Aug 28 2015 - 4:08pm0 comments
MONTERREY, Mexico (CNS) -- The Guatemalan bishops' conference called for the country's president to step down as corruption scandals consumed the country's political class and citizens took to the streets in protest.
"Unfortunately it is evident and regrettable that large sectors of the population no longer have confidence in the president," the bishops said in an Aug. 27 statement signed by the conference president, Bishop Rodolfo Valenzuela Nunez of Vera Paz, and secretary-general,...
Aug 28 2015 - 9:26am0 comments
ABUJA, Nigeria (CNS) -- Cardinal John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan of Abuja and Sheik Nura Khalid, chief imam of Apo Legislators Quarters Jumu'at Mosque, joined the members of the #BringBackOurGirls movement Aug. 27 to mark the 500 days that more than 200 girls of the Government Secondary School, Chibok, who were abducted by Boko Haram in their dormitory in Borno state April 14, 2014.
Speaking during the commemoration, Cardinal Onaiyekan expressed sadness that the students were still in the...
Aug 28 2015 - 9:10am0 comments
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- A Vatican official has ordered an autopsy on the body of former archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, who was found dead Aug. 28 in the Vatican residence where he was awaiting trial on charges of child sexual abuse and possession of child pornography.
Aug 26 2015 - 10:23am0 comments
When Archbishop Blase J. Cupich of Chicago received the pallium on his shoulders Aug. 23, he did so in a demonstration of unity that he said extended from the people in the pews to the bishops who joined him in the sanctuary to Pope Francis.
He was invested with the pallium by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, apostolic nuncio to the United States, after receiving it from Pope Francis in the Vatican on June 29.
Aug 26 2015 - 9:47am0 comments
As Puerto Rico's government marches on toward a critical financial deadline regarding its $72 billion "unpayable" debt, the local Catholic Church, too, has been increasingly feeling the fiscal crunch all the way down to the pews, and there are hopes for a jubilee as espoused in Scripture.
Even this city's central parish, located in one of the island's few financially sound municipalities, is struggling.
Aug 25 2015 - 12:25pm0 comments
JERUSALEM (CNS) -- Catholic aid agencies having been using various counseling techniques, even a live clown and puppets, to help the Gaza Strip's children overcome the trauma of lost loved ones and homes in the year since the cease-fire ended the conflict. But they warn that only a political solution can hope to remedy the increasingly desperate situation there.
Aug 24 2015 - 4:59pm0 comments
NEW ORLEANS (CNS) -- They are calling it "Kat 10"—Hurricane Katrina plus 10 years—which carries with it the double meaning of an ominous meteorological warning.
How could a Category 5 storm that engulfed the entire Gulf of Mexico but dropped in intensity to a Category 3 just before landfall on Aug. 29, 2005—burying one of the world's most iconic cities in a flood of biblical proportions—become the watershed moment in New Orleans' nearly 300-year history?
Aug 24 2015 - 4:12pm0 comments
WASHINGTON (CNS) – A federal judge Aug. 21 gave the Obama administration 60 days—until Oct. 23—to release the hundreds of immigrant mothers and children being held in locked detention centers.
Central California District Court Judge Dolly Gee reiterated her order of a month earlier, in which she said a long-standing court settlement over treatment of juveniles in immigration custody is violated by the government's policy of detaining mothers and children while they pursue asylum or...
Aug 24 2015 - 1:45pm0 comments
NAIROBI, Kenya (RNS) While calling for global carbon emissions cuts, Kenya’s National Council of Churches has launched a multifaith campaign to lobby governments, industries and multilateral agencies to agree on a binding treaty at the U.N. climate change talks in Paris later this year.
Aug 24 2015 - 10:23am0 comments
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- More than a month before Pope Francis was scheduled to arrive in the United States, his ride landed on U.S. shores.
"A Jeep Wrangler will be used as the popemobile in the USA (like the one used in Ecuador in July 2015)," the Vatican press office said in a statement Aug. 20.
Of course, an official said, there will be more than one. Pope Francis will need a popemobile in Washington, New York and Philadelphia, and besides, "there is always a reserve" in case...
Aug 20 2015 - 2:56pm0 comments
In the Year of Mercy, the Catholic Church's annual day of reflection and prayer on the situation of migrants and refugees will include a special reminder that "welcoming the stranger" is a corporal work of mercy.
For World Day of Migrants and Refugees 2016, Pope Francis has chosen the theme: "Migrants and refugees challenge us. The response of the Gospel of mercy," the Vatican announced Aug. 20.
Aug 20 2015 - 2:47pm0 comments
Exploitation and discrimination abound among refugees from Myanmar's ethnic minority communities who have landed in Malaysia, a five-member contingent from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops learned.
The extent of the struggles facing the Rohingya people, Muslims who have been denied recognition by the Myanmar government, and other ethnic minorities was disappointing to experience, said Kristyn Peck, associate director of children's services for Migration and Refugee Services at...
Aug 20 2015 - 1:19pm0 comments
Some Catholics in South Korea said the exchange of shots on Aug. 20 between North and South Korea along their common border was bigger news outside their country than locally.
Maryknoll Sister Jean Maloney has lived in South Korea since the last year of the Korean War in 1953. She told Catholic News Service that when news like this is reported internationally, people who live in Seoul learn about it a day or two later.
Aug 19 2015 - 3:45pm0 comments
Dozens of Christian schools in Israel could be shutting their doors this school year, but a Catholic priest is hoping a meeting with government officials can avoid that.
Christian educators warn that funding discrimination by the Israel's Ministry of Education may force the closure of about 48 Christian schools, affecting some 33,000 pupils—roughly half Christian, half Muslim—who attend the institutions.
Many of the educational institutions existed before Israel's founding in...
Aug 19 2015 - 3:26pm0 comments
The Catholic gay rights group New Ways Ministry is criticizing a decision by the Philadelphia Archdiocese not to let a local parish host a workshop on gender identity that would have coincided with Pope Francis’ visit to the World Meeting of Families.
“How are LGBT people supposed to feel welcome in the Catholic Church when church officials will not allow them to speak?” asked Francis DeBernardo, executive director at New Ways Ministry, one of the organizers of the workshop.
Aug 18 2015 - 11:09am0 comments
Representatives of Colombia's largest guerrilla movement have asked to meet Pope Francis in Cuba in September and have requested the Catholic Church name a permanent delegate to their peace negotiations with the government.
Ivan Marquez, representing the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, known by the Spanish acronym FARC, at the peace talks, told reporters Aug. 17, "We want to give a heartfelt greeting to Pope Francis. We hope to have this opportunity."
Pope Francis is...
Aug 17 2015 - 3:52pm1 comment
Two American cardinals of Irish descent praised the role of immigrants -- especially Irish -- in building the United States.
The United States is "a nation of immigrants and we are proud of that," New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan told Catholic News Service at the Marian shrine of Knock, where he delivered a keynote opening a novena.
He said that while everybody was talking about the so-called immigrant problem, "We in United States would say 'the immigrants are not a problem...
Aug 17 2015 - 3:42pm0 comments
Julian Bond, a leading figure in the civil rights movement and the first African-American in Georgia’s Legislature, died Aug. 16 in a hospital in Walton Beach, Florida, of complications from vascular disease. He was 75.
Born in Nashville, Tennessee, Jan. 15, 1940, Bond moved with his family to Atlanta, where he went to Morehouse College. While at Morehouse, he founded a group called the Committee on Appeal to Human Rights, which desegregated Atlanta’s lunch counters.
Aug 17 2015 - 2:45pm0 comments
The morning after the industrial blast in Tianjin, China, the Tianjin Diocesan Social Service Center helped line up 60 volunteers to assist the government's rescue and relief work. The volunteers donated drinking water, clothes and other supplies to hospitals and temporary settlements for evacuees, reported ucanews.com.
At least 114 people were killed and hundreds more injured after a series of explosions rocked Tianjin, a port city about 35 miles east of Beijing, Aug. 12.
Aug 13 2015 - 5:38pm0 comments
Women who have an abortion are being further victimized when given the option to donate their child's body parts for research, according to Sue Harvath, who has counseled post-abortive women in the St. Louis area for more than 30 years.
Harvath said it shouldn't matter whether Planned Parenthood is making money from the sale of fetal body parts, as alleged in a series of undercover videos, because even the act of obtaining the body parts is manipulative and flat wrong.
Aug 13 2015 - 5:29pm0 comments
Along with having a winning smile and a warm embrace, Pope Francis is known for challenging people.
He does it regularly at morning Mass—particularly calling out hypocrisy and gossip—and does not spare even his closest aides in the Roman Curia, so it is unlikely his speeches to the U.S. Congress and the U.N. General Assembly will let his audiences leave without a suggested examination of conscience.
Aug 11 2015 - 2:19pm0 comments
The Assembly of the Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land filed an official complaint to Israeli police against the leader of a radical Israeli movement over his remarks supporting and encouraging the burning of churches.
Father Pietro Felet, the assembly's secretary-general, filed the complaint Aug. 7 against Israeli Rabbi Bentzi Gopstein and the Lehava movement on behalf of more than 20 patriarchs and bishops.
Aug 11 2015 - 1:31pm0 comments
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.
Judge Dolly Gee of the Central California District Court in a July 24 ruling said the federal immigrant family detention system violates a court settlement over the treatment of juveniles held by the immigration agency.
Aug 10 2015 - 11:44am0 comments
Marking the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Pope Francis repeated the Catholic Church's call for a ban on nuclear weapons and all weapons of mass destruction.
Seventy years after the Aug. 6, 1945, bombing of Hiroshima and the bombing of Nagasaki three days later, "this tragic event still gives rise to horror and revulsion," the pope said Aug. 9 after reciting the Angelus with visitors gathered in St. Peter's Square.
Aug 6 2015 - 5:58pm0 comments
For a long minute on a sunny morning, silence fell over the memorial park that commemorates the Aug. 6, 1945, atomic bombing of the city.
A gong sounded repeatedly as local residents and visitors from around the world stopped to remember a similarly sunny morning 70 years ago when a fireball ripped apart the skies.
Among the visitors to Hiroshima was Bishop Oscar Cantu of Las Cruces, New Mexico. It was the bishop's first visit to Japan, and he said he was moved by what he saw...
Aug 6 2015 - 5:53pm0 comments
French and British Catholic bishops urged their governments to settle a growing refugee crisis around the port of Calais, where highways have been blocked and migrants from Africa and the Middle East have died attempting illegal crossings of the Channel Tunnel, or Chunnel.
Aug 6 2015 - 5:21pm0 comments
The practice of killing the patient as a way to eliminate a disease is one way to describe aborting unborn babies who have been diagnosed with disabilities.
"It seems like the targeted elimination of an entire segment of the population," even including infants who would be born with relatively minor problems, according to Niamh Ui Bhriain, one of the organizers of a July 4 rally in Dublin that drew between 25,000 and 30,000 participants and had as its theme "Every Life Matters."
Aug 6 2015 - 4:59pm0 comments
Fifty years after the signing of the Voting Rights Act, the president of the Progressive National Baptist Convention said black churches will be redoubling efforts to maintain access to the ballot box.
The act, signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson 50 years ago Thursday (Aug. 6), was a crowning achievement of the civil rights movement. But in 2013 the Supreme Court invalidated key provisions, and many states, nearly all of them under Republican control, passed new voting...
Aug 6 2015 - 3:18pm3 comments
In the early days of last August as the summer heat scorched the plains of Nineveh, Islamic State militants began an ethnic cleansing around the city of Sinjar. Broadening an offensive which just two months before had startled the world with the capture of Iraq’s second largest city Mosul, ISIS drove thousands among the provinces’s Yazidi, Christian and other religious and ethnic minority communities from their homes in just a handful of days—their ill-equipped defenders melting away before...
Aug 5 2015 - 2:02pm0 comments
The Archdiocese of Milwaukee has reached a $21 million settlement with abuse survivors, according to an Aug. 4 announcement.
The settlement is part of an agreement on a reorganization plan reached by the archdiocese and the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors, which has sought compensation for victims/survivors of clergy sexual abuse. Chief Judge Susan V. Kelley of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin now must rule on the organization plan. It will be...
Aug 5 2015 - 11:04am0 comments
Bishop Oscar Cantu of Las Cruces has asked pastors, deacons and parish leaders in the diocese "to exercise increased vigilance in our parish surroundings and activities."
The bishop's message, posted early Aug. 4 on the diocese's Facebook page, was prompted by a small explosion that occurred Aug. 2 outside Holy Cross Catholic Church during the 8 a.m. Mass.
Earlier that morning, by about 20 minutes, a small explosion took place a few miles away at Calvary Baptist Church.
Aug 4 2015 - 2:07pm0 comments
When Pope Francis makes a stop at the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility in Philadelphia in September as part of his U.S. visit, it may seem like part of the pope's usual routine.
His visits to prisons as part of his pastoral journeys to other countries has become part and parcel of the pope's style, just as it had been for St. John Paul II to visit pockets of the Polish diaspora during his well-traveled pontificate.
But visiting fellow countrymen once removed is one thing....
Aug 3 2015 - 5:51pm0 comments
The head of the U.S. bishops' pro-life committee Aug. 3 urged U.S. senators to take the federal money that goes to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and instead fund women's health care providers that do not promote abortion.
"It has long been troubling to many Americans that the nation's largest abortion network, performing over a third of all abortions, receives over half a billion taxpayer dollars a year," said Boston Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley.
"This concern has...
Aug 3 2015 - 5:37pm0 comments
Los Angeles County Superior Court James Chalfant ruled July 30 that the contested sale of the former convent of the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary to restaurateur and urban developer Dana Hollister is invalid.
The judge also confirmed that the eight-acre, villa-style hilltop property located in the Los Feliz section of Los Angeles is Church property under the oversight of Archbishop Jose H. Gomez.
Aug 3 2015 - 5:15pm0 comments
The chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, welcomed the White House's Clean Power Plan that establishes federal limits on carbon emissions from coal-fired power plans.
Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski of Miami called the standard "an important step forward to protect the health of all people, especially children, the elderly, and poor and vulnerable communities, from harmful pollution and the impacts of climate change."