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Stories for November 2016

Released Wednesday, Nov. 2

Pope, in press conference, says John Paul’s teaching on women’s ordination is definitive

Pope Francis fielded questions from reporters during his return flight from Sweden to the Vatican on November 1. Asked about refugees, the Pope praised Sweden’s tradition of offering a...

Pope encourages Sweden’s Catholics to be salt and light, remember Virgin Mary’s love

At the conclusion of his November 1 Mass in Swedbank Stadium in Malmö, Sweden, Pope Francis led the faithful in the recitation of the Angelus. “As Catholics, we are part of a great...

Live the new Beatitudes, Pope preaches at Mass in Sweden

On the final day of his two-day apostolic journey to Sweden, as Pope Francis celebrated the Mass of All Saints Day in Malmö, the nation’s third-largest city, he suggested a new set of...

Earthquake destroyed all of Norcia’s churches

All of the churches in St. Benedict’s birthplace of Norcia (Nursia), Italy, were destroyed by the October 30 earthquake that leveled the medieval Basilica of St. Benedict. “All the...

Ecumenical Patriarch marks 25th anniversary

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew has written a message to the Orthodox faithful on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of his accession to the See of Constantinople. The 76-year-old prelate, who...

Prelates decry ‘inhumane’ US policy toward Haitians fleeing storm

The prelates who chair the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration and the Catholic Legal Immigration Network have decried US policy toward Haitians fleeing the...

Cardinal Koch explains ‘Eucharistic hospitality’ in Catholic-Lutheran marriages

The president of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity explained the policy of the Catholic Church regarding sharing Communion with Protestants, at a press conference during the visit by Pope...

Venezuelan government, opposition make concessions in Vatican-mediated talks

The Venezuelan goverment agreed to release four political prisoners, and the opposition party agreed to delay a protest march and a parliamentary trial of President Nicholas Maduro, in the first...

Vatican’s UN envoys sees rise of racism in hostility to migrants

In an address to a UN session on racism and intolerance, the Vatican’s representative called attention to the manifestations of racism in hostility to migrants. Archbishop Bernardito Auza...

DC city council approves assisted suicide

The city council of Washington, DC has approved a measure that would legalize physician-assisted suicide. The “Death with Dignity Act” was approved by a vote of 11 to 2. The council...

British doctors protest prenatal test to detect Down’s Syndrome

More than 300 British doctors have joined in protest against plans by the National Health Service (NHS) to introduce a new prenatal test to detect Down’s Syndrome. The protesting doctors...

Pope visits St. Mary Major after trip to Sweden

Pope Francis visited the Roman basilica of St. Mary Major upon his return from a two-day visit to Sweden. Following what has become his regular practice, the Holy Father offered a prayer before...

Romanian Orthodox look for unity after Crete meeting

The Romanian Orthodox Church has taken a stand in favor of preserving unity among the world’s Orthodox churches in the wake of the Pan-Orthodox Council that was held in Crete in June. The...

Vatican official: Italy should grant citizenship to children of immigrants

Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the secretary of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, argues that children of migrants in Italy should be recognized as citizens. “Young people born in...

Anthony Esolen facing pressure at Catholic college for criticism of ‘diversity’ agenda

Anthony Esolen, the noted author and literature scholar, is under heavy pressure at Providence College because of his outspoken defense of the school’s traditional “Western...

Released Thursday, Nov. 3

Pope expresses closeness to Norcia

On November 2, Pope Francis called Archbishop Renato Boccardo of Spoleto-Norcia to assure the residents of Norcia of his prayers following the recent earthquake there. The Pope “also said...

On All Souls’ Day, Pope preaches on sadness, hope

Pope Francis visited Italy’s largest cemetery on the afternoon of November 2 to offer Mass for All Souls’ Day. Cardinal Agostino Vallini, the pope’s vicar for Rome, joined Pope...

Prelates call for respect for rights of Christians in Iraq

As the Iraqi army and Kurdish forces advanced on Mosul, the head of the Chaldean Catholic Church met with other prelates and called for a true respect for religious freedom of Christians in...

Pope prays for repose of souls of predecessors

As is customary on All Souls’ Day, Pope Francis made an evening visit to the Vatican Grottoes to pray privately for the repose of the souls of his predecessors and all the departed. Located...

Victory for Florida homeowners on trial over Christmas display in lawn

A judge has ruled in favor of a Florida couple whose city government took them to court after they refused to reduce the size of the Christmas display in their front lawn. Broward Circuit Court...

British Columbia court backs Christian university in accreditation battle

Upholding a lower court ruling, an appellate court in British Columbia ruled that the province’s law society erred in denying accreditation to Trinity Western University’s incipient law...

Religions are called to deeds of mercy, Pope tells interfaith gathering

Pope Francis met with 200 representatives of other religions in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace on November 3 and stressed the importance of deeds of mercy. “The mystery of...

Guam: suspended archbishop welcomes appointment of coadjutor/successor

Archbishop Anthony Apuron of Agana, Guam, who was suspended after multiple sex-abuse charges, has welcomed the appointment of a coadjutor archbishop. Archbishop Apuron said that the...

British Church leader apologizes for pressuring unwed mothers toward adoption

Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster has apologized, on behalf of the Catholic Church, for pressuring unmarried mothers to give their children up for adoption. For about thirty years, the...

Colombian bishops may play a role in government-rebel peace accord

The Catholic bishops of Colombia may play an active part in renewed peace negotiations between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the Fides news service...

Maronite bishops welcome election of Lebanese president, breaking long impasse

The Maronite Catholic hierarchy has welcomed the election of Michel Aoun as president of Lebanon. The election ends a stalemate that left the country without a president for well over two...

Witchcraft is at base of human trafficking in Mozambique, missionary sister reports

In Mozambique, human trafficking and the sale of human organs are closely tied to the practice of witchcraft, according to a religious sister working for the bishops’ conference. Sister...

Before close of Jubilee Year, final events scheduled at Vatican

At a November 3 press conference in Rome, Archbishop Rino Fisichella, the president of the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization, outlined plans for the last two major events before the...

Japanese bishops’ conference issues call for renunciation of all nuclear power

The Japanese bishops’ conference has released a statement calling for the renunciation of all nuclear power, including the peaceful use of nuclear power to generate energy. The Abolition of...

In England, internet service offers prayers, encouragement for those near death

The Catholic bishops of England and Wales have launched a web site to serve the needs of those near death. The site, The Art of Dying Well, offers information, encouragement, and counsel both for...

Clashes at Jerusalem’s Western Wall over separation of sexes

Jewish protesters have clashed in Jerusalem over an effort to set aside part of the Western Wall of the Temple as a place where men and women can pray together. The sexes have traditionally been...

Released Friday, Nov. 4

Profile of Iraqi Christian town

World Watch Monitor, a news agency that reports on the persecution of Christians, has published a profile of Alqosh, a northern Iraqi town of four churches, two monasteries, and 500 Christian...

Vatican newspaper lauds new book on Dorothy Day

L’Osservatore Romano has published a strongly positive review of Dorothy Day: Love in Action, a recent biography of the foundress of the Catholic Worker movement by Patrick Jordan, who worked...

Cardinal Parolin: tribute to Benedict XV

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, delivered a lengthy talk on Pope Benedict XV at a conference in Bologna on November 3. The last pope who counted other popes as...

Ecumenical Patriarch blasts ‘disgraceful’ inaction on climate change, says ‘survival of God’s creation’ is at stake

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, who holds a primacy of honor in Eastern Orthodoxy, has written a message to participants in COP22, the upcoming UN climate change conference in...

Legumes a focus of Italian bishops’ thanksgiving message

The Italian Episcopal Conference has issued a message for the nation’s thanksgiving day, which will take place on November 13. Recalling that the United Nations has declared 2016 to be the...

Cardinal Zen pleads against Vatican ‘surrender’ to Beijing control

Cardinal Joseph Zen has issued a dramatic warning against a proposed agreement that, he fears, would give the Chinese government control over the Catholic Church. With multiple reports suggesting...

Indonesia: Muslims stage massive rally against Christian governor

Police in Jakarta used tear gas to break up a boisterous rally of over 100,000 Muslims protesting against the governor of the Indonesian capital. Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, who became governor of...

Pope celebrates memorial Mass for deceased prelates

Pope Francis celebrated Mass in St. Peter’s basilica on November 4 for the cardinals and bishops who have died during the past year. “These our brothers have reached the goal, after...

Nigerian court acquits suspects in lynching of Christian woman charged with blasphemy

A Nigerian court has released five men who were charged with the killing of a Christian women who had been accused of blasphemy. Bridget Patience Agbahime, a street vendor in the northern city of...

Vatican UN envoy praises Lebanon, Jordan for accepting refugees

Speaking on November 4 to a UN session on humanitarian work with Palestinian refugees, the Vatican’s representative praised Lebanon and Jordan for “their enduring collaboration”...

San Diego bishop instruct pastors to avoid political endorsements, condemnations

Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego, California, has instructed all the pastors in his diocese to refrain from endorsing or condemning political candidates in this year’s...

Released Monday, Nov. 7

Papal tribute to Blessed Charles of Austria, Hapsburg family

Pope Francis received members of the Hapsburg family on November 5 and paid tribute to Blessed Charles I (1887-1922), the last emperor of Austria and king of Hungary, as “first and foremost a...

New statutes for Pontifical Academy for Life

Pope Francis has approved new statutes for the Pontifical Academy for Life, which was established by St. John Paul II in 1994. The new statutes were approved on October 18, published on November...

Mexican cardinal retires

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Alberto Suárez Inda of Morelia, Mexico, for reasons of age and has named Archbishop Carlos Garfias Merlos of Acapulco as his...

Pope expresses hopes for UN climate conference

Following his November 6 Angelus address, Pope Francis expressed his hopes for COP22, the UN climate change conference in Morocco. “Two days ago, the Paris Agreement on the climate of the...

38 Albanian martyrs beatified

Thirty-eight martyrs slain by Albania’s Communist regime between 1945 and 1974 were beatified in Shkodër, Albania, on November 5. “While the persecutors dissolve like so many...

Pope calls prisoners to hope, appeals for better prison conditions

As part of the extraordinary jubilee year of mercy, Pope Francis celebrated Mass for the jubilee of prisoners on November 6 in St. Peter’s Basilica. During his homily, the Pope emphasized...

Pope Francis: resurrection is ‘foundation of Christian faith and hope’

During his November 6 Angelus address, Pope Francis reflected on the day’s Gospel reading at Mass (Lk. 19:27-38) and emphasized that “the resurrection is the foundation of Christian...

Vatican decries reports of unauthorized episcopal ordinations in ‘underground’ Chinese Church

The Vatican has reacted strongly against reports that a priest of China’s “underground” Catholic Church was ordained as a bishop last month without approval from the Holy...

Cardinal-elect Tobin named to head Newark archdiocese

Pope Francis has named Archbishop Joseph Tobin on Indianapolis—who will be elevated to the College of Cardinals later this month—to become Archbishop of Newark, New Jersey. The...

French bishops devote day of prayer for sex-abuse victims

The Catholic bishops of France are devoting themselves to fasting and prayer on November 7 for sex-abuse victims. At a regular meeting of the episcopal conference, being held at Lourdes, the...

Holy Doors to close at Roman basilicas next Sunday

As the Jubilee Year of Mercy nears its conclusion, the Vatican has announced that the Holy Doors at three major Roman basilicas will be closed on Sunday, November 13. The Holy Door at the...

British couple cannot adopt because of objection to same-sex households

A British couple has been informed that they will not be allowed to adopt their foster children because of their opposition to placing children in same-sex households. The couple, who have not...

Pope again speaks out against human trafficking

Pope Francis renewed his condemnation of human trafficking in a November 7 address to a group of European religious dedicated to battling the practice. In an address to Religious in Europe...

Pope denounces inequality, encourages work for dramatic political change

Pope Francis denounced the tyranny of a global system ruled by “the whip of fear, inequality, and violence,” in a November 5 address to the Third World Meeting of Popular Movements. The Pope...

Vatican conference to focus on treatment of rare diseases

At a November 7 press conference in Rome, the Pontifical Council for Health Care outlined plans for a conference that will focus on the treatment of rare and/or neglected diseases. The World...

Serbian Orthodox angry with Catholic prelate’s defense of Cardinal Stepinac

Serbian Orthodox leaders have reacted angrily to a statement by a Catholic archbishop, who voiced his dismay at delays in the cause for canonization of Blessed Alojie Stepinac. Archbishop...

Italian journalist explains Vatican role in arranging Venezuelan crisis talks

Sandro Magister, the noted Vatican-watcher of L’Espresso, has provided the background story explaining how the Vatican arranged for talks between the Venezuelan government of President Nicolas...

To discourage abortion, Poland to offer bonus for parents of disabled babies

Poland’s parliament has approved a proposal by the government to provide bonuses for the parents of disabled children, as a means of discouraging abortions. Beginning next year, the...

Italian earthquakes were God’s punishment, priest says—prompting Vatican rebuke

An Italian Catholic priest has caused an outrage by saying that the recent earthquakes that shook central Italy were “divine punishment” for the acceptance of same-sex unions. Father...

‘Underground’ Catholics near despair over prospect of Vatican-Beijing accord

Catholics of the “underground” Church in China are close to despair over the Vatican’s drive toward an agreement with the Chinese government, reports Father Bernardo Cervellera of...

Released Tuesday, Nov. 8

USCCB committee chair praises EPA action agenda

The chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development has issued a statement praising the “spirit” of the...

Iraq: Catholics from liberated town fear what lies ahead

Journalist Patrick Cockburn has written a report on the Syriac Catholics of Bakhdida (Qaraqosh), whose town was recently liberated from ISIS control. Two years ago, the town’s Catholics...

Putin dedicates huge statue of St. Vladimir

Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke at the dedication of a 52-ft. high statue of St. Vladimir near the Kremlin. Vladimir the Great, who ruled as grand prince of Kiev from 980 to 1015,...

Papal message to French bishops

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, has sent a message in Pope Francis’s name to the French bishops as they assembled for their fall meeting in...

At Auschwitz, an interfaith appeal against anti-Semitism

Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem joined other Christian, Jewish, and Muslim leaders from Israel at the Auschwitz concentration camp, where they issued an...

Father Lombardi named assistant to Jesuit superior general

Father Arturo Sosa, the new superior general of the Society of Jesus, has named nine assistants to aid him in the governance of the Church’s largest male religious community. Among the nine...

Gender-theory confusion calls for magisterial response, Dutch cardinal says

Cardinal Willem Eijk of Utrecht, Netherlands, has suggested that the rapid spread of confused thinking caused by gender theory may require a formal response in the form of a papal...

Malta archbishop fears ‘Equality Bill’ would undermine religious freedom

A proposed “Equality Bill” in Malta would restrict the freedom of the Church, warns Archbishop Charles Scicluna. The archbishop said that the Church supports efforts to protect the...

Philippines: bishop lauds Duterte’s promise to stop nuclear power production

A decision by President Rodrigo Duterte to close nuclear power plants in the Philippines has been welcomed by the Catholic hierarchy, the Fides news service reports. Bishop Rupert Santos of...

Pope meets leader in Italian campaign for legal abortion

Pope Francis met on November 8 with Emma Bonino, the Italian politician who has led public battles for legal acceptance of divorce, abortion, and same-sex unions. Bonino, a former leader of the...

Jubilee participants top 20-million mark

The number of pilgrims visiting Rome during the Jubilee Year of Mercy has now exceeded 20 million, the Vatican reports. The Pontifical Council for New Evangelization, which is organizing Jubilee...

Syrian Orthodox prelate wounded by gunfire in Aleppo

A Syrian Orthodox cleric who was wounded by gunfire in Aleppo on November 6 is expected to make a full recovery. Msgr. Raban Boutros Kassis, the Syrian Orthodox patriarchal vicar for Aleppo,...

Venezuela faces violence if negotiations break down, Vatican envoy warns

Venezuela will face a “very ugly” confrontation if talks between the government and opposition leaders break down, warns a Vatican official who has been instrumental in mediating the...

As police close informal mosques in Rome, Muslims say vow to pray at the Vatican

Police in Rome have closed down a number of Islamic centers, citing violation of zoning laws and safety codes. Some Muslims have now vowed that if they are not allowed to pray in their own centers,...

Government officials see traditional Christians as extremists, says Archbishop of Canterbury

English government officials lack “religious literacy,” and are therefore likely to view Evangelical Christians as extremists, the leader of the Church of England has said. Dr. Justin...

Father Pavone under fire for political video showing unborn child on altar

Father Frank Pavone, the controversial leader of Priests for Life, has sparked outrage by posting a Facebook video in which he placed the body of an unborn child on an altar while making a...

Released Wednesday, Nov. 9

Teaching and witness must go together, Vatican cardinal tells French bishops

Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, the president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, encouraged the bishops of France to offer a united witness in order to...

Vatican foreign minister concludes trip to Cyprus

Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, the Holy See’s Secretary for Relations with States, has concluded a four-day visit to Cyprus. Archbishop Gallagher met with Archbishop Chrysostomos II,...

Argentina bishops’ commission: drug abuse is ‘national emergency’

A pastoral commission of the Argentine Episcopal Conference, composed of delegates from various dioceses, deplored drug abuse and trafficking as a “national emergency.” Stating that...

Leading Colombian prelate meets with government, rebel negotiators

At the request of the Colombian government, the president of the bishops’ conference has traveled to Havana to meet with representatives of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC)...

Pope reflects on visiting the sick and imprisoned

Continuing his series of Wednesday general audiences on the works of mercy, Pope Francis devoted his November 9 catechesis to healing the sick and visiting the imprisoned. “Jesus himself is...

Pope requests prayers on Lateran Basilica feast day

Recalling that the day is the feast of the dedication of Rome’s cathedral, the Lateran Basilica, Pope Francis requested prayers at the conclusion of his November 9 general...

Cardinal Parolin congratulates Trump, urges work for peace

The Vatican Secretary of State has offered his congratulations to Donald Trump, and voiced his hope that the American president-elect will work for peace in the world. Speaking to reporters in...

President of US bishops’ conference pledges to work with Trump administration

The US bishops will be “eager to work closely with President Trump, as well as both houses of Congress, as we seek to really promote the good of all,” the president of the US...

Cardinal Turkson pushes environmental concerns in UNESCO speech

Cardinal Peter Turkson, the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, promoted the ecological concerns of Pope Francis in a November 9 address to a UNESCO audience. In his...

Myanmar: cardinal suggests return to church-administered schools

Cardinal Charles Bo of Yangon, Myanmar, has suggested that the government should revive the Catholic-school system, to restore the country’s educational standards. Cardinal Bo said that...

Italian premier promises help rebuilding Norcia basilica

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has promised the government’s support for the restoration of the basilica of St. Benedict in Norcia, which was nearly levelled by the recent...

China awaits ordination of bishop, appointed by Vatican in 2013

Chinese Catholics are eagerly preparing for the ordination of Msgr. Peter Ding Lingbin as Bishop of Changzhi, the AsiaNews service reports. The ordination, scheduled for November 10, marks a...

Trump won Catholic vote, exit polls say

Contrary to pollsters’ expectations, a majority of Catholic voters cast ballots for Donald Trump in the US presidential election, according to exit polls cited by the New York Times. Trump...

Bishop announces investigation of Father Pavone

Bishop Patrick Zurek of Amarillo, Texas, has announce an investigation into the incident in which Father Frank Pavone posted a video in which he displayed the body of an unborn child on an altar...

Released Thursday, Nov. 10

University of Mary, other North Dakota institutions file suit against transgender regulation

The State of North Dakota, the Sisters of Mercy, the University of Mary, and SMP Health System, a nonprofit hospital system founded by religious sisters in North Dakota, have filed suit against the...

Oklahoma voters retain state Blaine amendment

By a 57%-43% margin, Oklahoma voters rejected a ballot initiative that would have overturned a “Blaine amendment” that is part of the state’s 1907 constitution. Section II-5 of...

Aleppo’s Christians feel abandoned, says Holy Land Custos

The Custos of the Holy Land said that Christians in Aleppo, Syria, feel abandoned and believe that other Christians are unconcerned about their plight. As Custos, Father David Patton serves as...

Russian Orthodox patriarch congratulates Trump

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church has offered his congratulations to President-elect Donald Trump. “Please accept my heartfelt congratulations on your election as President of the...

Becket’s personal psalter found in library

The personal psalter of St. Thomas Becket, who was martyred in 1170, has been found in a library at the University of Cambridge, according to Christopher de Hamel, a member of the university’s...

Texas bishop: reasons for hope, ‘serious concern’ in Trump election

Stating that “both of the leading candidates took positions that were antithetical to basic Catholic principles,” the bishop of El Paso has issued a statement on the election of...

Christian unity is not uniformity, Pope says

“Christian unity is an essential requirement of our faith,” Pope Francis said in a November 10 address to the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity. The Pope said that Christian...

Trump election shows politicians were out of touch, Cardinal Burke says

In an interview with the National Catholic Register, Cardinal Raymond Burke said that the election of Donald Trump to the American presidency shows the need for a return to basic political...

Cardinal Lehmann encourages German bishops to make changes now, under Pope Francis

Cardinal Karl Lehmann said that the German Catholic bishops should act now to make changes in Church discipline, while they have the encouragement of Pope Francis. “Francis wants us to...

Chinese bishop ordained, with approval of both Rome and Beijing

Bishop Peter Ding Lingbin of Changzhi, China, was ordained on November 10, with the approval of both the Holy See and the Beijing government. Bishop Ding had been named by the Vatican to head the...

Released Friday, Nov. 11

Compendium on the Eucharist available in English

The Compendium on the Eucharist, issued in 2009 in Latin by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, is now available in English from the United States Conference of...

Pope, in interview, laments ‘rigidity’ of youth who prefer Latin Mass

Cardinal-designate Blase Cupich of Chicago joined Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, as a presenter at a Vatican press conference on the publication of Nei tuoi occhi...

Vatican cardinal: Pope Benedict’s Regensburg address was ‘prophetic’

Dialogue with Islam in light of Islamic terrorism and the rise of ISIS was a leading topic of discussion at the recent fall meeting of the French bishops at Lourdes. Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran,...

Argentine bishops discuss Amoris Laetitia

At their fall meeting, the bishops of Argentina have discussed the pastoral care of families, poverty, and national reconciliation. Using Pope Francis’s apostolic exhortation Amoris...

Ontario doctors challenge mandated referral for assisted suicide

Five Ontario physicians, one of them Catholic, recently launched a legal challenge to a mandate by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario requiring physicians to make referrals for...

Cardinal Parolin: do not neglect those with rare, tropical diseases

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, called for greater investments in treatments for those with rare diseases and undertreated tropical diseases. Speaking at a...

Cardinal warns Zambia’s Catholics: don’t allow syncretism to dilute the faith

Cardinal Fernando Filoni, the prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, traveled to Zambia to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the beginning of evangelization in the African...

Judge Trump by treatment of the poor, Pope Francis suggests in ‘revolutionary’ interview

Pope Francis said that he would judge American president-elect Donald Trump by his handling of the poor and immigrants, in a new interview published by the Italian daily La Repubblica. When...

Mexican legislature rejects bid to recognize same-sex marriage nationwide

Mexico’s parliament has blocked a bid by President Enrique Peña Nieto to grant legal recognition to same-sex marriage throughout the country. Same-sex marriages are already...

Giant tree due for Vatican Christmas celebration; creche will include migrants’ boat

A giant spruce tree, a gift from the Italian province of Trent, will be the centerpiece of the Christmas display in St. Peter’s Square this year, the Vatican has announced. Each year the...

Ex-priests meet with Pontiff

Pope Francis met on November 11 with several young men who have left the priesthood, in the latest of his monthly gestures for the Year of Mercy. The Pope met with seven men—five Italians,...

Pro-life vow eliminated from statutes for Pontifical Academy for Life

The newly revised statutes for the Pontifical Academy for Life no longer require members to sign a declaration that they will follow Church teachings on the sanctity of human life, the LifeSite News...

Paraguay: bishops say drug traffic corrupts state institutions

The Catholic bishops of Paraguay have issued a call for action against the influence of drug trafficking on the nation’s political system. At the conclusion of their annual meeting, the...

Released Monday, Nov. 14

God’s mercy is inclusive, Pope emphasizes at final jubilee audience

On November 12, Pope Francis held the final special monthly Saturday audience for the extraordinary jubilee year of mercy. “I would like to stress the importance of inclusion,” Pope...

Pope recalls St. Martin of Tours, urges prayers for Iraq’s Christians

At the conclusion of his November 12 jubilee audience, Pope Francis called upon pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square to pray for Christians in Iraq and throughout the Middle...

Those with rare diseases deserve equal access to effective healthcare, Pope says in message

Pope Francis reflected on the care of those who suffer from rare diseases in a November 12 message to participants in a conference sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers. The...

Do not be indifferent to the poor, Pope preaches at jubilee of the excluded

As the extraordinary jubilee year of mercy draws to a close, Pope Francis celebrated Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica on November 13 for the homeless and other socially excluded persons in...

Pope Francis: amid history’s trials, the Father does not abandon us

Reflecting on the day’s Gospel reading (Lk. 21:5-19), Pope Francis told the crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square for his November 13 Angelus address that they should not seek security...

Oldest crucifix in St. Peter’s Basilica restored

A fourteenth-century wooden crucifix, the oldest in St. Peter’s Basilica, has been restored. Moved from a place of prominence to make room for Michelangelo’s Pietà, the crucifix...

Papal call for sustainable farming

Following his November 13 Angelus address, Pope Francis recalled that the thanksgiving holiday was celebrated on that day in Italy. “I unite myself to the bishops in their desire that...

Coadjutor appointed for Hong Kong, confronted by protests

Pope Francis has named Bishop Michael Yeung Ming-cheung, 69, as the coadjutor bishop of Hong Kong. The newly appointed prelate was immediately met with protests. As he attended a graduation...

Four cardinals make public plea to Pope to clarify Amoris Laetitia

Four cardinals have made public a message to Pope Francis in which they plead for clarification of Amoris Laetitia, pointing to tensions between the papal document and traditional Catholic teachings...

German national soccer team meets with Pontiff

Pope Francis met on November 14 with members of the German national soccer team. In his remarks to the squad—which had just a lopsided victory over San Marino in a World Cup qualifying...

Trump: ‘fine’ with same-sex marriage

US President-elect Donald Trump indicated that he would not question the legal acceptance of same-sex marriage, in his first interview since his election. “It’s law,” Trump said...

Roman Curia leaders meet with Pontiff

Pope Francis met on Monday morning, November 14, with the leaders of the Roman Curia. The Vatican did not disclose the reasons for the meeting, which was held in the Sala Bologna of the apostolic...

Indian diocese encourages priests to visit homes, to stem losses for Church

The Diocese of Coimbatore, in India, is encouraging parish priests to visit with families, in a bid to reverse a trend in which Catholics are leaving the Church to join other Christian...

Vatican official estimates 1 billion may have participated in Jubilee Year events

The Vatican official responsible for planning events in Rome for the Year of Mercy has suggested that as many as 1 billion people may have participated in Jubilee observances...

Mexican priest kidnapped, tortured after condemning criminal gangs

A Mexican Catholic priest who was kidnapped on November 11 was released alive, but showing “obvious signs of torture,” two days later. Father José Luis Sanchez Ruiz was...

Released Tuesday, Nov. 15

Help young people encounter Christ, new nuncio urges US bishops

In his first address to the bishops of the United States, the new apostolic nuncio emphasized the importance of outreach to youth. Recalling that the topic of the next Synod of Bishops is...

Protestor enters sanctuary during US bishops’ Mass

As the US bishops celebrated Mass at St. Peter Claver Church, an African-American parish in West Baltimore, a protestor walked into the sanctuary, kissed the altar, and held up a banner that said,...

Prelate calls on Trump administration to ‘recognize the contributions of refugees and immigrants’

The chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on Migration assured President-elect Donald Trump of his prayers and migrants and refugees of his solidarity. “I offer a special word to...

Islamist militant attacks Indonesian church

Wearing a shirt with the word “jihad” on it, an Islamist militant threw a gasoline bomb at an Indonesian church, killing a two-year-old and injuring three other children. The November...

German cardinal shocked by Trump election

Cardinal Karl Lehmann, who led the German Bishops’ Conference from 1987 to 2008, has expressed shock at the election of Donald Trump, according to the Austrian bishops’ news...

Pope Francis urges UN conference to ‘act without delay’ on climate change

The international community has a “serious ethical and moral responsibility to act without delay” in combating climate change, Pope Francis said in a message to COP22, the UN climate...

Pope speaks to Dutch pilgrims of importance of Confession

Dutch pilgrims attended Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica on November 15 as part of a national pilgrimage for the jubilee year of mercy. At the conclusion of Mass, Pope Francis arrived at the...

World survey of religious freedom finds ‘Islamic hyper-extremism’ the greatest threat

A worldwide survery of religious freedom has found that “Islamic hyper-extremism” is wreaking havoc, especially in the Middle East, prompting brutal violence and creating an...

Cardinal DiNardo elected to head US bishops’ conference

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Houston has been elected president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), replacing Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, who had completed his three-year...

El Salvador: archbishop wants action against gang violence

El Salvador’s leading Catholic prelate has challenged the country’s government to take effective action against violent criminal gangs. Archbishop José Luis Escobar Alas of San...

US bishops encouraged to address racial tensions

Racial tensions and “post-election uncertainty” are dividing the American people, Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta told the US bishops during their meeting in Baltimore this...

Workers report extraordinary phenomena at Christ’s tomb

Workers engaged in a restoration project at the church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem have reported extraordinary phenomena at the tomb in which Jesus was laid, located inside the basilica....

Italy: divorce rate surges under more liberal law

Italy’s divorce rate soared after new quick-divorce laws went into effect, government statistics show. The 82,469 divorces recorded in Italy in 2015 represented a 57% leap over the previous...

Released Wednesday, Nov. 16

US bishops approve 5 priorities, discuss persecuted Christians

On the second day of their annual fall meeting, the members of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops approved a strategic plan for 2017-20 centered on five priorities: evangelization,...

Federal court: 1964 Civil Rights Act bars discrimination on basis of sexual orientation

A US district court has ruled that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, by prohibiting discrimination in employment on the basis of sex, also prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual...

British court: religious schools are allowed to educate boys, girls separately

A British trial court has ruled that religious schools are not barred from educating boys and girls in separate classrooms. Examining a government inspector’s complaint against a Muslim...

Laudatory Vatican newspaper review of book on Jesus and women

The Vatican newspaper has published a rare front-page book review lauding Gesù e le donne (Jesus and Women), the newest book by Enzo Bianchi, the 73-year-old lay founder of the ecumenical...

Iraqi Christians discuss life under ISIS

Following the recent liberation of areas of Iraq from ISIS control, some Iraqi Christians who were unable to flee the Islamic State’s 2014 advance spoke with Agence France-Presse about their...

Pope, in message to US bishops, stresses culture of encounter

In a video message to US bishops meeting in Baltimore, Pope Francis emphasized the importance of a culture of encounter. Referring to the Fifth National Encuentro of Hispanic/Latino Ministry,...

Pope reflects on patience and spiritual works of mercy

Continuing his series of Wednesday general audiences on the works of mercy, Pope Francis devoted his November 16 catechesis to patience and three of the spiritual works of mercy. “In...

Brazilian cardinal retires; successor named

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Raymundo Assis, 79, from the governance of the Archdiocese of Aparecida, the city that is home to Brazil’s national Marian shrine. St....

Pope appeals for children’s rights

In a message for the Universal Children’s Day, which will be observed on November 20, Pope Francis has called for vigilance in protecting the young, especially against military recruiters and...

Nigerian bishop charges US forced liberal sexual agenda as price for aid against terrorists

A Nigerian bishop has charged that American policy-makers would not provide help against Boko Haram terrorists unless the African country accepted birth control and homosexuality. “There...

South Korean bishops call for resignation of President Park after financial/access scandal

South Korean Catholic leaders are joining in calls for the resignation of President Park Geun-hye, who has became embroiled in a financial scandal. President Park, South Korea’s first...

Prelates may issue ‘formal act of correction’ on Amoris Laetitia: Cardinal Burke

Cardinal Raymond Burke has said that Catholic prelates could take the extraordinary step of making “a formal act of correction of a serious error” if Pope Francis does not clarify the...

Cuba releases prisoners in response to Pope’s request for Jubilee

The government of Cuba has announced the release of 787 prisoners, in a response to a request issued by Pope Francis for the Jubilee Year. The government of President Raul Castro said that the...

Venezuelan archbishop: government negotiators take ‘very radical’ stand in crisis talks

A Venezuelan archbishop has said that the future of negotiations between the government and opposition leaders is unclear, and the country faces an acute economic crisis. Archbishop Baltazar...

Indonesia: Christian governor to face trial for blasphemy

The Christian governor of Indonesia’s Jakarta province will go on trial for blasphemy, the AsiaNews service reports. Basuki Purnama Tjahaja, popularly known as “Ahok,” will be...

Vatican steps up recycling plan

The Vatican has announced an expanded recycling plan. The Vatican City Governorate said that a new central collection point will be organized inside the Vatican, to encourage more recycling. The...

Released Thursday, Nov. 17

Syrian patriarch: persecuted Christians hope Trump will help secure Mideast peace

The head of the Syrian Catholic Church called upon US politicians to speak out on behalf of persecuted Christians as he expressed his hopes for the Trump administration. “The Christians and...

Church in Nigeria to launch TV channel

The Archdiocese of Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, will launch a 24-hour satellite television channel in 2017, according to Nigerian media reports. Father Patrick Alumuku, the archdiocesan...

Prelate: ‘Brexit is causing serious problems’

The vice president of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the EU said in a recent interview that “Brexit is causing serious problems.” Brexit’s “serious...

‘Energy for the common good’ will be theme of Vatican’s world-fair pavilion

Cardinal Peter Turkson, who will lead the new Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, has announced that the theme of the Vatican’s pavilion at the 2017 world fair will be...

Chile’s bishops concerned about gender ideology, low voter turnout

At a recent five-day meeting, Chile’s bishops expressed the concern that lower voter turnout is indicative of a weakening democracy in a nation that was governed by a military regime from 1973...

Report documents violence, discrimination against Bangladesh’s Christians

A London-based human rights organization has issued a report on the persecution of Christians and other religious minorities in Bangladesh. The South Asian nation of 169 million is nearly 90%...

Pope Francis: pray, offer Masses for the deceased

At the conclusion of his November 16 general audience, Pope Francis asked the faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square to pray for the faithful departed. “In the month of November the...

OAS leader meets with Pope, Cardinal Parolin

Pope Francis received Luis Almagro, the secretary general of the Organization of American States, in a November 17 audience. The Holy See Press Office did not release details about the topics...

Vatican official regrets Archbishop Chaput’s interpretation of Amoris Laetitia

The prefect of the Vatican’s new dicastery for the Laity, Family, and Life has criticized Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia for saying that Amoris Laetitia does not change the...

Fight against exclusion of the poor, Pope urges Caritas International

Pope Francis exhorted charitable workers “to have prophetic courage, to refuse all that which humiliates man,” in prepared remarks to representatives of Caritas International, with whom...

Spanish court dismisses charges against artist who desecrated Eucharist

A Spanish court has ruled that an artist did not commit a crime by stealing and desecrating the Blessed Sacrament. A Christian lawyers’ group is appealling the decision. Abel Azcona...

Archbishop Chaput answers criticism on view of Amoris Laetitia

Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia has reacted strongly to criticism by Cardinal-designate Kevin Farrell about his implementation of Amoris Laetitia. In an interview with the Catholic News...

Come home, bishop urges undocumented Filipinos living in US

A Filipino bishop has suggested that any of his countrymen living illegally in the US should return home, before incoming President Donald Trump can take action against them. “To protect...

Pope meets with leader of Assyrian Church of the East

Pope Francis met on November 17 with Mar Gewargis III, the head of the Assyrian Church of the East, and joined him in a prayer for peace, especially in Syria and Iraq. The faithful in Syria and...

Taiwan: thousands rally against same-sex marriage

An estimated 10,000 people joined in a demonstration in Taipei in opposition to a bid for legal recognition of same-sex marriage in Taiwan. The rally was organized on November 17 as...

Boston’s Catholic mayor vows to fight for abortion access

Mayor Martin Walsh of Boston, Massachusetts, has vowed to keep abortion clinics open in the city, even if President-elect Donald Trump succeeds with pro-life initiatives. Walsh said that if the...

Money is not the goal, Pope tells business executives

“Businesses should not exist to make money,” Pope Francis told an audience of business executives at the Vatican on November 17. “Businesses exist to serve.” The Pope laid...

Released Friday, Nov. 18

No pre-consistory meeting between Pope, cardinals

Pope Francis is not holding the customary meeting with the entire College of Cardinals before he creates 17 new cardinals on November 19. Before his previous two consistories, Pope Francis held...

Archdiocese offers $130M to abuse victims

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, which filed for bankruptcy in 2015, has amended its reorganization plan, doubling its proposed fund to compensate over 400 abuse victims from $65 million...

Archbishop: Christians who fled ISIS likely to return to villages next summer

The Chaldean Catholic archbishop of Erbil—the Kurdish city in Iraq to which tens of thousands of Christians fled in 2014 as ISIS advanced—believes that they will begin to return to their...

Nigeria: police foil suicide bombing attack on Catholic parish

Police in Maiduguri, Nigeria, have foiled a suicide bombing attack intended to kill worshippers at a November 18 morning Mass, according to the nation’s leading newspaper. The northeastern...

Pope to issue apostolic letter at conclusion of jubilee year

The Holy See Press Office has announced that Pope Francis will release an apostolic letter on the conclusion of the extraordinary jubilee year of mercy. The letter, entitled Misericordia et...

Pope reacts to ‘rigid’ critics

Pope Francis defended himself against critics in a lengthy interview with the Italian Catholic daily Avvenire. The Pope said that he is leading the Church along the path set by Vatican II, moving...

Russian Orthodox official sees Trump victory as sign of hope

The chief ecumenical officer of the Russian Orthodox Church sees the presidential election of Donald Trump as a hopeful sign, which could produce an alliance between the US and Russia that would...

Judge approves transfer of Archbishop Sheen’s remains to Peoria, to revive beatification cause

A New York judge has ruled that the remains of Archbishop Fulton Sheen should be transferred from New York to Peoria: a move that could re-start the cause for the American prelate’s...

Cardinal-designate Tobin rejects criticism of Amoris Laetitia, calls for ‘healing’ after Trump victory

Cardinal-designate Joseph Tobin defended Pope Francis against the four cardinals who have asked for clarification of Amoris Laetitia, in an interview with the British Catholic paper, The...

Cardinal Antonelli turns 80, becoming ineligible to vote in next conclave

Cardinal Ennio Antonelli, the retired president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, celebrates his 80th birthday today, and thus becomes ineligible to participate in a papal election. A...

Scottish leader would consider free abortions for women from Northern Ireland

Scotland’s First minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has indicated that she would consider providing abortions for women who come to Scotland from Northern Ireland, where abortion is illegal. In...

Massachusetts priest pleads guilty to online scam

A retired priest in Massachusetts has pleaded guilty to charges of profiting from a fraudulent online dating scheme. Father Thomas Fleming, a retired priest of the Worcester diocese, had been...

On eve of consistory, New York Times provides historical perspective on College of Cardinals

The New York Times has posted a report, with helpful graphic images, showing the changes in the composition of the College of Cardinals over the years, particularly in light of the appointments by...

Melkite archbishop hopes Trump, acting with Russia, can curb bloodshed in Syria

A Syrian Catholic archbishop has said that American president-elect Donald Trump could help bring peace to the country if he can form an agreement with Russia. Archbishop Jean Abdo Arbach, who...

Turkey ousts its only Christian mayor

The only Christian elected as a co-mayor of a Turkish city has been ousted by the central government, as part of a purge following an abortive coup in July. The government has blamed the coup on...

Pursue truth with compassion in marriage tribunals, Pope tells bishops

Pope Francis spoke on November 18 to a group of bishops participating in a course on new procedures for marriage tribunals, and exhorted them to be compassionate to Catholics dealing with broken...

Released Monday, Nov. 21

Pope, in TV interview, calls abortion ‘very grave sin,’ ‘horrendous crime’

In an interview with the Italian bishops’ radio and television stations, Pope Francis looked back upon the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, including his “Mercy Friday”...

New cardinals, joined by Pope, greet Pope Emeritus

Following the consistory for the creation of new cardinals on November 19, Pope Francis and the new cardinals traveled to Mater Ecclesiae Monastery and greeted Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. The...

Pope creates 17 cardinals, warns against ‘virus of polarization’

Pope Francis created 17 new cardinals during a November 19 consistory in St. Peter’s Basilica, raising the membership of the College of Cardinals to 228, of whom 121 are eligible to vote in a...

Pope closes extraordinary jubilee year, calls faithful to follow Christ’s kingship of mercy

Closing the holy door at St. Peter’s Basilica, Pope Francis concluded the extraordinary jubilee year of mercy with Mass in St. Peter’s Square. The jubilee year—the first since...

Pope recalls day of prayer for cloistered religious

In his November 20 Angelus address, Pope Francis thanked the Italian government, the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization, and others who offered assistance during the...

French Carmelite beatified

Father Marie-Eugene of the Child Jesus (1894-1967), a French Carmelite who founded the secular institute of Our Lady of Life, was beatified in France on November 19. An estimated 11,000 people...

Pope issues apostolic letter on mercy, extends faculties for SSPX, abortion absolutions

Reflecting on the fruits of the extraordinary jubilee year of mercy, Pope Francis has issued Misericordia et Misera, an apostolic letter on mercy. In the letter—dated November 20 and...

Excommunication for abortion can also be lifted by priest-confessor, Vatican archbishop says

At a November 21 press conference, the president of the Pontifical Council for New Evangelization told reporters that Pope Francis has changed the provision of canon law stipulating that anyone...

Nearly 1 billion passed through Holy Doors during Year of Mercy

Events organized in Rome for the Jubilee Year drew 21.3 million pilgrims, Archbishop Rino Fisichella informed reporters at a November 21 briefing. Archbishop Fisichella—who as president of...

Cardinal Sarah: Pope cannot change divine law on marriage

Not even the Roman Pontiff can change the Church’s teaching on marriage, Cardinal Robert Sarah told an interviewer. In a conversation with the French Catholic journal L’Homme Nouveau,...

European Commission promises help with rebuilding Norcia basilica

The European Commission has pledged help to rebuild the historic basilica of St. Benedict in Norcia, Italy, that was virtually destroyed last month by earthquakes. “It’s right that...

Rome’s merchants report no boost from Jubilee Year

The Jubilee Year of Mercy did not produce the expected boom for the hospitality industry in the city of Rome. Although Vatican officials say that the Jubilee drew more than 21 million pilgrims...

Released Tuesday, Nov. 22

Oppose physician-assisted suicide with ‘renewed vigor,’ says Cardinal Dolan

Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, the chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, called upon Catholics to oppose physician-assisted...

Missouri court: embryos conceived through IVF are property, not children

A Missouri court has ruled that two embryos conceived through in-vitro fertilization are marital property, not children, and that both parties to a divorce must consent to their implantation. The...

Prelate calls for prayer, advocacy for Iraqi Christians

The Chaldean Catholic bishop of Detroit has called upon Catholics in the US and other Western nations to “adopt parishes, adopt dioceses, and adopt people” in order to “let the...

Cardinal Parolin denounces forced labor in fishing industry

The UN Food and Agricultural Organization and the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People hosted a discussion on November 21 on the exploitation of some workers in...

French cardinal asks forgiveness for not addressing abuse allegation promptly

At a Mass of reparation for clerical abuse, Cardinal Philippe Barbarin of Lyon asked forgiveness “before God and the whole of our diocese” for not investigating an abuse allegation as...

Theme announced for 2019 World Youth Day

The Dicastery for Laity, the Family, and Life has announced that the theme of the 2019 World Youth Day, which will take place in Panama, will be “I am the servant of the Lord. May it be done...

Rwandan bishops beg pardon for Christian involvement in 1994 massacres

The Catholic bishops of Rwanda have issued a public apology for the involvement of Catholics and Church officials in the genocidal massacres of 1994. “We apologise for all the wrongs the...

Moscow Patriarch says Russian Orthodox will never accept independent Orthodox Church in Ukraine

The leader of the Russian Orthodox Chuch has vowed that the Moscow patriarchate will never accept the independence of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine. “We will never agree to a change of the...

Vatican launches web site for Peter’s Pence

The Vatican has unveiled a new web site for Peter’s Pence, the annual collection for the needs of the Roman Pontiff. The new site provides thoughts from Pope Francis and links outlining of...

French presidential candidates vie for Catholic votes

Two former French prime ministers made appeals to Catholic voters, each claiming to represent the thinking of Pope Francis, is a debate between candidates for the leadership of the Republican...

Scottish archdiocese announces interactive PDA app to find Mass, Confession

Archbishop Leo Cushley of Edinburgh, Scotland, has announced the development of a smart-phone app that will enable users to be guided by GPS to the nearest Catholic church where Mass or Confession...

Greek prelate accuses four cardinals of heresy, scandal

A retired Greek bishop has denounced the four cardinals who made public their questions about Amoris Laetitia, accusing them of heresy and scandal. Bishop Fragkisko Papamanolis, the retired...

Released Wednesday, Nov. 23

Pope reflects on instructing the ignorant, counseling the doubtful

Continuing his series of Wednesday catechetical addresses on mercy, Pope Francis devoted November 23 general audience to two spiritual works of mercy: instructing the ignorant and counseling the...

Vatican hosts dialogue with Iranian Muslims on religious extremism

The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and the Tehran-based Islamic Culture and Relations Organization held a colloquium at the Vatican devoted to religious extremism and...

Cardinal DiNardo: share God’s mercy with those in physical, spiritual need

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, the new president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has issued a brief statement welcoming Pope Francis’s apostolic letter Misericordia et...

Vatican cardinal meets with Russian patriarch

Cardinal Kurt Koch, the president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, traveled to Moscow on the occasion of the 70th birthday of Patriarch Kirill and met with him on November...

Prelate: jubilee of mercy showed that Church is a mother, not a stepmother

In an interview with the Vatican newspaper, the president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization said that the faithful welcomed the recent jubilee year with...

EU bishops back Pillar of Social Rights, call for recognition of Sunday rest

The Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community (COMECE) have renewed their support of the European Pillar of Social Rights, an EU document on labor, education, and other...

Preparations continue for next Synod meeting

The Ordinary Council of the Synod of Bishops met in Rome this week, to continue preparations for the next meeting of the Synod, which will be held in October 2018 and will be devoted to...

Polish bishop supports cardinals’ request for clarification of Amoris Laetitia

A Polish bishop has joined the debate the request by four cardinals for Pope Francis to clarify Amoris Laetitia. “It would be just to respond” to the four cardinals, said Bishop...

Released Friday, Nov. 25

Vietnam’s president meets with Pope Francis

Pope Francis received Tran Dai Quang, Vietnam’s president since April, in a private audience on November 23. The meeting comes amid negotiations, ongoing since 2009, aimed at establishing...

Leading UN official meets with Pope

Pope Francis received Peter Thomson, the president of the United Nations General Assembly, in a private audience on November 24. The UN General Assembly’s president is elected by his peers...

Pope laments scourge of drug abuse

At Pope Francis’s request, he Pontifical Academy of Sciences hosted a two-day workshop on November 23-24 devoted to “narcotics: problems and solutions of this global...

Misericordia et Misera underlines key theme of Pope Francis, says Cardinal Nichols

England’s leading Catholic prelate says that Misericordia et Misera, the apostolic letter released by Pope Francis at the close of the Year of Mercy, “reinforces the fundamental shape...

Isolation is the enemy of community, Pope says

“It is isolation that harms, not sharing,” Pope Francis said in a video message to participants in the 6th festival of the Social Doctrine of the Church. The Pope dedicated his...

Rwandan government says Vatican must apologize for Church role in 1994 massacres

After the Catholic bishops of Rwanda issued an apology for the role played by Catholics in the genocidal massacres of 1994, the country’s government said that the statement was inadequate, and...

Bishop Schneider praises ‘prophetic’ action of four cardinals who submitted dubia

Bishop Athanasius Schneider has issued an open letter praising the “prophetic voice” of the four cardinals who have submitted dubia seeking clarification of Amoris Laetitia. In saying...

Venezuelan opposition says government has stalled Vatican-mediated crisis talks

Venezuela’s political opposition has blamed the government of President Nicolas Maduro for an impasse in negotiations designed to end the country’s political crisis. Government...

Former Irish president wants to use canon law to change the Church

Former Irish President Mary McAleese says that she wants to change the structure of the Catholic Church, because the hierarchy is “not serving its purpose.” McAleese, who has...

Police subdue hammer-wielding man in Roman church

Police in Rome stopped a man who approached the altar of St. Ignatius Loyola church flourishing a hammer on November 23. The man was a middle-aged native of Rome with a criminal record, police...

Italy, Vatican explore joint diplomatic efforts

Italian foreign minister Paolo Gentiloni met on November 24 with his Vatican counterpart, archbishop Richard Gallagher, the Secretary for Relations with States, to discuss joint diplomatic...

Christmas tree arrives in St. Peter’s Square

The Christmas tree that will stand this year in St. Peter’s Square, an 80-foot red spruce from Trento in northern Italy, has arrived in Rome. The Christmas tree will be illuminated on...

In discussion with Jesuits, Pope speaks on ‘rigid’ seminarians, corrupt politicians

Pope Francis lamented the decline of idealism in politics, and the “rigidity” that he finds in many seminarians, in an exchange with participants in the 36th General Congregation of the...

Papal commission on female deacons holds first meeting

A special commission assembled by Pope Francis to study the history of female deacons in the early Church held its first meeting on November 25. The 12-member commission will hold two days of...

Released Monday, Nov. 28

France, Holy See ratify agreement on French church in Rome

The Holy See and France have ratified an agreement, signed in July, entrusting the care of the French church in Rome to the priests of the Emmanuel Community, a French charismatic Catholic...

Pope encourages religious orders to rethink their spending

The Vatican’s Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life has held a three-day symposium devoted to the topic of “rethinking the use and management of...

Pope Francis confers Ratzinger Prizes, pays tribute to Pope Emeritus

Pope Francis has conferred the 2016 Ratzinger Prizes for distinction in theology on Msgr. Inos Biffi and Ioannis Kourempeles. Msgr. Biffi, ordained to the priesthood in 1957, has written...

Pope praises service of youthful volunteers

Pope Francis met on November 26 with 7,000 young people who have volunteered for a year with Italy’s National Civil Service. Speaking in Paul VI Audience Hall, the Pope said that “the...

Papal condolences following Fidel Castro’s death

Pope Francis has sent a message of condolence to Raúl Castro, president of Cuba’s Council of State, upon the death of his brother, Fidel Castro, the Communist revolutionary who...

Pope Francis: Christ’s second coming puts material things in proper perspective

In his Angelus address on the First Sunday of Advent, Pope Francis reflected on Christ’s second coming to judge the living and the dead. “The Gospel doesn’t want to make us...

Papal prayers for victims of natural disasters

Following his November 27 Angelus address, Pope Francis prayed for victims of natural disasters. The Pope told the crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square that he was praying “for the...

Pope urges scientists to push for political action on climate change

Pope Francis encouraged scientists to work for remedies to climate change, in a November 28 address to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. Complaining that the world’s political leaders...

Cardinal Zen again voices concern about Vatican-Beijing talks

Cardinal Joseph Zen has again expressed concern about the prospect of an agreement between the Vatican and China. The outspoken former Bishop of Hong Kong said that he fears the Vatican, in its...

Father Peter Hans Kolvenbach, former Jesuit leader, dead at 87

Father Peter Hans Kolvenbach, the former superior general of the Society of Jesus, died in Beirut on November 27, just short of his 88th birthday. A native of the Netherlands, Father Kolvenbach...

Parishioner shot and killed during Mass in Cali, Colombia

A man was shot and killed during Mass in Cali, Colombia, last week. Fernando Padilla was gunned down during a Mass at St. Cecilia church on November 22. The shooting sparked a panic in the...

Former spokesman reveals how St. John Paul II convinced Castro to allow Christmas celebration

Reflecting on the death of Fidel Castro, a former Vatican spokesman described how St. John Paul II persuaded the Cuban dictator to allow the celebration of Christmas. Joaquin Navarro-Valls...

French cardinal raps government’s ‘obsession’ with abortion

Cardinal André Vingt-Trois of Paris has criticized the “obsession” of the French government with the issue of abortion, and the charged that under the pretext of combatting AIDS...

Russian Orthodox Patriarch praises Castro’s legacy

Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill of Moscow expressed his “deep sorrow” at the death of Fidel Castro, describing the Cuban dictator as a “courageous and charismatic person, a man...

Papal thanks for organizers, volunteers who worked on Jubilee events

At an audience on November 28, Pope Francis thanked the organizers and volunteers who had helped to prepare for events at the Vatican during the Jubilee Year of Mercy. “All of you, in...

Deadly attack on French monastery fuels fears of new terrorism

An armed man attacked a monastery in southern France on November 24, killing a custodian and binding and gagging residents before he fled as police approached to rescue the residents. The masked...

African cardinal reports his country’s language has no word for his new office

Cardinal Dieudonné Nzapalainga of Bangui in the Central African Republic—the first cardinal ever from that nation—reports that the country’s main language, Sango, does not...

Nearly 2.5 million embryos destroyed for IVF in UK

Almost 2.5 million embryos have been intentionally destroyed in the course of in-vitro fertilization treatments in the United Kingdom since 1990, official figures show. The Human Fertilization...

Irish premier meets with Pontiff, announces papal visit in 2018

Irish Taoiseach (prime minister) Enda Kenny met on November 28 with Pope Francis, and later told reporters that the Pontiff had promised to visit Ireland in 2018. The Vatican, in a brief...

Released Tuesday, Nov. 29

USCCB grants $9.2M to US mission dioceses

A subcommittee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has granted $9.2 million to 84 US “home mission” dioceses, most of them in rural areas. The funds are provided by an...

Ontario court: parent not allowed to exempt elementary school children from objectionable classes

An Ontario court has ruled that a Greek Orthodox father who sends his children to a public elementary school cannot exempt them from classes related to homosexuality and abortion. The court...

Ugandan bishops warn against false ordinations

The Uganda Episcopal Conference has warned the faithful that recent priestly “ordinations” of two men by two self-proclaimed bishops were invalid and illicit. In addition, the three...

San Diego’s Bishop McElroy strongly encourages Communion for divorced/remarried

Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego, California, has asked his priests to encourage Catholics who are divorced and remarried to consider whether “God is calling them to return to the...

Mexican archdiocese: families afraid to report kidnappings

The Archdiocese of Guadalajara, Mexico, has cancelled a program that registered the names of suspected kidnapping victims, explaining that families were afraid to provide personal information...

Four cardinals could be stripped of status for questioning papal document, says Vatican official

The dean of the Roman Rota has said that Pope Francis, if he wanted, could remove four prelates from the College of Cardinals as punishment for submitting and publicizing their dubia about Amoris...

Cardinal Pell defends four cardinals for asking ‘significant’ questions

Cardinal George Pell has come to the support of the four cardinals who have submitted dubia about the interpretation of Amoris Laetitia. Following an address to an audience in London, the...

Cardinals’ questions about Amoris Laetitia already answered: Father Spadaro

The questions submitted by four cardinals about the interpretation of Amoris Laetitia have already been answered, according to Father Antonio Spadaro. The Italian Jesuit, who is a close adviser...

Canonical trial of accused Guam archbishop has begun, successor reports

Archbishop Anthony Apuron of Agana, Guam, who was suspended after multiple charges of sexual abuse, is now facing a canonical trail in Rome, his designated successor revealed. “The trial...

Slovakian bishops warn that international convention on violence against women promotes gender ideology

The Catholic bishops of Slovakia are opposing ratification of an international convention on violence against women, because the convention uses language that reflects “gender...

Scottish priest, suspended after writing on ‘powerful gay mafia,’ ordered to leave parish

A Scottish priest who was suspended from ministry after writing a book on homosexual influence in the Church has now been ordered to leave the parish where he was assigned. Father Matthew Despard...

Venezuelan government still blocking humanitarian supplies, Catholic charity reports

The government of Venezuela has not moved to lift a block on importation of medicine, despite a critical shortage, Caritas Venezuela reports. Yaneth Marquez, the director of the Catholic charity,...

Miami’s Archbishop Wenski acknowledges Castro’s victims

Archbishop Thomas Wenski called attention to the victims of Cuba’s Fidel Castro in a statement on the death of the Cuban dictator. “We will all be judged one day,” the...

Oslo diocese fined for inflating membership figures

The Diocese of Oslo, Norway, has been ordered to pay a fine of one million kroner (about $117,000), for inflating statistics on the number of registered Catholics in the diocese. The fine...

Pope to receive Scorsese as Silence is screened at the Vatican

Film director Martin Scorsese will meet with Pope Francis on November 30, before the Pope’s regular public audience. Scorsese is in Rome for a screening of his new film, Silence, based on...

Released Wednesday, Nov. 30

20 thieves attack church in Bangladesh

At least 20 thieves attacked a Catholic parish in Gazipur, Bangladesh, on the night of November 26, tied up security guards and the parish priest, and stole cash, a camera, and other objects,...

Cardinal: social dimension of mercy at heart of Pope Francis’s teaching

Writing on the front page of L’Osservatore Romano, Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti of Perugia described the social dimension of mercy as the “common thread” that links three key...

EU prelates affirm importance of hospitality to migrants, religious freedom

Representatives of different religions, including two Catholic bishops, took part in an annual dialogue with a leading EU official on November 29. The theme of this year’s dialogue was...

Papal condolences following plane crash in Colombia

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, has two telegrams of condolence on Pope Francis’s behalf following the crash in Colombia of an airplane carrying members of...

Pope reflects on burying the dead, prayer for the living and the dead

Concluding his series of Wednesday catechetical addresses on mercy, Pope Francis devoted his November 30 general audience to burying the dead and praying for the living and the dead. “The...

Pope calls for prayer, treatment for those with HIV

At the conclusion of his November 30 general audience, Pope Francis recalled that the United Nations promotes December 1 as World AIDS Day. “Millions of persons live with this disease, and...

In vocation message, Pope emphasizes prayer as basis of Christian missionary spirit

The Holy See Press Office has released the papal message for the 54th World Day of Prayer for Vocations, which will be commemorated on the Fourth Sunday of Easter (May 7) in 2017. In “Led...

Pope sends greetings to Orthodox Patriarch on patronal feast day

Pope Francis sent his greetings to the Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew on November 30, the feast of St. Andrew, the patronal saint of the Constantinople see. During his regular public audience,...

Pope Francis’ prayer intentions for December

The Vatican has made public the prayer intentions of Pope Francis for December 2016. The Pope’s universal is: “That the scandal of child soldiers may be eliminated the world...

Dutch lawmakers move toward restrictions on Islamic veils

Legislators in the Netherlands have given preliminary approval to restrictions on the use of Islamic veils that cover the face. The measure bans “face-covering clothing” from public...

Pope encourages French politicians to serve common good

Speaking on November 30 to a group of French political leaders, Pope Francis said that Christians should cooperation “with believers of all religions, and all men of good will, even...

US Catholic college presidents call for continuation of program allowing undocumented immigrant students

More than 70 presidents of American Catholic colleges and universities have joined in a public statement of support for students from families of undocumented immigrants, saying that these students...

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