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Catholic World News

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The Eucharist ensures Christ is the center of unity, Pope emphasizes CWN - 1 hours ago

In a March 4 address to bishops who are friends of Focolare, Pope Francis thanked the movement for anchoring its promotion of unity in the Eucharist. The Eucharist, said the Pope, ensures that...

Philippine bishops call for land reform CWN - 0 hours ago

81 Philippine bishops have signed a statement calling for the passage of agrarian reform legislation. An estimated 50,000 farmers will become landowners if the bills are passed, according to the...

Cardinal calls for negotiations in Burma CWN - 0 hours ago

Myanmar’s first cardinal has called for dialogue between the nation’s army and rebel groups, including the Kachin Independence Army. Addressing 50,000 pilgrims at a Marian shrine, Cardinal...

Cardinal Parolin to visit Belarus CWN - 0 hours ago

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, will visit Belarus from March 12 to 15, according to a report from the Belarusian Telegraph Agency. In sending Cardinal Parolin to visit...

Report: Islamic State releases more Syrian Christian hostages CWN - 1 hours ago

Following the recent release of 19 Syrian Christian captives, the Islamic State has released four more hostages, including a six-year-old girl, according to the Assyrian International News...

Social media can be a ‘vanity fair,’ says Russian patriarch CWN - 1 hours ago

In remarks made after a recent Lenten liturgy, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church criticized the vanity manifested in discussions on social media networks. “Every person has a chance to say...

Schedule released for papal trip to Naples, Pompeii CWN - 13 hours ago

Pope Francis will make a one-day trip to Pompeii and Naples on Saturday, March 21, the Vatican has announced. The Pope will travel by helicopter from the Vatican to Pompeii early in the morning....

Coptic Patriarch meets with families of Libyan martyrs CWN - 13 hours ago

Pope Tawadros II, the head of the Coptic Orthodox Church, met on March 3 with families of the 21 Christians who were beheaded by the Islamic State in Libya. The Coptic prelate has announced that...

Wisconsin diocese raising funds to handle spike in number of seminarians CWN - 13 hours ago

The Diocese of Madison, Wisconsin, has launched a fundraising campaign to cope with a welcome problem: a huge increase in the number of young men preparing for the priesthood. The diocese has...

US bishops' conference spokesmen urge Congress not to cut spending on welfare, relief programs CWN - 13 hours ago

Two spokesmen for the US bishops' conference have joined in a message to Congress, urging lawmakers to preserve funding for federal programs serving the poor. Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski of Miami...

Vatican security head: no immediate threat of attack by Islamic State CWN - 13 hours ago

The Vatican’s top security officer has said that although the Islamic State has threatened to attack the Vatican, there are no reports of any planned attack. “The threat exists,” said Domenico...

US bishops' relief agency involved with condom distribution in Kenya, report charges CWN - 15 hours ago

Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the official overseas charitable agency of the US bishops, has been promoting contraceptive use in a program in Kenya. The Population Research Institute, in...

Pope backs Secretariat for Economy in bid for Vatican reform CWN - 20 hours ago

Pope Francis has approved the statutes of the Secretariat for the Economy, giving an important victory to Cardinal George Pell in his quest for transparency and accountability in Vatican financial affairs. Cardinal Pell, the prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, had faced mounting opposition to his plans. Last week, Italian newspapers carried stories, based on leaked documents, alleging...

Nigerian bishops issue statement on family life CWN - 24 hours ago

Decrying threats to family life and the terrorism of Boko Haram, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria has issued a statement entitled “Good Families Make Good Nations.” “In a contemporary...

French hierarchy deplores persecution of Christians CWN - 24 hours ago

Stating that “no persecution can be committed in the name of God,” the Bishops’ Conference of France has issued a statement decrying the persecution of Christians in the Middle East. “We wish to...

Vatican newspaper: negative review of new film on Pius XII and the Jews CWN - 24 hours ago

Five weeks after it publicized a new film on Venerable Pius XII’s actions during the Holocaust, L’Osservatore Romano has published a brief negative review of the film’s artistic quality. Stating...

Russian foreign minister condemns rising anti-Christianity in the West CWN - 24 hours ago

Speaking in Geneva, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov lamented growing pressures on Christians in the West. “I can't leave out problems which Christians have been experiencing in many...

Ukrainian president thanks leading prelate for support of nation CWN - March 3

The head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church met with President Petro Poroshenko on February 28, according to the Religious Information Service of Ukraine. Poroshenko thanked Major Archbishop...

Venezuelan cardinal: ‘stop murderous violence’ CWN - March 3

Following the shooting of a 14-year-old boy by police, Cardinal Jorge Uroso of Caracas has called upon security forces to “stop murderous violence.” The prelate called upon the government of...

Update on dialogue between Vatican, evangelicals CWN - March 3

L’Osservatore Romano has published an update on the ecumenical dialogue between the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the World Evangelical Alliance. The dialogue is focusing...

Keep hope alive, Pope encourages bishops of north African nations CWN - March 2

Pope Francis assured a group of bishops from northern Africa that they have the full support of the universal Church, during a meeting on March 2. The Pope met with members of the Regional...

Study finds maternal health statistics best where abortion is restricted CWN - March 2

A study in the British Medical Journal has found that maternal health statistics are best in jurisdictions with stricter laws regulating abortion. Contradicting an argument that has been made...

Islamic State releases some captives in Syria CWN - March 2

The Islamic State has released 19 of the more than 200 Syrian Christians who were captured during an offensive last week, after the payment of a large ransom. Estimates of the number of hostages...

Secretariat for Economy rebuts charges of excess spending, says costs are below budget CWN - March 2

Responding to allegations of excessive spending, the Vatican’s Secretariat for the Economy has issued a statement saying that its operating expenses have been “below the budget set when the office...

Pope's prayer intentions for March 2015 CWN - March 2

The Vatican has announced the prayer intentions of Pope Francis for March 2015. The Pope's universal intention is: “That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole...

Vatican press conference on new Church network for the Amazon CWN - March 2

Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, held a press conference on March 2 to highlight the work of the Pan-Amazonian Ecclesial Network (REPAM). Formed...

Cardinal Burke: be devoted to the liturgy, study the Catechism CWN - March 2

In an interview with the Rorate Caeli blog, Cardinal Raymond Burke called for devotion to the sacred liturgy and the study of the Catechism of the Catholic Church in the midst of confusing...

USCCB urges President Obama, Congress to do more to assist persecuted Christians CWN - March 2

The president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, joined by the chairman of its Committee on International Justice and Peace, called upon President Obama and congressional leaders...

Papal preacher begins Lenten sermons CWN - March 2

Father Raniero Cantalamessa, the preacher to the papal household since 1980, devoted his first weekly Lenten sermon to Pope Francis’s apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium. Father...

Pope Francis: pray for persecuted Christians of Syria and Iraq CWN - March 2

At the conclusion of his March 1 Angelus address, Pope Francis renewed his call for prayers for Christians and others persecuted in Syria and Iraq. “We want to assure those involved in these...

Pope reflects on Christ’s transfiguration CWN - March 2

Pope Francis devoted his March 1 Angelus address to Christ’s transfiguration, the subject of the day’s Gospel reading at Mass. The goal of the Lenten journey of conversion, the Pope said, is...

Papal praise for cooperatives CWN - March 2

Lamenting the centrality of the “god of money” and quoting Popes Leo XIII and Benedict XVI, Pope Francis lauded cooperative enterprises, called for investment in them, and offered suggestions for...

Captors threaten to kill kidnapped Jesuit if he returns to Afghanistan CWN - February 27

A Jesuit priest who was released this week after 8 months of captivity in Afghanistan has disclosed that his kidnappers told him he would be killed if he was seen in Afghanistan again. Father...

Vatican spokesman denies books mailed to Synod participants were intercepted CWN - February 27

A Vatican spokesman has denied reports that the Office of the Synod intercepted books that had been mailed to bishops participating in the October meeting of the Synod of Bishops. “I can deny...

New Vatican leaks aim to undercut Secretariat for Economy CWN - February 27

An Italian newspaper has printed leaked documents detailing the spending of the new Secretariat for the Economy, in an obvious effort to discredit the work of the powerful new Vatican office. The...

Irish columnist: priests should speak out on same-sex marriage CWN - February 27

In a column for the Irish Catholic, David Quinn explains why the country's priests should not avoid "getting involved in politics" in light of a coming vote on acceptance of same-sex...

Norway’s leading prelate investigated for fraud CWN - February 27

Bishop Bernt Eidsvig of Oslo is under investigation for complicity in fraud after he admitted that his diocese used telephone directories to estimate the number of Catholics and thus receive...

Priest murdered in Congo CWN - February 27

A priest has been killed in North Kivu, a conflict-torn province in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The murder of Father Jean-Paul Kakule Kyalembera “appears to be an...

Report: 77% of world lives under severe restrictions on religious freedom CWN - February 27

77% of the world’s population lives under “high or very high” restrictions on religion—up from 68% in 2007, according to the Pew Research Center. The report also found that “Christians were...

Resist the aggressor, Ukrainian Catholic leader says in Lenten letter CWN - February 27

Lent is a season of social as well as individual repentance, Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk said in his Lenten pastoral letter to the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. In addition to...

Pope, Curia conclude Lenten retreat CWN - February 27

Pope Francis and the members of the Roman Curia have concluded their annual Lenten retreat. In his brief remarks at the retreat’s conclusion, the Pontiff thanked the retreat master, Father Bruno...

Former Vatican prosecutor named Malta’s leading prelate CWN - February 27

Pope Francis has named Bishop Charles Scicluna as the new archbishop of Malta. Named an auxiliary bishop in 2012, Archbishop Scicluna once served as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the...

Austria revises law on Islam CWN - February 27

Revising a 1912 law on Islam, the Austrian parliament has banned most foreign funding of mosques and required imams to be able to speak German. “Our goal is to have our own Austrian imams,” said...

Catholic, other organizations object to new federal regulation on unaccompanied minors CWN - February 27

The general counsel of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, joined by attorneys for Catholic Relief Services, the National Association of Evangelicals, World Relief, and World Vision,...

Syrian Christians feel abandoned, papal nuncio reports CWN - February 26

Syrian Christians feel abandoned by the world, the apostolic nuncio in Damascus has told Vatican Radio. Archbishop Mario Zenari said that fearful Syrian Christians have seen no improvement in the...

Cardinal Pell on marriage, divorce, and Henry VIII CWN - February 26

Cardinal George Pell makes a short, powerful argument against changing the Church’s discipline regarding the divorce and remarriage, in a commentary posted on The Catholic Thing. After mentioning...

Profile of homeless man buried in Vatican cemetery CWN - February 26

Vatican Radio has profiled the late Willy Herteller, the homeless man whose remains have been buried in a Vatican cemetery. Herteller, who often begged outside St. Peter’s basilica, was a regular...

US bishops' spokesman welcomes FCC vote on 'internet neutrality' CWN - February 26

The chairman of the US bishops’ communications committee has welcome a highly controversial vote by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to expand the federal government’s control over the...

Jerusalem: Orthodox seminary torched, Jewish extremists suspected CWN - February 26

An Orthodox theological seminary in Jerusalem was torched on February 26, in the latest of a series of attacks on Christian and Muslim institutions. Along with setting fire to a building, the...

Vatican foundation announces ‘economy and society’ book prize winners CWN - February 26

At a Vatican press conference, officials of the Centesimus Annus - Pro Pontifice Foundation announced the winners of the biennial “economy and society” book award. Named after St. John Paul II’s...

House of Lords approves 3-parent babies CWN - February 26

Following a vote by the House of Lords, the United Kingdom has become the first nation to permit an in-vitro fertilization technique that allows for the production of human embryos with three...

Judge sides with Catholic agency, rules ‘polyamory’ is not a protected orientation CWN - February 26

Siding with a Catholic agency, an Australian judge has ruled that “polyamory,” or having multiple partners, is a behavior rather than a protected orientation under Australian anti-discrimination...

USCCB: support Health Care Conscience Rights Act CWN - February 26

The bishops who chair the chair the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities and Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty have called upon members of Congress to...

Leading Russian Orthodox official sees Russia as ‘only center of non-enslaved civilization’ CWN - February 26

Describing much of Europe as “Babylon,” the chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Synodal Department for the Cooperation of Church and Society said that “Russia is the only center of non-[en]slaved...

Ukrainian Catholic leader: Ukrainians ‘hurt’ by Pope’s description of war CWN - February 26

Emphasizing that Ukraine is not experiencing “a local conflict, but an external assault,” the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church said at a press conference that he has told Pope Francis...

Islamic State begins killing hostages; 5,000 Christians flee in Syria CWN - February 26

The Islamic State has begun killing some of the 150 or more Christians taken hostage after the capture of several villages in northeast Syria, Aid to the Church in Need reports. Meanwhile an...

Homeless man to be buried in Vatican cemetery CWN - February 25

A homeless man will be buried in a Vatican cemetery, in an unprecedented gesture approved by Pope Francis, Italian media report. Willy Herteller, a homeless man of Flemish origin, had frequently...

Indian archbishop thanks prime minister for role in release of kidnapped Jesuit CWN - February 25

Archbishop Anil Couto of Delhi has thanked India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his role in the release of Father Alexis Prem Kumar, the Jesuit priest who was freed this week after eight months...

Synod office reportedly blocked delivery of book challenging Kasper proposal CWN - February 25

The Vatican’s Office of the Synod intercepted mail to prevent delivery of a book to bishops participating in last October’s session of the Synod, journalist Edward Pentin reports. Remaining in...

San Francisco archbishop not backing down on policies for Catholic-school teachers CWN - February 25

After the San Francisco Chronicle issued a report claiming that Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone plans to rescind a plan to treat parochial-school teachers as “ministers,” the San Francisco...

Preacher at Vatican Lenten Retreat: face the truths about ourselves CWN - February 25

Reflecting on the example of the prophet Elijah, the preacher at the Vatican Lenten Retreat called upon Pope Francis and the leaders of the Roman Curia to let “the deepest truth about ourselves come...

Filipino bishops split on call for ouster of president CWN - February 25

Cardinal Ricardo Vidal, the retired Archbishop of Cebu, has joined with civil leaders in the Philippines in a “National Transformation Council,” calling for the removal of President Benigno Aquino,...

Parliament defeats bid to outlaw sex-selection abortion in UK CWN - February 25

The British Parliament has voted down a bid to outlaw sex-selection abortion. By a vote of 292- 201, Parliament defeated a measure that would have explicitly banned abortions performed solely to...

Ghana archbishop makes 'daring' suggestion that 'power of the keys' could allow remarriage CWN - February 25

An archbishop from Ghana suggested that the Church might explore using “the power of the keys” to release spouses from their marital vows, in an interview with Aleteia. “It is daring to say what...

Mosque torched near Bethlehem; militant Jews suspected CWN - February 25

A mosque was torched near Bethlehem on February 25, the AsiaNews service reports. Militant Israeli settlers are suspected of the crime. A fire was set in the mosque overnight, and graffiti were...

American missionary kidnapped in Nigeria CWN - February 25

An American Methodist missionary was kidnapped by five gunmen in Nigeria on February 24. Phyllis Sortor, 70, has worked for years to bring clean drinking water to villages. NBC reported that a...

Report finds increasing hostility to religious expression in US CWN - February 25

A report issued by the Liberty Institute found an increase in legal, school-related, and employment-related attacks on religious expression in 2014. The institute, based in Texas, describes...

Chinese authorities still refuse to release body of deceased ‘underground’ bishop CWN - February 25

Nearly a month after Chinese officials said that Bishop Cosma Shi Enxiang was dead, his relatives are still waiting for his remains. “All we want is to be able to bury him,” his nephew said....

Church should present moral teaching with sensitivity, says Dublin archbishop CWN - February 25

Speaking on the hopes and challenges facing the Church in Ireland, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin called for a greater sense of community and for sensitivity in presenting Church...

Ukrainian Catholic leader pays tribute to slain Euromaidan protestors CWN - February 25

One year after Euromaidan protests led to the removal of pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych, the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church paid tribute to those slain during the...

Thousands of Egyptians flee Libya CWN - February 25

An estimated 20,000 Egyptians have fled Libya for Egypt in the ten days since jihadists from the Islamic State beheaded 21 Coptic Christians, according to the Associated Press. In addition, an...

Report: Islamic State burns down 4 Syrian churches CWN - February 25

While kidnapping residents from Christian villages in northeastern Syria, militants from the Islamic State burned down at least four Christian churches, according to the Assyrian International News...

Vatican issues statement on Pope’s ‘Mexicanization’ comment CWN - February 25

Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Holy See Press Office, has confirmed that Pope Francis used the phrase “to avoid Mexicanization” in a recent private note. The use of the term...

Beatification cause opened for former head of Knights of Malta CWN - February 24

A formal cause has been opened for the beatification of the late Fra Andrew Bertie, the 78th Grand Master of the Knights of Malta. Fra Andrew Bertie became the head of the Sovereign Military...

Islamic State destroys public library in Mosul CWN - February 24

The forces of the Islamic State have demolished the public library in Mosul, Iraq, and the thousands of volumes it contained. The library in Mosul had been looted and vandalized after the US...

Coptic Church mobilizing to evacuate Egyptians from Libya CWN - February 24

The Coptic Orthodox Church has established a “crisis unit” to help evacuate all Egypts still living in Libya, the Fides news service reports. The crisis unit, under the direction of the secretary...

Oklahoma priest removed from post after civil marriage CWN - February 24

An Oklahoma priest who was recently removed from his pastoral assignment had entered into a civil marriage. Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City said: “After I removed Father Dan Letourneau...

English bishops urge participation in national elections CWN - February 24

The Catholic bishops of England have encouraged their people to participate in coming national elections, after having carefully considered the moral issues raised in the campaign. In an open...

President Obama issues statement on Lent CWN - February 24

President Barack Obama has issued a brief statement on Lent. “Lent is a season of sacrifice and preparation, repentance and renewal,” he said in his Ash Wednesday statement. “Through...

European bishops’ organization criticizes surrogacy CWN - February 24

A working group of the Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Community (COMECE) has published a document criticizing surrogacy as a “frontal assault on fundamental shared EU...

Mexican government protests reported papal comment on ‘Mexicanization’ CWN - February 24

La Alameda, an Argentine NGO opposed to drug trafficking, published a note attributed to Pope Francis in which the Pontiff reportedly expressed concern about “Mexicanization”-- leading to a protest...

Philippine archbishop calls for president’s removal CWN - February 24

A Philippine prelate has been accused of sedition after calling for the removal of President Benigno Aquino III. “We are asking him to step down because we think he is not entitled to that...

At least 100 Christians seized in Syria after Islamic State offensive CWN - February 24

Militants of the Islamic State have abducted at least 100 Christians from Syrian villages. The Reuters news service reported that Kurdish forces, assisted by US airstrikes, are battling with...

New Zealand’s bishops welcome decision to send troops to Iraq CWN - February 24

New Zealand’s bishops have welcomed Prime Minister John Key’s decision to send troops to Iraq. “Pope Francis has said that it is ‘licit to stop an unjust aggressor,’” said Cardinal John Dew. “If...

ISIS militants ‘demonize Islam,’ says Russian patriarch CWN - February 24

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, the head of the largest Orthodox church, met with the Greek Orthodox patriarch of Antioch and said that Islamic State militants “demonize Islam in the eyes of the whole...

Ukraine’s leading Latin-rite prelate discusses meeting with Pope CWN - February 24

Archbishop Mieczyslaw Mokrzycki of Lviv, Ukraine’s leading Latin-rite prelate, reflected on recent meetings with Pope Francis and curial officials that took place during the Ukrainian bishops’...

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