Category: National and International

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 »

Catholics among 59 arrested during ‘pray-in’ at U.S. Capitol

WASHINGTON | Catholics arrested in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda as part of the six-week Poor People’s Campaign said they willingly gave up their freedom for a few hours to object to widespread racism, voter suppression, anti-immigrant policies and inaction on poverty around the country. They told Catholic News Service May 21 before their act of… Read more »

Veterans found ‘life-changing,’ ‘healing’ experience at Lourdes

Veterans taking part in the 2018 Warriors to Lourdes pilgrimage to France said the journey has positively influenced their lives and benefited those around them. Maj. Jeremy Haynes, a first-time spiritual pilgrim and Lourdes visitor, said he is a changed man since visiting the shrine, where Mary appeared to St. Bernadette Soubirous in a series… Read more »

Ryan, Brownback, archbishop address National Catholic Prayer Breakfast

WASHINGTON | This year’s National Catholic Prayer breakfast took on a decidedly Kansas flavor, as Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City and Sam Brownback, a former House and Senate member and governor of Kansas, addressed nearly 1,000 gathered at a Washington hotel May 24. Also speaking was outgoing Speaker of the House Paul Ryan,… Read more »

Pope will create 14 new cardinals in June

VATICAN CITY | Here are brief biographical notes about each of the 14 churchmen who will become cardinals June 29. Their names are listed in the order Pope Francis announced them May 20: • Iraqi Cardinal-designate Louis Raphael I Sako, the Chaldean Catholic patriarch, was ordained a bishop eight months after the U.S. invasion of… Read more »

All of Chile’s bishops offer resignations after meeting pope on abuse

VATICAN CITY | Every bishop in Chile offered his resignation to Pope Francis after a three-day meeting at the Vatican to discuss the clerical sexual abuse scandal. “We want to announce that all bishops present in Rome, in writing, have placed our positions in the Holy Father’s hands so that he may freely decide regarding… Read more »

Pope expresses concern about ‘spiral of violence’ in Holy Land

VATICAN CITY | Warning that violence will never bring peace, Pope Francis urged all sides to do all they can to foster dialogue in the Middle East. “I am very worried about the intensifying tensions in the Holy Land and the Middle East and about the spiral of violence that increasingly leads away from the… Read more »