World News

Archbishop urges steps to address ‘ethical challenge’ of climate change

A church-run conference in Poland brought together Catholic leaders, politicians, climate scientists and civil society groups, who called on governments to reduce their reliance on coal, oil and other fossil resources.

Pope prays for peace, full religious freedom for all in Middle East

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- After a two-hour private meeting with the patriarchs and major archbishops of the Eastern Catholic churches, Pope Francis prayed for peace and full religious freedom throughout the Middle East.

In Central African Republic, thousands turn to bishop for protection

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- More than 35,000 people are living on the 40-acre diocesan compound in Bossangoa, Central African Republic, seeking protection from rebels who are targeting Christians, said the local bishop.

Vatican, Google team up to bring ancient Christian catacombs to light

Using advanced laser techniques, restorers have uncovered vivid late fourth-century frescoes inside a Roman complex of early Christian tombs depicting Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead and SS. Peter and Paul accompanying Christians into the afterlife. Jesus' face resembles portraits of the Emperor Constantine, who legalized Christian worship exactly 1,700 years ago.

Egyptian university hoping to restart stalled talks with Vatican

CAIRO (CNS) -- Officials at Egypt's Al-Azhar University said they are eagerly awaiting a message from the Vatican that could jump-start their stalled talks. Their dialogue faltered and was eventually suspended altogether by Al-Azhar in 2011 after a series of remarks made by now-retired Pope Benedict XVI.

Mass graves, no food: Church aid workers see great needs in Philippines

A team of disaster assessors found people who had had very little to eat nine days after Super Typhoon Haiyan struck. An aid worker said along with 90 percent of the houses in one area swept away by the storm, "all the food supplies were washed away, all the nonfood items, like blankets, mosquito nets, everything is just gone."

Catholics must learn to make mission a priority, says Boston cardinal

MEXICO CITY (CNS) -- The United States is experiencing a "transition from a strong cultural Catholicism to an intentional Catholicism," and that requires "a new evangelization (that) responds to the questions of today," said Boston Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley.

Pope’s embrace was heavenly, says man with disfiguring disease

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- For someone who has frequently been shunned and humiliated because of a disease that has severely disfigured his entire body, receiving the pope's loving embrace was like being in paradise. Vinicio Riva, who is afflicted with neurofibromatosis, said his brief encounter with Pope Francis Nov. 6 at a general audience in St. Peter's Square "seemed like forever."

‘Bishop Bling’ pays fine in perjury case

HAMBURG, Germany (CNS) -- The so-called "luxury bishop" or "Bishop Bling" of Limburg agreed to pay a fine of 20,000 euros rather than contest charges that he perjured himself before the Hamburg District Court.

Bishops: To respond to pope’s call for mission, parishes need new model

MEXICO CITY (CNS) -- Archbishop Terrence Prendergast of Ottawa, Ontario, recalled once having a parish that needed a new furnace and was considering hiring a youth pastor. The parishioners raised $90,000 in three weeks for the furnace, but failed to find funds for the youth pastor, figuring there were few young people to serve. Archbishop Prendergast cited the story as an example of "the maintenance model of the church versus a missionary model of the church." It's a model that has been deployed by too many dioceses in the United States and Canada and one that some senior clergy recognize as outdated and doing nothing to put people in church pews or contribute to parish life -- much less increasing the kingdom of God.