World News

Pope hosts top-level meeting on leaks in Vatican

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Although technically on vacation, Pope Benedict XVI hosted a top-level meeting of Vatican officials involved in investigating and responding to the leak of Vatican documents. The meeting July 26 included the commission of cardinals appointed to conduct an administrative review of Vatican offices and procedures, as well as the judges involved […]

Catholics, Protestants oppose Cameron’s call for same-sex marriage in UK

MANCHESTER, England (CNS) — In spite of widespread opposition from the Catholic Church and mainline Protestant denominations, the general public and his own party, British Prime Minister David Cameron promised to legalize same-sex marriage in England and Wales. Cameron’s declaration came July 24 during a meeting with gay, lesbian and transsexual communities at his Downing […]

Vatican withdraws recognition of Peru university as ‘Catholic’

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Vatican has withdrawn the titles “Catholic” and “Pontifical” from a university in Peru after decades of discussions over the school’s Catholic identity and after tensions between university officials and the local cardinal over control of the school’s assets. In a communique published July 21, the Vatican said Lima’s Pontifical Catholic […]

Syrian Catholic leaders call for united efforts by world community

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- As violence continued to shake Syria, the Vatican nuncio in Damascus called on the international community to unite in efforts to restore peace. "In Damascus, the last three days have been very difficult" as the fighting moved to the city, Archbishop Mario Zenari, the nuncio, told Catholic News Service in a telephone interview from the capital July 17. "The situation compared to a month ago clearly is more tense," he said.

Prayers for rain, or no more of it: U.S. grapples with drought while Ireland, India suffer from flooding

In the Midwest United States, high temperatures and the worst drought in decades are stunting crops and moving Catholics to pray for rain. But Catholic communities in Ireland and India are praying for just the opposite. In those countries heavy rains are flooding farm fields and homes. The desperation of drought-stricken farmers in the Midwest […]

Trouble for Church in China: One Chinese bishop ordained without Pope’s approval is excommunicated, while a validly ordained bishop faces government restrictions

The ordination in China of a bishop without papal mandate follows that of a bishop ordained with Vatican approval who rejected the Chinese government-sanctioned Catholic association. That bishop is facing Chinese restrictions on his ministry and is on retreat due to “exhaustion” after his ordination. “His witness is an encouragement for our Catholics, so we can only pray for him," a priest in Shanghai said. Catholics called for prayers and fasting for the bishop on July 9, feast of the Chinese Martyrs.

New particle may unlock new discoveries, says Vatican astronomer

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The discovery of a new sub-atomic particle — the so-called Higgs boson — may help scientists discover how the hidden structure of all matter in the universe works, a Vatican astronomer said. “It indicates that reality is deeper and more rich and strange than our everyday life,” U.S. Jesuit Brother Guy […]

Mexican Church officials laud presidential vote

MEXICO CITY (CNS) — The Mexican bishops’ conference expressed satisfaction with “the exemplary participation of citizens” in the July 1 federal elections, which returned the once long-ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party to power. “As pastors of the Catholic Church, we are pleased to notice that our call to go to the polls in a conscious and […]

16th-century Peruvian convent and its historic art eyed for restoration

LIMA, Peru (CNS) — Half-hidden behind palm trees at the end of a once elegant avenue in a now rundown neighborhood, the Convento de los Descalzos — the Convent of the Barefoot Friars — has witnessed half a millennium of Peruvian history. Age, economic woes and benign neglect have taken their toll, and the convent […]

Pope defends Vatican secretary of state against ‘unjust criticism’

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI reaffirmed his trust in the Vatican’s secretary of state and defended him against a barrage of “unjust criticism” in the Italian media. In a letter addressed to “dear brother” Italian Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, 77, the pope expressed his “profound appreciation for your discreet presence and wise counsel, which […]