World News

‘Marxist communism’ returning to Spain, cardinal warns

Prelates asked Catholics to pray as Spain was entering a "grave moment" with a socialist leader in which "democracy is substituted ... by authoritarianism ... incompatible with democracy."

No breaking seal of confession for abusers, church insists

The president of the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference is the latest of the country's senior clerics to oppose legislation that would jail priests for failing to report confessions of child sexual abuse to the police.

U.S. bishops hear pope on pro-life, transgender issues

Protecting human life is the "preeminent priority" and human rights issue, Pope Francis told a group of midwestern bishops. He also discussed other issues including the expected Vatican report on Theodore McCarrick.

Bishops urge Central African Republic leaders to face challenges in 2020

During a Jan. 6-12 plenary, the conference called for "free, transparent elections" and "peaceful solutions" in the conflict-torn nation.

Comboni Sisters in West Bank build bridges amid walls

From a convent along Israel's separation wall, the community works to heal divisions between Palestinians and Israelis, while also ministering to vulnerable Bedouin and Eritrean populations in the area.

Rome-brokered peace deal increases chances of papal visit to South Sudan

The agreement, signed in Rome Jan. 13, included additional opposition leaders, raising hopes that both Pope Francis and Anglican Archbishop Justin Welby will make a long-desired trip to the African nation.

Panel to call for more lay control in Australian church

The plan would see professionals manage church financial, human resources and governance functions, following hundreds of clerical sexual abuse cases and millions of dollars paid in settlements.

Quebec to take ethics, religious culture out of school curriculum

Education Minister Jean-Francois Roberge said there's still "too much" religion in schools, but experts fear students will be left unprepared for a world where "80% of humanity claims to have a religious tradition."

Canadian communities recall friends, relatives killed in Tehran crash

Victims of the Jan. 8 tragedy, the result of a mistaken missile attack by Iranian military, included dozens of Canadians, several of whom had ties to Catholic schools and outreaches.

Vatican wartime archives ready for new batch of scholars

More than 80 researchers have received permission to sift through materials dating from 1939 to 1958, with archive officials expecting a clearer view of how Pope Pius XII grappled with Nazism, the Holocaust and the church in the modern world.