World News

Pope, Jordanian king say dialogue is only hope for peace in Syria

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- As Western leaders expressed strong convictions that the Syrian government carried out a chemical weapons attack against its own citizens and vowed to take action, Pope Francis met at the Vatican Aug. 29 with Jordan's King Abdullah II and Queen Rania. Jordan borders Syria and hosts hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees who have fled the fighting that began in March 2011 in an attempt to oust President Bashar Assad.

Western church leaders warn against intervention in Syria

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- As speculation mounted about Western air strikes on Syria, a committee of U.S. bishops called for a political solution, and Catholic leaders in Europe warned military intervention could lead to an escalation of hostilities.

Many of Egypt’s Christians think U.S. has aligned with the wrong side

CAIRO (CNS) --Two weeks after the churches he used to pray in were ransacked and burned to the ground in the Egyptian port city of Suez, Istafanos Youssif sat "searching for God" in a Cairo convent. He said he hoped to get over the pain, and that he understood who was behind the church burnings. What he said he could not understand was the U.S. position toward his country, Egypt.

Lasting bonds: Vatican invites extended families to join pilgrimage

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- As part of the Year of Faith, the Vatican wants to celebrate bonds that last a lifetime. The international pilgrimage of families Oct. 26-27 is being planned as a celebration and not a protest against any policy or trend, said Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family.

Pope tells youth to ‘make noise,’ fight hazards of culture

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Fight off a drug- and alcohol-pushing culture and other hazardous trends sweeping across today's world, Pope Francis told young people. "In life, there will always be people who will make you offers to slow or impede you on your way. Please, go against the current. Be courageous," he said.

Romanian priest who died in communist prison to be beatified

WARSAW, Poland (CNS) -- A priest who died of cold and hunger in a communist prison will be beatified as a martyr Aug. 31 in Bucharest, Romania. The sanctity of Msgr. Vladimir Ghika has "given us an important new example of a life lived for church and faith," said Archbishop Ioan Robu of Bucharest, president of the Romanian bishops' conference.

Pope Francis says Christians should have restless hearts like St. Augustine’s

ROME (CNS) -- St. Augustine famously said that people's hearts are restless until they rest in God. But too many people have allowed their hearts to be "anesthetized" and no longer search for God and for love, Pope Francis said when he met with members of the Order of St. Augustine on the saint's feast day Aug. 28.

Syrian-born patriarch: ‘Enough with the intervention’

BEIRUIT (CNS) — Syrian-born Melkite Catholic Patriarch Gregoire III Laham warned against armed intervention in his country, saying, “It has brought us to the tragedy we are now living in Syria.” Speaking to Catholic News Service by phone Aug. 27 from the patriarchal summer residence in Ain Traz, Lebanon, the patriarch said such a step […]

Dozens of World Youth Day pilgrims seek asylum in Brazil

SAO PAULO (CNS) — More than 50 pilgrims who attended World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro are seeking asylum in Brazil. Aline Thuller, Caritas’ coordinator for refugees in the Archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro, said the archdiocese received approximately 40 asylum requests from pilgrims from Pakistan, Sierra Leone and Congo. Thuller said two parishes […]

Here comes the cavalry! Nashville Dominicans join Scottish diocese

ABERDEEN, Scotland (CNS) -- A bishop has likened the arrival of American nuns in his Scottish diocese to a Western, with the cavalry coming over the hill at the moment Catholics thought they were going to be scalped. In a homily during an Aug. 24 Mass to welcome the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia into the Diocese of Aberdeen, Bishop Hugh Gilbert said the nuns were rescuing the local church in the same way that the U.S. Cavalry saved cowboys from Indians in the movies.