Category: National and International

Catholic hospitals help Indonesia quake victims in Lombok, Bali

JAKARTA, Indonesia | Catholic hospitals in Indonesia have sent medical teams to treat hundreds of people injured by a magnitude 6.9 earthquake that struck the tourist island of Lombok near Bali Aug. 5. The death toll stood at 105 by mid-afternoon Aug. 7 with 236 injured, reported. Officials expected the death toll to rise… Read more »

U.S. church’s response to sex abuse shows progress, but questions remain

WASHINGTON | With the Aug. 14 release of a Pennsylvania grand jury report on priestly sexual abuse of minors, the U.S. Catholic Church again is confronting questions about its response to abuse allegations dating back several decades. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has taken steps to address abuse claims and prevent abuse, including the… Read more »

Officials hold release of report on clergy sex abuse in Pennsylvania

WASHINGTON | A last-minute round of legal maneuvering to keep some names from appearing in a grand jury report detailing a months-long investigation of clergy sex abuse claims in six Pennsylvania dioceses may have kept the document from being made public Aug. 8 — the earliest date given for its possible release. On Aug. 8,… Read more »

After Rwanda closes churches, bishops urge protection of religious rights

OXFORD, England | The Rwandan Catholic bishops’ conference urged the government of President Paul Kagame to preserve religious rights after government officials closed thousands of churches and mosques. The buildings remained locked because of what the government said were health and safety issues, including lack of toilets, plastered walls and paved access roads. “Most Catholics… Read more »

Pennsylvania grand jury says church was interested in hiding abuse

WASHINGTON | A Pennsylvania grand jury report issued Aug. 14 paints a picture of a Catholic Church in six of the state’s dioceses that for decades handled claims of sex abuse of minors under its care by hiding the allegations and brushing aside its victims. More than 300 priests were linked to abuse claims and… Read more »

Fear, uncertainty lead to a ‘do-it-yourself’ religion, pope says

VATICAN CITY | Like the ancient Israelites, Christians today also can fall into the temptation of creating their own idols when difficulties and uncertainties arise, Pope Francis said. “To escape precariousness human nature looks for a ‘do-it-yourself’ religion. If God does not show himself, we create a tailor-made god,” the pope said Aug. 8 during… Read more »

Abuse letter to Cardinal O’Malley was second priest sent officials

WASHINGTON | In a June 2015 letter to Boston’s Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley obtained by Catholic News Service, a New York priest tells the prelate about “sexual abuse/harassment/intimidation” allegations he had heard concerning then-Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick and asks that if the matter doesn’t fall under his purview, to forward it to the “proper agency… Read more »

Back to School: Preserving Catholic school’s charism ‘has to be intentional’

OLDENBURG, Ind. | Although women religious — once synonymous with Catholic education — have been disappearing from U.S. classrooms in recent decades, many Catholic schools are taking extra steps to make sure that even as these sisters age or their numbers decrease, the charisms that infused the schools they founded will not be lost. This… Read more »

Argentina Senate votes down abortion decriminalization bill

MEXICO CITY | The Argentine Senate voted against a bill that would have decriminalized abortion during the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. Senators voted 38-31 against the measure early Aug. 9 following a 15-hour debate. The measure had been approved in June by the lower house of Congress. The Argentine bishops’ conference hailed the vote,… Read more »

Church leaders urge inquiry into abuse claims against archbishop

WASHINGTON | U.S. Catholic church leaders have been calling for an internal investigation into the handling of allegations of abuse and sexual misconduct against Archbishop Theodore E. McCarrick and urging such an inquiry be spearheaded by laypeople. “I think we have reached a point where bishops alone investigating bishops is not the answer. To have… Read more »