A cat prowls the grounds near Petra's famous treasury building.
Where the Spice Road and the King’s Highway intersected, linking Rome to India, the Nabataeans built their capital. At its height, 100,000 people lived in the grand but hidden city, now in southern Jordan.
DUBUQUE, Iowa (CNS) -- As the eyes of the nation focused on the Iowa caucuses Feb. 1, the 13 congregations of Catholic Sisters of the Upper Mississippi River Valley wanted to capture the attention of participants to call for an end to environmentally destructive policies and practices. Wednesday, February 3, 2016
Though the original 13 British colonies in what is now the U.S. largely had Protestant populations, Catholic missionaries helped shape the economic, political and religious values as other parts of the territory were settled. Tuesday, February 2, 2016
CEBU, Philippines (CNS) -- Maria Georgia "Maggie" Cogtas of Cebu told of a childhood without playing, only tough work as a garbage picker at dumpsites, construction sites and on the streets. Friday, January 29, 2016
TUCSON, Ariz. (CNS) -- Every time Jesuit Brother Guy Consolmagno looks through a telescope at a deep sky object or examines a piece of a 4-billion-year-old meteorite that found its way to Earth, he says he's exploring a mystery that spans both science and faith. Wednesday, January 27, 2016
ROME (CNS) -- After walking across the threshold of the Holy Door with an Orthodox metropolitan and an Anglican archbishop, Pope Francis invoked God's mercy upon divided Christians and apologized for times that Catholics may have hurt members of other denominations. Tuesday, January 26, 2016
After learning that ISIS finally destroyed St. Elijah’s Monastery, Father Whorton, now stationed at Fort Bragg, N.C., told the United Kingdom of Great Britain’s national daily, The Guardian, “Why we treat each other like this is beyond me. Elijah the prophet must be weeping.” Friday, January 22, 2016
VATICAN CITY — Movies depicting exorcisms could be an important medium for showing how God always triumphs over evil, but instead, they misrepresent the faith and exaggerate human and satanic powers over God, a leading exorcist wrote in the Vatican newspaper. Tuesday, January 12, 2016
TUMACACORI, Ariz. (CNS) -- Jesuit Father Eusebio Francisco Kino, an Italian missionary to the American Southwest known as the "Padre on Horseback," was honored Jan. 10 at the Tumacacori National Historical Park with Kino Legacy Day. Monday, January 11, 2016
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- When President Barack Obama unveiled a series of executive orders Jan. 5 intended to make a dent in gun violence in the United States, people reacted. And how. Friday, January 8, 2016
AMMAN, Jordan — Jordan borders a dramatic shore of the Dead Sea, a singular 1,000-foot-deep body of water filling part of the great Jordan Valley rift. Because of that, bathers have the delightful sensation of zero gravity. Thursday, January 7, 2016
Mount Nebo is the site where Moses is believed to have died. From its summit, with a refreshing breeze, one sees most of the region in a sweep — where Joshua led the Israelites across the Jordan, where John the Baptist preached and baptized, where Jesus walked, taught, died and was raised. Wednesday, January 6, 2016
WASHINGTON— The U.S. Catholic bishops have declared National Migration Week 2016 will take place January 3-9 with the theme, "A Stranger and You Welcomed Me.” The celebration provides an opportunity to raise awareness about the hardships faced by migrants, including children, refugees, and victims of human trafficking.
VALLEY PARK, Mo. — At about 8:30 on a chilly morning Dec. 30, Mickey Downing of the Valley Park Fire District went house to house in lower Valley Park, knocked on doors and asked people to evacuate for their safety with the Meramec River nearing the top of the levee protecting the small town. Friday, January 1, 2016
Melissa Rogers, executive director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, says the timing to promote religious pluralism is right in light of recent waves of anti-Muslim rhetoric.
After claiming 2014 to be the worst year for religious persecution in China since the Cultural Revolution, observers in and outside the country say this year saw the situation deteriorate further. Relations between China's faithful and the Communist Party have not been this strained since the days of Chairman Mao. Tuesday, December 29, 2015
JERUSALEM — On Christmas Eve, the entrance to the West Jerusalem YMCA was decked out in colorful lights against the night sky, and a Christmas tree sparkling with ornaments stood in the lobby. Jewish Israelis and international visitors, guests at the YMCA's popular restaurant, stopped to take pictures in front of the tree. Monday, December 28, 2015
MINNEAPOLIS — More than a month has passed since the November shooting death of Jamar Clark, a black man, by a white police officer. While protesters, led by the group Black Lives Matter, have moved on from their encampment at the Minneapolis Police Department's Fourth Precinct, their questions and those of the larger community linger in north Minneapolis and beyond. "It's been tense. The demonstrations and protests at the Fourth Precinct have affected a lot of people," said Father Dale Korogi, pastor of Ascension Church, located about a mile northwest of the Fourth Precinct and shooting site. Sunday, December 27, 2015
MILTON, Mass. — A Massachusetts judge ruled that a Catholic high school discriminated against a man because of his sexual orientation after the school officials rescinded a job offer upon learning he was in a same-sex marriage. Wednesday, December 23, 2015
THRISSUR, India — Catholics in Nepal are preparing for a bleak Christmas because of an economic blockade imposed by neighboring India.Church officials told Catholic News Service that the Nepalese face a heightened crisis as winter settles in because supplies of fuel for vehicles and cooking gas have dwindled and electricity service has become intermittent. Tuesday, December 22, 2015
BETHLEHEM, West Bank — Though the Christmas tree was lit in Nativity Square in the traditional ceremony, and some traditional pre-Christmas parades have taken place, the Christmas spirit this year in Bethlehem has been dampened by the political situation which, since October, has taken the lives of almost 100 Palestinians and 22 Israelis.
Standing in southern Jordan on a pinnacle overlooking Wadi Rum — Arabic for “Valley of Heights” — it’s possible to grasp the Israelites’ conception of God as a mighty desert warrior. Wednesday, December 16, 2015
No one knows for sure how long community carols have been sung in the pub at Dungworth's Royal Hotel, but they've been documented since the 19th century and are a staunchly defended local tradition. Wednesday, December 16, 2015
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- A new report on U.S. women religious said that religious life is becoming not only more multiethnic but more international as well. The report, "Understanding U.S. Catholic Sisters Today," said that of all women who entered religious life in the past 10 years, only 57 percent were white, while 17 percent were Hispanic, 16 percent were Asian, and 8 percent were black -- including both African-American women and those born in Africa.
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Heads of state discussing carbon emission limits must create a global and "transformative" agreement built on justice, solidarity and fairness, a papal representative told the U.N. climate conference last week in Paris. Sunday, December 6, 2015
SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. — San Bernardino Bishop Gerald R. Barnes urged people to pray for unity and healing after the mass shooting in San Bernardino Dec. 2 that left 14 people dead and 17 others wounded. Thursday, December 3, 2015
Father Nabil Haddad helped start the Amman-based Jordanian Interfaith Coexistence Research Center in 2003. The aim of the organization, founded with the nation’s Muslim chief justice, is to use religious beliefs as grounds for peace, not war. Wednesday, December 2, 2015
PARIS (CNS) -- Hundreds of thousands of people in at least 150 countries around the world demanded action on climate change on the eve of a U.N. conference that aimed to find agreement on greenhouse gas emissions.
BALTIMORE (CNS) -- Seattle Auxiliary Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Migration, said he was disturbed by calls from federal and state officials for an end to the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the U.S. "These refugees are fleeing terror themselves," he said.
BALTIMORE — Church resettlement programs in the United States will continue to aid refugees who are fleeing violence and social ills despite calls that the country's borders should be closed to anyone but Christians. Tuesday, November 17, 2015
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Catholic leaders around the world condemned terrorist attacks in Paris and Beirut, offering prayers and condolences.
"There is no place for terrorism in a civilized society," Archbishop Socrates Villegas, president of the Philippine bishops' conference, said Nov. 15. "Causing the death of anyone is a sin against God and a crime against humanity." Monday, November 16, 2015
VATICAN CITY — A week after the 65th anniversary of Father Emil Kapaun's capture in North Korea, the bishop of Wichita, Kansas, formally presented a report on the Army chaplain's life, virtues and fame of holiness to the Congregation for Saints' Causes.
AL-MAGHTAS, Jordan — A rustic, brushy depression north of the Dead Sea is more holy than anything at the Vatican. That’s the educated declaration of Rustom Mkhjian and it’s hard to argue with him. Mkhjian helps oversee the site along the Jordan River confirmed by archeologists as the most likely place where John the Baptist brought Jesus into the water.
ANJARA, Jordan — In the Gilead Mountains of northern Jordan, a statue of Mary cried human blood in 2010. Instead of cashing in on religious tourism, Our Lady of the Visitation Parish has responded with zealous outreach to people on the margins. Thursday, October 22, 2015
NEW YORK — The Hispanic Catholic presence in the United States predates the foundation of Jamestown, Virginia, by a century, a University of Notre Dame professor said at a discussion about Latino Catholicism at the Sheen Center for Thought & Culture.
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — As Haiti prepared to go to the polls Oct. 25 in a process whose complexity and proliferation of candidates has created a logistical nightmare for organizers, the bishops' conference urged Haitians to vote, but warned them to beware of false electoral promises and demagoguery.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California’s bishops expressed disappointment with Gov. Jerry Brown’s Oct. 5 signing of a measure legalizing physician-assisted suicide in the state, saying the law “stands in direct contradiction to providing compassionate, quality care for those facing a terminal illness.” Wednesday, October 14, 2015
ST. LOUIS — Archbishop Robert Carlson of St. Louis and the Rev. Matthew Harrison, president of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, said they were shaken and shocked by reports that the body parts of babies were being harvested. Wednesday, October 14, 2015
PHILADELPHIA — Archbishop Timothy Broglio, head of the Archdiocese for Military Services, called on Catholic medical professionals last month to uphold their commitment to “the healing of our culture.” Wednesday, October 14, 2015
UNITED NATIONS — In the warm afterglow of Pope Francis’ Sept 25 address to the General Assembly, veteran United Nations observers drew a starkly candid road map of urgent actions that the world body must take to achieve its security agenda. Wednesday, October 14, 2015
MIAMI — In just three years between the past two papal visits to Cuba, retired Miami academic Andy Gomez remains disturbed by what he said is an alarming uptick in poverty and urban decay in the island nation’s capital. A retired assistant provost and dean of international studies at the University of Miami, where he also was a senior fellow at the university’s Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American studies, Gomez, his wife and several hundred South Florida Catholics made a Sept. 18-21 pilgrimage to Havana in support of the pope’s visit to Cuba before his U.S. trip. Wednesday, October 14, 2015
CHARLESTON, S.C. — Bishop Robert Guglielmone of Charleston asked for prayers for the families of those killed as well as for those whose homes were destroyed in what officials called a 1,000-year storm that brought extreme rains that deluged South Carolina.
KONSTANCIN-JEZIORNA, Poland — Catholic female religious orders have expanded rapidly in China over the past decade, but are now facing restrictions and a decrease in vocations, said religious sisters from various parts of China.
PHILADELPHIA — Cathy and Tony Witczak of St. Isaac Jogues Parish, in Wayne, Pennsylvania, were taken by surprise when they were notified Pope Francis had invited them to participate as observers at the Synod of Bishops on the family meeting in Rome through Oct. 26.
ST. LOUIS — Several critics have called the Missouri attorney general's new report on Planned Parenthood in St. Louis incomplete, saying it raises questions about how state law holds the abortion provider accountable for its handling of human remains from abortions.
VATICAN CITY — The world Synod of Bishops on the family is not a parliament where participants will negotiate or lobby, Pope Francis said, but it must be a place of prayer where bishops speak with courage and open themselves to "God who always surprises us."
PHILADELPHIA (CNS) -- Known as the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia will be "the city of family love" and the "world capital of families" during the four-day World Meeting of Families, said Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family. The largest-ever World Meeting of Families opened in Philadelphia Sept. 22. More than 17,500 participants from more than 100 countries registered for the four-day congress, said Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia.
VATICAN CITY — Millions of Iraqis and Syrians are facing poverty and even death, neighboring countries are bearing more than their fair share of the burden of helping refugees, arms dealers are getting richer and the international community seems helpless, Pope Francis said.
BALTIMORE — Pope Francis’ Sept. 1 announcement that priests worldwide will be able to absolve women for the sin of abortion will have little effect on pastoral practices in the United States and Canada, where most priests already have such authority in the sacrament of reconciliation. Tuesday, September 8, 2015
SANTA FE, N.M. — The Catholic bishops of New Mexico in a joint statement welcomed a ruling by the state's Court of Appeals that reversed a lower court's approval of physician-assisted suicide. Tuesday, August 18, 2015
WASHINGTON — The Catholic Legal Immigration Network and the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas decried the Obama administration's effort to have a judge set aside her orders for the release of families being held in immigration detention centers.
JAMAICA, N.Y. — The first Steubenville Youth Conference to be held in New York drew 1,800 teenagers from around the country Aug. 7-9 to St. John's University in Jamaica in the New York borough of Queens.
WASHINGTON — The Catholic Church's strong stance against pornography is based on church teaching that the human body should be respected and every person has a God-given dignity. But the fight against pornography is not unique to religious organizations. "This is not a moral issue. We now have science to back this up," said Dawn Hawkins, vice president and executive director of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation.
WASHINGTON — Pornography is sexualizing the innocence of the nation's young children, causing a race to adulthood before the end of childhood. Young girls are being bombarded with photo-shopped images and are buying into unrealistic expectations set before them at an age meant for skinned knees and the Disney Channel.
WASHINGTON — A federal judge ruled July 24 that the government's immigrant family detention system violates a settlement agreement dating to 1997 over how juveniles in the custody of the immigration agency are treated.
OSHKOSH, Wis. — Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker July 20 signed a bill into law that would prohibit all Wisconsin abortions at or beyond the 20-week gestation mark, making an exception only for medical emergencies.
DENVER — In a July 23 filing with the U.S. Supreme Court, the Little Sisters of the Poor have asked the court for relief from being forced to comply with the federal contraceptive mandate or face heavy fines.
DENVER — The Little Sisters of the Poor and other religious entities are not substantially burdened by procedures set out by the federal government by which they can avoid a requirement to provide contraceptive coverage in health insurance, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled July 14.
TORONTO — California Gov. Jerry Brown, in Toronto for the Climate Summit of the Americas, said he is traveling with a copy of Pope Francis' environmental encyclical "Laudato Si'" and "going through it carefully."
WASHINGTON — Pope Francis' address to a joint meeting of Congress Sept. 24 will be broadcast live to members of the public on the West Front of the Capitol, House Speaker John Boehner announced July 8.
SANTA CRUZ, Bolivia — Camillian Father Mateo Bautista Garcia plans to push his palms outward when Pope Francis passes by so the pontiff can read his political protest written with a marker: "10 percent."
SAN ANTONIO — Five centuries-old Spanish missions in Texas newly declared as World Heritage Sites by a U.N. agency "have helped to shape the face of San Antonio," said Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A new Florida law establishing a 24-hour waiting period for women seeking an abortion has not gone into effect, after a July 2 ruling lifted the stay on a June 30 injunction that had put the law on hold.
DES MOINES, Iowa — Iowa Catholic leaders, interfaith leaders, clean energy advocates and others encouraged Iowans to take action in light of Pope Francis' historic encyclical on the environment, "Laudato Si', on Care for Our Common Home."
LA PAZ, Bolivia — Jesuit Father Luis Espinal was returning from a movie in March 1980 when he was intercepted, tortured and killed. His remains were found in a landfill. Paramilitaries were blamed for his death. Outrage ensued, with an estimated 70,000 Bolivians attending his burial in La Paz.
WASHINGTON — Witnesses at a Capitol Hill hearing urged Congress to pass a reauthorization measure that would keep funding going for transplant programs that use adult stem cells from bone marrow and cord blood to treat diseases and for continued research.
OKLAHOMA CITY — By ordering the removal of a Ten Commandments monument from the state Capitol grounds, the Oklahoma Supreme Court is ignoring the historical significance of the moral code "in the formation of our state," said Archbishop Paul S. Coakley.
WASHINGTON — Religious freedom is "the human right that guarantees all other rights," Miami Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski said July 4 in his homily at the closing Mass of the U.S. bishops' fourth annual Fortnight for Freedom.
PHILADELPHIA — The first stop for Pope Francis when he visits Philadelphia the morning of Sept. 26 will be the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul to celebrate a special Mass for the people of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
BROOKLYN, N.Y. — A Dominican Republic court decision rescinding the citizenship of Haitians born in that country "has caused a moral and civil outcry against this seemingly unjust law," Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio said at a special Mass.
NEW YORK — A June 29 prayer service at Holy Family Church in New York City not only recalled the sacrifices of African martyrs in church history but also paid tribute to those who have died recently for their faith.
NEW YORK — The 30 hours or so Pope Francis will spend in New York in September will be relatively brief, but "his presence here among us will have a profound and lasting impact on all New Yorkers, said Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan.
WASHINGTON — In a June 29 order, the Supreme Court continued to shield several Pennsylvania religious institutions from having to provide employees with health care coverage that includes contraceptives.
BALTIMORE — Archbishop William Lori reminded those gathered for Mass June 21 at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Baltimore that when it comes to religious freedom, American Catholics and Christians worldwide are in the same "boat."
JERUSALEM — The Council of Religious Institutions of the Holy Land issued a strong condemnation against an early morning arson attack on the Benedictine Church of the Multiplication at Tabgha on the Sea of Galilee on June 18.
EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Finally, “Baby Francis” is resting in peace. In a simple, but dignified ceremony June 10 in a section of Gate of Heaven Cemetery set aside for the repose of babies, Bishop Thomas J. Tobin of Providence presided over a Christian burial service for the unborn child he named “Francis,” fulfilling a commitment he made to officials five months ago after a fetus was found floating amid the sewage at a nearby wastewater treatment facility.