World News

Pope calls for ‘intelligent, courageous, loving’ approach to families

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- A two-day meeting of 150 cardinals and cardinals-designate at the Vatican, led by Pope Francis, is considering pastoral practices for the family, which he said "our present situation requires," including a talk by one cardinal on divorced and civilly remarried Catholics.

Pope: By taking care of elders, families show world all life has value

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis told the Pontifical Academy for Life the worst thing about growing old is not becoming weaker or infirm, but the "abandonment, the exclusion, the deprivation of love" in today's "throwaway culture."

In unusual video, pope speaks of his longing for Christian unity

A Pentecostal pastor Pope Francis knew in Argentina recorded on a video on an iPhone in which the pope said all Christians share blame for their divisions. He insists God will bring the miracle of Christian unity to completion.

Japanese bishops say Catholics’ minority status challenges faith life

In their published response to the Vatican survey on the family, Japan's Catholic bishops said, among other findings, that most Japanese Christians end up marrying non-Christians, pray mostly as individuals, and are "overwhelmed by society's values."

Pope, Ukrainian church leaders call for end to violence in Ukraine

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- After a night of violent confrontations between protesters and police and the deaths of more than two dozen people, Pope Francis and Ukrainian church leaders called Feb. 19 for an end to all violence and a serious commitment to dialogue for the good of Ukraine.

Bishops with local ties named to Vatican congregation

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis confirmed the top leadership of the Congregation for Eastern Churches and named among its new members Byzantine Archbishop William C. Skurla of Pittsburgh and Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., who is president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and an Allentown native who studied at St. Charles Seminary.

New London cardinal calls U.K.’s new welfare reforms ‘disgrace’

LONDON (CNS) -- Welfare reforms in the United Kingdom are leaving people hungry and destitute, said Cardinal-designate Vincent Nichols of Westminster.

Pope renews Argentine passport, identity card

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis is the sovereign of Vatican City and has a Holy See passport. But even dressed in papal white, Jorge Mario Bergoglio is an Argentine citizen with a brand new passport and national identity card.

After pastoral prodding, HIV no longer means death in Peru

A U.S. priest working among people with HIV and AIDS in Lima, Peru, sees much success in treating them, but also much more to be done. That includes government funding for antiretroviral drugs and care in overcrowded hospitals and prisons.

Facing the truth about ourselves is a step toward holiness, pope says

ROME (CNS) -- Being truthful about what is in one's heart isn't always easy, but it is an essential step to living a good and holy life, Pope Francis told members of a parish on the western outskirts of Rome.