World News

Syria’s Armenians risk a winter without food, shelter in ancestral home

YEREVAN, Armenia (CNS) — Thousands of previously middle-class Syrians now stranded in Armenia are rapidly running out of resources and could soon have no shelter, food or medicine, said an international aid group official. “There is a big need on the humanitarian side: food, shelter, medical needs,” said Walter Hajek, head of international disaster management […]

Children make up half the Syrian refugee population

KILIS, Turkey (CNS) — Fifteen-year-old Abdullah Haji Mustafa wants to fight. He has been living in a refugee camp in Turkey for a year, since his family fled Tall Rifat, an embattled Syrian town just north of Aleppo. “Who wants not to go back?” he asks, standing between the gates of the camp and a […]

Pope Francis calls for less ‘Vatican-centric,’ more socially conscious church

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- In his latest wide-ranging interview, Pope Francis told an Italian journalist that he briefly considered turning down the papacy in the moments following his election last March, and identified the "most urgent problem" the church should address today as youth unemployment and the abandonment of elderly people. Their conversation touched on a range of topics, including economic justice, dialogue between Christians and nonbelievers, and reform of the Vatican bureaucracy.

Humility, service attract people to church, not power, pride, pope says

The strength of the Gospel "is precisely in humility, the humility of a child who lets himself be guided by the love and tenderness of his father," Pope Francis said Oct. 1 during morning Mass in his residence. He concelebrated the Mass with the eight cardinals he chose in April to advise him on reforming the governance of the Roman Curia.

Furthering transparency efforts, Vatican bank publishes annual report

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — As part of its continuing efforts to promote transparency and to demonstrate its stability and adherence to industry standards, the Vatican bank published its annual report for the first time in its history. The Institute for the Works of Religion, as the bank is formally known, released its independently audited report […]

In Mexico, Catholics turn parishes into aid stations after hurricanes

MEXICO CITY (CNS) — Caritas chapters across Mexico have collected everything from canned goods to clothing for the victims of Hurricanes Ingrid and Manuel, which battered both coasts, cost more than 100 lives and left thousands homeless, incommunicado and possibly even buried beneath mudslides. In the hard-hit state of Guerrero, to the south of Mexico […]

Priest hails U.S. report on conditions for Haitians in Dominican fields

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (CNS) — A Catholic priest who long fought for the rights of Haitians working in Dominican sugar fields said he applauds a new report on the situation by the U.S. Department of Labor. The Labor Department has rebuked the Dominican Republic and the country’s sugar industry for violating labor laws and […]

Pope to canonize Blessed John XXIII, John Paul II April 27

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Recognizing that Blessed John XXIII and John Paul II have widespread reputations for holiness and that years of studying their lives and actions have proven their exceptional virtue, Pope Francis announced he would declare his two predecessors saints at a single ceremony April 27.

Pope establishes advisory panel as permanent Council of Cardinals

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis made his international advisory panel on church governance a permanent council of cardinals, thereby emphasizing the importance and open-endedness of its work among his pontificate's various efforts at reform. The Vatican made the announcement Sept. 30, a day before Pope Francis was scheduled to meet for the first time with the panel.

Philippine bishops call for release of hostages as gunfights rage

MANILA, Philippines (CNS) -- Bishops in southern Philippines have condemned rebels' use of hostages as human shields in gunfights with government troops. The gunfights have escalated since Sept. 9 after hundreds of Moro National Liberation Front fighters reportedly attacked government troops who were securing five coastal districts in Zamboanga.