World News

Cardinal Wuerl: Synod strives to turn back ‘tsunami of secularism’

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- At the Synod of Bishops, which opens Oct. 7 with a papal Mass in St. Peter's Square, some 250 prelates from around the world will meet for three weeks to talk and pray about the new evangelization. Long after the bishops have expressed their diverse views, Pope Benedict XVI will have the last word in an authoritative document of reflections called a post-synodal apostolic exhortation. In the meantime, none of the participants has a better overview of the Vatican gathering, or of the questions it will examine, than Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington.

Papal blessings: Not as easy as it looks

Some blessings go well…   Some, not so much…

Pope, at Marian shrine, entrusts Year of Faith, synod to Mary

LORETO, Italy (CNS) — During a visit to the Shrine of Our Lady of Loreto, Pope Benedict XVI formally entrusted to Mary the world Synod of Bishops and the Year of Faith. The pope was marking the 50th anniversary of Blessed John XXIII’s visit to the Marian shrine, about 175 miles northwest of Rome, when […]

Shanghai’s priests, nuns forced to attend government classes

SHANGHAI (CNS) — Priests and nuns in the Shanghai Diocese were forced to attend compulsory “study classes,” which observers believe were imposed by Chinese authorities in response to the new Shanghai auxiliary’s renunciation of the Catholic Patriotic Association. In September, approximately 80 diocesan priests and 80 nuns of the Our Lady of Presentation Congregation were […]

Digital dilemma: Church needs to show how Gospel is best search result

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Having a Catholic presence online isn’t enough for effective evangelization, the Vatican said. The church must develop “a new way of thinking” in order to find ways that engage and help people meet Christ, it said. The Pontifical Council for Social Communications announced Sept. 29 that Pope Benedict XVI had chosen […]

Hurricane season: Church as first responder in Latin America, Caribbean

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (CNS) — On the little islands that make up the Caribbean's Lesser Antilles, there is not much in the way of protection from the annual wrath of the Atlantic hurricane season. Every year from hurricane season's start on June 1 until the end of peak months — August through October — […]

Papal butler says he’s innocent of theft, but guilty of betraying pope

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Paolo Gabriele, the papal butler charged with stealing and leaking papal correspondence, said he was innocent of charges of aggravated theft, but "I feel guilty for having betrayed the trust the Holy Father placed in me." "I loved him like a son," Gabriele said of the pope during the second day of his trial. The morning session of the trial Oct. 2 also featured brief testimony by Cristina Cernetti, one of the consecrated laywomen who work in the papal apartment; and longer testimony by Msgr. Georg Ganswein, Pope Benedict XVI's personal secretary.

Uruguay’s lower house passes bill to legalize abortion

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay (CNS) — After more than nine hours of deliberations, Uruguay's Chamber of Deputies approved legislation that would legalize abortion during the first trimester of pregnancy. While the debate heated up inside the country's Congress Sept. 26, hundreds braved the cold weather outside to demonstrate for and against the legislation. The 50-49 vote changed […]

New evangelization in America a focus for bishops’ synod

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — When Blessed John Paul II launched the project he called the new evangelization, he made it clear that it was aimed above all at reviving the ancient faith of an increasingly faithless West: “countries and nations where religion and the Christian life were formerly flourishing,” now menaced by a “constant spreading […]

‘VatiLeaks’ trial will be landmark event for Vatican tribunal

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — For the Vatican's criminal court, the trial of Paolo Gabriele and Claudio Sciarpelletti for their alleged part in leaking papal correspondence will be unusual and may lead the Vatican to invoke a never-used cooperation agreement with Italy. Giovanni Giacobbe, promoter of justice in Court of Appeal of Vatican City State, explained […]