Local Catholic news stands out in 2010
In 2010, pope faced tough challenges inside and outside the church


Haiti quake precipitates calls for prayer, rapid and generous relief efforts
Pope Benedict XVI prayed for victims of a massive earthquake in Haiti and urged the international community to provide generous assistance to the stricken population of the Caribbean nation. The pope made his appeal at the end of his general audience Jan. 13, some 12 hours after a magnitude 7 earthquake struck Haiti, toppling buildings and causing widespread destruction. {{more}}


Pope convenes Irish bishops for talks on priestly sex abuse after scandal hits that country
Pope Benedict XVI convened Ireland’s bishops for a two-day meeting at the Vatican to discuss the ongoing fallout from the priestly sex abuse scandal in the country.

Massive earthquake in Chile redoubles Catholic relief efforts
The Pope prayed for the victims of the massive earthquake in Chile and pledged the assistance of Catholic relief organizations. The Pope made the remarks at his noon blessing Feb. 28, the day after a magnitude 8.8 quake struck the South American country, triggering giant waves and leaving at least 700 dead.


Chicago Archdiocese begins sainthood process for first black US priest
Father Augustine Tolton was the first U.S. priest of African descent and may one day be a saint from the Archdiocese of Chicago. The archdiocese is introducing the priest’s cause for canonization, according to an announcement by Chicago Cardinal Francis E. George.

House passes health reform; effort to insert abortion language fails
The House of Representatives passed historic health reform legislation late March 21 but rejected a last-ditch effort to send a package of legislative fixes back to committee in order to insert language on abortion supported by the Catholic bishops of the U.S.


BP oil spill impacts livelihoods of New Orleans’ fishing families, becomes major environmental disaster
Catholic Charities, one of the major organizations providing relief to Gulf Coast residents impacted by the April 20 BP oil spill, reported that its agencies in the region have provided services to more than 20,000 inspaniduals and more than 7,000 families since the spill.

Vatican confirms new translation of missal
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops announced April 30 that the Vatican gave its “recognitio,” or confirmation, of the new English translation of the Roman Missal. The date for its implementation in U.S. parishes was later set for Advent 2011.


In apostolic visit to Portugal, Pope’s spirits lifted by enthusiastic welcome
At his last stop in Portugal, Pope Benedict XVI received the kind of welcome that buoyed his spirits throughout the four-day visit. His apostolic visit to the nation included celebration of Mass at the Shrine of Fatima.

Cuban bishops meet with Castro; opening seen for political prisoners
Cardinals from across the globe were part of a high-profile visit to Cuba in which they attended the opening of a seminary, undertook an extended visit with the nation’s leader, Raul Castro, and advocated for 70 jailed political dissidents in the island nation.


Joined by priests of the world, Pope leads vigil for Year for Priests
Meeting with nearly 10,000 priests from around the world, Pope Benedict XVI expressed the Church’s gratitude for their ministry at a vigil in St. Peter’s Square June 10.

American bioethics center leader named to board of Vatican life council
The Pope appointed John Haas, president of the Philadelphia-based National Catholic Bioethics Center, to the board of the Pontifical Academy for Life, a Vatican statement said June 22.

Pope announces formation of pontifical council for new evangelization
The Pope announced June 28 he would establish a pontifical council for new evangelization to find ways “to re-propose the perennial truth of the Gospel” in regions where secularism is smothering Church practice.


Vatican issues new norms against abusive priests
The Vatican revised its procedures for handling priestly sex abuse cases, streamlining disciplinary measures, extending the statute of limitations and defining child pornography as an act of sexual abuse of a minor.

Bishops commend ruling stopping major parts of Arizona immigration law
Arizona’s Catholic bishops commended a July 28 ruling that blocked enforcement of the most controversial sections of the state’s contentious immigration law a day before it was to take effect. The ruling was subsequently overturned.


Catholic leaders decry California judge’s decision on same-sex marriage
Chicago Cardinal Francis E. George, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, denounced the Aug. 4 decision of a federal judge to overturn a California voter-backed initiative that essentially banned same-sex marriage.


USCCB leaders condemn plans to burn Quran, denounce intolerance
The chairmen of three committees of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops joined in condemnation of plans by a small Florida Pentecostal church to burn the Quran on Sept. 11.

Pope beatifies Cardinal Newman, calls him a model
In the central liturgical moment of his four-day trip to Great Britain, Pope Benedict XVI beatified Cardinal John Henry Newman and said his vision of religion’s vital role in society should serve as a model today.


Pope names new cardinals, including two from United States
Pope Benedict XVI named 24 new cardinals Oct. 20, including Archbishop Raymond L. Burke, head of the Vatican’s highest tribunal, and Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl of Washington.

Pope canonizes six
Pope Benedict XVI proclaimed six new saints: St. Mary MacKillop, St. Andre Bessette, St. Camilla Battista Varano, St. Stanislaw Solty, St. Giulia Salzano and St. Juana Cipitria Barriola.

As miners are rescued, Chileans unite in prayer
As miners were pulled one-by-one from the tunnel in the San Jose mine in Copiapo, where they’d awaited rescue since Aug. 5, Chile’s churches were hosting round-the-clock vigils, Masses and prayers of thanksgiving.

Attack on Iraq church called example of intolerance toward Christians
The Oct. 31 attack on a Catholic cathedral in Baghdad that left 58 people dead is “another tragic incident of the continued intolerance, discrimination and violence directed at Christians,” said the Vatican’s representative in a Nov. 1 address at the United Nations.


Pope marks beginning of Advent with prayer for life
Pope Benedict XVI welcomed the beginning of Advent and presided over an evening prayer service at the Vatican Nov. 27, part of a worldwide pro-life vigil in defense of the human embryo.

Pope’s remarks in book precipitate flurry of discussion on use of condoms
In a new book, Pope Benedict XVI said: “There may be a basis in the case of some inspaniduals, as perhaps when a male prostitute uses a condom, where this can be a first step in the direction of a moralization, a first assumption of responsibility, on the way toward discovering an awareness that not everything is allowed and that one cannot do whatever one wants.”

Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York is elected president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

Vatican confirms request of five Anglican bishops to join Catholic Church
Five Anglican bishops decided to join the Catholic Church and stepped down from their current positions with the Church of England. A Vatican spokesperson said the constitution of a first ordinariate – whereby Anglicans can be received into the Catholic Church as a group while retaining their distinctive patrimony and liturgical practices – is still under study, according to the norms established by the year-old Apostolic Constitution “Anglicanorum coetibus.”


Chairman of USCCB committee praises US Senate for ratifying arms pact
The chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace praised the Senate for ratifying a new arms control treaty with Russia Dec. 22, saying it was important that senators “joined across party lines” to support the New START treaty.

Vatican emerges from WikiLeaks as a key player on global scene
If there’s one clear conclusion that can be drawn from the Vatican-related WikiLeaks disclosures, it’s that the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See takes the Vatican and its diplomatic activity very seriously.

DREAM Act dies in Senate; immigrant advocates remain determined
The Senate’s inability to overcome a threatened filibuster Dec. 18 scuttled passage of the DREAM Act, prompting immigrant advocates to pledge to push forward on immigration reform next year with a new Congress. The U.S. bishops had long been supporters of the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act.

Vatican blames China for damaging trust, dialogue in relations
Officials at the Vatican said the recent election of new church leaders by government-controlled Catholic groups in China and the illicit ordination of a Chinese bishop had “unilaterally damaged” hopes of improved relations with China.

As Prop 8 appeal begins, religious leaders commit to protect marriage
New York Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan joined 25 other religious leaders in renewing their commitment to protect traditional marriage as oral arguments were to begin in an appeal of a California judge’s ruling that a voter-approved initiative to define marriage as between one man and one woman was unconstitutional.