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Catholic World News

Stories for week of November 25, 2012

Released Monday, Nov. 26

Saudi Arabia among 3 nations launching center for interreligious dialogue CWN - November 26, 2012

Saudi Arabia, Spain, and Austria have established the King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID), an organization whose purpose,...

Catholics imprisoned in Mali for refusing to listen to Muslim sermon CWN - November 26, 2012

Three Congolese Catholics have been imprisoned in Timbuktu for refusing to attend a Muslim sermon. Earlier this year, the city and much of northern Mali fell under the control of Islamist rebels...

USCCB committee chairman condemns rocket attacks on Israel CWN - November 26, 2012

The chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has condemned recent rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza as a “continuing pattern...

UN report on world population draws criticism from pro-life advocates CWN - November 26, 2012

“The State of World Population 2012,” a new report by the United Nations Population Fund, has attracted criticism from pro-life advocates because of its emphasis on contraception as a human...

Gynecologist group calls for over-the-counter birth control pills CWN - November 26, 2012

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is calling upon the federal government to permit the over-the-counter sale of birth control pills. Over-the-counter access to the pill...

USCCB sponsors interreligious dialogue for Catholic, Muslim, Hindu young adults CWN - November 26, 2012

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs has sponsored Generations of Faith 2012, a gathering of Catholic, Muslim, Hindu, and Sikh...

Esolen denounces liberal misuse of Catholic social teaching CWN - November 26, 2012

Writing passion and style, Anthony Esolen decries the attempts to justify liberal social engineering by invoking the appeal of Roman Pontiffs for “social justice.” Claiming that Catholic social...

Elevating 6 non-European cardinals, Pope reflects on Church's universal mission CWN - November 26, 2012

As he elevated 6 new members to the College of Cardinals on November 24, Pope Benedict XVI remarked that the Catholic Church pursues a universal mission, serving all mankind. At the consistory,...

Church exists to proclaim, spread Christ's Kingdom, Pope reminds audience CWN - November 26, 2012

The feast of Christ the King "summarizes the mystery of Jesus, first born from the dead and the ruler of all the powers of the earth,” Pope Benedict XVI told his midday audience on November...

Archbishop of Canterbury: Church of England has 'a lot of explaining to do' after vote against woman bishops CWN - November 26, 2012

The outgoing Archbishop of Canterbury has warned leaders of the Church of England that they have “a lot of explaining to do” after turning down a proposal to ordain women as Anglican bishops. Dr....

Irish bishop's appointment could signal beginning of Vatican's bid to restructure Irish hierarchy CWN - November 26, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI has named a new bishop for Ireland’s troubled Cloyne diocese, in a move that could signal a long-awaited overhaul of the Irish hierarchy. Father William Crean, a priest of the...

Rehabilitation is key to prisons' success, Pope argues CWN - November 26, 2012

The criminal-justice system must strive to rehabilitate convicts as well as to punish them, Pope Benedict XVI said in an address to a group of European prison officials. "In order to practice...

Pope's private secretary will remain, despite rumors, Vatican-watcher reports CWN - November 26, 2012

Msgr. Georg Ganswein will remain in his post as private secretary to Pope Benedict XVI, despite rumors of a shake-up in the staff of the apostolic palace, according to Sandro Magister of...

Papal encouragement for pastors to seafarers CWN - November 26, 2012

"Ever since the dawn of Christianity, the maritime world has been an effective vehicle for evangelization,” Pope Benedict XVI observed, in an address to an international conference on pastoral care...

Art should find beauty in faith, Pope says CWN - November 26, 2012

An artist is “an important witness to the beauty of faith,” Pope Benedict XVI wrote in a message to the Pontifical Academies, who devoted their annual meeting in November to a discussion of art in...

Still no explanation for Irish woman's death, as pressure mounts to end abortion ban CWN - November 26, 2012

As Ireland awaits the results of an official inquiry into the death of Savita Halappanavar, staff members at the Galway hospital where she died report that they are “mystified” by her death and by...

Scholars, historians debate legacy of Pope Pius XII CWN - November 26, 2012

Critics and defenders of Pope Pius XII clashed in a rare public debate in London on the late Pontiff’s response to the Holocaust. Popular historian John Julian Norwich and international-law...

Hong Kong diocese offers paternity leave, with or without marriage CWN - November 26, 2012

Catholics in Hong Kong are at odds about a new diocesan employees giving 5 days of paternity leave to all employees, whether or not they are married when the child is born. The policy—which...

Released Tuesday, Nov. 27

Supreme Court orders lower court to hear challenge to HHS mandate CWN - November 27, 2012

The United States Supreme Court has ordered the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals to hear Liberty University’s challenge to the constitutionality of the HHS mandate. The appeals court had previously...

Nigeria: 11 dead in bomb attack on church CWN - November 27, 2012

Two suicide bombers have attacked a Protestant church inside a military base in Nigeria, killing at least 11. The Islamist terrorist organization Boko Haram is suspected in the November 25...

African bishops condemn Congo violence CWN - November 27, 2012

The presidents of bishops’ conferences in Africa have joined with the bishop-presidents of Caritas organizations in condemning the escalating violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The...

Pediatricians’ group urges advance prescriptions of morning-after pills to teens CWN - November 27, 2012

The American Academy of Pediatrics is urging doctors to prescribe morning-after pills to teenage girls “in advance of need.” “Studies have shown that adolescents are more likely to use emergency...

Senate to vote on UN disabilities treaty; pro-life, homeschooling advocates concerned CWN - November 27, 2012

The Senate is scheduled to vote soon on whether to ratify the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), a United Nations treaty opposed by several pro-life and homeschooling...

World expects honesty in inter-religious dialogue, cardinal says at opening of new center CWN - November 27, 2012

The King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Centre for Inter-religious and Inter-cultural Dialogue (KAICIID) “presents another opportunity for open dialogue on many issues, including those related to...

Unrest prompts Egyptian Christian leaders to postpone strategy meeting CWN - November 27, 2012

A meeting between the new Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II and the leaders of Egypt’s Catholic communities has been postponed because of tensions in the country. With Egypt in turmoil after...

Times surprised by Cardinal Dolan's support for beatification of Dorothy Day CWN - November 27, 2012

A New York Times report sees irony in the fact that Cardinal Timothy Dolan is promoting the cause for beatification of Dorothy Day, the founder of the Catholic worker. The Times characterizes...

Catholic pressure stalls passage of 'reproductive-health' bill in Philippines CWN - November 27, 2012

Staunch opposition from the Catholic hierarchy, and steady pressure from the laity, has stalled the progress of sweeping new “reproductive health” legislation in the Philippines. The bill calls...

Italian cardinal honored by Israel's Holocaust memorial CWN - November 27, 2012

Yad Vashem, Israel’s memorial to Holocaust victims, has named an Italian cardinal of the World War II era “Righteous among the Nations”—an honor bestowed on those who made heroic efforts to save...

Released Wednesday, Nov. 28

Pope encourages efforts against AIDS CWN - November 28, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI offered his support to the fight against AIDS, and his special encouragement to Church missions in the field, as he looked forward to the observance of World AIDS Day on December...

Humility, 'small steps' are keys to evangelization, Pope tells Wednesday audience CWN - November 28, 2012

“How do we speak of God in our times?” Pope Benedict XVI asked the crowd in the Paul VI auditorium as he opened his weekly public audience on November 28. The Pope answered his own rhetorical...

Access to needs, not dollars, is standard for defining poverty, cardinal suggests CWN - November 28, 2012

Poverty must be understood not only in terms of a shortage of money, but also in terms of a lack of access to education, health care, and other assets, the president of the Pontifical Council for...

Will prenatal tests revive temptation toward eugenics? CWN - November 28, 2012

Powerful new pre-natal tests have enabled doctors to detect problems such as Down syndrome long before a child is born. Michael Miller questions whether these new tests will revive the impulse...

Irish 'popemobile' available for rentals CWN - November 28, 2012

An Irish businessman is offering to rent out the “popemobile” that was used in 1979, during the historic visit of Blessed John Paul II to Ireland. Paddy Dunning purchased the vehicle from the...

Special Vatican stamp sale to raise funds for restoration of colonnade in St. Peter's Square CWN - November 28, 2012

The Vatican is issuing a special series of stamps and commemorative coins in a bid to raise funds for the restoration of the famous Bernini colonnade around St. Peter’s Square. With corporate...

Cincinnati archdiocese sues former business manager, charges over $350,000 stolen CWN - November 28, 2012

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Ohio, has filed a lawsuit against a former business manager, charging that Thomas Martin stole over $350,000 from three parishes. Martin is accused in the lawsuit...

Australia: sex-abuse victim sentenced for 'revenge' burglaries at Catholic churches CWN - November 28, 2012

An Australian man has been sentenced to a 4-year prison sentence for a series of burglaries that targeted Catholic churches. The man—who was not identified in press accounts—said that his crime...

Released Thursday, Nov. 29

Vatican newspaper pays tribute to Archbishop Chaput talk CWN - November 29, 2012

L’Osservatore Romano has paid tribute to “Renewing the Church and Her Mission in a Year of Faith,” a recent address by Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia. “The real religion of vast...

27 New York Catholic schools at risk of closure CWN - November 29, 2012

Two years after the Archdiocese of New York shuttered 20 Catholic schools, an additional 27 schools – including 26 of the archdiocese’s 159 elementary schools – have been deemed “at risk” of closure...

US: number of religious sisters declines by over 2,000 in one year CWN - November 29, 2012

The number of religious sisters in the United States fell from 57,113 to 55,045 in a one-year period, according to data in the 2011 and 2012 editions of The Official Catholic Directory. During...

Italian lay movement continues push for abolition of death penalty CWN - November 29, 2012

The Community of Sant’Egidio, one of the most prominent new ecclesial movements, has continued its efforts to abolish the death penalty worldwide by hosting a conference of justice ministers from 20...

USCCB grants $2.8M to Church in Africa CWN - November 29, 2012

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee on the Church in Africa has made 109 grants totaling $2.81 million to the Church in Africa this year. The grants are funded by a...

West Virginia bishop writes pastoral letter on poverty CWN - November 29, 2012

Bishop Michael Bransfield of Wheeling-Charleston has released a pastoral letter on poverty in West Virginia. “As citizens and as disciples of Christ, we are called to join corporal works of mercy...

Vatican strips Austrian dissident of honorary title 'Monsignor' CWN - November 29, 2012

The leader of a dissident movement of Austrian priests has been stripped of the title “Monsignor” by the Vatican. Father Helmut Schüller, the head of the Austrian Priests’ Initiative and a former...

Pope's imprisoned valet now recognizes gravity of offenses CWN - November 29, 2012

Paolo Gabriele, who was convicted in October for stealing confidential papal documents, has belatedly recognized the damage done by the “Vatileaks” scandal, reports Andrea Tornielli of La...

Calgary schools to reverse policy, allow HPV vaccinations CWN - November 29, 2012

Reversing policy under heavy public pressure, the Catholic schools of Calgary, Alberta, will allow girls to be vaccinated against the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) on school grounds. Bishop Fred...

India: court sentences Hindu marauders for anti-Christian violence in Orissa CWN - November 29, 2012

A court in India has sentenced 12 Hindu militants to prison terms in connection with the anti-Christian violence that broke out in the state of Orissa in 2008. “It is the first step toward...

European bishops issue pastoral statement on care for migrants CWN - November 29, 2012

The Council of European Episcopal Conferences (CCEE) has released a “road map” for the pastoral care of migrants, calling for new efforts “to assist in integration, to reinforce links, and to...

Prominent liberal author faces battle with cancer, seeks prayers CWN - November 29, 2012

Robert Blair Kaiser, the ex-Jesuit who covered Vatican II for Time magazine and later was a Rome correspondent for Newsweek, has asked for prayers as he battles cancer. Kaiser, whose coverage of...

Prefect of CDF rips ‘heretical’ reading of Vatican II CWN - November 29, 2012

The new prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) has said that traditionalist Catholics advance a “heretical interpretation” of Vatican II if they claim that the Council made...

Egyptian sentences Innocence of Muslims filmmakers to death CWN - November 29, 2012

An Egyptian court has sentenced 7 Christians to death for their role in the making of the provocative film, Innocence of Muslims. The death sentences were largely symbolic, since the Christians...

Catholic leaders support Palestinian bid for UN recognition CWN - November 29, 2012

Christian leaders in the Holy Land support a Palestine bid for UN recognition “in a unanimous manner,” a leading Catholic prelate reports. Archbishop Maroun Laham, the patriarchal vicar for...

Released Friday, Nov. 30

Holy See welcomes UN recognition of Palestine CWN - November 30, 2012

The Holy See is welcoming the United Nations General Assembly’s decision to grant Palestine the status of a non-observer member state. “Today’s vote manifests the sentiment of the majority of the...

2 federal courts dismiss lawsuits against HHS mandate CWN - November 30, 2012

Two US district courts have dismissed lawsuits by the Diocese of Pittsburgh, the Diocese of Nashville, and other Catholic institutions against the HHS mandate. “While I am disappointed in the...

Cardinal Turkson reflects on world poverty, Church’s social doctrine CWN - November 30, 2012

In an interview with Vatican Radio, the president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace reflected on his childhood in Ghana, changing definitions of poverty, and the importance of the...

UN resolution backs ‘gender identity’ rights CWN - November 30, 2012

Despite opposition from predominantly Muslim nations, the United Nations General Assembly for the first time has supported “gender identity” rights in a resolution. Egypt, which led the...

‘Bride,’ ‘groom’ to be eliminated from state’s marriage certificates CWN - November 30, 2012

Following the passage of same-sex marriage in the State of Washington, the terms “bride” and “groom” will be eliminated from the state’s marriage certificates. A spokesman for the state health...

Photo essay on Coptic Christians CWN - November 30, 2012

Mother Jones has published a photo essay on Coptic Christians and the violence they face in Egypt. “Since the toppling of Hosni Mubarak, acts of aggression and violence, in addition to...

Ignorance of faith is great obstacle, Pope tells French bishops CWN - November 30, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI told a group of visiting French bishops that “one of the gravest problems of our time is the ignorance of religion on the part of many men and women, also among the Catholic...

Pope: Catholic-Orthodox understanding is profound, though imperfect CWN - November 30, 2012

In a message to the Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople, Pope Benedict XVI has described the ecumenical link between Rome and Constantinople as “a profound and genuine communion, if...

Synod secretariat continues discussion of New Evangelization CWN - November 30, 2012

The secretariat of the Synod of Bishops met in Rome this week, to follow up on the October meeting of the full Synod, which was dedicated to the New Evangelization, and to offer suggestions for the...

US birth rate hits new low CWN - November 30, 2012

The birth rate in the US has fallen to its lowest level in recorded history. The Pew Research Center reports that the birth rate in 2011—the last year for which figures are available—was 63.2 per...

Long hike looms for World Youth Day participants in Rio CWN - November 30, 2012

Organizers of the 2013 World Youth Day (WYD) celebration in Rio de Janeiro have announced that pilgrims will have to walk about 8 miles to attend the closing Mass, at which Pope Benedict XVI is...

Pope’s December Prayer Intentions CWN - November 30, 2012

The Vatican has released the prayer intentions of Pope Benedict XVI for December 2012. The Pope’s general intention is: “That migrants throughout the world may be welcomed with generosity and...

Lawmakers cannot change what marriage means, French cardinal says CWN - November 30, 2012

A parliamentary vote cannot change the definition of marriage, Cardinal Philippe Barbarin of Lyon told L’Osservatore Romano. “Everyone knows marriage is the union between a man and a woman,”...

Pope wants evangelical dimension for Courtyard of the Gentiles CWN - November 30, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI, who proposed the “Courtyard of the Gentiles” as a forum for dialogue with non-believers, now wants to accentuate the evangelical dimension of the initiative, writes Sandro...

Nigerian terror attacks reflect breakdown of law, not persecution, bishop says CWN - November 30, 2012

A Nigerian bishop has told an American audience that attacks by the Boko Haram terrorist group on Christian targets show a collapse of the rule of law in Nigeria rather than a concerted campaign of...

US Catholics found less committed to their faith CWN - November 30, 2012

A sociologist at the University of Nebraska has found a “tremendous decline” in the strength of American Catholics’ commitment to their faith. Philip Schwadel found that only 35% of Catholics...

Irish prelate cautions on rush toward legal abortion CWN - November 30, 2012

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin has warned against a rush to legalize abortion, as an emotional debate on the subject continues in Ireland. After meeting with Irish political leaders, the...

Milan archdiocese doubles its authorized exorcists CWN - November 30, 2012

The Archdiocese of Milan has authorized 12 priests to act as exorcists, doubling the previous number. Responding to a leap in the number of people inquiring about exorcism, the archdiocese has...

Will legal abortion by Irish leader's heritage? CWN - November 30, 2012

Irish columnist David Quinn wonders whether the country's Taoiseach (prime minister), Enda Kenny, recognizes the historic gravity of the decision he faces regarding the country's abortion...

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