Category: National and International

The Real Presence: What do Catholics believe and how church can respond

WASHINGTON | Do Catholics believe that the Eucharist is truly the body and blood of Christ? A Pew Research Center survey released Aug. 5 found that nearly 70% of Catholics believe that the bread and wine used for Communion during Mass are “symbols of the body and blood of Jesus Christ,” while about 30% believe… Read more »

Bishops welcome rule on religious employers’ rights

WASHINGTON | The chairmen of three U.S. bishops’ committees Aug. 21 welcomed a proposed rule from the U.S. Department of Labor aimed at clarifying religious protections that may be invoked by federal contractors, including faith-based organizations. “Faith-based groups should have the opportunity to compete on a level playing field as they seek to partner with… Read more »

Bishops urge action to save burning Amazon rainforest

SAO PAULO | “Crying out to the world for solidarity,” leaders of the Latin American bishops’ council urged international action to save the Amazon rainforest as massive fires continued to burn. “We urge the governments of the Amazonian countries, especially Brazil and Bolivia, the United Nations and the international community to take serious measures to… Read more »

Rohingya refugees reject ‘unconditional return’ to Myanmar

DHAKA, Bangladesh | A second attempt to repatriate hundreds of Rohingya Muslims from camps in Bangladesh failed after the refugees refused to return “unconditionally” to Myanmar. Bangladesh and Myanmar had agreed to repatriate 3,540 Rohingya from three camps in Cox’s Bazar district starting Aug. 22. The refugees were chosen from a list of containing 22,000… Read more »

Appeals court upholds Cardinal Pell conviction on abuse charges

MELBOURNE, Australia | An Australian appeals court upheld the conviction of Cardinal George Pell on five counts of sexually assaulting two choirboys more than two decades ago. A three-judge panel of the Appeals Division of the Supreme Court of Victoria announced its decision Aug. 21 in Melbourne with the cardinal in attendance. “Cardinal Pell is… Read more »

Faith leaders ask for end to rule for asylum-seekers

SILVER SPRING, Md. | Calling it “a backdoor asylum ban,” more than 250 faith leaders and organizations called for an end to the Trump administration’s policy to turn away asylum-seekers if they don’t first seek protection in countries along their way to the U.S. “The rule fails to understand or acknowledge the realities of asylum-seekers’… Read more »

Bishop: Children will suffer most under new detention rule

WASHINGTON | The chairman of the U.S. bishops’ migration committee said Aug. 23 sees “heartbreaking consequences for immigrant children” in a final rule issued by the Trump administration that allows the federal government to hold immigrant children in family detention indefinitely. The new rule was issued jointly by the Departments of Homeland Security and Health… Read more »

Pope: Assumption invites people to look to heaven with hope

VATICAN CITY | Mary’s assumption into heaven calls people to put aside all those insignificant, mundane and petty concerns competing for their attention and instead be drawn to God and his greatness, Pope Francis said. After reciting the Angelus prayer on the feast of the Assumption Aug. 15, Pope Francis also blessed thousands of rosaries… Read more »

Retired pope responds to criticism of his reflection on abuse crisis

FREIBURG, Germany | Responding to criticism of notes he published about the roots of the clerical sexual abuse crisis, retired Pope Benedict XVI said the fact that the critiques barely mentioned God proved his point. “As far as I can see, in most reactions to my contribution, God does not appear at all,” which is… Read more »

In Colombia, bishops, religious listen to Amazonians before synod

BOGOTA, Colombia | Bishops, nuns, priests and residents of the Amazon basin met in Colombia’s capital city in mid-August to prepare for a special Synod of Bishops for the Amazon this fall at the Vatican. The meeting gave bishops who will be attending the synod a chance to develop proposals and listen to residents of… Read more »