World News

Baptism gives strength to forgive enemies, love poor, pope says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Baptism isn't just some formal ritual, it profoundly changes people, giving them unwavering hope and the strength to forgive and love others, Pope Francis said.

Pope carries lamb, meets baby Jesus in visit to live Nativity scene

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Surrounded by cheese sellers, shoemakers, children and bleating animals, Pope Francis immersed himself in a lively re-enactment of a special day in Bethlehem during his visit to a parish north of Rome Dec. 6.

Pope Francis pledges almost $5 million to help pay World Youth Day debt

An audit shows World Youth Day had an accumulated debt of $38.4 million after the event last summer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. After renegotiating with suppliers and selling a property, the Rio archdiocese was able to reduce the debt to a little over $18 million.

Egypt’s president visits Coptic pope to extend Christmas greeting

CAIRO (CNS) -- In an unprecedented and highly symbolic move, Egypt's interim President Adly Mansour paid a Christmas visit to the leader of the country's Coptic Orthodox, Egyptian Pope Tawadros II.

Pope Francis announces visit to Holy Land, energizing hopes

AMMAN, Jordan (CNS) -- Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal of Jerusalem welcomed the announcement of Pope Francis' visit to the Holy Land May 24-26 and said he hopes the pilgrimage will be a "cry for peace," particularly for Palestinians, Israelis, Syrians and others beset by conflict.

Pope restricts ‘monsignor’ honor for priests

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis has decided to limit the honor of "monsignor" among diocesan priests and grant it from now on only to those at least 65 years of age.

Pope orders new rules on relations between bishops, religious orders

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis said he has ordered a revision of what he called outdated Vatican norms on the relations between religious orders and local bishops, in order to promote greater appreciation of the orders' distinctive missions.

Pope tells Jesuits to dream big, change the world

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- True faith is marked by the daring desire to change the world with the loving heart of Jesus, Pope Francis said. The zealous proclamation of the Gospel must never be coupled with "inquisitional clobbering, with condemnation. No, the Gospel is proclaimed with kindness, fraternity and love," he told more than 300 of his fellow Jesuits Jan. 3.

Sub-Saharan refugees in Cairo find challenges blending with society

CAIRO (CNS) -- Refugees from South Sudan living in Egypt say the outbreak of violence in their homeland is caused by political squabbles over power, not conflicts between tribes.

Churches inundated as violence continues in Central African Republic

OXFORD, England (CNS) -- Church leaders in the Central African Republic report an increasing humanitarian crisis and warn that international forces, which have been in their country a month, had not secured law and order.