World News

Midnight Masses canceled in Iraq because of growing security concerns

LONDON (CNS) — Chaldean Catholic officials have canceled traditional Christmas Eve midnight Masses because of security risks. Chaldean Archbishop Louis Sako of Kirkuk in northern Iraq told the agency Aid to the Church in Need that Christians will spend Christmas in “great fear” because of the risk of new attacks.

Pope advances sainthood causes of Marianne Cope, Kateri Tekakwitha

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI advanced the sainthood causes of Blessed Marianne Cope of Molokai and Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha. He also formally recognized the martyrdom of 64 victims of the Spanish Civil War and advanced the causes of 18 other men and women. During a meeting Dec. 19 with Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect […]

Catholic officials call for calm in Congo crisis

KINSHASA, Congo (CNS) — Catholic officials called for calm after a tense day of polling in which violent incidents claimed the lives of nearly a dozen people during Congo’s presidential and legislative elections. “The electoral campaign that took place in a tense atmosphere has ended with a funereal note,” the Congolese bishops’ conference said in […]

Dams of sand give African drought victims hope, optimism

KIPSING, Kenya (CNS) — Near the southwestern edge of the vast stretch of East Africa where drought has led to famine and more than 13 million people are considered to be living in crisis, Henry Lesokoyu is the picture of hope and optimism. A couple of feet beneath the dry surface of a seasonal river […]

Redemptorists urge Hanoi Catholics to remain calm after attacks

HANOI, Vietnam (CNS) — Redemptorists at a Hanoi parish have urged local Catholics to keep calm after a mob led by government officials attacked a convent and church in early November.

Pope says prostitution, pornography threaten human dignity of women

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI called for an end to prostitution and pornography, saying the practices denigrate women and represent “a serious lack of humanity.”

Vatican partners with company to discuss stem-cell research

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — New biotechnologies raise questions in the fields of medicine, economics, ethics and philosophy, and the Vatican plans to look at all of them during a three-day conference devoted to adult stem-cell research, officials said.

Physicists, cosmologists meet at Vatican to discuss nature of universe

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — World-renown physicists, who study everything from imperceptible particles to the expanding cosmos, came together for a Vatican-sponsored conference on the “new frontier of physics” — the sub-nuclear world of electrons, hadrons and neutrinos.

Day of the Dead takes on new meaning amid violence in Mexico

TEPOZTLAN, Mexico (CNS) — “Dia de los Muertos,” the traditional Mexican commemoration of deceased loved ones, has taken on a deeper meaning in light of drug-related violence in recent years. Drug-related killings have been on the rise since 2006, surpassing 15,000 in 2010, according to a study commissioned by the Trans-Border Institute at the University […]

Among Assisi participants, a sense of deeper crisis in modern society

ASSISI, Italy (CNS) — A common thread ran through many of the speeches and invocations of this year’s “prayer for peace” encounter in Assisi: the uneasy sense that the world is facing not merely conflicts and wars, but a much broader crisis that affects social and cultural life in every country. Environmental damage, the rich-poor […]