World News

Tanzanian bishop warns of rising threat from militant Islamists

OXFORD, England (CNS) -- The head of the Tanzanian bishops' conference warned of a growing threat from militant Islamists and urged police and government to act more forcefully against violence and intimidation. "Ordinary Muslims have nothing against the Christian religion and Catholic faith -- the only ones who do are fundamentalists, pressed and influenced from outside," said Bishop Tarcisius Ngalalekumtwa of Iringa, Tanzania.

Pope prays for Chinese Catholics, talks about loving one’s enemies

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — In the face of difficulty, it’s natural to hope just to get by, but being Christian means patiently enduring trials and overcoming oppression with love, Pope Francis said at a Mass that included special prayers for China. During the Mass May 24, Pope Francis concluded the prayers of the faithful with […]

In South Africa, toll roads called ‘immoral’

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (CNS) -- Charging motorists to use existing roads is immoral, and the new toll-road system in South Africa should be suspended immediately, said the justice and peace department of the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference. South Africa's Parliament is set to pass a bill that will amend the law on road tolls and allow for the electronic collection of tolls and the prosecution of those who fail to pay.

Base communities and mega-Masses: Parish ministry in Brazil varies

SAO PAULO (CNS) — On a Saturday night in a small community on the outskirts of Sao Jose dos Campos, parishioners flock around the entrance of a church in the Parish of St. Lucia, waiting for Father Vitor Mendes to arrive. Father Mendes is one of the two priests who take care of parishioners in […]

Vatican financial investigator says laws, roles will be strengthened

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The director of the Vatican’s Financial Intelligence Authority said the Vatican will further amend its finance-related laws in the coming months, increase screening of account holders at the Vatican bank and continue assessing the potential risk that accounts could be used for money laundering and the financing of terrorism. Rene Brulhart, […]

Religious freedom reports see little improvement in troubling countries

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The State Department’s International Religious Freedom Report released May 20 and a counterpart report by an independent commission issued a few weeks earlier see many of the same trouble spots around the world: North Korea, China, Pakistan, Sudan, Nigeria and Vietnam, among others. Neither of the reports found much improvement in the […]

Courageously evangelizing with help of Holy Spirit leads to joy, Pope Francis says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Selfishness only brings sadness and bitterness, while stepping outside of oneself to evangelize is the ultimate "pick me up" and source of joy, Pope Francis said. "Let's live the Gospel with humility and courage. Give witness to the newness, hope and joy that the Lord brings to your life," the pope said May 22 at his weekly general audience.

Guatemalan court annuls conviction of former dictator

GUATEMALA CITY (CNS) -- Guatemala's highest court annulled the conviction of a former dictator found guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity. The constitutional court threw out the May 10 ruling against Gen. Efrain Rios Montt, 86, who had been sentenced to 80 years in prison for crimes carried out in 1982, when he allegedly initiated a policy of extermination of Mayans for their ties to Marxist guerrillas. The ruling was seen as historic in a country known for its impunity.

At Pentecost vigil, pope shares personal stories of his faith

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — With humor and passion, Pope Francis shared highlights of his personal faith journey and explained some key points of his teaching to an enthusiastic crowd of representatives from Catholic lay movements. Celebrating a vigil on the eve of Pentecost with an estimated 200,000 people singing, chanting and waving their groups’ banners, […]

Vatican denies pope performed public exorcism

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — When Pope Francis solemnly laid both hands on the head of a young man in a wheelchair and prayed intently over him for several minutes, he was not performing an exorcism, said the Vatican spokesman. The young man, who was among dozens of people in wheelchairs greeted by the pope at […]