World News

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.

Pope appoints first woman to Vatican foreign ministry post

In a Jan. 15 announcement, Francesca Di Giovanni, a longtime Vatican official, was named an undersecretary in the Vatican's foreign ministry office, where she will oversee intergovernmental organizations and multilateral treaties.

Pope names bishops for Ukrainian dioceses in England, Australia

According to a Jan. 15 Vatican announcement, Bishop Kenneth Nowakowski and Redemptorist Father Mykola Bychok will now lead the London and Melbourne Ukrainian Catholic dioceses respectively.

Kenyans urged to beat pans, blow whistles to fight locusts

As swarms of locusts advance in Kenya, Catholic leaders condemned ineffective government action and urged local communities to use all means to fight the destructive insects -- even cooking them.

After school shooting, Mexican bishops stress family unity

Thirteen years of drug cartel-driven violence in Mexico has left more than 200,000 dead. It had yet to erupt in schools until Jan. 10 when a boy killed a teacher and wounded six students before killing himself.

Retired pope backs away from book on priestly celibacy

At the request of retired Pope Benedict XVI, his name will be removed as co-author of a book defending priestly celibacy. He had written only its first chapter, his aide said.

Deal to build trust lauded in Northern Ireland

Religious leaders welcomed a Jan. 10 political agreement that restores the suspended democratic institutions set up in the peace process that collapsed three years ago due to a lack of trust between the Irish and British governments.