Category: National and International

Pope appoints first woman to Vatican foreign ministry post

VATICAN CITY | Pope Francis named Francesca Di Giovanni, a longtime Vatican official, as an undersecretary in the Vatican’s foreign ministry office, making her the first woman to hold a managerial position at the Vatican Secretariat of State. The Vatican announced Jan. 15 that within the Vatican Secretariat of State’s Section for Relations with States,… Read more »

Knights, New York Archdiocese and others providing aid to quake victims

PONCE, Puerto Rico | Jose Lebron-Sanabria, a Knight of Columbus and a general insurance agent for the fraternal organization, is coordinating assistance to Puerto Ricans in the aftermath of devastating earthquakes. He led the Knights’ recovery efforts after Hurricane Maria decimated Puerto Rico in September 2017. Among other efforts this time, he is working with… Read more »

Retired pope wants his name removed as co-author of book on celibacy

VATICAN CITY | At the request of retired Pope Benedict XVI, his name will be removed as co-author of a book defending priestly celibacy, said Cardinal Robert Sarah, the Vatican official who coordinated work on the book. “Considering the polemics provoked by the publication of the book, ‘From the Depths of Our Hearts,’ it has… Read more »

‘No end in sight to the horror’: Australian bishops respond to fires

CANBERRA, Australia | Saying that “there is no end in sight to the horror which confronts us,” Archbishop Mark Coleridge, president of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, said the bishops have implemented a national response to months of wildfires. The bishops have set up a national network, connecting people affected by the fires with “people… Read more »

Flu factor: Dioceses take steps to prevent virus from spreading

WASHINGTON | The flu season is here and dioceses across the country are taking precautions to avoid spreading illness. The steps outlined by at least three dioceses are designed to minimize contact among the faithful in order to reduce the possibility of transmission of an influenza virus. The dioceses of Portland, Maine, and Allentown, Pennsylvania,… Read more »

Prayer vigil pushes for peaceful solution in Iran crisis

WASHINGTON | The gathering outside the White House after dark Jan. 6 to protest U.S. aggression toward Iran was not nearly as big as a parade two days earlier protesting against the warlike moves. It certainly was not as loud. But, in its own way, the peace vigil was just as strong. The 30-minute vigil, organized… Read more »

Prayer key to being missionary disciples, FOCUS participants learn

PHOENIX | Though more than 8,500 Catholics attended the Fellowship of Catholic University Students’ annual Student Leadership Summit to start the new year, the event focused on the power of prayer and sharing Christ in small groups. Participants learned how prayer, small-group discipleship, proclaiming the Gospel and having a Catholic worldview can help influence others… Read more »

Puerto Rico reels under successive earthquakes; Catholic church damaged

WASHINGTON | At least one person has died and one Catholic Church was destroyed by the latest of a series of earthquakes to rock Puerto Rico. A magnitude 6.4 quake shook people awake at 4:24 a.m. local time Jan. 7, less than 24 hours after a magnitude 5.8 temblor shook the island in the predawn… Read more »

New rules in China target unregistered Catholic, Protestant churches

SIEM REAP, Cambodia | The Chinese government has targeted unregistered Catholic and Protestant churches with a new expansion of rules and regulations governing religious organizations. It will institute another raft of laws covering 41 religion-related topics Feb. 1, two years after the implementation of another set of restrictive laws for religious groups in the country…. Read more »

Kenyan Catholic leaders alarmed at increase in terror attacks

NAIROBI, Kenya | Catholic leaders in Kenya are sounding an alarm after a terror attack killed three Americans and forced local people to flee. The clerics feared the attack in Manda Bay in Lamu County — which occurred amid increasing tension in the Middle East — could be an act of revenge linked to the… Read more »