Category: National and International

Tension grows as Venezuela closes border with Brazil

SAO PAULO | Tensions were high in Pacaraima, Brazil, and Santa Elena, Venezuela, with the announcement by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro that he had closed the border between the two countries. “I’ve spoken this morning to my counterparts in Santa Elena, and they say that people arriving from other parts of Venezuela to cross the… Read more »

Harming a child must be ‘line in the sand’ for removal, cardinal says

VATICAN CITY | For the Catholic Church, there is a “line in the sand,” which can never be crossed, and that is to not allow anyone who harms or would harm a child to exercise public ministry, said Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley of Boston. In fact, removing someone from public ministry for abuse should be… Read more »

Bishops at summit consider 21 action items to handle, prevent abuse

VATICAN CITY | Immediately after asking bishops and religious superiors to be concrete in confronting the clerical sexual abuse crisis and the need to protect children in the church, Pope Francis handed them a list of 21 action items to consider. From publicizing the contact information for reporting cases of abuse to cooperating with local… Read more »

Vatican official urges reconsidering ‘pontifical secret’ in abuse cases

VATICAN CITY | The Catholic Church should re-examine how “pontifical secret” is applied in clerical sex abuse cases so there is greater transparency in the cases and it is not invoked “to hide problems,” said a canon lawyer and Vatican official. Linda Ghisoni is a canon lawyer who serves as a consultant for the Congregation… Read more »

Knights of Columbus novena underway to pray for success of Vatican summit

WASHINGTON | When they aren’t bagging lunches, serving soup at shelters or preparing pancakes after morning Mass, you can often find members of the Knights of Columbus in prayer. And now Supreme Knight Carl Anderson and Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori, supreme chaplain, have given the Knights a prayer mission worthy of the organization’s perpetual… Read more »

Archbishop Theodore McCarrick laicized by Pope Francis


Vatican City | Pope Francis and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith ordered this week the laicization of Theodore McCarrick, a former cardinal and archbishop emeritus of Washington, and a once powerful figure in ecclesiastical, diplomatic, and political circles in the U.S. and around the world. The decision followed an administrative penal process… Read more »

Texas locality orders popular Catholic center for migrants to vacate

WASHINGTON | A group of city commissioners in the border city of McAllen, Texas, voted in mid-February to remove from a building a popular Catholic-administered center run by Sister Norma Pimentel, who has been praised by Pope Francis for her work with migrants. McAllen city commissioners voted Feb. 11 to vacate within 90 days the… Read more »

Florida Catholic school’s prayer service marks school shooting anniversary

PARKLAND | One day before the anniversary of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, neighboring Mary Help of Christians School held a prayer service to pay tribute to the victims. The event was attended by teachers, staff, students, parents and invited guests, including Parkland Mayor Christine Hunschofsky and the parents, family… Read more »

Cardinal warns against being silent, in error about Catholic faith

VATICAN CITY | To keep silent about the truths of the Catholic faith or to teach the contrary is a form of religious deception that comes from the anti-Christ, said Cardinal Gerhard Muller. The purpose of the church and its members, he said, is to lead people to Jesus, so all Catholics, but especially priests… Read more »

Weeklong observance in U.S. celebrates ‘beauty and gift of marriage’

WASHINGTON | National Marriage Week USA and World Marriage Day are opportunities for “building a culture of life and love that begins with promoting and defending marriage and the family,” said Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia. The archbishop, who is chairman of the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth of the U.S…. Read more »