Action Alert!

Stories for week of March 26, 2017

Released Monday, Mar. 27

Fiji’s president meets with Pope

Pope Francis received George Konrote, Fiji’s president since 2015, at the Apostolic Palace on March 24. Konrote, a Seventh Day Adventist, also met with the Vatican’s Secretary of...

Pope Francis, in Milan, preaches on Annunciation, speaks on evangelization

On March 25, Pope Francis traveled to Milan, Italy’s second-largest city and Europe’s largest diocese, in the 13th apostolic journey of his pontificate within Italy. Following a...

115 Spanish martyrs beatified

115 martyrs from the Spanish Civil War, including 90 diocesan priests, were beatified in Almería on March 25. Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints,...

Pope Francis: follow the light of Christ, abandon ‘false lights’

Reflecting on the day’s Gospel reading at Mass (Jn. 9:1-41), Pope Francis said during his March 26 Angelus address that the healing of the man born blind “causes us to reflect on our...

Leaders of Roman Curia rally around papal abuse commission

A number of top Vatican leaders attended a March 23 seminar hosted by the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors (PCPM), in an unmistakable show of support for the commission. The...

Court allows re-trial of Philadelphia monsignor after conviction was reversed

A Pennsylvania court has cleared the way for a re-trail of a Philadelphia priest whose conviction on child-endangerment charges was overturned by the state’s top court. Msgr. William Lynn...

German Cardinal Marx suggests lay-run parishes

Instead of closing parishes because of a shortage of priests, Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich has proposed to appoint lay people to administer parishes. Cardinal Marx said that lay-run parishes...

Mexican bishop: faithful have a duty to oppose abortion, protect life

The Catholic faithful have “a serious, human, and societal responsibility” to protect human life, a spokesman for the Mexican hierarchy said in a message for the national Day for...

India: cemetery vandalized after Hindu group charges Christians with forced conversions

A Christian graveyard was vandalized in India’s state of Uttar Pradesh, after a local Hindu-nationalist group issued charges that Christians were using pressure tactics to make...

Pope meets with bishops from Western Canada

Pope Francis met on March 27 with a group of bishops from western Canada who were completing their ad limina visits. The Canadian prelates were members of the Assembly of Western Catholic...

Mexico City archdiocese: ‘immoral’ to help build Trump’s border wall

An editorial in the newspaper of the Mexico City archdiocese has argued that helping to build the border wall proposed by American President Donald Trump would be immoral. The wall would be...

European Parliament leaders visit Norcia, pledge support to rebuild basilica

A delegation of the European Parliament leadership visited Norcia, Italy on March 24, to see the devastated basilica of St. Francis and discuss restoration plans. The European Parliament is...

Released Tuesday, Mar. 28

Communist leader: Catholic-Orthodox split fostered West’s hatred of Russia

Gennady Zyuganov, the head of Russia’s Communist Party since 1993, attributed “hatred for Russia” to “the split of Christianity into the Catholic and the Orthodox...

Indonesia: Muslims protest parish construction; police fire tear gas

Throwing bottles and rocks, several hundred Muslims gathered on March 24 to protest the construction of a Catholic parish in Kaliabang, a city located near the Indonesian capital of...

Cardinal Marx meets with Merkel challenger

Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich met on March 27 with Martin Schulz, leader of the Social Democratic Party and leading challenger to Chancellor Angela Merkel in the September federal...

English Catholics, Lutherans commemorate Reformation

Archbishop Bernard Longley of Birmingham joined the head of the Lutheran Church in England to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. The commemoration took place on...

Congo bishops withdraw from role as mediator between government, opposition

The bishops of the Democratic Republic of the Congo have withdrawn from their role as mediator between the government of President Joseph Kabila, who has remained in office beyond his constitutional...

Pope Francis: elimination of nuclear weapons is moral imperative

In a message to a United Nations conference on nuclear weapons, Pope Francis said that the “ultimate goal of the total elimination of nuclear weapons” is “both a challenge and a...

Pope’s liturgical schedule for Holy Week released

The Vatican has released the schedule of public liturgical events at which Pope Francis will preside during Holy Week. On Palm Sunday, April 9, the Pope will lead the traditional procession and...

Bolivian feminists join bishops in opposition to bill allowing abortion for poor women

The Catholic bishops of Bolivia have renewed their opposition to a proposal that would legalize abortion for poor families—and found unexpected allies in feminists who see the legislation as a...

Cardinal Vingt-Trois of Paris sidelined by Guillain-Barre syndrome

Cardinal André Vingt-Trois of Paris will be unable to preside at Holy Week and Easter ceremonies, becaue he is suffering from Guillain-Barre syndrome, the archdiocese has...

Mexican bishop under fire after charging corruption in local state government

A Mexican bishop is facing heavy criticism from local politicians after he charged that the administration of his state was riddled with corruption. Bishop Ramon Castro of Cuernavaca had sought...

Another Mexican priest killed

A Catholic priest was killed on March 26 in El Nayar, in the western state of Nayarit in Mexico. Father Felipe Carillo Altamirano was killed on Sunday evening. Few details about the crime were...

Released Wednesday, Mar. 29

Cardinal Parolin calls for local food solutions to combat hunger

Writing on behalf of Pope Francis to the president of the 10th Forum for the Future of Agriculture, the Vatican’s Secretary of State called upon each country to attain nutritional...

EU bishops’ commission calls for targeted VAT reductions

The Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community (COMECE) has weighed in on the EU’s value added tax (VAT), which ranges from 17% to 27% depending on the...

Cardinal Nichols offers Mass for terrorist attack victims

Cardinal Vincent Nichols offered Mass for the victims of the March 22 Westminster terrorist attack that left five dead and 50 injured. “St. Paul says to us, ‘Have nothing to do with...

Patriarch praises rural Russian conservatism

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church recently praised small town conservatism for helping preserve the nation. “Were it not for our hinterlands, it is unclear what would have happened to...

Vatican official commemorates anniversary of Mother Angelica’s death

Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization, offered Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica to commemorate the first anniversary of Mother...

Cardinal Pell weighs in on Trump

At the presentation of a new book by another author, Cardinal George Pell spoke about Brexit and the election of Donald Trump. These events “have shown that a strong majority of elite...

Papal audience topic: Abraham’s witness of faith, hope

Continuing his series of weekly catechetical talks on the virtue of hope, Pope Francis spoke to his general audience on March 29 about the example of Abraham, who is “not only a father in faith, but...

Pope renews appeal for peace in Mosul, Iraq

Pope Francis renewed his appeal for peace in Iraq at the conclusion of his regular weekly public audience on March 29. During his greetings of different groups that were in attendance at his...

Papal greeting for Iraqi delegates to inter-religious talks

“We are all brothers, and where there is brotherhood there is peace,” Pope Francis said in his greeting to a group of Iraqi religious leaders, gathered at the Vatican for a conference...

Islamic State damaged 12,000 Christian homes in Iraq’s Nineveh region

The Islamic State damaged more than 12,000 Christian homes in the Nineveh Plain region, and completely destroyed nearly 700 of them, Aid to the Church in Need reports. In a survey of Iraqis who...

Egyptian police arrest Copts who protested kidnapping

Police in Qena, Egypt, have arrested 13 Coptic Christians who had staged a demonstration to protest the failure of police to respond to the kidnapping of a Christian girl. The father of the...

Appointment of bishop ends long dispute between Vatican, Argentina

This week Pope Francis named Bishop Santiago Olivera of Cruz del Eje, Argentina, to become the head of the country’s military ordinariate, filling a post that had been vacant for a decade...

California brings felony charges against pro-lifers for undercover Planned Parenthood videos

California prosecutors have brought felony charges against the pro-life activists whose undercover videos exposed the involvement of Planned Parenthood in the sale of fetal tissues. David...

Outspoken abuse victim does not expect to rejoin papal commission

An abuse victim who was removed from the Pope’s special commission on sexual abuse because of his outspoken comments has said that he does not expect to rejoin the commission. Peter...

Paraguay’s bishops dismayed by sudden approval of constitutional amendment

The Catholic bishops of Paraguay have decried the quick approval of a constitutional amendment that would allow for the re-election of the country’s president. The country’s...

Australian archbishop recalls saving human-trafficking victim

Archbishop Anthony Fisher of Melbourne told an Australian parliamentary committee that he once resuced a young woman who was a victim of human trafficking. The archbishop told the...

Philadelphia archdiocese announces new approach to catechesis on marriage

The Philadelphia archdiocese is launching a three-year program to renew pastoral service to married couples. The first year of the program will be designed for archdiocesan staff, helping to...

UN committe prods Italy to ensure doctors will perform abortions

The UN’s human-rights committee is pressing Italy to take steps to ensure that women have ready access to abortion. Although abortion is legal in Italy, feminists have complained that women...

Want more news? Visit the Archives.