World News

Catholic activist’s mother sets herself ablaze to protest detention

BANGKOK (CNS) — The mother of a prominent Catholic blogger died after setting herself on fire to protest her daughter’s detention for allegedly spreading anti-government propaganda, activists said. Dang Thi Kim Lieng, 64, set herself aflame near a local government office building in the southern city of Bac Lieu July 30, reported the Asian church […]

Priest’s homily reportedly lands him in Zambian jail

LUSAKA, Zambia (CNS) — Police detained and questioned a Catholic priest in Lundazi, Zambia, about the homily he delivered during Mass July 29, a fellow priest said. Father Viateur Banyangandora, pastor of the parish in Lundazi, was picked up at his residence by police at about 5 p.m., July 30, and was taken to Lusaka […]

Art and the meaning of life: Priests help visitors to Vatican Museums

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Catholic Church teaches that beauty can be a path to God, and in an attempt to make that path easier for visitors to follow, the Vatican Museums have assigned two priests to guide the searching. Or just to talk. “Art and faith: A priest for you,” says the sign on […]

Papal book completed; new encyclical also possible

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI has finished the third volume of his opus, “Jesus of Nazareth,” and perhaps also will publish an encyclical letter during the upcoming Year of Faith, said Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican secretary of state. The cardinal, Pope Benedict’s top collaborator, told reporters Aug. 1 that the pope had finished […]

Everyone can pray, have relationship with God, pope says at audience

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy (CNS) — Everyone is given the grace to pray, which is the only way to have a life-giving relationship with God, Pope Benedict XVI said. Resuming his weekly general audiences after a month-long break, Pope Benedict continued his series of talks on prayer Aug. 1. (Watch a video of the audience.) The […]

Syrian refugees face ‘terrible’ situation, Catholic aid workers say

BEIRUT (CNS) — Refugees from Syria are in “complete darkness” about their future, said an official with Caritas Lebanon. Father Simon Faddoul, president of Caritas Lebanon, which has been working with Syrian refugees in Lebanon for 14 months, said there was a large influx of people during the last week of July as more than […]

Syrian opposition groups appeal for cease-fire

ROME (CNS) — Representatives of a dozen Syrian opposition groups called for a cease-fire in their homeland and the beginning of an internationally mediated dialogue to bring democracy to the country. Meeting in Rome July 25-26, the groups, which included some inspired by Islam, said they are “firmly opposed to any discrimination based on religious […]

Seven Chinese priests forced from parishes following illicit ordination

HARBIN, China (CNS) — Chinese government officials have forced seven priests in Heilongjiang province who resisted the illicit episcopal ordination of Father Joseph Yue Fusheng of Harbin to leave their parishes, local Catholic Church sources said. The action was taken, the sources said, to force the priests to “repent for their wrongdoing,” reported the Asian […]

Pope hosts top-level meeting on leaks in Vatican

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Although technically on vacation, Pope Benedict XVI hosted a top-level meeting of Vatican officials involved in investigating and responding to the leak of Vatican documents. The meeting July 26 included the commission of cardinals appointed to conduct an administrative review of Vatican offices and procedures, as well as the judges involved […]

Catholics, Protestants oppose Cameron’s call for same-sex marriage in UK

MANCHESTER, England (CNS) — In spite of widespread opposition from the Catholic Church and mainline Protestant denominations, the general public and his own party, British Prime Minister David Cameron promised to legalize same-sex marriage in England and Wales. Cameron’s declaration came July 24 during a meeting with gay, lesbian and transsexual communities at his Downing […]