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Catholic World News

Stories for week of September 30, 2012

Released Monday, Oct. 1

L'Osservatore editorial: Coptic papyrus is probably fake CWN - October 1, 2012

The Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano has argued in an editorial that a Coptic papyrus fragment, which appears to refer to a wife of Jesus, is “a fake.” The editorial notes that many...

Vatileaks trial opens; Pope's secretary to testify CWN - October 1, 2012

A Vatican tribunal granted one defense motion and denied another in the opening session of the “Vatileaks” trial of Paolo Gabriele. Gabriele, the former valet to Pope Benedict XVI, is charged...

Catholic Medical Association says male-female marriage important [CORRECTED] CWN - October 1, 2012

The Catholic Medical Association (CMA) has adopted a resolution calling upon American political leaders to protect marriage, citing “the best available published scientific evidence” that shows...

Reduce public access to Sistine Chapel, Italian critic urges CWN - October 1, 2012

An Italian writer has touched off a lively debate by suggesting that the Vatican should limit access to the Sistine Chapel to protect the artwork from “drunken herds” of tourists. Pietro Citati,...

Israeli envoy hopes for quick accord with Vatican on diplomatic pact CWN - October 1, 2012

A newly appointed Israeli ambassador to the Vatican has said that he hopes for a quick conclusion of talks leading to a diplomatic accord between his nation and the Holy See. Zion Evrony, a...

Pope pleads for peace in Congo CWN - October 1, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI pleaded for peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo during his public audience on Sunday, September 30. The eastern region of the African nation has been torn by fighting...

Slim chances remaining for reconciliation of SSPX? CWN - October 1, 2012

Hopes for a reconciliation of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) with the Vatican have faded, according to a Reuters analysis. Bishop Bernard Fellay, the head of the SSPX, has not yet formally...

Rejoice at the good in other faiths, Pope tells audience CWN - October 1, 2012

Catholics should rejoice at the good works done by non-Catholics, Pope Benedict XVI told his Angelus audience on Sunday, September 30. Reflecting on the day’s reading from the Gospel of St. Mark,...

Protestant leader battered by Muslim mob in Pakistan CWN - October 1, 2012

A Protestant prelate was battered into unconsciousness by a Muslim mob that attacked his church outside Lahore on September 28, threatening to kill Christians in retaliation against the release of...

Laos: Christian ministers arrested in government crackdown CWN - October 1, 2012

Authorities in Laos have arrested 3 Protestant ministers in a crackdown on religious groups. Human-rights groups report that Protestant leaders face “harsh prison conditions” in Laos, where they...

In Red Mass homily, prelate recalls St. Thomas More CWN - October 1, 2012

Preaching at the Archdiocese of Washington’s annual Red Mass, which invokes the Holy Spirit’s blessings upon the upcoming judicial year, Archbishop Timothy Broglio recalled St. Thomas More. “The...

Pope’s pilgrimage to Loreto will be his 9th CWN - October 1, 2012

On October 4, Pope Benedict will make a pilgrimage to Loreto to entrust to the Blessed Mother the upcoming Year of Faith and Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization. On October 4, 1962, Blessed...

Pope to write message about social networks CWN - October 1, 2012

The Holy See has announced that the theme for the 47th World Communications Day will be “social networks: portals of truth and faith, new spaces for evangelization.” Pope Benedict’s message for...

Pope thanks officials at Castel Gandolfo CWN - October 1, 2012

Pope Benedict gathered with religious and civil officials at Castel Gandolfo, his summer residence, to thank them for their assistance during his time of “study, prayer, and rest” there. “In the...

Leading Canadian prelate emphasizes New Evangelization CWN - October 1, 2012

As the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops concluded its fall meeting, the conference’s president spoke to Vatican Radio about the importance of the new evangelization. “What the bishops want...

USCCB: October prayer initiatives for respect for life, religious liberty CWN - October 1, 2012

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued a Holy Hour for Life and Religious Liberty for use during the month of October to complement its recently announced special Mass and...

Released Tuesday, Oct. 2

Preparing to leave summer residence, Pope thanks staff CWN - October 2, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI has said his goodbyes to the staff of the apostolic palace in Castel Gandolfo, as he prepares to end his annual stay at the papal summer residence. “Everything in this world is...

Terror attack on Kenyan Catholic parish CWN - October 2, 2012

One child was killed and 6 others badly injured when a grenade exploded at a Catholic church during Sunday-school classes. Residents suspect that the explosion at St. Polycarp’s church in Nairobi...

Cardinal sees papal pardon likely for ‘Vatileaks’ suspect CWN - October 2, 2012

If Paolo Gabriele is convicted of stealing confidential Vatican documents, Pope Benedict XVI is likely to grant a pardon to his former valet, in the opinion of an influential Vatican...

US court dismisses one challenge to HHS contraceptive mandate CWN - October 2, 2012

A federal judge in Missouri has dismissed a lawsuit brought by a St. Louis businessman who argued that the mandated coverage of contraceptives in the new federal health-care program violates his...

Pope told British cardinal not to accept seat in House of Lords CWN - October 2, 2012

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, the retired Archbishop of Westminster, has confirmed that Pope Benedict XVI told him that he should not accept a seat in the House of Lords. In 2009, British...

Pope sees social networks as potential boon for evangelization CWN - October 2, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI will focus on social networks in his annual message for the World Day of Communications, the Vatican has disclosed. The World Day of Communications is celebrated by the Church...

International problems reflect moral crisis, Vatican official tells UN CWN - October 2, 2012

In an October 1 address to the UN General Assembly, the Vatican’s chief foreign-policy official has warned that the peacekeeping role of the UN is threatened by a worldwide “crisis of confidence” in...

Cardinal Burke’s influence seen on the rise at Vatican CWN - October 2, 2012

In a profile of Cardinal Raymond Burke, David Gibson of the Religion News service says that the American prelate exercises an increasing influence over the Vatican’s perception of—and appointments...

Smithsonian Channel curbs hype on papyrus-fragment story CWN - October 2, 2012

The Smithsonian Channel has pulled back from plans to promote a story about the papyrus fragment referring to a wife of Jesus, after a number of scholars expressed doubts about the authenticity of...

Cardinal Sarah calls upon Catholic Charities to foster Catholic identity CWN - October 2, 2012

Speaking at Catholic Charities USA’s annual gathering, the president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum urged the agency to draw strength from its Catholic identity and take part in the new...

Bangladesh: Christians fearful following Muslim rampage against Buddhists CWN - October 2, 2012

Following the posting on Facebook of a picture of a burnt copy of the Qur’an, a mob of more than 20,000 Muslims in Bangladesh burned 22 Buddhist temples, two Hindu temples, and over 100...

European bishops rue anti-Christian hostility CWN - October 2, 2012

At the conclusion of its annual meeting, which took place in Switzerland, the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences (CCEE) issued a statement mourning anti-Christian hostility in...

Vatican cardinal calls for return of ‘missionary boldness’ CWN - October 2, 2012

Recalling the example of nineteenth-century missionaries to Tibet whose “zeal and boldness” had to be restrained by their superiors, the prefect for the Congregation for the Evangelization of...

Pakistan: witnesses recant testimony supporting girl accused of blasphemy CWN - October 2, 2012

Three witnesses whose testimony had supported Rimsha Masih, the 14-year-old Christian girl accused of burning pages of the Qur’an, have recanted. The three had told police that they had seen a...

New York Times: photo essay on ‘women as priests’ CWN - October 2, 2012

The New York Times has published a photo essay on “women as priests.” “I photographed priests and bishops of the Roman Catholic Womenpriests movement to alter my own deep-seated perception of...

Released Wednesday, Oct. 3

Christian publisher files suit against HHS mandate following denial of exemption CWN - October 3, 2012

Tyndale House, the publisher of various Bible translations and the Left Behind series, has filed suit against the HHS mandate after the Department of Health and Human Services denied it a...

Another monastery vandalized in Israel CWN - October 3, 2012

For the second time in three weeks, a church in the Holy Land has been vandalized with graffiti. A leading Israeli newspaper reported that “Jewish extremists” are suspected of carrying out the...

Archbishop Lori decries ‘aggressive and godless secularism,’ fears effects of same-sex marriage on Catholic schools CWN - October 3, 2012

In an interview with the National Catholic Register, Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore discussed the challenges the Church faces from the HHS mandate and efforts to change the definition of...

In "welcome" to new Catholic archbishop, Episcopal leader calls Catholic teaching on marriage 'oppression' CWN - October 3, 2012

On the eve of Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone’s installation in San Francisco, the Episcopal Church’s bishop of California has written a letter to his faithful attacking the stand of the Catholic...

‘We need death panels’ CWN - October 3, 2012

“We need death panels,” begins a recent New York Times op-ed by Steven Rattner, who served as “car czar” early in the Obama administration. “Well, maybe not death panels, exactly, but unless we...

Boston College professor calls upon theologians to be faithful to Magisterium CWN - October 3, 2012

Writing for L’Osservatore Romano, a Boston College theology professor called upon his fellow theologians to be faithful to the Church’s teaching. “The work of theology, though not reducible to...

Shrine administrators block Philippine inquiry on ivory smuggling CWN - October 3, 2012

In the Philippines, law-enforcement officials investigating the smuggling of ivory have complained that they were refused entry at a Catholic shrine, where a priest who is a focus of their...

French government proposes free abortions CWN - October 3, 2012

The French government has set forth a proposal to provide full public funding for abortions. In France today, women pay about 80% of the cost of an abortion. The government said full state...

Doctors will face mounting pressure to ignore consciences, warns Bishop Vasa CWN - October 3, 2012

Speaking to the Catholic Medical Association, Bishop Robert Vasa of Santa Rosa, California, has warned that many doctors in the US are “going to be forced to do something they may not want to...

European bishops warn of new threats to religious freedom CWN - October 3, 2012

The Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Community (COMECE) called attention to new restraints on religious freedom, during a seminar at the European Parliament. The COMECE...

Gabriele admits betrayal, but denies theft, in Vatican trial testimony CWN - October 3, 2012

Paolo Gabriele, the former valet to Pope Benedict XVI, admitted that he had betrayed the Pontiff by taking confidential documents from the Vatican, but denied that he was guilty of theft, during...

Liturgy is foundation of personal prayer, Pope tells audience CWN - October 3, 2012

At his public audience on October 3, Pope Benedict XVI said that a life of prayer means “dwelling habitually in the presence of God and knowing Him.” The Holy Father, who has been devoting his...

Pope asks prayers for Synod success CWN - October 3, 2012

As he concluded his regular weekly public audience on Wednesday, October 3, Pope Benedict XVI asked for prayers for the success of the Synod of Bishops, which will discuss the New...

EU protester climbs onto dome of St. Peter’s basilica CWN - October 3, 2012

An Italian man climbed out onto the roof of St. Peter’s basilica and unfurled a banner protesting the European Union, forcing Vatican officials to seek help from Italian authorities to bring him...

Released Thursday, Oct. 4

New CDF prefect: post-Vatican II problems were not caused by Vatican II CWN - October 4, 2012

In an interview with the National Catholic Register, the new prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith said that “the problems that we had after the [Second Vatican] Council were not...

Islamist terrorists execute Christian students in Nigeria CWN - October 4, 2012

Members of the Islamist terrorist organization Boko Haram entered a student residence near a northeastern Nigerian university, separated Christian from Muslim students, and executed 25 to 30...

Prelate pleads: don’t send weapons to Syria CWN - October 4, 2012

The Greek Orthodox archbishop of Homs, who has fled to Aleppo, is pleading with Western nations not to arm either side of the Syrian conflict. “I took refuge here after the offensive on Homs,”...

US birth rate at all-time low CWN - October 4, 2012

The birth rate for US women of childbearing age hit a record low in 2011, as did the teen birth rate, according to newly released statistics from the Centers for Disease Control. The birth rate...

New York Times editorial rips bishops on religious liberty CWN - October 4, 2012

Praising a federal court decision that dismissed a challenge to the HHS mandate, a New York Times editorial blasted bishops and others who have raised concerns about the mandate’s threat to...

Agenda announced for US bishops’ fall meeting CWN - October 4, 2012

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has announced the agenda for its fall meeting, which will take place from November 12-15 in Baltimore. The bishops are scheduled to discuss...

Pope makes pilgrimage to Loreto shrine CWN - October 4, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI made a pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady of Loreto on October 4, a week before the opening of the Synod of Bishops. The Pope’s pilgrimage replicates a trip by Blessed John...

Vatican police report finding thousands of documents at Gabriele’s home CWN - October 4, 2012

Vatican police reported finding thousands of documents and press clippings in the home of Paolo Gabriele as the trial of the former papal valet continued. Silvano Carli, a Vatican police...

Protester coaxed off dome of St. Peter’s, under arrest CWN - October 4, 2012

An Italian man was placed under arrest after he was coaxed off the roof of St. Peter’s basilica, ending a dramatic protest against the European Union. Marcello De Finizio, who had escaped from a...

Cardinal’s innocence proven by paternity test CWN - October 4, 2012

A DNA test has proven that Cardinal Franc Rode, the former prefect of the Congregation for Religious, cannot be the father of a German man who claimed to be the prelate’s son. The Slovenian...

Vatican investigating sex-abuse charge against Chilean bishop CWN - October 4, 2012

The Vatican’s representative in Chile has confirmed public reports that Bishop Marco Antonio Ordenes of Iquique is under investigation because of complaints of sexual abuse. Bishop Ordenes—who...

Filipino prelate explains why accused priest was still in ministry CWN - October 4, 2012

A retired Filipino prelate has told reporters that he accepted a priest for ministry, after he was charged with sexual abuse in the US, under an agreement with the accused priest’s religious...

Russia weighs restrictions on building of mosques CWN - October 4, 2012

Russian officials are barring the construction of Islamic mosques in regions where the population is composed primarily of ethnic Russians, the Forum 18 news service reports. The construction of...

Irish Catholic primate welcomes selection of new Anglican leader CWN - October 4, 2012

Cardinal Sean Brady of Armagh, the Primate of All Ireland, has issued a statement welcoming the election of Richard Clarke as the new leaders of the (Anglican ) Church of Ireland. Cardinal Brady...

Looking toward canonization of Bl. John XXIII CWN - October 4, 2012

Greg Tobin, author of a biography of Blessed John XXIII, recalls the life of the beloved Pontiff who convened Vatican II, and assesses the odds of his canonization. Tobin reminds readers that...

HHS mandate reflects notion that state is the source of human rights CWN - October 4, 2012

Political theorist Patrick Dineen makes the argument that the contraceptive mandate in President Obama’s health-care policy reflects an understanding of human rights that can be traced to the...

UN official: government must block 'retrogressive' efforts to restrict abortion access CWN - October 4, 2012

The UN’s human-rights commissioner has argued that governments have a responsibility to prevent “retrogressive measures” regarding abortion—in other words, efforts to restrict legal abortion in...

Released Friday, Oct. 5

Pope makes pilgrimage to Loreto CWN - October 5, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI completed a pilgrimage to Loreto on October 4, in preparation for next week’s opening of the Synod of Bishops. Arriving in Loreto by helicopter (to the surprise of some...

China imposes ‘re-education’ on all clergy, religious in Shanghai CWN - October 5, 2012

Chinese officials are requiring all clerics and religious in the Shanghai diocese to undergo “re-education” programs, in a continuing crackdown on Catholics following the public resignation of...

UN council approves Russian resolution affirming family values CWN - October 5, 2012

The UN’s council on human rights has approved a resolution stating that an acceptance of traditional moral principles is important to the promotion of peace and the protection of human rights around...

New San Francisco archbishop must accept homosexuals, says former Catholic Charities director CWN - October 5, 2012

On the day that Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone was installed as the head of the San Francisco archdiocese, the former director of the archdiocesan office of Catholic Charities published an op-ed...

CDF prefect discusses talks with SSPX, LCWR CWN - October 5, 2012

In the continuation of an interview with the National Catholic Register, Archbishop Gerhard Müller, the new prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, speaks about two high-profile...

Bishop’s message is divisive, newspaper editorial argues CWN - October 5, 2012

An Illinois newspaper editorial scolds Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield for his statement on the moral responsibilities of Catholic voters. The State Journal-Register disagrees with the...

Media have a history of accepting Scripture scams, notes Father Rutler CWN - October 5, 2012

In his inimitable style, Father George William Rutler ponders the willingness of the mass media to accept outlandish new “discoveries” whenever they appear to contradict orthodox Christian belief....

Moscow patriarchate may allow Orthodox priests to run for office CWN - October 5, 2012

Russian Orthodox priests will be given permission to run for office, the Moscow patriarchate has said. The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church ruled that priests are permitted to seek...

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