Catholic World News Headlines

News stories are released on weekdays.

Pope names new vicar general of Rome, archpriest of Lateran Basilica

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Agostino Vallini, 77, as vicar general of Rome and archpriest of the Lateran Basilica and has named Bishop Angelo de Donatis as his...

Turn to Our Lady, Help of Christians, Pope tells faithful

At the conclusion of his May 24 general audience, Pope Francis recalled the traditional observance of the day as the feast of Our Lady, Help of Christians. “The memorial of the Blessed...

Philippine bishop hopeful that militants will release hostages

The bishop of Marawi on the island of Mindanao expressed hope that intermediaries will convince the militant group Maute—also known as the Islamic State of Lanao—to release his vicar...

Christians face fines in Azerbaijan for distributing literature

Christians in the largely Muslim nation of Azerbaijan are facing fines and the prospect of imprisonment for distributing religious literature that has not been authorized by the...

UN meeting on disaster risk reduction: Cardinal Parolin outlines Holy See’s position

As a UN meeting on disaster risk reduction takes place in Cancún, the Vatican’s Secretary of State outlined the Holy See’s position. In a letter to Mexico’s president,...

India: arrests in vandalization of new church

Police in India have arrested 22 people in connection with the vandalization of a new Catholic church in Keesara. A mob of over 100 people burst into the church of Our Lady of Fatime on May 21,...

Venezuelan cardinal quotes Archbishop Romero in plea for end to government repression

Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino of Caracas invoked the memory of Blessed Oscar Romero, the slain Salvadoran archbishop, in a plea for an end to the government’s abuse of power. “In the...

French abuse victims press lawsuit against Cardinal Barbarin, other bishops

Sex-abuse victims in France have filed a lawsuit against several Catholic prelates, charging that they failed to report abuse by a priest. Last year French prosecutors decided not to bring...

‘Underground’ Chinese bishop taken into custody again

Bishop Peter Shao Zhumin of Wenzhou, who was arrested by Chinese officials just before Easter, has again been taken into custody, the AsiaNews service reports. Bishop Shao, whose appointment is...

SSPX bishops authorized to ordain priests without permission of local bishops

Bishops of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) have been authorized by Pope Francis to ordain new priests without the approval of the local diocesan bishop, according to Bishop Bernard Fellay, the...

Islamic militants attack cathedral on Mindanao, seize 15 hostages

Tensions have sharply escalated on the island of Mindanao, in the Philippines, as Islamic militants attacked the cathedral in the city of Marawi, seizing 15 hostages and demolishing the...

Brazil’s bishops denounce corruption following allegations against president

The National Conference of Bishops of Brazil has issued a statement denouncing corruption following bribery allegations against President Michel Temer. “Such accusations require rigorous...

Pope Francis receives President Trump: video, full text of Vatican statement

Pope Francis received President Donald Trump at the Vatican on May 24 (video). Following the meeting, the Holy See Press Office released the following statement: This morning, Wednesday 24 May 2017, the Honorable Donald Trump, President of the United States of America, was received in Audience by the Holy Father Francis and subsequently met with His Eminence Cardinal Secretary of State...

Emmaus account shows Jesus’ ‘therapy of hope,’ Pope says in weekly audience

Continuing his series of Wednesday general audiences devoted to Christian hope, Pope Francis spoke on May 24 about Christ’s encounter with the disciples on the road to...

USCCB committee chair welcomes Trump administration action on Haitian migrants

The chairman of the United State Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration thanked Secretary John Kelly of the Department of Homeland Security for extending Temporary Protective...

Cardinal Bassetti named president of Italian Episcopal Conference

Pope Francis has named Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti of Perugia-Città della Pieve as the new president of the Italian Episcopal Conference. Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, who has served as the...

Pope Francis: ‘person-based approach’ to economics promotes ‘entrepreneurial spirit’

Pope Francis highlighted the plight of the unemployed during a recent address to participants attending a conference of the Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice Foundation. In his May 20 remarks, the...

Vatican envoy reminds UN: war is main reason for emigration

The Vatican’s representative at UN headquarters in New York has reminded his colleagues that warfare is by far the single most important factor contributing to mass migration. Archbishop...

Belgian bishops reject hospitals’ decision to allow euthanasia

The Catholic bishops of Belgium have issued a statement rejecting the policy proposed by the Brothers of Charity, who have said that they will allow doctors to euthanize patients in the hospitals...

Italian bishops nominate candidates to head episcopal conference

The Italian bishops have nominated three candidates to replace Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco as president of their episcopal conference. Pope Francis will choose the new president from the bishops’...

Sexual abuse hits 1 in 5 children in South Africa, bishops report

One out of every five children in South Africa suffers sexual abuse, according to a study released by the country’s bishops. “The social and human cost is immense,” said...

St. Louis archbishop vows defiance of new city ordinance on abortion

The Archdiocese of St. Louis has filed suit to block a new city ordinance that would make it illegal to discriminate on the basis of “reproductive health decisions.” The ordinance,...

Vietnam: police attack protesters after activist’s arrest

A Catholic environmental activist was arrested in Vietnam last week, and when his supporters gathered outside local government offices to demand an explaination, police attacked the crowd. Father...

Prelates voice horror at Manchester terror attack

Catholic prelates joined in condemnation of the terrorist attack in Manchester on May 23, and sent their sympathy and promises of prayer to the victims’ families. Bishop John Arnold of the...

Pope, in parish visit, emphasizes importance of gentleness, respect

Pope Francis visited a parish on the outskirts of Rome on May 21 and celebrated Sunday evening Mass. The Mass at the Parish of St. Peter Damian in Casal Bernocchi, Acilia, followed a question-and...

Rosaries, religious statues banned from car dashboards in Philippines

A Philippine law designed to prevent distracted driving will ban rosaries and religious statues on car dashboards. A spokesman for the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines has...

Venezuelan cardinal denounces government violence

As Venezuela’s bishops led a day of prayer and fasting for peace, Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino of Caracas renewed his condemnation of the Maduro regime’s violence. “They must not...

6 prelates weigh in on Trump budget, find defense spending increase ‘profoundly troubling’

Six bishops who chair committees of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have issued a joint letter on President Donald Trump’s budget proposal. “Our Conference has long...

Oppose slaughter of Christians, Trump tells Muslim leaders in Saudi Arabia

Addressing the Arab Islamic American Summit in Riyadh, President Donald Trump spoke about the war on terrorism and the persecution of Jews and Christians. “This is not a battle between...

New Texas law protects sermons from government subpoenas

The State of Texas has passed a new law preventing government units from issuing subpoenas for sermons. The new law comes three years after city officials in Houston withdrew subpoenas demanding...

Irish president meets with Pope

Pope Francis met on May 22 with Ireland’s President Michael Higgins. A brief statement issued by the Vatican after the meeting indicated that the conversation had touched on Church-state...

Papal encouragement for Sister Disciples of the Divine Master

Meeting on May 22 with leaders of the Sister Disciples of the Divine Master, who were holding their general chapter this week, Pope Francis encouraged them to exercise “the apostolate of the...

Mob vandalizes new church in India

A mob vandalized a Catholic church in Keesara, India, on May 21, less than two weeks after it had been consecrated. About 100 people burst into the church of Our Lady of Fatima, breaking a...

English bishop sees influence of gay-rights advocates in bishops’ program

An English bishop has expressed dismay that a sex-education program distributed by the bishops’ conference contains material from gay-rights activist groups. The bishops’ conference...

Italian bishops meet with Pontiff; new head of episcopal conference to be named

The Catholic bishops of Italy are meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican this week, to nominate three candidates to replace Cadrinal Angelo Bagnaso as president of their episcopal conference. Pope...

Pakistan: government spokesman says ‘religious cleansing must stop’

The chief government spokesman in Punjab, Pakistan’s most populous province, acknowledged recently that the Islamic republic has failed to protect its religious minorities. “The...

Callista Gingrich named US ambassador to Holy See

President Donald Trump has appointed Callista Gingrich as US ambassador to the Holy See. Callista Gingrich, the wife of former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, is president of the Gingrich...

Christian communities should be characterized by love, Pope says in address

Reflecting on the day’s Gospel reading (Jn. 14:15-21), Pope Francis said in his May 21 Regina Coeli address that “the Lord calls us today to respond generously to the evangelical call...

Be open to dialogue, Pontiff asks Chinese Catholics

Amid negotiations between the Holy See and China’s Communist government over the appointment of bishops, Pope Francis has asked the nation’s Catholics to remain “open to encounter...

Pray for Central African Republic, Pope urges faithful

At the conclusion of his May 21 Regina Coeli address, Pope Francis appealed for prayers for the Central African Republic, where fighting has flared between militia groups. “Armed clashes...

Pope names 5 new cardinals

At the conclusion of his May 21 Regina Coeli address, Pope Francis announced that he will create five new cardinals in a June 28 consistory. The five prelates are Archbishop Jean Zerbo, 73, of Bamako, Mali Archbishop Juan José Omella Omella, 71, of Barcelona Bishop Anders Arborelius, OCD, 67, of Stockholm Bishop Louis-Marie Ling Mangkhanekhoun, IVD, 73, apostolic vicar of...

Pope makes surprise visit to housing project, knocking on parishioners’ doors

Pope Francis continued his “Mercy Friday” projects on May 19 with a visit to a public housing project in Ostia, on the Mediterannean coast outside Rome, near Leonardo da Vinci airport....

Jesuit superior general signed letter of support for Fidel Castro

The new superior general of the Jesuits, Father Arturo Sosa, signed a letter praising Fidel Castro in 1989. Father Sosa, a native of Venezuela, was one of several hundred “intellectuals and...

Judge acts to trim legal fees in Minnesota archdiocese bankruptcy case

A federal bankruptcy-court judge has criticized the unusually high legal fees that have been incurred in the case of the Archdiocese of St. Paul- Minnesota. “It bothers me so much that all...

Cardinal Maradiaga makes personal attack on Cardinal Burke

Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, the chairman of the Council of Cardinals, has launched a startling personal attack on Cardinal Raymond Burke, calling the American prelate “a poor...

Doctrine can become ideology, and is then divisive, Pope warns

Doctrine unites the Church, but ideology divides believers, Pope Francis told a congregation at morning Mass on May 19. Reflecting on the day’s days reading, which recounted the story of...

Cardinal welcomes apparent slowdown in China negotiations, criticizes Vatican officials

The retired bishop of Hong Kong said in an interview that “it seems the Vatican-China deal” on the selection of bishops “is not proceeding. That’s good.” Cardinal...

Judge reopens Romero murder case

A judge in El Salvador has reopened the case of the murder of Archbishop Oscar Romero, who was slain while offering Mass in 1980 and beatified as a martyr in 2015. The judge, Ricardo Chicas,...

Anglican prelates urge voters to consider faith, ‘British values’

In their recent statement on the upcoming UK election, the Anglican archbishops of Canterbury and York called upon voters to consider the “British values” of “cohesion, courage,...

Venezuela’s bishops call on government to end oppression

At a special meeting in Caracas, Venezuela’s bishops issued a statement on the worsening crisis in the nation. Thanking Pope Francis and the apostolic nuncio for their solicitude, the...

Commission prods President Trump on international religious freedom

At a May 17 press briefing, members of the US Commission on International Freedom called upon President Donald Trump to make religious freedom a greater foreign policy priority, according to a World...

Russian Patriarch says meeting with Pope drew world’s attention to persecution

Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill believes that the most important outcome of his historic meeting with Pope Francis was a new public recognition of the persecution of Christians. In an interview...

Pope postpones Corpus Christi procession

Pope Francis has decided to postpone the annual Corpus Christi procession from June 15, when the feast is observed in Rome, until the following Sunday, June 18. On the feast of Corpus Christi the...

Australian archbishop seeks dismissal of charge for concealing evidence of abuse

Archbishop Philip Wilson of Adelaide, Australia, has made a new attempt—his third—to persuade a corut to dismiss charges that he failed to report information about sexual abuse. The...

Russian Patriarch urges opposition to proposal changing status of Orthodox churches in Ukraine

Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill has asked Pope Francis and other religious leaders to exert their influence against a proposal to amend Ukrainian laws to withdraw protection from religious bodies...

Never destroy embryos for research, Pope cautions research scientists

Pope Francis reiterated the moral principle that human embryos should not be destroyed for purposes of research, however beneficial, in a May 18 address to people affected by Huntington’s...

Nations must promote humane economy, fight fundamentalism, Pope tells new ambassadors

Speaking on May 18 to a group of new ambassadors to the Holy See, Pope Francis said that government leaders should build a more humane economic system, fight against fundamentalist approaches to...

Abbas meets with Russian patriarch

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met recently in Moscow with Patriarch Kirill, the head of the largest of the Orthodox churches. “The preservation of the holy sites, which is part of...

Mexican anti-drug trafficking priest meets with Pontiff

At his May 17 general audience in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis met briefly with Father Alejandro Solalinde, a Mexican priest who has worked to oppose the nation’s drug traffickers,...

Pope pays tribute to World War II veterans, recalls saint’s love for the Eucharist

At the conclusion of his May 17 general audience, Pope Francis paid tribute to the Polish World War II veterans in St. Peter’s Square. “I greet all the fighters here who, during the...

Lawmaker: European Parliament must send ‘strong message’ against persecution of Christians

The politician who leads a coalition of center-right parties in the European Parliament called upon the body to send a “strong message” against the persecution of Christians. Manfred...

Leading prelate calls for ‘radical change’ in Venezuela, condemns oppression, pleads for aid

Venezuela’s bishops met in Caracas on May 16 as unrest continued to spread in the nation. The president of the episcopal conference, Archbishop Diego Padrón of Cumaná,...

Legislators in Philippines defeat bid to impeach Duterte

Lawmakers in the Philippines have defeated an effort to impeach President Rodrigo Duterte. But a prominent bishop says that the result was expected. Bishop Arturo Bastes of Sorsogon observed that...

Life is not ‘normal’ for Palestinians, bishops’ conference of Holy Land says

The Catholic bishops of the Holy Land have joined in a statement warning against the acceptanace of the status quo in relations between Israel and Palestine. The justice-and-peace commission of...

Australian prosecutors near decision on complaints against Cardinal Pell

Australian police say that they are close to a decision on whether or not to bring criminal charges against Cardinal George Pell for sexual abuse. Two men have claimed that the future cardinal...

Amazon may be topic for future Synod

The plight of the native people in the Amazon region might be the topic for a future meeting of the Synod of Bishops, a Peruvian prelate reports. “The Holy Father told us he would like a...

Benedict XVI praises Cardinal Sarah for new book

“With Cardinal Sarah, a master of silence and of interior prayer, the liturgy is in good hands,” writes Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI, in an afterword for a book by the African...

Pope reflects on ‘Mary Magdalene, apostle of hope’

Continuing his series of Wednesday general audiences devoted to Christian hope, Pope Francis spoke on May 17 about St. Mary Magdalene “as an apostle of the hope brought by the...

EU bishops’ commission: robots should not be treated as legal persons

The Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community (COMECE) has criticized a resolution from the European Parliament that called for consideration of legal personhood status...

US bishops to discuss religious liberty, immigration at spring meeting

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has announced the agenda for the spring bishops’ meeting, which will take place on June 14 and 15 in Indianapolis. Agenda items include...

Aleppo consecrated to Our Lady of Fatima

Aleppo, the war-torn Syrian city that recently witnessed the defeat of Islamist rebel forces, was consecrated to Our Lady of Fatima on May 13. The consecration took place in the city’s...

Spanish church desecrated

Bishop Casimiro López Llorente of Segorbe-Castellón de la Plana, Spain, offered a Mass of reparation on May 14 after a church was robbed and the Blessed Sacrament desecrated, with...

Cardinal laments delay in securing Chibok girls’ release

Nigeria’s leading prelate welcomed the release of 82 girls abducted from their school in Chibok, Nigeria, in 2014. At the same time, he questioned why it took the government to long to...

Italian priest, charity leader charged with stealing funds destined for immigrants

Police in Italy have arrested 68 people—including a Catholic priest and the head of a Catholic charitable agency—in a crackdown on what prosecutors describe as a bid by organized crime...

Italian soccer officials meet with Pontiff

Pope Francis met on May 16 with representatives of two leading Italian soccer squads, Lazio and Juventus, which were due to meet in a league championship match. The Pope congratulated the two...

Mexican priest stabbed in cathedral

A Catholic priest was attacked and stabbed just after he finished celebrating Mass in the cathedral of Mexico City. Father Miguel Angel Machorro was reported in serious condition after a lone man...

Catholic prelates lead mediation efforts in Central African Republic

Two Catholic prelates have been active in efforts to mediate the continuing conflict between the goverment and rebel forces in the Central African Republic, the Fides news service...

Vatican prelate predicts Pope will change Trump’s view on climate change

The president of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences has expressed confidence that Pope Francis will be able to persuade President Donald Trump of the urgency of climate change, when he meets...

French president-elect Macron receives papal congratulations

Pope Francis has sent a message to French President Emmanuel Macron, congratulating him on his assumption of the office. In a telegram to the newly elected president, the Pontiff sent his...

Vatican commission gave mixed verdict on Medjugorje phenomena: report

A special Vatican commission formed by Pope Benedict XVI to investigate reports of Marian apparitions at Medjugorje concluded that the earliest apparitions were likely authentic, but expressed grave doubts about later reports, according to Vatican journalist Andrea Tornielli of La Stampa. Tornielli—who has broken several stories during this pontificate, demonstrating that he has...

Vatican financial overseers report decline in suspicious activity

The Vatican’s Financial Information Authority (AIF) reported 202 suspicious financial transactions at Vatican institutions in 2016, and referred 22 cases to Vatican prosecutors. But to date no...

Pope to meet with Italy’s president

Pope Francis will pay an official visit to the Quirinal Palace on June 10 and meet with Italian President Sergio Mattarella. The Pope’s visit will reciprocate Mattarella’s 2015 visit...

Schedule announced for papal visit to Genoa

The Holy See Press Office has announced the schedule of Pope Francis’s apostolic journey to Genoa on May 27. During his ten-hour visit to Italy’s 6th-largest city, the Pope will visit...

Texas religious leaders condemn immigration-enforcement legislation

Two hundred religious leaders in Texas, including several Catholic priests and religious, have condemned SB4, a new immigration-enforcement law. “The anti-immigrant agenda is born out of...

Nigerian to lead Lutheran World Federation

Musa Panti Filibus, the archbishop of the Lutheran Church of Christ in Nigeria, was elected president of the Lutheran World Federation on May 13. Nearly 150 ecclesial communities in 89 nations...

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