Category: National and International

Hawaii parishioners displaced by lava ask for prayers

HONOLULU | Paul and Rose Utes, members of Sacred Heart Parish in Pahoa, had to leave their home when lava from the Kilauea eruptions moved into their section of the Leilani Estates subdivision in Puna on the Big Island. At the time they heard the mandatory evacuation order, the couple, who own Black Rock Cafe… Read more »

Holy Spirit offers gifts that should be cherished, pope says

VATICAN CITY | Pope Francis asked Catholics to recognize and be thankful for the undeserved gift of the Holy Spirit they received with the sacrament of confirmation. “It is a gift to be cherished with care” and to follow with docility, “letting oneself be molded like wax from the burning love” of the Holy Spirit,… Read more »

High court quashes ruling in case of detained teenager seeking abortion

WASHINGTON | The U.S. Supreme Court June 4 threw out a lower court’s ruling that allowed a 17-year-old last year to obtain an abortion while she was in a detention center after an illegal border crossing. If the Supreme Court had not acted, the lower court’s ruling could have set a precedent that would have… Read more »

Irish bishop hopes papal visit can help bring healing after abortion vote

DUBLIN | An Irish bishop said he hopes Pope Francis’ August visit can help bring healing after a divisive referendum that will pave the way for abortion on demand up to 12 weeks’ gestation. In a May 25 referendum, voters opted by a margin of 66.4 percent to 33.6 percent to remove the right to… Read more »

High court rules in favor of baker in same-sex wedding cake case

WASHINGTON | In a 7-2 decision June 4, the Supreme Court sided with a Colorado baker in a case that put anti-discrimination laws up against freedom of speech and freedom of religious expression. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, writing for the majority, said the Colorado Civil Rights Commission had violated the Constitution’s protection of religious freedom… Read more »

Vatican team investigating abuse cover-ups to return to Chile

VATICAN CITY | To promote healing after reports of sexual abuse and cover-ups, Pope Francis will send Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta and Father Jordi Bertomeu Farnos back to Chile. Both will visit the Diocese of Osorno “with the aim of advancing the process of reparation and healing of abuse victims,” the Vatican said in… Read more »

State Department releases annual report on international religious freedom

WASHINGTON | Everyone has “a stake in this fight” for religious freedom, said the U.S. ambassador at large for international religious freedom, Sam Brownback. “One person’s bondage is another person’s burden to break,” he told reporters May 29. “We’re all people with beautiful and undeniable human dignity. Our lives are sacred. Our right to choose… Read more »

Church leaders, aid agencies visiting Congo’s Ebola outbreak areas

CAPE TOWN, South Africa | Visits by church leaders to Ebola-affected communities in Congo are helping prevention efforts, while the urban nature of the latest outbreak of the deadly virus is of greatest concern, the country’s bishops said. Katherine Overcamp of Catholic Relief Services said Coadjutor Archbishop Fridolin Ambongo Besungu of Kinshasa has been visiting… Read more »

Abuse survivor says pope told him God loves him the way he is

VATICAN CITY | An abuse survivor, who had been disparaged for being a homosexual, said that Pope Francis told him that God made him that way and loved him for who he was. Juan Carlos Cruz — one of the three survivors from Chile who met with the pope April 27-30 at the Vatican —… Read more »

Texas archdiocese, bishops offer healing, support after shooting

HOUSTON | In response to the May 18 school shooting at a Houston-area high school, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston said the archdiocesan community would “unite to support and offer healing to those affected.” “As a society, we must strive for a way to end such acts of senseless gun violence in our schools… Read more »