Jul 22 2016 - 9:12am
In an effort to help contemplative women religious renew their life and mission in the church and the world, Pope Francis issued a series of new rulings dealing with formation, assets, prayer life, authority and autonomy.
The new rulings include a mandate that "initially, all monasteries are to be part of a federation" based on "an affinity of spirit and traditions" with the aim of facilitating formation and meeting needs through sharing assets and exchanging members. Monasteries...
Jul 21 2016 - 5:46pm
Charles Kinsey held his hands in the air and shouted to police that the autistic man sitting on the street next to him wasn't dangerous. A few seconds later, he felt bullets rip into his leg.
The therapist, who is black and works with people with disabilities, was rounding up a patient who had wandered away from a facility when he was ordered by police officers to lie on the ground. Kinsey imagined that "as long as I've got my hands up, they're not going to shoot me. This is what I'm...
Jul 21 2016 - 11:09am
Argentina's Catholic Church is launching an investigation into whether a group of nuns helped a former government official who allegedly tried to hide $9 million in cash at their convent.
The four nuns will be investigated "to determine if there was a canonical crime and help the actions of the civil justice," the Rev. Tom O'Donnell, a leading member of the probe, told local radio Wednesday.
Jose Lopez, a former public works secretary, was arrested in June at the convent on...
Jul 21 2016 - 11:00am
Pope Francis sent a high-ranking cardinal to South Sudan to urge a peaceful end to the escalating violence in the country.
Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, met with President Salva Kiir in the capital, Juba, July 19 and delivered two letters on the pope's behalf — one addressed to the nation's president and another to the vice president.
The cardinal said the letters, which the pope gave to him prior to his departure to Juba,...
Jul 21 2016 - 10:57am
Pilgrims from all nationalities and backgrounds walked several miles from a couple of different points in Southern California to join thousands of others at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles for a special Mass to recognize all immigrants July 17.
Participants raised awareness of the need for immigration reform in the United States, calling for solidarity on the issue for all to be merciful and compassionate toward immigrants in this Year of Mercy....
Jul 21 2016 - 10:53am
As millions of youth from around the globe gather July 26 for World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland, a group of youth in a poor and suffering part of Texas will have the pope come to them—via video, at least.
Young Catholics in the rural Texas area known as Penitas, a faith community of about 10,000, will gather at St. Anne Catholic Church to hear the pope's message sent specifically to them.
Why is Penitas special enough to get a tailored message from the pope?
Jul 21 2016 - 10:46am
The Catholic Church in England and Wales has joined a government project to resettle an estimated 20,000 refugees from the Syrian war.
A parish in the Diocese of Salford will be the first to welcome a family from a refugee camp in the Middle East as part of a sponsorship plan, which involves welcoming and helping to rehabilitate families of Syrian refugees.
Organizers said they are confident that the refugees, who are drawn from predominantly Muslim camps, will not include...
Jul 21 2016 - 10:41am
Violence ripped through the country the first part of July with police shootings in Minnesota and Louisiana and the killing of five police officers in Dallas.
A day after the July 7 shootings in Dallas, violence ripped through the neighborhood surrounding St. Philip Neri Church on the near east side of Indianapolis when two men were found shot dead at an intersection.
On July 10, about 30 people took action to replace the violence around St. Philip with peace by prayerfully...
Jul 21 2016 - 10:34am
About two weeks before the opening ceremony for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Father Leandro Lenin Tavares was putting the final touches on what he hopes will be a very successful spiritual mission: coordinating the interreligious center for athletes at the Olympic Village.
"We hope that the center will encourage harmony and unity among different countries and among different religions," Father Tavares told Catholic News Service.
He said the center would be open from 7...
Jul 20 2016 - 2:23pm
Sister Julie Ann Krahl knew that a cup of lemonade on a hot summer day can go a long way toward making friends.
So she offered a refreshing drink from a cooler pulled along in a child-size wagon and talked with people on the streets of downtown Cleveland who were in town for the Republican National Convention on July 18.
She wanted to learn about their fears and hopes for the country as the final months of the 2016 presidential campaign loomed.
Most people were happy...
Jul 20 2016 - 2:00pm
Leading some 1,500 pastoral musicians in song, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston reminded attendees of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians 39th annual convention to "lean on the everlasting arms" of God in their music ministries.
Cardinal DiNardo celebrated the convention's multilingual Mass for unity on July 14, where he said he was the chief cheerleader of the musicians' association and felt privileged to host the gathering.
"I think the ministries...
Jul 20 2016 - 1:49pm
The speeches, political punditry and late-night parties related to the Republican National Convention doesn't matter much to William Beehler, who makes his home on Cleveland's streets.
"I'll be better when it's over," Beehler said after sipping hot coffee from a foam cup at the Back Door Ministry at St. Malachi Parish, located at the west end of the Detroit-Superior Bridge across from downtown Cleveland.
Better, Beehler explained, because he won't have to worry about the...
Jul 20 2016 - 1:23pm
In 2015 alone, more than 100,000 people fled Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador for Mexico and the United States—a number expected to rise in 2016. “The number of people fleeing violence in Central America has surged to levels not seen since the region was wracked by armed conflicts in the 1980s,” said United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees...
Jul 20 2016 - 12:18pm
The House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations scrutinized U.S.-Cuban relations during a hearing on July 13.
Subcommittee members came together to discuss the recent change in the relationship between the U.S. and Cuba, a change that has been met with mixed feelings on both sides of the issue.
Cubans and Americans alike say that American influence will lead to a decrease in violations of human rights by the Castro regime...
Jul 20 2016 - 12:10pm
One sign of hope for the Catholic Church's future has been the phenomenal growth and vibrancy of faith among young Latino Catholics.
Today, more than half of U.S. millennial Catholics—ages 14 to 34—are Hispanic as are two-thirds of Catholics under 35 who attend church regularly.
Catholic Extension has been helping mission dioceses foster the faith of young Hispanics through religious education, youth and young adult ministry and leadership development. For example, four years...
Jul 20 2016 - 12:01pm
Pope Francis said he looks forward to his upcoming visit to Poland for World Youth Day and that his visit will be inspired by mercy during this Jubilee Year.
The "blessed memory of St. John Paul II, who instituted the World Youth Days and was the guide of the Polish people in its recent historic journey toward freedom," will also serve as an inspiration, the pope said in a July 19 video message to the people of Poland.
The pope will join hundreds of thousands of young people...
Jul 20 2016 - 11:51am
The Vatican is striking back at conservative critics of Pope Francis' landmark document on family life, ratcheting up its defense of the pope with new vigor as bishops begin implementing the document around the world.
The Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano on Wednesday carried a lengthy essay by an Italian Catholic historian insisting that Francis' "The Joy of Love" was absolutely in line with his predecessors and church doctrine on the thorny issue of whether divorced and...
Jul 19 2016 - 1:17pm
The Republican Party has adopted what Christian conservatives cheered as the most conservative party platform ever, pushing the GOP decidedly to the right on abortion and gay rights amid uncertainty about Donald Trump's policies.
The New York billionaire's campaign largely took a hands-off approach to the divisive social issues, fighting instead for an immigration policy that focuses on building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and a trade policy that includes "better deals" for...
Jul 19 2016 - 1:10pm
When Msgr. Kieran Harrington delivered the invocation on the opening night of the Republican National Convention, it wasn't just a coincidence that he ended up on the same stage where high-scale politics would dominate for four days.
The priest from the Diocese of Brooklyn, New York, told Catholic News Service that he worked for the Republican National Committee for five years in the 1990s and was known to some of the party's highest-ranking officials.
The process was not...
Jul 19 2016 - 1:04pm
Pope Francis offered his help to the people of Nice in a surprise phone call following a deadly attack during Bastille Day celebrations, said the head of an association of Italians living in France.
Paolo Celi, president of the France-Italy Friendship society, told Vatican Radio that he was shocked upon answering his phone and hearing, "Paolo, I am Pope Francis."
"There was a moment of silence from my part. Then he asked me to impart to the entire city of Nice, to all the...
Jul 19 2016 - 12:59pm
Baton Rouge Bishop Robert W. Muench renewed a call for a diocesan-wide week of prayer, fasting and reflection after the latest fatal shootings in the city, which this time took the lives of three law enforcement officers.
He urged all to "work toward a lasting peace in our communities."
Early on July 17, a former Marine fatally shot three police officers, and wounded three more, one critically, less than a mile from the city's police headquarters. The gunman, later identified...
Jul 19 2016 - 12:52pm
About 350,000 people of all faiths gathered together on the National Mall July 16 for "Together 2016" to declare that Jesus changes everything and asking him to "reset the generation."
To enter the event, held near the Washington Monument, people lined up outside the gates for what seemed like miles.
"Together 2016" lasted from 9 a.m. to about 4 p.m. Originally, the event was scheduled to last until 9 p.m., but some news reports said that local officials had requested it end...
Jul 19 2016 - 12:46pm
One goal of an event on July 13 at the United Nations on human trafficking was "to make real the faces of the nearly 2 million children and youth who are presently being trafficked," said the Vatican's U.N. nuncio.
Another was for participants to discuss "what's working, what's not working and what needs to be done to free them, help them recover, and prevent other young people from suffering as they have," said Archbishop Bernardito Auza, who heads the Holy See's Permanent Observer...
Jul 19 2016 - 12:39pm
Canada owes him the return of the Franciscans, the founding of the country's largest Marian sanctuary, and the development of strong and lasting ties between the French Canadians and the Holy Land. Yet, 100 years after his death and though he might become Canada's next saint, Blessed Frederic Janssoone still remains largely unknown to many people in Quebec.
Franciscan Father Roland Bonenfant awaited 2016 restlessly, knowing it would coincide with the 100th anniversary of the death of...
Jul 18 2016 - 3:35pm
Most Americans reject Donald Trump's proposal to build a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico and his support for deporting those in the country illegally. But they're divided on the presumptive Republican nominee's proposed temporary ban on the entry of Muslims from other countries, a new survey finds.
The poll shows Trump's shifting rhetoric on that ban might win some Americans over.
When it comes to Trump's proposal to build a wall along the Mexican border, about 6 in 10...
Jul 18 2016 - 3:26pm
An exiled Muslim cleric whom Turkey's president has accused of orchestrating a failed coup denied any responsibility Saturday, saying he had no knowledge of the plot.
Fethullah Gulen told reporters at his Pennsylvania compound he knows only a "minute fraction" of his legions of sympathizers in Turkey, so he cannot speak to their "potential involvement" in the attempted coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
"You can think about many motivations of people who staged this...
Jul 18 2016 - 3:17pm
A former priest from the Diocese of Mayaguez who originally faced two felony charges of improper sexual behavior was sentenced on one of those charges on July 14.
Then-Father Floyd McCoy Jordan, 65, served as vicar of the Basilica of Our Lady of Montserrat in Hormigueros at the time of the complaint.
"McCoy Jordan was sentenced to 15 years in prison after being unanimously found guilty by a jury last June for committing lewd acts against a 14-year-old minor from 2013-2014 in...
Jul 18 2016 - 3:04pm
The California Catholic bishops announced their support on July 14 for Proposition 62, a voter initiative on the November ballot that would repeal the death penalty.
The bishops timed their statement to coincide with the launch of the "Yes on 62" campaign that took place at a Los Angeles news conference. Speakers there included former death penalty advocates, victims' families, law enforcement officials, faith leaders and wrongfully convicted former death-row prisoners.
Jul 18 2016 - 2:51pm
The U.S. Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph celebrated 50 years of advocating for the dignity of the human person, made in the image of God, with a July 9-12 conference in Orlando.
Over 700 individuals participated in the four-day conference, including college students who attend schools operated by the Sisters of St. Joseph, lay ministers, volunteers, and members and associates of the 16 communities of sisters.
The federation includes the sisters in all the Sisters of...
Jul 18 2016 - 2:44pm
Although the Supreme Court struck down the country's amnesty law, it does not mean that chaos will arise if lawsuits are filed against government leaders who played a leading role in the country's long civil war, said human rights defenders.
Adopted in 1993 after the 12-year conflict ended, the law protected the military, paramilitary groups and guerrilla fighters involved in hostilities.
The court's decision July 13 opens the door to lawsuits from victims of abuses during...
Jul 18 2016 - 2:31pm
The threat of being pulled over by police and arrested for something that even "hinted of going beyond the status quo," was very real to retired Bishop John H. Ricard of Pensacola-Tallahassee, Florida, when he was growing up in segregated Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
The African-American bishop, president of the National Black Catholic Congress, said he and his friends "lived under constant threat of being arrested" during his teenage years.
Now decades later, he said that "like...
Jul 18 2016 - 2:17pm
Hungry children, low wages, poor urban schools, inadequate housing and a glaring lack of opportunity are some of the challenges facing struggling Clevelanders, agreed more than 100 people during a community caucus organized by a Catholic social justice organization.
But social and economic ills can be overturned by rearranging national priorities, participants said during a two-hour gathering hosted by St. Leo the Great Parish as part of the 13-state Nuns on the Bus tour assembled by...
Jul 17 2016 - 12:56pm
Three officers are confirmed dead and three others wounded after a shooting in Baton Rouge, a sheriff's office spokeswoman said Sunday. One suspect is dead and law enforcement officials believe two others are still at large, the spokeswoman said.
Casey Rayborn Hicks, a spokeswoman for the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office, said in a statement that the public should call 911 immediately if they see anything suspicious.
The shooting—which happened just before 9 a.m., less than...
Jul 15 2016 - 11:51am
A federal judge has put on hold an Indiana law that makes it illegal for women in the state to have an abortion solely based on the race, gender or disability of a fetus.
Signed by Indiana Gov. Mike Pence March 24, the Dignity for the Unborn law was to have gone into effect July 1, but the day before U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Walton Pratt granted a preliminary injunction on enforcement of the law.
Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, or PPINK, had filed the...
Jul 15 2016 - 11:36am
Zimbabwe's church leaders called on the government to listen to the cries of its suffering citizens, warning that their grievances could "soon explode into civil unrest if not addressed."
Church groups—including the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops' Conference, the Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Council of Churches and the Student Christian Movement of Zimbabwe—criticized the politicizing of "people's genuine grievances" and the harassment of churches and their leaders....
Jul 15 2016 - 11:31am
Catholics Come Home, an organization dedicated to inviting those back to the Catholic faith, has launched a new campaign meant to reach out to the millennial generation.
In addition to its CatholicsComeHome.org website, the campaign has created CatholicsComeHome.com, an interactive website aimed at millennials who are seeking "something more."
"Our CatholicsComeHome.org website and 'Evangomercials' have aired for over 18 years, helping more than a half a million souls home to...
Jul 15 2016 - 11:26am
A mobile medical unit donated by the Vatican tours Rome's peripheries, offering free health care to those in need.
A local volunteer association of doctors, health care professionals and medical students use the white and blue-striped RV-style vehicle, which carries Vatican City license plates and the Holy See's coat of arms—two keys topped by a papal crown.
Dr. Lucia Ercoli, director the Istituto di Medicina Solidale, told the Vatican newspaper that using a medical unit with...
Jul 15 2016 - 11:21am
In a bipartisan 245-182 vote, House members July 13 passed the Conscience Protection Act, which would provide legal protection to doctors, nurses, hospitals and all health care providers who choose not to provide abortions as part of their health care practice.
"We're grateful to House Speaker Paul Ryan for bringing the Conscience Protection Act to a vote, to all the co-sponsors for their leadership, and to those members of both parties who support the civil right of conscience,"...
Jul 15 2016 - 11:12am
The National Black Catholic Congress July 13 issued a prayer and call to action following a week of violence across the United States that saw police in Louisiana and Minnesota shoot two suspects and a sniper in Dallas kill police officers.
The Baltimore-based organization said it joined the nation "in mourning over the tragedies." "As we commend to the Lord those who have died, we pray for the consolation of all who are grieving," it said in a statement.
"It is important for...
Jul 15 2016 - 9:51am
A Frenchman of Tunisian descent drove a truck through crowds celebrating Bastille Day along Nice's beachfront, killing at least 84 people, many of them children. The slaughter ended only after police killed the armed attacker in a hail of bullets.
French leaders on Friday extended the country's 9-month-old state of emergency and vowed to deploy thousands of police reservists on the streets after Thursday night's massacre of pedestrians leaving a fireworks display for France's...
Jul 14 2016 - 1:30pm
Croatian and Serbian experts met at the Vatican to clarify questions about the life of Blessed Alojzije Stepinac—a national hero for Croats and a highly controversial figure for Serbian Orthodox and some Jewish groups who have accused him of being a Nazi sympathizer.
The commission, which held its first meeting from July 12-13, is made up of representatives of the Serbian Orthodox Church, the Catholic Church in Croatia and the Vatican. It was created at the request of Pope Francis to...
Jul 14 2016 - 1:00pm
A majority of a university's faculty "must be Catholic" for a university to be Catholic, said the president of The Catholic University of America in a speech in Napa.
"I want to make one point. Building a Catholic university is not a complicated thing," John Garvey said on July 7 during the Napa Institute's annual conference, held from July 6-10. "The plan was laid out in 1990 by St. John Paul in the apostolic constitution 'Ex Corde Ecclesiae,' a document that runs about 50 pages....
Jul 14 2016 - 12:30pm
Exuberant Syrian refugee children sang, danced and played with colorful clowns as they celebrated graduation at their Caritas-sponsored school in this sleepy suburb of the Jordanian capital, Amman.
Some 170 Muslim children, ages 5-17, proudly strode up on the outdoor platform of the Latin Patriarchate School of Naour, festooned for the occasion with red, yellow and orange balloons. They wore big smiles as they collected their certificates allowing them to move from primary to...
Jul 14 2016 - 11:14am
The vast majority of Americans say they are afraid of at least one of the two major candidates—Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump—winning the White House, a remarkable finding that reflects an unsettled nation unhappy with its choice.
Eighty-one percent of Americans say they would feel afraid following the election of one of the two polarizing politicians, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll. That includes a quarter who say it doesn't matter who wins: they're scared of both....
Jul 14 2016 - 11:05am
As the fighting raged in our neighborhood in South Sudan's capital of Juba, we crammed under a bed. Bullets flew over our rooftop. A shell landed nearby, sending shrapnel flying and shaking the house.
I knew I had to get out.
The gunfire had begun Friday evening between opposing army factions. By Sunday morning, some of the shooting was only a few hundred meters (yards) from my house in Juba's Tongping neighborhood, near the army headquarters.
I felt unsafe and, like...
Jul 14 2016 - 10:59am
British Prime Minister Theresa May filled out her Cabinet posts Thursday, assembling a government that sweeps away many of her predecessor's supporters and places strongly anti-EU figures in key international roles.
After filling half a dozen of the top jobs Wednesday—including surprise choice Boris Johnson as foreign Secretary—May made new appointments Thursday, including Justice Secretary Liz Truss and Education Secretary Justine Greening.
She also cleared out rivals,...
Jul 14 2016 - 10:49am
Palm Beach County voters have been assigned to polling stations in about 80 Christian churches and five synagogues or Jewish centers this year, along with schools, government buildings and other locations. Until last week, a single mosque was part of this mix.
County Elections Supervisor Susan Bucher had invited the Islamic Center of Boca Raton to host a polling site for the Aug. 30 Florida primary and Nov. 8 general elections. Then she disinvited the mosque after an anti-Islamic...
Jul 14 2016 - 10:37am
The Anglican Church of Canada said yes to a same-sex marriage proposal after a voting error was discovered. The announcement made on July 12 came less than 24 hours after it was thought participants in the church's General Synod rejected the motion.
The Anglican Church of Canada now has three years to think about the implications of this vote, as the proposition will need to pass a second reading at the next General Synod in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 2019.
Jul 14 2016 - 8:50am
The British government must take "decisive and courageous steps" toward ridding the country of nuclear weapons, said the Catholic bishops of Scotland.
All eight bishops issued a joint statement calling for nuclear disarmament ahead of a July 18 vote in Parliament on whether to renew the Trident submarine-based nuclear weapons system.
They said Britain had an obligation under the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty "to work toward the disposing and elimination of all nuclear...
Jul 14 2016 - 8:40am
Iraq's deadliest single bombing in 13 years of war has turned the Baghdad district where it took place into the centerpiece in an increasingly bitter rivalry between the country's prime minister and its Iranian-backed Shiite militias eager to hold sway over the city's most diverse and prosperous area.
Karradah, a commercial hub on the east bank of the Tigris River, long had a reputation as one of Baghdad's most diverse neighborhoods. Though it has a Shiite majority, it boasts large...
Jul 13 2016 - 6:00pm
An Italian-born nun who once challenged Billy the Kid, calmed angry mobs, opened hospitals and schools in the American Southwest and is now on a path toward possible sainthood soon will be the subject of a TV series.
Saint Hood Productions based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, is scheduled Wednesday to announce a new project around Sister Blandina Segale — a 19th-Century nun whose clashes with Old West outlaws and work with immigrants has been the stuff of legend.
"At the End of...
Jul 13 2016 - 4:02pm
President Barack Obama urged Americans rattled by a week of violence and protests to find "open hearts" and new empathy Tuesday in a speech that seesawed between honoring police officers for their bravery and decrying racial prejudice that can affect their work.
Obama spoke near five empty chairs for the police officers killed last week by a black man seeking vengeance for police killings. Behind him, underscoring his message of unity: Dallas police officers, a racially diverse...
Jul 13 2016 - 3:51pm
An English cardinal said he was delighted by the appointment of Theresa May as Britain's new prime minister because of the commitment she has shown in the fight against human trafficking.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster, president of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, made his comments in a letter of congratulations to May, who took over as leader of the ruling Conservative Party July 13 after David Cameron formally resigned.
The cardinal reminded May, who...
Jul 13 2016 - 3:25pm
In the week since five Dallas area police officers were gunned down, thousands have gathered in churches, parks, plazas, parking lots and a symphony hall to remember the fallen officers, to cry for hope and pray for peace and unity in communities across the country.
On the evening of July 7, as a march and rally protesting police-related shootings in parts of the country was about to end, a lone sniper targeted police, fatally wounding five officers, and injuring nine other officers...
Jul 13 2016 - 11:33am
The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on July 12 held a hearing on the First Amendment Defense Act, a bill two U.S archbishops said would provide "a measure of protection for religious freedom at the federal level."
The legislation was introduced on June 17 by Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho. The same day Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, introduced the measure as S. 1598 in the Senate.
The day of the hearing Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco and Archbishop...
Jul 13 2016 - 11:24am
Boulos al-Ahmar had just driven the ambulance to the scene of the explosion when more bombs detonated, killing him. When Majed Wehbe heard the first explosions near his home, he ran to the scene to help, only to arrive in time for the next set of explosions.
These men died as heroes, unafraid to run toward disaster to help others, and their Christian village wants to honor their memory by shunning the fear these explosions were designed to instill.
The Lebanese frontier...
Jul 13 2016 - 11:17am
The main organizer of a two-day symposium on church response to domestic abuse and violence called the gathering historic.
"None of us know of a national conference that responds to domestic abuse" like this, Sharon O'Brien told Catholic News Service.
O'Brien is a co-founder and the director of Catholics for Family Peace, which late last year joined the National Catholic School of Social Service at The Catholic University of America in Washington.
Jul 12 2016 - 1:10pm
British Prime Minister David Cameron chaired a farewell Cabinet meeting Tuesday as moving vans pulled up to his 10 Downing St. residence a day before he is replaced as leader following Britain's vote to leave the European Union.
Ministers gathered for Cameron's 215th and final weekly Cabinet session a day after Home Secretary Theresa May was confirmed as the new Conservative leader and prime minister-in-waiting.
Culture Secretary John Whittingdale said there had been a "touch...
Jul 12 2016 - 1:03pm
The Anglican Church of Canada narrowly voted against authorizing same-sex marriages Monday after nearly a week of passionate debates about blessing such unions at the church's triennial conference.
More than 200 delegates attending the six-day General Synod 2016 north of Toronto narrowly rejected the resolution after more than 60 speakers made their points, with most speaking in support of the resolution.
Same-sex marriage has been legal in Canada since 2005, and Monday's...
Jul 12 2016 - 12:51pm
Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai visited the world's largest refugee camp on her 19th birthday Tuesday and voiced concern that Kenya's plans to close it could create "a generation lost."
The government announced in May that it plans to close the camp in eastern Kenya near the Somali border by the end of the year, citing it as a security liability.
Malala said returning any of the more than 300,000 refugees to Somalia, which is still plagued by extremist violence, should be...
Jul 12 2016 - 12:39pm
The Vatican and Sunni Islam's leading institution of higher learning have begun looking for ways to restart formal dialogue.
Acting on Pope Francis' expressed desire, the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue was sending a top-level official to Cairo to visit al-Azhar University, the council said in a written press release on July 12.
Spanish Bishop Miguel Ayuso Guixot, secretary of the pontifical council, will attend a "preliminary meeting" July 13 with Mahmoud...
Jul 12 2016 - 12:25pm
Thirty-three percent of women in the U.S. have been victims of domestic violence, said clinical psychologist Christauria Welland, who spoke during a conference on domestic abuse held at The Catholic University of America July 7 and 8.
Welland, who specializes in intimate-partner abuse, appeared at "Hope, Help and Healing: A Catholic Response to Domestic Violence Abuse and Violence," speaking on the effects of trauma on people who experience abuse and violence.
She was joined...
Jul 12 2016 - 12:18pm
Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda of St. Paul and Minneapolis focused on the need for unity and healing in the Twin Cities and country during a Mass for peace and justice July 8.
"Sacred Scripture reminds us that nothing is impossible with God," he said at the Mass, which drew about 250 people to the Cathedral of St. Paul in St. Paul.
"We come before him at this Eucharist to ask him to heal the divisions that weaken us as community," he said, "that he strengthen us when we tend to...
Jul 12 2016 - 10:54am
Pope Francis will meet with Orthodox, Muslim and Jewish leaders during his three-day visit to Georgia and Azerbaijan.
During his Sept. 30-Oct. 2 visit, the pope will also meet with Chaldean Catholics in Georgia.
The pope's visit, which will be his 16th trip outside Italy, will include two Masses as well as meetings with heads of state, religious leaders and local Catholics, according to the scheduled released by the Vatican on July 11.
He will also meet with civil...
Jul 12 2016 - 10:39am
He was a fashion photographer who worked in Manhattan and regularly went to Paris runway shows, yet he used duct tape to repair his own inexpensive clothes.
Bill Cunningham, who was responsible for both a street fashion and society spread in The New York Times Style section every Sunday, chose a life of simplicity. For years he slept on a cot in a cramped single room. No kitchen, no bathroom. He got around the city on a bicycle. He didn't own a television and never went to the movies...
Jul 12 2016 - 10:20am
Embassies and aid organizations in South Sudan were trying to evacuate staff from the capital, Juba, on Tuesday as a precarious calm settled over the city following several days of deadly clashes.
"Several hundred people have already been killed, including civilians seeking refuge. Some of the civilians killed were reportedly targeted based on their ethnicity," the U.N. special adviser on preventing genocide, Adama Dieng, said in a statement Tuesday.
South Sudan's government...
Jul 12 2016 - 9:42am
The shooting of police officers July 7 near the end of a demonstration in Dallas to protest fatal shootings by police officers in Louisiana and Minnesota earlier in the week "calls us to a moment of national reflection," said the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
"To all people of goodwill, let us beg for the strength to resist the hatred that blinds us to our common humanity," said Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, in a July 8 statement....
Jul 12 2016 - 9:36am
When the news revealed the drinking water in Flint, Michigan, was contaminated by lead, affecting roughly 100,000 people in the city and nearby areas, attention rightly focused on a staggering public health crisis.
However, the crisis may not be Flint's and Flint's alone. According to a report issued June 28 by the Natural Resources Defense Council, an estimated 18 million Americans are at risk of drinking lead-tainted water yet not know it.
One need not look further than...
Jul 11 2016 - 2:34pm
Pope Francis has again clipped the wings of his finance czar Cardinal George Pell by effectively removing many of the administrative functions of the Vatican's key financial office from his department.
In a new law Saturday, Francis essentially reversed a 2014 law that had transferred the main operational section of the patrimony office to Pell's Secretariat for the Economy.
Francis, who was elected on a reform mandate, says he was restoring these administrative functions to...
Jul 11 2016 - 2:27pm
South Sudan's church leaders said they are extremely disturbed about heavy fighting in the capital, Juba, which has raised widespread fears that the country is returning to civil war.
"We condemn all acts of violence without exception," the South Sudan Council of Churches said, noting that it is "time to build a peaceful nation."
"We pray for those who have been killed, and for their families, and we ask God's forgiveness for those who have done the killing," the leaders said...
Jul 11 2016 - 2:21pm
Pope Francis named U.S. Archbishop Michael W. Banach, a Vatican diplomat, to be apostolic nuncio to Cape Verde. The pope also named Italian Archbishop Franco Coppola to be the new nuncio to Mexico.
The Vatican made the announcements July 9.
Born in Worcester, Massachusetts, Archbishop Banach, 53, will continue to serve as apostolic nuncio to Senegal and apostolic delegate to Mauritania.
Archbishop Coppola, 59, had been serving as nuncio to Burundi followed by Central...
Jul 8 2016 - 9:00am
Father Bryan Massingale watched one of the latest videos of police shootings of African American men on July 7, first with a growing sadness at the “gut wrenching” tragedy he was witnessing, then just a sense of “soul weariness.”
“I think that what most confounds me,” he said, “is that as a nation we cannot personalize these deaths, that we somehow see them as abstractions or statistics or worse as the embodiment of our worst fears rather than as human beings—as...
Jul 8 2016 - 8:41am
Dallas was in shock and beset by uncertainty early Friday after gunmen shot and killed five police officers and wounded seven during a peaceful protest over fatal police shootings of black men in other states, police said, in bloodshed evoking the trauma of the nation's tumultuous civil rights era.
Police Chief David Brown blamed "snipers" and said three suspects were in custody while a fourth had exchanged gunfire with authorities in a parking garage downtown and told negotiators he...
Jul 7 2016 - 11:59pm
Dallas police say four officers have died after at least two snipers opened fire during protests downtown. Seven other officers were wounded.
Police Chief David O. Brown said police have a suspect cornered in a garage and are negotiating with that person. He says the snipers fired upon officers "ambush style."
Brown had said three officers were killed, and police issued a tweet later saying a fourth officer had died.
Brown says snipers shot from "elevated positions"...
Jul 7 2016 - 11:57am
A Vatican tribunal has declared it had no jurisdiction to put two journalists on trial for publishing confidential documents that exposed greed, mismanagement and corruption in the Holy See, ending an eight-month ordeal that drew scorn from media rights groups.
The court on Thursday did convict a Vatican monsignor and an Italian public relations expert in the case, but cleared them of having formed a criminal association. The monsignor's aide was also cleared.
Jul 7 2016 - 11:34am
Violent protests in Zimbabwe reflect people's frustrations in extremely difficult times, a church official said.
With rising poverty levels, "life is unbearable now for most people" in the southern African country with an unemployment rate of 90 percent, Father Frederick Chiromba, secretary-general of the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops' Conference, told Catholic News Service in a telephone interview.
Thousands of people joined a July 6 national strike over grievances, including...
Jul 7 2016 - 11:29am
An Italian team has completed restoration of Crusader-era mosaics in the Church of the Nativity, but the mosaics will only be unveiled publicly after work on lighting, electricity and the fire alarm system is also finished.
The work involved removing the layers of centuries-worth of soot and dirt—a result of the smoke of candles lit by pilgrims coming to venerate the site traditionally believed to be the birthplace of Jesus—from about 1.55 million tiny mosaic pieces that were...
Jul 7 2016 - 11:20am
Catholics in the northeastern Brazilian state of Paraiba woke on July 6 to find that Archbishop Aldo di Cillo Pagotto was stepping down after having his resignation accepted by Pope Francis.
The Vatican said the pope accepted his resignation in accordance with Canon 401.2 of the Code of Canon Law, which covers "ill health or some other grave cause."
In a letter about his resignation, the archbishop said he always tried to give the best of himself and admitted he made mistakes...
Jul 7 2016 - 10:59am
Three months after the publication of Pope Francis' exhortation on marriage and family, bishops and bishops' conferences around the world are studying practical ways to apply it. Some still disagree on what exactly the pope meant.
In the first week of July, Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput's pastoral guidelines for implementing the exhortation's teaching in his archdiocese went into effect; an Italian blog published reflections on the document by Cardinal Ennio Antonelli,...
Jul 7 2016 - 10:48am
An attack on four high school-age seminarians by pro-government thugs has sparked outrage in Venezuela and underscored the tense political situation and social unrest in the South American country.
It also showed the challenges of church-state relations in a country plagued by polarized politics and violence and suffering through shortages of everything from food to medicines to Communion wine for celebrating Mass.
The four minor seminary students, ages 14-16, and the younger...
Jul 7 2016 - 10:40am
Speakers at the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management's annual meeting June 30 in Philadelphia emphasized that the church should adhere to the same business practices expected of institutions and governments worldwide.
The gathering, with the theme: "The Francis Effect and Transforming Church Culture: Advancing Best Managerial and Leadership Practices" began with a discussion on Pope Francis' initiative to reform Vatican business practices in the wake of financial...
Jul 7 2016 - 10:29am
Tom Mayhew spins the rear tire of a bicycle secured firmly on a repair rack.
The rotations cause a grinding noise. Mayhew, tools in hand, examines the derailleur and makes a slight adjustment. The next tire spin is smooth and steady. The bicycle is ready for the road, ready to provide a means of travel and more independence to a homeless person in the city.
Spokes 4 Hope, a bicycle repair program in cooperation with St. John the Evangelist Homeless Shelter in Green Bay is...
Jul 6 2016 - 6:26pm
The head of the Roman Catholic Church in Philadelphia is closing the door opened by Pope Francis to letting civilly remarried Catholics receive Communion, saying the faithful in his archdiocese can only do so if they abstain from sex and live "as brother and sister."
Archbishop Charles Chaput, who is known for strongly emphasizing strict adherence to Catholic doctrine, issued a new set of pastoral guidelines for clergy and other leaders in the archdiocese that went into effect July 1...
Jul 6 2016 - 12:01pm
Meeting the grieving parents of a U.S. student who was found dead in Rome, Pope Francis mourned the death of the teenager, who had been set to begin a study-abroad program.
Beau Solomon, 19, was found dead in the Tiber River July 4 after friends reported last seeing him early on July 1.
The pope met with Nick and Jodi Solomon, members of St. John the Evangelist Parish in Spring Green, Wisconsin, on July 6, in a private audience. He expressed his "deepest sympathy and...
Jul 6 2016 - 11:54am
Elie Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor, Nobel Peace Prize recipient and prolific author who died on July 2 at age 87 in his New York home, has been remembered in tributes from around the world for standing up for human dignity and for being a witness to the world of the atrocities of the Holocaust.
When Pope Francis received the Charlemagne Prize on May 6 for promoting European unity, he quoted Wiesel urging Europeans to undergo a "memory transfusion," to remember their fractured past...
Jul 6 2016 - 11:48am
Mother Rosemae Pender, 94, foundress of the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist, died unexpectedly during a Mass of Thanksgiving for Consecrated Life on June 26 celebrated at the order's motherhouse in Meriden to honor her 75 years of consecrated life.
The event also marked jubilee celebrations for four other sisters in the community.
After renewing her vows with the other sisters, Mother Rosemae presented the constitutions of the religious community to retired Archbishop...
Jul 6 2016 - 11:39am
Federal court decisions in three cases in late June will directly impact the work of the Catholic Church in Mississippi.
On June 30, U.S. District Court Judge Carlton Reeves blocked the implementation of H.B. 1523, also known as the Religious Accommodations Act, hours before it was to go into effect on July 1.
Earlier that week, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of a proposed law that would have required abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at local...
Jul 6 2016 - 11:25am
To reflect on the status of Hispanic ministry and the plan for a 2018 national meeting of Latino ministry, called "encuentro," religious leaders, bishops and officials from organizations that work with Latinos throughout the country met June 23-26 at the Catholic Theological Union on the South Side of Chicago.
At a meeting called by the National Catholic Council for Hispanic Ministry, participants spent four days exchanging ideas, attending different panels, discussing the current...
Jul 6 2016 - 11:13am
Christians in Europe must ask themselves if their faith is vibrant enough to influence society and forge a unity that respects differences of culture and race, Pope Francis said.
In a video message on July 2 to participants at the "Together for Europe" gathering in Munich, the pope insisted that "invisible walls" are being strengthened and dividing people from one another.
"These walls are being built in people's hearts," the pope said. "They are walls made of fear and...
Jul 6 2016 - 10:53am
To mark the 800th anniversary of the "Pardon of Assisi," an indulgence earned by visiting faithful who confess their sins and make a sincere promise of repentance, Pope Francis will visit a stone chapel rebuilt by St. Francis of Assisi.
The pope's visit to the small Portiuncola chapel on Aug. 4 was to be part of a "simple and private" pilgrimage during the Year of Mercy, according to Vatican Radio. The pope was expected to pray in the chapel and speak a few words, the radio said July...
Jul 6 2016 - 10:43am
The police shooting death of a black man as officers wrestled with him outside a convenience store fueled anger and protests in a Baton Rouge community, where officials and family members of the slain man called for a federal investigation on Wednesday.
Speakers at a news conference said they want answers to why 37-year-old Alton Sterling was shot and killed outside a convenience store where he was selling CDs.
"Mr. Sterling was not reaching for a weapon, he looks like a man...
Jul 6 2016 - 10:40am
In Malawi, where 40 percent of the population needs food aid, the country's bishops have called for international help to avert a crisis.
It is "disheartening and painful to think of our 6.5 million brothers and sisters" needing humanitarian assistance, the Episcopal Conference of Malawi said in a July 1 statement signed by its chairman, Bishop Thomas Msusa of Blantyre.
At least 6.5 million people will be food insecure in the coming year, according to a May government...
Jul 5 2016 - 4:14pm
The government minister largely responsible for security in Baghdad submitted his resignation Tuesday, two days after one of the biggest bombings in more than a decade of war and insurgency killed 175 people as the Muslim holy month of Ramadan came to an especially bloody conclusion.
In addition to the violence in Baghdad, the final week of Ramadan saw suicide attackers strike near one of Islam's holiest sites in Saudi Arabia, in an upscale neighborhood of the capital of Bangladesh,...
Jul 5 2016 - 4:06pm
Just a few years ago, Islam al-Bayed spent seven months in an Israeli prison for allegedly throwing stones at Israeli troops. Now, the 26-year-old Palestinian man has become an unlikely symbol of tolerance after rescuing an Israeli family whose car crashed following a deadly roadside shooting by Palestinian militants in the West Bank.
Last week's shooting, along with the fatal stabbing of an Israeli girl as she slept in her bed, have ratcheted up tensions in the southern West Bank....
Jul 5 2016 - 3:51pm
A Pennsylvania man who spoke out against clergy abuse after publicly identifying himself as a victim of a predator priest has killed himself, authorities said.
Brian Gergely, 46, was found hanged in his home in Ebensburg on Friday, Cambria County Coroner Jeffrey Lees told The Associated Press on Tuesday.
Gergely went public in 2003 while suing Monsignor Francis McCaa and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, saying he was abused as a 10-year-old altar boy....
Jul 5 2016 - 10:35am
When 66-year-old Army veteran Jacky Eugene Gonzalez was laid to rest at the Rio Grande Valley State Veterans Cemetery June 22, a group of U.S. military veterans from the Jesus Martinez American Legion Post 93 in Mission performed full military honors.
A squad of seven riflemen rendered the 21-gun salute, the American flag was folded and presented to the family along with three spent shell casings representing duty, honor and country. Taps was played on an electronic bugle.
Jul 5 2016 - 10:29am
Catholic advocates say the recent Supreme Court ruling on immigration, while it caused great disappointment, also has spurred many of them to work harder to reform the country's immigration system and push for better understanding of immigrants.
Sara Benitez, Latino program director for the Washington-based Faith in Public Life, said the ruling caused sadness in the immigrant community as well as among those who advocate for immigrants, particularly Catholic groups. However, it also...
Jul 5 2016 - 10:26am
Yara Hidalgo, a 26-year-old living in San Jose, California, was disappointed, but not completely surprised, when the Supreme Court blocked the Obama administration's plan to temporarily protect more than 4 million unauthorized immigrants from deportation.
Hidalgo, who was born in Mexico and brought to the United States by her parents when she was almost 2, has been teaching at a Catholic school for the past few years while studying for her master's degree at Santa Clara University...
Jul 5 2016 - 10:22am
The CARA Family Detention Pro Bono Project has identified more than 40 children and mothers who have been arrested in Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids and detained in Dilley or Karnes City, Texas, according to a recent report released by the project.
The report shares the cases of Central Americans who were arrested and taken to detention centers in the United States after fleeing their own countries to escape violence.
"CARA" is the collective name for volunteers...
Jul 5 2016 - 10:14am
Pope Francis said he will continue pressing for a church that is open and understanding despite opposition from some clerics who "say no to everything."
"They do their work and I do mine," the pope said when asked, "What is your relationship with ultraconservatives in the church?"
The question was posed by Joaquin Morales Sola, a journalist for the Argentine newspaper La Nacion, in an interview published on July 3. The Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, published a...
Jul 1 2016 - 10:21am
The U.S. bishops have long held that net neutrality—the concept of treating all traffic on the internet the same—was necessary for a well-functioning society.
It would do nobody any good, the bishops argued, if internet service providers discriminated among websites for whatever reason.
The bishops' position came with the experience of the Federal Communications Commission axing television stations' public interest requirements in the 1980s. Until then, dioceses and other...
Jul 1 2016 - 10:17am
The author of a new book on religious liberty issues said at a June 28 lecture in Washington that "the Western world today is home to a secularist faith."
Modern-day religion is becoming stifled in the secular age, said Mary Eberstadt, author of It's Dangerous to Believe: Religious Freedom and Its Enemies .
"A new chapter has opened in American history, in which people of faith are on the receiving end of an ascendant secularism, as they have not been before," she said at the...
Jul 1 2016 - 10:11am
Tears and not words. Prayers and not greetings.
During his trip to Poland for World Youth Day, Pope Francis will go to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi death camp. He said he wants to go alone and say nothing.
When Pope Francis speaks, he can delight fans and frustrate critics. He can wax poetic or be bluntly funny about human quirks.
But in the face of great suffering and horror, his first and strongest inclinations are silence, a profoundly bowed head and hands clasped...
Jul 1 2016 - 10:04am
The new multimedia platform created by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles has as its patron St. Junipero Serra and aims to follow his example as the first to evangelize in California.
St. Junipero, who also was the founder of the state's missions, was canonized by Pope Francis last September during his U.S. visit, making him the first saint to be canonized on American soil.
Officially launching July 1, the saint's feast day, Angelus News will focus on bringing Catholic news to as...
Jul 1 2016 - 9:52am
Rodrigo Duterte, a controversial town mayor dubbed "Dirty Harry" and "The Punisher" for his tough stance on crime, was sworn in as the 16th president of the Philippines June 30.
Duterte, who won by a landslide in the May elections with 16.6 million votes, promised to "listen to the murmurings of the people" as he vowed to relentlessly fight the "problems that bedevil our country," reported ucanews.com.
"No leader, however strong, can succeed at anything of national importance...