Action Alert!

Stories for April 2016

Released Monday, Apr. 4

Vatican message: the Church proclaims Christian hope to those with autism

The Church proclaims hope to those with autism and their families, Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, president of the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care, said in a message published on April...

God’s mercy makes us ‘restless’ to reach out to those in need, Pope says at vigil

Pope Francis presided at a prayer vigil in St. Peter’s Square on the eve of Divine Mercy Sunday and reflected on the manifold expressions of God’s mercy. “God never tires of...

Pope Francis: works of mercy are ‘hallmarks of the Christian life’

Celebrating the Mass of the Second Sunday of Easter (Divine Mercy Sunday) in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis said that “we are all called to become living writers of the Gospel, heralds...

Pope encourages dioceses to establish ‘institutional expressions’ of mercy

At the conclusion of the prayer vigil in St. Peter’s Square on the eve of Divine Mercy Sunday, Pope Francis encouraged each diocese to consider establishing an “institutional...

Pope announces special collection for Ukraine

At the conclusion of Divine Mercy Sunday Mass in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis prayed the Regina Caeli and announced a special collection in all European parishes on April 24 to assist...

Prosecutors drop abuse probe of Italian bishop

Italian prosecutors have concluded an investigation of sex-abuse charges lodged against an Italian bishop, saying that no charges will be filed. Bishop Gerardo Antonazzo of...

Italian culture minister suggests 'cultural itineraries' in Rome for Jubilee pilgrims

Italy's culture minister, Dario Franceschini, has produced a list of "cultural itineraries" for pilgrims visiting Rome during the Jubilee Year. At a press conference last week,...

Palestinian police arrest Syrian Orthodox prelate

Palestinian police briefly detained a Syrian Orthodox prelate on April 2, the Fides news service reports. The reason for the arrest has not yet been made public. Metropolitan Swerios Malki Murad,...

Kidnapped priest is alive in Yemen, Indian bishops assured

An Indian government official has assured the country's Catholic bishops that Father Tom Uzhunnalil, an Indian native who was kidnapped in Yemen on March 4, remains alive. A delegation from...

Australian bishop at center of abuse investigation dies at 85

A retired Australian bishop who was at the center of an investigation into the handling of sex-abuse complaints has died after a long battle with cancer, at the age of 85. Bishop Ronald...

Pope meets with head of traditionalist SSPX

Pope Francis met on April 1 with Bishop Bernard Fellay, the head of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), for a "cordial" discussion of prospects for regularization of the traditionalist...

Released Tuesday, Apr. 5

Ukrainian Catholics welcome statement on 1946 ‘synod’

The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC) has welcomed a statement signed by 22 Orthodox priests and laity on the so-called Synod of Lviv, the 1946 meeting in which the UGCC was absorbed into the...

Amid national crisis, Brazil’s bishops lament polarization, corruption

The National Conference of Bishops of Brazil, joined by three associations of magistrates and judges, appealed on April 4 for an end to polarization and corruption amid a national political...

Peruvian episcopal conference: the Church respects the freedom of voters

As Peru’s April 10 general election approaches, the permanent council of the nation’s episcopal conference emphasized that the Church respects the liberty of voters. The episcopal...

Church to take part in Colombian peace talks

The Colombian government has announced peace talks with the National Liberation Army (ELN), a communist guerilla group that has taken part in the nation’s conflict since 1964. Archbishop...

Prelates urge congressional support for Conscience Protection Act

Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York and Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore have called upon members of the House of Representatives to support the Conscience Protection Act of 2016, which has been...

Leading Canadian bishop laments treatment of indigenous during Age of Discovery

The president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has joined leaders of other Canadian Catholic organizations in lamenting the European confiscation of the land of indigenous persons...

After police raid on archdiocesan offices, Cardinal Barbarin renews promise to cooperate with investigation

Cardinal Philippe Barbarin of Lyon, France, has renewed his promise to cooperate with officials investigating his handling of sex-abuse complaints, after police raided his office to search for...

Milwaukee archdiocese rebuffs candidate's claim of archbishop's endorsement

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has announced that a local political candidate had no authorization to distribute a flyer suggesting that he had the endorsement of Archbishop Jerome...

New Vatican office will control 'dot-catholic' doman

The Vatican Secretariat for Communications has established a new bureau, entitled DotCatholic, to manage the new top-level internet domain by the same name. In 2013, the Vatican sought and won...

Vatican accepts apology from Filipino presidential candidate who 'cussed out' the Pope

The Vatican has acknowledged receiving an apology from Rodrigo Duterte, a candidate for the presidency in the Philippines, who had used an obscene expression to refer to Pope Francis during the...

Pope may visit Greece to meet with migrants facing return to Turkey

The Vatican is weighing a quick trip to Greece by Pope Francis, to dramatize the plight of migrants who are being sent back to Turkey. Responding to Greek media reports that the Pope might visit...

Top Massachusetts court weighs arguments on taxation of property at Catholic shrine

The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts heard oral arguments on April 5 in a case involving a town's move to tax the property of a Catholic shrine. The city of Attleboro, Massachusetts,...

Provincial governor threatens Methodist leader for harboring protesters in Philippines clash

The governor of the Cotabato province in the Philippines has threatened to taken legal action against a Methodist bishop who is charged with supporting "illegal demonstrators." Governor...

Polish officials raise security concerns about World Youth Day site in Krakow

Public officials in Poland have voiced concerns about security problems at the site where World Youth Day festivities are scheduled in July. World Youth Day will take place in Krakow, with Pope...

Saint's relics discovered intact in rubble of Syrian monastery destroyed by Islamic State.

In the rubble of the ancient Mar Elian monastery in Quaryatayn, Syria, which was destroyed by the Islamic State, the former prior has discovered relics of the saint for whom the monastery was...

Released Wednesday, Apr. 6

Chaldean bishops welcome progress against ISIS, say Iraq is at ‘dangerous crossroads’

Iraq’s Chaldean Catholic bishops praised the nation’s army, Kurdish forces, and local tribes for recent victories over the Islamic State. During their April 5 meeting in Ankawa, the...

Pakistan: Christian, Muslim clergy mourn victims of Easter attack

Christian and Muslim clergy gathered at the Dominican Peace Center in Lahore to take part in an interfaith vigil in memory of the victims of the Easter Sunday suicide bombing. Hafiz Muhammad...

Nepal removes Christmas from list of public holidays

Citing a “need to control the rising number of public holidays,” the government of the largely Hindu nation of Nepal has removed Christmas from the list of approved days, according to an...

Zambia’s bishops attempt to counter pre-election violence

The Zambian Episcopal Conference, joined by two Protestant bodies, recently hosted a meeting between President Edgar Lungu and 17 opposition party leaders in an attempt to end pre-election...

FDA expands use of RU-486 abortion pill

The US Food and Drug Administration has announced that the RU-486 abortion pill may now be used in the first ten weeks following the mother’s last period. The FDA, which approved the use of...

Report: 2.7 million have fled homes because of Boko Haram

Attacks by the Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram have caused 2.7 million people to flee their homes in the Lake Chad basin, according to the Doctors Without Borders. “A conflict that...

Pope Francis reflects on Christ as mercy incarnate

Continuing his series of Wednesday catecheses on mercy, Pope Francis devoted his April 6 general audience to “God’s mercy fulfilled in Jesus, who is mercy incarnate.” “In...

Vatican Museums team with Rome hospital to encourage blood donors

The Vatican Museums have joined in a blood-donor drive, as an initiative for the Year of Mercy. Noting that Pope Francis has encouraged blood donors, especially during the Jubilee Year, the...

Surgeon tied to false rumor of papal brain tumor faces new charges

A surgeon who gained notoriety last year because of a false report that he had treated Pope Francis for a brain tumor now faces new scrutiny, because of charges that he sought money from patients to...

Ugandan Church leaders oppose government plan to register religious bodies

Church leaders in Uganda are voicing opposition to the government's plan to require registration of "faith-based organizations," the Fides news service reports. Following the...

Pope lauds sport as 'school of virtue'

Pope Francis praised the role that athletic competition can play in building ties among peoples, as he concluded his regular public audience on April 6. Noting that the UN had designated the date...

Anglican archbishop of Wales apologizes to same-sex couples

The Anglican Archbishop of Wales has apologized "unreservedly" to same-sex couples for "the persecution and mistreatment they have endured at the hands of the Church." Dr....

American girl meets Pontiff, receives blessing for failing eyesight

A 5-year-old American girl who is losing her eyesight because of a rare medical problem met briefly with Pope Francis on April 6. Lizzy Meyers, who suffers from Usher Syndrome, met with the...

Cardinal Sarah: no forgiveness without repentance

In a new interview, Cardinal Robert Sarah insists that "there is no forgiveness if there is no repentance." In an exchange with a Polish journalist, which appears in an English...

California: police search apartment of producer of undercover videos exposing Planned Parenthood

Police in California searched the apartment of David Daleiden-- the man responsible for a series of videos exposing the sale of fetal tissue through Planned Parenthood-- on April...

Wendy Davis, 'heroine' of abortion lobby, speaks at Notre Dame

Wendy Davis, the former Texas state legislator who gained national fame by filibustering pro-life legislation, spoke to an audience at the University of Notre Dame on April 4. The Department of...

Polish archbishop: 'pseudo-merciful' attitude discourages correction of sinners

A Polish archbishop who participated in the Synod for the Family has cautioned against a "pseudo-merciful" attitude toward irregular marital unions. Archbishop Henryk Hoser of Warsaw...

Released Thursday, Apr. 7

Patriarchate confirms papal visit to Greek island in ‘near future’

The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople has announced that Pope Francis, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, and Greek Orthodox Archbishop Ieronymos II of Athens “will visit the island of...

Pope writes preface to book on Trappists slain in Algeria

Pope Francis has written the preface to a French book devoted to the seven Trappist monks of Tibhirine, Algeria, who were abducted and murdered in 1996. “Twenty years after their death, we...

Cardinal Parolin: fertility research center is ‘synthesis of truth and love’

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, visited the International Scientific Institute for Research on Human Fertility and Infertility on April 6 to inaugurate a new...

Pontifical Biblical Commission discusses biblical anthropology

The Pontifical Biblical Commission, an advisory body of biblical scholars under the auspices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, began a five-day meeting on April 4 devoted to the...

Pope greets support group for separated, divorced Catholics

Following his April 6 general audience, Pope Francis met in St. Peter’s Square with a support group for separate and divorced Catholics from the Diocese of Fossano, Italy. “On January...

USCCB urges action against ‘dangerous’ refugee bill

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued an action alert urging Catholics to “tell [the] House leadership not to bring [an] anti-refugee bill to a vote.” According...

Croatian leader meets with Pope, presses for canonization of Cardinal Stepinac

Pope Francis met on April 7 with Croatia's Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic, who reportedly urged the Pontiff to move forward with cause for canonization of Blessed Alojzije Stepinac. A brief...

German Cardinal Brandmüller: papal exhortation cannot contradict Catechism

Speaking out just prior to the release of a papal exhortation concluding the work of the Synod on the Family, a German cardinal has said that the document must be interpreted in accordance with the...

Vatican says papal post-Synod document is primarily pastoral

As the Catholic world anxiously awaits the release of a papal document concluding the work of the Synod on the Family, a Vatican "reader's guide" emphasizes that it will be "first...

Confirmed: Pope will visit Greece next week

Pope Francis will visit the Greek island of Lesbos on April 16 to dramatize the plight of migrants, the Vatican has confirmed. The Pope has accepted an invitation to join Orthodox Patriarch...

France withdraws controversial nominee as ambassador to Holy See

After a diplomatic stalemate that lasted well over a year, the government of France has dropped an effort to persuade the Vatican to accept a controversial nominee as ambassador to the Holy...

Cardinal Levada accepts fine, suspended license on drunk-driving charge

Cardinal William Levada, the former prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has pleaded no contest to drunk-driving charges in a Hawaii court; he will pay a $300 fine and court...

Peruvian lay movement denounces founder, citing abuse

The Sodality of Christian Life, a lay movement with a growing influence in Latin America, has issued a statement acknowledging that its founder was guilty of sexual and psychological abuse. Luis...

Pope welcomes Methodist ecumenical initiative

During an April 7 audience with members of the World Methodist Council, Pope Francis welcomed the group's decision to open an office in Rome. The office in Rome will be "a sign of our...

Released Friday, Apr. 8

Refugees are focus of Jewish-Catholic dialogue

The International Catholic-Jewish Liaison Committee, the formal structure for dialogue between the Holy See and Jewish religious leaders, concluded a four-day biennial meeting in Warsaw on April...

European bishops’ council laments plight of Roma

The president of the Council of the Bishops’ Conferences of Europe has issued a statement lamenting discrimination against the Romani (or Roma) people, who are sometimes referred to as...

Russian patriarch calls for peace in Caucasus

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow appealed to Christian and Muslim leaders in Armenia and Azerbaijan to work for peace in the conflict over the disputed territory of Nagorno Karabakh, a self-governing...

Leading Philippine bishop: it is a grave sin to vote for a pro-abortion candidate

The president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines said that “a Catholic voter commits a grave sin in voting for candidates who oppose the Lord’s teachings on the...

Bangladesh: prelate calls on Muslims to ‘respect others’ religious teachings’

Amid increasing violence against Christians in Bangladesh, a bishop called on Muslims to “respect others’ religious teachings in order to build a world free from...

Pope, in video, emphasizes importance of small farmers

Pope Francis has appeared in a video designed to publicize his general prayer intention for April: “that small farmers may receive a just reward for their precious labor.” “This...

Pope's post-Synod document emphasizes flexibility

Pope Francis upholds the traditional teachings of the Catholic Church, but calls for great flexibility in applying those teachings, in Amoris Laetitia, his apostolic exhortation concluding the work...

Sen. Sanders to join in Vatican conference on economy, just before New York primary vote

Senator Bernie Sanders, the Vermont lawmaker and Democratic presidential candidate, has announced that he will fly to Rome next week, to participate in a conference hosted by the Pontifical Academy...

Released Monday, Apr. 11

Continue works of mercy, Pope tells Papal Foundation

Pope Francis received members of the US-based Papal Foundation in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace on April 8 and expressed his “profound appreciation for your generosity to me and...

Pope to visit 3 Caucasus nations

The Holy See Press Office has announced that Pope Francis will make a two-part apostolic journey to the Caucasus region. From June 24 to 26, the Pontiff will visit Armenia, a nation of 3.0...

Pope marks anniversary of study center

Pope Francis celebrated Mass at the Pontifical Oriental Institute’s Ezio Aletti Study and Research Center on the evening of April 8. In doing so, the Pope commemorated the 25th anniversary...

Give alms joyfully and responsibly, Pope tells jubilee pilgrims

On April 9, Pope Francis held his fourth special monthly Saturday audience for pilgrims who have come to Rome for the extraordinary jubilee year of mercy. Reflecting on almsgiving, the Pope said...

Papal condolences following Indian temple deaths

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, has sent a telegram of condolence in Pope Francis’s name following a fireworks explosion at an Indian Hindu temple that left...

Cardinal Parolin: Catholic universities should help students counter materialism, positivism

The Catholic university is called to promote dialogue between faith and reason, and between theology and the other sciences, to help students counter the dominant ideologies of the day, the...

Pope reflects on the joy of encountering Christ, appeals for priest’s release

Reflecting on the day’s Gospel reading at Mass (Jn. 21:1-19), Pope Francis said during his April 10 Regina Coeli address that St. Peter’s recognition of the Lord is “full of joy...

Patriarch: ISIS murdered Christians in Syrian town

The head of the Syrian Orthodox Church said that 21 Christians were slain by the Islamic State in Al-Qaryatayn when the central Syrian town was under its control. ISIS took control of the town in...

Cardinal Burke: papal document does not-- and cannot-- change Church teaching

In his apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis does not and could not change the teachings of the Church regarding marriage, Cardinal Raymond Burke writes in an exclusive analysis...

Pope to extend authority of SSPX priests to hear confessions?

Pope Francis plans to extend the authority of priests of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) to hear confessions, according to the leader of the traditionalist group. Last year the Pontiff said that...

Council of Cardinals meeting again this week to discuss Vatican reorganization

The Council of Cardinals is meeting with Pope Francis this week, continuing its review of proposals for the reform of the Roman Curia. The Council-- the group of nine cardinals appointed by the...

Italian bishops conference spokesman decries TV appearance by son of Mafia boss

The secretary-general of the Italian bishops' conference has vowed that he will never appear on a television show that featured an interview with the son of a convicted Mafia figure. "I...

Europe Council charges Italy with discrimination because few doctors perform abortions

The Council of Europe has complained that Italian women face "significant difficulty" in finding abortion providers, and therefore the country is violating women's rights. Abortion...

Released Tuesday, Apr. 12

Russia: joint Catholic-Orthodox initiative to assist Syria’s Christians

Officials of the Moscow Patriarchate, joined by Catholic Archbishop Paolo Pezzi of Moscow, traveled to Lebanon and Syria to meet with local Christian leaders and assess the best ways to assist...

In Lyon, Catholics, Muslims gather to honor the Virgin Mary

Four hundred Catholics and Muslims gathered recently in the Maronite Catholic parish in Lyon, France, to honor the Virgin Mary on the Solemnity of the Annunciation. The Annunciation is celebrated...

South Africa’s Christian leaders call for president’s resignation

The South African Council of Churches, an ecumenical body whose members include the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference, has called on the nation’s president to resign. The...

Jordan’s king to contribute to restoration of Christ’s tomb

In a letter to the Greek Orthodox patriarch of Jerusalem, King Abdullah II of Jordan announced that he will contribute funds to the restoration of Christ’s tomb at the Basilica of the Holy...

Bishop helps broker peace deal in South Sudan

A South Sudanese bishop has helped broker a peace agreement between the nation’s government and South Sudan National Liberation Movement, a local rebel group. Bishop Edward Hiiboro Kussala...

Brazilian cardinal: 21st century ‘decisive’ in saving the planet

Addressing Brazil’s bishops, Cardinal Cláudio Hummes, the retired prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, described the Amazon River basin as the “lungs of the planet”...

Pope appoints new nuncio to United States

Pope Francis has appointed Archbishop Christophe Pierre as apostolic nuncio to the United States of America. Archbishop Pierre succeeds Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, who has served in the...

Prelates discuss care for HIV children with UN, US officials

Caritas, the Church’s confederation of relief and development agencies, is hosting a three-day conference in Rome devoted to the diagnosis and treatment of children with HIV. Participants...

Jesuit editor says Pope has removed restrictions on divorced/remarried access to sacraments

Father Antono Spadaro, the Italian Jesuit who was an influential figure in the meetings of the Synod on the Family, now writes that Pope Francis has removed all restrictions on the access of...

Prosecutor seeks maximum sentence for priest who conspired with Mafia killer

In a bizarre criminal case with the earmarks of a Hollywood thriller, a prosecutor in Illinois is recommending the maximum 5-year prison sentence for a Catholic priest who has admitted that he...

Papal encouragement for Vatican conference questioning just-war theory

Pope Francis has sent a message of encouragement to participants in a Vatican conference on non-violence, co-sponsored by Pax Christi and the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. The...

French bishops to establish independent panel on sex-abuse

The Catholic bishops of France plan to set up an independent commission to oversee the handling of sex-abuse complaints. The new commission, which will be composed of secular experts, "will...

Kenyan bishops decry corruption, tribalism

"The cancer of corruption is killing our country," the Catholic bishops of Kenya lament in a statement released at the conclusion of their annual meeting. The bishops charge that while...

Released Wednesday, Apr. 13

Russian bishops recall St. John Paul’s restoration of hierarchy

The Catholic bishops of Russia have issued a letter commemorating the 25th anniversary of St. John Paul II’s appointment of Latin-rite bishops in Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan following...

Scottish bishops issue election statement

Scotland’s eight bishops have issued a pastoral letter urging Catholics to vote in the May 5 Scottish Parliament election. “Keep in mind that the Scottish Parliament now has more...

Church in North Africa ‘more universal, less European’

The Regional Bishops’ Conference of North Africa met recently in Tangier, Morocco, and discussed the situation of the Church in the largely Muslim region. Depending on the nation, between...

Mexican bishops: papal visit challenged us

One month after an editorial posted on the web site of the Archdiocese of Mexico City stated that comments made by the Pope about the Mexican hierarchy were misinformed, the Mexican Episcopal...

Pope Francis reflects on the calling of St. Matthew

Continuing his series of Wednesday catecheses on mercy, Pope Francis devoted his April 13 general audience to the calling of St. Matthew. “Jesus not only invites a tax-collector, a public...

Papal appeal for prayers for visit to Greek island

At the conclusion of his April 13 general audience, Pope Francis appealed for prayers for his upcoming trip to the Greek island of Lesbos. Lesbos, he said, is a place “where many refugees...

Council of Cardinals reflects on process for selecting bishops

During meetings in Rome this week, the Council of Cardinals discussed the process of selection of bishops and the role of apostolic nuncios in that process, the Vatican has disclosed. In a series...

Vatileaks trial: questioning of defendants concluded, witnesses next

A Vatican tribunal has concluded the questioning of defendants in the "Vatileaks II" trial, and will now move on to hearing witnesses. On April 13, the prosecutor questioned Gianluigi...

Chaldean Patriarch: priests should not promote Christian exodus from Iraq

Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Raphael Louis Sako has said that the clergy should not be involved in efforts to organize the departure of Christians from Iraq. Although individual Christians and...

Released Thursday, Apr. 14

Prelates criticize tightening of Austrian border controls

Two prelates have criticized Austria’s decision to build barriers and other structures at the Brenner Pass, on the nation’s border with Italy. Calling for “welcome for the one...

Greek bishop fears violence in face of migrant crisis

As Pope Francis and Orthodox leaders prepare to visit to the island of Lesbos, the president of the Catholic bishops’ conference in Greece warned that the migrant crisis might give rise...

Pope recalls anniversary of baptism of Poland

From April 14 to 16, the Church in Poland is solemnly recalling the 1,050th anniversary of the nation’s baptism. Pope Francis has named Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary...

Program announced for papal trip to Lesbos

The Holy See Press Office has announced the schedule of Pope Francis’s impending visit to the Greek island of Lesbos. The April 16 visit will last less than seven hours. After arriving at...

Norway’s Lutheran church approves same-sex marriage

The Church of Norway-- the Lutheran body to which nearly three-quarters of Norwegians belong-- has approved church weddings for homosexual couples. Same-sex marriage became part of...

Journalist at Vatileaks trial says Chaouqui was 'unreliable' personality

An Italian journalist who wrote a book based on leaked Church documents told a Vatican tribunal that he considered Francesca Chaouqui, a co-defendant in the "Vatileaks II" trial,...

Disgraced seminarian pleads guilty to charge of attempted human trafficking

A former US seminarian has entered a guilty plea to charges that he attempted to purchase a Mexican child to be used for sexual purposes. Joel Wright was arrested in November after he placed...

Indian priest killed; circumstances unclear

Police in India are investigating the unexplained death of a Catholic priest who was found hanged, the Fides news service reports. The body of Father Raja Kannu, a priest of the Mysore diocese,...

Mexican bishop warns priest against accepting 'dirty money' from crime figures

A Mexican bishop has cautioned his priests against accepting tainted money in donations. "Money must never be laundered, because the more you wash it, the more you dirty your...

Elderly fear hospitals when assisted suicide is accepted, Canadian archbishop says

Archbishop Richard Smith of Edmonton, Alberta has said that elderly people may begin to fear hospitals, because of the legal acceptance of assisted suicide. "The strong feeling is: 'If I...

Persevere in a hostile culture, Pope urges Scottish seminarians

Pope Francis told a group of Scottish seminarians on April 14 that they are "living in a time of martyrdom, and in the midst of a culture so often hostile to the Gospel." In a...

Polish prelate who resigned amid abuse charges remains barred from public ceremonies

A Polish archbishop who was suspended from ministry after resigning in 2002 amid sex-abuse charges has been reminded by the Vatican that he should not participate in Church liturgies...

Released Friday, Apr. 15

Cardinal: discernment discussed in new papal document presupposes ‘respect for canonical norms’

Commenting on Pope Francis’s apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia, the president of the Spanish Episcopal Conference said that the case-by-case discernment by a priest and a divorced and...

Background: World Day of Prayer for Vocations

On April 17, the Church commemorates the 53rd World Day of Prayer for Vocations. Pope Francis’s message for the day is entitled “The Church, Mother of Vocations.” Blessed Paul...

Some Syrian Christians returning home from Europe

Following advances by the Assad regime against the Islamic State and other Islamist militant groups, some Syrian Christians who fled to Europe in the years since the Syrian Civil War began are...

Pakistan’s bishops lament anti-Christian prejudice in textbooks

A commission of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Pakistan has called for the removal of school textbook wording that is biased against Christians and other religious minorities. “The...

Nigerian government should negotiate for release of schoolgirls, says prelate

Two years after the Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram abducted over 200 girls from a school in Chibok, Nigeria’s leading prelate called upon the nation’s government to negotiate for...

Militants burn down church in Chile

Accusing the local bishop of complicity with historic oppression, militants from the indigenous Mapuche people burned down a church in Cañete, Chile, on April 12. It was the tenth Catholic...

Prelates' differing responses to Amoris Laetitia

Cardinal Walter Kasper said that Amoris Laetitia "changes everything," but other prelates stressed that the apostolic exhortation by Pope Francis has not wrought any major...

English cardinal opposes exit from European Union

England's leading Catholic prelate has expressed his opposition to the drive for a British exit from the European Union. "To start down the path of division almost inevitably leads to...

Bolivian President Morales meets Pope, offers another unconventional gift

Pope Francis met on April 15 with Bolivian President Eva Morales, who was in Rome to participate in a conference on economic issues sponsored by the Pontifical Academy for Social Sciences. A...

Pope prays at St. Mary Major before trip to Lesbos

Following what has become his usual practice, Pope Francis visited the Roman basilica of St. Mary Major on April 15, to pray before his favorite image of the Virgin Mary before his one-day trip...

In new suit, filing claims abuse complaints against late Bishop Ferrario predate his appointment in Honolulu

In one of three sex-abuse lawsuits filed this week in Hawaii, an attorney has presented a report claiming that the late Bishop Joseph Ferrario of Honolulu had been accused of sexual abuse even...

Head of US bishops' news agency forced out after criticizing religious-freedom legislation

The director of Catholic News Service (CNS), the news agency sponsored by the US bishops' conference, has been forced to resign after posting Twitter messages in which he ridiculed legislation...

Vatican envoy asks international response to terrorist threats

"The internationalization of terror can only be countered by a collective international response," the Vatican's representative said in an April 14 address to the UN. Archbishop...

Released Monday, Apr. 18

Pope Francis: the sheep must listen to the Good Shepherd

Reflecting on the day’s Gospel reading at Mass (Jn. 10:27-30), Pope Francis told the crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square for his April 17 Regina Coeli address that “no one can...

Pope ordains 11 men to the priesthood

Pope Francis ordained 11 deacons to the priesthood in St. Peter’s Basilica on April 17 and called upon them to nourish the faithful by teaching and example. “As you know, the Lord...

Do not be indifferent to refugees, Pope Francis and Orthodox leaders plead

Pope Francis made a brief apostolic journey to the Greek island of Lesbos on April 16 and called upon the international community not to be indifferent to what he described as “the greatest...

Sanders meets briefly with Pope, speaks at Vatican conference; Pope calls meeting apolitical

Before departing for the Greek island of Lesbos on April 16, Pope Francis greeted Sen. Bernie Sanders and his wife. The two were staying as guests at Domus Sanctae Marthae because the...

President of Central African Republic meets with Pontiff

Pope Francis met on April 18 with President Faustin Archange Touadéra of the Central African Republic. During their brief conversation, the Pontiff thanked the African leader for the...

Confessions 'dramatically' up during Jubilee Year, English cardinal reports

The number of sacramental confessions heard by Catholic priests in England and Wales has increased  "dramatically" during the Jubilee Year, Cardinal Vincent Nichols...

Vatican: no decision yet on discipline for founder of Peru-based lay movement

The Vatican has indicated that no disciplinary action will be taken against the founder of the Sodality of Christian Life until an apostolic visitation of the lay movement has been...

Vatican delegate tells UN that 'two-state solution' to Israel-Palestine conflict is in danger

Addressing an April 18 UN session on the Middle East, the Vatican’s representative expressed fear that “the two-state solution between Israel and Palestine is in danger of failing. Archbishop...

Communion for divorced/remarried not most important issue in post-Synod document, Pope tells reporters

In a question-and-answer session with reporters who accompanied him on his April 16 visit to the Greek island of Lesbos, Pope Francis acknowledged that his apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia has...

Released Tuesday, Apr. 19

Caritas appeal for Ecuador

Caritas Internationalis, the Church’s confederation of relief and development agencies, has issued an appeal for donations following a devastating April 16 earthquake near Muisne,...

Brazilian bishops call for ‘profound political reform’

With Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff facing the increasingly likely prospect of impeachment on charges of violating budget-related laws, the nation’s bishops called upon Brazilians to...

Patriarch rues confiscation of Iraqi Christians’ property

The Chaldean Catholic patriarchate has established a committee to monitor the legality of property transfers involving Baghdad’s Christians. In the years following the 2003 US invasion,...

Israel: patriarchate ministers to Catholic migrants from Asia, Africa

The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem has established a pastoral center in Tel Aviv to minister to workers and other migrants from the Philippines, India, Ethiopia, Sudan, Eritrea, and other...

Ratify Paris climate agreement, cardinals and other religious leaders urge

Some 270 Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, and other religious leaders have called upon the world’s nations to sign and ratify the climate change agreement reached at the 2015...

Pope Francis: refugees have ‘the face of God’

Pope Francis has sent a video-message to the Jesuit Refugee Service’s Centro Astalli in Rome on the occasion of its 35th anniversary. Describing the center as a concrete response to...

Polish bishop confirms Eucharistic miracle

A Polish bishop has approved veneration of a consecrated Host that exudes human blood, saying that the phenomenon "has the hallmarks of a Eucharistic miracle." Bishop Zbigniew...

Pakistan: court grants bail for prime suspect in lynching of Christian couple

The main suspect in the lynching death of a Pakistani Christian couple has been released on bail, the Fides news service reports. Yousaf Gujjar was accused of inciting a mob of Muslims to beat...

Suspended after affair with teen, priest opens home for other teens

A Michigan priest who resigned in 2009 following reports of his affair with a teenage girl has become an executive of a facility for unwed teen mothers. Father Kenneth Kaucheck, who is suspended...

Sant'Egidio community welcomes Syrian refugees brought to Rome by Pope

Twelve Syrian refugees who were brought to Rome by Pope Francis celebrated their arrival in Italy with a festive dinner on Sunday evening, April 17. The three families of Syrian migrants,...

Released Wednesday, Apr. 20

Vatican newspaper rues declining respect for human rights

During his apostolic journey to Lesbos, Pope Francis said that “Europe is the homeland of human rights, and whoever sets foot on European soil ought to sense this, and thus become more aware...

Anglican primate: religious violence, climate change are leading issues of our time

Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury has characterized religiously-motivated violence and climate change as the major issues looming in this period of history. “For the first time in...

British bishops neutral on EU referendum

The bishops of England and Wales have approved a resolution calling upon Catholics to pray and reflect upon the common good, the needs of the vulnerable, and the dignity of the human person as...

Northern Ireland: prelates discuss poverty, abortion with political leaders

Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh, Primate of All Ireland, led a delegation of bishops and laity that met recently with the leaders of Northern Ireland’s two most popular political...

Canadian religious leaders lament assisted suicide

Canadian religious leaders took part in an interfaith press conference on assisted suicide amid legislative debate on the issue. In 2015, the nation’s high court struck down previous...

3 priests disappear in China

Three underground priests who are not associated with the government-run Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association have disappeared recently, according to an AsiaNews report. Following...

Pope reflects on Christ’s forgiveness of the tearful penitent

Continuing his series of Wednesday catecheses on mercy, Pope Francis devoted his April 20 general audience to Christ’s forgiveness of a penitent woman. “We now consider the Gospel...

Papal appeal for Ukraine

At the conclusion of his April 20 general audience, Pope Francis issued an appeal for the people of Ukraine, who suffer from an “armed conflict forgotten by many.” Recalling his...

Pope pays tribute to athletic values, virtues

Pope Francis received members of the Austrian Skiing Federation in audience on April 20 and paid tribute in his brief remarks to “the virtues and the values manifested by sports: commitment,...

Vatican representative urges OSCE protection for religious minorities, parental rights in education

In a statement to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Vatican's representative has emphasized the importance of national religious-minority groups, noting that...

Cause for beatification of Dorthoy Day advances

New York's Cardinal Timothy Dolan has opened a new phase into the cause for beatification of Dorothy Day. The cardinal announced the beginning of a canonical inquiry, which will assess...

Nigerian bishop: kidnapped schoolgirls may be freed, but all children remain at risk

A Nigerian Catholic bishop has expressed optimism about the prospect for freeing the 200 schoolgirls who were abducted by Boko Haram in 2014. Bishop Matthew Kukah of Sokoto noted that a recent...

Many Muslim refugees among converts to Catholicism in Vienna

About half of the adults seeking baptism in the Archdiocese of Vienna, Austria, this year have been Muslims, Church officials report. A spokesman for the Austrian bishops' conference said...

Synod council discusses topics, procedures for next meeting

The 14th ordinary council of the Synod of Bishops held its first meeting on April 20, following the conclusion of the Synod on the Family and the release of the apostolic exhortation Amoris...

Data-security breach at Denver archdiocese

A security breach in the computer system of the Archdiocese of Denver, Colorado, has compromised the privacy of current and past employees. The archdiocese revealed that a payroll-processing...

Washington Post editorial chides Pope for lack of progress on abuse accountability

In an April 20 editorial, the Washington Post has expressed disappointment over the failure of the Vatican to take major strides in the handling of sexual abuse. While praising Pope Francis for his...

At Jesuit-run school, women's basketball coach wants only players who accept same-sex marriage

The women’s basketball coach at the University of San Francisco, a Jesuit-run school, has indicated that she does not want to coach women who are opposed to same-sex marriage. Jennifer Azzi, the...

Suspect arrested in death of Florida priest

Police in South Carolina have arrested a man in connection with the death of a Catholic priest who had been missing for several days. The body of Father Rene Wayne Robert, a priest of the Dicoese...

Trevi Fountain waters to be dyed red, calling attention to persecution of Christians

The water of Rome's famous Trevi Fountain will be dyed red on April 29, in a gesture "to call attention to the tragedy of anti-Christian persecution." The international charity Aid...

Vatican suspends external audit

A thorough audit of all Vatican offices has been suspended, in a major blow to plans for reform of Vatican financial affairs. The Secretariat of State has informed Vatican offices that the...

Released Thursday, Apr. 21

Papal prayers for Chernobyl, Ecuador

Following his April 20 general audience, Pope Francis recalled the thirtieth anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster. “As we renew our prayers for the victims of the disaster, let us express...

Melkite patriarch: we cannot forget abducted bishops

The head of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church said that the region’s prelates have not forgotten the two Orthodox bishops who were kidnapped in Syria in April 2013. “Every time we...

Vatican newspaper: follow-up article on women preaching at Mass

Recent essays in the Vatican newspaper suggesting that women should be allowed to preach at Mass were not written with “the intention of contradicting the current discipline,” one of the...

Special prayer at Mass to mark Queen Elizabeth’s 90th birthday

At their recent meeting in Leeds, the bishops of England and Wales have directed that special prayers for Queen Elizabeth II be made in every parish in commemoration of her ninetieth...

Pope meets with tortured Albanian priest

Following his April 20 general audience, Pope Francis kissed the hands of Father Ernest Simoni, a priest who was imprisoned by Albania’s brutal communist regime from 1963 to...

26 organizations urge Congress to pass Conscience Protection Act

Twenty-six religious, pro-life, and healthcare organizations, including the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, have called upon Congress to pass the Conscience Protection Act of...

Papal greetings to Rome's Jewish community for Passover

Pope Francis sent his greetings to Cheif Rabbi Riccardo Di Segni of Rome on April 21, as the Jewish community prepared for the celebration of Passover. In his message the Pope recalled his...

Turkish government moves to recover land from Orthodox Patriarchate

The government of Turkey has taken action to recover land that was restored to the Orthodox Patriarchate of Constantinople, the Fides news service reports. The government had allowed the Orthodox...

Cardinal Pell 'a bit surprised' by suspension of audit

Cardinal George Pell, the prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, has said that he was "a bit surprised" by the announcement that the Vatican had suspended an external audit. The...

New book collects speeches by Pope Francis in Cuba, US last year

The Vatican publishing house, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, has released a book-length collection of the public addresses delivered by Pope Francis during his visit to Cuba and the US last...

Released Friday, Apr. 22

Christ awaits us in the needy, Pope tells Caritas

Pope Francis met with 700 persons associated with Caritas Italia, the charitable agency of Italy’s dioceses, and called upon them “to be the stimulus and soul so that all the community...

Russian Orthodox official criticizes pan-Orthodox council’s documents, procedure

A leading official of the Russian Orthodox Church offered criticisms of the Holy and Great Synod of the Orthodox Church, which will take place in Crete in June. The comments made by Metropolitan...

Austrian bishop rejects proposed border fence on Church property

An Austrian bishop has rejected the government’s request to build a border fence on land owned by a parish in Moschendorf, a town of 400 along the Hungarian border. Acknowledging the...

German Protestant leader meets with Pope

Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, the chairman of the Evangelical Church in Germany, met with Pope Francis on April 21 in Domus Sanctae Marthae. The Evangelical Church in Germany is a federation of 20...

Civil rights commission blasts ‘so-called religious liberty’ laws

A federal government agency has blasted “recent state laws passed, and proposals being considered, under the guise of so-called ‘religious liberty’ which target members of the...

Cuban Church, Castro government negotiating new accord

The Castro government has opened negotiations with Church leaders in Cuba, aiming to establish a formal understanding of the legal and economic rights of Catholic institutions. There has been no...

Pakistan: Islamic radicals demand execution of Asia Bibi

 A radical Islamic group has demanded the execution of Asia Bibi, the Pakistani woman accused of blasphemy, regardless of the outcome of a Supreme Court appeal in her case. "We...

Norwegian bishop says priests will no longer officiate at civil marriages

Bishop Bernt Eidsvig of Oslo has indicated that Catholic priests in Norway will no longer act as civil officials at weddings. The bishop consulted with the Vatican about how churches should...

Cardinal Ravasi tweets tribute to Prince

The president of the Pontifical Council for Culture reacted to the death of the rock musician Price by quoting the lyrics of a famous Prince song on Twitter. Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi quoted a few...

Retired Irish bishop again subject of abuse charge

An Irish bishop who resigned in 1992 after admitting to an affair with an American woman has been hit with a new charge of sexual misconduct. Bishop Eamon Casey, who is now living in retirement at...

Sydney archdiocese denies threatening boycott of firms that support same-sex marriage

The Archdiocese of Sydney, Australia, has rejected a charge that it has threatened to boycott firms that are engaged in a public advocacy campaign to promote legal acceptance of same-sex...

Burundi: politicians charge bishops support violence by opposing president's re-election bid

Leading government officials in Burundi are accusing the country's Catholic bishops of dividing the nation and encouraging violence, because the bishops oppose President Pierre Nkurunziza's...

Vatican's UN envoy sees family as key to fight against drug use

Archbishop Bernardito Auza called attention to the critical role of the family in preventing drug use, in an April 21 address to a UN session on the world's drug problems. "The Holy See...

Released Monday, Apr. 25

Transform ‘deserts’ into ‘forests’ through friendship, Pope tells Focolare

Pope Francis made a surprise visit to the Villa Borghese in Rome on April 24 to address an Earth Day event cosponsored by the Focolare Movement. Founded by the Servant of God Chiara Lubich...

Indian cardinal laments ecological degradation

As representatives of 174 nations and the European Union gathered to sign the Paris Agreement on climate change, a leading Indian cardinal lamented the state of the environment in his...

Pope hears confessions, challenges teens not to hold grudges

Sixty thousand teenagers participated in the Jubilee of Boys and Girls from April 23 to 25 as part of the extraordinary jubilee year of mercy. On the morning of April 23, Pope Francis joined 150...

5 Spanish Civil War martyrs beatified

Describing persecution as the “daily bread of the Church,” Cardinal Angelo Amato, the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, presided at the Mass of beatification of...

Pope Francis: pray for the release of clergy, religious held hostage in Syria

During his April 24 Regina Caeli address, Pope Francis appealed for the release of clergy and religious held hostage in Syria. On April 22, 2013, the Greek Orthodox and Syrian Orthodox...

Pope calls young people to self-sacrificial love, friendship with Christ

Pope Francis celebrated Mass in St. Peter’s Square on April 24 for the 60,000 teenagers who had gathered in Rome for the Jubilee for Boys and Girls. Describing love as the “the...

Hong Kong demonstration protests Chinese campaign against Christian influence

Cardinal Joseph Zen led a group of Christians in Hong Kong in a demonstration against the Chinese government's campaign against Christian churches. "We need to speak out, to take action,...

Schools could be sued for assaults in gender-neutral bathrooms, lawyer warns

An English lawyer has cautioned that if Catholic schools accede to request to designate gender-neutral bathrooms to accommodate transgender students, they could be sued for damages if a sexual...

Chinese President Xi says government must guard against religious influences

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said that government officials should resist "foreign" religious influences. "We must resolutely guard against overseas infiltations via religious...

Bolivian bishops, President Morales clash on drug policy

Bolivia's Catholic bishops have issued a pastoral letter condemning the cocaine trade and charged that government corruption nourishes drug trafficking. The bishops' message drew an angry...

Over 5 million Jubilee pilgrims to Rome thus far

The number of pilgrims visiting Rome during the Jubilee Year of Mercy has passed 5 million, the Vatican has announced. After lagging below initial expectations-- probably because of fear of...

After pleading guilty to abuse in California, priest surfaces in Oklahoma parish

A priest who admitted to fondling a 19-year-old girl while stationed in San Diego is now serving at parishes in Oklahoma, prompting angry protests from parishioners who were not informed about the...

Secretariat for Economy defends contract for external audit

The Vatican's Secretariat for the Economy has rejected the claim that an external audit was suspended because the contract with the auditor, PricewaterhouseCoopers, had not been drawn...

Released Tuesday, Apr. 26

Bishop: the Pope is trying to save Ukraine

The Ukrainian Greek Catholic bishop of Paris expressed gratitude to Pope Francis for the special collection for Ukraine which, at the Pope’s behest, was taken up in Europe’s parishes on...

Syrian refugees brought to Rome by Pope tell their stories

Two of the refugees whom Pope Francis brought to Rome on his return trip from the Greek island of Lesbos have recounted their stories. Describing the Pope as “a father to the world,”...

‘God loves you personally,’ Pope tells prisoners

Responding to a letter addressed to him by prisoners in Velletri, Italy, Pope Francis asked the incarcerated to “always keep lit the light of the hope of faith.” “Always be...

Prelates, leaders recall Armenian Genocide; Obama mentions Pope

Armenian Apostolic and Catholic prelates commemorated the 101th anniversary of the beginning of the Armenian Genocide, in which 1.5 million Armenians perished. In Armenia, Catholicos Karekin II,...

US, Holy Land Christian leaders call for peace, protection of Palestinian Christian presence

Christian leaders from the Holy Land, including the Latin and Greek Orthodox patriarchs of Jerusalem, joined US Christian leaders at a conference at the Carter Center in Atlanta to sign a joint...

USCCB files brief in Missouri playground case

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Missouri Catholic Conference have joined with other organizations in calling upon the Supreme Court to overturn a lower court’s...

Leading Cuban prelate retires; replacement named

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Jaime Lucas Ortega y Alamino, 79, as archbishop of San Cristobal de la Habana, and has named the leader of the nation’s second-largest...

French bishops appoint head of independent abuse panel as controversy continues

The Catholic bishops of France have named a senior government bureaucrat to head a new independent commission to advise the hierarchy on the handling of sex-abuse complaints. Alain...

Islamic State destroys another landmark church in Mosul

The Islamic State has destroyed a landmark Catholic church in Mosul, Iraq, the Fides news service reports. The Church of the Miraculous Virgin-- also known as the "Clock Church" because...

Aleppo's Armenian districts bombarded on anniversary of genocide

Islamic forces in Syria launched an artillery attack on Armenian sections of the city of Aleppo on April 25, the AsiaNews service reports. The heavy bombardment, an obvious violation of a...

Sponsor of Abortion Act ridicules Northern Ireland's pro-life law

As Northern Ireland prepares to head to the polls, a politician who played a key role in making abortion legal in Britain says it it "simply ridiculous" that abortion remains illegal...

Egypt's Copts resume travel to Jerusalem after years of boycott

Coptic Christians from Egypt are flocking to Jerusalem on pilgrimage this year, the Fides news service reports, marking an end to a ban on travel by Copts to Israel. The late Coptic Pope Shenouda...

Cardinal Turkson backs call for reconsideration of just-war tradition

The president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace has called for a broad discussion of the just-war theory, suggesting that a papal encyclical on the topic might be appropriate and...

Vatican press statement highlights conflict over audit

The Vatican press office has released a statement justifying the decision to suspend an external audit of Vatican finances, and implicitly rebutting an earlier statement from the Secretariat for the...

Pope raps clericalism, encourages lay evangelization

"Clericalism leads to the homogenization of the laity," Pope Francis complained in a message to the Pontifical Commission for Latin America. The Pope's message-- which was dated...

Released Wednesday, Apr. 27

12 sainthood, beatification causes advance

In an April 26 audience with the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Pope Francis approved the publication of decrees that advance a dozen sainthood causes. In approving...

Pope Francis reflects on Good Samaritan

Continuing his series of Wednesday catecheses on mercy, Pope Francis devoted his April 27 general audience to the parable of the Good Samaritan. “Jesus had taught the great commandment of...

Vatican official arrives in Ukraine to assess humanitarian needs

Msgr. Giovanni Pietro Dal Toso, the secretary of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, arrived in Ukraine on April 25 and met with leading prelates to assess humanitarian needs. Msgr. Dal Taso’s...

Reject destructive technologies, Ecumenical Patriarch says in Chernobyl message

In a message for the thirtieth anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople said that “we have reached a point in technological development where...

Bishop calls for Holy See clarification on papal exhortation

Stating that certain passages in Pope Francis’s apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia [AL] are “objectively vulnerable to misinterpretations,” a Kazak bishop said that it would be...

Franciscan provincials will face trial on child-endangerment charge in Pennsylvania abuse case

A Pennsylvania judge has ruled that three former Franciscan provincials should face trial on criminal charges of child endangerment because of their failure to curb the activities of a brother who...

Pope ready to regularize SSPX?

Pope Francis may be prepared to end the split between the Vatican and the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX), and the breakaway traditionalist group is ready to accept a papal offer, according to a report...

Vatileaks trial continues with questioning of witnesses

The "Vatileaks II" trial moved into a new phase on April 26, with the questioning of witnessing before a Vatican tribunal. The first witness to be questioned was Stefano Fralleoni, who...

Religious freedom protects Muslims, too, argues German cardinal

Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki of Cologne has right-wing political leaders who oppose Muslim immigration. The cardinal scoffed at claims by the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party that Islam...

Oklahoma archdiocese removes priest after 'new information' about past abuse

Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma announced on April 26 that he has removed Father José DaVila from ministry, after he "became aware of new information regarding the...

Canadian pro-life activist released after 135-day prison term for violating probation

A Canadian pro-life activist has been released from prison after serving more than four months for entering the waiting room of an abortion clinic. Mary Wagner had been found guilty of violating...

Peruvian bishops: death penalty 'unacceptable'

The Catholic bishops of Peru have released a statement in opposition to the death penalty, urging all Christians to work for its abolition. "Today the death penalty is unacceptable,"...

Released Thursday, Apr. 28

Italian president: defend persecuted Christians

Stating that the ISIS “casts its menacing shadow of death also on the cities of our Europe,” President Sergio Mattarella of Italy called for “courage to defend the persecuted...

Cardinal, USCCB call on Congress to support DC school-choice bill

Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, joined by the chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Catholic Education, has called on Congress to pass legislation...

Pro-life Easter signature campaign at Russian Orthodox churches

On April 30-- the night of the Easter Vigil on the Orthodox calendar-- signatures will be collected at Orthodox churches calling upon Russian lawmakers to ban abortion, according to the Interfax...

US House commission holds hearing on ISIS genocide

The United States House of Representatives’ Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission recently conducted a hearing on the genocide of religious minorities by the Islamic State. The bipartisan...

Maltese cardinal: Scripture speaks to us amid migrant crisis

Noting that the phrase “invasion of barbarians” has been replaced by the “more politically correct ‘migration of peoples,’” a Maltese biblical scholar and...

Preservation work done on oldest manuscript of Spiritual Exercises

A team of preservation experts has worked for over a year to preserve the oldest manuscript of St. Ignatius of Loyola’s Spiritual Exercises. Since the sixteenth century, the...

Sale of California convent to Katy Perry is still in dispute

A legal battle over the sale of a convent in the Los Angeles archdiocese will continue, after the religious community that once held the property asked a court to block the sale of the building to...

US bishops' key pro-life staffer retiring after 36 years

Richard Doerflinger, who has served on the US bishops’ pro-life committee for 36 years, will retire on April 29. Beginning as a legislative assistant, Doerflinger earned several promotions,...

Pope's zucchetto sold at charity auction for over $18,000

A zucchetto worn by Pope Francis has sold for $18,190 on auction. The funds from the auction, conducted on the Catawiki site, will go to Save the Child’s Heart, an Israeli charity that serves...

Mexico bishop to boost security after 'painful' armed robbery at parish

A Mexican bishop has denounced the thriving trade in firearms, after a squad of armed men robbed a parish in Irapuato, handcuffing a priest while they looted the church. Bishop José de...

Vatican financial watchdog reports leap in queries on suspicious transfers

In its annual economic report for the year 2105, the Vatican's Financial Information Agency (AIF) reported a nearly fourfold increase in the number of suspicious transactions it...

Italian police disrupt Islamic terror plot on Vatican

Italian police have arrested four people suspected of planning a terror attack on the Vatican. Milan prosecutor Maurizio Romanelli said that Abderrahim Moutahrrick, a Moroccan-born man living in...

Released Friday, Apr. 29

Refugees need assistance, Pope tells bishop on Italian-Austrian border

In a conversation with an Italian bishop whose diocese borders Austria, Pope Francis emphasized the importance of assisting refugees. The prelate, Bishop Ivo Muser of Bolzano-Bressanone, had...

Australian bishops’ conference welcomes closing of migrant detention center

Papua New Guinea’s Supreme Court has ordered the closure of a facility where 900 migrants who attempted to reach Australia have been detained. Australia has paid Papua New Guinea to operate...

Prelate laments heavy fighting in Aleppo

The Chaldean Catholic bishop of Aleppo lamented the intensification of fighting in Syria’s largest city. “The situation of the people is disastrous,” Bishop Antoine Audo said in...

Cardinal visits Nepal on earthquake anniversary

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila, the president of Caritas Internationalis, visited Nepal on the first anniversary of the earthquake that killed over 8,000 people and caused an estimated $10...

Bishop opens medical dispensary to care for Hindu pilgrims

As an estimated 50 million Hindus take part in the Kumbh Mela, a mass pilgrimage to bathe in an Indian river, a bishop has opened a dispensary to offer medical care, according to...

Ecumenical Patriarch issues Easter encyclical

The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, who holds a primacy of honor in Eastern Orthodoxy, has issued an encyclical for Easter, which falls on May 1 this year in the Orthodox liturgical...

Former Vatican prefect: Pope Francis offers ‘great lesson to all of humanity’

Pope Francis offered a “great lesson to all of humanity” in visiting refugees on the Greek island of Lesbos, the former prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship said in an op-ed...

Bishops discuss Calais migrant crisis

Representatives of the English, French, and German episcopates have met in Paris to discuss the situation in Calais, France, where thousands of migrants who hope to enter the United Kingdom have...

Pope's prayer intentions for May 2016

The Vatican has released the prayer intentions of Pope Francis for May 2016.  The Pope's universal intention is: “That in every country in the world, women may be honoured and...

Vatican bank closed nearly 5,000 accounts

The Vatican bank, the Institute for Religious Works (IOR), has closed 4,800 accounts under new regulations, according to the annual report of the Financial Information Authority...

Medical research, care should not be driven solely by profit, Pope says

In an April 29 address to participants in a Vatican conference on regenerative medicine, Pope Francis voiced his concern that some people, suffering from unusual diseases, do not receive proper care...

Biden, at Vatican, lauds Pope's compassion

American Vice President Joe Biden praised Pope Francis for his compassion during an April 29 address to a conference at the Vatican, mentioning that the Pontiff had offered him comfort when his son...

'Vatileaks' witnesses noticed suspicious activity

In the latest session of the “Vatileaks II” trial, two Vatican employees testified that they had observed suspicious behavior in the office of Msgr. Angel Vallejo Balda, who has now admitted that he...

Streamlining Vatican communications will take until 2018, new boss says

The head of the Vatican’s new Secretariat for Communications has indicated that the consolidation of the Vatican’s communications offices will not be complete until 2018. Msgr. Dario Edoardo...

German philosopher: Amoris Laetitia points toward schism

A prominent German philosopher has warned that Pope Francis has endangered the unity of the Church by contradicting the teachings of his predecessors in Amoris Laetita. ”Chaos was raised to...

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