Stories for November 2015

Released Monday, Nov. 2

Macedonian president meets with Pope

Pope Francis received Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov in audience at the Apostolic Palace on October 31. Ivanov is president of the Republic of Macedonia, a nation sometimes known the Former...

Live out the Gospel in the workplace, Pope tells business leaders

Pope Francis received 7,000 members of the Christian Union of Italian Business Executives in audience on October 31 and called upon them to live out the Gospel in the workplace in accord with the...

Papal condolences to Putin following plane crash

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, has sent a telegram of condolence to Russian President Vladimir Putin following the crash of a Russian passenger plane in northern...

Pope pays tribute to the saints ‘next door’

In his Angelus address for the Solemnity of All Saints, Pope Francis reflected on the day’s readings and said that the saints are “persons who belong totally to God.” The Pope...

Papal appeal for Central African Republic

Following the recitation of the Angelus on November 1, Pope Francis appeal for peace in the Central African Republic. The Pontiff is scheduled to visit the nation on November 29 and 30 during the...

Italian foundress beatified

Mother Teresa Casini (1864-1937), the foundress of the Oblate Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, was beatified in Frascati, Italy, on October 31. Cardinal Angelo Amato, the prefect of the...

Pope Francis: Beatitudes are the way to holiness and happiness

Pope Francis celebrated a late afternoon All Saints Day Mass at Campo Verano, a Roman cemetery. Concelebrating with Cardinal Agostino Vallini (the vicar general of Rome), Archbishop...

Vatican makes two arrests for document leaks

The Vatican has arrested two people—a Spanish priest and an Italian lay woman—in connection with leaked confidential documents. Msgr. Lucio Angel Vallejo Balda, the secretary of the...

Vatican again says Pope was misquoted by Italian journalist

The Vatican has denied that Pope Francis told an Italian journalist that all divorced-and-remarried Catholics will soon be allowed to receive Communion. Eugenio Scalfari of La Repubblica wrote...

Pope to visit Mexico in February

Cardinal Norberto Rivera of Mexico City has announced that Pope Francis will visit his country next February. The cardinal said that the Pontiff would arrive in Mexico City on February 12. He did...

Released Tuesday, Nov. 3

US bishops to vote on statement on pornography

At its November 16-19 meeting, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops will vote on whether to approve “Create in Me a Clean Heart: A Pastoral Response to...

Bishops of Northern Ireland issue statement on same-sex marriage

The bishops of Northern Ireland issued a statement on same-sex marriage on the eve of an assembly debate on the issue. Same-sex marriage has become part of the legal landscape elsewhere in the...

Total cost of abuse scandal nears $4B: report

The clerical abuse scandal has cost American dioceses and religious orders approximately $3.99 billion since 1950, according to research conducted by The National Catholic Reporter. The total...

Argentine bishop announces resignation amid corruption accusations

An Argentine bishop announced during a November 1 homily at the nation’s Marian shrine that following consultation with Pope Francis and the apostolic nuncio, he was resigning and would...

Pope prays for repose of souls of predecessors

On the evening of All Souls Day, Pope Francis visited the Vatican Grottoes pray privately for the repose of the souls of his predecessors. Located beneath St. Peter’s Basilica, the Grottoes...

Burma’s cardinal fears nation becoming less open to Christians, Muslims

As voters in Myanmar (Burma) prepare to head to the polls on November 8, the nation’s cardinal expressed concern that the largely Buddhist nation is becoming less tolerant of ethnic and...

New books show Vatican corruption, resistance to financial reforms

Two new books, due for publication in Italy this week, show a pattern of secrecy and corruption in Vatican financial affairs, according to reporters who have seen advance copies of the works. The...

A bishop's life is service, Pope says at Mass for deceased prelates

As he celebrated Mass on November 3 for the bishops who have died in the past year, Pope Francis said that a bishop must serve the faithful, and “he who does not live to serve, has no reason...

Papal condolences after Bucharest nightclub tragedy

Pope Francis has sent a message of condolence to Romanian President Klaus Werner Iohannis after 27 people were killed, and 180 injured, in a fire in a Bucharest nightclub. The Pope expressed his...

Released Wednesday, Nov. 4

New Catholic-Lutheran document emphasizes areas of agreement

As the 500th anniversary of the 95 Theses approaches, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Bishops’ Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the United States...

Cardinal Turkson calls for political action to influence Paris climate conference

Cardinal Peter Turkson, the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, called for political action inspired by the papal encyclical Laudato Si’ in order to influence...

Iraqi lawmakers reject bill that would permit reconversion of Christian children

In a 131-57 vote, Iraq’s parliament has rejected a bill that would have permitted children of Christian converts to Islam to become Christians again, according to an AsiaNews report. Under...

Russian patriarch laments Halloween parties during national mourning

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church has decried Halloween parties at Russian nightclubs during a time of national mourning that followed the crash of a Russian passenger plane in northern...

Orthodox, Anglican leaders pray for refugees, environment

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, who holds a primacy of honor among the Eastern Orthodox churches, has concluded a two-day visit to Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury, who...

Medieval doors, mosaics restored at Church of the Nativity

The 13th-century wooden doors that separate the narthex from the nave at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem have undergone restoration, as have 12th-century mosaics of angels in the...

Pope speaks on importance of forgiveness within families

Continuing his weekly catechesis on the family, Pope Francis devoted his November 4 general audience to the importance of forgiveness within families. “Following the recent Assembly of the...

Papal condolences following fire in Bucharest

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, has sent a telegram of condolence in the Holy Father’s name to Romanian President Klaus Iohannis following a nightclub fire...

Leaked stories of financial mismanagement are outdated, misinterpreted: Vatican spokesman

The Vatican has downplayed the significance of new claims of financial mismanagement, pointing out that most of the information contained in two new books on the subject is outdated, since it comes...

Vatican confirms probe of possible money-laundering by Italian financier

The Vatican has confirmed an investigation into financial transactions by the president of an Italian bank. Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican press office, revealed on November...

Vatican replaces board of hospital foundation following charges of improper spending

The Vatican has appointed a new executive board for a foundation associated with the Bambino Gesu hospital, in the wake of questions about the foundation’s spending. Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the...

Released Thursday, Nov. 5

Philippine bishops’ conference warns against ivory statues

The president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines has urged his brother bishops “to prohibit the clerics from blessing any new statue, image, or object of devotion...

Russian patriarch: don’t forget positive achievements of Lenin, Stalin eras

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church has encouraged his fellow Russians not to forget the positive achievements that took place in the 1920s through the 1940s, when Vladimir Lenin and Joseph...

Pope ranked 4th on Forbes ‘most powerful people’ list

Forbes has published its 2015 list of the world’s most powerful people. Pope Francis is ranked fourth, behind Vladimir Putin, Angela Merkel, and Barack Obama, and ahead of Xi Jinping, Bill...

Survey: US becomes less religious nation

The United States became a less religious nation between 2007 and 2014, according to the Pew Research Center. During the seven-year period, the percentage of Americans who say they believe in God...

Vatican official: Pope’s changes to annulment procedures are in accord with tradition

The prelate responsible for coordinating the internal affairs of the Curia said that Pope Francis’s simplification of the process for obtaining a decree of marriage nullity is in accord with...

Pope decries persecution of Christians

In a message to an ecumenical conference, Pope Francis lamented the rising persecution of Christians. “I think with great sadness of the escalating discrimination and persecution against...

Italian prosecutors wrapping up investigation of former Vatican bank officials

Italian prosecutors have completed an investigation into alleged financial misconduct by two former officials of the Vatican bank, the ANSA news service reports. Paolo Cipriani, who had been...

Vatican real-estate holdings reported at near €1 billion

The Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See (APSA), the office that supervises the Vatican’s real-estate portfolio, held assets of nearly €1 billion in 2013, according to a new...

Cardinal welcomes free elections in Myanmar as 'pilgrimage of hope'

Cardinal Charles Maung Bo of Yangon has issued a statement welcoming the country’s first free elections. “The nation has waited for decades,” the cardinal wrote, in a statement...

Cardinal Pell strongly defends Secretariat for Economy, notes spending was under budget

The Secretariat for the Economy has issued a strong statement criticizing two new books on Vatican finances and defending the new office against charges of excessive spending. The new books make...

$8 million judgment against Duluth diocese in sex-abuse case

A Minnesota jury has ordered the Diocese of Duluth to pay over $8 million in damages to a sex-abuse victim. The jury award—one of the largest ever recorded for a sex-abuse case—came...

Common Core architect will keynote National Catholic Education Association meeting

The chief architect of the Common Core program will give the keynote address at the March 2016 meeting of the National Catholic Education Association (NCEA). Noting the NCEA announcement, the...

Released Friday, Nov. 6

Vatican newspaper: ‘plural unity’

In an article published on the front page of L’Osservatore Romano, an Italian theologian who participated in the last two synods on the family said the people of God can rejoice that the more...

Holy Land bishops urge continued pilgrimages, discuss synod, annulments

At the conclusion of a two-day meeting in Jerusalem, the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land “noticed with relief that pilgrims came in large numbers” to the region in...

Colombia’s bishops criticize legalization of adoption by same-sex couples

Stating that not everything that is legal is also moral, the president of the Episcopal Conference of Colombia criticized a 6-2 decision by the nation’s highest court mandating the...

Leading French bishop speaks on synod, refugees, climate change

In an address to his brother bishops, the president of the Bishops’ Conference of France highlighted the importance of the recent synod on the family, the European refugee crisis, and the...

Pope names bishops to prominent sees in Spain, Belgium

Pope Francis has named new archbishops to the prominent sees of Barcelona and Mechelen-Brussels.  Bishop Juan José Omella Omella, 69, succeeds Cardinal Lluís Martínez...

Pope reportedly dismayed, but undeterred, by document leaks

Pope Francis is upset with the latest leaks of confidential Vatican documents, but will not be deterred from his plans for reform of the Roman Curia, according to a source close to the...

In new interview, Pope speaks of need for integrity in fight against poverty

Pope Francis said that a Church leader cannot preach against poverty if he “lives like a Pharaoh,” in an interview, published by a Dutch newspaper that is run by homeless people. The...

Italian pro-life workers receive praise from Pontiff

Meeting on November 6 with members of the Italian Movement for Life, Pope Francis said: “I encourage you to continue your important work in favor of life from conception until its natural...

Islamic State threatens key Syrian Christian center; thousands flee

New attacks by the Islamic State have driven thousands of Christians from their homes around Sadad, Syria. Archbishop Selwanos Boutros Alnemeh of Homs told Aid to the Church in Need that the...

German diocese concedes 'plausible' abuse complaint against deceased bishop

The Diocese of Hildesheim, Germany, has revealed that a man has made a “plausible” complaint that he was molested by the bishop there about 50 years ago. The diocese made a payment to...

Chilean cardinal denies cover-up of sexual abuse by notorious priest

Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati Andrello of Santiago, Chile, has denied that the archdiocese covered up evidence of sexual abuse by a notorious priest. After testifying in a lawsuit brought by victims of...

Annual Vatican message to Hindus highlights care for environment

In an annual greeting to the world’s Hindus, the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue emphasizes the need “to promote human ecology, and to foster a rediscovery of the...

Suspect in new Vatican leaks released early because of pregnancy?

Francesca Chaouqui, one of the two suspects arrested last weekend for leaking Vatican documents, was quickly released from custody because she is pregnant, according to a report in America...

Grenada's leader meets with Pontiff

Pope Francis met on November 6 with Cecile Ellen Fleurette La Grenade, the Governor General of Grenada. According to a brief Vatican statement released after the meeting, the conversation...

Cardinal Bertone angrily denies new reports of corruption

The Vatican’s former Secretary of State has angrily denied reports, based on leaked confidential documents, that he used funds from a charitable foundation to pay for extensive renovations of his...

Italian bishops' spokesman dares 'Vatileaks' authors to disclose their own finances

In a bold challenge to the authors of two new books exposing financial secrets of the Vatican, the secretary of the Italian bishops’ conference has suggested that the journalists should give a...

Released Monday, Nov. 9

Pope emphasizes importance of rest, work

The sanctification of Sunday rest, the right to a pension in retirement, and dignified work are all intertwined, Pope Francis said in an address in St. Peter’s Square on November 7. The...

Nobel Peace Prize winners meet with Pope

Pope Francis received four representatives of the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet in audience on November 7. The quartet-- composed of the Tunisian General Labour Union, the Tunisian...

Pope Francis: the poor widow is our teacher

Reflecting on the day’s Gospel reading at Mass (Mk. 12:38-44), Pope Francis said in his November 8 Angelus address that the poor widow gave not from her abundance, but from her...

Pope decries theft and leak of Vatican documents

Following the recitation of the Angelus on November 8, Pope Francis denounced the theft of confidential Vatican documents as a “crime” and “deplorable act.” “I know...

Ecumenical Patriarch: ‘Creation care and ecological justice’

The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople has published the text of a recent lecture on creation care and ecological justice. “We are convinced that we must make the strongest possible...

Bishop publishes English translation of Synod’s final document

Two weeks after the conclusion of the Synod of Bishops on the family, Bishop Michael Campbell of Lancaster, England, has published an unofficial translation of the synod’s final...

Dominicans begin 800th anniversary celebration; Pope grants special indulgence

On November 7, the Order of Preachers began a jubilee year in celebration of the 800th anniversary of its founding. The Order also announced that Pope Francis has granted a special jubilee...

Polish president meets with Pope

Pope Francis received President Andrzej Duda of Poland in audience on November 9. According to the Holy See Press Office, the two discussed the upcoming World Youth Day in Kraków, the...

Bishop's role is service, Pope says in ordaining new Rome auxiliary

”The title of ‘Bishop’ is not one of honor but of function,” Pope Francis observed in his homily as he ordained a new auxiliary bishop for the Rome Diocese on November...

Judge approves bankruptcy plan for Milwaukee archdiocese

A federal bankruptcy-court judge in Wisconsin has approved a reorganization plan for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. Judge Susan Kelley gave her approval to a plan that will divide $21 million...

Vatican envoy seeks UN action to protect civilians from abandoned weapons, unexploded ordnance

The Vatican’s representative at UN offices in Geneva has called for international action to protect civilians from unexploded ordnance left over from military conflicts. Archbishop Silvano Tomasi...

Papal stumble on St. Peter's steps caused no injury, Vatican reports

Pope Francis stumbled and nearly fell on the steps of St. Peter's basilica on Saturday, November 7, prompting a new round of questions about his health. The Pope broke his fall with his...

Released Tuesday, Nov. 10

Catholics attacked in Bangladesh

A mob of Muslims burned down the homes of four Catholic families in a Bangladeshi village, according to a report from UCA News. “For more than a year, Muslim youths from a neighboring...

Hong Kong cardinal speaks out against sexual-orientation legislation

Renewing his criticism of the US Supreme Court’s decision on same-sex marriage, Cardinal John Tong Hon of Hong Kong has spoken against a proposed Sexual Orientation Discrimination...

37 kidnapped Christians released in Syria

The Islamic State has freed an additional 37 Christians kidnapped in northeastern Syria in February. The jihadist group, which now controls half of Syria and a quarter of Iraq, previously freed...

Maronite bishops decry proposed division of Syria

The bishops of the Maronite Catholic Church, an Eastern Catholic church in full communion with the Holy See, have spoken out against proposals to divide Syria’s territory along sectarian...

Pope begins apostolic journey to Tuscany, venerates Girdle of Thomas

Beginning his one-day apostolic journey to Tuscany, Pope Francis traveled to the cathedral in Prato, a city of nearly 200,000, on the morning of November 10 and venerated the Girdle of Thomas, also...

Pope to visit Auschwitz, Czestochowa?

President Andrzej Duda of Poland said on November 9 that Pope Francis wishes to visit Auschwitz and to venerate the image of the Black Madonna at Czestochowa. Duda made his remarks following an...

Abuse commission member: ‘Pope needs to man up’ over Chilean bishop

An abuse victim who serves on the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors said that he plans to speak with Pope Francis about his recent defense of a Chilean bishop accused of ignoring...

Kenyan bishop calls for national prayer, conversion ahead of papal visit

As Pope Francis prepares to make his apostolic journey to three African nations, the Kenyan bishop responsible for coordinating his visit there issued a call to national prayer and...

In major address to Italian Catholic convention, Pope explains his vision of 'Christian humanism'

Pope Francis sketched out his vision of “practical Christian humanism” in a major address to the 5th National Ecclesiastical Congress in Florence, Italy, on November 10. The Pope...

Newly appointed Archbishop of Brussels welcomes 'unbelievable' change in Church approach to marriage

The newly appointed Archbishop of Brussels said that it is “unbelievable” how much the Synod of Bishops had changed views on marriage, in an interview with the Kerknet news...

Effective disciples must share people's joys and sorrows, Pope says in homily during outdoor Mass in Florence

The Christian faithful “must never fall into the temptation of adopting an aloof attitude,” Pope Francis said in his homily as he celebrated Mass in Florence on Tuesday afternoon, November...

Vatican denies top cardinals are suspects in 'Vatileaks II' investigation

The Vatican has rejected Italian media reports that high-ranking prelates are suspected of involvement in the latest leaks of confidential documents. “There is not basis” to the reports that four...

Orthodox prelate praises Russia's 'peacemaker' role in Syria

Syrian Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius Ephrem II has stated his support for Russian military actions in Syria, and urged the US and its allies to stop funding rebel groups. The Orthodox prelate, who is...

Released Wednesday, Nov. 11

Prelate calls for prayer as Supreme Court considers HHS mandate cases

Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, the chairman of United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, called for prayer as the Supreme Court agreed to...

Tribunal backs Anglican bishop in dispute with cleric who entered same-sex marriage

A British employment tribunal has ruled that an Anglican bishop did not violate a 2010 anti-discrimination law when he suspended a cleric who entered into a same-sex marriage, according to a...

Venezuelan bishops call for international election observers

The bishops of Venezuela have called for international observers to help ensure fair parliamentary elections on December 6. President Nicolás Maduro’s United Socialist Party of...

As Islamic State advances, Christians gather to defend town

Hundreds of Syrian Christian fighters have gathered to defend Sadad, a Christian town of 3,500 between Homs and Damascus, as forces of the Islamic State advance. Newsweek reported that Patriarch...

Pope reflects on pilgrimages, announces awards in message to pontifical academies

As the pontifical academies gathered to discuss the theme of “historic pilgrimage trails during the first centuries of Christianity,” Pope Francis wrote that “life is a pilgrimage...

Pope speaks on togetherness in families

Continuing his weekly catechesis on the family, Pope Francis devoted his November 11 general audience to the importance of togetherness. “Sitting at table for the family dinner, sharing our...

Pope receives leader of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Pope Francis received Dragan Covic, the Croat member and current chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, at the Vatican on November 11. The Balkan nation of 3.9 million is 12%...

Iraqi legislation requires children to become Muslims if either parent converts to Islam

The Iraqi parliament has approved a new law that will require children in non-Muslim families to convert to Islam if one of their parents converts. Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako...

Vatican's UN delegate repeats commitment to international status for Jerusalem

The Vatican’s representative at UN headquarters in New York has reaffirmed the commitment of the Holy See to “a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the question of the City of Jerusalem,...

Vatican applauds UNESCO program to push climate-change awareness in education

The Vatican has applauded a campaign by UNESCO to promote awareness of climate change. Archbishop Francesco Follo, the Vatican’s representative at UNESCO offices in Geneva, said that the program...

More UN peacekeeping troops due in Central African Republic-- after papal visit

The UN plans to step up peacekeeping efforts in the troubled Central African Republic. But the additional UN troops will not arrive until after a visit by Pope Francis later this month. Escalating...

Former abbot of Montecassino under investigation for fraud

Italian police are investigating a former abbot of the ancient Benedictine monastery of Montecassino on fraud charges. Father Pietro Vittorelli is suspected of working with his brother to divert...

Vatican investigating two 'Vatileaks' journalists

The Vatican is investigating the Italian authors of two new books based on leaked confidential documents. Gianluigi Nuzzi and Emiliano Fittipaldi, whose books based on the “Vatileaks...

Religious leaders visit North Korea

A group of 150 religious leaders, representing a wide variety of faiths, visited North Korea this week, in a rare opening to faith by the repressive Asian regime. The religious leaders met to...

No quick decision on canonization cause for Father Kapuan

A cause for the canonization of Father Emil Kapuan, the US Army chaplain who was awarded the Medal of Honor in 2013, could take several years, supporters have learned after a meeting with the...

Released Thursday, Nov. 12

Proposed HHS regulation could require insurers to cover abortion, transgender surgery

In interpreting and implementing the anti-discrimination provisions of the Affordable Care Act, the Office for Civil Rights of the Department of Health and Human Services has proposed a rule that...

Action urged on Green Climate Fund

Catholics Confront Global Poverty-- a joint initiative of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Catholic Relief Services-- has called upon Catholics to ask members of Congress to...

Bishops’ commission rues EU bureaucracy, says migration must be ‘responsibly governed’

Reflecting on Europe’s future, a commission of the Council of the Bishops’ Conferences of Europe criticized the EU’s bureaucracy, lamented anti-Christian persecution and the...

We live in a time of ‘painful purification,’ says CDF prefect

Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, traveled to a retreat house in Punta de Tralca, Chile, to celebrate the opening Mass of a meeting...

Australia’s attorney general decries anti-Catholicism

In a recent address delivered in Sydney, Australia’s attorney general decried anti-religious bigotry. “Religious freedom is every bit as important as political freedom,” said...

Give ‘clear instructions about doctrine and morals,’ Pope tells Slovakia’s bishops

In an address given to Slovakia’s bishops during their ad limina visit, Pope Francis called upon Slovaks to “maintain their cultural identity and heritage of ethical and spiritual...

Laity are called to evangelize, Pope says in message

In a message for the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council’s Decree on the Lay Apostolate, Pope Francis reflected on the vocation and mission of the lay faithful. In his message,...

Pope Francis: nourished by the Eucharist, we are called to bring the Gospel to others

In a video-message to India’s national Eucharistic congress, which begins on November 12 in Mumbai, Pope Francis reflected on the conference’s theme, “Nourished by the Eucharist to...

Irish court dismisses new suits in case of notorious priest-abuser Smyth

An appeals court in Ireland has dismissed civil suits brought by abuse victims against the Catholic Church, apparently ending legal proceedings in the country’s most notorious case. The Court of...

Accused priest at center of Chilean controversy insists he is innocent

The Catholic priest at the center of Chile’s most controversial sex-abuse case has insisted that he is innocent. Testifying in a lawsuit brought by his alleged victims, Father Fernando...

Vatican agencies defend themselves against 'Vatileaks' charges

Vatican officials have defended themselves against accusations of financial misconduct contained in two new books based on leaked documents. The Vatican press office released a statement on...

Pope donates cross, gift from Raul Castro, to parish church in Lampedusa

Pope Francis has donated a cross that was given to him by Cuba’s President Raul Castro to the parish church in Lampedusa, Italy. The cross, made from wooden oars tied with ropes, symbolizes...

Released Friday, Nov. 13

Pope encourages Italian saint’s communities in their work

Pope Francis met with members of communities founded by St. Luigi Guanella (1842-1915) and encouraged them to continue along their spiritual path of trusting in God’s providence and assisting...

Archbishop Cupich: Congress is not acting in an ‘adult way’ on immigration

The opposition of some members of Congress to President Barack Obama’s executive order on immigration is neither “serious” nor “adult,” Archbishop Blase Cupich said in...

Maine’s attorney general files suit against pro-life protestor

Attorney General Janet Mills of Maine has filed a civil-rights lawsuit against a pro-life protestor whose voice could be heard inside a Planned Parenthood abortion facility, the Portland Press...

Do not forget the poor, Vatican foreign minister emphasizes

During a trip to Zambia, Archbishop Paul Gallagher, the Vatican’s Secretary for Relations with States, emphasized the importance of heeding the cry of the poor, according to a Zambian...

Report: Cardinal Parolin to represent Vatican at UN climate-change conference

Citing Vatican sources, the I.Media agency has reported that Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, will represent the Holy See at the opening of COP21, the United Nations...

‘Steer clear’ of triumphalism, Belgian cardinal tells African bishops

In an interview with La Stampa’s Vatican Insider, Cardinal Godfried Danneels directed pointed words to bishops in Africa. Advising “everyone to steer clear of all forms of...

US envoy for gay, transgender issues meets with Vatican officials

Randy Berry, the US State Department’s Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBTI Persons, met with officials of the Vatican’s Secretariat of State and Pontifical Council for Justice...

Repentance unlocks power of God's mercy, Pope tells audience

Genuine repentance unlocks the power of God’s mercy, Pope Francis said in a November 13 address to members of the Romano Guardini Foundation. The Pope reminded his audience—gathered in Rome for a...

Pakistan: Christian activist wounded in 'intimidation' shooting

A Christian activist was shot in the legs in Lahore, Pakistan, in what a Christian lawyer described as "a clear sign of intimidation toward our work." Aslam Masih, a volunteer...

Australian bishops are target of anti-discrimination suit because of defense of marriage

The Catholic bishops of Australia have been targeted by an anti-discrimination suit, which charges that a pamphlet distributed by the bishops in defense of marriage was humiliating to homosexuals...

Louisiana diocese will introduce 'mobile confessional'

The Diocese of Lafayette, Louisiana, has announced plans to deploy a mobile confessional: a converted ambulance that will bring the Sacrament of Reconciliation to the streets during the Jubilee Year...

No plans to curtail papal visit to Central African Republic, despite security worries

Plans for Pope Francis to visit the Central African Republic are unchanged “despite current anxities,” the secretary-general of the country’s episcopal conference has...

Leading Islamic scholar in Egypt condemns attack on Coptic church

The head of Al-Azhar University, the leading university in the Sunni Muslim world, has condemned an attack on a Coptic church in Cairo. Sheik Ahmed al-Tayyeb, the imam of the Egyptian university,...

Italian art exhibits raise questions about offending Christians, non-Christians

An Italian elementary school has cancelled plans for a calls trip to an art exhibit, because school administrators thought that non-Christian students might be offended by Christian works of...

US Supreme Court will hear challenge to Texas abortion law

The US Supreme Court has agreed to hear a challenge to the Texas law that establishes safety standards for abortion clinics. Abortion providers argue that the new standards would force most of the...

Released Monday, Nov. 16

Pope Francis: ‘we cannot cease condemning’ the terrorist attacks in Paris

Stating that it is “blasphemy” to invoke God’s name to justify the “path of violence,” Pope Francis decried the terrorist attacks that took place in Paris on November...

Cardinal Vingt-Trois, Vatican spokesman, US bishops react to attacks

In the hours following the terrorist attacks in Paris, Cardinal André Vingt-Trois of Paris said that “our country knows anew the pain of grief and must face the barbarism spread by...

Turn to Jesus, not to horoscopes, Pope says in Angelus address

Reflecting on the day’s Gospel reading (Mark 13:24-32), which discusses the end times, Pope Francis said on November 15 that “the central nucleus around which the words of Jesus turns is...

Slave who became priest beatified in Brazil

Father Francisco de Paula Victor (1827-1905), a Brazilian priest who was born into slavery, was beatified on November 14 in Três Pontas, the small city in which he faced much initial...

Papal tribute to Eucharistic miracle of Lanciano

Pope Francis paid tribute to the Eucharistic miracle of Lanciano in a letter released by the Holy See Press Office on November 14. In naming a special envoy to the conclusion of the anniversary...

15-member council named for Synod of Bishops

The Holy See Press Office has announced the names of the prelates who will assist Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, the Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops, in his work until the next general...

Pope tells Lutheran woman: decide for yourself whether to receive Communion in Catholic Church

Pope Francis encouraged a Lutheran woman to decide for herself whether she should receive Communion when she attends Mass with her Catholic husband. The Pope made his stunning remark—which...

Heads of Roman Curia meet with Pontiff; topic of session not disclosed

Pope Francis summoned the leaders of the Roman Curia to a meeting on Monday morning, November 16. The Vatican press office did not disclose the reason for the meeting. Pope Francis has...

Australian archbishop 'astonished and alarmed' by discrimination charge

Archbishop Anthony Fisher of Sydney has decried as “astonishing and truly alarming” a move to bring another Australian archbishop before an anti-discrimination commission because of a pamphlet...

Cardinal Parolin: avoid revenge motive in response to terrorism

The Vatican’s Secretary of State acknowledged the right of nations to use force in self-defense, but cautioned against the impulse to revenge in the wake of terrorist attacks in Paris. In...

Chinese 'underground' priest found dead; friends doubt government's explanation of suicide

A priest of China’s “underground” Catholic Church has been found dead, in what government officials term a suicide, but loyal Catholics consider suspicious circumstances. The body of Father Pedro...

Lebanese, Brazilian scholars awarded 2015 Ratzinger prizes

A Lebanese philosophy professor and a Brazilian theologian have been awarded the 2015 Ratzinger Prizes, honoring excellence in scholarship. Nabil el-Khoury, who teaches philosophy at the Lebanese...

US bishops' leaders meet with President Obama

Leaders of the US Catholic bishops’ conference met on November 13 with President Barack Obama, for a conversation that touched on religious freedom, immigration, climate change, the situation in...

Released Tuesday, Nov. 17

Papal praise for Jesuit Refugee Service

Pope Francis praised the work of Jesuit Refugee Service in an audience commemorating the 35th anniversary of its founding by Father Pedro Arrupe, the order’s superior general from 1965 to...

UN may send more troops to Central African Republic ahead of papal visit

The United Nations may soon send 300 additional peacekeepers to the Central African Republic, which Pope Francis is scheduled to visit on November 29 and 30. The nation has experienced a recent...

‘It is nothing short of genocide,’ USCCB president says of persecution in the Middle East

As the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops gathered for its annual fall meeting, the conference’s president issued a statement on persecuted Christians. “Places of worship...

Be vigilant in ensuring Catholic identity of schools, nuncio tells US bishops

The apostolic nuncio to the United States called upon the nation’s bishops to ensure that Catholic schools and colleges are faithful to their Catholic identity “so that they would regain...

FBI: 64 anti-Catholic hate crimes in 2014

A total of 70 people were victims of 64 hate crimes motivated by anti-Catholic bias in the US in 2014, according to a report issued by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on November 16. The...

‘France cannot give in,’ EU bishops’ commission says in statement

The Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community (COMECE) has issued a statement in response to the terrorist attacks in Paris. “France cannot give in to campaigns...

New nuncio in Iraq: Christian refugees have a right to return to their homeland

The Middle East’s persecuted Christians “have much to teach us” and have a right to return to their homelands, the new apostolic nuncio to Jordan and Iraq said in an...

Avoid temptations to lead a double life, Pope tells congregation at morning Mass

Pope Francis cautioned Christians against leading a double life, in his homily at a morning Mass on November 17. Commenting on the day’s reading from the Book of Maccabees, in which Eleazar is...

Islamic scholar calls for ideological campaign against extremists

An influential Egyptian Muslim leader has said that imams must work actively to curb extremist ideology, the AsiaNews service reports. Abbas Shoman, the deputy sheikh of Al Azhar University, the...

'Vatileaks' journalist refuses to submit to questioning by Vatican prosecutors

The Italian author of a new book based on leaked Vatican documents has refused to respond to a summons for questioning in by Vatican prosecutors. Gianluigi Nuzzi, the author of Merchants in the...

Hate crimes against Christians are underreported, Vatican representative tells OSCE

The Vatican's representative at OSCE offices in Vienna has said that crimes perpetrated against Christians are often not reported or categorized as "hate crimes." Msgr. Janusz...

Pope will visit Rome's synagogue in January

Pope Francis will visit Rome's synagogue in January, the Vatican has announced. Responding to an invitation from Rome's Jewish community, the Pontiff will visit the Great Synagogue on...

Burglary at Seattle archdiocesan offices

Police in Seattle, Washington, are investigating a November 16 burglary at the offices of the Seattle archdiocese. Doors to the archdiocesan headquarters building had been pried open, and offices...

Vatican Christmas Tree will appear early this year

The Vatican will install a Christmas tree in St. Peter’s Square on December 8 this year, rather than waiting until closer to Christmas as usual. The Vatican City Governorate announced that...

Released Wednesday, Nov. 18

God always leaves doors open, Pope reminds audience

”If the door of God’s mercy is always open, even so must be the doors of our churches, the love of our communities, our parishes, our institutions, our dioceses,” Pope Francis said at his regular...

US bishops' spokesman decries hostility toward Syrian refugees

The chairman of the US bishops’ committee on migration decried the opposition to accepting refugees from Syria, in a statement delivered on November 17 during the US bishops’ meeting in...

US bishops approve new issue of voters' guide, 'Faithful Citizenship'

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has approved a new edition of Faithful Citizenship, a guide for Catholic voters, after a lively debate on whether the document pays sufficient attention...

American bishops' statement aims to counter 'epidemic' of pornography

The spread of pornography has become a “crisis” that undermines marriage, diminishes respect for human sexuality, and treats people as “disposable objects,” the US bishops argue in a strongly worded...

2nd 'Vatileaks' author meets with Vatican prosecutor but refuses to answer questions

Emiliano Fittipaldi, the author of one of two new books based on leaked Vatican documents, met with Vatican prosecutors on November 17 but refused to answer their questions about how he obtained the...

Drone flights over Rome banned during Jubilee Year as security precaution

The Italian government will ban drone flights over the center of Rome during the Jubilee Year, to protect against terrorist attacks. Interior minister Angelino Alfano announced the policy move...

Mexican priest found slain-- 11th priest-victim in rash of killings

The body of a Mexican priest has been discovered on a country road in Nopalucan, in the state of Puebla, bringing the number of Mexican priests murdered since 2013 to 11. The body of Father...

Iraqi lawmakers retract decision to require 'Islamicization' of Christian children if parent converts

The Iraqi parliament has amended legislation that would have required Christian children to be considered Muslims if one of their parents converted to Islam, the AsiaNews service reports. Chaldean...

'The West has betrayed us,' says Syrian Catholic Patriarch

Syrian Catholic Patriarch Ignace Youssif III Younan has lashed out at Western countries for policies that, he says, have caused an “endless conflict in Syria.” “To say that the solution is to...

Vatican workers prepare Holy Door for opening of Jubilee Year

Workers broke down the wall that seals off the Holy Door in St. Peter’s basilica on November 18, in preparation for the opening of the Jubilee Year of Mercy. Pope Francis will open the Holy Door on...

No decision yet on canonization of Mother Teresa, Vatican says, countering rumor

An Italian media report that Mother Teresa of Calcutta will be canonized next September is premature, the Vatican press office has cautioned. The AGI news service had reported that Blessed Mother...

Missionary priest shot, wounded in Bangladesh

A Catholic missionary priest was wounded by gunment in Suihari, Bangladesh, on November 18. Father Piero Parolari, a PIME (Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions) missionary, was...

Released Thursday, Nov. 19

French bishop reacts to antiterrorism raid

French police, searching for the suspected ringleader of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris,  conducted a raid in the suburb of Saint-Denis. “I think of the people and especially of...

Vatican cardinal characterizes Islamic State as satanic

Speaking at an ecumenical conference in Germany, Cardinal Kurt Koch characterized the Islamic State as a “satanic terrorist organization,” according to a report from the Katholische...

Invest more in development to foster peace, Holy See diplomat urges UN

As the United Nations Security Council conducted a debate on the root causes of conflict, the Holy See’s representative, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, called for a greater international...

Philippine prelate urges Pacific leaders to empower the poor

As APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation), the 21-nation Pacific Rim trade bloc, gathered for a summit in Manila, the president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines called...

Catholic, Protestant leaders welcome ‘Fresh Start’ agreement in Northern Ireland

Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh, joined by local Anglican, Presbyterian, and Methodist leaders, has issued a statement welcoming the “Fresh Start” agreement in Northern Ireland. The...

Recalling WWII, Orthodox official says Russia, France must fight terrorism

As Russia and France undertake joint military operations against the Islamic State, a leading Orthodox official evoked the memory of the Second World War. “The terrorists are servants of...

Congo’s bishops warn against unconstitutional 3rd term for president

Amid continued concerns that Joseph Kabila will seek an unconstitutional third term as president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the nation’s bishops called for respect for the...

Health care should involve concern for others, not quest for physical perfection, Pope says

Medical care should be characterized by hospitality, compassion, understanding, and forgiveness, Pope Francis told participants in a conference organized by the Pontifical Council for Health...

Papal encouragement for media forum on sustainable development

In a message of greeting to a media forum in Rieti, Italy, on the protection of nature, Pope Francis said that the event should encourage reflection on "the common responsibility of the...

Vatican security heightened, but no change in plans for Pope's trip to Africa or Jubilee celebration

The police presence has been strengthened up around the Vatican in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris, and extra security will be in force when the Pope travels to Africa next week. But...

Vatican Museums produce thorough tour on DVDs

The Vatican Museums have released a set of DVDs that provide a tour of the entire Vatican collection. The 6-disc set, narrated in Italian and entitled Musei del Papa, was produced by the Vatican...

Not even a Pope can change Church teaching on marriage: Cardinal Sarah

Cardinal Robert Sarah, the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, strongly reaffirms that Church’s teaching that divorced and remarried Catholics cannot receive Communion, in a powerful...

Extremists' goal is to eradicate Christianity in Middle East, says cardinal

Extremists in the Middle East are “intent on eradicating the Christian civilization, nothing less,” warned Cardinal Edwin O’Brien in an address to an Australian audience. “Unless we face the facts,...

Released Friday, Nov. 20

US bishops set priorities for 2017-20

In a 230-4 vote at their fall meeting, the bishops of the United States have set their five strategic priorities for 2017-2020. The five priorities are: Evangelization: Open wide the doors...

Leading Polish prelate affirms: no Communion for those who have remarried outside the Church

Summarizing the final report of the recent Synod of Bishops on the family, the president of the Polish Episcopal Conference said that those who have divorced and entered into a non-sacramental...

Priests banned, Pentecostals beaten in India’s Chhattisgarh state

Some villages in the largely Hindu eastern Indian state of Chhattisgarh continue to ban the presence of priests despite a court decision ordering a halt to the ban, according to a report from UCA...

Philippine bishops condemn beheading of hostage

Bishops in the Philippines have condemned the beheading of a Malaysian businessman held hostage by Abu Sayyaf, a militant Islamist group. Bishop Martin Jumoad of Isabela said that all available...

Vatican message calls for improved working conditions in fishing industry

In its annual message for World Fisheries Day, the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People called for greater attention to labor conditions in the fishing...

South African cardinal predicts ‘strong reaffirmation of the Church’s teaching’ from Pope

A South African cardinal who served as one of the four presidents-delegate at the recent Synod of Bishops told an Austrian Catholic news agency that he expects Pope Francis to offer a “strong...

Emphasize Confession, not structures, to counter ‘erosion’ of faith, Pope tells German bishops

Pope Francis received the bishops of Germany in audience on November 20 and praised them for their charitable initiatives and their assistance to refugees who are fleeing war and persecution. At...

Priests should cultivate serenity, live for others, Pope says

A priest should be a “man of peace,” Pope Francis said in a November 20 address to a conference on priestly training, sponsored by the Vatican Congregation for Clergy. A priest should live in...

Ukrainian president meets with Pope; Vatican calls for peaceful resolution of conflict

Pope Francis met on November 20 with President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine, and argued strongly for a political resolution of that country’s current conflict. A brief Vatican statement released...

Syrian priest, held five months by Islamic rebels, reports God's grace sustained him during captivity

A Catholic priest who was held for months by Islamic rebels in Syria has said that he believes God protected his life throughout his captivity. Father Jacques Mourad, who was seized from the Mar...

Released Monday, Nov. 23

Pope criticizes positivism in education

In a conversation with educators, Pope Francis criticized the influence of positivism, called for an openness to the transcendent and the poor, and evoked the example of St. John...

5 indicted in Vatican leaks case

p>At a first hearing on November 24, a Vatican court rejected a motion to dismiss criminal charges against a journalist who published leaked confidential documents. Emiliano Fittipaldi, one of five...

Pope Francis: Jesus reveals himself as King on the Cross

Reflecting on the conversation between Pilate and Jesus in the day’s Gospel reading (Jn. 18:33-37), Pope Francis contrasted worldly kingship and Christ’s kingship in his November 22...

26 martyrs of the Spanish Civil War beatified

Blessed Federico da Berga and 25 other Capuchin Franciscan friars who were killed out of hatred for the faith in 1936 and 1937 were beatified as martyrs on November 21. Cardinal Angelo Amato,...

Pope ‘strongly condemns’ Mali terrorist attack

Pope Francis “strongly condemns” the November 20 attack on a hotel in Bamako, Mali, according to Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State. The militant jihadist...

As visit nears, Pope sends video-messages to 3 African nations

Two days before the beginning of his apostolic journey to Kenya, Uganda, and the Central African Republic, Pope Francis has sent video-messages to the three nations. “I am coming as a...

Caribbean leader meets with Pope

Rodney Williams, the Governor-General of Antigua and Barbuda, met with Pope Francis at the Vatican on November 23. The Caribbean nation of 91,000 is 81% Protestant and 10% Catholic. Williams...

Vatican defers to Italian officials in planning security for Jubilee Year

The Vatican’s chief spokesman has expressed his “utmost confidence” in plans by Italian security officials to safeguard pilgrims during the coming Jubilee Year of Mercy. Father Federico Lombardi,...

Australian commission will allow lawyers for Cardinal Pell to question accusers

An Australian commission investigating sexual abuse will allow lawyers for Cardinal George Pell to question witnesses who have charged that the cardinal concealed evidence of clerical...

Church of England ad featured Lord's Prayer barred from movie theaters in England

Movie theaters in England will not allow the showing of a short public-service announcement promoting prayer, because of fears that the advertisement might offend some filmgoers. The one-minute ad,...

OSCE raps Vatican prosecution of 'Vatileaks' journalists

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe has criticized the Vatican for bringing criminal charges against journalists in connection with the publication of confidential...

Released Tuesday, Nov. 24

Kenya prepares to welcome Pope Francis

On November 25, Pope Francis will begin a six-day apostolic journey to Kenya, Uganda, and the Central African Republic. Kenya’s government has declared November 26 a national day of prayer...

Priests, religious discuss conditions in Syria’s largest city

The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem has published an interview with two priests and three religious sisters who serve in Aleppo, Syria’s largest city. “Living conditions are obviously...

Cardinal Parolin pays tribute to Helsinki Accords

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, paid tribute to the Helsinki Accords four decades after they were signed. Signatories, including the United States, the Holy See,...

New Testament papyrus fragment on eBay

A papyrus fragment of St. John’s Gospel has been listed on eBay. The fragment, which dates from the late third or early fourth century, was discovered in the papers of Harold Willoughby, a...

Religion can help build ‘modern globalized world,’ says Vatican cardinal

Speaking at a conference in Pozzallo, Sicily, the president of the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People said on November 22 that “today there is an unfortunate...

Bishop to lead US ordinariate of former Anglicans

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson, 63, as Ordinary of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter, the ecclesial structure in the United States and Canada...

Bishops of England and Wales seek change in Good Friday prayer for Jews in Extraordinary Form

The Catholic bishops of England and Wales have issued a public request that the Vatican change the prayer for the Jews said on Good Friday in the Extraordinary Form liturgy. The prayer, composed...

Two million expected for papal Mass at Ugandan Martyrs' shrine

Two million people are expected to attend a Mass celebrated by Pope Francis at the shrine of the Ugandan martyrs in Uganda on Saturday, November 28. The shrine in Kampala, and the roads leading to...

Australian theologian proposes a practical application of the 'Kasper proposal'

An Australian theologian, Paul McGavin, has proposed a way in which Pope Francis could give practical form to the “Kasper proposal,” allowing some divorced and remarried Catholics to receive the...

Vatican court rejects plea to dismiss criminal charges on document leaks

At a first hearing on November 24, a Vatican court rejected a motion to dismiss criminal charges against a journalist who published leaked confidential documents. Emiliano Fittipaldi, one of five...

New director-general named for Vatican bank

Pope Francis has appointed Gian Franco Mammi as director-general of the Vatican bank, the Institute for Religious Works (IOR). The Pope paid a visit to the offices of the IOR on November 24, and...

Consecrated hosts stolen for blasphemous exhibit in Spain

A Spanish artist says that he stole more than 200 consecrated Hosts, which he has arranged in an exhibition in Pamplona. Abel Azcona says that he pretended to receive Communion, stored the...

Released Wednesday, Nov. 25

French cardinal: ecology is a ‘question of life and death’

In a homily preached a week before the beginning of the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21) in Paris, Cardinal André Vingt-Trois warned against two ecological...

US bishops’ conference grants $3.3M to Church in Latin America

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee on the Church in Latin America recently granted over $3.3 million to 191 projects to assist the work of the Church in Latin...

USCCB office: contact Congress, governors on behalf of Syrian refugees

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Migration & Refugee Services office has urged Catholics to contact members of Congress and governors on behalf of Syrian refugee...

Europe must return to religious roots to oppose terrorism, says Russian Orthodox official

Addressing both houses of the Russian parliament, a leading Russian Orthodox official said that “the whole world community must unite in the struggle against terrorism.” Stating that...

African bishops welcome Pope, condemn terrorism

The Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) has issued a statement welcoming Pope Francis to Africa. The Pontiff’s apostolic journey to Kenya, Uganda, and the...

Biden to meet with Vatican foreign minister

US Vice President Joe Biden will travel to Rome and meet with Archbishop Paul Gallagher, the Vatican’s Secretary for Relations with States, on November 27. Biden is also scheduled to meet...

Flemish bishops apologize for forced adoptions

The bishops of the northern Belgian region of Flanders have asked forgiveness for the role of Catholic institutions in forcing unmarried women to give their children up for adoption during the 1960s...

Preacher to papal household addresses Anglican synod

Father Raniero Cantalamessa, the Capuchin Franciscan friar who has served as preacher to the papal household since 1980, was invited to preach a sermon at the General Synod of the Church of England...

Pope arrives in Kenya, beginning 6-day African visit

Pope Francis arrived in Nairobi, Kenya on November 25 to begin a 6-day visit to Africa. In his first major address on African soil, the Pope called for cooperative action to raise standards of...

Pope confirms he will visit Ciudad Juarez, on US-Mexican border, in February

Pope Francis has confirmed that he will visit Mexico in February, and make a stop at the American border. During his flight from Rome to Nairobi, at the start of a 6-day visit to Africa, the...

Islamic State frees some hostages

The Islamic State has released 10 Assyrian Christians from a much larger group of hostages, the AsiaNews service reports. More than 200 Assyrian Christians were seized in February when their...

Released Monday, Nov. 30

Pope Francis, in Kenya, emphasizes missionary discipleship, ecological concern

Missionary discipleship, rejection of violence in God’s name, and concern for the environment were among the themes emphasized by Pope Francis in Kenya on November 26 and 27, the second and...

Ugandan martyrs are true heroes, Pope says during visit to nation

On the evening of November 27, Pope Francis arrived in Uganda, the second stop in his six-day apostolic journey to Africa. The nation of 37.9 million is 45% Catholic, 42% Protestant, and 12%...

Love your enemies, Pope preaches in strife-torn Central African Republic

On November 29, Pope Francis arrived in the Central African Republic, the final stop in his six-day apostolic journey to Africa. The nation of 4.7 million, torn by civil strife since 2012, is...

Pope visits mosque, calls for rejection of religious violence

On the final day of his apostolic journey to Africa, Pope Francis visited the Grand Mosque of Koudoukou in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic. When confused reports that...

Pope concludes apostolic journey to Africa, urges faithful to evangelize

Pope Francis concluded his six-day apostolic journey to Africa with the celebration of Mass in Barthélémy Boganda Stadium in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic, on...

Pope's prayer intentions for December 2015

The Vatican has released the prayer intentions of Pope Francis for December 2015. The Pope’s universal intention is: “That all may experience the mercy of God, who never tires of...

Climate change puts humanity on 'verge of suicide,' Pope tells reporters

Mankind is “on the verge of suicide” because of climate change, Pope Francis said in an interview session with reporters aboard the plane as he returned from a 5-day trip to...

No impediments remain to full communion, Pope tells Orthodox Patriarch

In a message to the Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople, Pope Francis wrote that “there is no longer any impediment to Eucharistic communion which cannot be overcome through prayer,...

'Vatileaks II' trial postponed for a week; rift reported between key defendants

The trial of five defendants charged with leaking secret Vatican documents has been postponed for a week, after one defendant asked for extra time to prepare her defense, having engaged a new...

Missionary priest, shot in Bangladesh, recovering from wounds

An Italian missionary priest who was shot in Bangladesh earlier this month is recovering, although his wounds are severe, Aid to the Church in Need reports. Father Piero Parolari, a pastor and...

Egyptian Patriarch makes first visit to Jerusalem since 1980

The leader of Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church has made a visit to Jerusalem, for the first time in 35 years. Coptic Pope Tawadros travelled to Jerusalem for the funeral of Archbishp Anba Abraham....

Biden meets with Vatican 'foreign minister'

Archbishop Paul Gallagher, the Vatican's Secretary for Relations with States, met on November 28 with American Vice President Joseph Biden, who was in Rome for meetings with Italian...

Rome installs video monitors for Jubilee pilgrims

The city of Rome has completed work on a video-monitoring system to track pilgrims during the Jubilee Year of Mercy, security officials have announced. The closed-circuit surveillance system will...

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