The National Catholic Review

News

  • After almost nine months in captivity in Afghanistan, Jesuit Father Alexis Prem Kumar has been released and is back home with his family in India.

  • An archbishop in Central African Republic compared citizens of his country to the people of Israel wandering in the desert and urged them to use the pope's planned autumn visit to escape from their "prolonged crisis."

    "God wanted his people to pass through that dreadful terrain so he could bring them to the land of milk and honey—the harsh ordeal was necessary for Israel to gain the firmness of a people," said Archbishop Dieudonne Nzapalainga, president of the bishops' conference, in...

  • A homeless man who faithfully attended Mass at a church inside Vatican City for decades was buried in a Vatican cemetery after it was discovered he had died and was left unidentified in a hospital morgue.

    Willy Herteleer was well-known by the Swiss Guards keeping watch at St. Anne's Gate, by local business owners and a number of clergy who brought him food, took him to lunch or treated him to his morning cappuccino, according to news reports.

  • Catholic organizations welcomed President Barack Obama's Feb. 24 veto of a bill approving an oil pipeline through the country's midsection, saying that it allows more opportunity to consider moral questions about the environment and climate change.

    Representatives of the groups told Catholic News Service they are hopeful that the Keystone XL project would not be approved by the White House after the Department of State concludes its years-long evaluation of the project that would...

  • Many Lebanese have spent as much time as possible indoors this winter, protecting themselves from this year's unusually brutal cold season.

    But for the approximately half a million Syrian refugees in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley, their makeshift housing—often flimsy tents or abandoned unfinished buildings—has hardly given them sufficient shelter from the continuous storms that have been pounding the mountains since last fall.

  • Assyrian Christians in the Nineveh Plain, with the help of a group of Americans, are building a fighting machine to stand toe-to-toe with the Islamic State group to preserve their homeland, their history and their heritage.

    The Nineveh Plain Protection Unit, or NPU, is a battalion of 350 to 500 men trained by Sons of Liberty International, an American-led nonprofit group aimed at “stepping in where governments in the international community have...

  • Dozens of Assyrian Christians were abducted by Islamic State forces during a new offensive against a string of villages in northeastern Syria, aid and civil rights organizations reported.

    The exact number of people being held was unknown, but Father Emanuel Youkhana, who heads the Christian Aid Program Northern Iraq, CAPNI, said that more than 100 residents had been captured during the assault, which began in the pre-dawn hours of Feb. 23.

  • The Italian government is on high alert after threats from the Islamic State called Italy “the nation signed with the blood of the cross.”

    Italy is one of a handful of major Western counties that has not been victim of a large-scale terror assault since the Sept. 11 attacks in the U.S.

    Italian officials fear extremists could enter the country amid the growing tide of refugees arriving by boat from North Africa. About 500 extra troops have been stationed to guard symbolic...

  • This morning Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi confirmed the release of Indian Jesuit priest Father Alexis Prem Kumar in two comments on his Twitter feed:

    “Delighted at securing the release of [Father Prem Kumar] from captivity in Afghanistan.” Later he added, “Have spoken to Father Alexis Prem Kumar. Informed happy family of Father Alexis Prem Kumar of his safe return after 8 months in captivity."

  • Over her 50 years in religious life, Sister Mary Ann Walsh's job titles have varied—teacher, reporter for a diocesan newspaper, Vatican correspondent and media editor at Catholic News Service, and spokeswoman for the U.S. bishops—but through it all the Sister of Mercy has been, down to her very core, a writer.