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Catholic World News

Stories for week of February 26, 2012

Released Monday, Feb. 27

Holy See weighs in on Syrian crisis CWN - February 27, 2012

The Holy See participated as an observer at the “Friends of Syria” conference in Tunisia on February 24. Sixty nations took part in the conference, including the United States (represented by...

Cardinal George: no Catholic hospitals in 2 years unless HHS mandate is rescinded CWN - February 27, 2012

Warning that the Church is being “despoiled of her institutions” as “freedom of conscience and of religion become a memory from a happier past,” Cardinal Francis George of Chicago observes that “the...

Government confiscates 3 churches in Laos CWN - February 27, 2012

Communist officials in Savannakhet Province, which is located in the south-central part of Laos, have confiscated three churches in recent weeks, according to Human Rights Watch for Lao Religious...

Bill would ban construction of new churches in Kuwait CWN - February 27, 2012

Stating that “Kuwait already has an excessive number of churches compared to the country’s Christian minority,” a member of parliament has called for a ban on the construction of new churches in the...

Vatican Bank president calls for reindustrialization of US, Europe CWN - February 27, 2012

Amid austerity measures following a recession marked by the indebtedness of “families, businesses, financial institutions, and states,” the president of the Vatican Bank foresees an end to the...

Israel: vicar of Hebrew-speaking Catholics discusses his conversion CWN - February 27, 2012

Father David Neuhaus, the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem’s vicar for Hebrew-speaking Catholics, has discussed his conversion from Judaism to Christianity. “It was at the age of 15 upon first...

Pope raps IVF, calls for research on other treatment for fertility CWN - February 27, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI called for more scientific research into the causes of infertility, when he spoke on February 25 to the Pontifical Academy for Life. Proper treatment on infertility, the Pope...

Catholic leader asks Israel for help to stop attacks on Christian shrines CWN - February 27, 2012

The head of the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land has appealed to Israeli President Shimon Peres for help to curb attacks on Christian shrines. Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa wrote to Peres...

Pope, Curia leaders enter week-long Lenten Retreat CWN - February 27, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI and the leaders of the Roman Curia began their Lenten Retreat on Sunday evening, February 26. Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya of Kinshasa, Congo, is the preacher for this...

Renew strength through Lenten discipline, Pope urges faithful CWN - February 27, 2012

At his midday audience on February 26, Pope Benedict XVI said that Lent is “a time to renew and strengthen our relationship with God.” Commenting on St. Mark’s description of Christ’s temptation...

Hackers' attack on Vatican web site foiled CWN - February 27, 2012

A determined and skillful group of computer hackers attacked the Vatican’s web site last year, but failed to penetrate the site’s security. Last August the “Anonymous” coalition of hackers tried...

Scottish cardinal pays tribute to slain Pakistani Catholic leader CWN - February 27, 2012

Cardinal Keith O’Brien of Edinburgh has praised the slain Pakistani Catholic leader Shahbaz Bhatti as “a truly remarkable hero,” in a statement promoting a rally on the anniversary of Bhatti’s...

Researcher defends findings on sterilizations at Catholic hospitals CWN - February 27, 2012

Although representatives of Catholic hospital associations have questioned a study that found many American Catholic hospitals perform sterilizations, the researcher who prepared the study has...

Health-care executive raps nuns who supported Obama mandate CWN - February 27, 2012

The head of a Catholic health-care company has criticized a group of women religious who have indicated their support for the Obama administration’s contraceptive mandate, saying that the nuns did...

English ordinariate members visit Rome on thanksgiving pilgrimage CWN - February 27, 2012

About 100 former Anglicans visited Rome, on a pilgrimage of thanksgiving for the establishment of the new Ordinate of Our Lady of Walsingham. The English ordinariate was set up last January,...

Vatican, Vietnam discuss prospects for diplomatic ties CWN - February 27, 2012

Vatican officials and Vietnamese government representatives are meeting in Hanoi to discuss the prospect of establishing diplomatic relations. The Vatican delegation, led by Msgr. Ettore...

Armed band invades Syrian monastery CWN - February 27, 2012

A band of armed men forced their way into a Catholic monastery in Syria last week, searching the building and destroying communications devices before eventually leaving. The armed men—who were...

Released Tuesday, Feb. 28

Churches bombed in Nigeria CWN - February 28, 2012

A suicide bomber drove into a Protestant church in the central Nigerian city of Jos on February 26, killed three and injuring 38. The Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram claimed responsibility. In...

Pakistan: mob storms school following report of Qur’an burning CWN - February 28, 2012

An angry mob stormed a Christian school in Lahore after a teacher was accused of committing blasphemy by burning the Qur’an. The teacher, Saira Khokhar, is now in police...

Author reflects on interview with Pope Benedict’s brother CWN - February 28, 2012

Reflecting upon My Brother, the Pope,--his newly published book-length interview with Msgr. Georg Ratzinger--Michael Hesemann finds “not only an inspiration for young men who are called to the...

Vatican spokesman laments plight of Somalia CWN - February 28, 2012

Following the completion of a high-level diplomatic conference on Somalia, the director of the Holy See Press Office has devoted his weekly editorial to the plight of the troubled nation. “It is...

‘God Is the Bigger Elvis’ CWN - February 28, 2012

In 1963, actress Dolores Hart abandoned her career, broke off her engagement, and entered the Benedictine Abbey of Regina Laudis in Connecticut. In 2010, Archbishop Pietro Sambi--the late apostolic...

Alberta bill may make it illegal to teach that homosexual acts are sinful CWN - February 28, 2012

A bill pending in the Legislative Assembly of Alberta could make it illegal for Catholic schools and home schools to teach that homosexual acts are sinful, according to reports by LifeSiteNews and...

Korean bishop urges acceptance of illegal immigrants' children CWN - February 28, 2012

Bishop Lazarus You Heung-sik, the president of the Korean Catholic bishops’ commission for migrants, has issued a call for acceptance of immigrants living the Asian country, and especially for...

Apology urged for forced adoptions in Australia CWN - February 28, 2012

Catholic Health Australia has apologized for its role in the forced adoption of the children, and called for a national apology for the practice. Martin Laverty, the head of Catholic Health...

Schedule set for Pope's May visit to Milan CWN - February 28, 2012

The Vatican has released the full schedule for a May trip to Milan by Pope Benedict XVI, to participate in the 7th World Meeting of Families. The Pope will arrive in Milan on Friday afternoon,...

Judge rejects motion to drop charges in Philadelphia abuse case CWN - February 28, 2012

A Pennsylvania judge has rejected a bid by a former official of the Philadelphia archdiocese to dismiss charges of child endangerment. Lawyers for Msgr. William Lynn had argued that the late...

Assessing talks between SSPX and Vatican CWN - February 28, 2012

In Catholic World Report, Michael Miller presents a balanced report on the state of talks between the Society of St. Pius X and the Holy See. The sticking point, as always, is the authority of...

Legal analyst sees Democrats pushing contraception as wedge issue CWN - February 28, 2012

When public discussion of contraception heated up during a presidential election year, Hadley Arkes admits that he did not immediately recognize that liberal Democrats were raising the topic quite...

Vatican-Vietnamese talks conclude quietly CWN - February 28, 2012

Representatives of the Vatican and the Vietnamese government have concluded a two-day meeting in Hanoi, issuing a joint statement that reported “positive developments on the basis of good will and...

Synod to focus on family role in transmitting faith CWN - February 28, 2012

The council of the Synod of Bishops, meeting in Rome to discuss preparations for the October session devoted to the New Evangelization, announced on February 28 that its primary focus was on the...

Pontifical Commission fears faith eroding in Latin America CWN - February 28, 2012

In Latin American, a “rich Catholic tradition” today “runs the risk of gradual erosion,” warned the Pontifical Commission for Latin America in a message for Spanish America Day. Spanish America...

Exhibit in Rome features treasures of Vatican Archives CWN - February 28, 2012

A special exhibition of material from the Vatican Secret Archives will open on February 29 in the Capitoline Museums, marking the 400th anniversary of the Archives. The exhibition, which will be...

Profile of Sister Carol Keehan CWN - February 28, 2012

The National Catholic Register profiles Sister Carol Keehan, the head of the Catholic Health Association, who is once again at odds with the leadership of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. A...

Medical-ethics journal proposes acceptance of infanticide CWN - February 28, 2012

The Journal of Medical Ethics has published an article calling for acceptance of “after-birth abortion”—the destruction of unwanted children after they are born. The article--written by two...

England's top prelate supports Masses for gay Catholics CWN - February 28, 2012

Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster has affirmed his support for a controversial ministry to homosexuals in London. Rejecting complaints that the gatherings in Soho for weekly Mass...

Released Wednesday, Feb. 29

Bishop Lori rips HHS mandate in House Judiciary Committee testimony CWN - February 29, 2012

Testifying before the House Judiciary Committee on February 28, Bishop William Lori of Bridgeport blasted the absurdity surrounding the HHS contraception mandate. “Ever since the mandate has been...

India: priest, 1,500 parishioners charged with attempted murder CWN - February 29, 2012

Father Romano Gonsalves, a Goa parish priest, and 1,500 parishioners have been charged with attempted murder following an attack on six policemen who were visiting the church. Parishioners had...

New York Times: mergers with Catholic hospitals put women’s health at risk CWN - February 29, 2012

“A wave of mergers between Roman Catholic and secular hospitals is threatening to deprive women in many areas of the country of ready access to important reproductive services,” The New York Times...

US bishops welcome Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights CWN - February 29, 2012

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has welcomed the Consumer Privacy Bill Of Rights, a voluntary set of Obama administration guidelines intended to influence future...

Obama’s faith-based council remains idle CWN - February 29, 2012

With much fanfare, President Barack Obama appointed an Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships in 2009; it disbanded the following year after issuing a report. In the...

Live Action’s Lila Rose discusses conversion to Catholicism CWN - February 29, 2012

Lila Rose, the young pro-life activist who has used undercover videos to expose some of Planned Parenthood’s practices, has discussed her 2009 conversion to Catholicism in an interview with the...

Benedict XVI becomes 6th-oldest Pontiff CWN - February 29, 2012

Today--February 29, 2012--Pope Benedict XVI became the 6th-oldest Roman Pontiff in recorded history. Rome Reports, which took note of the landmark, observed that Benedict XVI—at 84 years, 10...

Catholic University president becomes key leader for Catholic orthodoxy CWN - February 29, 2012

The National Catholic Register profiles John Garvey, the president of Catholic University, who has emerged as a leading spokesman for Catholic institutions in the battle against the Obama...

New Evangelization counters ecclesiastical careerism, says Argentine cardinal CWN - February 29, 2012

In an interview with Vatican Insider, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires said that the New Evangelization preached by Pope Benedict XVI means that “all ordinary activities of the Church...

Vatican UN envoy renews plea for peace in Syria CWN - February 29, 2012

The Holy See is watching the rising tide of violence in Syria with “great concern,” a Vatican spokesman said in an address to the UN’s human-rights council in Geneva. “We must not succumb to the...

Papal foundation funds 200 projects to spur agriculture in Africa CWN - February 29, 2012

The John Paul II Foundation for the Sahel has awarded to $2 million this year to support more than 200 self-help projects in the countries of sub-Saharan Africa. Msgr. Giampietro Dal Toso, the...

French court overturns law banning denial of Armenian genocide CWN - February 29, 2012

A French court has ruled that a law making it a criminal offense to deny the Armenian genocide is unconstitutional. The Constitutional Council ruled that the law, which would have imposed...

Baptist leader supports Santorum critique of JFK 'Houston speech' CWN - February 29, 2012

R. Albert Mohler, Jr, the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, sides with Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum in his critique of the famous “Houston speech” by...

Evidence supports Santorum on harmful effects of contraception CWN - February 29, 2012

James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal recognizes that Rick Santorum has riled many Americans by saying that contraception has negative consequences, especially for women. However, Taranto...

Senate to vote on bid to rescind HHS mandate; Sebelius promises compromise plan 'soon' CWN - February 29, 2012

The US Senate is scheduled to vote March 1 on a measure that would repeal the Obama administration’s mandate that requiring contraceptive coverage in health-care programs. The legislation,...

DC priest denies Communion to lesbian; archdiocese apologizes CWN - February 29, 2012

The Archdiocese of Washington, DC, has issued an apology to a woman who was denied Communion by a priest who had just learned of her lesbian relationship. Father Marcel Guarnizo declined to...

Midwives required to supervise abortions, Scottish court finds CWN - February 29, 2012

A Scottish court has ruled that midwives are required to supervise abortions. The Court of Session in Edinburgh rejected a plea from two Catholic midwives who had declined to be involved with...

Cardinal Bertone disparages accuracy of Vatican leaks CWN - February 29, 2012

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican Secretary of State, made an oblique comment on the recent leaks of confidential Vatican documents on February 29, questioning the accuracy of the material that...

Released Thursday, Mar. 1

Cardinal Bertone alarmed over Church’s future in Bosnia and Herzegovina CWN - March 1, 2012

Writing on behalf of Pope Benedict to the bishops of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone has expressed alarm over the future of the Church in the Balkan...

Mob attacks American missionaries in Bangladesh CWN - March 1, 2012

A mob of 200 Muslims attacked a car in which American Presbyterian missionaries were riding, injuring three. The mob suspected that the missionaries were working to convert Muslims. Two teachers...

USCCB spokeswoman laments Obama’s ‘deafness to the Constitution’ CWN - March 1, 2012

Commenting on the HHS contraceptive mandate, the director of media relations of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is urging President Barack Obama and his administration to “render...

Cardinal O’Brien: repent over indifference to climate change CWN - March 1, 2012

Cardinal Keith O’Brien of St. Andrews and Edinburgh has joined other Christian leaders, including Anglican Archbishops Rowan Williams and Desmond Tutu, in calling for repentance over indifference to...

USCCB calls for First Friday fast for the world’s malnourished CWN - March 1, 2012

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is asking Catholics to pray, fast, and give alms on Friday, March 2, to assist the 925 million malnourished people around the world....

Vatican again draws attention to Doonby CWN - March 1, 2012

On February 12, Father Gianfranco Grieco of the Pontifical Council for the Family lauded the newly released US movie Doonby in a L’Osservatore Romano review. Vatican Radio has again drawn...

Pope's March 2012 prayer intentions CWN - March 1, 2012

The Vatican has released the prayer intentions of Pope Benedict XVI for March 2012. His general intention is: "That the whole world may recognise the contribution of women to the development of...

Senate defeats bid to pass 'Rights of Conscience' bill CWN - March 1, 2012

The US Senate has narrowly defeated legislation that would have rescinded the Obama administration’s mandate requiring coverage of contraception in health-care plans. By a vote of 51 to 48, the...

Political strategist suggests new plans for US bishops in HHS mandate fight CWN - March 1, 2012

Michael Uhlmann, who served in the Reagan White House and now teaches politics at the Claremont Graduate University, draws up a political strategy for the US bishops to follow in their attempt to...

Student union at London university says pro-life groups must invite pro-abortion speakers CWN - March 1, 2012

The student union at University College London has passed a resolution requiring pro-life groups to include pro-abortion speakers in any public forum on the issue. In a series of votes, the...

Liberal group issues American Catholic voter guide CWN - March 1, 2012

A liberal American Catholic group has issued a voter guide for the 2012 elections, emphasizing economic and foreign-policy questions and downplaying the importance of the central “culture of life”...

Annual Good Friday collection to support Christians in Holy Land CWN - March 1, 2012

In an annual appeal for the Catholic churches of Jerusalem and the Holy Land, the prefect of the Congregation for Oriental Churches notes that “every Christian finds himself at home in that city and...

Help neighbors come to know Jesus, Pope urges CWN - March 1, 2012

In a message to a conference organized by the Italian bishops’ conference, Pope Benedict XVI wrote that Christians have an obligation to help people understand “the real figure of Jesus...

Released Friday, Mar. 2

US bishops: ‘we will not rest’ until conscience protection restored CWN - March 2, 2012

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued a statement in response to the Senate’s decision to table the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act. “The need to defend citizens’...

Pakistan: 2 Christians kidnapped, woman tortured CWN - March 2, 2012

Thirty residents of the village of Kot Meerath in the eastern Pakistani province of Punjab brutally tortured Seema Bibi, a Christian woman, and paraded her through the streets because of her...

Telegraph exposé on sex-selective abortions CWN - March 2, 2012

Amid rising abortion rates in England and Wales, the Telegraph has secretly filmed abortionists agreeing to perform sex-selective abortions, which are illegal in the United Kingdom. Cynthia...

China bans ‘nasty’ slogans in enforcing 1-child policy CWN - March 2, 2012

China’s National Population and Family Planning Commission has directed officials not to use “nasty” slogans in enforcing the nation’s one-child policy, according to a Chinese media report....

Religious leaders urge renewed efforts for Mideast peace CWN - March 2, 2012

Nearly 30 Jewish, Muslim, Christian leaders in the US--including Bishop Richard Pates, chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace, and...

Catholic college sued over failure to provide distraught student single room CWN - March 2, 2012

Citing anti-discrimination and fair housing laws, a recent graduate of a Catholic college in Massachusetts has sued her alma mater. Lindsay Blankmeyer’s lawsuit states that she entered Stonehill...

Pro-lifers barred from midwifery in Scotland? CWN - March 2, 2012

David Quinn comments on the Scottish court ruling that midwives are required to supervise abortions, even in violation of their consciences. The decision, Quinn note, strikes at the heart of...

What if American Catholic hospitals close? CWN - March 2, 2012

If Catholic hospitals close their doors because of the Obama contraception mandate, could the public sector absorb the cost of substituting for those medical services? The Fiscal Times examines that...

Another 'VatiLeaks' story aims to unsettle Cardinal Bertone CWN - March 2, 2012

In the latest episode of the “VatiLeaks” scandal, an Italian newspaper has published confidential letters regarding an unsuccessful effort by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone to take over Milan’s...

Sebelius: contraception will cut medical costs CWN - March 2, 2012

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has told a committee of the US House of Representatives that a mandate to cover contraceptive costs will not add to insurance premiums. “The...

SNAP leader ducked questions in damaging deposition CWN - March 2, 2012

The director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) repeatedly dodged questions during a January deposition by invoking a law that protects rape-crisis centers, although SNAP...

Biden: contraceptive mandate mishandled, but 'compromise' is right CWN - March 2, 2012

US Vice President Joseph Biden has conceded that the Obama administration “screwed up” in its handling of a mandate for contraceptive coverage, but insists that the “compromise” eventually offered...

2.2 billion people denied religious freedom, says Vatican envoy CWN - March 2, 2012

More than 2 billion people in the world are denied the protections of religious liberty, according the Vatican’s representative at UN headquarters in Geneva. Speaking to the UN’s Human Rights...

White House tells US bishops: listen to liberal Catholics CWN - March 2, 2012

The Obama administration has made it clear that it will not back away from a mandate requiring contraceptive coverage in health-care plans, reports Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, the president...

Papal preacher will explore Eastern doctors of the Church in Lenten sermons CWN - March 2, 2012

In his annual Lenten sermons, the preacher of the pontifical household will draw on the insights of four doctors of the Eastern Church: Sts. Athanasius, Basil, Gregory Nazienzen, and Gregory Nyssen....

Obama mandate promises windfall for pharmaceutical companies CWN - March 2, 2012

Large pharmaceutical corporations have a keen interest in the current debate about mandated coverage of contraception in insurance programs, argues Peter Schweizer. The Obama mandate requires...

Commitment to truth is theme of Vatican Lenten Retreat CWN - March 2, 2012

As he preaches the Lenten Retreat for Pope Benedict XVI and the Roman Curia, Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya of Kinshasa, Congo, has stressed the need for all Christians—and especially priests—to...

Traditionalist Anglican group removes Archbishop Hepworth from top post CWN - March 2, 2012

Anglican Archbishop John Hepworth has been removed from his position as head of the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC). Archbishop Hepworth had announced his plans to retire from the TAC post...

Cuban bishops look forward to papal visit; exiles have misgivings CWN - March 2, 2012

Cuba’s Catholic bishops have issued a statement welcoming Pope Benedict XVI, who is scheduled to visit the island nation later this month. The Cuban bishops call on the faithful to prepare for...

Slain Pakistani Catholic praised on anniversary of his death CWN - March 2, 2012

Archbishop Joseph Coutts of Karachi paid homage to the slain Pakistani Catholic leader Shahbaz Bhatti on the anniversary of his death March 2. The archbishop told participants in a commemorative...

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