World News

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.

Nations ponder what to do about chemical attack in Syria

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry were consulting with other world leaders about how to respond to Syria's apparent chemical weapons attack on civilians. Meanwhile, British Prime Minister David Cameron was convening an emergency session of Parliament to consider a motion allowing a British military response.. Chaldean Catholic Bishop Antoine Audo of Aleppo told Vatican Radio Aug. 26 that "If there were a military intervention, I think this would lead to a world war. There is this risk."

Egypt’s Christians proud of history traced to Jesus, St. Mark

CAIRO (CNS) --The Coptic Orthodox Church of the Virgin Mary sits in a tiled courtyard a few miles outside Cairo, on the left bank of the Nile as the river bends south toward Upper Egypt. The structure's front doors overlook the famed river, which Egyptian Christians who pray and worship here are convinced transported Mary, Joseph and their small boy, Jesus, to safety from persecution back home.

Pope to meet Jordan’s king, discuss ongoing strife in Middle East

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — As international leaders increasingly discussed the possibility of some form of armed intervention in Syria, the Vatican announced Pope Francis would interrupt the last week of his summer break in order to meet Aug. 29 with Jordan’s King Abdullah II. Jordan and Syria share a border, and Jordan is hosting some […]

Fear of Egyptian violence doesn’t stop nuns’ hospital work

The Egyptian army's takeover in early July has led to deadly clashes with militants throughout Egypt, including within ear-reach of the century-old Italian Hospital in Cairo, where nuns from five different Catholic orders live and work. But fears of what is outside the hospital gates -- including a spike in attacks on the country's Christian institutions -- appeared to interfere little with the sisters' chores inside the historic medical facility built by Egypt's one-time vibrant Italian community.

Scottish archbishop says cardinal blocked plans for abuse investigation

MANCHESTER, England (CNS) -- A disgraced Scottish cardinal halted a plan to allow independent investigators to examine church child abuse files, said a retired archbishop. In a letter to the British Catholic weekly The Tablet, retired Archbishop Mario Conti of Glasgow said that Cardinal Keith O'Brien, who earlier this year admitted to acts of sexual misconduct, prevented case files from being reviewed.

China’s ‘apple Catholics’ add spiritual activities to daily routine

BEIJING (CNS) -- Many rural villages in Shaanxi do not have a Catholic parish, and some with churches struggle with sparse attendance. But the village of Fufengxian, near the town of Baoji, has a population that is more than 80 percent baptized Catholics. When villagers are not tending to their apple orchards, they can be found attending Mass or praying at Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church.

Pope asks pontifical academies to help fight human trafficking

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- At the request of Pope Francis, scholars and researchers belonging to two pontifical academies and representatives of the World Federation of Catholic Medical Associations will begin focusing on the phenomenon of human trafficking and ways to fight it.