World News

Vatican bank launches website to boost transparency, media relations

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- In an effort to shake its image as a secretive, scandal-ridden institute and improve its relationship with the media, the Vatican bank has launched its own website.

Ireland’s pro-lifers vow to repeal new abortion law

DUBLIN (CNS) -- Irish pro-life campaigners vowed to work to repeal a new law that permits abortion in limited circumstances. President Michael D. Higgins signed the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill July 30 after tense parliamentary debates during which several legislators resigned.

Syria’s war creates havoc, priest’s whereabouts unknown, nuncio says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The war in Syria is like a factory churning out nothing but death, destruction and suffering, said Archbishop Mario Zenari, Vatican nuncio to Syria. Even though the Vatican was unable to confirm July 30 news reports that a Jesuit priest had been kidnapped in Syria, the nuncio said hundreds of innocent people there find themselves abducted for political leverage or economic extortion.

Returning to Rome, pope discusses plans for future trips

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- At the end of his first foreign trip, Pope Francis told reporters that it's good for a pope to travel and there are plans in the works for visits in Italy, to Jerusalem, to Asia, but nothing planned soon for his Argentine homeland. "I think papal trips are always good," he said July 28 during the flight back to Rome after a week in Brazil.

At least 38 pilgrims killed in crash after visiting Padre Pio shrine

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- In addition to 38 people killed when a bus plunged off an elevated highway in a mountainous region of southern Italy July 28, another 19 people were reported seriously injured, including passengers of nearby vehicles. A number of the victims were children. Only 11 people were pulled alive from the wreckage, Vatican Radio and other news outlets reported.

In Brazil, Pope Francis shows power of his simple actions, frank words

RIO DE JANEIRO (CNS) -- If Blessed John Paul II had an actor's mastery of the dramatic gesture and Pope Benedict XVI engaged the faithful most effectively through his learned and lucid writing, Pope Francis showed the world on his first international trip that his forte as a communicator is the simple, seemingly artless action that resonates powerfully in context.

Youths speak of what they’re searching for on sands of Rio

Approximately 250 pilgrims from the Philadelphia, Washington and Arlington dioceses were looking for a safe place to spend the night when Catholic News Service met up with them on a side street in the Copacabana neighborhood at 10 p.m. Although Pope Francis' address had been over for hours and the Neocatechumenal Way group had just walked almost six miles, they were still in high spirits, singing as they slowly moved along.

Pope tells Latin American bishops to shun ideology, empower laity

RIO DE JANEIRO (CNS) -- Reducing the faith to a worldly ideology, prizing administrative efficiency over missionary zeal, and exalting the role of clergy to the detriment of the laity are some of the major "temptations" undermining evangelization in Latin America, Pope Francis told church leaders from the region.

Pope answers questions about Curia reforms, gay lobby

ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT FROM BRAZIL (CNS) -- Pope Francis said he was responding to the clear wishes of the College of Cardinals when he set up commissions to study the Vatican bank, Vatican financial and administrative procedures and the reform of the Roman Curia. The pope also said he knows people have spoken about some kind of "gay lobby" at the Vatican protecting certain priests by threatening to blackmail others. The pope said the "lobbying" is what is worrisome.

Pope Francis discusses women in the Church, divorce, his own spirituality

ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT FROM BRAZIL (CNS) -- From his personal prayer life and spirituality to the role of women in the Church and the pastoral care of the divorced, Pope Francis responded to several questions about Church teaching and ministry July 28 when he met reporters on his flight from Rio de Janeiro to Rome.