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Catholic World News

Stories for week of January 27, 2013

Released Monday, Jan. 28

Record crowd at March for Life in Washington CWN - January 28, 2013

A record crowd called for legal protection for the unborn during the annual March for Life in Washington. The Associated Press reported that “thousands” took part, while pro-life journalists who...

Kazakhstan imposes fines on 7 missionaries CWN - January 28, 2013

Authorities in the central Asian nation of Kazakhstan, which has been ruled by a former Communist Party chief since its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, has fined four Jehovah's...

Religious leaders call upon Obama administration to take initiative on Mideast peace CWN - January 28, 2013

Thirty Jewish, Christian, and Muslim leaders have called upon the Obama administration to take a “bold new initiative” for Israeli-Palestinian peace. “We know the challenges are daunting, but we...

Pennsylvania: accused Franciscan friar commits suicide CWN - January 28, 2013

A Franciscan friar who was accused of abuse by dozens of his former male students has committed suicide. Brother Stephen Baker, TOR, worked as a teacher and coach at John F. Kennedy Catholic High...

Altar desecrated at Charlotte parish CWN - January 28, 2013

The altar at St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Charlotte was recently desecrated. A person, or persons, broke into the church through a stained-glass window during the night, knocked over the...

Chaldean bishops meet to elect new leader for embattled Church in Iraq CWN - January 28, 2013

The Synod of the Chaldean Catholic Church has convened in Rome to elect a new Patriarch of Babylon. The 15 bishops of the Chaldean Synod are meeting under the direction of Cardinal Leonardo...

British lawyers say same-sex marriage bill could lead to other changes in law on adultery, divorce CWN - January 28, 2013

Proposed legislation to allow for legal recognition of same-sex marriage could force changes in existing laws regarding divorce, legal experts in Britain have warned. The government’s plan to...

Turnover coming in leadership of Vatican bank? CWN - January 28, 2013

Eight months after Ettore Gotti Tedeschi was dismissed as president of the Vatican bank, his successor has still not been appointed and Tedeschi’s dismissal remains controversial. Andrea...

Italian bishop confined to home by homosexual demonstration CWN - January 28, 2013

An Italian archbishop has revealed that he was confined to his home, forced to remain inside his “besieged” residence, when homosexual activists staged a protest there earlier this month, and warned...

Papal prayers for Brazilian nightclub fire victims CWN - January 28, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI has sent a message of condolence or Archbishop Helio Adelar Rubert of Santa Maria, Brazil, on the death of 231 youth people at a dance club. In his message—releayed in a...

Plenary indulgence granted for World Day of the Sick participants CWN - January 28, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI has approved a plenary indulgence for all those who participate in the 21st World Day of the Sick observances in Altotting, Germany, in February. Cardinal Manuel Monteiro de...

Pope reflects on challenges of constantly living the faith 'today' CWN - January 28, 2013

At his midday audience on Sunday, January 27, Pope Benedict XVI said that the day’s Gospel challenges Catholics to live out their faith fully today. Invoking the old Latin motto, Carpe diem, the...

Pope's prayer for Holocaust Remembrance Day CWN - January 28, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI called attention to International Remembrance Day on January 27, praying that the horrors of the Holocaust would never be repeated. At the conclusion of his regular Sunday...

NY Times editorial calls for lawsuits against Cardinal Mahony, removal of former aide CWN - January 28, 2013

A New York Times editorial has suggested that Cardinal Roger Mahony could be vulnerable to lawsuits because of his efforts to cover up sexual abuse by priests in the Los Angeles archdiocese. The...

Crisis of faith causes crisis in marriage, Pope tells Roman tribunal CWN - January 28, 2013

The “current crisis of faith” has led to a crisis in marriage, Pope Benedict XVI said in a January 26 address to members of the tribunal of the Roman Rota. “Contemporary culture, marked by a...

Released Tuesday, Jan. 29

Judge will hold Obama administration to its pledge to modify HHS mandate CWN - January 29, 2013

A US district court judge has dismissed a lawsuit against the HHS mandate filed by the Archdiocese of Washington, Catholic University of America, Catholic Charities of DC, and two other local...

Iran sentences US pastor to 8 years in prison for missionary activity CWN - January 29, 2013

An Iranian judge has sentenced Saeed Abedini, a 34-year-old American citizen who was born in Iran, to eight years in the notorious Evin prison for engaging in evangelization. Abedini, a convert...

Evangelical, Pentecostal churches spread in Angola CWN - January 29, 2013

Large Protestant churches are blossoming in Angola, the historically Catholic nation that has been ruled by an erstwhile Marxist president since 1979. “Recent churches like the Pentecostals have...

Archbishop Gomez welcomes senators’ immigration framework as ‘first step’ CWN - January 29, 2013

Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration, said that the immigration-reform principles announced by eight senators on January...

Boy Scouts may permit homosexual scoutmasters CWN - January 29, 2013

A spokesman for the Boy Scouts of America has announced that the organization may soon permit local troops to decide whether to allow homosexuals to serve as scoutmasters. The president of the...

Pope plans full schedule of liturgical events for Lent, Easter CWN - January 29, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI will preside at all the usual liturgical ceremonies of Lent, Holy Week, and Easter, the Vatican has announced. Although he requires more rest as he approaches his 86th birthday,...

Vatican press conference presents Pope's message for World Day of the Sick CWN - January 29, 2013

At a January 29 press conference, held to brief reporters on Pope Benedict’s message for the World Day of the Sick, Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski said that the Pope’s message, released earlier this...

Resistance continues to translating pro multis as 'for many' CWN - January 29, 2013

As Italian Catholics await formal Vatican approval for a new translation of the Mass, a lively debate continues over the translation of the words “pro multis” as per molti rather than per tutti. The...

Pope picks young Lebanese Catholics to write Good Friday meditations CWN - January 29, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI has asked for two young Lebanese Catholics to prepare the meditations for the Way of the Cross devotion on Good Friday at the Coliseum in Rome. The Pope has asked Maronite...

Zambia: bishops warn of mounting human-rights violations, repression of political dissent CWN - January 29, 2013

"The respect and protection of human rights in our Country is deteriorating at an alarming rate," the Catholic bishops of Zambia have warned in a pastoral letter. The bishops’ letter criticize...

Philippines: pro-contraception demonstrator sentenced for disrupting Mass CWN - January 29, 2013

A Filipino man has been sentenced to a 13-month prison term for disrupting Mass at the cathedral in Manila to deliver a message in favor of contraceptive use. Carlos Celdran was found guilty of...

Mennonite pastor jailed for refusing to testify in case involving lesbian visitation CWN - January 29, 2013

A Mennonite pastor in Vermont has been jailed for contempt of court after he refused to testify in a case involving a woman who fled with her daughter to avoid a court order requiring the daughter...

Court dismissed ex-Congressman's defamation suit against pro-life group CWN - January 29, 2013

A federal court in Ohio has dismissed a lawsuit brought by a former Congressman against a pro-life activist group. Former US Rep. Steve Driehaus, an Ohio Democrat, had charged that the Susan B....

Released Wednesday, Jan. 30

Philippine bishops blast ‘culture of death and promiscuity,’ will inform voters of candidates’ stances CWN - January 30, 2013

Noting that “our country continues to suffer grave crises, disasters and challenges,” the bishops of the Philippines have issued a pastoral statement lamenting “the promotion of a culture of death...

Central African Republic: rebels seize city, loot church CWN - January 30, 2013

Rebels in the Central African Republic have seized control of Alindao, a city of 160,000 that is the seat of one of the nation’s nine dioceses, destroyed the city hall and police stations, and...

String of attacks against Armenian Christians in Istanbul CWN - January 30, 2013

Five Armenian Christians have been attacked recently in an Istanbul neighborhood. One 85-year-old murder victim was stabbed repeatedly and had a cross carved on her corpse. “Opinion remains...

USCCB, in Supreme Court briefs, defends marriage as union of man and woman CWN - January 30, 2013

As the Supreme Court considers the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has filed briefs in their...

Catholic schools see continued enrollment decline, save nation $20 billion per year CWN - January 30, 2013

In a statement for Catholic Schools Week, Bishop Joseph McFadden of Harrisburg, chairman of the Committee on Catholic Education for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, stated that...

Vatican-Israel diplomatic accord finally near completion? CWN - January 30, 2013

A long-overdue diplomatic accord between the Vatican and Israel is finally near completion, according to a top Israeli negotiator. Israel’s deputy foreign minister Danny Ayalon—who took part in...

God's love is the ultimate form of fatherly strength, Pope tells audience CWN - January 30, 2013

At his weekly public audience on January 30, Pope Benedict XVI continued a series of meditations on the Creed, with a focus on the description of God as the “almighty Father.” The Pope...

Lebanese prelate denounces governments supporting both sides of Syrian civil war CWN - January 30, 2013

Maronite Catholic Patriarch Bechara Rai has charged that the governments who are arming both sides in Syria’s civil war bear a moral responsibility for the bloodshed. The Lebanese prelate...

Some US bishops ready to defy HHS mandate, risk jail CWN - January 30, 2013

In interviews with LifeSite News, three American Catholic bishops said that they were prepared to go to jail rather than accept implementation of the contraceptive mandate in the Obama...

Pakistani appeals court lifts death sentence against Christian in blasphemy case CWN - January 30, 2013

A Pakistani Christian has been acquitted by an appeals court, after having been sentenced to death on blasphemy charges. Rimsha Masih, who had spent 18 months in prison, was freed when an...

Released Thursday, Jan. 31

Philadelphia priest, schoolteacher convicted of abuse in case related to clergy vicar’s conviction CWN - January 31, 2013

A Philadelphia priest and former Catholic elementary school teacher have been convicted of sexually abusing a 10-year-old boy in 1998 and 1999. “I’m overjoyed that there was a conviction, mostly...

USCCB committee: end life sentences without parole for minors CWN - January 31, 2013

The Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has endorsed the Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth, an initiative that calls for...

LA archdiocese will not redact Church officials’ names when abuse files are released CWN - January 31, 2013

Reversing a decision by a private mediator, a Los Angeles superior court judge has directed the Archdiocese of Los Angeles not to black out the names of Cardinal Roger Mahony, his auxiliary bishops,...

Massachusetts diocese cancels appearance by Robert Spencer, writer on Islam CWN - January 31, 2013

The Diocese of Worcester has canceled an appearance by Robert Spencer, the author of several books on Islam. Spencer had been invited to speak at a diocesan Catholic men’s conference. “Although...

Pressure from Islamic radicals driving Catholic religious out of eastern Libya CWN - January 31, 2013

Two Catholic religious communities have been forced to abandon their residences in Libya, and others are planning to leave, because of mounting pressure from Islamic militants. “The situation is...

Cardinal Ravasi: young people ‘disconnected’ from their culture CWN - January 31, 2013

At a January 31 press conference in Rome, Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, the president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, observed that young people today are frequently “disconnected” from...

Vatican donation toward repairs at Bethlehem basilica CWN - January 31, 2013

The Vatican has announced a donation of €100,000 (about $135,500) to underwrite repairs to the roof of the basilica of the Nativity in Bethlehem. The ancient church—originally constructed in...

Vatican, Palestinian negotiators move toward accord CWN - January 31, 2013

Negotiators for the Holy See and the Palestinian Authority have announced progress toward the completion of an accord that would define the legal rights of the Church on Palestinian land. After...

Director of Vatican Museums decries looting of Italian cultural treasures CWN - January 31, 2013

The director of the Vatican Museums has warned that Italy’s cultural institutions are being plundered, and “our immense national heritage is vanishing,” as criminals loot museums and...

Split decisions in US courts on challenges to HHS mandate CWN - January 31, 2013

A federal appeals court has given another legal victory to a Catholic-owned business challenging the Obama administration’s contraceptive mandate, while another court has thrown out a challenge...

Released Friday, Feb. 1

Archbishop Gomez relieves Cardinal Mahony of duties; Bishop Curry steps down CWN - February 1, 2013

Immediately complying with a judge’s order, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles has released the personnel files of 87 clergy accused of sexual abuse and has posted the files online. Archbishop José...

Cardinal Dolan’s plan to save Catholic schools CWN - February 1, 2013

Writing in The Wall Street Journal, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York touted the academic successes of Catholic schools and challenged Catholic educators “to be bold in our thinking and daring in...

On eve of Super Bowl, New Orleans archbishop rues human trafficking CWN - February 1, 2013

Archbishop Gregory Aymond of New Orleans joined with civil and athletic officials in a public-service announcement designed to raise awareness about human trafficking. The announcement came on...

Documents from Vatican Library posted online CWN - February 1, 2013

The Vatican Library, in collaboration with the University of Heidelberg and with financial assistance from the London-based Polonsky Foundation, has posted 256 documents online. Msgr. Cesare...

Obama administration offers new 'compromise' on HHS mandate CWN - February 1, 2013

The Obama administration has announced a new policy that would allow religious employers to provide employees with health-care plans that do not include coverage for contraceptives. The...

New Chaldean Catholic Patriarch elected, vowed to maintain Christian presence in Iraq CWN - February 1, 2013

Archbishop Louis Sako, who has headed the Chaldean Catholic archdiocese of Kirkuk, Iraq, since 2003, has been elected the new Patriarch of Babylon and worldwide leader of the Chaldean Catholic...

Charity can never be separated from faith, Pope writes in Lenten Message CWN - February 1, 2013

Christian faith and an impulse to charity are “intimately linked” and can never be in conflict, Pope Benedict XVI writes in his Lenten Message for 2013. In his message-entitled "Believing in...

Would-be papal assassin says Ayatollah Khomeini ordered shooting; Vatican dismisses claim CWN - February 1, 2013

Mehmet Ali Agca, who shot and wounded Pope John Paul II in May 1983, now claims the assassination attempt was ordered by the late Iranian Islamic leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Agca—who has...

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