World News

Archbishop says people returning to confession because of pope

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The head of the Vatican office promoting new evangelization said that while he does not like the terms “Francis effect” or “Francis bump,” it is true that “Pope Francis has touched the hearts and minds of many people.” Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization, said […]

Pope calls for global, ethical finance reform, end to ‘cult of money’

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis called for global financial reform that respects human dignity, helps the poor, promotes the common good and allows states to regulate markets. "Money has to serve, not to rule," he said in his strongest remarks yet as pope concerning the world's economic and financial crises.

Vatican tells cardinal to leave Scotland for period of prayer, penance

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Scottish Cardinal Keith O’Brien, who resigned as archbishop after admitting to sexual misconduct, will leave Scotland “for several months for the purpose of spiritual renewal, prayer and penance,” the Vatican said. Any decision about when the period will end or where the cardinal will live permanently will be made in agreement […]

Vatican bank to publish annual report, launch website

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — As part of ongoing efforts to promote transparency and chip away at the myths surrounding what is commonly called the Vatican bank, its new president announced it will have a website by the end of the year and will publish its annual report. Ernst von Freyberg, who in February was appointed […]

Pope asks people to pray to Holy Spirit every day

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Catholics can’t put their faith on a part-time schedule or rely on it just for the moments they choose; being Christian is a full-time occupation, Pope Francis said. If people don’t open their hearts to the Holy Spirit to let God purify and enlighten them, then “our being Christian will be […]

Vatican commissions art for display at Venice international exhibition

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — After years of discussion and at least one failed attempt, the Vatican will open a pavilion at the 2013 Venice Bienniale, a major international contemporary art exhibition. Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, told reporters May 14 the pavilion — paid for by sponsors — represents part […]

Marian devotion unifies hundreds at Asia-Pacific Islanders pilgrimage

WASHINGTON (CNS) — As three choirs sang a modern-day arrangement of the “Memorare” together May 11, a Vietnamese father, mother and daughter in traditional “ao dai” attire walked reverently to the front of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington and placed an ornate crown on the statue of Mary […]

Church silent after ex-Guatemalan dictator found guilty of genocide

GUATEMALA CITY (CNS) -- Church officials in Guatemala did not comment in the days after a former dictator, Gen. Efrain Rios Montt, was found guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity. A judge sentenced Rios Montt, 86, to 80 years in prison for crimes carried out in 1982, when he allegedly initiated a policy of extermination of Mayans for their ties to Marxist guerrillas. The ruling was seen as historic in a country known for its impunity.

Church is growing worldwide, especially in Asia, Africa, Vatican says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The number of Catholics in the world and the number of bishops, priests, religious men and seminarians all increased in 2011, while the number of women in religious orders continued to decline, according to Vatican statistics. The number of permanent deacons is showing “strong expansion” globally, but especially in Europe and […]

Portuguese cardinal entrusts Pope Francis to Our Lady of Fatima

FATIMA, Portugal (CNS) — Entrusting Pope Francis’ pontificate to Our Lady of Fatima, Cardinal Jose da Cruz Policarpo of Lisbon, Portugal, asked Mary to give the pope courage and strength, particularly as he moves to renew and reform the Catholic Church. “Give him the gift of discernment to know how to identify the ways of […]