Home » World
  • Pope accepts resignation of Bishop Finn

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Robert W. Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri, who was convicted in 2012 on one misdemeanor count of failing to report suspected child abuse.

    Read more
  • Pope: Everyone loses when culture doesn't care about marriage, family

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- God's plan for fruitful, everlasting unions between a man and woman has been lost in a world filled with skepticism, distrust and hostility, Pope Francis said. A culture that does not value "the stable and life-giving covenant between a man and woman is certainly a loss for everyone. We must bring honor back to marriage and the family," he said April 22 during his general audience in St. Peter's Square.

    Read more
  • Pope to visit Cuba first before heading to United States in September

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis will visit Cuba in September before his trip to the United States. Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, told reporters April 22 that the pope has "received and accepted the invitation from the civil authorities and bishops of Cuba" and has decided to visit the island before going to the United States.

    Read more
  • Irish bishops consider options if same-sex referendum passes

    DUBLIN (CNS) -- Catholic bishops have not made any decision on whether priests should decline to perform civil aspects of weddings if a May 22 referendum on same-sex marriage is passed. A spokesman for the Irish bishops' conference said the church might no longer perform the civil aspect of weddings, meaning couples wanting to get married in the church would have to attend a separate civil ceremony.

    Read more
  • Dutch archdiocese, lay Catholics at odds over parish consolidations

    WARSAW, Poland (CNS) -- When Catholics compare their cardinal's actions to those of Islamic State militants, it is hard to dialogue with them, said a spokesman for a Dutch archdiocese. Bezield Verband Utrecht (Animated Connection Utrecht), or BVU, collected 12,000 signatures on a petition to Pope Francis urging Cardinal Willem Eijk, president of the Dutch bishops' conference, to prevent the mass closure of churches in the central province. They said he was "destroying church communities."

    Read more
  • Pope: Church is made of martyrs; leaders must respond to victims' cries

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- With so many women and men being killed because of their faith in Christ, the church today is a church of martyrs, Pope Francis said in a morning homily. And, in a message to the head of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, he also urged the world's leaders to hear the cry of all the Christians who are victims of violence, cruelty and killings.

    Read more
  • How much time does it take to reform the Vatican? A lot

    Vatican City, Apr 17, 2015 CNA/EWTN News.- Already two years into the reform process of the Roman Curia, progress might seem slow. But cardinals on the Pope's advisory council say efforts – which may soon include new “super” congregations – are moving forward at a normal pace.

    Read more
  • Armenian Catholics and Orthodox seek unity their martyrs enjoy

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- While Catholic and Armenian Orthodox theologians continue discussions aimed at full unity, Pope Francis and Catholicos Karekin II of Etchmiadzin, patriarch of the Armenian Apostolic Church, commemorated the already-achieved unity of Armenian Catholic and Orthodox martyrs in heaven.

    Read more
  • Sex abuse commission members meet cardinal over Chilean bishop

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Four lay members of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors met with one of Pope Francis' top cardinal advisers at the Vatican April 12 to voice their concerns about the appointment of a Chilean bishop, accused of covering up for an abusive priest.

    Read more
  • Canadian Supreme Court: No prayer at city council meetings

    QUEBEC CITY (CNS) -- Canadian cities must put an end to prayers during council meetings, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled April 15. The court said such prayers go against freedom of religion and conscience. In a unanimous decision and in the name of neutrality of state, all nine judges agreed that prayers should not be allowed anymore.

    Read more
  • Pope urges those guilty of brutality in Kenya to 'come to their senses'

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis mourned the deaths of all those killed in extremist and ethnic violence in Kenya, and admonished the perpetrators to "come to their senses and seek mercy." Meeting the Kenyan bishops April 16 during their "ad limina" visits to the Vatican, the pope urged the bishops to step up efforts with other Christians and other faiths to promote peace, dialogue and justice.

    Read more
  • Francis Offers Mass for Benedict XVI

    Rome (ZENIT) -- Pope Francis today offered this morning's Mass at Casa Santa Marta for his predecessor, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI who celebrates his 88thbirthday today. "I would like to remind that today is Pope Benedict XVI's birthday. I have offered the Mass for him and I also invite you to pray him, so that the Lord may sustain him and give him much joy and happiness," the Holy Father said this morning.  

    Read more
  • Australian bishops: the suffering need compassion, not suicide by drugs

    Sydney, Australia, Apr 16, 2015 CNA/EWTN News.- Euthanasia isn’t what the suffering and dying really need, said Australia’s Catholic bishops. “Suicide is always a tragedy, and all people who are confronted by their mortality, whether or not they are mentally or physically ill, deserve our help and compassion, not a lethal dose,” Bishop Peter Comensoli of Broken Bay said in an April 15 statement.

    Read more
  • "Pope Francis Has Torn the Veil on the Armenian Genocide"

    Rome (ZENIT) -- One hundred years are not enough to forget, especially if it is about a massacre such as the “Great Evil” that profoundly affected the Armenian people at the beginning of the 20thcentury, exterminating 1.5 million men, women, children and families.

    Read more
  • A dark, tense history: behind Turkey's protest of the Holy See

    Rome, Italy, Apr 14, 2015 CNA/EWTN News.- Pope Francis' comments on the extermination of Armenian Christians in early 20th century Turkey prompted a strongly worded criticism from the Turkish Foreign Ministry and led to the withdrawal of Turkey's ambassador to the Holy See. But what's the full story?

    Read more
  • Cardinal says education is key to Iraqi refugees' recovery

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Educating children is the best way to help displaced Iraqi Christians recover from the traumatic experience of being chased from their homes by Islamic State militants, said Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster, England, after an April 11-12 visit to Irbil.

    Read more
  • With reorganization ongoing, cardinals named to Roman Curia offices

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Giving assignments to 15 of the cardinals he created in February, Pope Francis named some of them members of pontifical councils widely expected to be merged with others. In the months following their induction into the College of Cardinals, those who who are under the age of 80 are named members of various Vatican congregations and councils; while the day-to-day work of Vatican offices is carried out by the staff, the direction and major decisions of the offices are determined by the full membership.

    Read more
  • Pope says Year of Mercy will be time to heal, to help, to forgive

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Mercy is what makes God perfect and all-powerful, Pope Francis said in his document officially proclaiming the 2015-2016 extraordinary Holy Year of Mercy. "If God limited himself to only justice, he would cease to be God, and would instead be like human beings who ask merely that the law be respected," the pope wrote in "Misericordiae Vultus," ("The Face of Mercy"), which is the "bull of indiction" calling a Holy Year to begin Dec. 8.

    Read more
  • Up close and personal: Restorers find gems, jokes visitors might miss

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- What the general public can squint at and admire from afar, an art restorer can enjoy from just inches away. Perched on scaffolding and cleaning off centuries of soot under bright directional lights, the restorers' privileged peek doesn't come often or easily. Full-scale restoration projects are expensive and complex, happening in some instances every 100 years, like the project underway at Rome's Sanctuary of the Holy Stairs.

    Read more
  • 'Moved by the Spirit,' many Cubans worship outside formal parishes

    BAY OF NIPE, Cuba (CNS) -- In the yard of a rural home in the Cuban countryside, a group of 25-30 Catholics gather each week to pray, sometimes to break bread together, but mostly to form a Catholic community where a formal parish does not exist. They meet under a tin roof held together by long pieces of metal from what used to be train tracks.

    Read more
  • St. John Paul II's visit marked 'a before and an after' for Cuban church

    HAVANA (CNS) -- Sitting outside the church where she was baptized, 65-year-old Clementina Torres recalls the time when anyone who publicly admitted being a Catholic in Cuba faced a host of problems. It could mean not getting into the "right" university or program, being taunted by classmates or isolated by neighbors, or it resulted in being fired, demoted, or not allowed to advance professionally.

    Read more
  • Pope to priests: Exhaustion is part of ministry; find renewal in Christ

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Priestly ministry is hard, sometimes lonely or dangerous work serving the neediest with an open, vulnerable heart, Pope Francis told the world's priests. But priests need to learn how to draw strength from their flock and their love for God, and not look for rest or retreat in "worldly pursuits," hiding in their office or riding in cars "with tinted windows," he said April 2 during the chrism Mass in St. Peter's Basilica.

    Read more
  • Christian woman cares for the forgotten Yazidis in Iraq

    ERBIL, IRAQ (CNA/EWTN News) -- Shelan Jibrael's office is located in the Iraqi city of Erbil, where tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians displaced by the Islamic State have immigrated. But on any given day, she is much more likely to be found in one of the various refugee camps around the city, looking after not only the Christians but also those who find themselves in a much more dramatic situation: the Yazidis.

    Read more
  • Pope calls for hope, reconciliation as Armenia commemorates massacres

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- In the run-up to the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide, Pope Francis decried humanity's ability to systematically exterminate its own brothers and sisters. He asked that God's mercy "help all of us, in the love for the truth and justice, to heal every wound and expedite concrete gestures of reconciliation and peace among nations that still are unable to come to a reasonable consensus on interpreting such sad events."

    Read more
  • Pope Francis encourages peace negotiations in Colombia, cardinal says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis called on the people of Colombia to work toward peace, and maintain hope that negotiations will succeed, according to the Vatican secretary of state. The pope urged them to "not lose energy or hope" at such a crucial time in the peace process and encouraged them "to continue to work for truth, justice and reparation" so that "what went before will never be repeated," said Cardinal Pietro Parolin in a letter sent on the pope's behalf to the Colombian bishops for Holy Week. Vatican Radio released excerpts of the letter April 3.

    Read more
  • Faith lives on despite suffering in Iraq, Syria, say Vatican envoys

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- More than 1,000 people packed into a tent in a refugee camp in Irbil, Iraq, for the Easter vigil Mass celebrated by Italian Cardinal Fernando Filoni, former nuncio to Iraq and Pope Francis' personal representative to those forced to flee the fury of Islamic State militants.

    Read more
  • Humility is key to understanding Easter, sharing its joy, pope says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- To enter Christ's empty tomb like the disciples and see that he has risen, Christians today also must "bend down," Pope Francis said in his Easter message. "Love has triumphed over hatred. Life has conquered death. Light has dispelled the darkness," he told tens of thousands of rain-drenched pilgrims in St. Peter's Square April 5.

    Read more
  • Passover and the Passion: Jewish roots enrich Holy Week celebrations

    Washington D.C., Apr 2, 2015 CNA.- As Catholics around the globe prepare for the Easter Triduum, the three-day period beginning with Holy Thursday and culminating in the celebration of Easter, the Jewish community prepares for its own liturgical celebration of Passover, remembering how God freed their ancestors from slavery in Egypt.

    Read more
  • Iraq: A Heroic Church That Could Disappear

    Rome (ZENIT) -- There are more than 2.5 million refugees in Iraq presently, one million of whom are from the Nineveh Plain, according to data by the United Nations (UN). About 40% of the refugees are in  the north of Iraq, in the region of Kurdistan. Over 50% of those refugees are younger than 25.

    Read more
  • Pope to formally proclaim holy year in front of basilica's Holy Door

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Celebrating the first vespers for Divine Mercy Sunday, Pope Francis formally will deliver the "bull of indiction" or proclamation of the extraordinary Holy Year of Mercy. Portions of the document will be read in front of the Holy Door at St. Peter's Basilica April 11, the Vatican announced. The Holy Door, usually bricked up, is opened at the beginning of a jubilee year.

    Read more
  • Eucharistic Congress Planned for September in Knock, Ireland

    Dublin (ZENIT) -- A national Eucharistic Congress will be held in Knock, Ireland, on Sept. 26-27. The Irish bishops' conference announced the congress as an opportunity to reflect on the fruits of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress, which was held in Dublin in 2012, and as a spiritual preparation for the next International Congress, scheduled to take place in Cebu, Philippines, in January 2016.  

    Read more
  • Ten Years Ago, St. John Paul II's Death Moved the World

    Rome (ZENIT) -- “Dear brothers and sisters, at 9:37 pm our beloved Holy Father John Paul II returned to the House of the Father. Let us pray for him,” said Cardinal Sandri on April 2, 2005 to the thousands of faithful that had gathered in Saint Peter’s Square, under the windows of his apartment to pray the Holy Rosary for him. It was the night before Divine Mercy Sunday.

    Read more
  • Cardinal George Pell: Benedict XVI Laid Groundwork For Financial Transparency

    Vatican City (ZENIT) -- For many months there has been talk about the steps the Vatican is taking to achieve transparency in financial and economic matters. In this connection, Cardinal George Pell, Prefect of the Prefecture of the Economic Affairs of the Holy See, explained that “it must not be thought that Pope Benedict XVI did nothing  and we are now doing everything.”

    Read more
  • Ten years after his death, St. John Paul's example lives on, pope says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The example St. John Paul II gave the world is still alive and many people continue to be inspired by his faith, passion and joy, Pope Francis said. Noting that April 2 marked the 10th anniversary of St. John Paul's death, Pope Francis asked that people pray the Polish saint "intercede for us, for families, for the church so that the light of the Resurrection shines through all of the darkness in our life and fills us with joy and peace."

    Read more
  • English cardinal urges debate on family synod to stay out of the press

    MANCHESTER, England (CNS) -- Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster urged priests to end debating the upcoming synod on the family in the press after more than 450 priests published a letter calling on the Catholic Church to retain the prohibition on divorced and remarried Catholics receiving holy Communion.

    Read more
  • Pope Francis calls death penalty 'unacceptable,' urges abolition

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis came out squarely against the death penalty once again, calling it "unacceptable" regardless of the seriousness of the crime of the condemned. Pope Francis met with a three-person delegation of the International Commission Against the Death Penalty March 20, and issued a letter on the occasion urging worldwide abolition.

    Read more