World News

Strong faith is key to church unity, says doctrinal congregation head

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The unity of the Catholic Church rises or falls to the degree that its members uncompromisingly hold firm to the faith transmitted by the apostles, said Archbishop Gerhard Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Give curia reform time, Vatican official says, urging calm

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Amid widespread speculation about a complete and quick reorganization of Vatican departments and rumors in the Italian media that Pope Francis was going to close the Vatican bank, a top Vatican official told everyone to calm down. "The pope was surprised to see attributed to him phrases that he never said and that misrepresent his thought," said Archbishop Angelo Becciu, whose job is similar to a chief of staff.

Canadian brother murdered in Haiti, mission in country closed

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (CNS) — Marianist Brother Richard E. Joyal, who was murdered in Haiti after withdrawing money at an ATM in late April, was a dedicated missionary who had worked in trying circumstances around the world, according to fellow members of the Society of Mary order. Brother Joyal, 62, was shot three times […]

Israeli president invites Pope Francis to visit Israel

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Israeli President Shimon Peres officially invited Pope Francis to Israel, telling the pope "the sooner you visit the better, as in these days a new opportunity is being created for peace, and your arrival could contribute significantly to increasing the trust and belief in peace." The Vatican said that during their half-hour private conversation April 30, the pope and the president discussed "the political and social situation in the Middle East where more than a few conflicts persist."

Pope confirms young people, including two from New Jersey

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Administering the sacrament of confirmation to 44 people, including two teenagers from the United States and two from Ireland, Pope Francis encouraged them to "swim against the tide; it's good for the heart." After making the sign of the cross with chrism oil on the foreheads of those being confirmed, Pope Francis rubbed the oil all over their foreheads, sealing them with the Holy Spirit. After wishing them peace, he gave each a quick kiss on the cheek.

French Catholics vow to try to block same-sex marriage law

PARIS (CNS) — French Catholics have vowed to continue attempts to block a law allowing same-sex marriage, despite its passage by the National Assembly April 23. “We’ll tell our president we don’t care about the views of parliament and government — we’re against this foolish law,” said Antoine Renard, president of France’s National Federation of […]

Corruption is worse than sin because heart hardens to God, pope says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Corruption is worse than any sin because it hardens the heart against feeling shame or guilt and hearing God’s call for conversion, Pope Francis said. “Situations of sin and the state of corruption are two distinct realities, even if they are intimately linked to one another,” he said when he was […]

Ban on religion forced Albanians to pray in secret: one woman’s story

TIRANA, Albania (CNS) -- Almost every evening at 6, the sounds of the organ resonate in the brick Catholic church on Kavaja Street. The hymns may vary, but the organist, Maria Dhimitri, is always the same. It has been that way for nearly 23 years and could have been double that, Dhimitri said in a recent interview, if it had not been for a brutally enforced ban on religion in her country in southeastern Europe from 1967 to 1990.

As Scots weigh independence, church won’t tell Catholics how to vote

GLENELG, Scotland (CNS) — At the center of this isolated seaside community, overlooked by shadowy mountains on the nearby Isle of Skye, local fishing folk tap their feet as traditional music echoes from the village inn. The BBC broadcasts in Gaelic here, and most youngsters have never been to Edinburgh, the Scottish capital 125 miles […]

Preach the Gospel with courage, humility, pope says at Mass

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Christians should pray for great courage and great humility as they respond to the call of Jesus to share his Gospel with the world, Pope Francis said. Preaching the Good News must be done with “humility, service, charity, fraternal love,” the pope said April 25 during his homily at a morning […]