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."
Vatican’s U.N. observer stresses need to eradicate world hunger
UNITED NATIONS (CNS) -- Finding a solution to the "ongoing scandal" of worldwide hunger should be a top priority, said the Vatican's representative to the United Nations. Addressing a U.N. General Assembly meeting on sustainable development goals May 23, Archbishop Francis A. Chullikatt urged the U.N. to find "sustainable models of food security and nutrition" to end hunger for nearly 1 billion people worldwide particularly when the international community can "produce sufficient food for every human being."
Vatican bank head says reputation needs more work than operations do
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — In the popular imagination, the Vatican bank is so shady that even the German businessman appointed its president in February thought his task would be “cleaning out and dealing with improper deposits.” But Ernst von Freyberg, president of the Institute for the Works of Religion, the formal title of the […]
On the hills of the West Bank, building the good life for Palestinians
RAWABI, West Bank (CNS) — About 20 minutes from the Palestinian economic hub of Ramallah, the new city of Rawabi is sprouting on a rocky hillside. Visitors sense pride as young professionals work on the first Palestinian city built with a master plan and the first new Palestinian city to rise up among the scattered […]
Belgian bishops welcome court condemnation of 2010 cathedral raid
OXFORD, England (CNS) -- The Belgian Catholic bishops' conference has welcomed judicial condemnation of a 2010 police raid on the cathedral and residence of Cardinal Godfried Danneels of Mechelen-Brussels. On May 28, Belgium's Court of Cassation condemned the June 24, 2010, raid, during which documents were seized and the tombs of two cardinals were pried open. The raid occurred during a bishops' plenary meeting, and the bishops were held all day as police confiscated cell phones, documents and computers.
Legionaries, Regnum Christi members begin novena of atonement, healing
ROME (CNS) -- As the Legionaries of Christ and Regnum Christi prepare for a new beginning after a Vatican-ordered reform, the groups are asking members to participate in a novena of atonement and healing in the aftermath of their founder's misconduct.
At Roman parish, pope gives children first Communion, catechism lesson
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Visiting an ordinary Rome parish for the first time as the city's bishop, Pope Francis gave a group of children their first Communion and a catechism lesson on the meaning of the Trinity.