World News

Artists, aid agencies work to help vulnerable Syrian refugee children

ZAATARI REFUGEE CAMP, Jordan (CNS) -- As Syria's civil war hurtles into its fourth year, hopes of returning home soon seem far off for the 2.5 million refugees sheltering in neighboring countries, like Jordan. Syrians are soon expected to overtake Afghans as the largest refugee population in the world, according to the United Nations.

Police release Sri Lankan Catholic activists held under terrorism act

NEW DELHI (CNS) -- Protests are growing in Sri Lanka over the security forces' arrest of two outspoken Catholic human rights activists under stringent terrorism laws, under which a person can be held without charge for up to 18 months.

Eat more fish: Australian bishops back year-round Friday abstinence

PERTH, Australia (CNS) -- Three Australian bishops said they would support re-establishment of year-round Friday abstinence from meat -- without sanction of sin -- following the lead of England and Wales in 2011. Catholic bishops in the U.S. ended obligatory abstinence in 1966.

Vatican, Anglicans, Muslims sign accord against human trafficking

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Vatican, the Anglican Communion and a leading Muslim institution signed a historic agreement to work together to end human trafficking worldwide by 2020.

As tensions continue with Russia, Ukrainian Catholic leader meets pope

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis met privately at the Vatican with the head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church March 17, the day after pro-Russian voters on the Crimean peninsula voted to secede from Ukraine in a referendum the United States and European Union called illegal.

Biggest downside of being pontiff is the paperwork, Pope Francis says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The thing Pope Francis dislikes most about his job as pontiff is the paperwork, he told residents of an Argentine slum in which he used to minister.

Pope says it’s important to have a sense of humor

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- At the end of his Lenten retreat, Pope Francis said he and his closest collaborators at the Vatican "want to follow Jesus more closely, without losing hope in his promises and without losing a sense of humor."

Get a pocket Bible, read it during your commute, pope recommends

If you get a seat on a bus or a free minute somewhere else, "pick up the Gospel and read a few words," Pope Francis told members of a suburban parish filled with people who commute to Rome for work. People listen to the radio, to television and to gossip throughout the day, but "do we take a bit of time each day to listen to Jesus?" the pope asked.

Buddhists donate funds to rebuild typhoon-damaged Philippine church

TACLOBAN, Philippines (CNS) -- On a recent Sunday morning, the congregation at Santo Nino Parish in Tacloban crammed into a space one-third the true size of the church. The crowd spilled out onto the courtyard, which had two big gray tents bearing the logo of a Buddhist foundation.

For Pope Francis, a year of reform and evangelization

Take an in-depth look back on the pope's first anniversary, a year in which the world warmed to his affable, informal manner and simple language. Pope Francis has focused on a message of mercy, forgiveness and concern for the poor, and urged Catholics to go out into the world to share their faith.