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Stories for week of August 28, 2016

Released Monday, Aug. 29

Norcia: 'months, even a year' to repair basilica after earthquake

"The destruction in Norcia is serious," reports Father Cassian Folsom, the prior of the Benedictine monastery in the earthquake-ravaged Italian town. In the monastery itself, the...

Understanding mercy means awareness of sin, Pope tells American bishops

To appreciate God's mercy, one must recognize one's own sinfulness, Pope Francis told an audience of American bishps on August 27. “For all our sins, our limitations, our failings,...

Ugandan archbishop decries culture of domestic violence

Domestic violence is a sad reality for "almost every family" in his region of eastern Uganda, Archbishop Emmanuel Obbo of Tororo has launched a campaign to address the...

Axe-wielding Islamic radical attacks Indonesian priest during Mass

A teenage Islamic radical attacked an Indonesian Catholic priest with an axe during Mass on August 28.  Witnesses report that the assailant rushed at the altar carrying a backpack...

Conservative clerics move to set up alternate structures within Church of England

Conservative Anglican clerics in England are meeting this week to set up a "shadow synod" that could provide an alternate system of church governance if they break away from the...

Mississippi man arrested for murder of nuns

Police in Mississippi have arrested a man and charged him with the murder of two women religious on August 25. Rodney Early Sanders reportedly confessed to killing Sister Margaret Held and Sister...

In preface to biography of Benedict XVI, Pope Francis says predecessor continues Petrine ministry

A forthcoming biography of Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI, written by theologian Elio Guerriero, carries a foreward by Pope Francis, in which the Holy Father applauds his predecessor for introducing the...

Facebook's Zuckerberg meets with Pontiff

Pope Francis met on August 29 with Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and head of Facebook, and his wife. A Vatican statement released after the meeting said that the Pope had spoken with Zuckerberg...

At audience, Pope urges Christians to unite in prayer for environment

During his Angelus audience on Sunday, August 29, Pope Francis called attention to the annual World Day of Prayer for Creation, which will be observed on September 1. The World Day of Prayer for...

New evangelization will succeed despite current Church weakness, Pope tells ecumenical gathering

In a message to an ecumenical gathering taking place in Thessalonika, Greece, this week, Pope Francis said that "there is clearly the need for a new work of evangelization" in Europe,...

'Vatileaks' convict begins serving 18-month sentence

Msgr. Lucio Vallejo Balda, the former Vatican official who was convicted in the "Vatileaks II" trial, has been taken into custody to begin serving an 18-month prison...

Murder of Father Hamels was attack on French secularism, says author in Jesuit journal

In an article published in the authoritative Italian journal Civilta Cattolica, a Jesuit scholar argues that the murder of Father Jacques Hamel by Islamic terrorists should be understood as an...

Pope promises to visit Italian earthquake victims

"As soon as possible, I hope to come and see you," Pope Francis said on August 29 to survivors of the earthquake that caused more than 200 deaths in central Italy last week. During his...

Missionaries of Charity robbed, beaten at home in Argentina

Marauders roughed up several nuns in Mar del Plata, Argentina, on August 25, desecrating their chapel and ransacking their residence. The attack took place at a home where members of the...

Cardinal Tagle: abortion as bad as vigilante killings

Cardinal Antonio Tagle of Manila has called for consistency in defense of human life, reminding his people that abortion involves killing. The cardinal made his point in a radio address on August...

Released Tuesday, Aug. 30

Federal court backs law removing religious exemption from vaccinations

A federal judge has ruled that California’s interest in protecting the health of its citizens takes precedence over the First Amendment right to free exercise of religion. US District Court...

Egypt, Coptic Orthodox Church agree to new law on church construction

The Egyptian government and the bishops of the Coptic Orthodox Church have agreed to a revision of 1934 regulations governing the construction and restoration of churches. Over the years, local...

Chaldean patriarch calls upon Muslims to repudiate ISIS

The head of the Chaldean Catholic Church, an Eastern Catholic church in full communion with the Holy See, has called upon “Muslims and non-Muslim people of good will” to repudiate the...

Texas: Catholic college president removed for offensive remarks

The governing board of a Catholic college in San Antonio has fired its president of 31 years. The decision to remove Louis Agnese, president of the University of the Incarnate Word, took place...

Philippine bishops welcome peace deal between government, Maoists

Bishops in the Philippines have welcomed a peace agreement signed between the nation’s government and the National Democratic Front, a Maoist insurgency launched in 1969. “I...

French interior minister sees 'urgent' need to avoid religious conflict with Muslims

French interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve is hoping to enlist Muslim leaders in a campaign to reject Islamic extremism, as part of a larger strategy to avoid religious conflicts. "Francis...

Bishop decries rash of civilian killings in South Sudan

A Catholic bishop in South Sudan has spoken out to condemn a rash of vigilante killings in his diocese, as internal conflict continues to beset the young African nation.  Bishop...

Turkey: early release for young man convicted of priest's 2006 murder

A young Turkish man who was convicted in 2006 for killing a Catholic missionary priest has been released from prison after serving just ten years of an 18-year sentence. Oguzhan Ayudin was...

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