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Catholic World News

Stories for week of July 29, 2012

Released Monday, Jul. 30

China cracks down on priests who opposed illicit episcopal ordination CWN - July 30, 2012

Communist authorities in China are cracking down on the seven priests of the Diocese of Heilongjiang who opposed the ordination of Father Joseph Yue Fusheng to the episcopate. The ordination,...

New CDF prefect: relativism leads to ‘intolerance of God’ CWN - July 30, 2012

The Vatican’s publishing house has released a book by the new prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The book is devoted to Pope Benedict’s controversial 2006 Regensburg address...

Prelate recalls suffering of Church in Cambodia CWN - July 30, 2012

The apostolic prefect of Battambang, a city located in northwestern Cambodia, discussed the terrible persecution of the Church there under the Khmer Rouge regime (1975-79). “It is a martyr...

New Evangelization is ‘return to first love,’ says Vatican archbishop CWN - July 30, 2012

In the second chapter of the Book of Revelation, the members of the Church in Ephesus are told that “you have abandoned the love you had at first” (2:4). That verse offers a key to understanding...

Positive media treatment of Catholic center for fertility care CWN - July 30, 2012

The Chicago Tribune has published an article describing how a local woman was able to conceive after receiving care at the Pope Paul VI Institute in Omaha. The institute was founded in 1985 and...

Vatican spokesman reflects on Olympics CWN - July 30, 2012

The director of the Holy See Press Office has devoted his weekly editorial to the 2012 Summer Olympics. Father Federico Lombardi reflects on a variety of themes: the More than Gold ecumenical...

Prelate asked to leave Slovenia amid paternity rumors CWN - July 30, 2012

A Slovenian prelate who resigned in 2009, citing reasons of health, has been asked by the Vatican to withdraw from public life because of persistent rumors that he has fathered two children, Vatican...

Republicans not seeking to block HHS contraceptive mandate? CWN - July 30, 2012

Although Republican political leaders have denounced President Obama for imposing a contraceptive mandate as part of his health-care reform, the Republican leadership has not taken action to...

Russian punk singers face criminal trial for disruption at cathedral CWN - July 30, 2012

Three members of a female Russian punk band went on trial July 30 for staging an unauthorized performance in Moscow’s Orthodox cathedral to denounce ties between the Moscow patriarchate and the...

Jesus fills our deeper hunger, Pope says tells Sunday audience CWN - July 30, 2012

At his midday audience on Sunday, July 29, Pope Benedict XVI commented on the Gospel story of the multiplication of loaves and fishes, pointing out that Jesus used a boy’s generosity as the basis...

Douthat sees secular attack on religious freedom CWN - July 30, 2012

New York Times columnist Ross Douthat offers another thoughtful reflection on religious liberty, observing that many secularists now regard Christian teachings on marriage and sexuality as...

Pope renews appeal for peace in Syria CWN - July 30, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI repeated his “appeal for all violence and bloodshed to end” in Syria, during his midday public audience on Sunday, July 29. The Pope said that he is troubled by the “depressing...

Spanish abortion advocates protest government's plan to amend law CWN - July 30, 2012

Advocates of unrestricted abortion rallied in Madrid on July 29 to protest plans by the Spanish government to amend the country's 2010 law. Justice minister Alberto Ruiz Gallardon has announced...

LCWR meets this week to decide response to Vatican CWN - July 30, 2012

A New York Times report looked forward to this week’s meeting of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), at which members will discuss their response to a Vatican demand for reform of...

Papal condolences to Ghana on president's sudden death CWN - July 30, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI has sent a message of condolence to the people of Ghana upon the unexpected death of the country’s President John Atta Mills. Mills, who took office in 2009, died on July 24....

Vatican newspaper raps Gates Foundation, Nestle for exploiting needy women CWN - July 30, 2012

The Vatican newspaper has published an editorial sharply criticizing international foundations and corporations that promote contraception in the Third World. The editorial specifically targets the...

Irish columnist says Dublin archbishop needs to offer positive vision CWN - July 30, 2012

A columnist in the Irish Examiner has criticizes Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin for speaking about the problems facing the Church without offering the faithful any real reasons to have...

Historian says scandal sapped strength of Catholic witness in US CWN - July 30, 2012

Historian Philip Jenkins suggests that the Catholic Church might be opening new parishes all over America today, if not for the devastating financial impact of the sex-abuse scandal. Jenkins...

Released Tuesday, Jul. 31

Kenya’s bishops decry international push for contraception CWN - July 31, 2012

The bishops of Kenya have decried renewed international efforts to promote contraception in Africa. Contraception, the bishops write, “is both dehumanizing and goes against the teaching of the...

Cardinal George criticizes Chicago mayor’s comments on Chick-fil-A CWN - July 31, 2012

Cardinal Francis George has criticized Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s recent comments on Chick-fil-A, a restaurant chain whose president said recently that he believes marriage is the union of a man and a...

Court backs Adventist in Sabbath work dispute CWN - July 31, 2012

In a 2-1 decision, a federal appeals court has ruled that a lower court erred in dismissing a suit filed by Kimberly Crider against the University of Tennessee at Knoxville (UTK). Crider, a...

At Olympic Mass, prelate calls upon Catholics to glorify God with their bodies CWN - July 31, 2012

Preaching at a Mass in celebration of the 30th Olympic Games on July 28, Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster challenged Catholics to glorify God with their bodies. “We will see many fine...

Britain’s health service considers ‘elective ventilation’ for sake of organ donation CWN - July 31, 2012

The United Kingdom’s National Health Service is considering proposals to increase the number of organs available for donation, including presumed consent for organ donation and the ability of...

3 brothers pursue priestly vocations CWN - July 31, 2012

The Associated Press is distributing an article on a Wisconsin family whose three sons are pursuing priestly vocations. “Grandma would always say, ‘Maybe one of you boys is going to be a...

Vietnamese activist’s mother in self-immolation CWN - July 31, 2012

The distraught mother of an imprisoned Vietnamese Christian activist set herself on fire in front of government offices in Bac Lieu. The shocking death of Dang Thi Kim Lieng called attention to...

US report lists religious-freedom troubles worldwide CWN - July 31, 2012

An annual report on religious freedom throughout the world, released by the US State Department, "sends a signal to the worst offenders that the world is watching,” according to Secretary of State...

Same-sex attraction is not a gift, Christian essayist argues CWN - July 31, 2012

A Christian with same-sex attraction explains why he does not identify himself as a “gay Christian” in a thoughtful essay for First Things. Daniel Mattson remarks that many “gay Christians” see...

The secular liturgy of the Olympic ceremony CWN - July 31, 2012

In a witty and perceptive comment on the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games, George Weigel remarks that the spectacular show should serve a useful purpose: “It reminds the world that you can’t...

Eucharistic adoration throughout Olympic Games CWN - July 31, 2012

Unnoticed despite the saturation media coverage of the Olympic Games, Catholics are engaged in 24-hour adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at St. Francis of Assisi church in East London for the...

Cuban dissident’s death was accidental: crash survivor CWN - July 31, 2012

Cuban dissident Oswaldo Paya, who was killed in a car crash on July 22, was not forced off the road, according to two survivors of the accident. Paya and Harold Cepero, another human-rights...

Pope Benedict’s prayer intentions for August 2012 CWN - July 31, 2012

The Vatican has released the prayer intentions of Pope Benedict XVI for August 2012. The Pope’s general intention is: "That prisoners may be treated with justice and respect for their human...

Australian investigators zero in on Church leaders in abuse cover-up CWN - July 31, 2012

Australian police are completing an investigation into how Church leaders covered up the evidence of sexual abuse by a notorious pedophile priest. The investigation centers on the activities of...

6 former US envoys to Vatican announce support for Romney CWN - July 31, 2012

Six former US ambassadors to the Holy See have joined in a declaration of support for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. The former envoys--Frank Shakespeare, Tom Melady, Ray Flynn,...

Released Wednesday, Aug. 1

Vatican spokesman challenges fellow Jesuits to focus on education, evangelization CWN - August 1, 2012

Addressing a conference of Jesuit heads of secondary schools, the director of the Holy See Press Office called upon his fellow Jesuits to renew their focus on education and heed Pope Benedict’s...

Obama administration: secular employers ‘generally’ lack constitutionally-protected religious freedom CWN - August 1, 2012

In arguing against a firm’s attempt to block application of the HHS mandate, lawyers for the Department of Justice stated that “for-profit, secular employers generally do not engage in any exercise...

Kansas bishops lament national debt CWN - August 1, 2012

Reflecting on the economy and the election, the bishops of Kansas outline principles of Catholic social teaching and note that “unlike issues involving intrinsic evils such as abortion, same-sex...

Archbishop Wenski: acquiescence to threats to religious liberty is ‘not an option’ CWN - August 1, 2012

In a homily preached to state Catholic conference directors, Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami contrasted the “healthy secularity” of America’s founding documents with the “radical” and “reductive...

Swiss bishops urge reflection on attitude towards money CWN - August 1, 2012

Writing on behalf of the Swiss episcopal conference, Bishop Markus Büchel of Sankt Gallen called upon Catholics to reflect on their attitude towards money during the economic crisis. Noting that...

Regular prayer is vital, Pope tells audience CWN - August 1, 2012

A regular life of prayer is essential to salvation, Pope Benedict XVI told his weekly public audience on August 1. Speaking to a large group that crowded the courtyard of his summer residence in...

Massachusetts diocese could face legal action for refusal to sell retreat center CWN - August 1, 2012

A Massachusetts man may bring legal action against the Diocese of Worcester, after the diocese rejected his bid to purchase a retreat center. Alain Beret reports that he had settled with the...

Bishops' statement on religious liberty applauded as break from previous public stands CWN - August 1, 2012

In Catholic World Report, R. Michael Dunnigan writes that the US bishops' statement on religious freedom is a welcome change from many other statements issued by the American Catholic hierarchy in...

Obama to speak at annual Al Smith dinner CWN - August 1, 2012

President Barack Obama has accepted an invitation from New York's Cardinal Timothy Dolan to speak at the annual Al Smith dinner, LifeSite news reports. The Al Smith dinner, an annual fundraiser,...

Australian clerics cool to program bringing priests from abroad CWN - August 1, 2012

A report for the Australian diocese of Maitland-Newscastle has concluded that a program of bringing in priests from overseas has left resident clerics “demoralized” and “sometimes resentful,” The...

Minneapolis church scrubs appearance by state official in marriage-referendum dispute CWN - August 1, 2012

A Catholic church in Minneapolis has canceled a scheduled speech by Minnesota’s Secretary of State, Mark Ritchie, who has become the focus of controversy on a statewide referendum campaign to outlaw...

Saudi woman may wear headscarf in Olympic competition, judges rule CWN - August 1, 2012

Officials at the London Olympics have ruled that a young Saudi woman may wear the Islamic headscarf, the hijab, while competing in judo. Wojdan Ali Seraj Abdulrahim Shaherkani will wear a...

Lawyer for Pope's valet admits acquittal is unlikely CWN - August 1, 2012

The lawyer representing Paolo Gabriele, who was arrested in May in connection with the "Vatileaks" scandal, has conceded that his client is unlikely to be fully acquitted on aggravated-theft...

Spain becomes Europe's center for in-vitro procedures CWN - August 1, 2012

Spanish fertility clinics account for roughly one-third of all the in vitro fertilization procedures undertaken in Europe, reports the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology....

Egypt: Coptic teacher could face blasphemy charges for internet cartoon posts CWN - August 1, 2012

A Coptic man in Egypt could face criminal charges for allegedly mocking Islam on an internet web site. Bishoy Kamel, a schoolteacher, was arrested for posting cartoons on a popular...

Lawyers dominate fundraising for SNAP CWN - August 1, 2012

Plaintiffs’ lawyers donated more than half of the money collected at a recent Chicago fundraising event for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), according to The Media...

Released Thursday, Aug. 2

Congo’s bishops organize ‘march of hope’ CWN - August 2, 2012

The bishops of the Democratic Republic of the Congo – a nation whose wars have claimed over 5.4 million lives since 1996 – organized a “march of hope” on August 1 in support of peace and the unity...

Pakistan: 9 Christian nurses poisoned CWN - August 2, 2012

Nine Christian nurse trainees in Karachi were served poisoned tea on July 29, prompting calls for a judicial inquiry. “The government has turned a blind eye to the persecution of minorities,”...

US bishops back Help for Separated Families Act CWN - August 2, 2012

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has joined with over 100 other organizations in calling upon members of Congress to support the Help for Separated Families Act. The...

Appeals court blocks Arizona law against late-term abortions CWN - August 2, 2012

The Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals has blocked enforcement of an Arizona law that would have banned most abortions after the twentieth week of pregnancy. In doing so, the court overturned a...

Ancient depiction of Samson discovered? CWN - August 2, 2012

Two Israeli scholars have uncovered archaeological evidence dating from the eleventh century BC that may lend support to the Old Testament account of Samson. A seal depicting a man with long hair...

Pope Benedict has completed 3rd volume of Jesus of Nazareth CWN - August 2, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI has completed the 3rd and final volume of his work, Jesus of Nazareth, the Vatican has disclosed. The Pope’s latest book, which focuses on the Gospel accounts of Christ’s...

Group returns CCHD grant, refuses to curb gay advocacy CWN - August 2, 2012

A leftist group in Massachusetts has returned a $40,000 grant from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), fearful that the group would be asked to comply with Church teachings regarding...

Medical journal essays claim 'homophobia' aggravates AIDS epidemic CWN - August 2, 2012

The British medical journal Lancet has produced a series of essays arguing that “homophobia is a key driver” in the spread of AIDS, and calling for an end to laws and social attitudes that...

US Catholics back bishops on religious freedom, but still favor Obama, poll shows CWN - August 2, 2012

American Catholics generally agree with their bishops regarding the threats to religious freedom, a new Pew Forum poll shows. However, despite tensions between the US hierarchy and the Obama...

Contraceptive mandate seen detrimental to US economy CWN - August 2, 2012

Pursuing the argument against the HHS contraceptive mandate from a different direction, Edward Morrissey explains in the Fiscal Times that the policy will harm the US economy, by imposing new costs...

Kansas City priest in landmark case pleads guilty to federal charges CWN - August 2, 2012

The Kansas City priest at the center of a sex-abuse scandal has pleaded guilty to child-pornography charges in federal court. Father Shawn Ratigan pleaded guilty on 5 counts of child pornography,...

Peruvian university officials, stripped of 'Catholic' status, charge Opus Dei conspiracy CWN - August 2, 2012

Officials at the school known as the Pontifical University of Peru have charged that Opus Dei orchestrated the Vatican decision to strip the university of its “pontifical” and “Catholic”...

Violence drives 100 Coptic families from Egyptian village CWN - August 2, 2012

An estimated 100 Christian families have been driven from the Egyptian village of Dahshur, south of Cairo, after a clash with local Muslims. The violence in Dashur erupted after a local Muslim...

Vatican newspaper backs US bishops' bid to keep immigrant families together CWN - August 2, 2012

The Vatican newspaper has noted with approval the drive by the US Catholic bishops to keep together the families of illegal immigrants. L’Osservatore Romano reports that the American bishops,...

Have archeologists found burial box of high priest Caiaphas? CWN - August 2, 2012

A team of Israeli researchers have announced the discovery of what they believe to be the burial box of the high priest Caiaphas, who sat in judgment of Jesus. The ossuary, recovered from...

Released Friday, Aug. 3

Humanist weddings now outnumber Catholic weddings in Scotland CWN - August 3, 2012

More weddings in Scotland are now conducted by the Humanist Society than by the Catholic Church, according to newly released government statistics. Of the 29,135 marriages that took place in...

British judge rules 10-year-old Jewish girl may seek baptism CWN - August 3, 2012

A British judge has ruled that a 10-year-old Jewish girl may convert to Anglicanism and seek baptism. “Clearly her upbringing for the first eight years of her life lacked any significant...

India: 400,000 displaced by Assam conflict CWN - August 3, 2012

The conflict between indigenous Christians and Muslim settlers in the eastern Indian state of Assam has now displaced 400,000 people, according to Catholic Relief Services. In addition to working...

Pakistan: prelate calls for investigation into poisoning of Christian nurses CWN - August 3, 2012

A leading Pakistani prelate has asked the National Commission for Justice and Peace, a Catholic advocacy organization, to investigate the poisoning of Christian nurse trainees in Karachi. “Was it...

Senior British general, a Catholic, laments torture, opposes Iran intervention CWN - August 3, 2012

One of the five British generals who have been honored with the title of field marshal says that “torture is wrong and shouldn't be allowed, and people who torture should be apprehended, with the...

Bishop issues pastoral letter decrying new abortion clinic CWN - August 3, 2012

A New Zealand bishop has issued a pastoral letter decrying plans to establish an abortion clinic a hospital. The pastoral letter will be read at all Sunday Masses in the Diocese of Dunedin on August...

US bishops’ spokeswoman welcomes injunction against HHS mandate CWN - August 3, 2012

The director of media relations of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has welcomed a federal judge’s decision to issue a temporary injunction halting the implementation of the HHS...

Vatican message to Muslims: educate young people for peace CWN - August 3, 2012

In an annual message to the world’s Muslims, the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue advocates “the education of young Christians and Muslims for justice and peace.” Opening with...

Italian diocese takes action against schismatic prelate CWN - August 3, 2012

The Diocese of Fiesole, Italy has become the arena for an unusual conflict within the Church, Vatican Observer reports. Bishop Mario Meini has taken formal disciplinary action against a monastic...

Maine diocese cleared of cover-up in abuse lawsuit CWN - August 3, 2012

A judge in Maine has dismissed a sex-abuse lawsuit against the Portland diocese, saying that the diocese was not responsible for covering up information about a priest’s misconduct. The Maine...

Pope drafting new encyclical? CWN - August 3, 2012

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican Secretary of State, has added to speculation that Pope Benedict XVI is writing a new encyclical for the Year of Faith. Cardinal Bertone, who is vacationing...

Bavarian group to perform for Pope CWN - August 3, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI will meet on Friday evening, August 3, with a large delegation of pilgrims from his native Bavaria. Led by Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich, the Bavarian delegation of about 450...

Syrian civil war will have no winners, Catholic analyst fears CWN - August 3, 2012

Syria is slipping into a “war to the bitter end,” warns Father Bernardo Cervellera, the director of the AsiaNews service. Taking note of the decision by Kofi Annan to resign as the UN’s peace...

Malnutrition, disease stalk refugee camps in South Sudan CWN - August 3, 2012

Malnutrition is claiming the lives of 5 children and 2 adults daily in refugee camps in South Sudan, the Fides news service reports. The refugees are arriving at the refugee camps from the states...

Papal message of support for inter-religious gathering in Japan CWN - August 3, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI has sent his greetings to an Inter-religious Gathering of Prayer for World Peace, being held in Japan. The Pontiff noted that the meeting—an annual event held on Mount Hiel—evokes...

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