World News

In Venezuela, shortages include bread for Communion, sacramental wine

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (CNS) — In his small parish outside of Venezuela’s capital, Caracas, Father Maximo Mateos is filling his chalice with less than half the amount of wine he formerly used. The priests at Our Lady of the Rosary Parish in Caracas are precariously close to running out of sacramental wine. And for […]

Meeting on sex abuse expands reach, promoting global approach

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Once representing only English-speaking countries, the Anglophone Conference on the Safeguarding of Children, Young People and Vulnerable Adults is going global. For the past several years, growing numbers of delegates from the church in Latin America, Asia and Africa have been attending the annual gathering. Begun in 1996, the conference was […]

Czech cardinal welcomes plan to pay billions to churches for property

WARSAW, Poland (CNS) — A Czech cardinal welcomed final court approval of government plans to pay billions of dollars to churches in compensation for their losses under communist rule. On June 3, the Constitutional Court cleared the way for the implementation of a 2012 law that says 56 percent of assets, valued at $3.8 billion, […]

Catholic charities appeal for help after flooding in Central Europe

BONN, Germany (CNS) -- Catholic charities in Central Europe have appealed for help after floods devastated areas of Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic. "The overall scale of this disaster will only be known in the next few days," Wolfgang Duschl, spokesman for the German church's Passau Diocese, said June 4. "But our own diocesan offices are closed, and analysts expect the material damage to run into tens of millions of euros."

Pope Francis recognizes martyrdom of 95 victims of Spanish Civil War

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis recognized the martyrdom of 95 men and women religious and laymen who were killed during the Spanish Civil War. The pope’s approval of a series of martyrdom decrees June 3 opened the way for their beatification to be scheduled. A miracle is required before any blessed may be canonized. […]

Pope’s Sunday focuses on need for peace, gift of Eucharist

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The horror of war, the valor of peacemaking and the gift of the Eucharist were on Pope Francis’ mind June 2, the day Italy celebrates its establishment as a republic and the day most dioceses around the world celebrated the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ. Pope Francis began […]

Pope ends Marian month meeting children with cancer, praying rosary

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- "Children are the ones Jesus loves most," Pope Francis told a group of young cancer patients and their parents at the Vatican May 31. The pope had invited the 22 children, who are being treated at the pediatric oncology ward of Rome's Gemelli Hospital, after they went on a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes in France and sent Pope Francis drawings of the shrine's famous grotto because he had never been there.

Hamas order would lead to the closing of two Catholic schools in Gaza

JERUSALEM (CNS) -- Five schools in Gaza -- two Catholic and three Christian -- face closure if the Hamas government follows through on an order forbidding coeducational institutions, said the director general of Latin Patriarchate Schools in Palestine and Israel.

Keeping up with Francis: The nuances of Vatican communications

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Of the various innovations that Pope Francis has already introduced into the way a pontiff lives and works, one of the most significant is his celebration of weekday morning Masses with invited guests. The practice is revealing of the new pope’s character and of how he understands his role as leader […]

For Jesuit, Syrian war is professional challenge, personal heartache

Jesuit Father Nawras Sammour works in Damascus, Syria, for Jesuit Refugee Service and he was born in Aleppo, where his mother, brother and sister still live. Tens of thousands of Syrians have died and millions have been displaced in more than two years of fighting between President Bashar Assad's government and rebels seeking his resignation. "Sometimes I can't believe we Syrians have reached that level of violence," Father Sammour said. "I'm shocked. Shocked. We need to step back and realize that we went too far."