Category: National and International

Pope prays for new year marked by tenderness, brotherhood, peace

VATICAN CITY | A new year is a chance for a new start, a time to remember that all people are brothers and sisters and a time to nurture amazement that God became human to save all people, Pope Francis said. The Jan. 1 feast of Mary, Mother of God, also is a time to… Read more »

Trump visits Texas migrant center at invitation of nun on front lines

MCALLEN, Texas | President Donald Trump got a brief look at the work of a well-known Catholic Charities-run refugee center in South Texas during a daylong trip to the border. His visit to the Humanitarian Respite Center in McAllen Jan. 10 came less than a day after Sister Norma Pimentel welcomed the president to the… Read more »

Archbishop calls ‘9 Days for Life’ a ‘powerful prayer initiative’

WASHINGTON | The novena “9 Days for Life” is a “powerful prayer initiative” for the end to abortion and for “the respect of all human life,” said the chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities. The novena and related observances sponsored by the bishops’ pro-life secretariat lead up to the annual Day of… Read more »

Bishops describe their retreat as inspiring, Spirit-filled

WASHINGTON | Although the weeklong retreat for U.S. Catholic bishops emphasized quiet reflection, several bishops spoke out on social media during the retreat and after it wrapped up Jan. 8 with positive reaction about it and to give shoutouts to the retreat leader, Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa, who has preached to popes and top officials… Read more »

Shutdown won’t deter crowds from marching for life in nation’s capital

WASHINGTON | Neither snow nor sleet — nor partial government shutdown — will keep pro-lifers away from the nation’s capital for the March for Life Jan. 18. If it continues, the shutdown will be almost a month old by then. Daily news reports show the closures of monuments, memorials and the Smithsonian museums in Washington… Read more »

Catholic groups and others rail against Trump border ‘crisis’ speech

WASHINGTON | No sooner had President Donald Trump finished his Jan. 8 nine-minute speech, his first such event televised in prime time from the Oval Office, about what he called a “crisis” at the border, than Catholic groups and others began tearing apart his arguments. In email statements, via Twitter, in Facebook posts that cascaded… Read more »

Ireland agrees to reassess claims of workers in Magdalene laundries

DUBLIN | Women who worked in Ireland’s “Magdalene laundries” but were denied compensation under the state’s Magdalene Restorative Justice program have won their long-running battle to have their applications reassessed. New legislation will ensure that payments to the women, many now over age 70, will be fast-tracked by the Irish state in an effort to… Read more »

Catholic groups denounce child’s death near U.S. border on Christmas Eve

WASHINGTON | Immigration officials announced new health checks for immigrant children under detention after a second child, an 8-year-old boy, died Christmas Eve while under the agency’s care. “This is a tragic loss. On behalf of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, our deepest sympathies go out to the family,” said CBP Commissioner Kevin K. McAleenan… Read more »

U.S. bishops take part in weeklong retreat about clergy sex abuse crisis

WASHINGTON | The U.S. Catholic bishops are taking part in a closed-door retreat Jan. 2-8 at Mundelein Seminary at the University of St. Mary of the Lake near Chicago to prayerfully consider ways to rebuild trust over the clergy sex abuse crisis. “We are honored to welcome the bishops of the United States to Mundelein… Read more »

Illinois attorney general releases report on clergy sex abuse

CHICAGO | Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s report claiming that the clergy sexual abuse of minors in the state is “significantly more extensive” than what the state’s dioceses had previously reported is unfair and “just false,” according to the top lawyer for the Archdiocese of Chicago. William R. Kunkel, general counsel of the archdiocese, made… Read more »