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Stories for week of July 24, 2016

Released Monday, Jul. 25

Papal condolences following Munich shooting

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, has sent a telegram of condolence in Pope Francis’s name following a shooting in Munich that left nine dead and over two dozen...

Pope Francis: the word ‘Father’ is the ‘secret of Jesus’ prayer’

Reflecting on the day’s Gospel reading (Lk. 11:1-13) during his July 24 Angelus address, Pope Francis said that “this word [Father] is the secret of Jesus’...

South Korea’s bishops oppose anti-missile defense system

In response to North Korean nuclear missile tests, the United States and South Korea have announced an anti-missile defense system—a move opposed by South Korea’s bishops. The planned...

Pope reconstitutes membership of Vatican agency on ecclesiastical universities

Pope Francis has reconstituted the membership of the Agency for the Evaluation and Promotion of Quality in Ecclesiastical Universities and Faculties (AVEPRO) for the next five years but has retained...

France, Holy See update agreement on French church in Rome

Updating a diplomatic accord that dates back to 1828, the Holy See and France have signed an agreement entrusting the care of the French church in Rome to the priests of the Emmanuel Community, a...

Vatican newspaper publishes defense of Amoris Laetitia

L’Osservatore Romano has published a defense of Pope Francis’s apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia by Rodrigo Guerra López, a philosopher at the Center for Advanced Social...

Polish bishops rap fearmongers on immigration

Just before the opening of World Youth Day in Krakow, the Catholic bishops of Poland have released a statement decrying efforts by the country's political leaders to incite hostility...

Pope drops formal address to Polish bishops from schedule for Krakow visit

Pope Francis has dropped plans to deliver a formal address to the Catholic bishops of Poland during his visit to Krakow this week, opting instead for an informal exchange. The Pope-- who will be...

Bureaucratic infighting at Vatican raising questions about financial reforms

Edward Pentin of the National Catholic Register provides some details of the infighting over Vatican economic reforms, and the results of that struggle-- which appear to have significantly decreased...

Aid worker, kidnapped in Afghanistan, is released

A Catholic human-rights worker who was kidnapped in Afghanistan early in June has been released. Judith D'Souza, who was abducted in Kabul on June 9, is expected home in her native India...

Turkish government blames reformist Muslim group for failed coup

The government of Turkey has blamed the international Islamic group Hizmet for the July 15 coup that failed to oust President Tayyip Erdogan.  Hizmet, an organization devoted to...

Humanitarian crisis in South Sudan worsening, charitable group warns

The international charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) has warned that escalating violence in South Sudan has led to rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation, with millions of people facing...

Coptic Pope suspends audience as religious strife escalates in Egypt

Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawardros II has cancelled his regular weekly public audiences because of a spate of violent attacks on Christians in Egypt. The Egyptian prelate said that he would not be...

Released Tuesday, Jul. 26

President Obama sees ‘time of spiritual renewal’ for Muslims

At a recent White House reception to mark the end of Ramadan, President Barack Obama paid tribute to Muslim values. “For Muslims across the United States and around the world, this is a...

Vatican cardinal visits South Sudan, calls for peace

Cardinal Peter Turkson, the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, has traveled to war-torn South Sudan as Pope Francis’s special envoy to foster peace. Cardinal Turkson...

Philippine bishops launch ‘thou shalt not kill’ campaign

The Philippine bishops have begun a “thou shalt not kill” campaign to counter extrajudicial killings of suspected criminals, the Philippine Star reported. “You cannot get rid of...

Vatican’s financial authority signs accord with Bank of Italy

The Vatican’s Financial Information Authority (AIF) has signed a working agreement with the Bank of Italy to increase cooperation in efforts to fight money laundering and the financing of...

French church attacked during Mass, priest murdered

Two men with knives entered a church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, France, during Mass and took a priest and several worshippers hostage, according to media reports. The attackers-- who identified...

Missouri church vandalized

A parish in Bowling Green, Missouri, was vandalized with human feces on the night of July 23. The suspect in the case, a 54-year-old woman, told sheriff’s deputies that she was angry at God...

Court dismisses charges against investigator who exposed Planned Parenthood fetal-tissue sales

A Texas court has dismissed all criminal charges against David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt, the pro-life activists whose undercover videos exposed Planned Parenthood's involvement in the sale of...

Man kills 18 at Japanese center for disabled

A Japanese man killed 19 patients and injured 25 others at a center for the disabled outside Tokyo on July 16. The attacker used a knife to kill sleeping patients at the center in Sagamihara,...

Released Wednesday, Jul. 27

Serbia protests annulment of Blessed Stepinac’s conviction

Serbia’s foreign minister, Ivica Dacic, has lodged a formal diplomatic protest following a Croatian court’s decision to annul the conviction of Blessed Alojzije Stepinac, the Croatian...

PA high court upholds reversal of Philadelphia monsignor’s conviction

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has upheld a lower court’s reversal of the 2012 conviction of Msgr. William Lynn, a former Philadelphia archdiocesan chancery official. The 2012 conviction...

Barbados bishop laments buying of votes

In a July 26 talk to business leaders, Barbados’s bishop called for the adoption of a code of conduct to end the practice of vote buying in the Caribbean nation. “We have not yet...

Pope urges Texas young people: ‘Play life to the full!’

Pope Francis has appeared in a video message to the youth of the Diocese of Brownsville, Texas, who had gathered at St. Anne Parish in Peñitas. “Play life to the full!” the...

African bishops pledge to protect, defend family

Africa’s bishops gathered in Luanda, Angola, from July 18 to 25 and issued a message pledging to “protect and defend” the family “against all that could destroy its...

World Youth Day opens in Krakow

Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, who served as St. John Paul II’s personal secretary for decades, was the principal celebrant at the World Youth Day opening Mass, which took place at Blonia Park in...

'Not a religious war,' Pope says

"The world is at war," Pope Francis told reporters accompanying him on his July 27 flight to Krakow. But, he added, "I do not speak of a religious war." Reacting to the murder...

Pope arrives in Krakow, challenges Poland on immigration

Pope Francis arrived in Krakow on July 27, and in his first public remarks he issued a challenge to Polish leaders on the subject of immigration. Speaking to national leaders at historic...

Assailant of Father Hamel was under police surveillance

One of the Islamic zealots who killed Father Jacques Hamel was under police surveillance, and had been wearing an electronic bracelet to monitor his movements. Adel Kermiche, who was killed by...

Leading Islamic cleric condemns killing of French priest

The head of Egypt's Al Azhar University, regarded as the world's leading institution of Sunni Islam, has condemned the brutal killing of a French priest. "Those who carried out this...

Mass deportation of immigrants would be 'intrinsic evil'-- like abortion-- Texas bishop argues

Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville, Texas, has argued that American Catholics must not support the mass deportation of undocumented immigrants, saying that the policy-- proposed by Republican...

French bishops announce day of fasting, prayer after murder of priest

The Catholic bishops of France have designated Friday, July 29, as a day of fasting and prayer in response to the murder of Father Jacques Hamel by Islamic terrorists. "We need peace,...

In Guam, Vatican delegate rejects former archbishop's policies on abuse

A Vatican official has announced that statements on clerical abuse issued by former Archbishop Anthony Apuron of Agana, Guam, are not accurate indications of Church policy. Archbishop Apuron, who...

Pope prays at St. Mary Major before trip to Poland

Following his usual practice, Pope Francis visited the Roman basilica of St. Mary Major before embarking on his trip to Poland on July 27. The Pontiff traveled across Rome on Tuesday evening,...

Cardinal Pell under investigation for abuse, Australian broadcast reports

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) has reported that Cardinal George Pell is under investigation for sexual abuse-- a charge that the cardinal has angrily denied. The ABC report refers...

Sen. Kaine reverses position, opposes Hyde Amendment

Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia, the Democratic vice-presidential nominee, has reversed his position on a major piece of pro-life legislation. Senator Kaine, a Catholic who has said that he is...

Released Thursday, Jul. 28

At Mass for slain French priest, cardinal contrasts terrorists’ ‘Moloch’ with Christian hope

On the evening of July 27, Cardinal André Vingt-Trois celebrated Mass in Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris for the victims of the previous day’s attack at the church of...

Syriac Catholic patriarch decries actions of Western leaders, European prelates

The head of the Syriac Catholic Church, an Eastern Catholic church in full communion with the Holy See, said that the Iraqi members of his flock who fled the advance of ISIS two years ago...

Sistine Chapel Choir wins Germany’s highest classical music award

The Sistine Chapel Choir is a winner of the 2016 Echo Klassik Prize, Germany’s highest classical music award. The prize, which will be awarded in Berlin in October, is given in 57...

Congo’s bishops renew call for national dialogue to avoid chaos

The bishops of the Democratic Republic of the Congo have issued a statement calling for respect for the constitution, respect for human rights, and a national dialogue in order to “avoid...

Belfast: Catholic priest named canon of Anglican cathedral

A Catholic parish priest in Belfast has been named an “ecumenical canon” of the city’s Anglican cathedral. Father Edward O’Donnell will be able to preach at the cathedral...

Pope Francis at Czestochowa: in history, a ‘Marian thread’ is interwoven with the ‘divine thread’

Commemorating the 1050th anniversary of the baptism of Poland, Pope Francis celebrated Mass at Jasna Góra Monastery in Czestochowa on July 28 and reflected on the manner in which the...

Nova Scotia court grants accreditation victory to Christian law school

Upholding a lower court decision, the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal has ruled that the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society overstepped its bounds in denying accreditation to graduates of Trinity...

Pope OK after falling headlong during procession at Mass in Czestochowa

Pope Francis frightened a congregation at the Marian shrine of Czestochowa on July 28 when he stumbled and fell headlong during the entrance procession before Mass. Apparently failing to notice a...

French priest killed 'in hatred of the faith,' says Australian archbishop

Celebrating Mass for the repose of the soul of Father Jacques Hamel, an Australian archbishop said that the French priest was killed "in odium fidei-- that is, in hatred of the...

Gossip is 'terrorism of words,' Pope tells young people in Poland

In a question-and-answer session with young people in Poland on July 27, Pope Francis decried gossip as a form of terrorism. The Pope answered questions from three young people who were in Poland...

Polish bishops reaffirm: no Communion for divorced/remarried

The Catholic bishops of Poland will not alter the Church's consistent teaching that Catholics who are divorced and remarried cannot receive the Eucharist, the president of the country's...

Pope stops to pray with young cancer victims, elderly Polish cardinal

Pope Francis made unannounced visits to pray with the sick both before and after traveling to Krakow on July 27. On the morning of his departure, the Pope took time to pray with young cancer...

French religious leaders seek extra government protection

French religious leaders have asked the government for increased security help in the wake of the murder of Father Jacques Hamel. Religious officials met on July 27 with President Francois...

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