World News

Arms treaty need to protect poor, Vatican’s UN observer says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The unregulated sale and transfer of weapons and weapons’ technology harm the poor and threaten peace and security around the world, a Vatican official told a U.N. meeting. Archbishop Francis A. Chullikatt, the Holy See’s permanent observer to the United Nations, addressed a committee preparing for the U.N. Conference on the […]

Forgotten massacre under way in Sudanese border region, says bishop

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — A Sudanese bishop said the world has forgotten people in his diocese, where thousands of people have sought shelter from a government bombing campaign and aid agencies cannot gain access. “There is an ongoing forgotten massacre on the Nuba Mountains” where “people are dying of starvation and bombings,” said Bishop Macram […]

Mexican Jesuit denounces raid on parish, human rights center

MEXICO CITY (CNS) — A Jesuit priest denounced a raid on his parish and human rights center, calling it yet another attempt to intimidate activists who have been critical of Mexican government excesses in the crackdown on organized crime. Jesuit Father Jose Castilla Plasencia, pastor of the St. Jude Thaddeus Parish and director of the […]

Pope calls on Syria to address citizens’ legitimate demands

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — As a sectarian conflict in Syria intensified, Pope Benedict XVI called on all Syrians to begin a process of dialogue and reminded the government of its duty to recognize its citizens’ legitimate demands. In Beirut, the patriarch of the Syriac Catholic Church warned against toppling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, calling for […]

Pope warns of threat to freedom of religion, conscience in US

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI warned visiting U.S. bishops that “radical secularism” threatens the core values of American culture, and he called on the Church in America, including politicians and other laypeople, to render “public moral witness” on crucial social issues. The Pope spoke Jan. 19 to a group of U.S. bishops who […]

As Tet nears, migrants return to Vietnam, get chance to renew faith

HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam (CNS) — Catholic migrant workers based in Laos are returning home to be with their families in time for the Tet New Year holidays and, for many, the trip will offer a chance to renew their faith. Others, however, even within Vietnam, will not make the traditional journey to be […]

For Pope, 2011 was year of evangelization, travel and technology

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — An interfaith meeting in Assisi, a new book on Jesus of Nazareth and a website-launching tap on an iPad were among the highlights of 2011 for Pope Benedict XVI. Although the year saw a further cutback in individual papal audiences, the 84-year-old Pope still enjoyed a productive and busy 12 months, […]

Midnight Masses canceled in Iraq because of growing security concerns

LONDON (CNS) — Chaldean Catholic officials have canceled traditional Christmas Eve midnight Masses because of security risks. Chaldean Archbishop Louis Sako of Kirkuk in northern Iraq told the agency Aid to the Church in Need that Christians will spend Christmas in “great fear” because of the risk of new attacks.

Pope advances sainthood causes of Marianne Cope, Kateri Tekakwitha

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI advanced the sainthood causes of Blessed Marianne Cope of Molokai and Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha. He also formally recognized the martyrdom of 64 victims of the Spanish Civil War and advanced the causes of 18 other men and women. During a meeting Dec. 19 with Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect […]

Catholic officials call for calm in Congo crisis

KINSHASA, Congo (CNS) — Catholic officials called for calm after a tense day of polling in which violent incidents claimed the lives of nearly a dozen people during Congo’s presidential and legislative elections. “The electoral campaign that took place in a tense atmosphere has ended with a funereal note,” the Congolese bishops’ conference said in […]