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Catholic World News

Stories for week of July 26, 2015

Released Monday, Jul. 27

Papal telegram following death of Cardinal Baum CWN - July 27, 2015

Pope Francis has sent a telegram of condolence to Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington following the death of Cardinal William Baum, who served as Archbishop of Washington before leading the...

New Armenian Catholic patriarch elected CWN - July 27, 2015

The Synod of Bishops of the Armenian Catholic Church has elected Bishop Gregory Ghabroyan, 80, as the 20th Armenian Catholic Paticarch of Cilicia. The prelate, now known as Gregory Petros XX...

Pope Francis: Jesus offers 'the fullness of life for the hungry man' CWN - July 27, 2015

Addressing the crowds that gathered in St. Peter's Square on July 26, Pope Francis reflected on the multiplication of the loaves and fishes (Jn. 6:1-15) during his Sunday Angelus address. "The...

Pope appeals for release of clergy kidnapped in Syria CWN - July 27, 2015

Following his Angelus address on July 26, Pope Francis appealed for the release of Father Paolo Dall’Oglio, an Italian Jesuit who was kidnapped by the Islamic State in July 2013. "I make a...

Prelate reiterates Pope's concern for Iraq's Christians CWN - July 27, 2015

In an interview with Vatican Radio, Cardinal Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, reiterated Pope Francis's 'very deep' concern for the Church in...

Pakistani priest: 130 Christians are now facing blasphemy charges CWN - July 27, 2015

The priest who directs the Dominican order's Peace Center in Lahore said that 130 Christians are now facing blasphemy charges in Pakistan. "According to my estimate, there are 130 Christians...

Italian prelate laments court decision on property taxes for Catholic schools CWN - July 27, 2015

The Supreme Court of Cassation-- Italy's highest appellate court-- has ruled that the city of Livorno has the right to levy property taxes on Catholic schools. Bishop Nunzio Galantino, the...

Vatican astronomer discusses discovery of Kepler-452b CWN - July 27, 2015

Father José Gabriel Funes, the director of the Vatican Observatory, said he was "very skeptical" that the discovery of Kepler-452b will lead to an encounter with extraterrestrial life in the near...

Chaldean Patriarch repeats plea for papal visit to Iraq CWN - July 27, 2015

Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako told a Vatican Radio audience that he continues to hope for a visit by Pope Francis to Iraq. "We need his presence among us, so that he can give...

Gay activists meet with Irish archbishop, plead for change in Church teaching CWN - July 27, 2015

Irish homosexual-rights activists said that they told Archbishop Eamon Martin that “existing Catholic teaching needs to change” during a meeting last week. Three leading activists spoke with the...

Australian Labor Party moves to dismiss members who oppose same-sex marriage CWN - July 27, 2015

Australia’s Labor Party has pledged to support same-sex marriage, and to require all party members eventually to join in that effort . After tense negotiations, a Labor Party meeting voted to...

India: nun barred from exam on no-headscarf rule CWN - July 27, 2015

A Catholic nun in India was barred from taking a medical school entrance test when she refused to remove her veil and cross. Sister Remya George was asked to remove portions of her habit as...

Pope kept up tough work schedule through July, aide discloses CWN - July 27, 2015

Pope Francis has held to a demanding work schedule in July, although he has made few public appearances during the month, a close aide told Vatican Radio. “I always find him with his hands busy,...

Pope is first to register for World Youth Day 2016; 45,000 soon follow CWN - July 27, 2015

Pope Francis entered the first official registration to participate in World Youth Day 2016, using a hand-held computer to enter his registration during his regular Angelus audience on Sunday,...

Released Tuesday, Jul. 28

Boko Haram burns down Catholic church in Cameroon CWN - July 28, 2015

Members of Boko Haram attacked two villages in northern Cameroon and burned down a Catholic church, according to a report published by Agence France-Presse. Three villagers were also beheaded in...

Italian nuns come to aid of trafficking victims CWN - July 28, 2015

PBS NewsHour has highlighted the work of Italian women religious in assisting victims of human trafficking, many of them from Nigeria. "The traffickers are cunning," said Consolata Missionary...

'Dying for Christianity' CWN - July 28, 2015

The Guardian has published an overview of the persecution of Christians worldwide, accompanied by a list of the 25 "worst places to be a Christian." "Christians are facing growing persecution...

Churches set on fire in Indonesia CWN - July 28, 2015

Arsonists set fire to two Protestant churches in Indonesia on July 20. The attacks took place in Bantul and Purworejo, two cities that are 35 miles apart on the island of Java. Neither church was...

Nun murdered in Brazil CWN - July 28, 2015

A 65-year-old Franciscan sister was attacked at her convent in Brazil and died from multiple stab wounds, according to the Fides news agency. Sister Irma Odete Francisca, a member of the...

Court overturns conscience protection for pharmacists CWN - July 28, 2015

Overturning a lower court decision, a three-judge panel of the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the State of Washington may compel pharmacies to dispense the morning-after pill, which may...

Report: only 59% of Chileans identify themselves as Catholic CWN - July 28, 2015

The percentage of Chileans who identify themselves as Catholic fell from 70% in 2006 to 59% in 2014, according a Chilean radio news report, which cited census data and national surveys. According...

Presidential candidates discuss how they would address hunger, poverty CWN - July 28, 2015

The Circle of Protection, an ecumenical coalition that supports federal anti-poverty programs, has asked presidential candidates, "What would you do as president to offer help and opportunity to...

Spanish bishop: transgendered person may not serve as godparent CWN - July 28, 2015

A Spanish bishop has determined that a 21-year-old woman who identifies herself as a man may not serve as a godparent at the baptism of her nephew. Bishop Rafael Zornoza Boy of Cádiz and Ceuta...

Third undercover video exposes Planned Parenthood, tissue-procurement company CWN - July 28, 2015

The Center for Medical Progress has released the third in a series of undercover videos exposing the sale of fetal tissue by Planned Parenthood abortion clinics. The latest video, released on...

Vatican exhibition features relationship between St. John Paul II and Jewish people CWN - July 28, 2015

An exhibition highlighting the relationship between St. John Paul II and the Jewish people opens this week at the Vatican. The exhibition, inaugurated at Xavier University in Ohio, has been on...

Vatican health director will step down CWN - July 28, 2015

Dr. Patrizio Polisca, the director of Vatican Health Services, will step down from that post at the end of July, the Vatican has announced. Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican...

Released Wednesday, Jul. 29

Prelate welcomes judge's decision on detention of migrant children CWN - July 29, 2015

A federal judge has ruled that the US government's detention of Central American children in privately-operated facilities violated commitments the US made in a 1997 legal agreement on the detention...

Chastity speaker, nurse among winners of pro-life award CWN - July 29, 2015

A chastity speaker and a nurse were among the three winners of the 2015 People of Life Award, an honor bestowed by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat of Pro-Life...

Archbishop, EPA administrator write joint op-ed on climate change CWN - July 29, 2015

Archbishop Blase Cupich of Chicago has joined Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy in writing an op-ed article entitled "We have a moral obligation on climate change." "The...

Pakistani Christian acquitted of blasphemy charge CWN - July 29, 2015

Arif Yousaf, a Pakistani Christian accused of blasphemy in 2013, has been acquitted, according to a UCA News report. Yousaf, who owned a fireworks store, was accused of selling fireworks that...

Bishop protests destruction of crosses in China CWN - July 29, 2015

An elderly bishop and 26 of his priests gathered outside a government building in the Chinese city of Wenzhou to protest against the demolition of crosses at churches in Zhejiang province, according...

Ukrainian president calls for single national Orthodox church CWN - July 29, 2015

President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine met with representatives of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and called for the creation of a single local Eastern Orthodox church. Ukraine's...

Papal letter for English pro-life initiative CWN - July 29, 2015

Pope Francis sent a telegram expressing a support for the Day for Life, a pro-life initiative of the bishops of England and Wales. This year's theme focused on end-of-life decisions. In his...

Expert on Islam praises UAE's new anti-discrimination law CWN - July 29, 2015

Father Samir Khalil Samir, a Jesuit expert on Islam who was appointed acting rector of the Pontifical Oriental Institute in April, praised the United Arab Emirates for enacting legislation that bans...

Federal prison system to recognize humanism CWN - July 29, 2015

Following a lawsuit filed by the American Humanist Association, the Federal Bureau of Prisons has agreed to recognize humanism as a belief system comparable to a religion. "Under the terms of the...

Patriarch pleads for peace in Middle East CWN - July 29, 2015

Speaking recently in Boston, the Greek Orthodox patriarch of Antioch lamented the suffering of the Middle East's Christians and pleaded for peace. "We have priests, monks, nuns, people and...

Major US foundations committing millions for campaign to eliminate religious exemptions CWN - July 29, 2015

Several major American grantmaking foundations have committed millions of dollars to a campaign to eliminate religious exemptions to gay-rights laws, the Catholic News Agency (CNA) reports. CNA...

Released Thursday, Jul. 30

Cardinal responds to Planned Parenthood videos CWN - July 30, 2015

Cardinal Seán O’Malley of Boston, the chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, said that recently released videos of Planned Parenthood...

USCCB committee, Catholic Charities call for just minimum wage to promote family life CWN - July 30, 2015

The chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, joined by the president of Catholic Charities USA, called upon members of...

Avoid controversial issues in drafting development goals, Holy See tells UN CWN - July 30, 2015

As representatives of different governments negotiate the final draft of the United Nations' post-2015 development agenda, the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See issued a statement...

Patriarch: pray for Iraq's Christians on August 7 CWN - July 30, 2015

Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako has asked "all Christians all over the world to join us in praying for peace and stability in Iraq in the first anniversary of the conquest by ISIS of the Christian...

Protests over detention of Iraqi Christian refugees in San Diego CWN - July 30, 2015

Members of the Chaldean Catholic community in San Diego have been protesting the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement's detention of 27 Iraqi Christians at a privately-run detention facility since...

Thailand cracks down on surrogacy CWN - July 30, 2015

A new Thai law banning commercial surrogacy and the sale of human sperm cells and eggs goes into effect on July 30. The law follows a number of controversial surrogacy cases involving foreigners,...

Italy: number of consecrated widows on the rise CWN - July 30, 2015

The number of consecrated widows in Italy has risen to 200, and an additional 100 are in formation, according to a report in Avvenire, the newspaper owned by the Italian Episcopal Conference. In...

29 dead in attacks on Christian villages in Nigeria CWN - July 30, 2015

Members of the jihadist group Boko Haram attacked two Christian villages in northeastern Nigeria, killing at least 29. The attacks on Dille and Mwuthamam took place on July 28, the Press Trust of...

Vatican newspaper recalls 1964 novel that featured Argentine pope CWN - July 30, 2015

L'Osservatore Romano has published a lengthy article by Juan Manuel de Prada, a Spanish writer and literary critic, on Juan XXIII (XXIV), a 1964 novel by the late Argentine Jesuit Father Leonardo...

Damaging new video exposes Planned Parenthood trade in fetal organs; California court restricts further releases CWN - 19 hours ago

Another damaging video exposing Planned Parenthood’s involved in the sale of fetal tissues was released on July 30, just hours after a judge in California issued a restraining order barring the...

Lesbian principal will retain post at German Catholic elementary school CWN - 19 hours ago

The head of a German elementary school run by the Catholic Church will retain her position, despite having registered a civil union with her lesbian partner. The Bavarian school, administered by...

Term-limit proposal for officials of Roman Curia? CWN - 18 hours ago

A proposal for “term limits” for officials of the Roman Curia will be among the proposals discussed at a September meeting of the Council of Cardinals, according to a report from the Catholic News...

Ukraine: Orthodox priest, nun are murder victims CWN - 18 hours ago

A Ukrainian Orthodox nun was murdered on July 29, and a priest who had been shot earlier in the week succumbed to his wounds. Sister Alevtina was found dead in her room at a convent in Kiev on...

Kenyan bishops support vaccination boycott, citing risks CWN - 18 hours ago

The Catholic bishops of Kenya have encouraged the public to boycott a vaccination campaign, citing indications that the vaccine is unsafe, the Fides news service reports. The Kenyan bishops spoke...

Cincinnati's Archbishp Schnurr urges citizen action to defund Planned Parenthood CWN - 17 hours ago

Archbishop Dennis Schnurr of Cincinnati, Ohio, has encouraged his people to press for an end to government funding of Planned Parenthood. “They display a callous disrespect for human life,” the...

Congress votes to limit access House chamber during to Pope's speech CWN - 17 hours ago

The US House of Representatives has voted to restrict public access to the legislative chamber when Pope Francis addresses a joint session of Congress on September 24. The office of Speaker John...

Vatican official cuts ties with anti-trafficking organization CWN - 17 hours ago

The Vatican has broken off ties with the Global Freedom Network, an organization whose founder has drawn criticism from union leaders in Australia. “The Holy See actually withdrew some time ago,”...

Two Jewish extremists indicted for vandalizing ancient church on Sea of Galilee CWN - 16 hours ago

An Israeli court has indicted two Jewish extremists for the arson attack on an ancient Christian church, the AsiaNews service reports. The Church of the Multiplication of Church of the Loaves and...

Released Friday, Jul. 31

Cardinal decries Trump's comments on immigration CWN - 4 hours ago

Writing in the New York Daily News, Cardinal Timothy Dolan said that presidential candidate Donald Trump's comments on Mexicans entering the United States recalled 19th-century anti-Catholic...

Spanish, French bishops issue letter on pilgrimage to Compostela CWN - 3 hours ago

French and Spanish bishops whose dioceses are part of the Camino de Santiago (Way of St. James) have issued a pastoral letter on the famed pilgrimage route, which leads to the cathedral in...

Kerala court: Christians who reconvert to Hinduism may benefit from affirmative action CWN - 3 hours ago

The high court of the southwest Indian state of Kerala has ruled that Christian dalits who reconvert to Hinduism may benefit from affirmative action programs. Dalits were formerly referred to as...

Patriarch, Putin recall 1000th anniversary of St. Vladimir's death CWN - 3 hours ago

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, joined by representatives of other Orthodox churches, recalled the 1000th anniversary of the death of St. Vladimir, prince of Kievan Rus' and a key figure in the...

Caritas: 100 million Christians face discrimination, persecution CWN - 2 hours ago

Caritas Italiana, the Italian bishops' relief and development agency, has published a report on the persecution of Christians. The report, released July 30, estimates that there are "100 million...

German Protestants deplore destruction of images CWN - 2 hours ago

In a recent dialogue with the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, representatives of the Evangelical Church in Germany-- a federation of Lutheran and other Protestant communities-- deplored...

Plenary indulgence for pilgrims on the Ignatian Way CWN - 1 hours ago

Pope Francis has granted a plenary indulgence to pilgrims who travel on the Camino Ignaciano, or Ignatian Way, between July 31, 2015, and July 31, 2016. July 31 is the feast of St. Ignatius of...

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