Category: National and International

Cardinal Pell ordered to stand trial on abuse charges

MELBOURNE, Australia | After a monthlong pre-trial hearing, an Australian judge ordered Cardinal George Pell to stand trial on multiple charges of sexual abuse of minors, charges the cardinal consistently has denied. While dropping some of the charges, including what Cardinal Pell’s lawyer described as the most “vile,” Magistrate Belinda Wallington announced May 1 that… Read more »

Trump signs order to give faith groups stronger voice in government

WASHINGTON | In front of a small crowd of cabinet members and religious leaders at the White House Rose Garden May 3, President Donald Trump announced, and then signed, an executive order giving faith-based groups a stronger voice in the federal government. “It’s a great day,” he said after signing the order and passing out… Read more »

Clergy abuse survivors grateful after private meetings with pope

VATICAN CITY | After private meetings with Pope Francis, three survivors of clergy sexual abuse from Chile said they felt they had been heard and were hopeful for changes in the way the Catholic Church handles accusations of abuse. “I spoke for more than two and a half hours alone with Pope Francis. He listened… Read more »

Pope, others mourn death of British toddler Alfie Evans

LIVERPOOL, England | Pope Francis said he was mourning the death of English toddler Alfie Evans, who died four days after doctors withdrew his life support system. The 23-month-old boy died at about 2:30 a.m. April 28 after his father, Tom Evans, spent 10 minutes trying to revive him by mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, according to reports… Read more »

Kentucky chaplain brings God’s love to the horse racing track

LOUISVILLE, Ky. | Daisy Baez walks along the rows of barns on the backside of Churchill Downs before day breaks on a Wednesday two weeks before the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby, the world’s most famous horse race. On the first Saturday of May, all eyes will be on the prized thoroughbreds who will… Read more »

Faith-based groups say fighting created humanitarian crisis in Yemen

AMMAN, Jordan | Catholic and other faith-based aid groups are urging an end to fighting in Yemen, where three years of war have created a humanitarian crisis, including “the world’s largest food security emergency,” according to the United Nations. Children are bearing the brunt of Yemen’s conflict, the U.N. warned, with 80 percent of them… Read more »

Through work by sisters, church in Cuba extends its reach beyond parishes

Forbidden by the communist government to run official Catholic schools, a congregation in Havana quietly offers alternative after-school courses focusing on the arts. Parents, who learn about the program by word of mouth or church bulletins, tell the sisters they’d prefer the classes focus on math and science rather than guitar lessons, theater and painting…. Read more »

Citing ‘capricious’ decision, judge says DACA applications may continue

WASHINGTON | Catholic groups hailed an April 24 decision by a federal judge that said a program that benefits young adults who came into the country without legal permission as minors can still accept new and renewed applications and must maintain protections that prevent those who are enrolled in it from being deported. The Trump… Read more »

Caritas Syria: Air strikes reopened wounds, but agency still able to help

AMMAN, Jordan | Caritas Syria said the recent massive missile strikes by the United States, Britain and France, intended to weaken Syria’s chemical weapons capability, have not hindered its assistance to the country’s poor and internally displaced. “We have enough pain in our lives, we don’t need any more,” said Sandra Awad, communications director for… Read more »

Nicaraguan bishops accept mediation role

MEXICO CITY | The bishops’ conference of Nicaragua has accepted an invitation to mediate talks aimed at calming the Central American country, which has been roiled by protests over proposed changes to the national social security system and discontent with an increasingly authoritarian government. “The (bishops) after praying, listening and seeking guidance from the Holy… Read more »