World News

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has been deployed by too many dioceses in the United States and Canada and one that some senior clergy recognize as outdated and doing nothing to put people in church pews or contribute to parish life -- much less increasing the kingdom of God.

Nuns help debrief stressed typhoon victims arriving in Manila

MANILA, Philippines (CNS) -- The grandstand of Villamor Air Base was buzzing with teams of workers trying to help people displaced by the super typhoon that struck the central Philippines 10 days earlier. Evacuees were there to get help to start their lives over and receive some much needed stress-debriefing. That was where some local nuns stepped in.

Pope Francis’ first apostolic exhortation to be published Nov. 26

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Vatican will publish Pope Francis’ first apostolic exhortation Nov. 26, two days after he formally delivers it to the church at a Mass concluding the 2012-13 Year of Faith. The Vatican announced Nov. 18 that “Evangelii Gaudium” (“The Joy of the Gospel”) will be presented at a news conference featuring […]

Pope revises statutes of Vatican’s Financial Intelligence Authority

The authority's new supervision and regulation department will not only investigate suspect transactions at the Vatican but will also have a role in establishing procedures to reduce the possibility of questionable financial dealings. Pope Benedict XVI established the Authority in 2010 to monitor Vatican financial operations and ensure they met international norms against money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

Pope reiterates call for Catholics to adopt missionary mindset

MEXICO CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis once again called for Catholics to adopt a missionary mindset and make mission the priority of all pastoral activities. The pope, speaking from the Vatican via video to an audience of clergy, religious and laity at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City, also called for participants to cast aside clericalism and to get out of their churches to serve people where they are.

In Philippines, signs of faith among ruins of typhoon

MANILA, Philippines (CNS) -- In the week after Super Typhoon Haiyan cut a path of devastation across the central Philippines, faith remained strong among the hardest hit. A storm surge that Haiyan churned up brought 15-foot waves to Tacloban, the obliterated city on Leyte's east coast that took the worst hit from the typhoon. "All of a sudden all the houses were gone," including his, said Gonzales, who lived right outside Tacloban. "You can't find any trace of it, not one piece."

U.S. Filipinos, churches organize emergency relief for Philippines

If the Filipino-American community of Southern California has anything to say about it, the upcoming holiday season in Southeast Asia will not be completely obscured by the effects of Super Typhoon Haiyan. "If we ship goods from Los Angeles to Cebu's port, it will take up to 45 days; it can still arrive during Christmas," said a priest who heads the Filipino ministry in the Los Angeles Archdiocese, adding that the local Knights of Columbus have gotten behind the drive.

Italian prosecutor says mafia would like to hurt the pope

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Crime families in Italy are not happy with Pope Francis and would hurt him if they could, said an Italian prosecutor who has spent years investigating organized crime and has written a book about the apparent Catholic devotion of mafia bosses.