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Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Thursday, May 26, 2016

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Global aid needs fixing
CNS photo/M.A. Pushpa Kumara, EPA
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.
CNS photo/M.A. Pushpa Kumara, EPA
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

Abuse prevention
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
House OKs bill allowing more ways to protect religious freedom worldwide
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 conference looks at how jobs, development, ecology are connected
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
Attack on Nigerian cardinal's car shows need for more security
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
Irish bishop calls nun's death in Ecuador quake 'loving sacrifice'
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
Religious freedom worldwide has 'spiraled downward'
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
Church groups decry Puerto Rico's environmental disaster
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
Cardinal: Catholics must protest migration policies when kids are at risk
MANCHESTER, England (CNS) — Catholics should protest against immigration policies that could put the lives of children at risk, said Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster.
Thursday, May 5, 2016
Chaldean patriarch appeals for reconciliation
BAGHDAD (CNS) — Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Sako of Baghdad urged Iraq's leaders to put an end to the "institutional, economic and security deterioration" in the country.
Thursday, May 5, 2016
St. Katharine Drexel Shrine, motherhouse put up for sale
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
'We need to look after each other,' Syrian refugee says
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.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016
Northern Ireland bishops urge voters to ask about abortion, poverty
DUBLIN — Northern Ireland's Catholic bishops urged Massgoers to support candidates opposed to legalizing abortion in elections to the region's power-sharing assembly May 5.
Monday, May 2, 2016
Small Wisconsin town unifies after shooting outside high school prom
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
Refugees are not a problem, they are a gift, pope says

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.

Monday, April 25, 2016
Pope reminds world of suffering in war-torn Ukraine
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis' pleas for humanitarian aid for Ukraine is bringing needed attention to a forgotten war, said Ukrainian Catholic leaders.

The 2-year-old war has caused thousands of deaths and forced more than 1 million people to seek refuge abroad, the pope said.

Saturday, April 23, 2016
Look at your own sins before judging others, pope says
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
U.S. Catholic leaders visit Iraq, challenged to work for peace

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.

Thursday, April 21, 2016
Aid official tells of stories from Syria, urges label of 'genocide'
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
Prayer is most important
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
Dominican nuns keep hope alive in Iraq
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
Pakistan Catholic officials back plea not to demonize all Muslims
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
Young nun, postulants among hundreds of Ecuador earthquake victims
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
Archbishop says Canada's assisted suicide law leads to fear of hospitals
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
Growing emergencies fueled by environment, war
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
Selfless witness is needed in culture hostile to the Gospel
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
Polish bishops press for full abortion ban

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.

Sunday, April 17, 2016
Vatican says Polish archbishop should shun public church events
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
New video looks at meaning of religious freedom, court fight on mandate
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
Pope meets with Bolivian president
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican, Bolivian President Evo Morales discussed social policy and the economic situation facing his country.
Saturday, April 16, 2016
Pope Francis travels to Lesbos for refugees
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
Sanders says his invitation to Vatican wasn't political endorsement
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
Stigma, lack of health care, fake drugs impeding HIV fight
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
Bishop praises Little Sisters for 'courageous witness' in mandate fight
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
New U.S. nuncio appointed
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Pope Francis has appointed Archbishop Christophe Pierre, papal nuncio to Mexico since 2007, to be the new apostolic nuncio to the United States.
Tuesday, April 12, 2016
Peruvian-based movement distances itself from accused founder
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
God excludes no one from his love; offers mercy, not hate, pope says
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
Saint's relics found in rubble of church destroyed by terrorists
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
No easy answers to pastoral questions on assisted suicides
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
Selfish desire for money is enemy of true harmony, pope says
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
Medieval Franciscan convent opens doors to offer refugees shelter, aid
ROME (CNS) — A medieval Franciscan convent near Assisi opened its doors once again to offer refugees shelter and assistance.
Tuesday, April 5, 2016
Catholic institutions join amicus brief supporting Clean Power Plan
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
Less than 1 percent of Central American kids granted asylum in Mexico
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
Catholic leaders reflect on life, work of EWTN founder Mother Angelica
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
Easter attacks in Pakistan
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
Immigrants have been arrested looking for alternatives to Flint water
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
'Doing science is an act of worship,' Vatican astronomer says
DRAPER, Utah (CNS) — Jesuit Brother Guy Consolmagno finds no conflict between the science he pursues in studying meteorites and the Catholic faith he practices every day.
Friday, March 25, 2016
Ministering to veterans 'about reconciliation and healing,' says deacon
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
Pro-life women's group prepares for March 23 rally outside Supreme Court
WASHINGTON (CNS) — Meg McDonnell, executive director of Women Speak for Themselves, was on the phone, testing out a chant for a March 23 Supreme Court rally.
Tuesday, March 22, 2016
Pope condemns 'blind violence,' offers prayers after Brussels attacks
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
Christians concerned with Israeli restrictions for Holy Week, Easter
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
State Department declares genocide
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 to undertake ecological initiatives during Easter season
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
In his passion, Jesus reveals the God of mercy, pope says
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
A drop box for babies
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
John Kerry declares ISIS guilty of genocide
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
Obama announces Supreme Court nominee
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
Latino Catholic leader dead at 80
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
Collection to be taken up on Good Friday for Holy Land Christians
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
Capitalism needs infusion of virtue for the common good, cardinal says
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
Women meet in Vatican City
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
Catholic silence on involvement in Middle East called 'massive failure'

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.

Thursday, March 10, 2016
Catholic schools should do more to help Latino students
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
Report: Catholic schools failing Latino Catholics

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."

Wednesday, March 9, 2016
Outrage at Honduran environmental activist's murder
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
Court hears oral arguments in challenge to Texas abortion restrictions
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
Australian abuse scandal

SYDNEY — For a third consecutive day, a top Vatican official gave testimony to an Australian commission about what he knew of the church's reassignment of abusive priests.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016
Antonin Scalia dead at 79
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
WATCH: The hidden kingdom
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.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016
Sisters' billboards bring pope's message to Iowa
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
Our long history of U.S. Catholic missions
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
Former garbage picker challenges eucharistic congress
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
Questions of faith, science intersect at astronomy workshop
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
Pope asks mercy, pardon for Christians harming each other
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
WATCH: Herod's Dead Sea palace
MUKAWIR, Jordan — Jordan is home to the site where Herod Antipas imprisoned John the Baptist and in a drunken stupor promised the prophet’s head to a dancing girl.
Monday, January 25, 2016
Catholic chaplain last to celebrate Mass on ancient altar
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
Exorcism films flawed
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
National Park Service honors Jesuit missionary
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
Catholic groups support White House executive orders
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
WATCH: Jordan touches on two historic seas
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
WATCH: Where Moses died
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
Bishops ask us to welcome migrants

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.

Sunday, January 3, 2016
WATCH: Mosaics of Madaba
In 1884, Orthodox missionaries began excavating the site of a sixth century church in order to rebuild. They hit one of the great finds in archeological history.
Friday, December 18, 2015
WATCH: The holy desert
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
Carols alive in British pubs
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
Sisters: shrinking numbers, greater diversity

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.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015
Climate deal must be transformative
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
WATCH: The interfaith champion of Jordan
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
Catholics join in calls for change in Paris

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.


Monday, November 30, 2015
Bishop disturbed by calls against refugee resettlement

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.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015
Fight environmental destruction say Ghana bishops

ACCRA, Ghana (CNS) -- Ghana's Catholic bishops called on Ghanaians to fight the indiscriminate destruction of the environment and supported a hands-on project to fight pollution.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015
'We are always open'
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
World's Catholic leaders condemn attacks
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
Nothing can justify terrorist attacks, pope says
VATICAN CITY — Using God's name to try to justify violence and murder is "blasphemy," Pope Francis said Nov. 15 speaking about the terrorist attacks on Paris.
Sunday, November 15, 2015
Wichita bishop brings formal report on war-hero priest to Vatican

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.

Monday, November 9, 2015
WATCH: 'Last haven'
“Nothing in Jordan is here without a base of Christianity,” says Daoud Sa'maan, a resident of the largely Christian town of Fuheis.
Thursday, November 5, 2015
Mass mob brings worshippers

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Bigger than usual crowds filled the pews for Mass on a recent Sunday at St. Agnes Church when a "Mass Mob" visited Brooklyn's Cobble Hill neighborhood.

Inspired by the idea of a "flash mob," the NYC Mass Mob organizes people through social media to attend Mass at a set date and time at Catholic churches around New York's five boroughs.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015
WATCH: Where Jesus was baptized
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.

Friday, October 23, 2015
WATCH:'She cries with us and for us'
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
Latino Catholics are church's future, but also its present, says prof

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.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015
Haitian bishops urge citizens to vote, but warn of false promises

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.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015
WATCH:'We need more help'
AMMAN, Jordan — While persecuted Syrian Christians are making the news as ISIS advances, Iraqi Christian refugees in Jordan don’t want to be forgotten.
Tuesday, October 20, 2015
Bishops disappointed assisted suicide measure signed into law
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
'Shaken to the core' by abortion videos
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
Archbishop calls on medical pros to heal culture
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
Pope's remarks seen as road map for U.N.
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
Cuban-American finds Havana's increase in poverty unsettling
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
Prayers for flood victims

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.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015
Chinese nuns say orders face challenges

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.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015
Philadelphia couple joins family synod as marriage experts

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.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015
In Missouri, critics call report on Planned Parenthood 'incomplete'

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.

Monday, October 5, 2015
'Listen to Holy Spirit'

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."

Monday, October 5, 2015
World Meeting of Families kicks off

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.

Friday, September 25, 2015
Syria: 'No one can pretend not to know'

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.

Thursday, September 17, 2015
Pope Francis names new bishop of Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese

KANSAS CITY, MO — Pope Francis has appointed a new leader of the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese, permanently replacing a bishop convicted of failing to report child sex abuse.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015
Dignity of people immigrating to U.S. focus of Philadelphia conference

PHILADELPHIA — Everywhere you turn today, the topics of immigration, the migration crisis in Europe and who is running for U.S. president seem to dominate the national news.

Thursday, September 10, 2015
Abortion absolution: Year of Mercy rule already in effect in most places in U.S.
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
Migrant crisis

LONDON — Images of drowned refugees are causing the British people to cry out for a more generous response to the migrant crisis engulfing Europe, said an English cardinal.

Thursday, September 3, 2015
New Mexico bishops laud court decision barring assisted suicide
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
Catholic agencies decry administration's response on detention ruling

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.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015
Pope Francis to speak from lectern Lincoln used for Gettysburg Address

PHILADELPHIA — As lecterns go, it is strictly utilitarian, a simple walnut stand with none of the ornamentation commonly found in mid-19th-century furnishings.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015
Teens say Steubenville conference inspires them, bolsters their faith

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.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015
Forgiveness at heart of healing after Ferguson violence, says archbishop

ST. LOUIS — Forgiveness. Such a simple word, a mere 11 letters but it's at the heart of the Catholic faith, along with love, peace and justice.

Monday, August 10, 2015
Symposium looks at scientific evidence of how destructive pornography is

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.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015
Pornography is sexualizing nation's children

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.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015
Revised rules for government's faith-based partners issued for comment

WASHINGTON — Nine federal agencies have issued proposed rules to clarify some aspects of social service partnerships with religious institutions.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015
Milwaukee Archdiocese reaches $21 million settlement with abuse survivors

MILWAUKEE — The Archdiocese of Milwaukee has reached a $21 million settlement with abuse survivors, according to an Aug. 4 announcement.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015
Advocates applaud court orders to release detained families

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.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Wisconsin's new law outlaws non-emergency abortions at or beyond 20 weeks

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.

Friday, July 24, 2015
Nuns ask court for protection from complying with HHS mandate, fines

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.

Friday, July 24, 2015
Ukraine churches reject constitutional move on same-sex rights

WARSAW, Poland — Ukrainian church leaders condemned plans to permit same-sex partnerships under a series of constitutional reforms.

Friday, July 24, 2015
Vatican welcomes Iran's historic nuclear deal

VATICAN CITY — The Holy See welcomed Iran's historic nuclear deal and expressed hopes that more future breakthroughs be on the horizon on other issues.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015
Court rules against Little Sisters plea to avoid way to bypass mandate

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.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015
Kenyan bishops say they'll resist pressure to accept same-sex marriage

NAIROBI, Kenya — With U.S. President Barack Obama set to visit Kenya July 24-26, the head of the nation's bishops' conference said the church will resist any pressure to accept same-sex marriages.

Monday, July 13, 2015
Bolivian families, church workers hope pope's prison visit spurs change

SANTA CRUZ, Bolivia — Fernando Fernande brought toilet paper, soap and food to the Palmasola prison, where his son has been locked up for the past two years.

Thursday, July 9, 2015
California governor says he carried 'Laudato Si' to climate summit

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."

Wednesday, July 8, 2015
Pope's address to Congress will be broadcast to crowd outside Capitol

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.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015
Papal visit helps dispel idea that Morales wants to destroy church

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."

Wednesday, July 8, 2015
Five Texas missions, including the Alamo, declared World Heritage Sites

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.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015
Florida's abortion waiting period goes into effect; judge's stay lifted

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.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015
Iowans urged to 'buckle down, get to work' on environmental problems

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."

Tuesday, July 7, 2015
Philippine bishops to decide whether to establish climate change desk

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine bishops meeting in Manila will decide whether or not to establish a "climate change desk," part of a push by the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015
Prominent Jesuit, murdered in '80, hailed for aiding Bolivian democracy

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.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015
Advocates urge continued funding of adult stem-cell research, treatment

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.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015
Oklahoma archbishop says ruling on Ten Commandments statue 'concerning'

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.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015
Jesuit church where pope will pray in Ecuador known as 'Baroque icon'

QUITO, Ecuador — When Pope Francis enters the Jesuit church here July 7 for a moment of private prayer, he will step into an architectural gem where trees once grew up through the floor.

Monday, July 6, 2015
Independence Day Mass closes U.S. bishops' annual Fortnight for Freedom

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.

Monday, July 6, 2015
Mass for archdiocese, visit to prison top pope's Philadelphia itinerary

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.

Monday, July 6, 2015
Dominican Republic court ruling to revoke Haitians' citizenship decried

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.

Thursday, July 2, 2015
Service draws attention to persecution, killing of African Christians

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.

Thursday, July 2, 2015
Pope will have 'profound, lasting impact' on New Yorkers, says cardinal

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.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015
Court reinforces order blocking Pa. dioceses from HHS mandate requirement

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.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015
Court rules same-sex marriage legal nationwide

WASHINGTON — In a landmark ruling, a divided Supreme Court June 26 said same-sex marriage is constitutional nationwide.

Friday, June 26, 2015
Archbishop Lori opens Fortnight for Freedom with Gospel connection

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."

Monday, June 22, 2015
Ukrainians displaced by fighting tell USCCB delegation their concerns

KHARKIV, Ukraine — Young Artem is about to turn a year old, but all he has known in his short life is upheaval.

Monday, June 22, 2015
New York Catholic church feels impact of massive manhunt for escapees

CADYVILLE, N.Y. — Fewer people were filling the pews at St. James Church in the Plattsburgh hamlet of Cadyville after two convicted killers escaped June 6 from the Clinton Correctional Facility.

Monday, June 22, 2015
Iowa court says state's ban on 'webcam abortions' unconstitutional

DES MOINES, Iowa — The Iowa Supreme Court ruled June 19 that women in Iowa may obtain a medically induced abortion without an in-person examination by a physician.

Monday, June 22, 2015
Religious leaders decry arson at Church of Multiplication in Holy Land

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.


Saturday, June 20, 2015
Solidarity, faith spans racial and ethnic boundaries

WASHINGTON — There is a reason that the song "Solidarity Forever," sung to the tune of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," is an anthem of the labor movement.

Friday, June 19, 2015
EWTN opens facility in California

GARDEN GROVE, Calif. — A new broadcast facility on the Diocese of Orange’s Christ Cathedral campus in Garden Grove is the Eternal Word Television Network’s first on the West Coast. 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015
'Baby Francis,' finally laid to rest

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.

Monday, June 15, 2015
Married couples offer advice to bishops

ST. LOUIS — It was not surprising that marriage and the family were among the issues the U.S. bishops considered as they planned their strategic priorities for the next few years.

Monday, June 15, 2015
WWII soldier's sister receives decorations decades after his death

SOUTH RIVER, N.J. — The house at the end of Herman Street where the Krempecki family once lived is long gone, a victim of flooding from the body of water that gave the borough its name.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

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