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Stories for week of May 22, 2016

Released Monday, May. 23

Diplomatic agreement between Holy See, DR Congo

Representatives of the Holy See and the Democratic Republic of the Congo signed a framework agreement at the Apostolic Palace on May 20. Since 1977, the Holy See has had diplomatic relations with...

Belarusian president meets with Pope

Pope Francis received President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus in audience on May 21. Following their meeting, the Belarusian leader met with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s...

Pope Benedict: ‘the publication of the Third Secret of Fatima is complete’

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has denied a report that he once told Father Ingo Dollinger, a German priest who lives in Brazil, that the third secret of Fatima has not been published in its...

Pope Francis: through baptism, we are placed in the Trinity’s life

In his Trinity Sunday Angelus address, Pope Francis reflected on the day’s Gospel reading (Jn. 16:12-15) and on the relation between baptism and the Trinitarian life. “The Spirit...

Italian priest beatified

Father Francesco Maria Greco (1857-1931), an Italian diocesan priest who founded the Little Workers of the Sacred Hearts, was beatified in Cosenza on May 21. Cardinal Angelo Amato, the prefect of...

Pope: pray for humanitarian summit, China’s Catholics

Following the recitation of the Angelus on May 22, Pope Francis asked the crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square to pray for the World Humanitarian Summit, which begins on May 23 in Istanbul,...

NY dioceses file suit against abortion insurance mandate

Joined by Episcopalian, Lutheran, and Baptist bodies, two dioceses in New York State—the Diocese of Albany and the Diocese of Ogdensburg—have filed suit against the New York State...

President-elect in Philippines rips 'hypocritical' Catholic Church

Newly elected President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines has lashed at at the Catholic Church, escalating his conflict with the country's hierarchy. The outspoken Duterte, who had described...

Top Sunni Muslim cleric meets with Pontiff

Pope Francis met on May 23 with Ahmed el-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Egypt's Al Azhar University, and the two spiritual leaders underlined their mutual rejection of religious violence. The...

Rome grants refugee status to migrants brought from Lesbos by Pope Francis

The twelve Syrian migrants brought to Rome by Pope Francis after his dramatic April visit to the island of Lesbos have now received official refugee status. The migrants-- three families...

Muslims must be converted, says Vatican cardinal

Christians are called to seek the conversion of all Muslims, the president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity told an audience at Cambridge University. The imperative to seek...

Muslims dominate, Christians rare among Syrian refugees admitted to US

All of the 499 Syrians who have been granted refugee status in the US thus far this month are Muslims, the CNSNews service reports; not a single Christian has been granted that status. Since the...

English archbishop raps government scare tactics in arguments against 'Brexit'

Archbishop Peter Smith of Southwark, England, has criticized government officials for making "ludicrous" claims in their attempts to defeat a campaign to pull out of the European...

Vietnam releases jailed priest one eve of Obama visit

Father Nguyen Van Ly, a Catholic priest who has been jailed for years because of his opposition to the Vietnamese Communist regime, was released by the government just prior to the arrival of...

Election of Pope Benedict in 2005 was outcome of 'dramatic struggle,' says Archbishop Gänswein

The longtime personal secretary to Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI has spoken of a "dramatic struggle" at the conclave of 2005, and insisted that the former Pontiff did not resign because of...

Papal message expresses hope for UN's Humanitarian Summit

Pope Francis has sent a message of support for the First World Humanitarian Summit, which is taking place in Istanbul this week under UN auspices. In a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon,...

Released Tuesday, May. 24

Vatican meeting on sexual violence in war

The British embassy to the Holy See and the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace sponsored a meeting for members of religious orders on sexual violence in areas of conflict. As participants...

Missile attack on Franciscan school in Aleppo

A missile struck a Franciscan middle school in Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, on May 22, killing one and injuring two. “The explosion was extremely violent, and it was strongly...

Cardinal Schönborn calls on Austria’s new president to unite polarized nation

Alexander Van der Bellen, the leader of Austria’s Green Party, has defeated Norbert Hofer of the Freedom Party by a 50.3%-49.7% margin in the nation’s presidential election. In an...

Swiss bishops’ conference backs speedier asylum decisions

The justice and peace commission of the Swiss Bishops’ Conference has called for a “yes” vote in a June 5 referendum on changes to the nation’s asylum law. If voters...

Eastern Orthodox worship restricted in Northern Cyprus

Officials in Northern Cyprus, the area of Cyprus invaded by Turkey in 1974, have limited Eastern Orthodox services to once a year. The Cyprus Mail reported that churches will be allowed to hold...

French bishop appeals for calm amid fuel strike

Oil company and port workers went on strike to protest changes in French labor law, leading to gasoline shortages throughout France. Bishop Jean-Luc Brunin of Le Havre, the nation’s...

Relics of Saints John Fisher, Thomas More in US for ‘Fortnight for Freedom’

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is sponsoring a tour of the relics of Saints John Fisher and Thomas More as part of its annual Fortnight for Freedom initiative to promote respect...

Theme announced for 2018 World Meeting of Families

“The Gospel of family, joy for the world” is the theme of the 9th World Meeting of Families, which is scheduled to take place in Dublin in August 2018. “Hopefully it will be an...

Peacekeeping tops humanitarian agenda, Vatican Secretary of State tells UN forum

Cardinal Pietro Parolin stressed the primary importance of preventing warfare in a pair of addresses to the World Humanitarian Summit. "Prevention of armed conflicts is possible," the...

President of Belarus suggests Pope meet Russian Patriarch on Ukraine

During a meeting with Pope Francis, President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus suggested that the Pontiff should meet with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill to discuss the ongoing crisis in...

Italian archbishop threatens to close Catholic schools rather than pay property taxes

An Italian archbishop has vowed to close down Catholic schools rather than pay property taxes on them. Archbishop Luigi Negri of Ferrara-Comacchio sent a plea to Prime Minister Matteo Renzi,...

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