Category: National and International

U.S. officials return stolen Columbus letter back to Vatican Library

VATICAN CITY | With the help of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, a 15th-century copy of a letter Christopher Columbus sent to his royal patrons describing the riches of the New World has been returned to its rightful owner — the Vatican. The rare four-page document, estimated to be worth $1.2 million, had been… Read more »

At meeting in Florida, U.S. bishops decry Sessions’ asylum decision

FORT LAUDERDALE | The U.S. bishops June 13 decried U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision that asylum seekers fleeing domestic or gang violence cannot find protection in the United States. “At its core, asylum is an instrument to preserve the right to life,” the bishops’ statement said. They urged the nation’s policymakers and courts “to… Read more »

World Meeting of Families to feature Father James Martin as keynoter

MAYNOOTH, Ireland | The issue of LGBT families has dogged the ninth World Meeting of Families since it was revealed that an image of a gay couple was edited for a preparatory booklet, and Los Angeles Auxiliary Bishop David G. O’Connell’s comments on gay families were deleted from a video. On June 11, the date… Read more »

Using women, trampling on their dignity is a sin, pope says

VATICAN CITY | Exploiting women or treating them like objects is a sin against God, Pope Francis said. “There is a rage against women, terrible rage,” the pope said in his homily June 15 during morning Mass at Domus Sanctae Marthae. It will do people good — especially those who enjoy freedom — to reflect… Read more »

Pope accepts resignations of three Chilean bishops in wake of scandal

VATICAN CITY | After an in-depth Vatican-led investigation into clerical sexual abuse and cover-ups, Pope Francis accepted the resignation of 61-year-old Bishop Juan Barros of Osorno, Chile, and two other Chilean bishops June 11. The two other bishops, who had reached the customary retirement age of 75, were Archbishop Cristian Caro Cordero of Puerto Montt… Read more »

A Father’s Day story: stepping in when the biological dad steps out

VANCOUVER, British Columbia | Katherine Babcock was in college studying toward an arts degree when she found out she was pregnant. The child’s father, her best friend of 10 years, could not cope with the news. “He said: ‘It’s early enough in your pregnancy. You could just terminate,’” Babcock told The B.C. Catholic, newspaper of… Read more »

Spain agrees to welcome rescue boat after Italy, Malta refuse

ROME | Spain has announced it will let a ship holding 629 migrants and refugees, who were rescued from the Mediterranean, dock on its shores, after Italy and Malta refused to accept the vessel. Doctors Without Borders operating on the Mediterranean Sea tweeted June 11 that among those on board were seven pregnant women, 15… Read more »

Papal diplomat says U.S.-North Korea summit brings hope for peace

VATICAN CITY | Talks between the leaders of the United States and North Korea are “truly historic” and bring hope for the start of a new era of peace, said Pope Francis’ ambassador to Korea. A “very important” new page has been turned, Archbishop Alfred Xuereb, apostolic nuncio to South Korea and Mongolia, told Vatican… Read more »

Synod working document seeks ‘new paths’ of evangelization in Amazon

VATICAN CITY | The Catholic Church must discover new ways to provide the Eucharist and pastoral support to the people of the Amazon, especially indigenous people threatened by forced displacement and exploitation, a new document said. The Vatican released the preparatory document for the special Synod of Bishops on the Amazon June 8. The synod… Read more »

After raid, Ohio bishop says immigration system adds to suffering

WASHINGTON | The bishop of Cleveland said a recent immigration raid at an Ohio gardening and landscape company “makes clear that our current immigration system contributes to the human suffering of migrants and the separation of families.” In a June 6 statement from the Diocese of Cleveland, Bishop Nelson J. Perez said he felt “a… Read more »