinople traveled from Greece, the United States, and other nations to Istanbul to mark the beginning of the Orthodox liturgical year and discuss the...

Pope Francis: faith transforms family life for the better

Christ’s teaching that those who love family members more than they love than him are not worthy of him (Mt. 10:37-38) is not intended to denigrate family life, Pope Francis said in his...

Beatification cause planned for victims of bombing in Baghdad cathedral

Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignace III Younans plans to open a cause for the beatification of 48 people killed in a 2010 attack on a cathedral in Baghdad. Our Lady of Salvation cathedral was...

New poll confirms widespread dissent from Church moral teachings among US Catholics

Dissent from Church teachings on contentious moral issues is widespread among Catholic Americans, a new Pew Research survey has confirmed. A majority of Catholics believe that the use of...

Patriarch pleads for young Christians to stay in Syria, Iraq

In an open letter to young Catholics, Melkite Catholic Patriarch Gregory III Laham has pleaded for an end to a “tsunami” of emigration. “The almost communal wave of youth emigration, especially...

Papal plea for end to warfare

Pope Francis issued a plea for peace, especially in the Middle East, at the conclusion of his regular weekly audience on September 2. Noting that the day was the 70th anniversary of Japan’s...

English cardinal urges faithful to oppose bill allowing assisted suicide

England’s leading Catholic prelate has urged Catholics to contact their representatives in Parliament, as a vote approaches on a bill that would allow physician-assisted suicide. 'The intrinsic...

Catholic college prepared to pay heavy fines for failure to comply with Obamacare mandate

The president of a Thomas Aquinas College has said that the California school is prepared to pay heavy fines, if necessary, rather than comply with the “Obamacare” contraceptive mandate. Thomas...

Israeli Catholics demonstrate to protest government budget cuts for Church schools

Catholics in Nazareth organized a demonstration on September 1 to protest Israeli government policies slashing support for Church-run schools. Bishop Giacinto Boulos Marcuzzo, an auxiliary of the...

Vatican delegate objects to gender ideology in UN development document

Commenting on a UN development plan, the Vatican’s representative has taken exception to language that promotes access to abortion, contraception, and gender ideology. Archbishop Bernardito Auza,...

Released Thursday, Sep. 3

US cardinal welcomes Pope’s initiative on absolution of abortions

Cardinal Seán O’Malley of Boston, chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has welcomed Pope Francis’s decision to...

‘Protect church-state separation’ during papal visit, group urges

Americans United for Separation of Church and State has warned officials in Washington, New York, and Philadelphia to “respect separation of church and state” during the upcoming papal...

Nigerian prelate backs leader’s anti-corruption effort

The president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, has lent his support to President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption...

Odisha bishops establish ‘Martyrs’ Day’

The bishops of the east Indian state of Odisha, formerly known as Orissa, have unanimously decided to establish a “martyrs’ day” to commemorate the nearly 100 Christians who were...

‘The Rigging of a Vatican synod?’

In a new book excerpted in Catholic World Report, journalist Edward Pentin recounts the events surrounding the October 2014 Synod of Bishops’ controversial interim report. The report...

CDF rules that transgendered person is not permitted to be baptismal sponsor, says Spanish bishop

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has ruled that a woman who identifies herself as transgendered is not permitted to serve as a baptismal sponsor, Bishop Rafael Zornoza Boy of...

Pope meets Israeli president, presses for resumption of talks with Palestinians

Pope Francis pressed for the resumption of dialogue between Israel and Palestinian leaders, during a September 3 meeting with Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin. A brief Vatican statement...

Serve families, hear confessions: Pope's requests to priests of Schoenstatt Movement

In a message to priests of the Schoenstatt Movement, Pope Francis said that priests “must never be above or in front of others, but instead must walk alongside them, loving them with the same love...

Kentucky clerk jailed for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licences

A county clerk in Kentucky has been jailed for contempt of court, because she refuses to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Kim Davis was taken into federal custody on September 3,...

Kenyan bishop: defend family against outside ideological pressures

A Kenyan bishop urged the faithful to defend marriage, and resist the pressure of ideologies that undermine family life, in a September 2 address. Speaking to participants in a conference...

Another papal first: shopping for eyeglasses in downtown Rome

Pope Francis left the Vatican on Thursday, September 3, to buy new eyeglasses at a shop in downtown Rome. The Pope stunned other shoppers on the stylist Via del Babuino when he appeared in the...

Priests in Michigan, Kansas charged for misappropriating parish funds

Two American Catholic priests, in Michigan and in Kansas, faced charges on September 2 for allegedly misappropriating funds. In Michigan, Father Edward Belczak entered a guilty plea on mail-fraud...

Italian priest stops all parish activities, to block gossip about his alleged paternity

An Italian priest has taken the unusual step of halting all parish activities—except for Mass—in a bid to halt the circulation of rumors that he fathered a child. “I am not the father of that...

Released Friday, Sep. 4

Islamic State imposes tax on Christians in Syrian city

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant has imposed the jizya, or special tax on non-Muslims, on the Christians of the central Syrian town of al-Qaryatayn, according to the Syrian Observatory of...

UK’s chief rabbi meets with Pope

Pope Francis met on September 3 with Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mervis, who leads the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth. The chief rabbi, who was accompanied by Cardinal Vincent Nichols of...

Manila cardinal begins ‘season of creation’

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila began the Archdiocese of Manila’s “season of creation” on September 1 with a call to ecological conversion that included being content with...

Papal message to theology conference

In a video message to a theological conference taking place in Argentina, Pope emphasized the importance of bridging the gaps between faith and life and between theology and the Church’s...

Colombian, Venezuelan bishops appeal for dialogue

Denouncing the organized crime, human trafficking, and drug trade taking place on the Colombia-Venezuelan border, the bishops of the two nations appealed for dialogue between the nations’ two...

From German-speaking bishops' conferences, arguments for change in Church teaching on marriage

Two new books, from authors closely affiliated with the bishops' conferences of German and Switzerland, have argued for dramatic changes in Church teaching on marriage and human...

Cardinal Müller: German leadership risks split in Church

The prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has warned against a serious split within the Church over questions involving marriage and human sexuality. Speaking in Regensburg,...

Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople rebukes Moscow, underlines importance of ties with Rome

Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople underlined the importance of ecumenical ties with Rome, and criticized the resistance of the Russian Orthodox Church, in an August 29 address. The...

Released Monday, Sep. 7

Pope praises single mother for not choosing abortion

Pope Francis spoke with American audiences in three different locations on August 31, in a videolink event hosted by the ABC television network and broadcast on September 4. The Pontiff spoke...

Welcoming is an important part of evangelization, Pope tells members of movement

Pope Francis received more than 5,000 members of the Parish Evangelizing Cells movement in audience on September 5 and emphasized the importance of welcoming others as part of...

Pope Francis: through the Incarnation, God bridges the gulf between Himself and creation

In his September 6 Sunday Angelus address, Pope Francis reflected on the day’s Gospel reading, the healing of the deaf and mute man (Mk. 7:31-37). “The lesson we can take from this...

Pope calls on every European parish to welcome a refugee family

Following his September 6 Angelus address, Pope Francis appealed to “every parish, every religious community, every monastery, every shrine of Europe” to show mercy to refugee...

3 Spanish martyrs beatified

Three Spanish religious sisters who were slain during the Spanish Civil War in 1936 were beatified as martyrs on September 5. Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of...

New papal documents on annulments to be released September 8

Two papal letters reforming the process of declaring marriages null will be released on September 8, according to the Holy See Press Office. The first motu proprio, Mitis Iudex Dominus Iesus [The...

Poll: majority of Americans unaware of papal visit

A majority of Americans are unaware of the impending visit by Pope Francis, according to a telephone survey of 1,331 Americans conducted in August by the Public Religion Research Institute...

USCCB outlines concerns about proposed Medicare rule on end-of-life decisions

Stating that it is unclear whether the Department of Health and Human Services’ ultimate aim is “to enhance patient autonomy or to save health care costs,” the Office of the...

'Complicit silence' of world powers allows persecution of Christians, Pope says

Pope Francis slammed the “complicit silence” of world powers that could intervene to stop the persecution of Christians, in his homily at morning Mass on September 7. Concelebrating the...

Cooperation among believers grows in Albania after decades of brutal persecution, Pope notes

“We must never become resigned to war,” Pope Francis insisted in a message to a conference organized by the Sant’Egidio community. “And we must not remain indifferent to those who suffer as a result...

Focus on catechesis to curb exodus of young people, Pope advises Portuguese bishops

In a message to the Catholic bishops of Portugal, who were making their ad limina visits to Rome, Pope Francis suggested a new approach to catechesis, noting that young Catholics are leaving the...

Released Tuesday, Sep. 8

European bishops’ conferences release yearbook

The Council of the Bishops’ Conferences of Europe (CCEE) has published a 127-page online yearbook of recent highlights of the life of the Church in each European nation or region. The...

Italian, Polish bishops welcome papal appeal to house refugees

Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco of Genoa, president of the Italian Episcopal Conference, said that Pope Francis’s appeal to each European parish to house a refugee family represents an...

Vienna’s cardinal cautions against panic in face of refugee crisis

Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna traveled to Nickelsdorf, a small Austrian town on the Hungarian border, after 71 migrants were discovered dead in a truck on the Budapest-Vienna...

Defeat for Indiana diocese, Our Sunday Visitor in HHS mandate case

In a 2-1 decision, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Obama administration’s implementation of the HHS mandate does not impose a “substantial burden” on the free...

2 Christians arrested in Laos for spreading faith

Two Christian men who were visiting a Christian family in a Laotian village were arrested on charges of spreading the Christian faith, according a Laotian religious-freedom advocacy...

Burkina Faso’s bishops call for transparent elections

Describing political responsibility as a “high form of charity,” the bishops of Burkina Faso have issued a pastoral letter calling for “peaceful elections, free and...

Pope wrong about migrants, says Hungarian prelate

Stating that Pope Francis “doesn’t know the situation,” a Hungarian bishop said that migrants entering his nation are “not refugees,” The Washington Post...

Pope issues new rules to streamline annulment process

Pope Francis has issued two documents reforming and simplifying the process for obtaining a marriage annulment. The reforms, unveiled by the Vatican on September 8, eliminate the costs of...

Kim Davis, Kentucky county clerk, to be released from prison

A federal judge in Kentucky has ordered the release of Kim Davis, the county clerk who was jailed because she refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Judge David Bunning, who had...

Cardinal Wuerl highlights need to preserve religious freedom

Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, DC, has issued a new statement calling attention to the dangers to religious freedom in the US. "We really don't think government should be telling us how we...

Australian archbishop: give preference to Christian refugees from Syria

Archbishop Anthony Fisher of Sydney, Australia, has said that his country should give special preference to Christian refugees from Syria. "Other groups are also suffering badly and being...

Arab Israelis join protest against cuts in funding for Christian schools

Arab students in Israel went on strike on September 7, in an expression of support for the country’s Christian schools. The 400,000 striking students joined Church leaders in a protest...

Released Wednesday, Sep. 9

International conference on violence against Middle East’s religious minorities

Representatives of 56 nations and 11 international organizations gathered in Paris to discuss how best to assist the victims of ethnic and religious violence in the Middle East. The meeting was...

Report: Islamic State releases 15 Christian hostages

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant has released 15 of the Christians seized in August during its conquest of al-Qaryatayn, Syria. ARA News, a Syrian news agency, reported that the hostages...

Papal message for restoration of UN murals

Archbishop Angelo Becciu, the Substitute of the Secretariat of State, has sent a message in Pope Francis’s name to the cardinal archbishop of Rio de Janeiro on the occasion of the second...

Texas cardinal calls for investigation into Planned Parenthood

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston has released a statement on the undercover videos of Planned Parenthood officials discussing the sale of fetal organs. “That Planned Parenthood...

Peruvian prelate denounces lynchings

A bishop in Peru has denounced a social media campaign that encourages lynching. “I saw how peasant patrols in Cajamarca have buried thieves alive,” said Bishop Ángel...

Catholic faith spreads among Bangladesh’s adivasis

Cardinal Fernando Filoni, the prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, is visiting Rajshahi, a city of 840,000 in western Bangladesh where the Catholic faith has spread among...

Philippine prelate warns: approve autonomous region or risk Islamist extremism

A Philippine archbishop has called upon the nation’s lawmakers to approve legislation that would create an autonomous region for the Muslim Moro people. Failure to do so “will favor...

Revitalize alliance between Church and family, Pope urges at weekly audience

At his weekly public audience on September 9, Pope Francis said that “it is indispensable to revitalize the covenant between the family and the Christian community.” There is a natural relationship...

No canonical proceedings against German bishop ousted after complaints about spending

Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, the German prelate who resigned under heavy criticism for his use of diocesan funds, will not be face further canonical discipline, nor will he be required to...

Philadelphia archdiocesan schools ask parents to affirm Catholic identity

The Philadelphia archdiocese is asking parents of children in the parochial schools to sign a statement of support for the schools’ Catholic identity. The “memorandum of...

Saudis censor National Geographic with Pope on cover

The government of Saudi Arabia refused to allow distribution of the August 2015 issue of National Geographic magazine, which featured a cover photo of Pope Francis. In an apology to readers, the...

Released Thursday, Sep. 10

Pope discusses family issues, calls on spouses to be missionaries

Pope Francis received members of the Équipes Notre-Dame (Teams of Our Lady) in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace on September 10 and emphasized the “missionary role” of...

European bishops: continent’s nations must work together to address refugee crisis

The members of the Standing Committee of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community (COMECE) have issued a statement on the continent’s refugee...

Papal telegram for ecumenical conference on mercy

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, has sent a brief telegram in the Holy Father’s name to the prior of the ecumenical Monastic Community of Bose, which is hosting...

Cardinal Kasper: Latin theology is a ‘prisoner’ of commutative justice

In an address delivered at a conference on the spirituality of mercy and forgiveness hosted by the ecumenical Monastic Community of Bose, Cardinal Walter Kasper said that “the question of the...

Church’s mission is not political, says Coptic pope

As Egypt prepares for parliamentary elections, the head of the Coptic Orthodox Church, to which most of the nation’s Christians belong, emphasized that the “Coptic Church does not offer...

Pope Francis: bishops are primarily witnesses of the risen Christ

In an audience with bishops who have been named over the past year, Pope Francis compared the ordination of bishops to Christ’s breathing of the Holy Spirit on the apostles on Easter...

Dates announced for Pope’s trip to Africa

The Holy See Press Office has announced the dates of Pope Francis’s upcoming apostolic journey to Africa. The Pope will travel first to Kenya (November 25-27), then to Uganda (November...

Priests who cannot show mercy should not hear confessions, Pope says

“If you can’t forgive, you are not a Christian,” Pope Francis said in his homily at morning Mass on September 10. “What’s more,” the Pope continued, “if...

Some Catholic colleges remove links to Planned Parenthood; others retain them

At least eight Catholic colleges and universities in the US have removed links to Planned Parenthood following a request from the Cardinal Newman Society. The Virginia-based organization,...

Hackers target Vatican internet site

Edward Lucas, the author of Cyberphobia, a book on threats to computer security, reports that the Vatican internet site has successfully weathered attacks by hackers. Lucas explains how groups...

Open-air confessions in St. Peter's Square planned for Year of Mercy

Dozens of priests will hear confessions in St. Peter’s Square during one of the events planned for the Year of Mercy. “During the Jubilee for the youth, St Peter’s Square will...

Cameroon: human screens protect worshippers at Sunday Mass after Boko Haram terror attack

After Boko Haram terror attacks in northern Cameroon, Catholics in the African country have formed human chains to screen off areas where Mass is celebrated outdoors, a local bishop...

Maronite Patriarch meets Hezbollah leaders in bid to break Lebanon's political deadlock

Maronite Catholic Patriarch Bechara Boutros Rai met on September 9 with a delegation of leaders of the Hezbollah movement, to discuss the continuing political impasse in Lebanon. The Maronite...

Kuwaiti premier meets Pontiff; new pact on bilateral affairs

Pope Francis met on September 10 with Sheik Jaber Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, the prime minister of the State of Kuwait. The “cordial discussion” focused on the role of the Christian...

Italian TV special revives controversy over mobster's funeral

Rome’s Mayor Ignazio Marino has decried a television special that focused on the family of a deceased leader in organized crime, reviving a controversy that was roused by the mobster’s...

Released Friday, Sep. 11

Papal parade to take place during Pope’s visit to Washington

The Archdiocese of Washington has announced that a papal parade will take place on September 23 following Pope Francis’s visit to the White House. “Participants are invited to line...

Welcome Syrian refugees, USCCB president urges

The president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has called upon Americans to welcome Syrian refugees. “I urge all Catholics in the United States and others of good will to...

Court rules that letters to priests do not fall under clergy-penitent privilege

The Appellate Court of Illinois has ruled that a letter written to a priest does not fall under the purview of the clergy-penitent privilege. A pastor in the Diocese of Rockford received a letter...

Texas, Mexican bishops discuss immigration

Four Mexican bishops have held a two-day meeting with four counterparts from Texas to discuss immigration and “share thoughts on this delicate theme,” according to the Mexican Episcopal...

European bishops meet in Holy Land

The presidents of Europe’s episcopal conferences are gathering in the Holy Land for a six-day meeting. The two major agenda items of the annual meeting of the Council of European Episcopal...

Nigerian priest kidnapped

A Nigerian priest was abducted in Kogi State on September 7 after armed men stopped his car on a rural road, according to a newspaper based in Abuja, the nation’s capital. Father Gabriel...

UN Secretary-General lauds Pope Francis

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon offered strong praise of Pope Francis in an interview with Vatican Radio. The Pontiff is scheduled to address the United Nations on September...

Dozens killed as crane collapses on pilgrims at Mecca

At least 87 Muslim pilgrims were killed when a crane collapsed at the Grand Mosque in Mecca on September 10. As many as 200 people were injured by the accident, which occurred during a...

Cardinal Marx: Pope's annulment reforms don't go far enough

The president of the German bishops' conference has said that the reform introduced in the annulment process by Pope Francis this week "does not solve the fundamental problems" of...

Cuba will release prisoners-- but not political prisoners-- before Pope's visit

The government of Cuba has announced plans to release 3,500 prisoners from the country's jails in anticipation of the visit by Pope Francis later this month. Political prisoners will...

St. Andrews rejects suggestion to revoke honorary degree for Cardinal O'Brien

Scotland's oldest university has rejected a suggestion that it should rescind an honorary degree awarded to Cardinal Keith O'Brien, who resigned in disgrace in 2013 after admitting to sexual...

White House invites religious allies to attend reception for Pope Francis

President Barack Obama will invite prominent American religious figures, including many of his political allies, to attend the White House reception at which he greets Pope Francis on September...

'Everyone is required' to take action against climate change, Pope says

Pope Francis said that “the issue of climate change is a matter of justice,” in a September 11 audience with participants in a meetings sponsored by the Foundation for Sustainable...

Parliament handily rejects proposal to allow assisted suicide

Britain’s House of Commons has defeated a bill to allow assisted suicide, by an overwhelming 212 to 118 vote. The proposed legislation would have allowed doctors to prescribe a lethal dose...

New fetal-cell lines being introduced for vaccine production

Chinese medical researchers have produced a new cell line from aborted babies to be used in the production of vaccines. The new cell line, Walvax-2, was developed from lung tissues taken from a...

Serbian president meets with Pope, discusses refugee crisis

Pope Francis met on September 11 with President Tomislav Nikolic of Serbia, for a conversation that focused on the refugee crisis in Europe. A brief Vatican statement released after the meeting...

Released Monday, Sep. 14

Brief papal message to European bishops

Pope Francis has sent a brief message to the participants in the annual meeting of the Council of European Episcopal Conferences (CCEE), which is taking place in the Holy Land from September 11 to...

Pope encourages work of cooperatives

Pope Francis met with directors and employees of an Italian credit union on September 12 and encouraged it and other cooperatives “to continue to be the motor that develops the weakest part of...

Do not place your ‘I’ at the center of existence, says Pope

Pope Francis reflected on the day’s Gospel reading (Mk. 8:27-35) during his September 13 Sunday Angelus address and challenged the crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square to follow Christ...

Recent South African martyr beatified

Samuel Benedict Daswa (1946-90), a school teacher who was brutally murdered after he denounced witchcraft, was beatified as a martyr near Thohoyandou, South Africa, on September...

Cuban bishops welcome amnesty for prisoners

Cuba’s bishops have welcomed the government’s decision to release over 3,500 prisoners as Pope Francis’s visit to the nation approaches. “The news of the liberation of...

English bishops issue pastoral letter on mercy and evangelization

The bishops of England and Wales have issued a pastoral letter on mission and mercy. The key to effective evangelization, said the bishops, is “to be ready to live constantly in the...

Bishops rue Burundi’s deteriorating political situation

Burundi’s bishops appealed for peace as the nation’s capital becomes the scene of nightly abductions and murders. President Pierre Nkurunziza won an unconstitutional third...

Council of Cardinals meeting this week to continue planning Vatican reforms

The Council of Cardinals began its 11th session on September 14, meeting with Pope Francis to weigh reforms at the Vatican. The Vatican has not announced the main subject(s) for discussion at...

In new interviews, Pope speaks on immigration, environment, and European decline

Pope Francis spoke about immigration, the demographic and cultural decline of Europe, and dangers to the environment in two radio interviews broadcast this past weekend. In a lengthy interview...

Church teaching on remarriage is ludicrous, Boston pastor writes

A senior priest of the Boston archdiocese has referred to Church teaching on marriage as “ludicrous” in a column that appeared in the archdiocesan newspaper, the Pilot. “It is...

Papal charity plans conference on refugee crisis in Syria and Iraq

The Pontifical Council Cor Unum, which coordinates papal charities, has organized a special meeting on the refugee crisis in Iraq and Syria. The conference, to be held in Rome on September 17,...

Cardinal Turkson demands binding global pacts on hunger, climate change

The president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace has said that world leaders risk becoming “accomplices of global injustice” if they fail to take action to remedy economic...

German-speaking bishops voice sympathy for homosexual unions

Two German-speaking bishops have indicated their sympathy for Catholics engaged in homosexual unions. Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna said that a stable homosexual relationship is...

Chilean cardinals discussed blocking abuse victim's speech, leaked emails show

A Chilean newspaper has published an email exchange between two cardinals, in which the prelates discussed plans to block a sex-abuse victim from speaking at a Vatican conference. El Monstrador...

Vatican officials criticize Pope's annulment reforms

Senior Vatican officials have joined in criticism of the plans unveiled by Pope Francis last week to reform the annulment process, the National Catholic Register reports. In a 7-page document...

Vatican official cancels visit to Nepal, apparently hoping to avoid provocation

A Vatican official has cancelled a visit to Nepal, apparently because of an internal political controversy in the Asian country. Cardinal Fernando Filoni, the prefect of the Congregation for...

US thwarts plan to attack Pope during visit

American security officials have foiled plans for an attack on Pope Francis during the Pontiff's visit to the US, a senior Congressman has revealed. "We have disrupted one particular...

Orthodox group to honor Vice President Biden for human-rights work

An Orthodox group will honor Vice President Joseph Biden for his human-rights work at an October banquet in New York. The Order of St. Andrew, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, will present...

Vatican opens train service for Castel Gandolfo tours

The Vatican has inaugurated train service to Castel Gandolfo, to serve visitors touring the papal residence there. Pope Francis, who has chosen not to take a vacation at the summer residence in...

Pop singers to perform before papal Mass at Madison Square Garden

Popular singers will entertain the crowd at Madison Square Garden before a Mass celebrated by Pope Francis on September 25, the New York Times reports. The entertainers booked for the event...

Released Tuesday, Sep. 15

Ukrainian prelate speaks of Church’s growth

In a recent talk in California, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic bishop of Paris discussed the resurgence of the Church in Ukraine over the past 25 years. “When our Church came out of the...

Patriarch: Western ground troops needed to fight Islamic State

The head of the Syriac Catholic Church said that the support of Syrian rebels by the United States, Great Britain, and France was tantamount to “fomenting the violence” in Syria...

No Israeli tax compensation for arson attack on historic church

The Israeli government’s Tax Authority has ruled that the Church will not be compensated for damage caused by an arson attack on the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fish, built...

Euthanasia, clerical abuse on agenda of Canadian bishops’ meeting

Euthanasia and the response to the sexual abuse of Native Americans in residential Catholic institutions during the 20th century are among the items on the agenda at the annual meeting of the...

Next ‘Courtyard of the Gentiles’ to take place in Assisi

The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue has announced that its next “Courtyard of the Gentiles” dialogue with nonbelievers will take place in Assisi from September 23 to...

Vatican releases names of all participants in upcoming Synod

The Holy See Press Office has released the names of all the participants in the 14th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, which begins on October 4. The Vatican has already released...

Like Mary, entrust yourself to Jesus, Pope says in message for World Day of the Sick

The Holy See Press Office has released Pope Francis’s message for the 24th World Day of the Sick, which will take place next February 11, the memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes. The theme of...

Pope names successor to Bishop Finn

Pope Francis has named Bishop James Vann Johnston, Jr., of Springfield - Cape Girardeau, Missouri, as the next bishop of Kansas City – St. Joseph, Missouri. Bishop Johnston, 55, succeeds...

Pope 'likely' to meet Fidel Castro

Pope Francis is "likely" to meet with Fidel Castro during his visit to Cuba, Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican press office, told reporters on September 15. A...

Abortion providers say publicity about fetal-parts sales could destroy Planned Parenthood, in 10th undercover video

In the 10th in a series of undercover videos produced by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), executives of Planned Parenthood speak candidly about the damaging effects their organization would...

Jubilee 'Holy Door' to be opened at hostel from Rome's homeless

During the Jubilee Year of Mercy, a “Holy Door” will be opened at the Caritas Hostel, which provides rooms for 180 of Rome’s homeless. Cardinal Agostino Vallini, the vicar of...

Released Wednesday, Sep. 16

Vatican newspaper chides EU over migrant crisis

L’Osservatore Romano has published a front-page op-ed piece criticizing the response of European nations, especially Hungary, to the migrant crisis. “What seems really insurmountable...

Vatican foreign minister praises peaceful use of nuclear energy, rues ‘bloated’ arsenals

Speaking at the International Atomic Energy Agency’s annual general conference, the Holy See’s Secretary for Relations with States praised the peaceful use of nuclear energy, criticized...

Growing interest in faith seen in Cuba

Aid to the Church in Need’s project manager in Cuba said in an interview that “over the past few years a growing interest in Christianity has become evident” in a Communist nation...

Canadian bishops elect new president

The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops elected new officers at its annual assembly, which is taking place in Cornwall, Ontario. Bishop Douglas Crosby, OMI, of Hamilton, Ontario, is the...

‘Every life is worth living’: USCCB’s Respect Life Month statement

Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley of Boston, the chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, has written a statement for Respect Life...

Vatican prefect emphasizes importance of baptism, evangelization

Addressing bishops, priests, religious, and lay faithful in Calcutta, India, the prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples emphasized the importance of the Sacrament of Baptism...

Report: police murder pastor in Laos

Police in Luang Prabang Province, Laos, have murdered a Protestant pastor, Singkeaw Wongkongpheng, according to Human Rights Watcher for Lao Religious Freedom. “Local Christians ruled out...

Pope Francis: family more important than ever in technological, profit-centered world

Concluding his series of Wednesday general audiences on the family, Pope Francis said that the role of the family is more critical now than ever. “Today we conclude our series of catecheses...

Pope requests prayers for journey to Cuba, US

At the conclusion of his September 16 general audience in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis requested prayers for his upcoming apostolic journey to Cuba and the United States. “Even...

Pope meets with EU environmental ministers

Pope Francis met with the environmental ministers of EU nations on September 16 and described the environment as a “collective good, the patrimony of all humanity, and the responsibility of...

Man pulls gun on pro-lifers outside abortion clinic

An Indiana man faces criminal charges after waving a loaded pistol at pro-life activists outside an Illinois abortion clinic. Clifton Ratney, who was accompanying a woman to the clinic,...

Philadelphia teen was arrested for trying to organize attack on Pope

A Philadelphia teenager was arrested by the FBI last month, after he reportedly sought to orchestrate an attempt on the life of Pope Francis, ABC news has reported. The 15-year-old, who has not...

Boston hospital dismisses doctor for pointing to dangers of homosexual acts

An appeal panel at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Boston has denied the appeal of a doctor who was dismissed for “unprofessional conduct” after he drew attention to the health risks associated...

Council of Cardinals completes proposal for new Congregation for the Laity

The Council of Cardinals has presented Pope Francis with a proposal for creating a new Vatican Congregation for Laity, Family and Life. At the conclusion of a 3-day meeting this week, the Council...

Released Thursday, Sep. 17

Bishop: economic interests foster Syrian conflict

The Chaldean Catholic bishop of Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, said that “economic interests at the regional and international level”-- interests manifest in the arms trade-- are...

German cardinal discusses importance of pro-life issues

In a message for the annual German pro-life march, which will take place in Berlin on September 19, the president of the German Bishops’ Conference said that “as Christians we share the...

European bishops: ‘the Church does not accept gender theory’

The presidents of Europe’s episcopal conferences issue a message at the conclusion of a six-day meeting in the Holy Land. In the message, they lamented the plight of refugees, called for...

World meeting for young religious begins in Rome

As part of the Year of Consecrated Life, which began in November 2014 and concludes in February 2016, the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life has...

Synod leader: the Church must include, not exclude

Speaking at a diocesan conference in Sessa Aurunca, Italy, the Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops emphasized that the Church must “include” rather than...

Brazilian bishops decry murder of indigenous person

A group of Brazilian bishops, led by Archbishop Dimas Lara Barbosa of Campo Grande, lamented the recent killing of Semiao Vilhalva, a 24-year-old member of the indigenous Guarani-Kaiowá...

2 churches bombed in Nepal

“Low intensity” bombs exploded at two churches in Nepal after the nation’s lawmakers decided that the nation would remain a secular state, the Hindustan Times reported. Until...

Secret Service: no major threats against Pontiff in US

American security officials are now aware of any immediate threats to attack Pope Francis during his visit to the US, the head of the Secret Service said in an interview with USA Today. “There is...

Vatican hope: opening toward freedom in Cuba after lifting of US embargo

The Vatican's Secretary of State hopes that Cuba will respond to the end of a long US embargo by "a greater opening when it comes to freedom and human rights." Cardinal Pietro...

'No one can pretend not to know' about Christian persecution in Syria, Iraq, Pope says

The suffering of the people in Syria and Iraq is among “the most overwhelming human tragedies of recent decades,” Pope Francis said at a September 17 audience. In an address to a conference...

Syrian bishop explains exodus of refugees, rips failure of international leaders to end bloodshed

The Christian population of Aleppo, Syria, has been cut by two-thirds in the past five years, and the city's Catholic bishop admits "a real fear that our community might disappear...

Help women and children living on the streets, Pope Francis urges

The Church and the world community must mobilize to help women and children who are forced to live on the streets, Pope Francis told participants in a September 17 symposium organized by the...

Shun narcissism, practice adoration, Pope tells young religious

Pope Francis addressed a group of young religious men and women on September 17, and took a few questions from the audience. Answering a question about the problems of living out a religious...

Congress, courts clash in legal battle over release of undercover Planned Parenthood videos

A federal appeals court has barred a district court judge from issuing an injunction to stop the release of undercover videos by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), the group that has exposed the...

Luxembourg's premier meets with Pontiff

Pope Francis met on September 17 with Prime Minister Xavier Bettel of Luxembourg, for conversations that focused on bilateral relations, religious freedom, and Church-state interactions. As the...

Released Friday, Sep. 18

Do not encourage Christians to leave the Middle East, patriarch pleads

Calling upon European nations not to give preference to Christian refugees, Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako warned in a recent interview that “there is a very real risk now of...

Papal message to Cuban people

Pope Francis has sent a video-message to the people of Cuba on the eve of his apostolic journey there. Jesus “knows better than anyone else what everyone needs, what are your longings, what...

Report: Pope Francis, Palestinian president speak about Jerusalem violence

On the evening of September 17, Pope Francis and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas spoke by phone about the escalating violence in Jerusalem, the Italian news agency SIR reported. The Pope told...

Archbishop of Canterbury: Anglicans ‘must have space for deep disagreement’

Amid division within the Anglican Communion over homosexuality and women’s ordination, Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury invited the 37 Anglican primates to a January meeting to discuss...

Pope praises work of Vatican Observatory, names new director

Pope Francis praised the work of the Vatican Observatory in a September 18 audience and appointed Brother Guy Consolmagno, SJ, as its new director. Brother Consolmagno, an American Jesuit,...

Church looted, burned in Yemen

A parish church in Aden, Yemen, has been looted and set on fire, possibly by local al-Qaeda members, the Fides news agency reported. According to Vatican statistics, there are only four parishes...

Nebraska diocese will participate in sex-abuse audit process, for 1st time since 2003

The Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska—the only Latin-rite diocese that has declined to participate in a nationwide audit of sex-abuse programs—will join in the audit process this...

Syrian refugee family living at Vatican

The Vatican has provided a home for a family of Syrian refugees seeking asylum. The Vatican announced on September 18 that the family—a father, mother, and two children, Melkite Catholics...

US-Cuba pact was signed at Vatican, official reveals

A new diplomatic pact between the US and Cuba, ending decades of hostility, was signed in the office of the Vatican Secretary of State. Cuban and American representatives “came here to the...

Vatican reportedly unhappy over guest list for White House reception with Pope

Vatican officials are upset that the White House has invited a number of prominent Catholic dissenters to attend a reception for Pope Francis, according to a Wall Street Journal report. Citing...

Africa will save marriage, family, Cardinal Sarah vows

“It will be Africa, and therefore the Church, who will save the family,” Cardinal Robert Sarah said in an interview with the National Catholic Register. Cardinal Sarah, a native of...

Challenge to Obamacare contraceptive mandate upheld by federal appeals court

A US federal appeals court has ruled that the “Obamacare” contraceptive mandate violates the religious freedom of faith-based employers. The September 17 ruling by the 8th Circuit...

Released Monday, Sep. 21

In Cuba, Pope emphasizes service to the vulnerable, praises thaw in US-Cuban relations

Pope Francis arrived in Havana on the afternoon of September 19, the first day of a ten-day apostolic journey to Cuba, the United States, and United Nations headquarters. It is the Pope’s...

USCCB welcomes House resolution on climate change

Two prelates who chair committees of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have welcomed a new House resolution on climate change. The resolution, sponsored a group of Republican...

Moscow patriarch praises Russian PM

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church has sent a message to Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on his fiftieth birthday. “Being notable for your professional competence and responsibility,...

Obama, Castro praise Pope’s role in normalizing relations

US President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raúl Castro spoke by telephone on September 18 and praised Pope Francis’s role in the thaw in relations between the two...

Calabrian bishops: Mafia convicts not permitted to serve as godparents

Persons convicted of Mafia-related crimes are not permitted to serve as godparents at baptisms or witnesses at marriages, the bishops of the southern Italian region of Calabria said in a new set of...

Italian bishop beatified

Archbishop Pio Alberto del Corona (1837-1912), an Italian Dominican who served as bishop of San Miniato, Italy, was beatified on September 19. Cardinal Angelo Amato, the prefect of the...

Papal message to new head of Assyrian Church of the East

Expressing hope that “our continuing friendship and dialogue may be further developed and deepened,” Pope Francis has sent a message to Mar Gewargis III, who was elected head of the...

At Mass in Holguin, Pope speaks on how Jesus 'unlocked Matthew's heart'

Pope Francis traveled to the eastern part of Cuba on Monday, September 21, to visit at Holguin, which is the 3rd-largest city in Cuba, but the largest Catholic diocese. Celebrating Mass in the...

Cuban dissidents blocked from meetings with Pontiff

Cuban police have prevented political dissidents from attending public events, even after some dissidents were invited by Vatican diplomats. Leaders of the protest group “Women in...

Vice President Biden 'really excited' about papal visit

US Vice President Joseph Biden said that he is “really excited” about this week’s visit to Washington by Pope Francis, whom he sees as “the embodiment of the Catholic social doctrine that I was...

Vatican may pay damages to victims of defrocked papal nuncio's abuse

The Vatican may offer compensation to the boys who were molested by a former papal nuncio in the Dominican Republic. When questioned by a reporter from the Dominican Republic, Father Federico...

Pope speaks to each reporter on plane flight to Cuba

During his flight from Rome to Cuba on September 19, Pope Francis met with each reporter on the papal plane, offering brief individual greetings. Shortly after takeoff the Pope ventured into the...

Unprecedented security for papal visit to US

Federal officials have established tight security controls in Washington, DC, New York, and Philadelphia for this week’s visit by Pope Francis. The Department of Homeland Security has...

UN will fly Vatican flag for first time during Pope's visit

  The Vatican flag will fly at UN headquarters in New York for the first time on September 25, the date when Pope Francis will speak there. The UN and the Holy See agreed that the Vatican...

Released Tuesday, Sep. 22

Have compassion on the migrant, European Christian leaders urge

The presidents of the Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Community (COMECE) and the Conference of European Churches (CEC) met on September 18 to discuss Europe’s...

Report documents human rights violations in Crimea under Russian rule

The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe has issued a report on human rights violations in Crimea, a portion of Ukrainian territory annexed by Russia in March 2014. The 100-page...

El Salvador: archbishop opposes telecom tax

El Salvador’s leading prelate has spoken out against a government proposal to levy a 10% tax on mobile phones, televisions, and other telecommunication services, according to a report in one...

Holy Land’s Christian leaders urge: maintain Temple Mount status quo

Amid increasing Palestinian concerns that Israel plans to build a temple or synagogue at the Temple Mount, the Holy Land’s Christian leaders called for the maintenance of the status...

Senate vote expected on legislation barring most late-term abortions

The US Senate is expected to vote on September 22 on legislation that would protect most unborn children from late-term abortion. The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which is supported...

Bishop dedicates memorial to deported immigrants

A California bishop has dedicated a memorial wall in a city on the US-Mexican border to commemorate families separated by the deportation of one of their members. “The challenge of...

Kerry writes on State Department’s efforts to engage religion

Secretary of State John Kerry has written an article describing efforts to take religion into account in developing US foreign policy. “The State Department understands the central role...

At Marian shrine, Pope says Church must 'build bridges, break down walls'

Pope Francis celebrated Mass on September 22 at the shrine Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre, the patroness of Cuba.  Speaking about the influence of the Virgin Mary, and using the words of...

Italian bishops' spokesman raps country's sales of anti-personnel mines

The secretary-general of the Italian bishops' conference has criticized his country's government for exporting anti-personnel mines at the same time that it subsidizes non-profit groups for...

Israel government, in reversal, agrees to pay compensation for arson attack on ancient church

The attorney general of Israel has ruled that the Catholic Church should be compensated for the arson attack on the ancient Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes, reversing an...

Pope arrives in US

Bells tolled in Catholic churches across America on Tuesday afternoon, September 22, as Pope Francis arrived for his first-ever visit to the US. The papal flight touched down at Andrews Joint...

I'm not a leftist, Pope tells reporters

“Maybe there’s an impression I’m a little bit more leftie, but I haven’t said a single thing that’s not in the social doctrine of the Church,” Pope Francis told reporters who accompanied him on a...

Vatican official cleared of charges in Italian real-estate sale

An Italian prosecutor has cleared Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, the president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, of charges that he was involved in the suspicious sale of a historic Italian...

Former US envoys to Holy See endorse Jeb Bush

Three former American ambassadors to the Holy See have joined in an endorsement of Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush. James Nicholson, Francis Rooney, and Mary Ann Glendon threw their...

'Underground' bishop hopes for meeting between Pope, Chinese President

A Chinese Catholic bishop who is living under house arrest has written that he “cannot wait” for a meeting between Pope Francis and China’s President Xi Jinping. Bishop ...

Nigerian prelate sees tide turning against Boko Haram, supports amnesty offer

A Nigerian cardinal has lent his support to a proposal to offer amnesty for members of the Boko Haram terrorist organization. Most Boko Haram fighters have no interest in the groups Islamist...

Released Wednesday, Sep. 23

Church in Holy Land offers Yom Kippur, Eid greetings

The Catholic Church in the Holy Land has sent greetings to Jews and Muslims for Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of atonement, and Eid al-Adha, during which Muslims commemorate Abraham’s willingness...

Head of Russian Orthodox Church: sanctions against Russia promote self-sufficiency

Stating that “we can do almost everything except growing tropical fruit,” the head of the Russian Orthodox Church said that economic sanctions against Russia may benefit the nation by...

‘Like a shell’: new semicircular cathedral dedicated in France

A new semicircular cathedral was dedicated in Créteil, France, on September 20, replacing a less distinctive cathedral built in 1966. The new Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Créteil...

Catholic-Muslim statement against desecration of religious symbols

A group of Christian and Muslim leaders from Latin America and the Caribbean has signed a statement denouncing “all acts of violence or persecution committed against a person or...

World Meeting of Families begins in Philadelphia

The eighth World Meeting of Families began in Philadelphia on September 22. Attracting over 17,500 participants from 100 nations, it is the largest meeting in the history of the event, which is...

Religious liberty, environment in focus as President Obama welcomes Pope Francis

Pope Francis praised the American traditions of religious liberty and welcoming immigrants as he was formally welcomed to the US in a White House ceremony on September 23. In a brief prepared...

Be shepherds first, Pope asks US bishops

“Harsh and divisive language does not befit the tongue of a pastor,” Pope Francis said in an address to the American bishops on September 23. The Pope encouraged the US bishops to promote a...

English cardinal hopes Synod will offer new path for divorced/remarried Catholics

Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster has said that the Synod of Bishops should consider a “path of conversion” that would allow divorced and remarried Catholics to receive...

Kerry sees 'overlap' in US, Vatican foreign-policy goals

US Secretary of State John Kerry stressed the “overlap of US foreign-policy priorities” with Vatican stands, during an interview broadcast on Vatican Radio. Kerry spoke about the...

Family is topic for Pope's final appearance in Cuba

Pope Francis focused on the family on the final stop of his visit to Cuba. At a meeting with families in the cathedral of Santiago, the Pope said: “It is in the home that we learn to...

St. Junipero Serra canonized in DC ceremony

Pope Francis presided on September 23 at the canonization of St. Junipero Serra, the 18th-century missionary who brought the Catholic faith to the West Coast. An estimated 20,000 people attended...

Released Thursday, Sep. 24

Pope makes surprise visit to Little Sisters of the Poor, opponents of HHS mandate

Pope Francis made an unscheduled visit on September 23 to the Little Sisters of the Poor, the religious community locked in a court dispute with the Obama administration over the imposition of the...

Cardinal Sarah: don’t soften Christ’s teaching on marriage and the family

Addressing the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia, Cardinal Robert Sarah warned against softening Catholic teaching on marriage and family life and said that repentance is the beginning of...

Europe’s largest mosque opens in Moscow

At the opening of Europe’s largest mosque, Russian President Vladimir Putin described Islamist extremism as a perversion of Islam. “We see what's happening in the Middle East...

1st commercial recording in Sistine Chapel

On September 25, Deutsche Grammophon will release Cantate Domino [Sing to the Lord], a new recording of Renaissance music sung in the Sistine Chapel by the Sistine Chapel Choir. “After an...

English Channel prelates appeal for compassion for refugees

Three Catholic and Anglican prelates on both sides of the English Channel issued an appeal for compassion for the thousands of migrants and refugees who have gathered in Calais, France, in the hope...

South Africa: bishops’ conference backs anti-corruption march

Stating that the South African government has “dragged its feet” on anti-corruption reforms, the Justice and Peace Commission of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference...

Pope challenges America in speech to US Congress

Pope Francis, in a historic address to the US Congress, offered a challenging examination of conscience for the people of a powerful nation, saying: “The yardstick we use for others will be...

Ontario parents plan school strike to protest sex-ed curriculum

Parents of children in Ontario’s public schools are organizing a strike for October 1, to protest a new sex-education curriculum. The Canadian Families Alliance, which claims to represent...

No justification of homelessness, Pope says in visit to DC shelter

There is no justification for homelessness, Pope Francis said during a September 24 visit to a shelter run by Catholic Charities in Washington, DC. On his visit to St. Patrick's parish, the...

Philadelphia mayor hopes to press Pope for change in Church policy on homosexuality

Philadelphia’s Mayor Michael Nutter has said that he will press for a change in Church teaching on homosexuality when he meets with Pope Francis during the Pope’s visit this...

Mecca disaster: over 700 killed in stampede

Several hundred people were killed when Muslim pilgrims stampeded at Mecca on September 24. At least 700 people died, and an equal number were injured, when two groups collided during the height...

Cardinal Turkson stresses environment in talk to World Meeting of Families

Cardinal Peter Turkson, the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, emphasized environmental issues in a September 24 presentation to the World Meeting of Families in...

Europe's duty to accept refugees, archbishop argues

“It is our duty as Christians to welcome the refugees,” said Archbishop Jean-Claude Hollerich of Luxembourg, in his homily at a September 23 “Mass for Europe.” Archbishop...

Burundi: government rejects bishops' call for dialogue with rebels

The government of Burundi has rejected a call by the nation's Catholic bishops for open dialogue with rebels, the Fides news service reports. "No agreement with those accused of...

Released Friday, Sep. 25

Pope, in New York, calls priests and religious to gratitude, self-sacrifice, pays tribute to women religious

Pope Francis traveled from Washington to New York on the afternoon of September 24 and presided at Vespers in St. Patrick’s Cathedral. At the beginning of his homily, the Pope made...

Legislation barring most late-term abortions fails in Senate

A Senate effort to pass legislation that would bar most late-term abortions fell six votes short of the 60 needed to end a filibuster. By a 54-42 margin, senators voted in favor the Pain-Capable...

Burkina Faso’s bishops denounce coup

The bishops of Burkina Faso deplored a recent military coup in the West African nation and welcomed the reinstatement of the nation’s president after seven days. Lamenting the...

Polygamy becoming less prevalent, says Ugandan prelate

The president of the Uganda Episcopal Conference said that polygamy is becoming less prevalent in Africa because of the expense involved. “With education and with economic challenges,...

Report: Chinese prelates seek reconciliation with Holy See

The president and two vice presidents of China’s episcopal conference, which is not recognized by the Holy See, have traveled to the United States as part of an effort to reconcile with the...

South African cardinal: ‘don’t try to pigeonhole the synod fathers’

A South African cardinal who will serve as one of the four presidents-delegate of the upcoming Synod of Bishops on the family warned against “pigeonholing” the synod fathers. The...

Pope calls for action on climate, end to warfare, in address to UN

Pope Francis praised the work of the UN, urged action to combat climate change, and pleaded for an end to war, in a September 25 address to the international body. Speaking in Spanish, the Pope...

Ground Zero memorial conveys sense of grief, response of solidarity, Pope says at interfaith service

During an interfaith prayer service at Ground Zero on September 25, Pope Francis remarked that “grief is palpable” at the site of the terrorist attack on New York. But he also observed that the city...

Hindu extremists demand: foreign religious leaders must leave Nepal

Hindu zealots in Nepal have warned foreign religious leaders to leave the country, Aid to the Church in Need reports. After three Protestant churches were bombed on September 14—fortunately...

Released Saturday, Sep. 26

Go out to meet others, Pope urges faithful in New York

“God is living in our cities,” Pope Francis assured the congregation as he celebrated Mass in New York’s Madison Square Garden on September 25. The Pope arrived in the midtown arena after riding in...

Released Monday, Sep. 28

Encourage the laity to become missionary disciples, Pope asks clergy, religious

Recalling that Pope Leo XIII once challenged St. Katharine Drexel to think about her role in the Church’s mission, Pope Francis encouraged the bishops, clergy, and religious of Pennsylvania to...

Pope Francis: religious freedom extends beyond worship, protects us from globalized uniformity

Emphasizing how important it is for the American founding principles to be “reaffirmed, re-appropriated and defended,” Pope Francis addressed a meeting for religious liberty with the...

Pope ‘profoundly sorry’ about sexual abuse, says bishops ‘will be held accountable’

At a meeting with sex-abuse victims at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia, Pope Francis pledged that “clergy and bishops will be held accountable when they abuse or fail to protect...

Jesus wants to cleanse us, Pope tells prisoners

Pope Francis visited detainees at Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility in Philadelphia on September 27 and told them that Jesus Christ wishes to wash their feet and accompany them throughout...

Family is part of God’s plan, Pope says in 3 Philadelphia addresses

In two speeches and a homily in Philadelphia on September 26 and 27, Pope Francis emphasized the importance of family life. In his address to the festival of families and vigil of prayer at the...

Chiapas bishop laments violence

Indigenous activists in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas clashed with police on September 25, the Fides news agency reported. One policeman was killed and seven were injured in the...

Pope backs conscience rights, reiterates Church teachings, during in-flight press conference

Pope Francis affirmed the conscience rights of government workers, reiterated the Church teaching on the impossibility of ordaining women, and underlined the indissolubility of marriage in an...

On return to Rome, Pope prays at St. Mary Major

Returning to Rome on September 28 after a week-long trip to Cuba and the United States, Pope Francis prayed before the image of the Virgin Mary in the Roman basilica of St. Mary Major. The...

Australian state anti-discrimination minister denounces Catholic publication affirming marriage

A prominent politician in the Australian state of Tasmania has lodged a formal complaint against a pamphlet on marriage produced by the Catholic Church, saying that it causes “immeasurable harm”...

Dublin to host World Meeting of Families in 2018

Dublin will host the next World Meeting of Families, which will be held in 2018. The announcement of the venue for the next international gathering was announced on September 28, as this...

Catholic schools re-open in Israel after government eases budget cuts

Israel’s education ministry has rolled back severe cuts in funding for Catholic schools, ending a stalemate that had prompted Church officials to shut down schools in protest. The...

Pope releases message for 2016 World Youth Day in Krakow

Pope Francis has released his message for the 31st World Youth Day, which will be celebrated in July 2016 in Krakow. The theme for the Krakow celebration is “Blessed are the merciful, for...

Vatican 'foreign minister' applauds UN approval of development goals

The Vatican’s “foreign minister” praised UN officials for adopting goals for sustainable development, in a September 27 address to the international body. Archbishop Paul Gallagher, the Secretary...

New album will combine Pope's words, variety of music

A new musical album featuring recordings of Pope Francis will be released in November. The album, entitled Wake Up! combines the excerpts from speeches and prayers by the Pontiff, with lively...

Released Tuesday, Sep. 29

Nigerian bishops reiterate opposition to same-sex marriage

The bishops of Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, have reiterated their opposition to same-sex marriage, and an article published by the bishops’ news service asserts that some...

Wave of violence in Central African Republic, site of November papal visit

Violence has flared in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic and site of a papal visit in November, according to a wire service reports. The Associated Press, which described the...

Vandalism at mission church where St. Junípero Serra is buried

On the night of September 26, vandals scaled a wall at the California mission church where St. Junípero Serra is buried, toppled a statue of the saint, and overturned cemetery...

Russian Orthodox patriarch meets with Abbas

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on September 24 while the latter was in Moscow for the opening of Europe’s largest mosque. “Good...

Cardinal Burke named member of curial congregation

Pope Francis has named Cardinal Carlo Caffarra and Cardinal Raymond Burke as members of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. The two prelates retain their respective positions as Archbishop...

Philippine cardinal: we approach environmental issues from pastoral, not scientific perspective

Stating that “we have been getting these typhoons with intensities that we have not seen before,” Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila said in an interview that he approaches...

Theme announced for World Communications Day

The Pontifical Council for Social Communications has announced that the theme of the 2016 World Communications Day will be “Communication and mercy: a fruitful encounter.” “The...

Pope pleads for life of convict scheduled for execution

Pope Francis has appealed to the state of Georgia to halt the execution of a convicted murderer. The execution of Kelly Gissendaner is scheduled for Tuesday night, September 29. She was found...

Syrian bishop decries French bombing, says West does not consider impact on civilians

Responding to French air strikes against Islamic State forces in Syria, a Catholic bishop has denounced the military action as “another episode in the series of inconsiderate actions and...

Italian aid worker killed in Bangladesh; Islamic State claims responsibility

Muslim militants with ties to the Islamic State have claimed responsibility for the killing of an Italian relief worker in Bangladesh. Caesar Tavella, a 50-year-old volunteer, was gunned down...

Sistine Chapel Choir releases album with Deutsche Grammophon

The Sistine Chapel Choir has released a new album, Cantate Domino, featuring works by Palestrina, Lassus, Victoria, and others. The music—which includes two pieces of Gregorian chant and...

800,000 sign plea for clear statement of Church teaching on marriage, family

Almost 800,000 people, including more than 200 bishops, have signed a "filial appeal" to Pope Francis, asking for a clear statement of Church teachings on marriage and the family. The...

New Jersey Catholic health-care system charges religious discrimination by insurer

The president of New Jersey’s Catholic HealthCare Partnership has charged that the state’s largest insurance company “schemed in secret” to exclude Catholic hospitals from a...

Released Wednesday, Sep. 30

Report: leading Ghana prelate strongly criticizes homosexual relations

The president of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference commented on homosexuality in a recent interview with a radio station based in Accra, the nation’s capital. “The Bible...

Cardinal Turkson discusses capitalism and Pope’s encyclical on creation

In a Newsweek interview devoted to Pope Francis’s encyclical on the care of creation, Cardinal Peter Turkson addressed the question, “Is capitalism a good idea?” Cardinal...

Leading Ukrainian Catholic prelate praises nation’s president

The head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church has sent a message to President Petro Poroshenko for his fifitieth birthday. “I wish you to see, in the outlook of this important date,...

Nigerian bishops denounce corruption, high government salaries, pensions

Following a recent nine-day meeting, the bishops of Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, issued a statement welcoming recent papal documents, reaffirming Catholic teaching on homosexual...

Kenya’s bishops offer to mediate in teachers’ strike

The Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops has offered to mediate in a national teachers’ strike that has lasted nearly a month. “We religious leaders are ready to mediate in this...

Vatican newspaper: analysis of recent Muslim statement on climate change

L’Osservatore Romano has published an analysis of the Islamic Declaration on Global Climate Change, which was issued following a recent symposium in Turkey. Father Damian Howard, an English...

Vatican cardinal meets with Armenian president

Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, the prefect of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches, traveled to Armenia from September 25 to 28 and met with the nation’s civil and religious...

Polish nun beatified

Sister Clara Ludmilla Szczesna (1863-1916), the co-foundress of the Congregation of the Handmaids of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, was beatified in Kraków, Poland, on September 27. Cardinal...

Pope met Kim Davis, said 'stay strong'

Pope Francis met with Kim Davis and told her to “stay strong” during his visit to the US. The private meeting between the Pontiff and Davis--the Kentucky county clerk who was...

Pope's prayer intentions for October 2015

The Vatican has announced the prayer intentions of Pope Francis for October 2015. The Pope's universal intention for October is: “That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may...

In Germany, thousands of Muslim refugees seeking Baptism

Thousands of Muslim refugees have sought Baptism after arriving in Germany, the Italian daily Il Giornale reports. In Berlin, Rev. Gottfriend Martens reports that over 600 Muslims have been...

At audience, Pope reflects on trip to America

Pope Francis devoted his regular weekly public audience on September 30 to reflections on his trip to Cuba and the United States. In Cuba, the Pope said, he promoted the wish of St. John Paul II...

Priest slain in Philippines

A Catholic priest was stabbed to death on September 29 in Tanjay, in the Philippines, the Fides news service reports. Father Antonio Magalso was attacked and killed while he was on his way to...

Tension develops in relations between Pope, Mayor of Rome

A rift has developed between Pope Francis and Rome’s Mayor Ignazio Marino. In an exchange with reporters during his flight from Philadelphia to Rome on September 27, the Pope used a blunt...

Pope encourages the sick to focus on Christ

Pope Francis met with about 400 sick people and their escorts before his public audience on Wednesday, September 30. The Pope stopped in the Paul VI auditorium before his regular weekly audience,...

Synod rules to eliminate bishops' final report, leave Pope to deliver message?

New rules for the Synod of Bishops, to be introduced at the October meeting, will include elimination of both an interim report and a final message from the bishops, according to a report by Edward...

Vatican official, at UN, underlines importance of test-ban treaty

Speaking on September 29 at a UN session on the comprehensive nuclear test-ban treaty, the Vatican’s top foreign-policy official renewed the Vatican’s appeal for all nations to ratify...

St. Gallen group confirms prelates' meetings, but denies cabal to elect new Pope

The Swiss diocese of St. Gallen has confirmed that a group of prelates met there to discuss the future of the Church, but denied reports that the meetings formed the basis for a campaign to elect...

Bishop Olmsted issues powerful challenge to Catholic men

In a powerfully worded apostolic exhortation addressed to the men of his diocese, Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix, Arizona, has urged them to “not hesitate to engage in the battle that is...

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