World News

Pope advances causes of Franciscans, missionary, Redemptorist priest

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis advanced the sainthood causes of four people, including a Franciscan priest and a lay Franciscan.

Malta Parliament passes same-sex marriage, adoption

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- After a controversial vote in parliament April 14, Malta became the latest country to recognize same-sex unions as the legal equivalent of marriage, and to permit adoption by same-sex couples.

Imitate Jesus’ humility, thank him for it during Holy Week, pope says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Jesus' resurrection "isn't the happy ending of a beautiful fairytale, it isn't the happy ending of a film," but is the result of the loving intervention of God, who wanted to give humanity hope and salvation, Pope Francis said. (Watch a video of the pope's suggested Holy Week devotion.)

Vatican was not ordered to appear before U.N. committee, spokesman says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Vatican's scheduled May appearance before a United Nations committee monitoring adherence to an anti-torture treaty is being done willingly and not because church officials were ordered to appear for questioning, the Vatican spokesman said.

Seminary study requires commitment to constant conversion, pope says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Meeting a group of seminarians who had walked more than 40 miles to see him at the Vatican, Pope Francis told them to give their all to prayer, study and pastoral preparation, or else have the "courage to seek another path."

Pope: During Holy Week, ask which Gospel character you resemble

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Preceded by young people and clergy waving tall palm branches, Pope Francis began his Holy Week liturgies by encouraging people to ask themselves which personality in the Gospel accounts of Jesus' passion, death and resurrection they resemble most.

Pope sends Passover greetings, asks prayers for Holy Land trip

With the approaching of the start of Passover at sundown April 14, Pope Francis said he wanted to offer his "best wishes for peace" to Rome's chief Rabbi Riccardo Di Segni and the city's Jewish community.

Pope Francis drags human trafficking onto world stage

As archbishop of Buenos Aires, Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio celebrated annual open-air Masses for and with victims of human trafficking, condemning the "great mafia of very elegant people" -- the traffickers and those who profit from the illegal trade -- whose "money is stained with blood." As pope, he now makes it a global issue and decries the world's indifference.

Indian sisters nurture hope, reconciliation in teeming South Sudan camp

JUBA, South Sudan (CNS) -- When South Sudan's fledgling democracy suddenly unraveled in December, what started as political infighting within the country's ruling party quickly ripped along ethnic fault lines, often pitting neighbors against each other according to the tribal markings on their faces.

Pope to pro-life activists: Defend the unborn, support pregnant women

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis said Christians must defend life at all stages, especially before birth, and he praised efforts to assist pregnant women in difficulty and prevent the destruction of human embryos.