World News

Israel strikes leave Gaza without water and electricity, official says

JERUSALEM (CNS) -- Father Raed Abusahlia, general director of Caritas Jerusalem, said July 18 that more than 80,000 Palestinians had been displaced and 1,250 homes have been completely demolished in Israeli airstrikes and the invasion of Gaza in July.

Pope urges Israeli, Palestinian leaders to end Holy Land hostilities

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Expressing his serious concerns over the escalating violence in the Holy Land, Pope Francis telephoned Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, urging all sides to end hostilities and build peace.

Pope prays for victims of downed plane, urges peace in Ukraine

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Though exactly what happened to Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 remained unclear, Pope Francis offered prayers for the 298 passengers and crew members who died when it came down in eastern Ukraine.

Religious processions have no room for mafiosi, Calabrian bishops say

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Catholics in mafia-infested areas of southern Italy have to stop simply talking about Christ and become "credible witnesses" by purifying popular local celebrations of anything that hints of a mix of Christianity and tolerance for organized crime, said the bishops of Calabria.

Cardinal: Muslims, Christians work for peace, especially in war zones

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Christians and Muslims should work together to bring peace and reconciliation, especially where the two communities face "the horror of war," said Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran.

CRS adviser: Many Filipinos went to shelters before Rammasun struck

MANILA, Philippines (CNS) --- An emergency adviser for Catholic Relief Services said many Filipinos learned from Typhoon Haiyan and willingly went to shelters before Typhoon Rammasun struck.

Birth control prescriptions focus attention on Canadian doctors’ rights

OTTAWA, Ontario (CNS) -- Doctors who refuse to prescribe birth control pills have become the focus of a debate over physicians' rights to freedom of conscience and religion when practicing medicine.

Cease-fire gives Gaza civilians chance to assess damage, seek aid

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Civilians in Gaza used a brief cease-fire to spill onto the streets and replenish scarce supplies, some church representatives said.

Vatican to support help for ‘humanitarian emergency’ of child migrants

MEXICO CITY (CNS) -- The Vatican's secretary of state pledged full support for addressing the issue of child migrants streaming out Central America in search of safety and family reunification in the United States.

Papal astronomer wins recognition for excellence in communication

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- A papal astronomer won recognition for his ability to communicate accurately and clearly the discoveries of planetary science to the general public.