World News

Nativity story’s significance continues to unfold today, pope writes

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Nativity story, like the whole story of Christ, is not merely an event in the past, but has unfolding significance for people today, with implications for such issues as the limits of political power and the purpose of human freedom, Pope Benedict writes in his third and final volume on the life and teachings of Jesus.

Health is universal good to be defended, not commoditized, says pope

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Good health is a benefit that needs to be defended and guaranteed for all people, not just for those who can afford it, Pope Benedict XVI told hundreds of health care workers. The new evangelization is needed in the health field, especially during the current economic crisis “that is cutting resources […]

Pakistani High Court dismisses blasphemy charge against Christian girl

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNS) — The Islamabad High Court ordered police to dismiss blasphemy charges against a Christian Pakistani girl whose arrest and detention drew international condemnation. The ruling from Chief Justice Iqbal Hammeed ur Rehman Nov. 19 said there was no evidence that Rimsha Masih burned papers from the Quran, reported Pakistan’s Dawn news agency. […]

Missionary spirit of India’s Syro-Malabar Church hailed on jubilee

NEW DELHI (CNS) — The missionary zest and vibrancy of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church was lauded at a celebration of the church’s first missionary venture. “The Syro-Malabar church has contributed to not only the evangelization of India but outside,” said Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio, apostolic nuncio to India and Nepal, at a public meeting Nov. 18 […]

Catholic workers, Missionaries of Charity praised by Muslim refugees in Indian camps

KOKRAJHAR, India (CNS) — Besides her family, the most valuable things Majoni Bibi has these days are a few clothes, medicated mosquito nets, cooking utensils, water storage buckets and sleeping mats. Bibi, a Muslim refugee forced with her family from their home as fighting erupted in July between tribal Bodos and Muslim settlers in Assam […]

The ‘green’ pope: Benedict’s calls to care for creation earn notice

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Care for creation has been a hallmark of Pope Benedict XVI’s papacy. From his 2009 encyclical “Caritas in Veritate” (“Charity in Truth”) to his leadership in guiding the Vatican to reduce its carbon footprint, Pope Benedict continues an 800-year Catholic tradition of holding up the environment as a gift from God that […]

Israel, Hamas must make tough decisions to end violence, bishop says

JERUSALEM (CNS) — The Israeli government and leaders of Hamas must make courageous decisions to end the violence that has once again forced residents of Southern Israel into their bomb shelters and residents of the Gaza Strip into their homes, said Auxiliary Bishop William Shomali of Jerusalem. “We are sad for this escalation. It does […]

Ethnic violence growing in Congo, Jesuit Refugee Service reports

ROME (CNS) — Jesuit Refugee Service has launched an alarm about brutal killings and village burnings by Congolese rebels from different ethnic groups, saying the violence has gone unchecked while peacekeeping forces and the army try to put down a rebellion. In the past three months in the Masisi territory of eastern Congo, civilians “have […]

By the numbers: Consistory to expand variety in College of Cardinals

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Shortly after announcing he was creating six new cardinals, Pope Benedict XVI said he was doing so to show that “the church is a church of all peoples, (and) speaks in all languages.” The six new “princes of the church” hail from six different countries in North America, Latin America, Africa […]

Eastern Catholics explain tradition, value of married priests

ROME (CNS) — In Eastern Christianity — among both Catholics and Orthodox — a dual vocation to marriage and priesthood is seen as a call “to love more” and to broaden the boundaries of what a priest considers to be his family, said Russian Catholic Father Lawrence Cross. Father Cross, a professor at the Australian […]