World News

Future of the church: Young people active participants at WCC assembly

BUSAN, South Korea (CNS) -- Often, people look at church congregations and meetings and wonder, "Where are the youth?" But at the World Council of Churches 10th Assembly in Busan, young people are everywhere.

Women religious ask pope for world day of prayer against trafficking

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- After Pope Francis entrusted two Vatican academies to study the problem of human trafficking, a group of women religious asked the pope to raise greater awareness in the church about the issue by establishing a worldwide day of prayer and fasting. "The pope was very interested in our suggestion and asked us what date we would like the day to be," Consolata Sister Eugenia Bonetti told Catholic News Service.

Pope Francis set to create first batch of cardinals in February

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis will create his first cardinals during a consistory Feb. 22, the feast of the Chair of St. Peter. The pope also is expected to use the occasion "to have a meeting with the cardinals for consultations" immediately before the ceremony, as retired Pope Benedict XVI did in the run-up to his consistories, said Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman. No specific dates were given for that meeting.

Pope moves causes, including of U.S.-born nun, toward beatification

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Moving four candidates closer to beatification, Pope Francis recognized the martyrdom of a bishop in communist-controlled Romania and the heroic virtues of three religious women: one born in the United States, one Irish and one Italian. The recognition of the martyrdom of Bishop Anton Durcovici of Iasi, Romania, in 1951 clears the way for his beatification, a step toward sainthood.

At Mass near John Paul’s tomb, pope focuses on experiencing God’s love

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Surprising pilgrims at Blessed John Paul II's tomb, Pope Francis made an early morning visit to St. Peter's Basilica and celebrated Mass with the mostly Polish pilgrims. More than 100 priests and pilgrims were gathered Oct. 31 at the basilica's Chapel of St. Sebastian for a morning Mass near Blessed John Paul's tomb. Pope Francis arrived unannounced to preside at the liturgy and prayed for the late pope's intercession to help today's Christians be strong, not weak in their faith.

Vatican not worried about possibility U.S. monitored its calls

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Vatican has no evidence its calls were monitored by the U.S. National Security Agency and, even if they were, “we have no concerns about it,” the Vatican spokesman said. Asked about the possibility that the NSA’s electronic eavesdropping program had monitored Vatican calls, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi told reporters Oct. […]

Ethiopia’s Catholic leaders see education as key to development, peace

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Ethiopian church leaders are hoping education can help fight some cultural traditions, such as female circumcision and beliefs that epileptic children are possessed. They also hope that by building schools close to villages, parents will feel more secure sending girls to classes, because the proximity will make them less vulnerable to rape and kidnapping.

Central African Republic prelates hope for results from U.N. appeal

Archbishop Dieudonne Nzapalainga of Bangui, Central African Republic, told the U.N. Human Rights Council's Universal Periodic Review Working Group that his nation was a powder keg, and that since March the rebel coalition Seleka had expanded from 3,500 to 25,000 members, aided by child soldiers and a "constant supply of weapons."

Parishioners form self-defense groups in crime-ridden Mexican state

MEXICO CITY (CNS) -- Some at St. James the Apostle Parish formed self-defense groups earlier this year to protect themselves from extortion attempts and attacks by organized criminal groups in a rural pocket of Mexico's western Michoacan state. Others from the region known as Tierra Caliente fled to the United States, said Father Andres Larios, pastor at St. James in Coalcoman.

Young and old join pope to celebrate joy of family life

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- A Catholic wedding is not simply a beautiful ceremony; through the sacrament of marriage a couple receives from God the grace they will need to fulfill their mission in the world, Pope Francis said.