World News

Pope moves causes, including of U.S.-born nun, toward beatification

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Moving four candidates closer to beatification, Pope Francis recognized the martyrdom of a bishop in communist-controlled Romania and the heroic virtues of three religious women: one born in the United States, one Irish and one Italian. The recognition of the martyrdom of Bishop Anton Durcovici of Iasi, Romania, in 1951 clears the way for his beatification, a step toward sainthood.

At Mass near John Paul’s tomb, pope focuses on experiencing God’s love

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Surprising pilgrims at Blessed John Paul II's tomb, Pope Francis made an early morning visit to St. Peter's Basilica and celebrated Mass with the mostly Polish pilgrims. More than 100 priests and pilgrims were gathered Oct. 31 at the basilica's Chapel of St. Sebastian for a morning Mass near Blessed John Paul's tomb. Pope Francis arrived unannounced to preside at the liturgy and prayed for the late pope's intercession to help today's Christians be strong, not weak in their faith.

Vatican not worried about possibility U.S. monitored its calls

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Vatican has no evidence its calls were monitored by the U.S. National Security Agency and, even if they were, “we have no concerns about it,” the Vatican spokesman said. Asked about the possibility that the NSA’s electronic eavesdropping program had monitored Vatican calls, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi told reporters Oct. […]

Ethiopia’s Catholic leaders see education as key to development, peace

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Ethiopian church leaders are hoping education can help fight some cultural traditions, such as female circumcision and beliefs that epileptic children are possessed. They also hope that by building schools close to villages, parents will feel more secure sending girls to classes, because the proximity will make them less vulnerable to rape and kidnapping.

Central African Republic prelates hope for results from U.N. appeal

Archbishop Dieudonne Nzapalainga of Bangui, Central African Republic, told the U.N. Human Rights Council's Universal Periodic Review Working Group that his nation was a powder keg, and that since March the rebel coalition Seleka had expanded from 3,500 to 25,000 members, aided by child soldiers and a "constant supply of weapons."

Parishioners form self-defense groups in crime-ridden Mexican state

MEXICO CITY (CNS) -- Some at St. James the Apostle Parish formed self-defense groups earlier this year to protect themselves from extortion attempts and attacks by organized criminal groups in a rural pocket of Mexico's western Michoacan state. Others from the region known as Tierra Caliente fled to the United States, said Father Andres Larios, pastor at St. James in Coalcoman.

Young and old join pope to celebrate joy of family life

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- A Catholic wedding is not simply a beautiful ceremony; through the sacrament of marriage a couple receives from God the grace they will need to fulfill their mission in the world, Pope Francis said.

Missionary team plants Catholicism in Mongolia, but challenges remain

PERTH, Australia (CNS) -- When Bishop Wenceslao Padilla arrived in Mongolia with two other missionary priests in 1992, there were no Catholics in the Central Asian country. His mission was much like that of the early apostles: to take Catholicism to a land that had not yet encountered it.

Theory of one hominid species is compatible with faith, experts say

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- A group of scientists has proposed that human beings emerged from one single evolving human species rather than branching from a tree of multiple, early ancestral species. The new hypothesis, while still disputed, fits even better with the Catholic Church's position that humans came from one source, in that they were freely created by God, said two experts in science and faith.

New U.S. envoy to Vatican: Areas of agreement bigger than differences

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Disagreements need not hinder the Vatican and the Obama administration from collaborating on a broad range of peace and justice issues, including the promotion of religious freedom, said Ken Hackett, the new U.S ambassador to the Holy See.