World News

German bishops criticize country’s growing arms industry

BERLIN (CNS) — Germany’s Catholic bishops criticized the country’s growing arms industry and urged greater commitment to settling the world’s armed conflicts. The message was included in a 24-page bishops’ conference brochure for the Jan. 1 World Day of Peace. “Peace isn’t just a job for politicians,” said the conference president, Archbishop Robert Zollitsch of […]

French bishops encourage rally against same-sex marriage bill

PARIS (CNS) — France’s Catholic bishops are backing plans for a national demonstration against same-sex marriage legislation, which is expected to be approved by lawmakers later in January. “I won’t be participating — not because I don’t agree with the demonstration, but because I don’t think I need to march when I have to make […]

Thanks be to mothers of priests, Vatican official says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The mothers of priests and seminarians deserve the thanks of the whole church for raising their sons in the faith and supporting them in their vocations, said Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, prefect of the Congregation for Clergy. Writing on the Jan. 1 feast of Mary, Mother of God, the cardinal said having […]

Silence and song: Youths make ecumenical New Year’s pilgrimage to Rome

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Even with 45,000 people -- mostly young adults -- gathered in St. Peter's Square, one could hear the sound of splashing water from the square's two decorative fountains. The hush was part of the ebb and flow of silence and song that marked the Taize ecumenical community's pilgrimage to Rome Dec. 28-Jan. 2, bringing young adults together for quiet prayer, the singing of Taize chants and reflections on Scripture.

Despite evil, human beings are hard-wired for peace, pope says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Welcoming in the new year, Pope Benedict XVI said that despite the injustice and violence in the world, every human being yearns for and is made for peace. "Man is made for peace, which is a gift of God," but also something individuals must work tirelessly to build, he said.

Agenda for a year of faith: looking ahead for the church in 2013

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Fortunetelling, like all occult practices, is strictly taboo at the Vatican; and prophecy is a rare gift among journalists. But Pope Benedict XVI's calendar for 2013 is already filling up with planned, probable or possible events. Here are 10 to watch for in the news during the coming year.

Irish cardinal urges Catholics to make known their abortion opposition

DUBLIN (CNS) — The president of the Irish bishops’ conference urged Catholics to make their views on abortion clear to politicians as the government considers legalizing abortion in limited circumstances. In his Christmas message, Cardinal Sean Brady of Armagh, Northern Ireland, reiterated the church’s opposition to such legislation. “Public representatives will be asked to decide […]

New ventilation system to suck dirt, dust off Sistine Chapel visitors

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — In an effort to protect Michelangelo’s famed frescoes in the Sistine Chapel, the Vatican Museums will be installing a new ventilation system to suck the dust, dirt and humidity from visitors. With 5 million tourists pushing through the turnstiles each year, all that traffic is taking its toll as “dust, temperature, […]

Montreal deacon who was bishops’ spokesman faces child porn charges

OTTAWA, Ontario (CNS) — William Kokesch, a Montreal permanent deacon who served nearly 10 years as a communications director for Canada’s Catholic bishops, has been charged with producing and distributing child pornography. On Dec. 27, Kokesch, 65, was released on bail after posting a $10,000 cash bond. The judge ordered him not to use computers […]

Bishops describe Christmas in besieged Aleppo, Syria

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Because of ongoing fighting in the city, Catholic leaders in Aleppo, Syria, canceled their traditional Christmas visits to local government officials, but the local governor dropped in on a meeting of bishops and priests Dec. 27 to offer his best wishes, said Bishop Giuseppe Nazzaro. The bishop, who is the Latin-rite […]