World News

Francis effect? Observers see shift in stance of Mexico’s bishops

MEXICO CITY (CNS) -- Mexican prelates normally prize cordial and close relations with politicians and refrain from criticizing public policy. But Mexico's bishops posed uncomfortable questions for President Enrique Pena Nieto in a May 2 meeting, challenging him on the government's agenda of structural reforms and sharing the sense of dissatisfaction they hear from many ordinary Mexicans.

Church program helps Cuban entrepreneurs develop private businesses

HAVANA (CNS) -- Cuban entrepreneurs are learning the ins and outs of running a private business thanks to the two-year-old Cuba Emprende program in two Catholic dioceses.

Catholic hospital damaged in bombing by Sudanese air force, bishop says

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- A Catholic-run hospital in the Nuba Mountains of war-torn South Kordofan in Sudan was targeted by the Sudanese air force over two days, said a retired bishop.

Vatican official rebukes U.S. nuns’ group for ‘fundamental errors’

Updated - At meeting with LCWR officials, Cardinal Gerhard Muller voiced "increasing concern" about the group's promotion of the "concept of conscious evolution," describing it as "opposed to Christian revelation."

15,000 rally in Ireland, pledge to work for repeal of abortion law

Ahead of local and European elections set for May 23, speakers encouraged supporters not to back politicians that supported the laws which, for the first time in Ireland, permit abortion in certain circumstances.

U.N. Committee Against Torture asks Vatican about sex abuse scandal

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Appearing before a U.N. committee monitoring adherence to an international treaty designed to fight torture, Vatican officials repeatedly were asked about efforts to investigate allegations of clerical sexual abuse, punish offenders and cooperate with civil authorities in prosecuting the perpetrators.

Cardinal O’Malley: Sex abuse panel to stress accountability, education

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The new papal commission for protecting minors from clerical sex abuse will recommend stricter standards for accountability of abusers and those who fail to protect children, and will fight widespread denial of the problem within the church, said Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley of Boston.

Cardinal: Officials who support abortion should not receive Communion

ROME (CNS) -- Catholic politicians and judges who support laws in conflict with church teaching on abortion, euthanasia, marriage and related issues commit "sacrilege" and cause "grave scandal" if they receive Communion, said Cardinal Raymond Burke.

Hopes rise that pope, patriarch meeting renews Christian unity effort

ROME (CNS) -- The Orthodox bishop who is coordinating the meeting of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople and Pope Francis May 25 in Jerusalem said he expects the two leaders will discuss the predicament of Christians in the Middle East, conservation of the environment and defense of the traditional family.

Vatican statistics report church growth remains steady worldwide

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The number of Catholics in the world -- 1.228 billion -- and the number of priests and deacons increased in 2012, while the number of women religious continued to decline. Permanent deacons have increased 17 percent since 2007.