Home » World
  • Pope: Use gifts to benefit church, not create division, envy, annoyance

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Everyone has a special gift to offer the whole church, just make sure it is used to serve everyone and not to puff up one's own pride or to create division, Pope Francis said. "It is a gift that God has given to someone not because he or she is a better person than someone else or because she or he deserves it," the pope said at his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square Oct. 1.

    Read more
  • Opus Dei leader, Bishop Alvaro del Portillo, beatified in Madrid

    MADRID (CNS) -- A Spanish bishop who worked as an engineer before becoming first prelate of the Opus Dei movement has been beatified in his native Madrid. Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for Saints' Causes, said Bishop Alvaro del Portillo was known for his "prudence and rectitude in evaluating events and people, his justice in respecting the good name and freedom of others, his fortitude in facing up to physical or moral difficulties, and the temperance shown in his sobriety and interior and exterior mortification."

    Read more
  • English Catholic bishop resigns, admits affair with woman

    HOVE, England (CNS) -- An English Catholic bishop has resigned after admitting that he has been "unfaithful to his promises as a Catholic priest." Bishop Kieran Conry of Arundel and Brighton, chairman of the Department of Evangelization and Catechesis of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, said in a statement that he would step down "with immediate effect."

    Read more
  • Debate Over Use of Marijuana Continues

    ROME, September 28, 2014 (Zenit.org) - The question of whether to permit the use of marijuana to help people with serious illnesses continues to divide opinions. In Australia the premier of the state of New South Wales, Mike Baird, announced mid-September that the police would be given discretion not to charge terminally-ill adults who use marijuana for pain relief.

    Read more
  • For new Sydney archbishop, bioethical challenges call for dialogue

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Archbishop Anthony Fisher, whom Pope Francis named to lead the Archdiocese of Sydney Sept. 18, has a highly varied resume, including degrees in civil law and philosophy and experience coordinating World Youth Day 2008. But if his ministry has been characterized by concern with a particular issue, it is the morality of modern medicine.

    Read more
  • Syrian refugees' reactions mixed to airstrikes against Islamic State

    AMMAN, Jordan (CNS) -- Ask Syrian refugees sheltering in neighboring Jordan about the advent of U.S.-led strikes against Islamic State militants in their homeland, and the reactions will be mixed. Some welcome the surprise military intervention, saying it could lead to ending the nearly 4-year-old war in Syria and diminish the power of Islamic State fighters and other terrorist groups operating in the country.

    Read more
  • Traditionalist leader meets at Vatican to discuss reconciliation

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The leader of a breakaway group of traditionalist Catholics met with Vatican officials Sept. 23 for the latest in a long series of reconciliation talks. Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior general of the Society of St. Pius X, met for two hours with Cardinal Gerhard L. Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican said in a statement.

    Read more
  • Vatican puts former nuncio accused of sex abuse under house arrest

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Vatican has placed a laicized papal ambassador under house arrest as he awaits a criminal trial for sexually abusing young boys. Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, released a statement Sept. 23 regarding the case of former Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, a Pole who served as nuncio to the Dominican Republic until August 2013.

    Read more
  • Pope calls for unity among Paraguay's Catholics as he dismisses bishop

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- After a Vatican investigation, Pope Francis removed a Paraguayan bishop from his post as head of the Diocese of Ciudad del Este because of "serious pastoral reasons." Bishop Rogelio Livieres Plano, 69, was told to step down as head of the diocese effective Sept. 25. Bishop Ricardo Valenzuela Rios of Villarrica del Espitiru Santo will temporarily administer the diocese.

    Read more
  • Pope calls for 'globalization of charity' to protect migrants

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis called for the "globalization of charity" through an international network to fight human trafficking and ensure the rights of migrants and refugees. The pope's words appeared in his annual message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, which in 2015 will be observed Jan. 18. The Vatican released the pope's message, "Church Without Frontiers, Mother to All," Sept. 23.

    Read more
  • Survivors of Albania's dictatorship give witness, move pope to tears

    TIRANA, Albania (CNS) -- Two survivors of Albania's communist crackdown against the church brought Pope Francis tears with their stories during a vespers service in Tirana's cathedral Sept. 21. "To hear a martyr talk about his own martyrdom is intense," the pope told journalists on the papal plane back to Rome the same evening. "I think all of us there were moved, all of us."

    Read more
  • Don't use God as 'armor' for waging violence, pope says in Albania

    TIRANA, Albania (CNS) -- In a world "where an authentic religious spirit is being perverted and where religious differences are being distorted and exploited," Albania is an "aspiring example" to everyone that peaceful coexistence is possible, Pope Francis said during a one-day visit to the country Sept. 21.

    Read more
  • Scot bishops hope Catholics join public debate after independence vote

    MANCHESTER, England (CNS) -- The Catholic bishops of Scotland said they accept the results of referendum in which Scot voters rejected independence. In a Sept. 19 statement, the Bishops' Conference of Scotland also commended "all those who participated in what was a passionate and sometimes partisan debate."

    Read more
  • Pope advances causes of Canadian nun, Indian 'apostle of Sri Lanka'

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis advanced the sainthood causes of four men and women, including Marie-Elisabeth Turgeon, the Canadian founder of the Sisters of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary. The pope also accelerated the sainthood process of Blessed Joseph Vaz, an Indian missionary credited with reviving almost single-handedly the Catholic Church in Sri Lanka during severe persecution by Dutch colonial authorities in the 17th century.

    Read more
  • Doctrinal wars? Both sides fire over Communion for divorced, remarried

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family will not open until Oct. 5, but some of its most prominent members are already publicly debating what is bound to be one of its most controversial topics: the eligibility of divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to receive Communion.

    Read more
  • Irish cardinal: 'Peace would not have been delivered' without Paisley

    DUBLIN (CNS) -- Irish Cardinal Sean Brady had paid tribute to a controversial Protestant firebrand-turned-peacemaker who once heckled St. John Paul II as the "antichrist." The Rev. Ian Paisley, 88, who served as first minister in the cross-community power-sharing government in Northern Ireland from 2007 to 2008, died Sept. 12 and was buried after a private family funeral Sept. 15.

    Read more
  • Family Life: A Message of Joy and Hope

    TORONTO, September 10, 2014 (Zenit.org) - The Canadian Catholic Organization for Life and Family (COLF) has published its 2014 Message to families entitled, "Families, Christ calls us to sow joy and hope!"

    Read more
  • Christian leaders meet Obama, discuss concerns for Mideast minorities

    WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Eight Eastern Christian leaders spent 40 minutes talking to President Barack Obama about the situation of Christians and other minorities in the Middle East. "We felt how deeply moved he was by what was happening to the Christians there," Lebanese Cardinal Bechara Rai, Maronite patriarch, said at a Mass later the same day at Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Catholic Church. The Sept. 11 Mass closed the three-day inaugural In Defense of Christians summit. A conference organizer told Catholic News Service an American businessman from the Middle East sent his private jet to transport the Christian leaders to the summit.

    Read more
  • Pope appoints Father Oliver as secretary of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis appointed two U.S. priests to top positions at the Vatican for dealing with the sexual abuse of minors. The pope named U.S. Father Robert W. Oliver to be the new secretary of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, and appointed Jesuit Father Robert J. Geisinger to replace Father Oliver as the promoter of justice at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith -- the Vatican's chief prosecutor of sex abuse crimes.

    Read more
  • Pope says war is senseless slaughter, can always be avoided

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- War is just "senseless slaughter" and should never be seen as inevitable or a done deal, Pope Francis said. "War drags people into a spiral of violence which then proves difficult to control; it tears down what generations have labored to build up, and it sets the scene for even greater injustices and conflicts," he said in a written message to a world summit of religious leaders.

    Read more
  • Couples with kids, cohabitating are among those marrying at papal Mass

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Among the men and women Pope Francis was set to unite in marriage were Catholics who have been living together as well as couples who already have children. The pope, who is the bishop of Rome, will preside over his first wedding ceremony as pontiff during a nuptial Mass in St. Peter's Basilica Sept. 14.

    Read more
  • Pope appoints 14 couples to attend Synod of Bishops on family

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- More than 250 participants, including 14 married couples from around the world, were expected to attend October's extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family. In addition to 114 presidents of national bishops' conferences, 13 heads of Eastern Catholic churches and 25 heads of Vatican congregations and councils, the pope appointed 26 synod fathers to take part in the Oct. 5-19 synod.

    Read more
  • For some Iraqi Christians, returning to homeland is not an option

    BEIRUT (CNS) -- Uprooted from his home in Iraq by the advance of Islamic State fighters, Nouree sees no future for Christians in his country. "It's like a nightmare," the Chaldean Catholic father of six told Catholic News from a modest apartment in Beirut where he and his family have temporarily resettled after fleeing Iraq. "They just came and took our villages," Nouree said of the militants.

    Read more
  • New Irish primate sees role as servant, not like CEO position

    ARMAGH, Northern Ireland (CNS) -- The new primate of All Ireland has pledged to be a "servant leader" whose aim is to bring the Irish Catholic Church through a process of "humble renewal." Archbishop Eamon Martin, 52, succeeded Cardinal Sean Brady as primate of All Ireland, a leadership role that covers the 26 dioceses in the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland. For nearly 17 months, Archbishop Martin had served as Cardinal Brady's coadjutor in Armagh, and his succession was automatic when Pope Francis accepted Cardinal Brady's resignation Sept. 8.

    Read more
  • When Babies Become Commodities

    ROME, September 07, 2014 (Zenit.org) - Several recent cases involving the rejection of babies by people who were using the services of surrogate mothers have drawn attention to the alarming ethical shortfalls of the surrogate industry.

    Read more
  • Irish Vincentians hand over Jackie Kennedy's letters to family

    DUBLIN (CNS) -- Letters between former U.S. first lady Jacqueline Kennedy and a Dublin-based priest have been handed over to the Kennedy family. In a statement issued Sept. 5, the Vincentians said the order wished "to confirm that private letters, written by the late Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy to our deceased confrere, Father Joseph Leonard, have been transferred to the Kennedy family."

    Read more
  • In Google Hangout, pope helps launch worldwide social network

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The wisdom of "It takes a village to raise a child" has been lost as kids are either overprotected by permissive parents or neglected, Pope Francis said. "The educational partnership has been broken" as families, schools and society are "no longer united together for the child," he said Sept. 4 after holding his first Google Hangout -- a live video conversation -- across five continents with teenagers who belong to the international network of "Scholas occurentes," uniting students of all faiths and cultures.

    Read more
  • Peres: Pope Francis is only leader respected enough to end today's wars

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Former Israeli President Shimon Peres asked Pope Francis to head a parallel United Nations called the "United Religions" to counter religious extremism in the world today. "In the past, most wars were motivated by the idea of nationhood. Today, however, wars are incited above all using religion as an excuse," Peres told the Catholic magazine, Famiglia Cristiana, ahead of the papal meeting Sept. 4.

    Read more
  • Pope: Iraq's persecuted Christians are true, bold witnesses of Christ

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Iraqi Christians are true and courageous witnesses of Christ's message of hope, forgiveness and love, Pope Francis said. "The church suffers with you and is proud of you, proud to have children like you," he said Sept. 3, in a greeting to Arabic-speaking pilgrims, especially those from Iraq.

    Read more
  • Mafia boss threatens anti-mob activist priest

    ROME (CNS) -- The Italian bishops' conference has sent a message of solidarity to Father Luigi Ciotti, founder of Libera, a network of Italian anti-Mafia associations, following an apparent threat to his life from a Sicilian Mafia boss.

    Read more