World News

Meeting between pope, Vietnam’s Communist Party head boosts relations

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Diplomatic relations between the Vatican and Vietnam were strengthened further when Pope Benedict XVI met Nguyen Phu Trong, marking the first time a pope had met with the general secretary of the nation's Communist Party.

Everyone, even atheists, has human desire to know who God is, pope says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The desire to see and know God is innate in everyone, even nonbelievers, Pope Benedict XVI said. But it’s especially important that people don’t just seek God when they need him but make room for him throughout their busy lives, he said during his weekly general audience in the Vatican’s Paul […]

Canada slashed funds to Catholic agency despite bureaucratic support

TORONTO (CNS) — Government staffers described the bishops’ Development and Peace agency as “Canada’s most experienced development organization supported exclusively by Canadians” — then slashed its funding. Internal emails, briefing notes and memoranda obtained by The Catholic Register, a national weekly, reveal that a government decision to cut funding to the Canadian Catholic Organization for […]

Bishop in Mali says people in hiding, afraid to enter churches

OXFORD, England (CNS) — A Catholic bishop in war-torn Mali whose diocese lies in the path of Islamic insurgents said “people are hiding in their homes, unable to venture out.” Bishop Augustin Traore of Segou, Mali, told Catholic News Service by telephone: “Although our churches are still intact, people are becoming afraid to enter them. […]

Vatican laments European Court denial of conscientious objection right

  VATICAN CITY (CNS) — While applauding the European Court of Human Rights’ recognition of the right of a British airline employee to wear a cross on her uniform, the Vatican lamented the court’s denial of the full right of conscientious objection in other cases claiming religious discrimination in the United Kingdom. Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, […]

Euro court says Britain failed to protect stewardess’ right to wear cross

MANCHESTER, England (CNS) — The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that the British government violated the rights of an airline flight attendant by failing to protect her right to conscience and religion. It found that Nadia Eweida, 60, a Coptic Christian, suffered discrimination when she was told by British Airways, her employer, to […]

‘Listen to the streets’ on marriage, says French bishops’ spokesman

PARIS (CNS) -- A French bishops' spokesman urged politicians to "listen to the streets" after hundreds of thousands of people rallied against same-sex marriage. "We're facing questions about society -- what the family is, what marriage is, and whether there's a difference between men and women," Msgr. Bernard Podvin, spokesman for the French bishops' conference, told France's Metro daily.

Partnerships key to Haiti’s recovery 3 years after earthquake

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Soon after a monstrous earthquake devastated much of Haiti three years ago, the mantra among Haitian government leaders and a good share of relief and development agencies was “build back Haiti better.” It was somewhat catchy, of course, and certainly demonstrative of the resiliency of a country battered all too often by […]

Mexican priest’s work in shelters helps shift migrants, evangelicals’ perceptions

SALTILLO, Mexico (CNS) -- During Mass on the feast of the Epiphany, Father Pedro Pantoja asked a group of parishioners in attendance to pray for his Central American guests -- all of whom were seeking to sneak into the United States. The migrants seeking shelter in Saltillo, about 190 miles south of the Texas border at Laredo, arrived after a perilous path through Mexico, where often criminal gangs -- sometimes assisted by complicit and corrupt police and public officials -- exploit, extort and kidnap them.

Like Good Samaritan, help those in need, pope says in message for the sick

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — In a message for the 2013 World Day of the Sick, Pope Benedict XVI called on everyone to be a good Samaritan and concretely help those in need. Thanking those who care for the sick and elderly, the pope underlined the church’s fundamental role in “lovingly and generously accepting every human […]