Category: National and International

Pope to make historic visit to United Arab Emirates in February

VATICAN CITY | Pope Francis will visit the United Arab Emirates next year, becoming the first pope to visit the Arabian Peninsula, the Vatican announced. In a Dec. 6 statement, the Vatican said the pope will “participate in the International Interfaith Meeting on ‘Human Fraternity’” after receiving an invitation by Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan,… Read more »

At Advent, make peace, not war, pope says at morning Mass

VATICAN CITY | The Advent season is a time of preparation for the coming of the prince of peace and not a time of making war with those around you, Pope Francis said. As Christians prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus, they must also reflect on what they do in their daily lives to… Read more »

Pope: Idolatry empties lives, ruins hearts, which only Christ can revive

VATICAN CITY | Every heart enslaved by false idols and evil desires needs a “transplant” with a heart filled with love, joy, goodness, hope and generosity, Pope Francis said. “How does this ‘heart transplant’ happen? From an old heart to a new heart? Through the gift of new desires,” the pope said Nov. 28 during… Read more »

Marking feast day, pope asks Mary’s care of families seeking refuge

ROME | In the heart of Rome, near streets of fancy shops already blinged out for Christmas shopping, Pope Francis prayed for Romans struggling to survive and for families in the city and around the world who face the same lack of welcome that Mary and Joseph experienced. The pope concluded his public celebration of… Read more »

Cardinal tells COP24 climate needs present ‘challenge of civilization’

The Vatican challenged countries gathered for the 24th U.N. Climate Change Conference to focus on the needs of the present and the future as it worked to take swift action. Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, addressed the conference, COP24, in Katowice, Poland, Dec. 3 and told participants, “We are standing before a challenge… Read more »

Texas archdiocese ‘fully cooperating’ with search of offices

HOUSTON | The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston said Nov. 28 it “continues to cooperate, as we have since the outset,” with the Office of the District Attorney of Montgomery County in its ongoing investigation into a Catholic priest accused of abusing minors. The archdiocesan statement was issued in response to the execution of a search warrant… Read more »

Michigan sisters sing at National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony

WASHINGTON | To hear the voices of the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist from Michigan in Washington, the best bet was to listen to them sing at the National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony on the Ellipse outside the White House late Nov. 28. Ahead of the ceremony, the sisters had turned down… Read more »

Catholic migrant advocates have mixed reaction to Tijuana border events

MEXICO CITY | The chaotic scene in Tijuana Nov. 25 — when migrants, including women and children, were repelled from the U.S. border with tear gas — prompted the closure of one of the world’s busiest border crossings. It also showed the increasing impatience and despair of thousands of caravan participants, who could spend months… Read more »

Feast of Immaculate Conception does not get weekend dispensation

WASHINGTON — Just last year, Catholics were required to attend separate Masses two days in a row for the Sunday obligation and Monday’s Christmas Mass. Now, they have a similar opportunity this year with the feast of the Immaculate Conception falling on a Saturday — Dec. 8. The vigil Mass on Saturday evening is not… Read more »

Consumerism is the enemy of generosity, pope says

VATICAN CITY | The desire to spend vast amounts on shopping and needless extravagances can prevent Christians from being generous with others, Pope Francis said. “Consumerism is a great disease today. I am not saying that we all do this, no. But consumerism, spending more than we need, is a lack of austerity in life;… Read more »