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Catholic World News

Stories for week of August 30, 2015

Released Monday, Aug. 31

Ex-nuncio, facing Vatican trial for abuse, died of ‘cardiac event’ CWN - August 31, 2015

A team of three medical experts, led by forensic pathologist Dr. Giovanni Arcudi, conducted an autopsy on the body of Józef Wesolowski and determined he died of a “cardiac event,” according to the...

Pope Francis: ‘if the heart doesn’t change, we are not true Christians’ CWN - August 31, 2015

Reflecting on the day’s Gospel reading at Mass, Pope Francis said in his August 30 Sunday Angelus address that Jesus “emphasizes the primacy of the interior of the ‘heart.’” “Exterior things are...

Bishop slain during Assyrian genocide beatified CWN - August 31, 2015

A century to the day after he was beaten and beheaded after refusing to convert to Islam, Bishop Flavianus Michael Malke (Melki) was beatified as a martyr on August 29 at the Patriarchal Convent of...

Pope laments death of migrants in Austria CWN - August 31, 2015

Three days after 71 migrants were found dead in a truck in Austria, Pope Francis lamented their deaths following his August 30 Angelus address. “In recent days, many migrants have lost their...

Declare the killing of Middle East’s Christians a genocide, Iraqi prelate urges CWN - August 31, 2015

Speaking with three diocesan newspapers in the United States, the Chaldean Catholic archbishop of Erbil, Iraq, called for the declaration of the killing of Syrian and Iraqi Christians as a...

Anglicans to join Catholics, Orthodox in prayer for creation CWN - August 31, 2015

The Church of England’s lead bishop for the environment has called upon Anglicans to join Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in praying for the care of creation on September 1. “It...

Suspects arrested in Pakistan church attacks CWN - August 31, 2015

Pakistani police have arrested five persons suspected of planning the March 15 attacks on two churches in Lahore, the Fides news agency reported. A regional government official said that the...

March for Life wins exemption from Obamacare contraceptive mandate CWN - August 31, 2015

The March for Life has won a permanent injunction barring enforcement of the “Obamacare” contraceptive mandate. A federal court rules on August 31 that the March for Life, the group that...

Pope Francis in video link with US groups CWN - August 31, 2015

Pope Francis spoke with American audiences in three different locations on August 31, in a video-link event hosted by the ABC television network. The Pontiff spoke with students at Cristo Rey...

Undercover video producers debunk Planned Parenthood's defense CWN - August 31, 2015

The Center for Medical Progress, which has released a series of damaging undercover videos showing Planned Parenthood’s involvement in the sale of fetal tissues, has now sent a letter to Congress,...

Eleven cardinals contribute to new book urging Synod to uphold Church teaching on marriage CWN - August 31, 2015

Eleven cardinals, from all around the world, have contributed to a new book arguing against any substantive change in the Church’s teaching on marriage. In Eleven Cardinals Speak on Marriage and...

Benedict XVI testifies for beatification of Pope John Paul I CWN - August 31, 2015

Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI has given testimony for the cause of beatification of Pope John Paul I, the Italian journal Famiglia Cristiana reports. Elected in 1978 to succeed Pope Paul VI, Pope...

Most Catholics in Massachusetts legislature support Planned Parenthood, study shows CWN - August 31, 2015

A study by a lay activist group has shown that most of the Catholics serving in the state legislature support Planned Parenthood. The Catholic Action League found that 52 Catholics in the lower...

Palestinian archbishop arrested in protest against Israeli 'security wall' CWN - August 31, 2015

Archbishop Michel Sabbah, the retired Latin-rite Patriarch of Jerusalem, was among the Palestinian Christian demonstrators arrested by Israeli police on August 30 in a protest against the “security...

American analysts sees acceptance of immigrants as 'suicide of Christian Europe' CWN - August 31, 2015

An American political analyst has charged that Pope Francis is contributing to “the suicide of Christian Europe” by encouraging immigration from Africa. Speaking to an Italian audience, Edward...

Released Tuesday, Sep. 1

Papal condolences for hurricane victims CWN - September 1, 2015

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, has sent a telegram of condolence in the name of the Holy Father to the bishop of Roseau, Dominica, the island nation that was the site of...

Nigerian prelate decries same-sex marriage CWN - September 1, 2015

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, has given pride of place on its website to a recent homily by Bishop Camillus Etokudoh of Port Harcourt. The prelate...

European bishops: pray for the care of creation CWN - September 1, 2015

The Council of Catholic Bishops' Conferences of Europe (CCEE) has issued a message encouraging the continent’s bishops to take part in the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation on September...

Synod should place education at center of its concerns, says priest CWN - September 1, 2015

Writing in L’Osservatore Romano, an Italian priest said that the upcoming Synod of Bishops on the family should make education one of its central concerns. In March, Pope Francis appointed Msgr....

Pope Emeritus celebrates Mass for former students CWN - September 1, 2015

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI celebrated Mass for his former students on August 30, the closing day of the annual Ratzinger Schülerkreis. During the Mass, which took place on August 30 at the...

Iraqi archbishop: 20% of local Christians emigrated in 2014 CWN - September 1, 2015

The Chaldean Catholic archbishop of Basra said that 20% of Christian families emigrated from the city in 2014. Basra, the largest city under Iraqi government control after Baghdad, is far from...

Report: Pope to meet with deposed French bishop CWN - September 1, 2015

Pope Francis will meet on the afternoon of September 1 with Bishop Jacques Gaillot, the former bishop of Evreux, France, according to La Croix. The bishop, whom St. John Paul II removed from...

Archbishop Marini to lead Eastern Catholic liturgical commission CWN - September 1, 2015

Pope Francis has reconstituted the Congregation for the Eastern Churches’ Special Commission for the Liturgy and has named Archbishop Piero Marini as its president. The commission, founded in...

Pope Francis: SSPX priests will licitly and validly absolve sins during Jubilee of Mercy CWN - September 1, 2015

Pope Francis has declared that priests of the Society of St. Pius X, founded by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, will validly and licitly absolve sins during the upcoming Jubilee Year of Mercy, which...

9th Planned Parenthood video: for-profit corporation paid fees to clinic directors for exclusive access CWN - September 1, 2015

A new undercover video—the 9th in a series exposing Planned Parenthood—has introduced another major player in the business of harvesting fetal tissues. The new video from the Center for Medical...

Pope's prayer intentions for September 2015 CWN - September 1, 2015

The Vatican has released the prayer intentions of Pope Francis for September 2015. The Pope’s universal intention is: “That opportunities for education and employment may increase for...

First Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation: liturgy in Vatican basilica CWN - September 1, 2015

Pope Francis presided on September 1 at the first World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, with a Liturgy of the Word in St. Peter’s basilica. The service included readings from a canticle...

Africa will preserve Christian understanding of marriage, family: Cardinal Sarah CWN - September 1, 2015

Africa will save the Christian understanding of marriage and family, Cardinal Robert Sarah told a Catholic weekly in Benin. “I have absolute confidence in African culture,” said Cardinal Sarah,...

Kentucky clerk of court defies Supreme Court, refuses to issue same-sex marriage licenses CWN - September 1, 2015

Defying court orders, a county clerk in Kentucky is refusing to issue marriage licenses of same-sex couples. Kim Davis, the clerk of Rowan County, said that she would obey “God’s...

Rome's planner sees 'concrete and real threat' of terror activity during Jubilee Year CWN - September 1, 2015

The prefect of the City of Rome has said that he sees a “concrete and real threat” of terrorist attacks during the Jubilee Year. “But like all threats, that doesn't mean we have to shut ourselves...

Chinese Catholic petition for release of bishop, imprisoned since 1996 CWN - September 1, 2015

Catholics in China’s Hebei province have issued a plea to the government for the release of Bishop James Su Zhimin of Baoding, who has been jailed since 1996. After China’s President Xi Jinping...

British scholars urge Jesuits not to close historic Heythorp College CWN - September 1, 2015

A group of British intellectuals has joined in a plea to Jesuit officials to rescind their decision to close Heythorp College, saying that the 400-year-old institution plays an important role in...

Released Wednesday, Sep. 2

German bishops’ conference: grant sanctuary to refugees only as a last resort CWN - September 2, 2015

As thousands of migrants and refugees enter Europe from Africa and Asia, the migration commission of the German Bishops’ Conference has published a brief document on the tradition of granting...

Stay out of political campaigns, Ukrainian Catholic leader reminds priests CWN - September 2, 2015

As Ukraine prepares for local elections on October 25, the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, reminded priests that Church and state have a...

Federal government urges employees: work from home during papal visit CWN - September 2, 2015

The federal government’ Office of Personnel Management has asked federal agencies to discourage employees from commuting to Washington during the three days of Pope Francis’s visit to...

2 Catholic activists freed in Vietnam CWN - September 2, 2015

Two young Vietnamese Catholic human rights activists have been released after serving four-year prison sentences on charges of plotting to overthrow the government. Despite pressure, the two...

Russian patriarch criticizes Ukrainian Catholics; Eastern patriarch says ‘real’ Ukrainians are Orthodox CWN - September 2, 2015

In a meeting with the head of the Orthodox Church of Alexandria, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow criticized the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church as well as Orthodox churches in Ukraine that are not in...

Christian, Muslim leaders discuss plight of Christians in Syria, Iraq CWN - September 2, 2015

The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and KAICIID, an interreligious-dialogue initiative founded by Austria, Saudi Arabia, and Spain, are sponsoring a conference in Athens on September 2 and...

Orthodox bishops discuss pan-Orthodox council CWN - September 2, 2015

140 bishops of the Patriarchate of Constantinople traveled from Greece, the United States, and other nations to Istanbul to mark the beginning of the Orthodox liturgical year and discuss the...

Pope Francis: faith transforms family life for the better CWN - September 2, 2015

Christ’s teaching that those who love family members more than they love than him are not worthy of him (Mt. 10:37-38) is not intended to denigrate family life, Pope Francis said in his...

Beatification cause planned for victims of bombing in Baghdad cathedral CWN - September 2, 2015

Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignace III Younans plans to open a cause for the beatification of 48 people killed in a 2010 attack on a cathedral in Baghdad. Our Lady of Salvation cathedral was...

New poll confirms widespread dissent from Church moral teachings among US Catholics CWN - September 2, 2015

Dissent from Church teachings on contentious moral issues is widespread among Catholic Americans, a new Pew Research survey has confirmed. A majority of Catholics believe that the use of...

Patriarch pleads for young Christians to stay in Syria, Iraq CWN - September 2, 2015

In an open letter to young Catholics, Melkite Catholic Patriarch Gregory III Laham has pleaded for an end to a “tsunami” of emigration. “The almost communal wave of youth emigration, especially...

Papal plea for end to warfare CWN - September 2, 2015

Pope Francis issued a plea for peace, especially in the Middle East, at the conclusion of his regular weekly audience on September 2. Noting that the day was the 70th anniversary of Japan’s...

English cardinal urges faithful to oppose bill allowing assisted suicide CWN - September 2, 2015

England’s leading Catholic prelate has urged Catholics to contact their representatives in Parliament, as a vote approaches on a bill that would allow physician-assisted suicide. 'The intrinsic...

Catholic college prepared to pay heavy fines for failure to comply with Obamacare mandate CWN - September 2, 2015

The president of a Thomas Aquinas College has said that the California school is prepared to pay heavy fines, if necessary, rather than comply with the “Obamacare” contraceptive mandate. Thomas...

Israeli Catholics demonstrate to protest government budget cuts for Church schools CWN - September 2, 2015

Catholics in Nazareth organized a demonstration on September 1 to protest Israeli government policies slashing support for Church-run schools. Bishop Giacinto Boulos Marcuzzo, an auxiliary of the...

Vatican delegate objects to gender ideology in UN development document CWN - September 2, 2015

Commenting on a UN development plan, the Vatican’s representative has taken exception to language that promotes access to abortion, contraception, and gender ideology. Archbishop Bernardito Auza,...

Released Thursday, Sep. 3

US cardinal welcomes Pope’s initiative on absolution of abortions CWN - 22 hours ago

Cardinal Seán O’Malley of Boston, chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has welcomed Pope Francis’s decision to...

‘Protect church-state separation’ during papal visit, group urges CWN - 22 hours ago

Americans United for Separation of Church and State has warned officials in Washington, New York, and Philadelphia to “respect separation of church and state” during the upcoming papal...

Nigerian prelate backs leader’s anti-corruption effort CWN - 21 hours ago

The president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, has lent his support to President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption...

Odisha bishops establish ‘Martyrs’ Day’ CWN - 21 hours ago

The bishops of the east Indian state of Odisha, formerly known as Orissa, have unanimously decided to establish a “martyrs’ day” to commemorate the nearly 100 Christians who were...

‘The Rigging of a Vatican synod?’ CWN - 21 hours ago

In a new book excerpted in Catholic World Report, journalist Edward Pentin recounts the events surrounding the October 2014 Synod of Bishops’ controversial interim report. The report...

CDF rules that transgendered person is not permitted to be baptismal sponsor, says Spanish bishop CWN - 21 hours ago

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has ruled that a woman who identifies herself as transgendered is not permitted to serve as a baptismal sponsor, Bishop Rafael Zornoza Boy of...

Pope meets Israeli president, presses for resumption of talks with Palestinians CWN - 15 hours ago

Pope Francis pressed for the resumption of dialogue between Israel and Palestinian leaders, during a September 3 meeting with Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin. A brief Vatican statement...

Serve families, hear confessions: Pope's requests to priests of Schoenstatt Movement CWN - 13 hours ago

In a message to priests of the Schoenstatt Movement, Pope Francis said that priests “must never be above or in front of others, but instead must walk alongside them, loving them with the same love...

Kentucky clerk jailed for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licences CWN - 13 hours ago

A county clerk in Kentucky has been jailed for contempt of court, because she refuses to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Kim Davis was taken into federal custody on September 3,...

Kenyan bishop: defend family against outside ideological pressures CWN - 13 hours ago

A Kenyan bishop urged the faithful to defend marriage, and resist the pressure of ideologies that undermine family life, in a September 2 address. Speaking to participants in a conference...

Another papal first: shopping for eyeglasses in downtown Rome CWN - 11 hours ago

Pope Francis left the Vatican on Thursday, September 3, to buy new eyeglasses at a shop in downtown Rome. The Pope stunned other shoppers on the stylist Via del Babuino when he appeared in the...

Priests in Michigan, Kansas charged for misappropriating parish funds CWN - 11 hours ago

Two American Catholic priests, in Michigan and in Kansas, faced charges on September 2 for allegedly misappropriating funds. In Michigan, Father Edward Belczak entered a guilty plea on mail-fraud...

Italian priest stops all parish activities, to block gossip about his alleged paternity CWN - 11 hours ago

An Italian priest has taken the unusual step of halting all parish activities—except for Mass—in a bid to halt the circulation of rumors that he fathered a child. “I am not the father of that...

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