World News

Seven encyclicals that shook the church

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis' first encyclical, "Lumen Fidei" ("The Light of Faith"), released July 5, is the latest installment in a centuries' old papal tradition. An encyclical is considered the most authoritative form of papal writing, and though many examples are now remembered only by scholars, the messages of others have continued to resonate within the church and beyond.

In first encyclical, pope celebrates faith as the light of human life

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis' first encyclical, "Lumen Fidei" ("The Light of Faith"), is a celebration of Christian faith as the guiding light of a "successful and fruitful life," inspiring social action as well as devotion to God, and illuminating "every aspect of human existence," including philosophy and the natural sciences. The document, released July 5, completes a papal trilogy on the three "theological virtues," following Pope Benedict XVI's encyclicals "Deus Caritas Est" (2005) on charity and "Spe Salvi" (2007) on hope. Publication of the encyclical was one of the most awaited events of the Year of Faith which began in October 2012.

‘Lumen Fidei’ at a glance

VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Here at a glance are the main points of Pope Francis’ encyclical “Lumen Fidei” (“The Light of Faith”), released July 5. — Christian faith is the guiding light of a “successful and fruitful life,” illuminating “every aspect of human existence.” — The opposite of faith is idolatry, according to which man worships the […]

Encyclical illustrates continuity of two papacies, officials say

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Presenting Pope Francis' new encyclical and acknowledging how much of it was prepared by retired Pope Benedict XVI, top Vatican officials hailed it as a unique expression of the development of papal teaching and unity in faith.

Pope clears the way for the canonizations of John Paul II, John XXIII

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis signed a decree clearing the way for the canonization of Blessed John Paul II and has decided also to ask the world's cardinals to vote on the canonization of Blessed John XXIII, even in the absence of a miracle. After Pope Francis met July 5 with Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints' Causes, the Vatican published a list of decrees the pope approved related to Blessed John Paul's canonization and 11 other sainthood causes.

Polish, Ukrainian church leaders mark anniversary of WWII massacres

WARSAW, Poland (CNS) -- Catholic leaders in Poland and Ukraine pledged mutual forgiveness for the deaths of tens of thousands of civilians during World War II. A statement by two bishops was timed to commemorate the 1943-44 massacres in Volhynia and eastern Galicia, in which up to 100,000 Poles and Ukrainians were killed by rival sides under Nazi occupation.

Bishops find problems in Colombia, Peru, echo issues at home in U.S.

LAMAS, Peru (CNS) -- Conflicts over natural resources and land rights in places like Peru and Colombia echo similar problems in the United States, said U.S. bishops who visited the two countries in late June. "We came to express solidarity with the church in Peru and Colombia, that we are one family in Christ, and the concerns of one part of the family are the concerns of the other," Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas of Tucson, Ariz., told Catholic News Service.

Central African bishops: Insurgence has ruined nation’s social fabric

BANGUI, Central African Republic (CNS) -- Catholic bishops in the Central African Republic said their country's occupation by Islamist-led rebels has left its livelihood "looted and destroyed" and its "social fabric completely torn up." "Never has our country known a conflict so grave in its magnitude and duration -- never has any military-political disorder spread through our territory with such a violent impact," the bishops' conference said.

Saints’ congregation reportedly acts on causes of JP II, John XXIII

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The cardinals and archbishops who are members of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes met July 2 and, according to Italian news reports, took steps to advance the sainthood causes of Blesseds John Paul II and John XXIII. The Vatican press office confirmed the meeting, but said that all deliberations in sainthood […]

U.K. may allow DNA changes to abolish disease; church institute critical

MANCHESTER, England (CNS) -- A Catholic bioethics institute criticized plans by the British government to create "genetically modified children" free of hereditary disease and said the treatment could affect the child's descendants in unknown ways. The Department of Health announced June 28 that, later this year, it will publish draft regulations on two mitochondrial replacement techniques.