World News

Marriage tribunals must provide justice and pastoral care, pope says

Meeting with members of the Supreme Court of the Apostolic Signature, the church's highest tribunal, Pope Francis said church workers who deal with marriage annulments must recall "the icon of the Good Shepherd, who bends down toward the lost and wounded sheep."

Bones of St. Peter to go on display at Vatican for first time

No pope has ever declared the bones, discovered during excavations in the 1940s, to be authentic. However, after scientific tests were conducted on the bones in the 1950s and '60s, Pope Paul VI said in 1968 that the "relics" of St. Peter had been "identified in a way which we can hold to be convincing."

From New Jersey to the Vatican, opening a dialogue with the Gospel

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Mentoring inner-city youths is hardly the most obvious way to prepare for working at the Vatican, but Father Geno Sylva says the lessons he learned in a low-income New Jersey community have served him abundantly well in his current job as an official at the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization.

Jerusalem patriarch says church will take legal action to rebuild home

JERUSALEM (CNS) -- Archbishop Fouad Twal, Latin patriarch of Jerusalem, condemned the government demolition of a home on church-owned property and said the church would take legal action to "bring back justice and rebuild this home."

Share each other’s burdens in prayer, acts of love, pope says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis asked people at his weekly general audience to perform an act of charity by praying for a seriously ill 18-month-old girl named Noemi. "Let's perform an act of love. We don't know her, but she's been baptized -- she's one of us, a Christian," he said, leading the crowd in a moment of silence and then the recitation of the Hail Mary. In his talk he referred to the bond of unity and sharing that should mark the life of Christians on earth.

Officials say family synod to be based on doctrine, not public opinion

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Although preparations for the 2014 extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family will include an assessment of Catholics' attitudes toward relevant church teachings, the synod's work will be based on Catholic doctrine and not on current public opinion, officials said. Among the topics of a questionnaire sent to all bishops last month were divorce and remarriage, cohabitation, same-sex unions and contraception.

Vatican embassy in Syria hit, damaged by mortar strike

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- A mortar round hit the apostolic nunciature in the Syrian capital, causing limited damage to the building and no causalities because of the early hour of the strike, said the Vatican ambassador to Syria.

John Paul’s secretary says it was mistake to meet Legionary founder

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Blessed John Paul II's 2004 meeting with and praise of the founder of the Legionaries of Christ -- who later was banished to a life of penance because of sexual abuse -- was a mistake, said the late pope's longtime secretary. "The Holy Father should not have received that individual," said Polish Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz about the Legionaries' founder, Father Marcial Maciel Degollado.

For some Mexican migrant families, Day of Dead ritual offers closure

MALINALCO, Mexico (CNS) -- Ana Lilia Vazquez brought a photo of her late father, Anselmo Vazquez, to Divine Savior Parish in this village of farmers and weekenders in the mountains southwest of Mexico City. There, she placed it on a Day of the Dead altar built by the families of migrants whose loved ones died while working in the United States -- or, in the case of her father, died shortly after being deported from the States.

High court ruling on children of immigrants splits Dominican Catholics

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (CNS) -- A controversial high court ruling in the Dominican Republic that strips citizenship from children of illegal immigrants has drawn international criticism and split the Catholic Church here. The Sept. 23 Constitutional Court ruling will affect the citizenship status of potentially hundreds of thousands of people born in the country to undocumented immigrant parents as far back as 1929. It cannot be appealed.