Stories for June 2017

Released Friday, Jun. 2

50th anniversary of French bishops’ overseas initiative

In his 1967 encyclical Populorum Progressio, Blessed Paul VI appealed for international solidarity with those in the poorest nations. The French bishops responded by founding the...

British bishops’ commission: 145 abuse allegations made in 2016

The British bishops’ National Catholic Safeguarding Commission has released its annual report on abuse prevention efforts in Catholic institutions. According to Appendix 3 of the report,...

In election statement, Northern Ireland’s bishops warn of Brexit impact

As the United Kingdom prepares for its June 8 general election, the bishops of Northern Ireland said that “it is regrettable that so many citizens today seem alienated and disheartened by the...

Bishop describes growing ISIS presence in Somalia

The apostolic administrator of Mogadishu said that ISIS is gaining recruits in Somalia because it “pay[s] better and therefore in the situation of Somalia’s crisis it is easy to find...

Prelate: US withdrawal from Paris climate agreement is ‘deeply troubling’

The chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace issued a statement lamenting President Donald Trump’s announcement that the United States will withdraw from...

Vatican message for Ramadan focuses on ecology

The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue has released its annual message to Muslims on the occasion of the month of Ramadan. The theme of this year’s message—dated May 19...

Pope encourages children to maintain positive attitude, rise to meet challenges

Pope Francis told middle-school students that they can change the world, if they maintain a positive attitude, in a meeting on June 2. Speaking to a group of young people called the Knights, the...

Outspoken Vatican official sees ‘slap in the face’ in Trump’s withdrawal from Paris pact

Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, the chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, said that President Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord is “a...

Crosier religious order enters bankruptcy

The Crosier Fathers and Brothers have filed for bankruptcy protection, becoming the 3rd religious order in the US—along with 15 dioceses—to take that step in the wake of the sex-abuse...

Pope Francis’ prayer intention for June 2017: end arms trade

Pope Francis has released a video message with his prayer intention for June 2017: the elimination of the arms trade. In his video, distributed through the Apostleship of Prayer, the Pontiff...

Illinois requires foster parents to support ‘transgender’ children

The state of Illinois has promulgated new regulations forcing foster parents and government workers to accept the decision of children under their care to change their gender. The state’s...

Catholics share blame for Reformation, says top Vatican ecumenical official

The president of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity told a conference at the Catholic University of America that Catholic Church leaders bear part of the blame for the...

Seoul archdiocese to open Korean section of Vatican Radio

The Archdiocese of Seoul, South Korea, has reached an agreement with the Vatican to open a Korean branch of Vatican Radio, translating and broadcasting the public statements of the Pope and the...

Latvian president meets with Pontiff

Pope Francis met on June 2 with President Raimonds Vejonis of Latvia. A brief Vatican statement released after the meeting indicated that the conversation had focused on Church-state relations...

Gay son of immigrant poised to become Irish premier

Leo Varadkar, the openly homosexual son of an immigrant from India, is poised to become the next Taoiseach, or prime minister, of Ireland, after winning selection as the leader of the Fine Gael...

Released Monday, Jun. 5

October 2019 to be ‘extraordinary month of prayer’ for the missions

Pope Francis has announced that October 2019 will be an “extraordinary time for prayer and reflection” devoted to the missions, in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Maximum...

Christ is ‘truly, really, substantially’ present in the Eucharist, Pope says in letter

As Angola prepares to celebrate its first national Eucharistic congress, Pope Francis said in a letter to his special envoy that “Christ Himself is truly, really, substantially present”...

Italian children from earthquake-ravaged region meet with Pope

Approximately 400 children who lived through recent earthquakes in central Italy met with Pope Francis in Paul VI Audience Hall on June 3. The children were brought to Rome on a train trip...

50th anniversary of Catholic charismatic renewal commemorated in Rome

Tens of thousands gathered in the Circus Maximus on the Vigil of Pentecost to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Catholic charismatic renewal. The ecumenical gathering, at which Pope Francis was...

Holy Spirit creates ‘new people’ with a ‘new heart,’ Pope preaches at Pentecost Mass

Pope Francis celebrated Mass for the Solemnity of Pentecost in St. Peter’s Square on June 4. In his homily, the Pope emphasized that “in the first reading, the Spirit makes of the...

‘Mission at the heart of the Christian faith’ is theme of World Mission Day message

The Holy See Press Office has released Pope Francis’s message for the 91st World Mission Day, which will take place on October 22. The theme of the message is “mission at the heart of...

Pope prays for victims of London terrorist attack

In Regina Coeli address at the conclusion of the Mass of Pentecost in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis prayed for victims of the London Bridge attack the preceding evening that left 10 dead...

Massachusetts bishops bar petition drives on parish property

The Catholic bishops of Massachusetts have issued a policy banning the collection of signatures for political petitions on parish property. Claiming that they had received “overwhelming...

Belarus expels Polish-born priest

The government of Belarus has forced a Polish-born Catholic priest to leave the parish that he has served for nearly 10 years, denying him a new visa. Father Robert Maciejewski, who was a parish...

Emphasize God’s gratuitous love and mercy, Pope urged missionaries

Pope Francis emphasized “the gratuitous and merciful love of God” in a June 5 with members of the Consolata Missionary orders, who were in Rome for their general chapter...

Papal tribute to Cardinal Husar, deceased leader of Ukrainian Catholic Church

Pope Francis has sent a special message to the Ukrainian Catholic Church, for the funeral of Cardinal Lubomyr Husar, the former Major Archbishop of the Byzantine-rite Church. In his message the...

Relic of St. John Bosco stolen

A relic of St. John Bosco was stolen from the basilica named for the saint in his birthplace of Castelnuova, Italy, on June 3. A man posing as a pilgrim took the relic—a portion of the...

Cameroon: missing bishop’s body found in river

The body of Bishop Jean-Marie Benoit Balla was discovered in a river near Yaounde, Cameroon, on June 2. Bishop Balla had been missing since May 31. His car was found on a bridge over the Sanaha...

Pope Pius XII took risks to save Jews, Pope Francis says

Pope Francis praised Pope Pius XII for his efforts to save Jews from the Nazi Holocaust, during his homily at morning Mass on June 5. Speaking about works of mercy, Pope Francis observed that...

Pakistan: Christian worker dies after Muslim doctor declined emergency treatment

The family of a Christian worker in Pakistan have charged that the man died because a Muslim doctor refused to treat him. Irfan Masih, who was cleaning sewers in Lahore, collapsed, apparently...

Released Tuesday, Jun. 6

Pope Francis: Catholic charismatic renewal is ‘current of grace for all the Church’

The Holy See Press Office has released the transcript of Pope Francis’s remarks in the Circus Maximus on the Vigil of Pentecost to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Catholic charismatic...

Vatican newspaper on Cardinal Bergoglio’s ‘charismatic ecumenism’

L’Osservatore Romano has published a front-page article on the future Pope Francis’s “charismatic ecumenism” when he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires. Marcelo...

Religious leaders lament London attacks

Catholic, Anglican, and Muslim leaders lamented the June 3 London attack that left 10 dead and 48 injured. Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops,...

Lutheran body, World Council of Churches: ‘deep dismay’ at US withdrawal from Paris accord

The World Council of Churches, Lutheran World Federation, and ecumenical ACT Alliance have expressed “deep dismay” at President Donald Trump’s announcement that the United States...

Mass desecration of Christian graves in Kosovo city

90% of graves in a Serbian Orthodox cemetery in Kosovo have been desecrated, according to Serbian media reports. The incident took place in Mitrovica, a city whose Serbian and Albanian Muslim...

Denmark repeals 1683 law against blasphemy

The Danish parliament has repealed the nation’s 1683 against blasphemy. “Religion should not dictate what is allowed and what is forbidden to say publicly,” said a lawmaker who...

Police shoot attacker at Notre Dame in Paris

Police shot and wounded a man who attacked a police officer with a hammer outside the cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris on June 6. The incident occurred not in Notre Dame, but at a police station...

Venezuelan bishops to meet with Pope, discuss country’s crisis

The leaders of the Venezuelan bishops’ conference will meet with Pope Francis on Thursday, June 8. The Venezuelan bishops asked for the opportunity to meet with the Pontiff, to discuss the...

Chinese ‘underground’ bishop still in government custody

Catholics in China’s Wenzhou dicoese have heard nothing about the whereabouts of Bishop Peter Shao Zhumin, more than two weeks after he was called to meet with local government officials, the...

English bishop issues liturgical norms for Neocatechumenal Way

Bishop Michael Campbell of Lancaster, England, has announced norms for the liturgies of the Neocatechumenal Way in his diocese, citing a “growing sense of unease” about the group’s...

Over 300,000 view relics of St. Nicholas in Moscow

More than 300,000 Russians have viewed the relics of St. Nicholas since they were exposed for veneration in Moscow’s Christ the Saviour cathedral three weeks ago. President Vladimir Putin...

Cardinal Turkson suggests greater UN role in conserving ocean resources

Cardinal Peter Turkson called for “a more effective and unified UN approach” to managing ocean resources, in a June 6 address to session on marine resources at UN headquarters in New...

Released Wednesday, Jun. 7

Vatican newspaper: women religious need to be involved in Church’s decision-making

Vocations to women’s religious communities will continue to plummet unless women religious participate in decision-making in the Church, Lucetta Scaraffia argued in a front-page essay in the...

Pence reflects on Catholic upbringing, says Catholics have an ally in President Trump

Vice President Mike Pence addressed the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast on June 6 and expressed his “deep appreciation for the Church’s rich contributions to the fabric of American...

Prelate concerned about Philippine Catholics in Qatar

As nations of the Middle East and North Africa downgrade or break their diplomatic relations with Qatar over its reported links to terrorism, a Philippine bishop said that he was...

Hong Kong prelate takes part in pro-democracy prayer rally

Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Ha Chi-shing of Hong Kong took part in a Pentecost prayer rally for democracy in China. The 58-year-old Franciscan, appointed to his post by Pope Francis, also paid...

Pope Francis: God’s Fatherhood is the ‘wellspring of our hope’

Continuing his series of Wednesday general audiences devoted to Christian hope, Pope Francis devoted his June 7 audience to “God’s paternity, wellspring of our hope.” Describing...

Pontiff encourages Sacred Heart devotion in June

At the conclusion of his June 7 general audience, Pope Francis recalled that June is the month dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. “In this month of June, dedicated to devotion to the...

Pray for peace on June 8, Pope asks faithful

Pope Francis has encouraged the faithful to pray for peace for a minute on June 8. The date is the third anniversary of his meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the late Israeli...

Notre Dame attacker claimed allegiance to Islamic State: report

The man who attacked a police officer outside the cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris on June 6 had reportedly pledged his allegiance to the Islamic State. According to French media reports, police...

Russian Catholics seek reassurance from Pope

Members of the Russian Catholic Church—one of the smaller Byzantine-rite churches in communion with Rome—fear that they may be forgotten by Vatican officials anxious to improve relations...

Cameroon: bishop’s death seen as likely murder, not suicide

The death of a Catholic bishop in Cameroon, originally viewed by police as a likely suicide, is now being investigated as a probable murder. The body of Bishop Jean-Marie Benoit Balla of Bafia...

Cardinal Sarah rips ‘inhuman contempt for Benedict XVI’

Cardinal Robert Sarah said that critics of Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI have shown their “vulgarity” by complaining that the retired Pontiff has written a preface to the cardinal’s...

Australian court refuses to dismiss charges against archbishop for failure to report abuse

An Australian court has rejected a bid by Archbishop Philip Wilson of Adelaide to dismiss charges against him for alleged failure to report sexual abuse by a priest. Archbishop Wilson has been...

Archbishop Paglia defends leadership of Pontifical Academy for Life

Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia has answered criticisms of his leadership of the Pontifical Academy for Life, in a lengthy interview with Edward Pentin of the National Catholic Register. In a separate...

Court dismisses suit against Massachusetts Evangelical leader for ‘crimes against humanity’ in Uganda

An Evangelical leader in Massachusetts has won a dismissal of a lawsuit that charged him with committing “crimes against humanity” by encouraging passage of legislation restricting...

Released Thursday, Jun. 8

Prelate to represent Vatican at international energy exposition

Cardinal Peter Turkson, the prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, has begun a four-day trip to Astana, Kazakhstan, to inaugurate the Holy See’s participation in...

Vatican cardinal seeks international agreement on oceans

Representing the Holy See at a UN conference on ocean sustainability, Cardinal Peter Turkson linked “environmental deterioration and human and ethical degradation.” “The gravity...

Cardinal Kasper calls for an ‘evangelical Catholicism and Catholic Protestantism’

The ecumenical Monastery of Bose recently hosted a conference on “justification, the Gospel of grace,” and L’Osservatore Romano has published excerpts of three of the...

Dominican friar saved 800 manuscripts from ISIS

As ISIS swept through western Iraq in 2014, an Iraqi Dominican, Brother Najeeb Michaeel, brought more than 800 priceless manuscripts from Mosul to safety in Erbil. The manuscripts date from the 13th...

+Trento Longaretti, 100

Trento Longaretti, an Italian painter whose works have been compared to Marc Chagall’s, died in Bergamo on June 7 at the age of 100. Longaretti’s sacred art, which includes mosaics...

Parish priest in Warsaw Ghetto aided thousands of Jews

In a June 7 ceremony attended by Church and government leaders, the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation named the Church of All Saints in the Warsaw Ghetto a “house of...

1,700 Bibles sent to Lampedusa

The ecumenical Italian Biblical Association has sent 1,700 French and English-language Bibles to Lampedusa, the small Italian island that has become the initial destination of thousands of migrants...

All religions should renounce ties with violence: Cardinal Marx

Every religious group should renounce any association with violence, Cardinal Reinhard Marx said in an interview with Luxemburger Wort. “Religions simply must ask themselves—and...

Venezuelan bishops huddle with Pope on national crisis

Leaders of the Venezuelan Catholic bishops’ conference met with Pope Francis on June 8, to discuss the political and economic crisis in their country. The Venezuelan bishops had asked for a...

Cameroon bishop was murdered, autopsy confirms

Autopsy results have confirmed that Bishop Jean-Marie Benoit Balla of Bafia, Cameroon, was the victim of murder, not a suicide. Bishop Balla, whose body was discovered in a river on June 2, was...

Jesuit spokesman says Father Sosa does not deny devil’s existence

A spokesman for the Society of Jesus says that a quotation from the Jesuit superior general, Father Arturo Sosa Abascal, was taken out of context. Father Sosa, in an interview with El Mundo, said...

Four priests ordained in Shanghai; bishop remains in custody

Four priests were ordained in China’s Shanghai diocese, although the diocesan bishop, Thaddeus Ma Daqin, remains under house arrest and was not present at the ceremony. The four priests...

Chinese Protestant church destroyed, worshippers arrested

Police in China’s central Henan province destroyed a Protestant church and arrested at least 40 members of the congregation, claiming that the church had not paid an informal “tax”...

Released Friday, Jun. 9

Striking teachers in Colombia take over 16th-century church

Forty striking teachers in Colombia have taken over the Church of San Francisco in Bogota to use as a bargaining chip—with the permission of the parish priest, according to a television news...

Typical new US priest: 34-year-old who prays Rosary, takes part in Eucharistic adoration

The typical member of the priestly ordination class of 2017 is a 34-year-old cradle Catholic, according to a recently released survey of 444 of the 590 men slated to be ordained to the priesthood in...

Prelate welcomes Trump administration’s reported changes to HHS mandate

Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the US Bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, welcomed news reports that the Trump administration is planning to broaden the scope...

Iranian priest: Christians, Muslims deplore ISIS attacks in Tehran

The Iranian priest who serves as national director of the Pontifical Mission Societies deplored the June 7 ISIS terrorist attacks on Iran’s parliament and the tomb of Ayatollah Ruhollah...

Ecumenical Patriarch: address root causes of environmental crisis

Speaking near a polluted river in Boeotia, Greece, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople said on June 6 that “no technical or technological achievement can ultimately address the...

Bishop, Muslim leaders decry desecration of Philippine cathedral

Following the posting of a video on Facebook, Catholic and Muslim leaders condemned the desecration of the cathedral in Marawi on the Philippine island of Mindanao. 500 militants allied with ISIS...

Mexican bishops launch drive to support Venezuelan poor in crisis

The Catholic bishops of Mexico have issued a statement of support for the people of Venezuela, calling for donations to ease a “humanitarian catastrophe.” The bishops said that the...

Egypt’s interior minister suggests Christians avoid churches for safety

Egypt’s interior minister has advised Christians to curtail their visits to churches and monasteries in light of the rash of violence targeted against Christians. The government minister,...

India: school book describes Jesus as a demon; Christians demand removal

Christians in India’s Gujarat state are asking officials to remove a book that is currently in use in public schools, in which Jesus is described as a demon. The book is “simply...

Pope sees women’s role as key to inter-religious dialogue

In a June 9 address to members of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue, Pope Francis called for “greater recognition of women’s capacity to educate in universal...

Released Monday, Jun. 12

20th-century mystic beatified

Itala Mela (1904-57), an Italian woman born to atheist parents, was beatified in her native La Spezia, Italy, on June 10. Cardinal Angelo Amato, the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of...

God is ‘Love that rescues man from infidelity,’ Pope says in Trinity Sunday reflection

In his Trinity Sunday Angelus address, Pope Francis reflected on how the readings at the Mass of the day shed light on the mystery of the Blessed Trinity. St. Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians...

Stable employment and the family are ‘2 pillars’ of society, Pope tells Italy’s president

Pope Francis paid an official visit to Italian President Sergio Mattarella on June 10 and praised Church-state collaboration in service of the common good. Italy’s generosity toward...

Migrants are persons, not numbers, Pope tells Latin American lawmakers

As the Latin American and Caribbean Parliament met in Panama, Pope Francis said in a message to the body’s president that migrants are persons, not numbers. Reflecting on “reality,...

Cardinal Re replaces Cardinal Etchegaray as vice-dean of College of Cardinals

Pope Francis has dispensed Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, 94, from his duties as vice-dean of the College of Cardinals at the prelate’s request and has approved the election of Cardinal Giovanni...

Welcome bishop or incur suspension, Pope tells priests of Nigerian diocese

Pope Francis has issued an ultimatum to the priests of the Diocese of Ahiara, Nigeria, demanding that they write a letter accepting their bishop or face suspension. Founded in 1987 and located in...

Prelates tell Senate that House GOP’s health care bill has ‘many serious flaws’

Four bishops who chair committees of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops said recently in a letter to senators that the American Health Care Act (AHCA), passed by the House of...

Dozens of Iraqi Christians arrested in immigration roundup, face deportation

US immigration officials seized about 40 Chaldean Christians in the Detroit area on June 11 in a crackdown on illegal immigrants. Those who were arrested now face possible deportation. In many...

Vatican bank showed healthy profit for 2016

The Vatican bank, the Institute for Religious Works (IOR) has released a financial report for 2016, showing a net profit of €36 million ($40.3 million). The IOR’s profit for 2016 more...

French bishop faces criminal charge for failure to report abuse

A retired French bishop faces criminal charges for his alleged failure to report sexual abuse. According to prosecutors, Bishop André Fort, the former head of the Diocese of Orleans, was...

Pope asks cardinals to inform him about travels

Pope Francis has asked the cardinals who live in Rome to inform him about their plans for foreign travel. Cardinal Angelo Sodano, in his capacity as dean of the College of Cardinals, has written...

Exorcisms on the rise in France

The number of exorcisms performed in France has risen sharply over the past ten years. “There is a very clear increase,” says Father Emmanuel Coquet, an official of the French...

Council of Cardinals holding 20th meeting

The Council of Cardinals is meeting in Rome this week, to discuss possible changes in the organization of the Roman Curia. This week’s meeting will be the 20th session for the Council,...

Chaldean Patriarch visits Mosul, three years after Islamic State took city

Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako of Baghdad visited Mosul this weekend, touring some of the churches and monasteries that were recently liberated from the Islamic State. The...

Released Tuesday, Jun. 13

‘Night of the churches’ in France

The Bishops’ Conference of France is encouraging all French parishes to open their doors to their local communities as night falls on June 24, the Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the...

June 14: US bishops’ day of prayer, penance for sexual abuse

As the US bishops gather in Indianapolis on June 14, they will offer a Mass of prayer and penance at the cathedral for victims of sexual abuse within the Church. The Mass is a response to the...

Moscow patriarch emphasizes Christian link between Russia, Latin America

In a speech to Latin American ambassadors to Russia, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow emphasized the ties that bind Russian Orthodox Christians to Christians in Latin America. “I have always...

Prelate: people have a right to migrate for their survival

A Guatemalan bishop who has traveled to Geneva, Switzerland, for a meeting of the UN Human Rights Council emphasized that “people must have a right to migrate when their very lives are at...

Taizé works to bridge St. Louis racial divide

Three years after the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, 1,000 people have taken part in a Taizé “walk of trust.” Archbishop Robert Carlson of St. Louis invited...

500,000 people see relics of St. Nicholas in Moscow

The number of pilgrims who have come to Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow to venerate the relics of St. Nicholas has surpassed 500,000, according to a spokesman for the Moscow...

Report: 190 incidents of anti-Christian violence in Sri Lanka since 2015

The National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka said recently that there have been 190 incidents of anti-Christian violence since 2015, including at least 20 this year. Muslims have also...

Pope challenges faithful to concrete acts, in message for World Day of the Poor

In his message for the first World Day of the Poor, Pope Francis writes, “everyone, independent of religious affiliation, is invited to openness and sharing with the poor through concrete...

Abortion increasingly common for multiple pregnancies, English statistics show

British women who find themselves pregnant with twins are increasingly likely to abort one of the children. New government statistics released on June 13 show that last year 141 women in England...

Algeria: Catholic church demolished to make way for new mosque

Authorities in Algeria have demolished a Catholic church in Sidi Moussa, a town south of Algiers, and plan to build a mosque and Islamic school on the site. Government officials said that the...

Mexican priests are targets of violence

“Violence against the clergy has increased in recent years, but nothing concrete has been done to stop it,” reports Father Omar Sotelo, the director of the Catholic Multimedia Centre in...

Synod office launches web site for interaction with youth

In preparation for the October 2018 meeting of the Synod of Bishops, which will discuss youth and vocation, the office of the Synod has launched a new web site, designed to encourage contributions...

New appointments, new direction for Pontifical Academy for Life

Pope Francis has appointed 45 new members of the Pontifical Academy for Life, having eliminated all of the Academy’s members earlier this year. Pope Francis has revised the statutes of the...

Irish bishops say Church now faces hostility in country

Two Irish bishops have remarked on the growing hostility toward the Church in that country. “People from abroad are often astonished at the antipathy to the Church displayed in our...

Pope adds new meeting to schedule for bishops’ ad limina visits

Pope Francis has added a new step to the procedure for bishops’ ad limina visits to Rome, having the visiting bishops meet in a group with leaders of the Roman Curia. All of the...

Released Wednesday, Jun. 14

Bishop calls on South Sudan’s Catholics to ‘pray a lot more’ for peace

The president of Sudan Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SCBC), which includes prelates from Sudan and South Sudan, called upon the faithful of South Sudan to pray and do penance for...

Nigerian Jesuit discusses kidnapping

Father Samuel Okwuidegbe, a Jesuit who was kidnapped for three days in April while on his way to give a retreat in Onitsha, Nigeria, has discussed his experience on the website of Africa’s...

Detroit’s Chaldean bishop responds to deportation of Iraqi Christians

Bishop Francis Kalabat, the Chaldean Catholic bishop of the Eparchy of Saint Thomas the Apostle of Detroit, described the federal government’s immigration roundup of dozens of Detroit-area...

Eastern Catholic leader recalls 70th anniversary of deportation of Ukrainians

The head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church has recalled the 70th anniversary of Operation Vistula, in which the Communist governments of Poland and the Soviet Union forcibly deported over...

English bishop: Trump on ‘wrong side of history’ on climate change

In a letter to the editor of the Times of London, a Catholic bishop in England strongly criticized President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the 2015 Paris climate...

Holy See names new head of hospital that suffered financial scandal

The Holy See has appointed Antonio Maria Leozappa, a business attorney, as the president of the Luigi Maria Monti Foundation, which runs the Dermatological Institute of the Immaculate Conception in...

Pope Francis: ‘in God’s love is the source of all our hope’

Continuing his series of Wednesday general audiences devoted to Christian hope, Pope Francis devoted his June 14 audience to the relationship between God’s love and our hope. “In our...

Archbishop vacates apartment in Rome, offers it to Syrian refugees

Archbishop Konrad Krajewski has moved out of his apartment in Rome to make it available to a family of refugees from Syria. The Polish archbishop, whose job as papal almoner involves coordinating...

New Hampshire diocese joins trend toward earlier confirmation

The Diocese of Manchester, New Hampshire, will soon join other US dioceses that schedule Confirmation alongside First Communion, typically for students in the 3rd grade. In the Eastern Catholic...

Rome’s mayor calls for moratorium on immigration

Rome’s Mayor Virginia Raggi has asked the Italian government to stop the flow of immigrants into the country’s capital. Saying that it is now “impossible” to accommodate...

Council of Cardinals weighs plans for decentralization of Church governance

The Council of Cardinals discussed proposals for decentralizing the governance of the Church, during its three-day meeting in Rome this week. At their meetings, held Monday through Wednesday, the...

Leader of Brazilian movement steps down amid rumors of Vatican investigation

Msgr. Joao Scognamiglio Cia Dias, the founder and superior of the movement known as the Heralds of the Gospel, has stepped down, opening the way for the selection of his successor. Msgr. Cia, hwo...

Cameroon bishops urge police action to solve bishop’s brutal murder

“Bishop Jean Marie Benoit Balla did not commit suicide; he was brutally murdered,” the Catholic bishops of Cameroon have said, calling for action to find those responsible for...

Israeli and Vatican negotiators still short of long-awaited diplomatic accord

A joint Vatican-Israeli working commission met in Rome on June 13 to continue negotiations aimed at a final diplomatic agreement establishing the legal and economic status of Church institutions in...

Released Thursday, Jun. 15

Nuncio challenges US bishops to evangelization, solidarity

The apostolic nuncio to the United States addressed the US bishops as they began their spring meeting in Indianapolis. Praising the bishops’ efforts on behalf of human life, religious...

US bishops ask forgiveness for role in abuse scandal

The US bishops gathered at the cathedral in Indianapolis on the evening of June 14 to express their prayer for victims of sexual abuse and their penance for their role in the abuse...

Australia: abuse victims angered by apology service

Some of the Australians who suffered abuse at a Catholic boarding school are angry that the school is apologizing within the context of a prayer service at the school. At least 160 students were...

Maduro calls for papal intervention

Amid continued protests against his authoritarian regime, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro said he would call upon Pope Francis to ask the opposition to stop “training...

Papal support for Day for Life

Pope Francis has sent a message of support for the British bishops’ annual Day for Life, which takes place this year on June 18. “Pope Francis invokes the protection of Our Lady, and...

Bishops’ commission welcomes EU document on resilience

The European Commission and the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy have issued a 24-page “Strategic Approach to Resilience in the EU’s external...

English political leader steps down, says party stands incompatible with Christian faith

The leader of Britain’s Liberal Democrat Party has resigned, saying that the party’s platform is no longer compatible with his Christian faith. “To be a political leader,...

Suspended Guam archbishop awaits canonical trial outcome before settling abuse suits

A lawyer representing Archbishop Anthony Apuron, who is a defendant in several sex-abuse lawsuits brought by young men in Guam, has indicated that the prelate will not settle those lawsuits until...

Former secretary to two Popes releases new book

In a book based on his experiences as secretary to two Pontiffs, Archbishop Mieczyslaw Mokrzycki reveals that St. John Paul II considered resignation as his health declined, but was persuaded to...

Christian population of Iraq, Syria halved since 2011

The number of Christians living in Syria and Iraq has been cut in half—and perhaps significantly further—since the onset of the Syrian civil war in 2011, according to a new...

Pope writes preface to Cardinal Turkson’s book on corruption

Pope Francis has contributed a preface to a new book-length interview with Cardinal Peter Turkson that focuses on the human costs of political corruption. In his book Corrosion, due for...

US bishops extend mandate of committees on religious liberty, immigration reform

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has chosen to extend the life of two committees: an ad hoc committee on religious liberty and a working group on immigration. The ad hoc committee...

Stolen relic of St. John Bosco is recovered

A relic of St. John Bosco, which was stolen from the basilica in Castelnuova, Italy earlier this month, has been recovered. Police have arrested a man who, they believe, took the relic from its...

Released Friday, Jun. 16

Turn to St. Anthony, Pope encourages faithful

At the conclusion of his June 14 general audience, Pope Francis recommended devotion to St. Anthony of Padua (1195-1231), whose memorial the Church celebrated the previous day. Describing the...

WCC leader surveys ecumenical landscape

Olav Fykse Tveit, the Norwegian Lutheran who heads the World Council of Churches, said in a recent report that the contemporary ecumenical landscape can be interpreted in two ways. On the one...

New Swedish cardinal: ‘Europe is not lost for Christianity’

Cardinal-designate Anders Arborelius, who was recently named Sweden’s first cardinal, said that the papal visit last fall has made the Church a more accepted part of the secular...

69 priests resign posts in Indonesian diocese

Accusing their bishop of embezzling funds and having an affair, 69 of the 167 priests in the Diocese of Ruteng, Indonesia, have resigned from their diocesan and parish posts. Bishop Hubertus...

Israeli official sees ‘obvious progress’ in negotiations with Vatican

An Israeli government official said that he sees signs of “obvious progress” in negotiations with the Vatican toward a final diplomatic agreement establishing the legal and economic...

Austrian bishops discuss security

Listening to military experts, the bishops of Austria discussed global security and security at churches during their summer meeting at the Marian shrine of Mariazell. All are “called to...

Pope names no. 2 official of new dicastery

Pope Francis has named Father Bruno Marie Duffé as the secretary of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. The dicastery, led by Cardinal Peter Turkson, came into...

Vatican calls for negotiations, elections to resolve Venezuelan crisis.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State, has told Latin American leaders that the Holy See supports negotiations to resolve the political and economic crisis in Latin...

Priest says charge against Cardinal Pell involves ‘physically impossible’ scenario

An Australian priest has told police that a sexual-abuse charge against Cardinal George Pell could not possibly be accurate. Two men have charged that then-Archbishop Pell made an improper...

Released Monday, Jun. 19

Papal condolences following Grenfell Tower fire

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, has sent a telegram of condolence in Pope Francis’s name in the wake of the Grenfell Tower fire. “His Holiness Pope...

Pope Francis recalls Avignon papacy

Pope Francis has appointed Cardinal Paul Poupard, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Culture, as his special envoy at the commemoration of the 700th anniversary of the enclave of the...

Discastery sees need to explore excommunication for corruption, mafia association

The Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, in conjunction with the Pontifical Academy for Social Sciences, hosted an “International Debate on Corruption” on June...

7 beatification causes advance

In a June 16 audience with the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Pope Francis approved the publication of decrees that advance seven beatification causes. In approving the...

Merkel meets with Pope

Pope Francis received German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a private audience at the Apostolic Palace on June 17.Merkel subsequently met with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of...

Helmut Kohl was a ‘great statesman,’ Pope says upon his death

Pope Francis paid tribute to Helmut Kohl as a “great statesman” following his death on June 16 at the age of 87. Kohl, a Catholic, served as chancellor of West Germany, and then of...

Pontiff: in the Eucharist, Christ sustains us on the pilgrimage to eternal life

In his Angelus address for the feast of Corpus Christi, Pope Francis said that “the crucified Son of Man is the true paschal Lamb, which makes one come out of sin and sustains one on the way...

Personal encounter with refugees removes prejudices, Pope tells faithful

Following the recitation of the Angelus in St. Peter’s Square on June 18, Pope Francis recalled that June 20 is the United Nations’ World Refugee Day. “Today more than ever we...

The Eucharist comforts us with God’s love, Pope preaches in Corpus Christi homily

Pope Francis celebrated Mass for the feast of Corpus Christi at the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran on June 18. Emphasizing the concept of memory in his homily, the Pope observed that we live in...

Rosary helps us unite our lives to Christ’s: papal message to Marian shrine

Pope Francis sent a video message to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Blessed Virgin of Ta’ Pinu in Malta on the occasion of the installation of three new mosaics. In his June 18...

‘Underground’ Chinese bishop reported back in diocese, but still held in custody

Bishop Peter Shao Zhumin of Wenzhou, who has been held by police since May 18, has apparently returned to Wenzhou, put remains under custody at an undisclosed location. Bishop Shao—a leader...

Pope plans visit to Chile, Peru in 2018

Pope Francis will visit Chile and Peru in January 2018, the Vatican has announced. The papal trip will begin January 15, and include stops in Santiago, Temuco, and Iquique, Chile; and Lima,...

Dutch bishop nixed ‘Pink Saturday’ service at cathedral

A Dutch bishop has withdrawn his permission for an ecumenical prayer service to mark “Pink Saturday.” Bishop Gerard de Korte of Hertogenbosch had originally given permission for the...

Maronite Patriach fears inadequate moral teaching, urges efforts to keep families intact

Maronite Catholic Patriarch Bechara Rai expressed concern about “deficiencies in the pastoral and spiritual formation of priests,” in his address to the Synod of Maronite bishops last...

Archbishop Paglia defends appointment of abortion supporter to Pontifical Academy for Life

Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia has defended the appointment of an Oxford ethicist who supports legal abortion as a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life. Archbishop Paglia told the Italian daily...

Melkite Synod meets to elect new Patriarch

The Synod of the Melkite Catholic Church convened on June 19 in Ain Traz, Lebanon, to choose a new Patriarch. The resignation of Patriarch Gregory III Laham, who is 82 years old, was accepted by...

Judge weighs competing plans in Minnesota archdiocesan bankruptcy case

A federal bankruptcy-court judge had begun hearing arguments on the merits of two proposed settlements in the case of the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minnesota: a plan submitted by the archdiocese and...

Italian bishops seek citizenship for children of immigrants

The Italian Catholic bishops’ conference has thrown its support behind a law that would offer citizenship to children of immigrants if they are born on Italian soil. The ius soli (law of...

Irish bishops announce plan for reform at Maynooth seminary

The Catholic bishops of Ireland have announced plans for reform of the national seminary, St. Patrick’s at Maynooth. Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh announced that the bishops have agreed...

Released Tuesday, Jun. 20

Cardinal Nichols: prayers, support for Muslim community following attack

Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster offered his prayers and support to members of the Muslim community following the Finsbury Park attack, in which a man drove a van into a crowd near a...

Catholic organizations issue World Refugee Day statement

Caritas, Catholic Charities USA, Jesuit Refugee Services, the Union of Superior Generals (USG), and other Catholic organizations have signed an ecumenical statement for World Refugee Day, which the...

Ambassador calls on China to release bishop

Michael Clauss, Germany’s ambassador to China, has called upon Communist authorities to release Bishop Peter Shao Zhumin of Wenzhou, who has been held by police since May 18. “His...

+Cardinal Ivan Dias, 81

Cardinal Ivan Dias has died in Rome at the age of 81. Ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Mumbai (Bombay) in 1958, the prelate entered the diplomatic service of the Holy See, serving as...

200th anniversary of Church in South Africa

In 1818, Pope Pius VII established the Vicariate Apostolic of the Cape of Good Hope, the beginning of the institutional presence of the Church in South Africa. For the previous 150 years, Dutch...

Prelate calls for passage of Iraq and Syria genocide act

Bishop Oscar Cantú, chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace, has called upon the Senate to pass the Iraq and Syria Genocide Emergency Relief and...

Dubia cardinals make public plea for audience with Pontiff

The four cardinals who last year submitted dubia requesting clarification of Amoris Laetitia have now made public a letter pleading for an audience with Pope Francis. In a clear sign of...

Vatican auditor resigns

The Vatican’s auditor general has resigned, in another apparent setback for the cause of financial reform. In a terse announcement on June 20, the Vatican said that Libero Milone had...

Chaldean prelate challenges Christian families to return to area liberated from Islamic State

Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Sako has urged Iraqi Catholics to return to their homes in the Nineveh Plain regime, to help with the rebuilding process after the area was liberated from the...

Papal ‘pilgrimage’ to honor Italian priest-activists

Pope Francis traveled to northern Italy on June 20, to pay tribute to two Italian priests known for their social activism in the 20th century. The Pontiff traveled first by helicopter to Bozzolo,...

Syrian Christians still suffering, emigrating, nuncio reports

The Christian population of Syria continues to experience “general and broad suffering,” the apostolic nuncio in that country told the AsiaNews service. Cardinal Mario Zenari reported...

Help adolescents mature, rather than seek ‘eternal youth,’ Pope urges adults

Opening the annual pastoral conference of the Rome diocese on June 20, Pope Francis spoke about the education of adolescents. The Pope said that adolescence should not be regarded as a...

Zambia: Christian leaders warn against autocratic rule

The Christian leaders of Zambia have issued a joint statement warning against the threat of autocratic rule. The Catholic bishops’ conference joined with the Council of Churches in Zambia...

Released Wednesday, Jun. 21

Papal tribute to Cardinal Dias

In a telegram of condolence to the brother of Cardinal Ivan Dias, who died on June 19, Pope Francis paid tribute to the prelate’s service as apostolic nuncio, archbishop of Mumbai, and curial...

Moscow patriarch links Islamist terrorism, Western secularism

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow received a delegation from the Coptic Orthodox Church on June 18 and lamented attacks on Christians in Egypt. “Our brothers and sisters, members of your Church,...

Venezuelan bishops blast government over police attacks on citizens

The Venezuelan bishops’ justice and peace commission has denounced the “the very serious worsening of the violation of human rights and democratic liberties.” Criticizing the...

Nigerian police rescue kidnapped priest

Police in Imo State, Nigeria, have rescued an abducted priest who spent two days in captivity, according to Nigerian media reports. Father Charles Nwachukwu was found unharmed in a forest in...

Refugees meet with Pope

Pope Francis met with 35 refugees who are being hosted by Roman parishes. The meeting took place on June 19 in the Lateran Palace. “The problem of people seeking shelter is a big...

Saints are witnesses and companions of hope, Pope says at Wednesday audience

Continuing his series of Wednesday general audiences devoted to Christian hope, Pope Francis devoted his June 21 audience to the saints as witnesses and companions of hope. “The Letter to...

6th Fortnight for Freedom begins

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has begun its sixth annual observance of the Fortnight for Freedom to raise awareness of threats to religious liberty. This year’s theme is...

Football Hall of Fame members meet with Pontiff

Pope Francis met on June 21 with an American delegation from the National Football League’s Hall of Fame. The Pope, who is known for his enthusiasm for soccer, joked: “As many of you...

New president for Pontifical Academy of Sciences

Pope Francis has named Joachim von Braun, a German agricultural economist, as president of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. Braun is a professor of economics and technology, and director for...

Melkite Synod elects new Patriarch

Bishop Youssef Absi has been elected by the Synod of the Melkite Catholic Church to become the next Patriarch of Antioch and leader of the world’s 1.6 million Melkite Catholics. A native of...

Pope again plans no meeting with cardinals at June consistory

Pope Francis has apparently chosen once again not to hold a meeting of the College of Cardinals prior to the June 28 consistory at which he will confer red hats on five new cardinals. On June 21...

Leader of Communion and Liberation applauds Pope’s leadership

The leader of the Communion and Liberation movement strongly endorsed the pastoral leadership of Pope Francis, in an interview with John Allen of Crux. Father Julian Carron, the influential...

Italian theologian: Pope must address ‘full crisis of faith’

A noted Italian theologian has said that the Church is experiencing a “full crisis of faith,” and argued that Pope Francis must make an unambiguous statement to correct “ambiguous...

Papal initiative sends aid to South Sudan

The Vatican has announced a special initiative to send aid to the people of South Sudan. At a June 21 press conference Cardinal Peter Turkson, the prefect of the dicastery for Integral Human...

Released Thursday, Jun. 22

EU bishops’ commission weighs in on security, defense

As the EU’s heads of state and government prepared to meet to discuss security and defense, the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the EU (COMECE) published a six-page document...

Pope backs proposed Italian legislation on migrants

Pope Francis has lent his support to proposed Italian legislation intended to better integrate migrants into the workplace and civil society. Following his June 21 general audience, the Pope said...

Pontiff encourages faithful to turn to the Sacred Heart, pray for priests

Following his June 21 general audience, the Pope recalled that the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus falls on June 23 this year. The Pope told pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square...

4 new members of US bishops’ National Review Board

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has named four new members of the National Review Board, which advises the bishops on the protection of...

Hundreds of Catholic institutions closed or destroyed in Congo violence

Violence in the Kasai region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo has claimed 3,383 lives since last October, according to the apostolic nuncio. Five seminaries, 60 parishes, 34 religious...

Kenya’s bishops warn faithful against tribalism

As Kenya prepares for August 8 general elections, the nation’s bishops cautioned the faithful against tribal-based politics. The nation’s major ethnic groups include the Kikuyu (22%),...

California court dismisses charges against makers of films exposing Planned Parenthood

A California judge has dismissed 14 criminal charges against David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt, whose undercover videos exposed the involvement of Planned Parenthood in the sale of fetal...

Indonesian priests ask Vatican to intervene in conflict with bishop

The 69 priests who have resigned from ministry in the Diocese of Ruteng, in Indonesia, have asked the Vatican to help resolve their dispute with Bishop Hubertus Leteng. The priest charge that...

Los Angeles archdiocese cancels pro-abortion forum scheduled for cathedral plaza

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles has cancelled a forum that was scheduled to take place on the plaza outside the city’s cathedral, in which speakers would rally support for legal...

Pope recognizes ‘heroism’ of Eastern Catholic churches

The Eastern Catholic churches “should be kept and preserved” through current crises, Pope Francis said in a June 22 address to the Reunion of Aid Agencies for the Oriental Churches...

Islamic State razes historic mosque in Mosul

Islamic State fighters destroyed a historic mosque in the city of Mosul, as they battled to retain control of a section of the city. With Iraqi forces slowly pushing the Islamic State out of...

New Melkite Patriarch receives papal welcome

Pope Francis has granted a request for ecclesiastical communion from the newly elected Melkite Catholic Patriarch Youssef Absi of Antioch. The new Patriarch was elected on June 21 by the Melkite...

Vatican Secretary of State: need to consider excommunication for Mafia figures

Cardinal Pietro Parolin told reporters that the Vatican must reflect on a recommendation, advanced last week by the dicastery for Integral Human Development, that Mafia members should be...

Dutch royals meet with Pontiff

Pope Francis met on June 22 with King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands. A brief Vatican statement released after the meeting indicated that the Pope had spoken with the Dutch...

Church of England acknowledges cover-up of abuse by retired Anglican bishop

The Church of England has acknowledged that Anglican leaders covered up evidence of sexual abuse by a disgraced bishop. Former Anglican Bishop Peter Ball was arrested in 1992 on suspicion of...

Released Friday, Jun. 23

USCCB: prayer, solidarity following London mosque attack

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has issued a statement on the Finsbury Park attack, in which a man drove a van into a crowd near a London...

Trump administration issues new letter on transgender students

The Office for Civil Rights of the US Department of Education has issued an instruction stating that schools that fail to use transgender students’ “preferred names and pronouns”...

Federal court blocks deportation of Iraqi Christians

A federal court has blocked the plan of US immigration authorities to deport nearly 200 Iraqi natives, most of them Chaldean Christians, who were seized in raids in the Detroit area. Judge Mark...

Community of at Sant’Egidio brokers Central African Republic accord

The Community of Sant’Egidio announced that it has brokered a peace agreement between rival factions in the Central African Republic. Shortly after the agreement was announced, however, the...

Leading exorcist appeals for improved seminary formation

In an address to members of the Congregation for the Clergy, the chairman of the International Association of Exorcists appealed for an improved formation of seminarians. “Those in charge...

Pope calls on priests to show apostolic zeal, denounce evil

In his June 22 weekday Mass homily at Domus Sanctae Marthae, Pope Francis outlined the traits of a priest who is a true shepherd. The true shepherd loves his flock and is able to say,...

Patriarch to consecrate Lebanon, Middle East to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Patriarch Bechara Boutros al-Rahi, the head of the Maronite Catholic Church, will renew the consecration of Lebanon and the Middle East to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The consecration will take...

Illinois bishop bars Communion, funerals for same-sex married couples

Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois, has instructed his pastors that they should not administer the sacraments to Catholics who are engaged in same-sex marriages. In a formal decree...

US Senate health-care bill is ‘unacceptable,’ says bishops’ spokesman

Bishop Frank Dewane, who chairs the US bishops domestic-policy committee, has described a health-care reform proposal in the US Senate as “unacceptable as written.” Bishop Dewane...

Be bold, Pope urges members of Serra International

In a June 23 address to members of Serra International, Pope Francis encouraged the group to continue its work “with courage, creativity, and boldness.” Serra International, the Holy...

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