World News

Police evacuate Notre Dame Cathedral after man commits suicide

PARIS (CNS) — Visitors were evacuated from Notre Dame Cathedral after a man committed suicide in the 850-year-old church, police said. News agencies reported that the man in his 70s walked up to the main altar and shot himself the afternoon of May 21 as tourists and worshippers were in the church. Cathedral officials issued […]

Syriac bishop: Extremism jeopardizes Syrian Christians’ safety

The church leaders took part in the special Syriac blessing of the water ceremony recited over small bottles of water, later distributed to the worshippers. In his homily, Bishop Melki said the church in Syria "continues to be a victim of the total chaos and war." "We pray fervently day and night for (Christian) unity and peace, especially in Syria, and for the two bishops who have been kidnapped and their release and for others kidnapped elsewhere in the Middle East."

Diversity is a blessing when all are united in faith, pope says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Calling for unity -- not uniformity -- in the Church, Pope Francis said diversity is a blessing only when all Catholics recognize and follow Church teaching. "It is the church which brings Christ to me and me to Christ; parallel journeys are dangerous," he told some 200,000 members of Catholic lay movements and groups during a May 19 Pentecost Mass in St. Peter's Square. "When we venture beyond the Church's teaching and community, and do not remain in them, we are not one with the God of Jesus Christ."

Fighting poverty would limit trafficking, Vatican’s U.N. observer says

UNITED NATIONS (CNS) — The political commitment to combat human trafficking must be backed by concrete actions to ensure that victims gain their freedom from modern-day slavery, said the Vatican’s representative to the United Nations. Addressing a U.N. General Assembly meeting to develop a global plan to address human trafficking May 13-14, Archbishop Francis A. […]

Pope says head of mission office teaches him about reality of church

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis said the prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, which cares for the church in mission territories, has been teaching him about the nuts and bolts reality of the universal Catholic Church. "He is a professor and comes to me and says, 'This diocese is here and is like this,'" the pope told national directors of the pontifical mission societies from around the world. Referring to Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Pope Francis said, "I learn the church from him -- and without paying him."

Recognize your sin, ask forgiveness, pope says at Mass

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The key problem in everyone’s relationship with God is not that they sin, but that they are not ashamed of their sin and don’t ask forgiveness, Pope Francis said. In a homily about St. Peter’s relationship with Jesus, Pope Francis said Peter thought he was a good disciple, but ended up […]

Missio: Pope Francis unlocks app for Pontifical Mission Societies

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- With slightly more of a swipe than a tap, Pope Francis helped the Pontifical Mission Societies of the United States broaden its reach around the world by unlocking a smartphone app. At the end of an audience with national directors of pontifical mission societies from around the world May 17, Oblate Father Andrew Small, national director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in the United States, brought an iPad up to the pope for the launch.

Archbishop says people returning to confession because of pope

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The head of the Vatican office promoting new evangelization said that while he does not like the terms “Francis effect” or “Francis bump,” it is true that “Pope Francis has touched the hearts and minds of many people.” Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization, said […]

Pope calls for global, ethical finance reform, end to ‘cult of money’

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis called for global financial reform that respects human dignity, helps the poor, promotes the common good and allows states to regulate markets. "Money has to serve, not to rule," he said in his strongest remarks yet as pope concerning the world's economic and financial crises.

Vatican tells cardinal to leave Scotland for period of prayer, penance

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Scottish Cardinal Keith O’Brien, who resigned as archbishop after admitting to sexual misconduct, will leave Scotland “for several months for the purpose of spiritual renewal, prayer and penance,” the Vatican said. Any decision about when the period will end or where the cardinal will live permanently will be made in agreement […]