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Catholic World News

Stories for week of March 01, 2015

Released Monday, Mar. 2

Papal praise for cooperatives CWN - March 2, 2015

Lamenting the centrality of the “god of money” and quoting Popes Leo XIII and Benedict XVI, Pope Francis lauded cooperative enterprises, called for investment in them, and offered suggestions for...

Pope reflects on Christ’s transfiguration CWN - March 2, 2015

Pope Francis devoted his March 1 Angelus address to Christ’s transfiguration, the subject of the day’s Gospel reading at Mass. The goal of the Lenten journey of conversion, the Pope said, is...

Pope Francis: pray for persecuted Christians of Syria and Iraq CWN - March 2, 2015

At the conclusion of his March 1 Angelus address, Pope Francis renewed his call for prayers for Christians and others persecuted in Syria and Iraq. “We want to assure those involved in these...

Papal preacher begins Lenten sermons CWN - March 2, 2015

Father Raniero Cantalamessa, the preacher to the papal household since 1980, devoted his first weekly Lenten sermon to Pope Francis’s apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium. Father...

USCCB urges President Obama, Congress to do more to assist persecuted Christians CWN - March 2, 2015

The president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, joined by the chairman of its Committee on International Justice and Peace, called upon President Obama and congressional leaders...

Cardinal Burke: be devoted to the liturgy, study the Catechism CWN - March 2, 2015

In an interview with the Rorate Caeli blog, Cardinal Raymond Burke called for devotion to the sacred liturgy and the study of the Catechism of the Catholic Church in the midst of confusing...

Vatican press conference on new Church network for the Amazon CWN - March 2, 2015

Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, held a press conference on March 2 to highlight the work of the Pan-Amazonian Ecclesial Network (REPAM). Formed...

Pope's prayer intentions for March 2015 CWN - March 2, 2015

The Vatican has announced the prayer intentions of Pope Francis for March 2015. The Pope's universal intention is: “That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole...

Secretariat for Economy rebuts charges of excess spending, says costs are below budget CWN - March 2, 2015

Responding to allegations of excessive spending, the Vatican’s Secretariat for the Economy has issued a statement saying that its operating expenses have been “below the budget set when the office...

Islamic State releases some captives in Syria CWN - March 2, 2015

The Islamic State has released 19 of the more than 200 Syrian Christians who were captured during an offensive last week, after the payment of a large ransom. Estimates of the number of hostages...

Study finds maternal health statistics best where abortion is restricted CWN - March 2, 2015

A study in the British Medical Journal has found that maternal health statistics are best in jurisdictions with stricter laws regulating abortion. Contradicting an argument that has been made...

Keep hope alive, Pope encourages bishops of north African nations CWN - March 2, 2015

Pope Francis assured a group of bishops from northern Africa that they have the full support of the universal Church, during a meeting on March 2. The Pope met with members of the Regional...

Released Tuesday, Mar. 3

Update on dialogue between Vatican, evangelicals CWN - March 3, 2015

L’Osservatore Romano has published an update on the ecumenical dialogue between the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the World Evangelical Alliance. The dialogue is focusing...

Venezuelan cardinal: ‘stop murderous violence’ CWN - March 3, 2015

Following the shooting of a 14-year-old boy by police, Cardinal Jorge Uroso of Caracas has called upon security forces to “stop murderous violence.” The prelate called upon the government of...

Ukrainian president thanks leading prelate for support of nation CWN - March 3, 2015

The head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church met with President Petro Poroshenko on February 28, according to the Religious Information Service of Ukraine. Poroshenko thanked Major Archbishop...

Russian foreign minister condemns rising anti-Christianity in the West CWN - March 3, 2015

Speaking in Geneva, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov lamented growing pressures on Christians in the West. “I can't leave out problems which Christians have been experiencing in many...

Vatican newspaper: negative review of new film on Pius XII and the Jews CWN - March 3, 2015

Five weeks after it publicized a new film on Venerable Pius XII’s actions during the Holocaust, L’Osservatore Romano has published a brief negative review of the film’s artistic quality. Stating...

French hierarchy deplores persecution of Christians CWN - March 3, 2015

Stating that “no persecution can be committed in the name of God,” the Bishops’ Conference of France has issued a statement decrying the persecution of Christians in the Middle East. “We wish to...

Nigerian bishops issue statement on family life CWN - March 3, 2015

Decrying threats to family life and the terrorism of Boko Haram, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria has issued a statement entitled “Good Families Make Good Nations.” “In a contemporary...

Pope backs Secretariat for Economy in bid for Vatican reform CWN - March 3, 2015

Pope Francis has approved the statutes of the Secretariat for the Economy, giving an important victory to Cardinal George Pell in his quest for transparency and accountability in Vatican financial...

US bishops' relief agency involved with condom distribution in Kenya, report charges CWN - March 3, 2015

Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the official overseas charitable agency of the US bishops, has been promoting contraceptive use in a program in Kenya. The Population Research Institute, in...

Vatican security head: no immediate threat of attack by Islamic State CWN - March 3, 2015

The Vatican’s top security officer has said that although the Islamic State has threatened to attack the Vatican, there are no reports of any planned attack. “The threat exists,” said Domenico...

US bishops' conference spokesmen urge Congress not to cut spending on welfare, relief programs CWN - March 3, 2015

Two spokesmen for the US bishops' conference have joined in a message to Congress, urging lawmakers to preserve funding for federal programs serving the poor. Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski of Miami...

Wisconsin diocese raising funds to handle spike in number of seminarians CWN - March 3, 2015

The Diocese of Madison, Wisconsin, has launched a fundraising campaign to cope with a welcome problem: a huge increase in the number of young men preparing for the priesthood. The diocese has...

Coptic Patriarch meets with families of Libyan martyrs CWN - March 3, 2015

Pope Tawadros II, the head of the Coptic Orthodox Church, met on March 3 with families of the 21 Christians who were beheaded by the Islamic State in Libya. The Coptic prelate has announced that...

Schedule released for papal trip to Naples, Pompeii CWN - March 3, 2015

Pope Francis will make a one-day trip to Pompeii and Naples on Saturday, March 21, the Vatican has announced. The Pope will travel by helicopter from the Vatican to Pompeii early in the morning....

Released Wednesday, Mar. 4

Social media can be a ‘vanity fair,’ says Russian patriarch CWN - March 4, 2015

In remarks made after a recent Lenten liturgy, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church criticized the vanity manifested in discussions on social media networks. “Every person has a chance to say...

The Eucharist ensures Christ is the center of unity, Pope emphasizes CWN - March 4, 2015

In a March 4 address to bishops who are friends of Focolare, Pope Francis thanked the movement for anchoring its promotion of unity in the Eucharist. The Eucharist, said the Pope, ensures that...

Report: Islamic State releases more Syrian Christian hostages CWN - March 4, 2015

Following the recent release of 19 Syrian Christian captives, the Islamic State has released four more hostages, including a six-year-old girl, according to the Assyrian International News...

Cardinal Parolin to visit Belarus CWN - March 4, 2015

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, will visit Belarus from March 12 to 15, according to a report from the Belarusian Telegraph Agency. In sending Cardinal Parolin to visit...

Cardinal calls for negotiations in Burma CWN - March 4, 2015

Myanmar’s first cardinal has called for dialogue between the nation’s army and rebel groups, including the Kachin Independence Army. Addressing 50,000 pilgrims at a Marian shrine, Cardinal...

Philippine bishops call for land reform CWN - March 4, 2015

81 Philippine bishops have signed a statement calling for the passage of two bills that would extend 1988 agrarian-reform legislation. An estimated 50,000 farmers stand to become landowners if...

Pope Francis: do not discard the elderly CWN - March 4, 2015

Pope Francis devoted his March 4 general audience to the elderly and obligations toward them. “Where the elderly are not honored, there is no future for the young,” he said. Citing Pope...

Cardinal Nichols weighs in on immigration CWN - March 4, 2015

In an interview with BBC, Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster discussed immigration and the UK general election, which will take place on May 7. “I think every party has to be tested on its...

Syrian rebels reject truce offer; bishop blames Western suppliers CWN - March 4, 2015

After Syrian rebels fighting to oust the Assad regime rejected a UN proposal for a humanitarian truce, Bishop Georges Abou Khazen of Aleppo told the Fides news service that the country’s bloody...

Annual Mass celebrates peace on Chile-Argentina border CWN - March 4, 2015

More than 2,000 Catholics from Chile and Argentina gathered on the border between their countries on March 1, to attend a Mass in thanksgiving for the peace between their nations, the Fides news...

Parents of St. Therese of Lisieux will be canonized in October CWN - March 4, 2015

Blessed Louis and Zelie Martin, the parents of St. Therese of Lisieux, will be canonized in October. Cardinal Angelo Amato, the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, announced...

Smart-phone app facilitates adultery, Peruvian cardinal fears CWN - March 4, 2015

A Peruvian cardinal has charged that a popular smart-phone application is encouraging adultery. “Concerning mobile phones, how many people become unfaithful and how many families are broken by...

Cardinal Dolan: Islamic State is perversion of Islam, as IRA was perversion of Catholicism CWN - March 4, 2015

The Islamic State represents “a particularly perverted form of Islam,” Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York has said. “These are not pure, these are not real Muslims,” the cardinal said in an...

Released Thursday, Mar. 5

Report: interview with released Syrian Christian hostage CWN - March 5, 2015

A Syrian Christian kidnapped from his village by the Islamic State and released nearly a week later said that he was treated well but constantly pressured to convert to Islam. “We said we would...

Russian Orthodox official: number of abortions has plunged since fall of Communism CWN - March 5, 2015

Alexey Komov, an official of the Family Commission of the Russian Orthodox Church, has told an Italian news agency that progress has been made in defending human life, marriage, and the family in...

German bishops condemn Russian actions in Ukraine CWN - March 5, 2015

The German Bishops’ Conference recently issued a statement renewing its condemnation of the “the illegal annexation of the Crimea by Russia and the continued military engagement of the Russian...

French atheist angry he was subject to German tax that funds Church CWN - March 5, 2015

A French atheist who was baptized a Catholic and recently moved to Berlin has expressed outrage that the German government classified him as a Catholic for tax purposes, leading to the imposition of...

Court backs Iowa diocese in discrimination lawsuit CWN - March 5, 2015

A federal court has granted a legal victory to the Diocese of Sioux City, Iowa, after the former CFO of the city’s Catholic school system contended he lost his job because of religious...

US Catholic weeklies unite in joint editorial call to end capital punishment CWN - March 5, 2015

Four American Catholic publications, with widely diverging editorial perspectives, have joined in a call for abolition of the death penalty in the US. The editors of the National Catholic...

Pope repeats: do not abandon the elderly CWN - March 5, 2015

“Abandonment is the most serious 'malady' to afflict the elderly, and also the greatest injustice they can suffer,” Pope Francis said in a March 5 message to the Pontifical Academy for...

Encyclical on ecology will appear this year, 'a critical year for humanity,' Vatican cardinal says CWN - March 5, 2015

A forthcoming papal encyclical on the environment will be published during “a critical year for humanity,” the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace told an Irish...

Vatican spokesman denies threat to sue blogger CWN - March 5, 2015

A Vatican spokesman has denied that he threatened to sue a Canadian blogger for defamatory statements. Father Thomas Rosica, a Canadian television personality who works with the Vatican press...

Pope enjoys broad popularity in US, poll shows CWN - March 5, 2015

Pope Francis enjoys broad popularity in the US, a new public-opinion survey shows. The Pew Research Center, in February poll, found that 70% of the American public views the Pope favorably. Among...

Palestinian Authority seeks Vatican action to stop attacks on Christians, Jews in Jerusalem CWN - March 5, 2015

The Palestinian Authority has urged the Vatican and the UN to take action to curb attacks on Christians and Muslims by militant Jews in Jerusalem. The Palestinian foreign ministry issued a...

Slovenian lawmakers approve same-sex marriage CWN - March 5, 2015

Slovenia’s parliament has amended the country’s law on marriage, allowing for legal recognition of same-sex unions. The new law, approved by a vote of 51 to 28, redefines marriage to allow for...

Cardinal Edward Egan, retired Archbishop of New York, dead at 82 CWN - March 5, 2015

Cardinal Edward Egan, the retired Archbishop of New York, has died at the age of 82. His death was attributed to cardiac arrest. A native of Illinois, Edward Egan was ordained as a priest of the...

Chicago nuns, reportedly left without heat, have rich real-estate holdings CWN - March 5, 2015

A small community of nuns, which raised over $200,000 in donations after reports that their convent was without heat, has been exposed as a schismatic group with millions of dollars in financial...

Council of Europe directs France to legislate against spanking CWN - March 5, 2015

The Council of Europe has announced that France must enact new legislation against spanking. The Council said that French law, which affirms the right of parents to discipline their children is...

San Francisco city officials, most Catholic-school teachers, challenge archbishop's policy CWN - March 5, 2015

San Francisco’s Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone faces mounting opposition to his plan to ensure that Catholic-school teachers uphold the principles of the faith. Four-fifths of the teachers in...

Christians being crowded out of health-care fields, editor warns CWN - March 5, 2015

Catholic doctors are being squeezed out of the fields of obstetrics and gynecology, the editor of a Christian law review has warned. John Duddington, the editor of Law and Justice, reports that...

Cardinal Marx questions 'the new evangelization' CWN - March 5, 2015

Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich—the president of the German bishops’ conference, and a member of the Council of Cardinals—has expressed misgivings about the term “the new evangelization.” In an...

Released Friday, Mar. 6

Leading Anglican prelate emphasizes evangelization CWN - 19 hours ago

Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury, the worldwide leader of the Anglican communion, emphasized the centrality of evangelization in a March 5 lecture citing a wide range of Christian figures...

Protestant evangelists beaten by police in India CWN - 18 hours ago

Twenty Protestant evangelists were detained and beaten by police in Jaipur, a city of 3.1 million in northwestern India. Following an intervention by a human rights group, police told the...

Archbishop criticizes Xavier’s selection of honorary degree recipients CWN - 18 hours ago

Archbishop Gregory Aymond has expressed disappointment at Xavier University of Louisiana’s selection of honorary degree recipients, among whom are outgoing US Attorney General Eric Holder and former...

Japan’s bishops recall 70th anniversary of end of WWII CWN - 18 hours ago

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan has issued a statement on the 70th anniversary of the conclusion of World War II. Concerned about recent attempts “to rewrite the history of that time,...

Holy See, Italy in talks on tax evasion CWN - 17 hours ago

Speaking on Italian efforts to combat tax evasion, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said that he hoped to “recover a little bit of money also from the Vatican”—prompting a statement from the director of...

Holy See diplomat renews call for end to capital punishment CWN - 17 hours ago

Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Holy See’s leading diplomat at UN offices in Geneva, called for the international abolition of the death penalty during a meeting of the UN Human Rights...

Papal telegram following Cardinal Egan’s death CWN - 17 hours ago

Pope Francis has sent a telegram of condolence to Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York following the death of Cardinal Edward Egan. “Commending the late cardinal’s noble soul to God, the Father of...

Italian bishop to write meditations for Pope’s Way of the Cross on Good Friday CWN - 17 hours ago

Pope Francis has chosen a retired Italian bishop to write the meditations that will be read during the Way of the Cross on Good Friday at the Colosseum in Rome. Bishop Renato Corti, 79, served as...

Montana diocese reaches agreement with victims in bankruptcy case CWN - 13 hours ago

A federal bankruptcy court has approved a compensation plan in which the Diocese of Helena, Montana, agrees to pay $21 million to 380 sex-abuse victims. The plan, which was approved...

Azerbaijan's president meets with Pontiff CWN - 13 hours ago

Pope Francis met on March 6 with President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan. A brief Vatican statement released after the meeting indicated that the conversation had focused on bilateral relations...

Catholic school breaks athletic ties with Evangelical school that sought exemption from non-discrimination policy on gays CWN - 8 hours ago

A Catholic college in Boston has announced that it is breaking off athletic competitions with a nearby Evangelical Christian school, because the president of the Protestant school has taken a stand...

Norwegian Church leaders defend Oslo bishop against fraud charges CWN - 8 hours ago

Church leaders in Norway have come to the defense of Bishop Bernt Eidsvig of Oslo, who is under investigation on fraud charges. Bishop Eidsvig has been accused of improperly registering Norwegian...

Neocatechumenal Way receives strong papal endorsement CWN - 7 hours ago

Pope Francis gave his full support to the Neocatechumenal Way in a March 6 meeting with 7,000 members of the movement. “I confirm your calling, I support your mission, and I bless your charism,”...

Vatican 'foreign secretary' says European unity should be based on human dignity CWN - 7 hours ago

The European Union should be built on the basis of “the sacredness of the human person, around inalienable values,” the Vatican’s Secretary for Relations with States said in March 5 address to legal...

Wall Street Journal op-ed supports Archbishop Cordileone in San Francisco schools dispute CWN - 7 hours ago

In an op-ed column published in the Wall Street Journal, Ryan Anderson and Leslie Ford of the Heritage Foundation defend San Francisco's Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone against his critics. The...

Ontario: physicians must provide abortion referrals CWN - 6 hours ago

The Ontario College of Physicians and Surgeons has ruled that doctors must provide patients with abortion referrals, regardless of their moral principles. The College took action on a 21 to 3...

Maronite Church will promote organ donation in Lebanon CWN - 6 hours ago

The Maronite Catholic Church has agreed to encourage organ donors. In an accord with Lebanon’s national committee for organ donations, the Maronite bishops’ conference will form a committee to...

New deputy director appointed at Vatican bank CWN - 6 hours ago

The Vatican bank has announced the appointment of a new deputy director. Gianfranco Mammi has been named the deputy director of the Institute for Religious Works (IOR). Having worked with the...

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