World News

On last morning in Holy Land, pope reaches out to Muslims, Jews

JERUSALEM (CNS) -- Pope Francis toured the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount, sacred to Muslims as the place from which Mohammed ascended to heaven, and addressed Muslim leaders as "brothers" -- rather than "friends," as indicated in his prepared text.

Pope invites Israeli, Palestinian leaders to Rome to pray for peace

JERUSALEM (CNS) -- Pope Francis arrived in Israel on the last leg of a May 24-26 trip to Jordan, the Palestinian territories and the West Bank. In addition to praying at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall he also prayed unexpectedly at the separation wall on the West Bank.

Fifty years later, pope and patriarch meet again in Jerusalem

JERUSALEM (CNS) -- Half a century after a historic encounter between their predecessors, Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew met at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Earlier they signed a declaration calling for "communion in legitimate diversity" between the Catholic and Orthodox churches.

Vatican abuse prosecutor: More must be done to punish negligent bishops

U.S. Father Robert W. Oliver, promoter of justice in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said the church does have "procedures to deal with bishops who are negligent in supervision. It is a crime." However, he said more work needs to be done on the procedures. "Sexual abuse of children is an area that most people would prefer not to hear about; we've been forced to look at it," he said.

U.N. board urges Vatican to punish bishops who mishandle abuse claims

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The U.N. Committee Against Torture urged the Vatican to impose "meaningful sanctions" on any church authority who fails to follow church law in dealing with allegations of sexual abuse and asked that church officials worldwide be required to report abuse allegations to local police.

Why the pope is on Twitter but not Facebook

Pope Francis is not joining Facebook despite efforts from Facebook representatives who recently visited the Vatican to argue that the leader of the world’s largest Christian church should have a profile on the world’s largest social network.

Priests in Libya say Catholics fearful as conflict escalates

OXFORD, England (CNS) -- Catholics in Libya are "living in fear" as conflict escalates between Islamist militias and followers of a rebel general, said priests in Tripoli and Benghazi.

Vatican: More help needed for those bearing brunt of climate change

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- World leaders and policy makers need to look beyond the scientific and economic consequences of climate change and direct their attention to the human beings who will be most affected by rising global temperatures, a Vatican official said.

Chilean cardinal expresses concern about plan to decriminalize abortion

SANTIAGO, Chile (CNS) -- Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati Andrello of Santiago, president of the Chilean bishops' conference, expressed his concern about a presidential plan to decriminalize abortion in Chile.

In Britain, gay Catholics prefer civil partnerships

MANCHESTER, England (CNS) -- Gay and lesbian Catholics are opposed to the automatic conversion of civil partnerships into same-sex marriages, said the Catholic bishops of England and Wales. They said many gay Catholics held the view of the church that marriage is an exclusive union between a man and a woman, and they did not want their own partnerships to be redefined.