Home » World
  • In Henan, Chinese Catholics warned to follow rules on religious affairs

    HONG KONG (CNS) -- Catholics in China's Henan province have been warned that venues will be closed if they do not adhere to the revised regulations on religious affairs. Ucanews.com reported that a clampdown on religious freedom has intensified in the province in recent months, with crosses removed from churches, minors banned from entering churches, church-run kindergartens closed and children expelled from Mass.

    Read more
  • Name given at baptism gives sense of identity, belonging, pope says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Naming a child is an important task for parents, because it gives children a sense of identity and belonging to their family and to God, Pope Francis said. "Without a name, we remain unknown, without rights and duties. God calls each one of us by name, loving us individually in the concreteness of our history," the pope said April 18 during his weekly general audience.

    Read more
  • 'Seamless garment' revisited: Pope insists all life deserves defense

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- When Pope Francis insisted that the lives of the unborn and of the poor are "equally sacred," he was not trying to shift the focus of Catholics from fighting abortion to fighting poverty, he was trying to show they are part of the same battle, said Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life.

    Read more
  • Iceland's Catholic leaders condemn circumcision law as anti-Semitic

    The Catholic Church in Iceland is speaking out against a popular proposed law that could land Jewish and Muslim parents in prison for up to six years for circumcising their infant boys. "If this bill goes through, it would mean regular persecution of Jewish people," Father Jakob Rolland, chancellor of the Diocese of Reykjavik, told Catholic News Service. "That brings us back to 1933, when Hitler took power in Germany. And we know how it ended."

    Read more
  • Scottish bishop criticizes BBC film for mockery of Eucharist

    PAISLEY, Scotland (CNS) -- A Scottish bishop has criticized the BBC for making a film that describes the Eucharist as smelling "like hate." The video, produced by BBC Scotland, a publicly funded "public service broadcaster," seeks to show how people who experience same-sex attraction continue to be made to feel outcast and ostracized in 2018.

    Read more
  • Violent extremists tarnish image of their own faith, cardinal says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Meeting with a top Muslim leader in Saudi Arabia, the Vatican's chief interreligious dialogue official called for the equal treatment of people of all religions, saying discrimination and double standards based on religious affiliation only increase Islamophobia and Christianophobia.

    Read more
  • They were going to get married. Now he's a priest and she's a sister

    Buenos Aires, Argentina, Apr 12, 2018 CNA.- Before discovering their vocations, Fr. Javier Olivera and Sister Marie de la Sagesse were engaged and planning their wedding. God had other plans. Speaking to ACI Prensa, CNA's Spanish language sister agency, Fr. Olivera said that they both grew up in Catholic families and that “our parents knew each other when they were young.” They saw each other frequently when they were children.

    Read more
  • Retired pope celebrates 91st birthday

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Retired Pope Benedict XVI had a "peaceful and familial" 91st birthday April 16, celebrating with his 94-year-old brother, Msgr. Georg Ratzinger, who was visiting from Germany, the Vatican said.

    Read more
  • Pope joins meeting to prepare synod for the Amazon

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis met with members of the preparatory council for the Synod of Bishops for the Amazon region, which will take place in Rome in October 2019. Meeting in Rome April 12-13, the presynod council worked with Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, secretary-general of the Synod of Bishops, to finalize the preparatory document and related questionnaire for the special assembly next year.

    Read more
  • 'Is my dad in heaven?' little boy asks pope

    ROME (CNS) -- After circling a massive, crumbling public housing complex on the outskirts of Rome, Pope Francis had an emotional encounter with the neighborhood's children. Question-and-answer sessions with youngsters are a standard part of Pope Francis' parish visits. And, at St. Paul of the Cross parish April 15, there were the usual questions like, "How did you feel when you were elected pope?"

    Read more
  • Chilean abuse victims welcome pope's letter, call for zero tolerance

    SANTIAGO, Chile (CNS) -- Victims of clergy sexual abuse welcomed Pope Francis' letter in which he apologized for underestimating the seriousness of the crisis in Chile. James Hamilton, Jose Andres Murillo and Juan Carlos Cruz, victims of Father Fernando Karadima, released a statement April 11 saying they appreciated the pope's letter and were "evaluating the possibilities" for meeting with the pope.

    Read more
  • 'Schizoid' world brags it's free while chained to greed, pope says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Christian freedom is being free from worldly ambition, fashion and passion and being open to God's will, Pope Francis said. The world today "is a bit schizoid, schizophrenic, right? It shouts, 'Freedom, freedom, freedom!' but it is more slave, slave, slave," he said in his homily April 13 at morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae.

    Read more
  • Papal commission asks Francis for synod on the role of women in the Church

    Vatican City, Apr 11, 2018 CNA.- The Pontifical Commission for Latin America has proposed that Pope Francis convoke a synod on the role of women in the life and mission of the Church. The proposal is contained in a 15-paragraph statement approved by the Pontifical Commission for Latin America’s plenary assembly one month ago, and published April 11 in L’Osservatore Romano.

    Read more
  • Door to door: Pope reaffirms missionaries' mandate to knock on hearts

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- As a sign that God's mercy cannot be limited, Pope Francis has recommissioned his special army of priests charged with bringing that divine mercy to everyone. Originally instituted in 2016 for the Year of Mercy, the "missionaries of mercy" were invited to return to Rome April 8-11 to share their experiences and to be reaffirmed in the ministry of mercy.

    Read more
  • Analysis: Who is the Pope's new canon law expert?

    Vatican City, Apr 11, 2018 CNA.- The new president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts is a well-respected canon law expert, with pastoral, scholarly, and curial experience. On April 7, Archbishop Filippo Iannone was appointed president of the Vatican dicastery charged with overseeing the interpretation of canon law and providing canonical guidance to other Vatican offices. Iannone, only 60, has served in the dicastery as an adjunct secretary since Nov. 11, 2017.

    Read more
  • Repentant sinners need merciful confessors, not inquisitors, pope says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Priests must give hope to men and women seeking forgiveness, encouraging them in their struggle away from the slippery slope of sin, Pope Francis said. Being merciful in the confessional helps penitents return to God without fear, even if they repeatedly stumble or slip on a path that "is filled with stones and banana peels," the pope told 550 priests he designated as "missionaries of mercy."

    Read more
  • Selection of quotes from pope's exhortation on holiness

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Here is a selection of quotations from "Gaudete et Exsultate" ("Rejoice and Be Glad"), Pope Francis' apostolic exhortation on holiness: -- "I like to contemplate the holiness present in the patience of God's people: in those parents who raise their children with immense love, in those men and women who work hard to support their families, in the sick, in elderly religious who never lose their smile."

    Read more
  • Holiness means being loving, not boring, pope says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- God calls all Christians to be saints -- not plastic statues of saints, but real people who make time for prayer and who show loving care for others in the simplest gestures, Pope Francis said in his new document on holiness.

    Read more
  • The devil is a real threat to Christian life, not a myth, pope says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The path to holiness does not involve wrestling with some abstract boogeyman, but involves a "constant struggle against the devil, the prince of evil," Pope Francis said. In his new apostolic exhortation, "Gaudete et Exsultate" ("Rejoice and Be Glad"), released by the Vatican April 9, the pope urged Christians not to think of the devil as an intangible construct but rather "a personal being who assails us."

    Read more
  • Pope denounces use of chemical weapons after deadly attack in Syria

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis condemned the use of chemical weapons after a deadly attack killed dozens of innocent men, women and children in Syria. "There is no good and bad war, and nothing, nothing can justify the use of such instruments of extermination against defenseless people and populations," the pope said April 8 before concluding Divine Mercy Sunday Mass in St. Peter's Square.

    Read more
  • Pope prays for parents, toddler who risks losing life-support

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis asked that all efforts be made to accompany a seriously ill toddler in Great Britain whose parents are fighting a legal battle to keep him on life-support. "It is my sincere hope that everything necessary may be done in order to continue compassionately accompanying little Alfie Evans, and that the deep suffering of his parents may be heard. I am praying for Alfie, for his family and for all who are involved," the pope tweeted in English and six other languages late April 4.

    Read more
  • Pope's exhortation on holiness to be released April 9

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- "Rejoice and Be Glad," Pope Francis' new apostolic exhortation on "the call to holiness in the modern world," will be released April 9, the Vatican announced. The document, called "Gaudete et Exsultate" in Latin, will be presented at a Vatican news conference by Archbishop Angelo De Donatis, the papal vicar for the Diocese of Rome.

    Read more
  • China official: It's OK if Vatican doesn't fully control naming bishops

    BEIJING (CNS) -- In a rare move, a top Chinese official answered journalists' questions about a new white paper on religious freedom and the ongoing talks between his government and the Vatican. Chen Zongrong, former deputy director of China's Religious Affairs Bureau, said he did not agree that preventing the Vatican from having full control of bishop appointments would hinder freedom of religion, reported ucanews.com. The Religious Affairs Bureau is being subsumed by the Communist Party's United Front Work Department.

    Read more
  • Terminally ill mother: Euthanasia push robs 'friends and family of joy'

    SYDNEY (CNS) -- In March, as Anna Corry lay dying, she sent out a request to speak publicly about her opposition to euthanasia. The 50-year-old former nursing educator had endured an aggressive type of breast cancer since her diagnosis in January 2016. This January, she and her husband, Martin, a paramedic, and their sons Michael, 17, Dominic, 14, and Andrew, 11, received the news that although chemotherapy had shrunk the 10-cm tumor near her heart, the cancer had spread through her body.

    Read more
  • Mexican government stops caravan of migrants after critical Trump tweets

    MEXICO CITY (CNS) -- A caravan of Central American migrants traveling through Mexico was stopped after its push to the U.S. border set off a barrage of criticism from U.S. President Donald Trump. The caravan of more than 1,000 migrants was winding its way through the Isthmus of Tehuantepec in southern Oaxaca state April 2 when the Mexican government announced it would move to break up the mass movement of people through the country.

    Read more
  • Jesuit priest, last living son of Irish revolutionary leaders, dies at 104

    Dublin, Ireland, Apr 2, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- A priest whose father was executed following Ireland’s 1916 Easter Rising has died at the age of 104, after a lifetime of mission work. Father Joseph Mallin, S.J., passed away early Easter Sunday at a Jesuit community house in Hong Kong, where he had served as a missionary since 1948, RTE News reports. He was the last surviving child of the leaders of the uprising that led to Irish independence.

    Read more
  • Brexit could complicate Good Friday Agreement, says Irish bishop

    DUBLIN (CNS) -- April 10 marks the 20th anniversary of the historic Good Friday Agreement, which brought peace to Northern Ireland. The peace deal effectively brought an end to "The Troubles," which had cast a sectarian shadow over Northern Ireland for three decades and resulted in the deaths of more than 3,500, the majority of whom were civilians.

    Read more
  • On Easter, Salvadorans bury priest assassinated during Holy Week

    LOLOTIQUE, El Salvador (CNS) -- On Easter, as thousands of Salvadorans from around the country packed into the rural town of Lolotique, Catholic Church officials laid to rest a 36-year-old priest violently killed during Holy Week -- the latest victim of an unending wave of violence that plagues the country.

    Read more
  • Christ is victorious over all that divides people, pope says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Easter is a feast that calls Christians to gather together, make a commitment to dialogue and to work for the common good, Pope Francis said. In Italy and in other countries, Easter Monday is a day for relaxed family gatherings and picnics because "after having celebrated Easter, one feels a need to gather again with loved ones and friends to celebrate," the pope said April 2, before reciting the "Regina Coeli" prayer at noon with visitors in St. Peter's Square.

    Read more
  • Easter hope breaks routine, unleashes creativity, pope says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Truly celebrating Easter means allowing Jesus to triumph over personal fears and give life to hope, creativity and care for others, Pope Francis said. Easter is "an invitation to break out of our routines and to renew our lives, our decisions and our existence," the pope said during the Easter Vigil March 31 in St. Peter's Basilica.

    Read more
  • How American seminarians in Rome celebrate Holy Week

    Rome, Italy, Mar 30, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- For American seminarians at the Pontifical North American college in Rome, Holy Week liturgies take on new life and dimension, as the history of ancient traditions comes alive through the city’s remembrance of Christ's Passion and death.

    Read more
  • Pope: Jesus' church offers truth, comfort despite efforts to discredit it

    ROME (CNS) -- Leading a prayer to God for the grace to feel ashamed and repentant for so many sins in the world, Pope Francis highlighted the hope that always comes from Jesus. There is hope "because your church, holy and made up of sinners, continues even today, in spite of attempts to discredit it, to be a light that illuminates, encourages, comforts and witnesses your unlimited love for humanity, a model of altruism, an ark of salvation and a source of certainty and truth," the pope said.

    Read more
  • Vatican: Don't trust report that Pope Francis denied reality of hell

    Vatican City, Mar 29, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- On Thursday the Holy See stated that a reported interview between Pope Francis and an Italian journalist, which claims the Pope denied the existence of hell, should not be considered an accurate depiction of Francis’ words, but the author’s own “reconstruction.”

    Read more
  • 'Cry out,' pope tells young people at Palm Sunday Mass

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Celebrating Palm Sunday Mass with thousands of young people, Pope Francis urged them to continue singing and shouting "hosanna" in the world, proclaiming the lordship of Jesus and following his example of outreach to the poor and suffering.

    Read more
  • Mary, Mother of the Church should be celebrated this year, cardinal says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Reminding bishops, pastors and Catholics around the world that all Latin-rite Catholics should celebrate the feast of Mary, Mother of the Church on the Monday after Pentecost this year, Cardinal Robert Sarah said the celebration should take precedence over any other possible liturgy that day.

    Read more
  • U.S. Papal Foundation announces period of reflection, re-evaluation

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- After disagreement over funding a $25-million-grant request from the Vatican was leaked to the press, the leadership of the U.S.-based Papal Foundation has called for a period of reflection and "a re-evaluation of its mission, its approach to grant giving and its relationship with the Holy See."

    Read more
  • French bishops on euthanasia: 'Killing can in no case be a cure'

    LOURDES, France (CNS) -- More than a hundred French bishops have signed a statement opposing their country's drift toward legal euthanasia. At the end of meeting at the Marian shrine of Lourdes, 118 bishops -- the overwhelming majority of the French bishops' conference -- declared that euthanasia would damage the sense of fraternity that held their society together.

    Read more
  • Pope: Christians may be sinners, but they can't be corrupt, mafioso

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Though they may go to church and say they are people of faith, the corrupt and "mafioso" have absolutely nothing Christian about them, Pope Francis said. "They call themselves Christian, but they carry death in their souls and bring death to others," the pope said during his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square March 28.

    Read more
  • Chinese officials again detain underground bishop during Holy Week

    Fuzhou, China, Mar 27, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- Police have detained a Catholic bishop at the center of controversy over a possible agreement between the Vatican and China. Bishop Vincent Guo Xijin of Mindong in China’s Fujian province is a 59-year-old underground bishop, loyal to the Holy See.

    Read more
  • No Holy Week observance planned in war-torn Philippine city

    MANILA, Philippines (CNS) -- There will be no Holy Week observance this year in Marawi almost a year after extremist gunmen occupied the southern Philippine city. The Catholic cathedral remains closed. It was desecrated and burned at the height of the five-month conflict that ended in October.

    Read more
  • Pope praises French policeman who gave his life to save hostage

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis joined leaders praising a French police officer who "gave his life out of a desire to protect people" during a terrorist attack. Lt. Col. Arnaud Beltrame, 44, had convinced the gunman, identified as Redouane Lakdim, to allow him to take the place of a woman Lakdim was holding hostage March 23 in a grocery store in Trebes, a small town in southern France.

    Read more
  • Salvadoran: Blessed Romero, family friend, used visits to escape horrors

    SANTA TECLA, El Salvador (CNS) -- Leonor Chacon remembers every emotion she felt March 24, 1980, as if it were yesterday. It started, she recalls, with the happiness that always accompanied the expectation that Archbishop Oscar Romero of San Salvador would be coming to eat with her family in the small city of Santa Tecla, just west of the Salvadoran capital.

    Read more
  • Purity is seen in how one treats oneself, others, papal preacher says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- If Catholic morality in the past seemed so obsessed with preventing sexual sin that it ignored sins of injustice, today "we have gone to the opposite extreme," seemingly concerned only with how people treat others, not with how they treat the gift of their bodies, the papal preacher said.

    Read more
  • Hong Kong cardinal: Dialogue between Christianity, China indispensable

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Dialogue and respectful understanding are the prerequisites for social harmony and world peace, Hong Kong Cardinal John Tong Hon told a symposium on Christianity and China. "If we see only our own reasons and insist on our own experience as the norm, thereby denying the basis of other people's experience, then disagreement, quarrels and even wars will be inevitable," between individuals, communities, nations and religions, he said.

    Read more
  • Five wounds of Christ: Pope urges recovery of traditional devotion

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis seems to be fixated on the wounds of Christ. And he has suggested that other Catholics might want to be as well. He has offered meditations on Jesus' pierced hands, feet and side throughout his pontificate, but since January, his references in impromptu speeches and homilies have been so frequent that it seems to be a major focus of his own prayer life.

    Read more