Displaced Sri Lankan flood victims eat their meals May 20 at a shelter in Colombo. Catholic leaders during the World Humanitarian Summit May 24 in Istanbul said it was time to overhaul the global humanitarian system because the current aid structure is failing to reach those most in need.
ISTANBUL (CNS) -- Catholic and other humanitarian leaders said it was time to overhaul the global humanitarian system because the current aid structure is failing to reach those most in need. Tuesday, May 24, 2016
WASHINGTON (CNS) — The annual report on the implementation of the U.S. bishops' "Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People" warns against complacency in dioceses, and the firm contracted to conduct audits of dioceses and parishes said there was "plenty of room for improvement" in implementing two of the charter's articles. Friday, May 20, 2016
WASHINGTON — The U.S. House May 16 unanimously passed the Frank Wolf International Religious Freedom Act, giving the Obama administration and the U.S. State Department new resources to combat what the bill's bipartisan supporters say is "a worldwide escalation" of Christian persecution and anti-Semitism. Thursday, May 19, 2016
ROME (CNS) — Paying workers a just wage has been "one of the most consistent and central themes of Catholic social teaching" for more than a century, said Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. Sunday, May 8, 2016
LAGOS, Nigeria (CNS) — Two bishops from southern Nigeria condemned an attack on a vehicle carrying Abuja Cardinal John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan and appealed to the government to tackle the issue of growing instability in Edo state. Sunday, May 8, 2016
LONDONERRY, Northern Ireland (CNS) — Bishop Donal McKeown of Derry told hundreds of mourners at the funeral of an Irish missionary nun that "a life given in loving sacrifice is never wasted." Saturday, May 7, 2016
WASHINGTON (CNS) — The state of religious freedom worldwide saw more decline than improvement in the last year, said Robert George, chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. Friday, May 6, 2016
CATANO, Puerto Rico (CNS) — Members of several Catholic groups joined representatives of more than 30 organizations for a march to "raise awareness and call to immediate action" to prepare for climate changes "that have started already" in this Caribbean island. Friday, May 6, 2016
PHILADELPHIA (CNS) — The Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, the congregation founded by St. Katharine Drexel, announced that it will sell its historic motherhouse in Bensalem, Pennsylvania. The 44-acre property also contains the National Shrine of St. Katharine Drexel and her tomb. Wednesday, May 4, 2016
WASHINGTON (CNS) — Omar al-Muqdad has seen both sides of the refugee crisis.
In 2004, he assisted Iraqi refugees in his home country of Syria. And then nearly a decade later, he escaped the civil war in his country by first going to Turkey and then finding a temporary home in 2012 in Fayetteville, Arkansas, where he was the only Syrian refugee in the state.
ANTIGO, Wis. (CNS) — Antigo's churches and schools were reaching out to students and parishioners following a shooting at a high school prom. Jakob Wagner, 18, shot two people outside of the Antigo High School prom late April 23 before being shot and killed by an Antigo police officer on a routine patrol of the parking lots surrounding the facility. Wagner graduated from the school in 2015. Tuesday, April 26, 2016
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Refugees, often perceived by society as an added cost or a problem, are a gift and a reflection of the face of God, Pope Francis said.
People who escape oppression, war, pollution or "the unjust distribution of the planet's resources are a brother and sister with whom to share bread, home and life," he said in a video message to the Centro Astalli, the Jesuit Refugee Service center in Rome.
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Christians must look to their own sins and failings and not fall into the temptation of hypocrisy that causes them to believe they are better than others, Pope Francis said. Friday, April 22, 2016
IRBIL, Iraq (CNS) -- A delegation of U.S. Catholic leaders visiting northern Iraq was challenged to go home and work for peace in the troubled region.
"You have come to listen to your brothers and sisters in Iraq who are suffering. The situation is very hard. We cry out with one voice, 'Don't forget us,'" Auxiliary Bishop Shlemon Warduni of Baghdad said during a Mass in the small village of Inishke, near Dahuk.
DUBLIN (CNS) — When the head of communications for an international Catholic charity visited Syria, it was not safe to go to Aleppo. So Sister Annie Demerjian, an Armenian religious sister from the city, traveled to visit him. Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Speaking from the pulpit at St. Mary’s Cathedral on Monday night, Father Benedict Kiely told those in the pews horrifying stories of modern Christian martyrdom that equal the barbarism of the ancient world. “Christ is being persecuted on a level not seen since the first three centuries of Christian history,” he said. Wednesday, April 20, 2016
IRBIL, Iraq (CNS) — When the Islamic State group rolled across Iraq's Ninevah Plain in 2014, tens of thousands of Christians fled for their lives to Kurdish-controlled areas of the country. They still wait in limbo in crowded camps, facing an undefined future. The only certainty they enjoy is knowing that whatever happens to them, a group of Dominican nuns will be at their side. Wednesday, April 20, 2016
KARACHI, Pakistan (CNS) — Church officials in Pakistan have backed a government plea to the international community not to demonize all Muslims because of acts of terrorism committed by a few extremists, reported ucanews.com. Tuesday, April 19, 2016
WASHINGTON (CNS) — Six members of the Servant Sisters of the Home of the Mother, including a young nun from Northern Ireland, are among the dead in the strongest earthquake to strike Ecuador since 1979. Monday, April 18, 2016
EDMONTON, Alberta (CNS) — The specter of assisted suicide is leading aging people to "fear an institution that should be the last thing they should ever fear — a hospital," said Edmonton Archbishop Richard Smith. Monday, April 18, 2016
MONTREAL (CNS) — Climate change and emergency situations are linked, but global emergencies also can be caused by people, said two leaders of Caritas Internationalis, the umbrella organization for Catholic charitable organizations. Sunday, April 17, 2016
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The courageous witness of those who have given their life for the Gospel is needed in a world that is often antagonistic toward its message, Pope Francis said. Sunday, April 17, 2016
WARSAW, Poland (CNS) -- Poland's Catholic bishops have called for a permanent ban on abortions to mark the anniversary of their country's Christian conversion in A.D. 966. "Each person's life is protected by the Fifth Commandment, do not kill. So the attitude of Catholics is clear and unchanging," the bishops' conference said in a March 30 statement.
WARSAW, Poland (CNS) -- A Polish archbishop who resigned after sexually molesting Catholic seminarians has been warned by the Vatican to stay away from commemorations of Poland's Christian conversion and an upcoming visit by the pope. Sunday, April 17, 2016
WASHINGTON (CNS) — Religious freedom "is foundational to our church and American society," said Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori in announcing a new video that explores the foundations of church teaching on religious liberty, including the Second Vatican Council document "Dignitatis Humanae." Saturday, April 16, 2016
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — In a "humanitarian and ecumenical gesture," not a political one, Pope Francis was to join Orthodox leaders in personally meeting with hundreds of refugees and migrants stranded in Greece, the Vatican spokesman said. Friday, April 15, 2016
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders said attending a Vatican conference on Catholic social teaching did not represent a political endorsement of his run for higher office. Sanders was one of about 35 economists, academics, church leaders and politicians invited to attend a conference April 15-16 dedicated to St. John Paul II's 1991 social encyclical "Centesimus Annus." Friday, April 15, 2016
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The fight against HIV/AIDS is being hampered by continued stigma against those who are infected, a lack of access to appropriate medical care and fake antiretroviral drugs pedaled on the black market, said activists taking part in a Caritas Internationalis conference. Thursday, April 14, 2016
NOTRE DAME, Ind. (CNS) — A standing ovation in a packed Basilica of the Sacred Heart at the University of Notre Dame greeted the Little Sisters of the Poor who were on campus April 9 to receive the Evangelium Vitae Award for outstanding service to human life. Thursday, April 14, 2016
LIMA, Peru (CNS) — A Peruvian-based Catholic movement publicly distanced itself from its founder and asked for Vatican intervention in the wake of accusations of sexual, psychological and physical abuse of members. Friday, April 8, 2016
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — At his general audience earlier this week, the pope met with and blessed the eyes of 5-year-old Lizzy Myers from Mansfield, Ohio. Struck by a rare disease that is gradually rendering her deaf and blind, Myers was in Rome after a representative from Turkish Airlines heard about her story and offered her and her family free round-trip airfare to any city in the world. Thursday, April 7, 2016
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The relics of Syrian St. Elian, which originally were thought to have been destroyed by members of the so-called Islamic State militia, have been found amid the rubble of the desecrated Mar Elian Church in Qaryatain, Syria. Wednesday, April 6, 2016
BALTIMORE (CNS) — As Canada prepares for the legalization of assisted suicide throughout the country in June and nearly half of the U.S. states take up some kind of legislative proposal on the topic this year, questions arise about its pastoral implications. Tuesday, April 5, 2016
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — True harmony within a Christian community ensures that none of its members is left wanting and places the needs of others before the selfish desire for money, Pope Francis said. Tuesday, April 5, 2016
WASHINGTON (CNS) — Citing a moral obligation to care for the natural world and all inhabitants of the earth, 30 Catholic and faith-based institutions filed an amicus brief with a federal appeals court in support of the Clean Power Plan. Monday, April 4, 2016
MEXICO CITY (CNS) — Less than 1 percent of Central American children apprehended by Mexican immigration officials are able to obtain asylum in Mexico, even though they often are fleeing violence and forced recruitment into gangs, according to a new report. Sunday, April 3, 2016
WASHINGTON (CNS) — Mother Angelica "reflected the Gospel commission to go forth and make disciples of all nations" said Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the U.S. bishops' conference. Thursday, March 31, 2016
KARACHI, Pakistan (CNS) — The terrorist attack that killed more than 70 people in a Lahore park on Easter was not the first time that Christians in the Islamic country have been targeted, and observers say that, as things stand, it will not be the last time. Tuesday, March 29, 2016
WASHINGTON (CNS) — Imagine turning on the tap in the morning and seeing something that's "looked like toilet water coming out of your faucet," in the words of one Catholic leader. That's been the reality facing tens of thousands of residents of Flint, Michigan, every day for more than a year. Saturday, March 26, 2016
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (CNS) —- As a lieutenant colonel in the Tennessee Army National Guard, Deacon John Krenson was responsible for the well-being of his soldiers in many tense situations in Afghanistan and Iraq. Thursday, March 24, 2016
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis, condemning the "blind violence" of the terrorist attacks in Brussels, offered his prayers to the victims, the injured, their families and all those offering assistance in the aftermath of the bombings. Tuesday, March 22, 2016
JERUSALEM (CNS) — Israeli restrictions on reaching the Church of the Holy Sepulcher for Holy Week and Easter are part of the current Israeli government's policy of making Jerusalem an exclusively Jewish city, said Yusef Daher, secretary-general of the Jerusalem Interchurch Center. Monday, March 21, 2016
Editor’s note: Daesh is another name for ISIS. For the full transcript of Secretary of State John Kerry's declaration of genocide, go to: http://www.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2016/03/254782.htm John Kerry: My purpose in appearing before you today is to assert that, in my judgment, Daesh is responsible for genocide against groups in areas under its control, including Yezidis, Christians, and Shia Muslims. Sunday, March 20, 2016
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — During Holy Week and in the Easter season, the Vatican will take part in several initiatives highlighting the importance of ecology and the care for creation. Sunday, March 20, 2016
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Just as the crowds and government officials tried to dodge responsibility for Jesus' fate after he was arrested, so today too many individuals and countries want someone else to care for refugees fleeing violence and migrants seeking a better life, Pope Francis said. Sunday, March 20, 2016
Carmen Kintz, a 2007 graduate of Regis High School in Stayton, is living in Seoul, South Korea and teaching English. Off hours, she volunteers for an overnight shift at a baby drop box. Saturday, March 19, 2016
WASHINGTON (CNS) — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that atrocities carried out by the Islamic State group against Yezidis, Christians and other minorities were genocide, the first U.S. declaration of genocide since Sudanese actions in Darfur in 2004. Thursday, March 17, 2016
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- When President Barack Obama announced Judge Merrick Garland as his Supreme Court nominee in the White House Rose Garden March 16, his praise for the candidate was coupled with an urgent plea that members of the U.S. Senate give Garland a fair chance. Wednesday, March 16, 2016
SAN ANTONIO (CNS) -- Father Virgilio Elizondo, a nationally known professor of pastoral and Hispanic theology at the University of Notre Dame and founder of what is today the Mexican American Catholic College in San Antonio, was found dead in his home the afternoon of March 14. He was 80. Wednesday, March 16, 2016
The Prefect of the Congregation for Eastern Churches, Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, has sent a letter to the bishops of the world, appealing to them for aid to the Church in the Holy Land. Sunday, March 13, 2016
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — By using the tools of capitalism and the market effectively and ethically, the world can reach "full human flourishing and sustainable development," said Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. Saturday, March 12, 2016
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — In the heart of Vatican City, dozens of women from around the world gathered to share their stories of faith and activism. A few men were in attendance, but Pope Francis and top members of the Roman Curia were out of town on their Lenten retreat. Friday, March 11, 2016
NEW YORK (CNS) — "The most massive failure of the Catholic community at all levels in the past 20 years has been to address the question of our ongoing involvement in the Middle East," according to San Diego Bishop Robert W. McElroy.
WASHINGTON (CNS) — Catholic schools in the United States are falling short in serving the growing number of Latino Catholics, according to a new report released March 7. "The numbers are without a doubt sobering," the report says, pointing out that even with stronger efforts by Catholic leaders and school communities to recruit Hispanic students, "the total enrollment of Hispanic children in Catholic schools remains almost stagnant." Wednesday, March 9, 2016
ASHINGTON (CNS) — Catholic schools in the United States are falling short in serving the growing number of Latino Catholics, according to a new report released March 7. "The numbers are without a doubt sobering," the report says, pointing out that even with stronger efforts by Catholic leaders and school communities to recruit Hispanic students, "the total enrollment of Hispanic children in Catholic schools remains almost stagnant."
MEXICO CITY (CNS) — An outspoken environmental activist in Honduras was murdered in her own home, sparking outrage and offering another example of the impunity and violence in the Central American country. Friday, March 4, 2016
WASHINGTON (CNS) — The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in its first abortion case in nine years March 2 in a challenge by Texas abortion clinics to a 2013 state law that requires them to comply with standards of ambulatory surgical centers and their doctors to have admitting privileges at local hospitals. Thursday, March 3, 2016
Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott and the U.S. Marshal have announced that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was found dead in his luxury hotel room this morning after he failed to join his friends for breakfast. He had been on a quail hunting trip in Marfa, Texas. Saturday, February 13, 2016
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.
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
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.