Category: National and International

Bishops: Amend repeal bill to protect poor, keep ban on abortion coverage

WASHINGTON | The latest version of a Republican measure in the Senate to repeal the Affordable Care Act must be amended to protect poor and vulnerable Americans, said the chairmen of four U.S. bishops’ committees. “As you consider the Graham-Cassidy legislation as a possible replacement for the Affordable Care Act, we urge you to think… Read more »

Bishop, Caritas staffer say situation in Mexico serious, much aid needed

MEXICO CITY  |  A Catholic bishop and a Caritas worker in Mexico said the situation was extremely serious after the Sept. 19 earthquake, and much aid would be needed. “The situation is complicated, because the first earthquake (Sept. 7) had already affected thousands of people in Chiapas and Oaxaca,” Alberto Arciniega, head of communications for… Read more »

Pope says church was late fighting abuse, promises ‘zero tolerance’

VATICAN CITY  |  Pope Francis has endorsed an approach of “zero tolerance” toward all members of the church guilty of sexually abusing minors or vulnerable adults. Having listened to abuse survivors and having made what he described as a mistake in approving a more lenient set of sanctions against an Italian priest abuser, the pope… Read more »

Workers see humanitarian crisis as Rohingya flee Myanmar

COX’S BAZAR, Bangladesh | Bangladesh is bracing for a massive humanitarian crisis because of a lack of food, sanitation, medicines and even basic housing following the exodus of as many as 350,000 Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar, fleeing violence in which at least 1,000 were killed in just two weeks. The roadside and areas along the… Read more »

Priest recounts tale of capture, liberation

VATICAN CITY | Salesian Father Tom Uzhunnalil was sitting in a room in an unknown location — one of several he had been relocated to during his 18-month imprisonment — when he received some unexpected news. “Those who kept me came to where I slept (and said), ‘I bring you good news. We are sending… Read more »

Pope says he hopes Trump reconsiders DACA decision

ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT FROM COLOMBIA  |  Politicians who call themselves pro-life must be pro-family and not enact policies that divide families and rob young people of a future, Pope Francis said. Flying from Colombia back to Rome late Sept. 10, Pope Francis was asked about U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to end the Deferred… Read more »

Church leaders, including from U.S., pray for victims of quake

CARTAGENA, Colombia  |  Church leaders prayed for Mexicans and Guatemalans affected by the magnitude 8.1 earthquake that struck the Pacific Coast. At the end of Mass in Villavicencio, Colombia, Sept. 8, Pope Francis prayed “for all the people who are suffering because of the earthquake last night in Mexico.” In an early morning tweet, the… Read more »

Be the first to take a step for peace, pope says at Mass with victims

VILLAVICENCIO, Colombia  |  If just one victim of Colombia’s civil war forgives his or her aggressor, it can set off a chain reaction of hope for reconciliation and peace, Pope Francis said. Celebrating Mass Sept. 8 in Villavicencio, a city filled with those who fled their homes during the war and with former fighters trying… Read more »

Catholic leaders sharply criticize Trump’s decision to end DACA

WASHINGTON | Catholic church leaders, immigration officials and university presidents were swift and unanimous in their condemnation of President Donald Trump’s Sept. 5 decision to phase out Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals known as DACA. “In the past, the president stated that the Dreamer story ‘is about the heart,’ yet (the) decision is nothing short… Read more »

Prayers, aid offered amid floods as Texas parishes grapple with Harvey

HOUSTON | The 200-home community of McDade Estates down the road from Sacred Heart Parish had just hours to evacuate Aug. 27. City officials knocked door-to-door, alerting residents to escape to higher ground. Hours later, authorities released historic amounts of water from Lake Conroe as Tropical Storm Harvey continued to flood southeast Texas with as… Read more »