Category: National and International

U.S. church to welcome thousands of new Catholics at Easter Vigil Masses

WASHINGTON | By entering the Catholic Church, catechumens and candidates are joining the history of God’s plan to redeem the world from sin, Detroit Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron said as the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults process began in February. “It is by communion with Jesus Christ that God’s history becomes our history,” Archbishop… Read more »

U.S., world urged to help Jordan aid refugees, end Syrian civil war

SOUTHERN SHUNEH, Jordan | The United States has a responsibility to help Jordan as it struggles to support hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees and must actively seek to end Syria’s long civil war, American human rights advocate Kerry Kennedy told a conference on forced migration. “Stop the violence that creates the refugee crisis,” Kennedy… Read more »

Jesus does not give up on anyone, pope tells prisoners

ROME | Before washing the feet of 12 prisoners, Pope Francis told them and hundreds of inmates to remember that Jesus constantly stands before them with love, ready to cleanse their sins and forgive them. “Jesus takes a risk on each of us. Know this: Jesus is called Jesus, not Pontius Pilate. Jesus does not… Read more »

Youth-led march inspires Catholic adult participants

WASHINGTON | Although the March for Our Lives in Washington March 24 and its “sibling” marches in cities across the country were brought on by teenagers, participants were all ages — from toddlers in strollers pushed by their parents to elderly marchers using walkers. Many of the adults in the Washington crowd carrying posters with… Read more »

Bishops disappointed with Congress’ inaction on Conscience Protection Act

WASHINGTON | The chairmen of the U.S. bishops’ pro-life and religious freedom committees said it was “deeply disappointing” that Congress omitted the Conscience Protection Act from the congressional funding bill for fiscal year 2018. “We call on Congress not to give up until this critical legislation is enacted,” said a March 22 joint statement from… Read more »

Five wounds of Christ: Pope urges recovery of traditional devotion

VATICAN CITY | Pope Francis seems to be fixated on the wounds of Christ. And he has suggested that other Catholics might want to be as well. He has offered meditations on Jesus’ pierced hands, feet and side throughout his pontificate, but since January, his references in impromptu speeches and homilies have been so frequent… Read more »

China’s Communist Party overhaul includes religious affairs control

HONG KONG | China’s ruling Communist Party has further stepped up control over all religions, dissolving its long-standing State Administration for Religious Affairs bureau and handing its functions to the party’s United Front Work Department. reported the move was announced on the closing day of the annual “two meetings” in Beijing and comes as… Read more »

Pope accepts resignation of communications prefect

VATICAN CITY | After a very public controversy involving the use of a letter by retired Pope Benedict XVI, Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Msgr. Dario Vigano as prefect of the Vatican Secretariat for Communication. Announcing the move March 21, the Vatican published Msgr. Vigano’s letter to Pope Francis asking to resign and… Read more »

‘Cry out,’ pope tells young people at Palm Sunday Mass

VATICAN CITY | Celebrating Palm Sunday Mass with thousands of young people, Pope Francis urged them to continue singing and shouting “hosanna” in the world, proclaiming the lordship of Jesus and following his example of outreach to the poor and suffering. The crowd that shouted “hosanna” as Jesus entered Jerusalem included all those for whom… Read more »

Pregame prayer, solid teamwork clinched win for Loyola, says nun-chaplain

DALLAS | A religious sister who is the longtime chaplain of the Loyola University Chicago men’s basketball team credited the pregame prayer and the players’ solid teamwork for the Ramblers’ thrilling, last-second 64-62 win over the University of Miami in the NCAA Tournament on March 15. “Our team is so great and they don’t care… Read more »