Oct 9 2015 - 5:33pm0 comments
Two Syrian archbishops expressed approval for Russian airstrikes against rebel groups in their country. Melkite Catholic Archbishop Jean-Clement Jeanbart of Aleppo said that the bombing of rebel positions by Russian jets was "a source of hope" for Syria.
He told Suisse Romande television Oct. 8 that the intervention into the Syrian civil war by Russia "serves the Christian cause" and generated "renewed confidence among Christians in Syria."
Oct 9 2015 - 5:14pm0 comments
Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, apostolic nuncio to the United States, has asked Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson to commute the death sentences of eight men scheduled for execution in the weeks ahead.
The nuncio released the letter Oct. 7 in light of the execution dates set by the governor. Pope Francis and Little Rock Bishop Anthony B. Taylor have recently spoken about the Catholic Church's teaching against capital punishment.
During his remarks to a joint meeting of Congress Sept...
Oct 8 2015 - 2:19pm0 comments
A Rwandan government commission has criticized the dismissal of genocide charges against a Catholic priest who fled to France after the 1994 mass killing of the African country's Tutsi inhabitants. "This priest, [Father] Wenceslas Munyeshyaka, bears responsibility for having planned, instigated, committed and otherwise aided and abetted others in planning, preparing and executing the genocide," the National Commission for the Fight Against Genocide said in an Oct. 7 statement.
Oct 7 2015 - 6:12pm0 comments
The Mexican bishops' conference and the Vatican have confirmed Pope Francis will visit Mexico in 2016, marking his first trip to this heavily Catholic country in throes of unrest over unresolved issues such as violence, crime and corruption.
Oct 7 2015 - 5:04pm0 comments
Pope Francis’ first U.S. visit gave his already-high favorability ratings only a modest bounce with most Americans—and no bounce at all among Catholics.
Yet his three-city September tour—from Congress to the United Nations and from cathedrals to a prison—generated significant goodwill toward the Catholic Church, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center.
Pew’s survey, conducted just days after the pope returned to Rome, was released on Oct. 7 and offers a snapshot of...
Oct 7 2015 - 11:42am1 comment
When a big group of people gathers to discuss something important, people start lobbying, even if that group is the world Synod of Bishops, said Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia.
Pope Francis told participants Oct. 6 "we should avoid thinking of each other as conspiring against one another, but to work for unity among the bishops," Archbishop Chaput told reporters at a synod press briefing at the Vatican Oct. 7.
Oct 7 2015 - 10:03am3 comments
Canadian Archbishop Paul-Andre Durocher of Gatineau, Quebec, said the synod should reflect on the possibility of allowing for female deacons as it seeks ways to open up more opportunities for women in church life.
Where possible, qualified women should be given higher positions and decision-making authority within church structures and new opportunities in ministry, he told Catholic News Service Oct. 6.
Oct 6 2015 - 3:11pm0 comments
A Michigan-based Catholic health care system planned to seek dismissal of a lawsuit by a civil liberties organization challenging the emergency services it provides to pregnant women.
Officials at Trinity Health Corp., of Livonia, Michigan, said in a statement that the system's 88 hospitals across the U.S. provide quality health care under the "Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services" developed by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Oct 5 2015 - 4:10pm0 comments
Governor Jerry Brown signed California’s “Right to Die” bill into law on Oct. 5, making California the fifth and largest U.S. state to establish procedures for legal physician-assisted suicide. In an unusually personal signing statement, the governor suggested that he had grappled with the ethics and morality of the bill, considering the reflections of the law’s proponents but also people with disabilities and religious...
Oct 5 2015 - 3:13pm0 comments
The head of the Ukrainian Catholic church has urged the Vatican to show greater support for his country, as a senior Vatican diplomat warned the country risked becoming "a kind of Somalia."
"I would have expected a lot more involvement by the Vatican—the time for cautious diplomacy is at an end," said Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk of Kiev-Halych, major archbishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Church.
Oct 5 2015 - 1:52pm0 comments
Unrest flared in early October throughout the West Bank and Jerusalem, which has experienced tensions during September, largely over the status of the contested holy site of the Temple Mount or Haram al-Sharif.
Oct 3 2015 - 3:36pm0 comments
Between cases already on the Supreme Court's docket for the 2015-2016 term and some of the appeals thought likely to be accepted for review, it might look like the justices have taken up Hollywood's love of sequels to blockbusters.
Oct 2 2015 - 6:01pm0 comments
St. Joseph Parish in Roseburg hosted an emotional Mass the evening of Oct. 1 for 10 people who died in a shooting that morning at Umpqua Community College. Auxiliary Bishop Peter Smith traveled from Portland for the liturgy.
Authorities in Roseburg, in green rolling hills 180 miles south of Portland, identified the shooter Oct. 2 as 26-year-old Chris Harper Mercer, but did not give details about him. The names of those he fatally shot had not yet been released. Nine others were...
Oct 1 2015 - 5:55pm0 comments
Father Jose Manuel Campos Garcia, pastor of St. Joseph’s Church in Roseburg, Ore., could not come to the phone. He was out at the local hospital, ministering as he could to the families of the victims of today’s shooting at the local community college. According to police, 10 have died and nine wounded in the massacre at Umpqua Community College.
Oct 1 2015 - 3:56pm0 comments
Concerned that Puerto Rico's debt crisis is inflicting hardship on poor and middle-class households, Archbishop Robert Gonzalez Nieves of San Juan met with congressional leaders and the White House to push for a resolution.
The crisis has led to school closings, cuts in social services and health care and job layoffs and reductions in employee benefits as Puerto Rico struggles to make payments on the $72 billion in debt the U.S. territory holds.
Oct 1 2015 - 10:04am0 comments
Less than a week after Pope Francis told a joint meeting of Congress that he backs U.S. efforts to abolish the death penalty, news came of his U.S. nuncio's letters to authorities in two states appealing on the pope's behalf to commute death sentences.
On Sept. 29, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano unsuccessfully appealed on the pope's behalf to Georgia officials to commute the death sentence of Kelly Gissendaner, who was executed shortly after midnight the next day.