Stories for October 2016

Released Monday, Oct. 3

In press conference, Pope discusses US presidential election, ministry to transgendered persons

On his return trip from Georgia and Azerbaijan to Rome, Pope Francis held a wide-ranging press conference in which he discussed his travel plans for 2017, praised the vibrant Christian faith he...

In Georgia, Pope speaks of ‘world war’ against marriage, decries gender theory; ‘never proselytize the Orthodox!’

On October 1, the second of his two days in the Caucasus nation of Georgia, Pope Francis celebrated Mass for the Catholic community, paid tribute to charity workers at a health-care clinic run by...

Papal greeting to Rome’s Jewish community

Pope Francis has sent a message to the Jewish community of Rome on the occasion of the commemorations of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot. “I am particularly glad to convey my warmest...

Christian life is woven with faith and service, Pope tells Catholics of Azerbaijan

Pope Francis concluded his three-day apostolic journey to the Caucasus on October 2 with a visit to Azerbaijan. The nation of 9.6 million is 93% Muslim and 3% Eastern Orthodox, and has fewer than...

Did timing of World Cup influence Pope Benedict’s resignation

Pope Benedict XVI might have remained in office for another year, if the World Cup had not been scheduled to be hosted by Rio de Janeiro in 2014, according to Archbishop Georg Gänswein. The...

Vandal targets statues in Roman basilicas

An immigrant from Ghana damaged statues in four different churches of Rome during a destructive spree that began on Friday evening, October 1, and ended only with his arrest on Saturday...

Ecumenical setback as Orthodox boycott papal Mass in Georgia

Georgian Orthodox clerics refused to attend a Mass celebrated by Pope Francis in Tbilisi on Saturday, October 1. Vatican ecumenical officials had hoped that Georgian Orthodox Patriarch Ilia II...

Canadian cardinal will not deny anointing, funeral in assisted-suicide cases

A Canadian cardinal has announced that he will not the last rites or church funerals to Catholics who plan a physician-assisted suicide. “I don’t plan specific directives aimed at...

Irish archbishop: fetal defects never justifies abortion

Abortion is never justified, even in so-called “extreme cases,” Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh insisted in a statement released for the Day for Life in Ireland. Archbishop Martin,...

Jesuits encouraged to be bold in choosing new leader

As representatives of the world’s Jesuit communities prepared to elect a new worldwide leader, the head of the Dominican order encouraged them to make bold choices. Father Bruno Cadoré preached at...

Portuguese bishop reports Pope confirmed visit to Fatima in May

Pope Francis has said that he will visit the shrine of Our Lady of Fatima next May, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first Marian apparitions there. Bishop Nuno Bras da Silva Martins, an...

Colombia’s voters reject peace accord with FARC rebels

Voters in Colombia voted to reject a peace accord that had been struck by the country’s government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in a weekend referendum. The...

Connecticut archbishop forms foundation for civil improvements

Archbishop Leonard Blair of Hartford, Connecticut, has brought together local government, corporate, and educational leaders to discuss plans for civic improvements. The archbishop has set up a...

Orthodox and Catholics must stand together: Russian Orthodox official

A Russian Orthodox official has said that relations with the Catholic Church are critically important at a time when the world’s two largest Christian institutions face a powerful trend of...

Fast-track beatification process begun for Father Hamel

Pope Francis has authorized the Archdiocese of Rouen to begin investigating a cause for the beatification of Father Jacques Hamel, the city’s archbishop announced on October 2. Archbishop...

New cardinals will be named soon, Pope reveals

Pope Francis plans to hold a consistory and name new members of the College of Cardinals soon, he told reporters during an in-flight press conference on October 2. Answering a question from an...

Released Tuesday, Oct. 4

Vatican newspaper: gender ideology akin to Communism, eugenics

The desire to achieve equality by eliminating sexual difference is reminiscent of previous attempts to achieve equality by eliminating private property (through Communism) and illness (through...

Colombian bishops: rejection of peace agreement is cause for reflection, dialogue

Colombia’s bishops neither welcomed nor condemned the results of a plebiscite in which voters narrowly rejected the terms of a peace agreement between the government and the Revolutionary...

Cardinal Sarah emphasizes importance of silence, ad orientem celebration

In an interview with a French newspaper, Cardinal Robert Sarah emphasized the importance of silence in encountering God and renewed his call for the ad orientem celebration of the...

Venezuelan bishops deplore prison conditions

The justice and peace commission of the Venezuelan Episcopal Conference has issued a statement lamenting worsening prison conditions under the regime of President Nicolás Maduro. Citing...

Burma: dozens of mosques, madrasas slated for demolition

The government of Rakhine State in Myanmar (Burma) plans to demolish over 3,000 buildings of the Rohingya people, according to Christian Solidarity Worldwide. Among the buildings slated for...

Pope visits Italian earthquake region

Pope Francis paid a surprise visit to the region of Amatrice, Italy, on October 4 to comfort earthquake victims there. During an exchange with reporters on October 2, as he traveled back to Rome...

Papal visit to India likely for 2017; Colombia trip doubtful

Pope Francis is likely to visit India next year, he told reporters on October 2. During a press conference on his flight home from Azerbaijan, the Pope said that a trip to India and Bangladesh is...

Report details work of pregnancy-resource centers

A special report on pregnancy-resource centers in the CareNet network shows that the institutions served well over 330,000 people last year, and have saved more than 500,000 children from abortion...

Vicar for Rome issues strict guidelines for implementing Amoris Laetitia

Cardinal Agostino Vallini, the Pope’s vicar for the Rome diocese, has issued guidelines for the implementation of Amoris Laetitia, indicating that divorced and remarried couples might be...

Pray for Holy Spirit’s guidance, archbishop urges judges at Red Mass in Washington

Archbishop Bernard Hebda of St. Paul-Minneapolis exhorted judges, lawyers, and court officers to pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit, as he preached at the annual “Red Mass” for...

Nigerian bishop: rosary crusade is defeating Boko Haram

A Nigerian bishop who reports that Jesus appeared to him to inspire a rosary crusade now believes that the Boko Haram terrorist campaign “will soon fizzle out.” Bishop Oliver Dashe...

German cabinet minister encourages Muslims to adapt, suggests ‘German Islam’

Germany’s finance minister is encouraging Muslim immigrants to adapt their faith to the country’s standards. Wolfgang Schaeuble—who is sometimes touted as a potential successor...

Build bridges, not walls: European justice-and-peace commissions

The justice-and-peace commissions of the European Catholic bishops’ conference have issued a statement calling upon political leaders to build bridges rather than walls. Acknowledging that...

Released Wednesday, Oct. 5

Nebraska priest to head US bishops’ worship office

A priest who has served as diocesan master of ceremonies in the Diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska, has been named executive director of the Secretariat of Divine Worship of the United States Conference...

Austria: brochure explains Christian culture to migrants

In Austria, Church officials have printed 34,000 brochures in Arabic and Farsi to explain aspects of Christian culture to migrants. The 44-page booklet discusses topics as varied as Christmas,...

Franciscans plead for peace in Syria

The minister general of the Franciscan order and the Franciscan superior of the Holy Land have called upon belligerents in Syria to lay down their arms. “We appeal to all forces involved,...

CAFOD: uphold women’s rights, education in Afghanistan

As officials of 70 nations met in Brussels to discuss Afghanistan’s future, the UK bishops’ aid agency called for attentiveness to the situation of Afghan women. “Women’s...

Pope receives Vodafone Foundation board, calls for digital access to sacred texts in Africa

Pope Francis met with the CEO and directors of the Vodafone Foundation on October 5 and thanked the foundation for “Instant Schools for Africa,” an educational initiative of the...

Pope recalls apostolic journey to Caucasus, speaks of unity of martyrs’ blood

During his October 5 general audience, Pope Francis spoke about his recent apostolic journey to Georgia and Azerbaijan. “This visit complemented my visit to Armenia in June, and fulfilled...

Top Massachusetts court rules woman’s former lesbian partner has equal parental rights

The top court in Massachusetts has given a lesbian woman full parental rights over two children, although she is not biologically related to the children and was never married to their...

Nicaraguan bishops call for fasting, prayer before elections

The Catholic bishops of Nicaragua have declared a nationwide day of “fasting and prayer for the present and future of Nicaragua,” as the country prepares for elections. The country is...

Crucifix showing a female Christ figure on display at Episcopal cathedral

A crucifix with a female figure of Christ has been installed at the Episcopalian cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York, more than 30 years after the same crucifix was originally displayed...

Pope, Archbishop of Canterbury sign joint pledge to work for unity

Pope Francis and Dr. Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, jointly presided at a Vespers service on October 5, and signed a statement affirming their commitment to ecumenical progress. At...

Europe should require nations to accept immigrants, says secretary-general of Italian bishops’ conference

European countries show that they are “weak and blind” when they build walls to keep out immigrants, said that secretary-general of the Italian bishops’ conference. Bishop...

Vatican envoy calls for UN action against terrorism

In an October 5 address to a UN session on combatting terrorism, Archbishop Bernardito Auza called for international action to “deny terrorists access to cyber-technologies to recruit new...

Jordan’s huge refugee population creates unstability

The enormous number of refugees who have flocked into Jordan have created an “unsustainable and dangerous situation” in that country, the head of the Caritas Jordan relief agency...

Released Thursday, Oct. 6

4 catechists tortured, murdered in Mexico

On October 4, the bodies of four young catechists were found in a lemon orchard in San Juan de Los Plátanos, a community in the Mexican state of Michoacán. Willibaldo...

Report: Kurdish fighters occupy Christian villages in Syria

Kurdish fighters are occupying historically Christian villages in northern Syria and recently destroyed homes in one village as part of a military training exercise, according to an Assyrian media...

Haitian priest: hurricane had ‘catastrophic’ effect

The director of Caritas Haiti said that Hurricane Matthew had a “catastrophic” effect on the nation. “There have been deaths from drowning and collapsed buildings,” said...

Pope greets Auschwitz survivors, recalls St. Faustina

Following his October 5 general audience, Pope Francis greeted Auschwitz survivors who had gathered in St. Peter’s Square. “I cordially greet all the Polish people present here and in...

2018 synod theme announced

The Holy See Press Office has announced that the next Synod of Bishops will be devoted to “youth, faith, and vocational discernment.” The synod, which will take place in October 2018,...

Pope pays tribute to sports, warns against corruption

Pope Francis spoke about athletics in an audience with participants in a Vatican conference on faith and sports. The heads of United Nations and the International Olympic Committee are among...

New York archdiocese sets up compensation fund for abuse victims

The Archdiocese of New York has announced plans to provide compensation for all victims of clerical abuse, regardless of when the abuse occurred. The compensation fund provides victims with an...

Synod council reportedly chose against Pope’s preferred topic

Pope Francis had hoped to devote the next meeting of the Synod of Bishops to discussing the possibility of married priests, but the leadership of the Synod chose a different topic, according to one...

Pope to open academic year for John Paul II Institute, replacing Cardinal Sarah

Pope Francis will speak at the inauguration of the new academic year for the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, the Vatican has announced. Cardinal Robert...

Church leaders in India call for prayer as fighting spreads in Kashmir

Church leaders in India are seeking prayers for peace as fighting continues between Indian and Pakistan in the disputed Kashmir region. Cardinal Oswald Gracis of Mumbai, who is the president of...

Aleppo is a divided city, like Cold War Berlin, archbishop reports

Aleppo has become a divided city, like Berlin during the Cold War era, a Syrian archbishop told Vatican Radio. Archbishop Joseph Tobji, the head of the Maronite Catholic archdiocese in Aleppo,...

Meeting Anglican primates, Pope bids more prayers for unity

Pope Francis met on October 6 with 35 primates of the Anglican communion, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the historic meeting between Pope Paul VI and Archbishop Michael Ramsey of...

Released Friday, Oct. 7

Anglican leader thanks Pope Francis for his example and teaching

Addressing Pope Francis during an October 6 meeting, Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury thanked Pope Francis for his example, leadership, and teaching on a wide range of issues, including...

Jesuit Refugee Service assists 724,000 in 45 nations

Father Thomas Reese, SJ, has written a profile on the work of Jesuit Refugee Service, which was founded in 1980 by Father Pedro Arrupe. Engaged primarily, according to Father Reese, in...

Dublin archbishop meets with leading Russian Orthodox official

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin met in Moscow on October 6 with Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church...

Socialist who opposed abortion named UN secretary-general

A former Portuguese minister who opposed abortion and the legalization of same-sex marriage during his tenure in office has been named the ninth Secretary-General of the United...

Pope receives Vineyard church leaders

Pope Francis received leaders of the Vineyard movement in a private audience on October 6. “On behalf of the global Vineyard family, we bore greetings to Pope Francis during a remarkable...

Papal encouragement for Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate

Pope Francis met on October 7 with members of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, who recently concluded a meeting of their general chapter. The Pope reminded the Oblates that their...

Asia Bibi’s appeal to be heard by Pakistani supreme court next week

Pakistan’s highest court will hear an appeal of the death sentence of Asia Bibi on October 13. Asia Bibi, a Christian wife and mother, was arrested in June 2009 on charges of blasphemy...

Haiti hurricane victims receive message of sympathy, support from Pope Francis

Pope Francis has sent a message of sympathy and support to the people of Hait, after Hurricane Matthew tore through the island nation. In a telegram to Cardinal Chibly Langlois, the president of...

Polish lawmakers reject total abortion ban

Polish legislators voted on October 6 to reject a proposal that would have instituted a total ban on abortion. The proposed legislation—which would allowed for prosecution of mothers who...

Argentine priest murdered after speaking out against drug traffic

An Argentine priest who had been outspoken in his condemnation of drug trafficking was found dead at this home in San Miguel de Tucuman on October 5. Father Juan Heraldo Viroche had received...

Vatican’s UN envoy recommends family-based approach to fighting drug use

Archbishop Bernardito Auza, the Vatican’s permanent observer at UN headquarters in New York, reaffirmed the Church’s opposition to drug use in an October 6 discussion of that...

New Mexico archbishop denounces bid to restore capital punishment

Archbishop John Wester of Santa Fe, New Mexico, has denounced an effort to restore the death penalty in the state. “I find it blasphemous that the state wants to take a human life,”...

Portrait of papal almoner, Archbishop Konrad Krajewski

The Crux web site has posted a profile of Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, who as papal almoner is in charge of the Holy Father’s private charities. Archbishop Krajewski has been asked by Pope...

Belgian bishop suggests ritual to bless non-marital unions

Bishop Johan Bonny of Antwerp, Belgium, has suggested that the Church should devise rituals to bless non-marital unions, including those of cohabiting couples and homosexual partners. In a book...

Released Monday, Oct. 10

Federal court victory for Baltimore crisis pregnancy centers

A federal district court has ruled that Baltimore’s mayor and city council infringed upon constitutional free speech rights in compelling crisis pregnancy centers to post signs stating that...

Sistine Chapel Choir’s 2nd CD released

Deutsche Grammophon has released the Sistine Chapel Choir’s second CD, featuring works of the sixteenth-century composer Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina. At an October 7 press conference,...

Pope distinguishes mercy from pity, philanthropy

In an October 8 message to an Argentine volunteer organization, Pope Francis distinguished mercy, in which the “misery of the other enters into my heart,” from pity, philanthropy, and...

Pope Francis: in the Rosary, we contemplate Mary as her Son’s first disciple

At a three-hour Marian prayer vigil in St. Peter’s Square on October 8, Pope Francis spoke about the Rosary. The vigil was part of the Marian Jubilee, which took place in Rome from October...

Mary is a model of gratitude, Pope says at jubilee Mass

Preaching at Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica on October 9, Pope Francis described the Blessed Virgin Mary as “a model, indeed the model” of gratitude in the Christian life. The...

Pray for hurricane victims, Pope asks in Angelus address

During his October 9 Angelus address, delivered at the conclusion of the Marian jubilee Mass, Pope Francis requested prayers for victims of Hurricane Matthew. “I learned with sorrow of the...

Pope names 17 new cardinals

Pope Francis announced that he will create 17 new cardinals on November 19, the day before the Solemnity of Christ the King and the close of the extraordinary jubilee year of mercy. The Pope made...

CatholicVote calls for Trump withdrawal

A Catholic political-action group called for Donald Trump to withdraw from the presidential race after the October 8 release of auditape in which the Republic candidate was captured boasting of his...

English bishop urges Catholic editors to resist gender theory

Bishop Mark Davies of Shrewsbury, England, has instructed Catholic educators to resist gender ideology and uphold the truth. “We must always show genuine love and understanding to those who...

Cardinal Bagnasco named president of European bishops’ conference

Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco of Genoa, the president of the Italian bishops’ conference, has been elected to serve as president of the Council of Episcopal Conferences of Europe (CCEE) as well....

Jacob Neusner, rabbi who influenced Pope Benedict XVI, dead at 84

Jacob Neusner, a prolific and influential Jewish scholar whose work drew the admiration of Pope Benedict XVI, died on October 9 at his home in New York. Neusner was the author or editor of more...

Pakistan shuts down Christian TV stations

The government of Pakistan has shut down 11 Christian television stations, citing them for “illegal” broadcasts. “The proclamation of the good news is now illegal,” Father...

Papal encouragement for Pallottine Fathers

Pope Francis told members of the Pallottine order that their founder, St. Vincent Pallotti, had given them “a precious gift of the Holy Spirit” with the founding charism of their...

Illinois bishop: voters may choose not to support any presidential candidate

Bishop John Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois has acknowledged that some Catholic voters might legitimately choose not to vote in the November presidential election. Writing in his diocesan...

Chinese priest ordained as ‘underground’ bishop without Vatican approval

A Chinese priest has been ordained as a bishop without approval from either the Vatican or the Chinese government, adding a new complication to efforts to unify the Church. Father Dong Guan Hua...

Archbishop Sample: Amoris Laetitia does not change Church teaching

Archbishop Alexander Sample of Portland, Oregon, has added his name to the list of prelates who have said that Church teaching on marriage is unchanged by Amoris Laetitia. In a pastoral letter,...

Released Tuesday, Oct. 11

Caritas appeal for Haiti

Caritas Internationalis, the Church’s confederation of relief and development agencies, has issued an appeal on behalf of Haiti, ravaged by Hurricane Matthew. “Haiti is the poorest...

Catholic, Orthodox officials present Syrian children’s appeal for peace

Catholic and Orthodox prelates, including the patriarch of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, have traveled to Brussels and Geneva to present EU and UN officials with a children’s appeal for...

Bishops’ commission welcomes EU ratification of climate-change treaty

The Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union (COMECE) has issued a statement welcoming the EU’s formal ratification of the Paris agreement on climate...

Colombian bishops welcome Nobel Peace Prize for Santos

The president of Colombia’s episcopal conference has issued a statement welcoming the decision to award the Nobel Peace Prize to the nation’s president, Juan Manuel Santos. Santos...

Accept child refugees, UK religious leaders urge May

A group of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim leaders in the United Kingdom, including former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, has called upon Prime Minister Theresa May to admit nearly 400 child...

Austrian bishops oppose government asylum limits

The Austrian bishops have announced their opposition to a government emergency order that will limit asylum claims once 37,500 refugees have arrived in the nation. “The maintenance of...

Nuns in Italy form same-sex union

Two women religious—one from Italy, one from South America—registered their relationship as a civil union in Pinerolo, Italy, late in September. The two women, who were identified in...

Chinese ‘underground’ bishop released, but still under police control

Bishop Peter Shao Zhumin, the “underground” bishop who was taken into custody by Chinese officials in September, has been released but remains under tight restrictions, the AsiaNews...

Jesuit priest shot with rubber bullets during rioting at South African university

A Jesuit priest was wounded by a rubber bullet fired by police during a violent protest at a South African university. Police used tear gas and rubber bullets to break up a student demonstration...

Polish bishops will continue push for tighter abortion restrictions

The Polish bishops’ conference has indicated that Church leaders will continue to press for protection of unborn children, after the country’s legislature defeated a measure that would...

Profiles of new cardinals

The Catholic Herald of London has provided insights into the thoughts of the 13 new cardinal-electors appointed by Pope Francis. (Four of the 17 cardinals named by the Pope are over the age of 80...

Vatican envoy seeks UN attention to domestic violence

In an October 10 address to a UN session on the advancement of women, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, the Vatican’s permanent observer, gave top priority to the problem of domestic...

Benedict XVI questions German ‘church tax’

Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI questions the reliance of the German Catholic hierarchy on the “church tax” in the new book-length interview published in Italy, the daily L’Espresso...

Swiss court requires nursing home to allow assisted suicide

A Swiss nursing home run by the Salvation Army has lost its court challenge against a government policy that requires institutions to patients to commit physician-assisted suicide. The nursing...

Seven saints to be canonized; four others move closer to beatification

The Vatican has announced that seven new saints will be canonized on October 16; and four candidates have moved a step closer to beatification. Pope Francis will preside on Sunday at the...

Massachusetts churches challenge new state policy requiring transgender accommodations

Four Protestant churches in Massachusetts have filed suit challenging a new state policy that requires all institutions to allow “transgender” individuals to use the restrooms and...

Released Wednesday, Oct. 12

US government report discusses China’s repression of Church

The Congressional-Executive Commission on China has issued its annual report on human rights in China. The Commission noted that “the government and [Communist] Party continued efforts to...

Nun: Western journalists biased in their coverage of Syria

A religious sister who lives in Aleppo questioned why Western journalists are focusing on civilians killed by the Assad regime and its allies in attacks on rebel-held areas to the exclusion of...

Singapore prelate concerned about online gambling

The archbishop of Singapore has expressed concerned about the effects of a recent government decision to permit online gambling. After reviewing the teaching of the Catechism of the Catholic...

Denver archbishop: ‘Voting as a Catholic in 2016’

Noting his “aversion for both candidates,” Archbishop Samuel Aquila of Denver called upon Catholics to “reflect on the platforms of both parties, with an emphasis on the human life...

Texas bishops: death penalty does ‘great harm’ to the common good

In a Respect Life Month statement, the bishops of Texas renewed their call for the abolition of capital punishment. The bishops stated: Catholic teaching unequivocally states that “if...

Practice the works of mercy daily, Pope says at general audience

During his October 12 general audience, Pope Francis called upon pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square to practice the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. Reflecting on Mt. 25:31-36,...

Pope pleads for immediate ceasefire in Syria

Following his October 12 general audience, Pope Francis renewed his appeal for peace in Syria. “I want to emphasize and reiterate my solidarity with all victims of inhuman conflict in...

Common Core standards seen at odds with Catholic education

A Boston think tank has released a report strongly criticizing the federal “Common Core” educational standards, saying that they are incompatible with traditional Catholic approach to...

Zimbabwe: Protestant cleric petitions for excommunication of Mugabe

A Protestant minister in Zimbabwe has delivered a formal petition to the Vatican asking for the excommunication of President Robert Mugabe, citing the destruction of the country’s economy...

Christians united under persecution by ‘ecumenism of blood,’ Pope says

Christians who suffer persecution are brought together by an “ecumenism of blood,” Pope Francis told an ecumenical group on October 12. Speaking to representatives of the Christian...

Filipino president rips bishops for criticizing vigilante justice

Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte has lashed back at the country’s Catholic bishops for their criticism of vigilante violence. Referring to the bishops as “annoying SOBs,”...

Aid to the Church in Need receives 2016 Poverello Award

The international charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) has been named to recipient of the 2016 Poverello Award, given by the Franciscan University of Steubenville to honor individuals or...

Council of Europe rejects surrogate parenthood

The Council of Europe has voted to withhold legal recognition of contracts for surrogate parents. In the October 11 vote, the Council rejected a plan for “tightly regulated” surrogate...

No reply from Pope to ‘Vatileaks’ convict’s appeal for pardon

Msgr. Lucio Vallejo Balda, who was sentenced to 18 months in prison for his part in the “Vatileaks II” scandal, has appealled to Pope Francis for a pardon, but has not yet received a...

Detroit archdiocese asks forgiveness in Mass of Pardon

The Archdiocese of Detroit scheduled a special Mass on October 7, asking God’s pardon for sins and failures, as an important element of observing the Year of Mercy. “We’re...

Portrait of Belgian Cardinal-elect Jozef de Kesel

John Allen of Crux offers a glimpse into the thinking of Archbishop Jozef de Kesel of Brussels, who has been named by Pope Francis to receive a cardinal’s red hat. Archbishop de Kesel has...

Colombian bishops will take part in peace talks with 2nd rebel group

Five Colombian bishops will be directly involved in peace talks between the country’s government and the rebels of the Ejercito de Liberacion Nacional (ELN), the bishops’ conference has...

Clinton campaign sought to stimulate ‘revolution’ within Catholic Church, leaked emails show

Leaked email messages show that top officials of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign worked to plant the “seeds of revolution” within the Catholic Church in the US. The...

Massachusetts official urged to resign after grilling judicial nominee about Catholic faith

A ranking public official in Massachusetts is coming under fire for grilling a judicial nominee about his Catholic faith. Eileen Duff, a member of the Governor’s Council (a body that...

Released Thursday, Oct. 13

Religious leaders: repudiate civil rights commission’s attack on religious liberty

A diverse coalition of religious leaders has called upon President Barack Obama and leading House and Senate officials to repudiate a recent US Commission on Civil Rights report on religious...

Pope Francis: care for the environment to help prevent natural disasters

At the conclusion of his October 12 general audience, Pope Francis noted that October 13 is commemorated as the International Day for the Reduction of Natural Disasters. “Natural disasters...

Pope Francis, Pope Emeritus Benedict contribute to book on Ecumenical Patriarch

Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI have both offered contributions to Bartholomew: Apostle and Visionary, an official biography of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew written by John...

Cardinal Parolin calls on Europe to return to Christian roots

In an address delivered at the Catholic University of Portugal on October 12, the Vatican’s Secretary of State reflected on the work of Christian political leaders after World War II to build...

NATO leader meets with Pope

Pope Francis received Jens Stoltenberg, the Secretary General of North Atlantic Treaty Organization, in a private audience on October 13. The Holy See Press Office has not released additional...

Papal message draws attention to plight of child migrants

The Holy See Press Office has released the text of Pope Francis’s message for the 2017 World Day of Migrants and Refugees, which will take place on January 15. “In Jesus, God became a...

Pakistani court again postpones hearing from Asia Bibi

A long-awaited hearing of Asia Bibi’s appeal by the Pakistan’s Supreme Court was postponed indefinitely on October 13, as one member of the three-judge panel recused himself from the...

Pope rips ‘hypocrisy’ of Christians who reject refugees, says proselytism is ‘venom’

Pope Francis assailed Christians who oppose the acceptance of refugees, and those who seek to convince others of the truth of their faith, in remarks to a visiting German group on October...

California prosecutor bringing criminal charges in fetal-parts scandal

A California prosecutor is bringing criminal charges against two of the corporations involving in the sale of fetal body parts: a scandal exposed by the underground videotapes produced by the Center...

Regensburg diocese to compensate abuse victims in children’s choir

The Diocese of Regensburg, Germany, has announced plans for compensation of the victims of abuse in the famous cathedral choir. Several hundred former members of the children’s choir have...

L’Osservatore Romano questions Nobel Prize for Bob Dylan

The Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano has expressed misgivings about the award of a Nobel Prize in Literature to American songwriter Bob Dylan. While praising Dylan for his...

Belgian cardinal-designate faces questions about appointing priest convicted of abuse

Archbishop Jozef de Kesel of Brussels, who has been named by Pope Francis to be elevated to the College of Cardinals, is facing renewed criticism because of his decision to appoint a convicted child...

Shelling hits Aleppo’s Christian quarter; children killed

At least four schoolchildren were killed in Aleppo, Syria, in a bombardment on the beseiged city’s Christian quarter on October 13. Bishop George Abou Khazen, the apostolic vicar of Aleppo,...

In Middle East, where civil divorce is impossible, a high demand for efficient marriage tribunals

The Latin-rite Catholic Patriarchate of Jerusalem is organizing conferences for Church tribunal officials about the implementation of new streamlined procedures for annulment cases—a matter of...

Archbishop Chaput rips Clinton campaign efforts to change Church teaching

Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia blasted Clinton campaign officials in a heated response to the revelations that they had organized a drive to influence the Church. Writing in his...

India: Islamic State threats against Christian churches

Security officials in India are investigating reports that terrorists associated with the Islamic State have targeted Christians in the state of Kerela. After arresting and questioning members of...

Bahrain: king gives land for Christian church

King Hamad bin Isa al Khalifa of Bahrain has donated the land for the construction of a Coptic Orthodox Church, the Fides news service reports. The church, to be built in the capital city of...

Released Friday, Oct. 14

USCCB president issues statement following leaked Clinton campaign emails

The president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops called upon Americans to reflect upon the importance of religious freedom in the wake of “reports that some may have sought to...

Leading Nigerian bishop condemns arrest of judges

The president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria has condemned the arrest of judges on suspicion of corruption. “We have been very clear with the President in our various...

Holy See’s UN envoy calls for renewed arms-control efforts

The Holy See’s leading diplomat at the United Nations has called for renewed efforts against arms trafficking and in favor of the elimination of nuclear weapons. Archbishop Bernardito Auza...

Cor Unum assists hurricane victims in Haiti

The Pontifical Council Cor Unum has announced an emergency relief donation of $100,000 to assist the victims of Hurricane Matthew in Haiti. The funds, which will be disbursed by the affected...

Van Eyck altarpiece partly restored

The first part of a three-part restoration of Hubert and Jan van Eyck’s famed Ghent Altarpiece has been completed. The restored portions of the 15th-century work, also known as the...

Pope Francis questions genetically-modified crops, urges action to combat climate change

In his annual message for World Food Day, Pope Francis contrasted the “wisdom of rural communities” with “the logic of consumerism and production at any cost, a logic that, cloaked...

Venezuelan priest elected to lead world’s Jesuit order

A Venezeulan priest, Father Arturo Sosa Abascal, has been elected the new superior general of the Society of Jesus. Father Sosa is the 30th successor to St. Ignatius Loyola, and the first Jesuit...

Pope visits Rome residential center for troubled children

Pope Francis visited a Roman center for troubled children on October 14, as part of his series of gestures for the Year of Mercy. The Pope made a surprise appearance at the SOS Village, a...

Israeli leaders blast UNESCO resolution on access to Al Aqsa mosque

Israeli political leaders have reacted angrily to UNESCO’s preliminary approval of a resolution that condemns Israeli restrictions on access to the Al Aqsa mosque, which is located on the...

Florence archdiocese: no change in policy on Communion for divorced/remarried

The Archdiocese of Florence, Italy has instucted priests to uphold the traditional teaching that Catholics who are divorced and remarried cannot receive Communion, except in cases when they agree to...

Clinton campaign email author complains he is ‘falsely accused as an anti-Catholic bigot’

One of the Clinton campaign supporters whose negative email comments on conservative Catholics were made public by Wikileaks has complained that he is “being falsely accused as an...

Australian court rejects bid to dismiss charges against archbishop for concealing abuse

An Australian court has rejected a bid by Archbishop Philip Wilson of Adelaide for dismissal of charges that he covered up evidence of sexual abuse. Archbishop Wilson is charged with...

Cardinals resent plan for McDonald’s near St. Peter’s Square

A group of cardinals has objected to plans for a McDonald’s restaurant in the Borgio Pio, just steps from St. Peter’s Square. Residents fear that the fast-food restaurant would...

Released Monday, Oct. 17

Papal condolences following death of Thai king

Pope Francis has sent condolences to Thailand’s prime minister following the death of the nation’s king. “I was deeply saddened to learn of the death of His Majesty King...

Financial information agreement between Italy, Holy See goes into effect

An agreement between the Holy See and Italy on fiscal matters went into effect on October 15. The agreement, signed in April 2015, allows Italian authorities access to financial records of...

Pope pays tribute to the elderly

Pope Francis paid tribute to the importance of the elderly and of grandparents during an October 15 audience with members of Italy’s National Association of Elderly Workers and the...

Legates named for closing of holy doors in Roman basilicas

Pope Francis has named the archpriests of the Papal Basilicas of St. John Lateran, St. Mary Major, and St. Paul Outside-the-Walls as his legates to preside at the rite of closing of the holy doors...

Pope Francis canonizes 7 saints

An estimated 80,000 pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square on October 16 for the canonization of seven saints. The seven are St. Salomon Leclerq (1745-1792), a French member of the...

Pope calls for policies in support of families, employment

At the conclusion of the canonization Mass on October 16, Pope Francis led pilgrims in the recitation of the Angelus and noted that the following day was the International Day for the Eradication of...

Christian-Taoist dialogue takes place in Taiwan

“Seeking the Truth Together,” and international conference on Christian-Taoist dialogue, took place on October 15 and 16 at Taipei Baoan Temple in Taiwan. Participants included the...

Filipino missionary warns: violence against drug dealers can lead to other addictions

Reacting to the violent war on drug traffickers that has been launched by President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines, a missionary priest has observed the violence, too, can act like a drug,...

New curriculum standards proposed for Catholic schools

The Cardinal Newman Society has released a new set of curriculuman standards for Catholic schools, designed as an alternative to the federal Common Core guidelines. The release of the Catholic...

US bishops’ relief agency involved in African contraception drive, critics charge

Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the overseas charitable arm of the US bishops’ conference, cooperated in the distribution of contraceptives in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a watchdog...

Pope to visit Genoa in 2017

Pope Francis will visit Genoa and Milan, Italy, next year, the Vatican has announced. The Pope will travel to Milan in late March, then to Genoa in late May. The Holy Father had been scheduled to...

Released Tuesday, Oct. 18

Agenda announced for fall US bishops’ meeting

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has announced the agenda of its annual fall meeting, which will take place from November 14 to 16 in Baltimore. The bishops will vote on a...

Federal court upholds law compelling pregnancy centers to post abortion notice

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the “Reproductive FACT Act,” a California law that compels crisis pregnancy centers to post a notice informing women about abortions. The...

2 Catholic radio networks announce merger

Two Catholic radio networks that broadcast in different parts of the United States have announced their intention to merge. Immaculate Heart Radio, which is based in California, and Relevant...

Slovenia’s president meets with Pope

Borut Pahor, Slovenia’s president since 2012, met with Pope Francis at the Vatican on October 17. Pahor later met with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, and...

Patriarch appeals for Iraqi unity as army advances on Mosul

As the Iraqi army began an offensive to retake Mosul from the Islamic State, Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako appealed for national unity. Expressing concern over “voices of...

2016 Ratzinger Prize winners named

The Joseph Ratzinger-Benedict XVI Vatican Foundation has announced the winners of the 2016 Ratzinger Prize for distinction in theology. Msgr. Inos Biffi, ordained to the priesthood in 1957, has...

Federal court allows church’s challenge to state law barring discrimination for gender identity

A federal court in Iowa has rejected the state government’s request to dismiss a lawsuit brought by a Protestant church to challenge the state’s new anti-discrimination policy. The...

VP candidate Kaine is ‘cafeteria Catholic,’ archbishop says

In a strongly worded column published in his archdiocesan newspaper, Archbishop Joseph Naumann has labeled Democratic vice-presidential candidate Tim Kaine as “an orthodox member of his party,...

Church must inform consciences on marriage, to counter poor preparation: Archbishop Sample

In an interview with Catholic World Report, following up on his pastoral letter on the implementation of Amoris Laetitia, Archbishop Alexander Sample of Portland, Oregon, explains his stand that the...

World leaders need will to bring peace to Iraq, says papal nuncio

In order to end the bloodshed in Iraq, world leaders need “first of all, the political will,” the apostolic nuncio in that country told the Catholic News Agency. “If the...

Myanmar: cardinal sees religious intolerance as ‘poision’

Religious intolerance is a “poison for society,” which has doing severe damage in Asia, according to Cardinal Charles Maung Bo of Yangon, Myanmar. In a message to the Fides news...

Mexico: suspect arrested for September killing of two priests

Mexican police have arrested a suspect in connection with the September murder of two Catholic priests. Fathers Alejo Nabor Jimenez and Alfredo Suarez de la Cruz were shot and killed, their...

New Jesuit leader sees dialogue, work with migrants as priorities

The newly elected leader of the world’s Jesuits sees inter-religious dialogue and work with migrants as top priorities. Father Arturo Sosa, the Venezuelan priest who was elected on October...

Palestinian leader makes donation to restore basilica of the Holy Sepulchre

President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority has made a personal donation to support restoration efforts at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre...

Released Wednesday, Oct. 19

France’s Le Pen: ban religious symbols in public

Citing the need to combat Islamist extremism, the leader of France’s third-largest political party said that France’s ban on religious symbols and garb in schools should be extended to...

Patriarch addresses task force on Iraq’s future

The head of the Chaldean Catholic Church traveled to Berlin on October 17 to address the Atlantic Council’s task force on the future of Iraq. Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako emphasized that...

Vatican newspaper turns attention to next synod

Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti of Perugia said that the theme of the 2018 Synod of Bishops—youth, faith, and vocational discernment—is “exceptionally important” because it is an...

Syria: monk emphasizes ISIS-Saudi link

The prior of a Syrian monastery called upon the international community to “stop doing business with Saudi Arabia.” Father Jacques Mourad, who was held captive by the Islamic State...

Pope reflects on 1st corporal work of mercy

Continuing his weekly catechetical addresses on mercy, Pope Francis devoted his October 19 general audience to the importance of feeding the hungry. “Among the corporal works of mercy, the...

Russian patriarch concerned about Anglican developments

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church met with the Archbishop of Canterbury in England on October 18 and expressed his concerns about developments within Anglicanism. Patriarch Kirill of Moscow...

Islamic State executing opponents in Mosul as battle begins

As Iraqi forces advance in their bid to recapture Mosul, militants of the Islamic State are executing civilians there who show support for the liberators. Some residents of Mosul have begun...

Massive crowds in Paris for pro-marriage demonstration

A “Manif pour tous“ demonstration in Paris on Sunday by defenders of traditional marriage drew a stunning crowd estimated at 200,000, catching even the organizers by surprise. The...

At audience, Pope recalls Solidarity martyr, Father Jerzy Popieluszko

At the conclusion of his regular weekly public audience on October 19, Pope Francis paid tribute to Father Jerzy Popieluszko, the “Solidarity priest” whose feast day the Church...

Released Thursday, Oct. 20

Thieves target Liverpool churches, including cathedral

In recent weeks, thieves have broken into over a dozen churches in the Liverpool area, including the city’s Catholic cathedral. On October 5, thieves forced their way into the cathedral...

Catholic college bars ‘unborn lives matter’ poster

The president of a Catholic university has prohibited a Republican student organization from displaying an “unborn lives matter” poster on the campus. A DePaul University spokeswoman...

Iraqi Christians rejoice at town’s liberation from ISIS

Advancing toward Mosul, the Iraqi army has liberated Bakhdida from the forces of the Islamic State. Once a city of 50,000, Bakhdida, also known as Qara Qosh, was home to ten Syriac Catholic and...

Russia poised to ban ‘baby boxes’

The Russian parliament is poised to ban “baby boxes”—heated incubators in which mothers can anonymously leave a newborn child. Nineteen baby boxes have been installed in Russia...

Orthodox theologian argues against historic Church-state alignment

Pantelis Kalaitzidis, director of the Volos Academy for Theological Studies in Greece, has published a work arguing against the desirability of the alignment of Church and state that has...

Pope backs initiative against child labor

Pope Francis has lent his support to a national Brazilian initiative to eliminate child labor. Writing to the cardinal archbishop of Aparecida, Pope Francis said that children are a “sign...

Judge blocks enforcement of Obama transgender-bathroom policy

A federal judge has issued a nationwide block on enforcement of an Obama-administration policy directive requiring all public schools to give “trangender” boys access to girls’...

Vatican UN envoy regrets movement away from two-state solution for Israel-Palestine conflict

Speaking at a UN discussion of the Middle East, the Vatican’s representative lamented the “gradual movement away from the two-state solution” that was proposed in 1947 and that the...

Prayer requires humility, silence, recognition of sin, Pope says

“We cannot worship without accusing ourselves,” Pope Francis said in his homily at a morning Mass in the Sanctae Marthae residence on October 20. The Pope dedicated his homily to the...

Advanced technology calls for tighter controls on space-based weapons, Vatican envoy tells UN

As society relies every more heavily on satellite technology, there is an increasing need for tight restrictions on the militarization of outer space, the Vatican’s permanent observer told a...

Bishops call for release of political prisoners in Republic of Congo

The Catholic bishops of the Republic of Congo have called upon their country’s government to release political prisoners who have not been tried. In a statement released at the close of...

Burkina Faso’s leader meets with Pontiff

Pope Francis met on October 20 with president Roch Marc Christian Kaboré of Burkina Faso. A brief Vatican statement released after the meeting indicated that the talks had centered on...

Released Friday, Oct. 21

Allow yourselves to be commanded by God, Pope tells Augustinian Recollects

Leaders of the Order of Augustinian Recollects met with Pope Francis on October 20 and listened to him reflect on a prayer of St. Augustine: “All my hope lies in Your great mercy. Command what...

Chaldean patriarchate assures Iraqi army of prayers

The patriarchate of the Chaldean Catholic Church—an Eastern Catholic Church in full communion with the Holy See—has issued a statement assuring the Iraqi army and its allies of prayers...

Clinton, Trump trade barbs at Al Smith dinner

Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump traded barbs at the Al Smith dinner, which raised over $6 million for Catholic charities in New York. “I’d like to address an...

European bishops discuss pastoral care of Eastern Catholic migrants

Fifty Eastern-rite European bishops were among the prelates who gathered in Fatima on October 20 to discuss the pastoral care of Eastern Catholic migrants in Europe. Melkite Greek Patriarch...

Caritas India open to recruiting transgendered persons

Lamenting “traditional biases” against transgendered persons, the executive director of Caritas India said that his organization is “open to work with transgender people. I am even...

China, Vatican near agreement on appointment of bishops?

The Vatican is close to an agreement with Beijing that would include recognition of four bishops who have been illicitly ordained, according to the Reuters news agency. The Vatican has declined...

Vatican set to resume formal talks with Al Azhar

The Vatican has announced the resumption of official dialogue with Egypt’s Al Azhar University, the world’s leading institution of Sunni Islam. A delegation of Vatican officials—led by Bishop...

Cardinal-designate urges talks to resolve Venezuela’s political crisis

Church leaders both in Rome and in Venezuelan are deeply concerned about the lack of progress toward resolution of an economic and political crisis in the South American country, reports a prelate...

Bid to ban abortion of disabled babies advances in British Parliament

Legislation that would make it illegal to abort children because of their disabilities has advanced in the British House of Lords. The Abortion Disability Equality Bill, introduced by Lord...

Encourage vocations by broadening horizons, Pope urges Church leaders

Speaking on October 21 to an international conference on religious vocations, Pope Francis said that the Church must not rely on planning and programs, but on imitation of Christ. The Pope...

Vatican representative prods OSCE to act against human trafficking

“Trafficking in human beings is a plague in the body of contemporary humanity,” the Vatican’s representative said at a meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in...

Pope sees Sts. Faustina, John Paul II as ‘apostles of Divine Mercy’

“The formation of the young is an investment for the future,” Pope Francis said in an October 21 address to members of the St. John Paul II Foundation; “may the young never be...

Pope’s summer residence opened to public

For the first time ever, the papal apartment in the summer residence at Castel Gandolfo was opened to the public on October 21. A group of visitors was allowed to tour the private chapel,...

Released Monday, Oct. 24

Dialogue is a reflection of mercy, Pope says at jubilee audience

Pope Francis reflected on the relation between mercy and dialogue during a special October 22 audience. During the jubilee year, the Pope has been holding a monthly Saturday audience in addition...

Holy See, Benin sign agreement

The Holy See and the Republic of Benin have signed an agreement on the juridical status of the Church in the West African nation. The agreement “guarantees to the Church the possibility of...

Pope laments cruel violence in Iraq

Following his October 23 Sunday Angelus address, Pope Francis issued a new appeal for peace in Iraq. “In these dramatic hours, I am close to the entire population of Iraq, and in particular...

Pope Francis: now is the time for courageous evangelization

During his Angelus address on World Mission Sunday, Pope Francis presented St. Paul as a model of the missionary Church. “The experience of the Apostle of the Gentiles reminds us that on...

Jesuits’ first mission is helping other souls, Pope tells general congregation

In an October 24 address to leaders of the Society of Jesus, Pope Francis said that the mission of Jesuits is to be “free and obedient—going to the peripheries where others do not reach,...

Syrian Catholics fear Islamic takeover, plead for West to stop arming rebels

Several Catholic Church leaders in Syria beg the US and other Western governments to stop supporting rebel groups, in a Catholic World Report article by Alessandra Nucci. “Please help us to...

‘Rigid’ people are ill, hypocrites, or worse, Pope says

People who are rigid in their approach to religious faith are concealing their own faults, Pope Francis said in his homily at morning Mass on October 24. Commenting on the confrontations between...

Papal nuncio to US celebrates Mass at Mexican border

Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the apostolic nuncio to the United States, celebrated Mass on Sunday, October 23, at the Mexican border. The Eucharistic celebration was organized by Dioceses...

Avoid liturgical disputes, Vatican master of ceremonies advises

In an address to Church musicians, Msgr. Guido Marini, the master of ceremonies for papal liturgies, said that disputes over liturgy “distort the very nature” of the Eucharistic...

One church opens for faithful Catholic remnant in Somalia

A Catholic church has re-opened in Hargeisa, Somalia: the only Catholic house of worship in the African country. Bishop Giorgio Bertin, the apostolic administrator of Mogadishu, told Aid to the...

China allows ordination of Vatican-approved bishop

A new bishop will be installed in the Diocese of Changzhi, China, in November, with the approval of the Holy See, the AsiaNews service reports. Bishop-designate Peter Ding Lingbin will be...

Priest shot, killed in Democratic Republic of Congo

A Catholic priest was killed in Katuba, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, on October 21. Father Joseph Mulimbi Nguli was shot by masked men who attacked the family home were he was spending a...

South African bishops’ conference raps government withdrawal from International Criminal Court

The Catholic bishops’ conference of South Africa is urging the country’s government to reconsider a decision to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC). South Africa...

Venezuela’s President Maduro meets with Pope about national crisis

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro met with Pope Francis on October 24, to discuss the escalating crisis in the South American country. The Pope exhorted Maduro to “take up the path...

Released Tuesday, Oct. 25

Candidates announced for next USCCB president, vice president

The bishops of the United States have nominated ten of their brother bishops as candidates to serve three-year terms as president and vice president of the United States Conference of Catholic...

Bishop: treat Calais migrants with dignity

As French officials begin to dismantle the squalid migrant camp known as the “Calais jungle,” the local bishop called for the dignified treatment of migrants. Thousands of migrants...

Vatican message to Hindus emphasizes hope in family life

The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue has issued its annual message to Hindus for Diwali (Deepavali), the Hindu autumn festival of lights. In the message, entitled “Christians...

CDF issues instruction on cremation, affirms Church’s strong preference for burial

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has released Ad resurgendum cum Christo [To Rise with Christ], an instruction on the burial of the deceased and the conservation of the ashes in the...

Official: French towns may allow Nativity scenes

The legal advisor to France’s Council of State said that France’s law of separation of Church and state allows for the display of Nativity scenes on public property, so long as they are...

Vatican to mediate in Venezuelan crisis talks

Venezuela’s government and opposition leaders have agreed to engage in talks aimed at resolving the country’s political crisis, with a Vatican’s representative acting as...

Vatican, Argentine bishops prepare to open archives from ‘dirty war’ era

The Vatican and the Argentine Catholic bishops’ conference announced on October 25 that they have completed organizing archives from the era of Argentina’s military dictatorship, and...

Italian bishops decry ‘throwaway culture’ in message for pro-life day

The Italian bishops’ conference has issued a statement for the country’s annual pro-life day, encouraging Catholics to reject a way of life founded on consumerism and materialism. The...

CRS denies promoting contraception in Africa

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) has denied that the agency was directly involved in the distribution of contraceptives in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Last week the Lepanto Institute released...

Cardinal Kasper sees ‘paradigm shift’ in Church teaching on marriage/divorce/Communion

In an essay published in a German journal, Cardinal Walter Kasper argues that Amoris Laetitia represents a “paradigm shift” in Catholic teaching on marriage, divorce, and access to the...

Catholic University of Peru reaches agreement with Vatican to recover pontifical status

The Pontifical Catholic University of Peru (PUCP) has reached an agreement with the Vatican to regularize the institution’s status, ending years of conflict. Since 1969, the PUCP has been...

Islamic militants kill 12 in Kenya

Twelve people were killed when terrorists of the al-Shabab movement attacked a guest house in Mandera county, Kenya, on October 25. Al-Shabab terrorists used grenades and improvised explosives to...

Released Wednesday, Oct. 26

Irish faithful invited to pray for Syrian peace

The Irish bishops have invited Catholics to pray for peace in Syria on October 31. “Innocent men, women and children are paying the ultimate price in the continuing conflict raging in...

Prelate: US bears ‘moral responsibility’ toward Iraq

The Chaldean Catholic archbishop of Erbil said that the United States government bears a moral responsibility towards Christians and other minorities in Iraq. Over 100,000 Christians fled to...

Vatican meeting on human trafficking

Prelates, religious sisters, police chiefs, and human trafficking victims are meeting at the Vatican on October 26 and 27 to discuss ways to combat human trafficking and offer assistance to its...

Vatican newspaper lauds new history of Vatican II

L’Osservatore Romano devoted a page of its October 26 edition to Storia del Concilio Ecumenico Vaticano II, a new history of the Second Vatican Council by Piero Doria, an historian who works...

Pope Francis: “the ‘stranger’ is often the immigrant in our midst”

Continuing his series of addresses on the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, Pope Francis devoted his October 26 general audience to welcoming the stranger and clothing the naked. The Pope...

Pope writes preface to book on Argentine priest

Pope Francis has written the preface to Non avere paura di perdonare, a biography of Father Luis Dri written by Andrea Tornielli and Alver Metalli. The Argentine priest, born in the 1920s, is a...

Australian police interview Cardinal Pell about abuse charges

Australian police have interviewed Cardinal George Pell in Rome, questioning him about sex-abuse charges. The Australian cardinal, who now lives in Rome and serves as Secretariat for the Economy,...

Pakistani judge who forced postponement of Asia Bibi’s appeal resigns from court

The Pakistani Supreme Court justice who recused himself from hearing the appeal of Asia Bibi, thus forcing a postponement of the case, has submitted his resignation. Judge Iqbal Hameed ur Rehman...

Released Thursday, Oct. 27

ACLU complaint targets nation’s largest Catholic hospital system over sterilization

Describing sterilization as “essential health care,” the American Civil Liberties Union has filed a complaint with the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil...

EU, Christian leaders hold dialogue on migration

Representatives from the EU’s executive body conducted a dialogue seminar on migration with representatives of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community...

Alcohol ban moves Iraq toward Islamic theocracy, says lawmaker

A Christian lawmaker in the Iraqi parliament decried the passage of a law that bans the importation, sale, and production of alcohol. Yonadam Kanna told AsiaNews that the law is “contrary...

Church of Transfiguration desecrated

The Church of the Transfiguration on Mount Tabor in Israel was desecrated during the night on October 24. Thieves entered the church, broke open the tabernacle, scattered the Blessed Sacrament on...

Holy See, Vietnam continue negotiations

Representatives of the Holy See and Vietnam held their sixth official meeting since 2009 with a view to establishing full diplomatic relations. The delegations were led by Msgr. Antoine...

Archbishop Cupich: Amoris Laetitia is helping renew Chicago archdiocese

Catholics in the Archdiocese of Chicago have welcomed Amoris Laetitia as an “authentic and inspired expression of the Spirit of the Magisterium of the Church,” Archbishop Blase Cupich...

Pope emphasizes importance of the Rosary

At the conclusion of his October 26 general audience, Pope Francis emphasized the importance of the Rosary. “We are nearing the end of the month of October, dedicated to the prayer of the...

Archbishop Sample reports on earthquake experience in Norcia

Archbishop Alexander Sample of Portland, Oregon, was preparing to celebrate Mass at the Benedictine monastery in Norcia, Italy, when an earthquake hit central Italy on October 26. “It...

John Paul II Institute in Australia to be closed

Archbishop Denis Hart of Melbourne, Australia has made a surprise announcement that he will close down the Australian branch of the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and the Family. In a letter...

At meeting with Pontiff, Christian leaders of South Sudan renew commitment to peace

Pope Francis met on October 27 with a group of Christian religious leaders from South Sudan, to discuss prospects for ending the country’s bloody civil war. A brief Vatican statement...

Human trafficking a growing disgrace, Pope says

Pope Francis met on October 27 with members of the Santa Marta Group, an international organization that works to curb human trafficking, and saluted them for “an important contribution to...

Christian view of family is key to understanding the world, Pope says in address to John Paul II Institute

“The dynamics of the relationship between God, man and woman, and their children, are the golden keys to understanding the world and history, with all they contain, and finally to understand...

Vatican previews Pope’s visit to Sweden for Reformation anniversary

Catholics and Lutherans are “no longer defining themselves in opposition to each other,” Vatican spokesman Greg Burke said at an October 27 briefing in anticipation of the visit by Pope...

‘There will always be Christians in Iraq,’ prelate vows

As an international military offensive moves toward Mosul, liberating towns from the hold of the Islamic State, Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako has visited towns on the Nineveh...

US births up, out-of-wedlock births stop rising; immigrant mothers account for difference

The number of American children born to unmarried mothers, which has been rising for years, is levelling off, according to a Pew Research study. Also, the number of births in the US seems to be...

Released Friday, Oct. 28

English cathedrals to be lit in red in November

Two Catholic cathedrals in England will be floodlit in red during all of November in order to draw attention to the plight of persecuted Christians. “In November, nobody passing Brentwood...

Caritas, Lutheran World Services to strengthen collaboration

During Pope Francis’s apostolic journey to Sweden, leaders of Caritas Internationalis and Lutheran World Services will sign a declaration of intent to strengthen collaboration on such issues...

Cardinal Parolin highlights papal support for cooperatives

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, has written the introduction to a new book on papal teaching on cooperative economic institutions. Focusing on the teaching of...

El Salvador prelate warns against default

El Salvador’s leading prelate has appealed to lawmakers from the ruling and opposition parties to work together to avoid defaulting on the nation’s debt payments. Archbishop...

British, Irish bishops discuss Brexit

During a recent meeting of EU bishops, four British and Irish bishops discussed the UK voters’ decision to leave the European Union. The bishops emphasized, in the words of Bishop Noel...

Prominent Swedish convert offers background for papal visit

Offering background for the Pope’s trip to Sweden, Ulf Ekman—the former pastor of an Evangelical “megachurch” who shocked Sweden by becoming a Catholic—writes about the...

Pope makes complete overhaul of Vatican liturgical congregation

In a stunning move, Pope Francis has replaced all of the members of the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship, the body in charge of liturgical questions. It is routine for the Roman...

Catholic politician chosen to lead opposition in Bangladesh

For the first time, a Catholic has been chosen for the leadership of the leading political opposition party in Bangladesh. Albert Costa was elected as president of Jubo Dai, the youth wing of the...

Vatican to host Third World Meeting of Popular Movements

The Vatican will host the Third World Meeting of Popular Movements next week, bringing about 200 people from 65 different countries to Rome. Representatives of 92 different political and social...

Contemplative religious are ‘sentinels of the morning,’ Pope says

“Consecrated life is a gift to the Church, it is born of the Church, it grows in the Church, and it is entirely directed to the Church,” Pope Francis said in an October 28 address to...

Britain contributes €14 million to drive against human trafficking

At a Vatican conference on human trafficking, British Home Secretary Amber Rudd announced a €14 million program to combat the crime. Rudd made the announcement in a talk to the Santa Marta...

Poverty, strength of EU are focus for European bishops’ group

European poverty was the top item on the agenda at this week’s plenary meeting of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community (COMECE), the body that unites...

Catholics should learn from Luther, Pope says in new interview

Pope Francis said that Catholics can learn a great deal from Lutherans, in an interview published as he prepared for a trip to Sweden to join in commemorating the 500th anniversary of the...

Released Monday, Oct. 31

God overcomes sin with love, Pope says in reflection on Zacchaeus

During his October 30 Sunday Angelus address, Pope Francis reflected on Christ’s mercy to Zacchaeus (Lk. 19:1-10), in whom people saw “a villain who has enriched himself on the skin of...

4 Spanish Civil War martyrs beatified

Cardinal Angelo Amato, the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, presided at the Mass of beatification of four Benedictine monks who were martyred in 1936. Fathers José...

Earthquake destroys Basilica of St. Benedict in Norcia

The medieval Basilica of St. Benedict, built in the saint’s birthplace of Norcia (Nursia), Italy, was destroyed by a powerful earthquake on October 30. No deaths were reported, and the...

Louisiana high court upholds seal of confession

The Louisiana Supreme Court has ruled that priests are not required to report child abuse when they hear about the abuse in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. “A priest when administering the...

World Council of Churches leader reflects on Reformation anniversary

On the eve of Pope Francis’s apostolic journey to Sweden for the Lutheran-Catholic common commemoration of the Reformation, the general-secretary of the World Council of Churches reflected on...

China, Vatican reportedly near deal on recognition of bishops

The Vatican and the Chinese government are close to an agreement that would allow for the appointment of new Catholic bishops recognized by both parties, the Wall Street Journal...

Cardinal Koch: papal visit to Sweden could open path to full communion

As Pope Francis embarked on a two-day visit to Sweden, to join in commemorations of the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation, the president of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity...

Counsel urges Australian royal commission to reject Cardinal Pell’s claims of innocence

Lawyers for an Australian royal commission investigating the sex-abuse scandal have encouraged the commission to reject the testimony of Cardinal George Pell and accept the complaints against...

Colombian bishops urge government to accept proposed changes in peace accord with FARC

Archbishop Luis Augusto Castro Quiroga of Tunja, the president of the Colombian bishops’ conference, has encouraged President Juan Manuel Santos to accept proposed changes in a peace agreement...

American successor named for accused archbishop in Guam

Bishop Michael Byrnes, an auxiliary in the Archdiocese of Detroit, has been named coadjutor archbishop of Agana, Guam: an archdiocese troubled by multiple sex-abuse complaints against the current...

Pope, Lutheran leader pledge to work for restored communion

“The spiritual experience of Martin Luther challenges us to remember that apart from God we can do nothing,” Pope Francis said at an ecumenical prayer service in Lund, Sweden on October 31. The...

French bishop: think again about refugees after destruction of camp in Calais

A French bishop has supported the decision to demolish a migrant camp in Calais, but called for a “change of mentality” regarding refugees. Bishop Jean-Paul Jaeger of Arras said that...

In Crimea, Catholics excluded from religious council

Authorities in Crimea have decided to exclude Byzantine-rite Ukrainian Catholics from a state religious council, the AsiaNews service reports. Crimea, which was annexed by Russia in 2014, has...

Pope Francis’ prayer intentions for November

The Vatican has announced the prayer intentions of Pope Francis for November 2016. The Holy Father’s universal prayer intention for November is: “That the countries which take in a...

Boston archdiocese makes large contribution to fight against legal marijuana use

The Archdiocese of Boston has contributed $850,000 to a campaign to stop the legalization of recreational marijuana use in Massachusetts. A referendum question on the November ballot in...

Roman basilicas checked for structural damage after earthquake

Officials in Rome have checked the city’s major basilicas for structural damage in the wake of an earthquake that shook central Italy and destroyed the historic basilica of St. Benedict in...

At 2nd ecumenical event in Sweden, Pope thanks God for commemoration of Reformation

After joining in a prayer service with Lutheran leaders in Lund, Sweden, on October 31 (see separate CWN headline story), Pope Francis spoke later in the day at a second ecumenical gathering, with...

Vatican Radio role to diminish in Holy See’s new communications strategy?

The role of Vatican Radio, traditionally operated by Jesuits, will be less prominent in a new overall Vatican communications strategy, predicts Vatican journalist Sandro Magister of...

In city liberated from Islamic State, Iraqi bishop celebrates first Mass in over two years

Syrian Catholic Archbishop Youhanna Petros Mouche of Mosul presided at a Mass in Qaragosh, Iraq, on October 30—the first time that Mass had been celebrated in the city sine the Islamic State...

Want more news? Visit the Archives.