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Kenyan bishops decry decision to close world’s largest refugee camp

Citing an “existential security threat,” the Kenyan government has announced its intent to close the world’s largest refugee camp, which hosts over 300,000 refugees, primarily from...

Russian Orthodox leader: American, European de-Christianization is ‘apocalyptic’

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church received a delegation from the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople on May 24 and lamented the secularization of Europe and the United...

Obama, in Vietnam, defends religious freedom

In a recent address in Hanoi, President Barack Obama defended the concept of universal human rights, including freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of the press, freedom of religion,...

Congressional hearing on ISIS genocide

A subcommittee of the US House of Representatives held a hearing on May 26 devoted to the ISIS genocide. Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus, told the members of the...

Immigration: bishops lament planned surge in deportations

The chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Migration decried the Obama administration’s report surge in immigration deportation raids. The US...

Mont Saint-Michel’s angel restored

The statue of St. Michael the Archangel atop the famed monastery of Mont Saint-Michel has been regilded and restored. The project took nearly three months and cost $500,000. The statue is 15 feet...

Australian archbishop says Greens are threat to religious liberty

The Archbishop of Sydney, Australia, has warned that the Green Party poses threats to religious freedom. "Some Greens policies are very attractive to many religious believers and other...

Miami archdiocese investigating pastor after accusations of intimate relationships with staff

The Archdiocese of Miami has opened an investigation into charges that a pastor had intimate relationships with workers he had hired for the parish school. Father Pedro Corces has stepped down as...

Irish diocese confirms decision to remove pro-abortion cathedral lector

The Irish Diocese of Cloyne has confirmed the decision to remove a politician from the list of lectors at the diocesan cathedral because of his support for legal abortion and same-sex...

Vatican's top liturgical official recommends ad orientem liturgy

The prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship has encouraged priests to celebrate Mass ad orientem-- facing toward the east along with the congregation. Cardinal Robert Sarah, in an...

Elton John battles to suppress critical story about homosexual partnership

British entertainer Elton John has launched an aggressive, expensive—and, to date, largely successful—effort to suppress a report about his homosexual partner's extra-marital...

Pope Francis leads Corpus Christi celebration

In his homily for the feast of Corpus Christi, which was celebrated in Rome on May 26, Pope Francis concentrated on the words of Jesus at the Last Supper: "Do this in remembrance of...

Vatican spokesman rips complaints by Vatileaks defendant Chaouqui

The Vatican press office has taken the unusual step of issuing a statement to denounce public remarks by Francesca Chaouqui, one of the defendants in the "Vatileaks II" trial. Chaouqui...

Cardinal Capovilla, secretary to St. John XXIII, dies at 100

Cardinal Loris Capovilla, who served as private secretary to Pope John XXIII, died on May 26. Cardinal Capovilla had been the oldest member of the College of Cardinals, having celebrated his...

Philippine archbishop, imam fight against coal

Archbishop Ramon Arguelles of Lipa has joined forces with a leading local imam to protest the construction of new coal-powered plants. At a recent Mass attended by 10,000 people, the prelate...

Texas parish aids 35,000 migrants in 2 years

A parish in McAllen, Texas, has aided over 35,000 migrants during the past two years, with the number of migrants surging to over 200 daily on some days this month, according to a Washington Post...

Cardinal calls for greater role for religious organizations in humanitarian aid

At the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, the president of the Church’s federation of relief and development agencies called for a greater role for religious organizations in aid...

Syrian bishop laments new ISIS attacks

A Syrian bishop lamented ISIS attacks on Tartus and Jableh, two coastal cities located in territory held by the nation’s government. Tartus and Jableh are located in a region to which...

Vatican official calls for greater international effort to combat climate change

Addressing the World Health Organization’s annual World Health Assembly, a Vatican official welcomed the call for universal health coverage in the United Nation’s Sustainable Development...

Papal message: do not combat suffering by killing infants who suffer

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, has sent a message in the name of Pope Francis to the Agostino Gemelli University Polyclinic in Rome on the occasion of a conference...

Two board members resign from Vatican bank

Two members of the board of the Vatican bank, the Institute for Religious Works (IOR), have resigned. The Vatican said that the resignations of Clemens Börsig and Carlo Salvatori were...

Vatileaks witness says Chaouqui admitted leaking documents

In a dramatic development in the "Vatileaks II" trial, a Vatican tribunal heard a witness testify on May 25 that Francesca Chaouqui, a prominent defendant, had admitted under questioning...

Victims' lawyer charges Minnesota archdiocese hiding funds in bankruptcy case

An attorney for sex-abuse victims has charged that the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis is hiding $1 billion in assets from creditors in bankruptcy proceedings. Jeffrey Anderson, who has won...

Israel reneged on commitment to Catholic schools, bishop charges

The Israeli government has reneged on a commitment to supply 50 million shekels (about $13 million) to support Catholic schools, charges the vicar of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem. Under the...

Italian executive arrested for fraud after probe triggered by Vatican financial watchdogs

An Italian construction-company executive has been placed under house arrest and charged with criminal fraud, as the result of investigations initiated by Vatican financial officials. Angelo...

Cardinal Müller differs with Bishop Fellay, says SSPX must embrace Vatican II teachings

The prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has said that the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) must accept the authority of Vatican II teachings, thereby contradicting a claim by...

Controversial Argentine archbishop drafted Amoris Laetitia, Vatican journalist writes

An influential Italian journalist has identified an Argentine cleric as the principal author of Amoris Laetitia, the apostolic exhortation with which Pope Francis concluded the work of the Synod on...

Abuse scandal’s total cost: over $3 billion since 2004

The clerical abuse scandal cost American dioceses and religious orders $141,283,794 between mid-2014 and mid-2015, according to a report released by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops...

Pope appeals for prayers for missing children, victims of attacks in Syria

At the conclusion of his May 25 general audience, Pope Francis recalled that the date is commemorated as International Missing Children’s Day. Inviting everyone to “prayer, that each...

Pope urges perseverance in prayer

Continuing his series of Wednesday catecheses on mercy, Pope Francis devoted his May 25 general audience to the parable of the unjust judge and the widow (Lk. 18:1-8). “In telling us that...

Illinois priest to head US bishops’ doctrine office

Father Michael J.K. Fuller, a diocesan priest who chairs the Department of Spiritual Theology at Mundelein Seminary, has been named executive director of the Secretariat of Doctrine and Canonical...

Ukrainian Church leader laments government corruption

Two years after mass protests led to the ouster of pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych, government corruption and political patronage remain significant problems in Ukraine, the head of the...

Austria: over 200 asylum seekers entered catechumenate in 2015

70% of the 300 adults who entered the catechumenate in Austria in 2015 are migrants and refugees who sought asylum, according to a report from the Austrian bishops’ news agency. In a new...

Benedict XVI to make public appearance on anniversary of ordination?

Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI could make a rare public appearance on June 29, when he celebrates the 65th anniverary of his ordination to the priesthood. Archbishop Georg Gänswein, the private...

Irish politician, ousted as lector over pro-abortion stand, meets with bishop

An Irish politician has met privately with his bishop after being removed from his position as a lector because of his support for legal abortion and same-sex marriage. Ken Curtin, a Social...

Top Sunni cleric affirms commitment to peace after meeting with Pope

Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb, the head of Egypt's Al Azhar University, affirmed his commitment to peace and the elimination of terrorism in an interview with Vatican broadcast media on May 24, the day...

Mexican bishop appalled by kidnapping during Mass

Bishop Eduardo Patiño Leal of Cordoba, Mexico, decried a culture of violence that is "getting worse and worse" after a man was kidnapped from a church in Veracruz during Mass on May...

Italian archbishop threatens to close Catholic schools rather than pay property taxes

An Italian archbishop has vowed to close down Catholic schools rather than pay property taxes on them. Archbishop Luigi Negri of Ferrara-Comacchio sent a plea to Prime Minister Matteo Renzi,...

President of Belarus suggests Pope meet Russian Patriarch on Ukraine

During a meeting with Pope Francis, President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus suggested that the Pontiff should meet with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill to discuss the ongoing crisis in...

Peacekeeping tops humanitarian agenda, Vatican Secretary of State tells UN forum

Cardinal Pietro Parolin stressed the primary importance of preventing warfare in a pair of addresses to the World Humanitarian Summit. "Prevention of armed conflicts is possible," the...

Theme announced for 2018 World Meeting of Families

“The Gospel of family, joy for the world” is the theme of the 9th World Meeting of Families, which is scheduled to take place in Dublin in August 2018. “Hopefully it will be an...

Relics of Saints John Fisher, Thomas More in US for ‘Fortnight for Freedom’

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is sponsoring a tour of the relics of Saints John Fisher and Thomas More as part of its annual Fortnight for Freedom initiative to promote respect...

French bishop appeals for calm amid fuel strike

Oil company and port workers went on strike to protest changes in French labor law, leading to gasoline shortages throughout France. Bishop Jean-Luc Brunin of Le Havre, the nation’s...

Eastern Orthodox worship restricted in Northern Cyprus

Officials in Northern Cyprus, the area of Cyprus invaded by Turkey in 1974, have limited Eastern Orthodox services to once a year. The Cyprus Mail reported that churches will be allowed to hold...

Swiss bishops’ conference backs speedier asylum decisions

The justice and peace commission of the Swiss Bishops’ Conference has called for a “yes” vote in a June 5 referendum on changes to the nation’s asylum law. If voters...

Cardinal Schönborn calls on Austria’s new president to unite polarized nation

Alexander Van der Bellen, the leader of Austria’s Green Party, has defeated Norbert Hofer of the Freedom Party by a 50.3%-49.7% margin in the nation’s presidential election. In an...

Missile attack on Franciscan school in Aleppo

A missile struck a Franciscan middle school in Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, on May 22, killing one and injuring two. “The explosion was extremely violent, and it was strongly...

Vatican meeting on sexual violence in war

The British embassy to the Holy See and the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace sponsored a meeting for members of religious orders on sexual violence in areas of conflict. As participants...

Papal message expresses hope for UN's Humanitarian Summit

Pope Francis has sent a message of support for the First World Humanitarian Summit, which is taking place in Istanbul this week under UN auspices. In a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon,...

Election of Pope Benedict in 2005 was outcome of 'dramatic struggle,' says Archbishop Gänswein

The longtime personal secretary to Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI has spoken of a "dramatic struggle" at the conclave of 2005, and insisted that the former Pontiff did not resign because of...

Vietnam releases jailed priest one eve of Obama visit

Father Nguyen Van Ly, a Catholic priest who has been jailed for years because of his opposition to the Vietnamese Communist regime, was released by the government just prior to the arrival of...

English archbishop raps government scare tactics in arguments against 'Brexit'

Archbishop Peter Smith of Southwark, England, has criticized government officials for making "ludicrous" claims in their attempts to defeat a campaign to pull out of the European...

Muslims dominate, Christians rare among Syrian refugees admitted to US

All of the 499 Syrians who have been granted refugee status in the US thus far this month are Muslims, the CNSNews service reports; not a single Christian has been granted that status. Since the...

Muslims must be converted, says Vatican cardinal

Christians are called to seek the conversion of all Muslims, the president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity told an audience at Cambridge University. The imperative to seek...

Rome grants refugee status to migrants brought from Lesbos by Pope Francis

The twelve Syrian migrants brought to Rome by Pope Francis after his dramatic April visit to the island of Lesbos have now received official refugee status. The migrants-- three families...

Top Sunni Muslim cleric meets with Pontiff

Pope Francis met on May 23 with Ahmed el-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Egypt's Al Azhar University, and the two spiritual leaders underlined their mutual rejection of religious violence. The 30-minute meeting was focused on "the common commitment of the authorities and faithful of the great religions to peace in the world, the rejection of violence and terrorism, the situation of...

President-elect in Philippines rips 'hypocritical' Catholic Church

Newly elected President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines has lashed at at the Catholic Church, escalating his conflict with the country's hierarchy. The outspoken Duterte, who had described...

NY dioceses file suit against abortion insurance mandate

Joined by Episcopalian, Lutheran, and Baptist bodies, two dioceses in New York State—the Diocese of Albany and the Diocese of Ogdensburg—have filed suit against the New York State...

Pope: pray for humanitarian summit, China’s Catholics

Following the recitation of the Angelus on May 22, Pope Francis asked the crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square to pray for the World Humanitarian Summit, which begins on May 23 in Istanbul,...

Italian priest beatified

Father Francesco Maria Greco (1857-1931), an Italian diocesan priest who founded the Little Workers of the Sacred Hearts, was beatified in Cosenza on May 21. Cardinal Angelo Amato, the prefect of...

Pope Francis: through baptism, we are placed in the Trinity’s life

In his Trinity Sunday Angelus address, Pope Francis reflected on the day’s Gospel reading (Jn. 16:12-15) and on the relation between baptism and the Trinitarian life. “The Spirit...

Pope Benedict: ‘the publication of the Third Secret of Fatima is complete’

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has denied a report that he once told Father Ingo Dollinger, a German priest who lives in Brazil, that the third secret of Fatima has not been published in its...

Belarusian president meets with Pope

Pope Francis received President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus in audience on May 21. Following their meeting, the Belarusian leader met with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s...

Diplomatic agreement between Holy See, DR Congo

Representatives of the Holy See and the Democratic Republic of the Congo signed a framework agreement at the Apostolic Palace on May 20. Since 1977, the Holy See has had diplomatic relations with...

Iraqi prelate warns against US support for 'Christian militia' groups

Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako has weighed in strongly against the suggestion that the US should provide arms for Christian militia groups in Iraq. Legislation now pending in...

Director of The Exorcist says he filmed a real-life exorcism

The director of the film The Exorcist says that he has observed and filmed a real exorcism, at the invitation of the Vatican. The Vatican denies that claim. William Friedkin, speaking at the...

Cardinal Barbarin urged by Pontiff to remain despite calls for resignation

Pope Francis met on May 20 with Cardinal Philippe Barbarin of Lyon, France, and encouraged him to continue in office, dismissing public calls for his resignation because of his alleged failure to...

Polish troops to mobilize for World Youth Day security

The Polish Army will supply troops to help ensure security for the World Youth Day celebration in Krakow in July.  Polish government officials have expressed concerns about security...

Prominent French priest-therapist charged with abuse

A prominent French priest who has advised the Vatican on issues of sexuality has himself been accused of sexual abuse. Msgr. Tony Anatrella, a therapist with an international reputation, faces...

Nigerian cardinal sees hope for release of kidnapped girls

Nigerian Cardinal John Onaiyekan sees the liberation of two of the 219 girls who were kidnapped by Boko Haram in 2014 as a hopeful sign, suggesting that the country's military is finally making...

Pope mourns Egyptair victims

Pope Francis has sent a message of condolence to Egypt's President Abdel el Sisi, mourning the victims of the Egyptair crash in the Mediterranean. The Pope promises "his prayers and...

Papal encouragement for Italian soccer squads

"Be champions in your sport, but above all be champions in life," Pope Francis said to professional soccer players with whom he met on May 20. The Pope-- an avid lifelong soccer fan--...

Vatican defends official who is focus of embezzlement inquiry

Reacting to revelations that Cardinal Domenico Calcagno is the subject of an investigation into alleged financial misconduct, the Vatican press office has issued a statement indicating that the...

New Custos of the Holy Land appointed

With the approval of the Holy See, the Order of Friars Minor has appointed Father Francesco Patton as the new Custos of the Holy Land. Father Patton, who hails from northern Italy and has served...

Dioceses forbidden to establish religious communities without prior Vatican consultation

Beginning June 1, diocesan decrees that establish religious institutes without prior consultation with the Vatican will be invalid, according to a rescript signed by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the...

Prelate welcomes actions of Egyptian leader, Coptic patriarch

A Coptic Catholic bishop who is visiting Rome said that despite anti-Christian currents in Egyptian society, the situation of Christians has improved under the leadership of President Abdel Fattah...

Bishop welcomes ban on most late-term abortions

Following passage by large margins in the South Carolina house (79-29) and senate (36-9), the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act has been signed into law by Gov. Nikki Haley. South Carolina...

Retired admiral appointed to US bishops’ National Review Board

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has named two new members of the National Review Board, the lay body established that assists the US bishops’ conference in preventing...

Pope to meet with leading Sunni imam

Ahmed el-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of al-Azhar, will meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican on May 23, according to the director of the Holy See Press Office. “It will be a first,” said...

Vatican newspaper praises TV mini-series

In rare front-page praise of a work of popular culture, the Vatican newspaper has published an article lauding The Night Manager, a television mini-series based on a novel by John le...

Pope will visit Ireland in 2018

Pope Francis has agreed to visit Ireland in 2018, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin has announced. The Irish prelate had invited the Pontiff to participate in the World Meeting of Families,...

Vatican official cancels trip to Venezuela as crisis mounts

Archbishop Paul Gallagher, the Vatican's top foreign-policy official, has cancelled a planned trip to Venezuela, in the face of mounting unrest in the South American country. "For...

Pope condemns 'bloodsuckers' who exploit labor

Pope Francis denounced "true bloodsuckers" who grow rich by exploiting their workers, during his homily at a morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae on May 19. The Pope lashed out...

Chicago archdiocese announces parental-leave policy

The Archdiocese of Chicago has announced plans to implement a parental-leave policy for lay employees. Under the new policy, which comes into effect on July 1, full-time workers will be allowed...

German Christian leaders renew call for openness to migrants

Cardinal Reinhard Marx, the chairman of the German Bishops’ Conference, has joined with German Lutheran and Eastern Orthodox leaders in urging Germany to be open to migrants. In a joint...

Give voice to the plight of refugees, Pope tells ambassadors

Pope Francis received new ambassadors from six nations on May 19 and called upon them to give voice to the needs of refugees. “Your presence here today is a poignant reminder that, though...

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