World News

Despite evil, human beings are hard-wired for peace, pope says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Welcoming in the new year, Pope Benedict XVI said that despite the injustice and violence in the world, every human being yearns for and is made for peace. "Man is made for peace, which is a gift of God," but also something individuals must work tirelessly to build, he said.

Agenda for a year of faith: looking ahead for the church in 2013

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Fortunetelling, like all occult practices, is strictly taboo at the Vatican; and prophecy is a rare gift among journalists. But Pope Benedict XVI's calendar for 2013 is already filling up with planned, probable or possible events. Here are 10 to watch for in the news during the coming year.

Irish cardinal urges Catholics to make known their abortion opposition

DUBLIN (CNS) — The president of the Irish bishops’ conference urged Catholics to make their views on abortion clear to politicians as the government considers legalizing abortion in limited circumstances. In his Christmas message, Cardinal Sean Brady of Armagh, Northern Ireland, reiterated the church’s opposition to such legislation. “Public representatives will be asked to decide […]

New ventilation system to suck dirt, dust off Sistine Chapel visitors

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — In an effort to protect Michelangelo’s famed frescoes in the Sistine Chapel, the Vatican Museums will be installing a new ventilation system to suck the dust, dirt and humidity from visitors. With 5 million tourists pushing through the turnstiles each year, all that traffic is taking its toll as “dust, temperature, […]

Montreal deacon who was bishops’ spokesman faces child porn charges

OTTAWA, Ontario (CNS) — William Kokesch, a Montreal permanent deacon who served nearly 10 years as a communications director for Canada’s Catholic bishops, has been charged with producing and distributing child pornography. On Dec. 27, Kokesch, 65, was released on bail after posting a $10,000 cash bond. The judge ordered him not to use computers […]

Bishops describe Christmas in besieged Aleppo, Syria

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Because of ongoing fighting in the city, Catholic leaders in Aleppo, Syria, canceled their traditional Christmas visits to local government officials, but the local governor dropped in on a meeting of bishops and priests Dec. 27 to offer his best wishes, said Bishop Giuseppe Nazzaro. The bishop, who is the Latin-rite […]

Make room for God, pray for peace, pope says in Christmas liturgies

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI urged people to think seriously about their faith at Christmas, and he urged them to recognize the connection between believing in God and helping others through acts of charity and by praying and working for peace. The birth of Jesus is a source of hope for the world, […]

Pope names Boston priest to be Vatican’s abuse investigator

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI has named a canon lawyer from the Archdiocese of Boston to be the new promoter of justice in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, a position that includes monitoring and investigating cases of priests accused of sex abuse.

Pope visits butler in jail, personally delivers pardon

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — During a 15-minute meeting in the Vatican police barracks, Pope Benedict XVI visited with his former butler, Paolo Gabriele, and told him he was forgiven and was being pardoned. Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, said the pope had wanted “to confirm his forgiveness and to inform him personally of his […]

Pope says false ideas of human nature threaten basis of the family

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI said the family in Western society is undergoing a "crisis that threatens it to its foundations," owing to false ideas of human nature that equate freedom with selfishness and present God-given sexual identities as a matter of individual choice to the profound detriment of humanity dignity.