World News

Vatican official says July trip to Brazil being tailored to new pope

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Visiting Rio de Janeiro, the chief organizer of papal trips confirmed Pope Francis will participate in the key events of World Youth Day July 23-28 and he said other parts of the papal trip are being tailor-made for the new pope. Alberto Gasbarri, the Vatican official who has worked on organizing papal trips since the pontificate of Blessed John Paul II, said, "We had a program fixed between October and November of last year, but a little detail changed -- we have a new pope."

Irish audits show ‘evidence of steady progress’ dealing with abuse

DUBLIN (CNS) — The head of the Catholic Church’s child safeguarding watchdog said he is encouraged by the latest audits of the handling of abuse allegations by dioceses and a religious congregation. Ian Elliott, head of the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church, said the seven audits, published April 24, show “clear […]

Scottish midwives win right to refuse any involvement in abortion

MANCHESTER, England (CNS) — Two Scottish Catholic midwives have won the right to refuse to supervise, delegate or support staff involved in abortions. The judgment by the Inner House of the Court of Session — the Scottish court of appeal — overturned an earlier decision that ruled that midwives Mary Doogan and Concepta Wood had […]

Pope’s daily Mass shows sharing liturgy is form of service, bishop says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — A French bishop who began organizing a liturgical conference inspired by the teaching of Pope Benedict XVI months before the pope’s resignation said the new pope further demonstrates the importance of the Mass. The fact that Pope Francis, known for his great dedication to serving the poor, begins each day by […]

Original research team member says science still can’t explain Shroud

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Even with modern scientific technology, the Shroud of Turin continues to baffle researchers. Barrie Schwortz was the documenting photographer for the Shroud of Turin research project in 1978, an in-depth examination of what many people believe to be the burial cloth of Jesus.

Church is driven by Holy Spirit, not officials or militants, pope says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The church is driven by the Holy Spirit and God’s love, not by bureaucrats or militants, Pope Francis said in his morning homily. He also warned against letting the church’s mission get lost in a tangle of bureaucracy, saying the church administration is necessary only so long as it supports the […]

Colombia’s first saint spent years working with indigenous people

Mother Montoya, who died in 1949 after a career spent working with poor indigenous Colombians in difficult circumstances, will be canonized May 12 and will become the first Colombian saint.

Prepare for Last Judgment by serving the poor, pope says at audience

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Christians believe they are saved by God’s grace, but they also know they will be judged at the end of time on how they used the talents God gave them and how they served others, especially the poor, Pope Francis said. “Today belief in Jesus’ return and in the last judgment […]

Pope offers prayers for Orthodox archbishops kidnapped, freed in Syria

UPDATED — VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Acknowledging “conflicting reports” about two Orthodox archbishops kidnapped in Syria, Pope Francis prayed for them and for an end to the war in their country. Speaking at the end of his general audience April 24, the pope offered special prayers for Syriac Orthodox Metropolitan Gregorios Yohanna of Aleppo and […]

Bishop hopeful new Venezuelan leader will continue to seek closer ties

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- A Venezuelan bishop said he hoped efforts to improve relations between the country's Catholic Church and the socialist government will continue under newly elected President Nicolas Maduro. High-level meetings between the Venezuelan bishops' conference and the government, including Maduro, began last May in an effort "to foster a climate of peace" and to "reflect the dignity and independence of each institution," Bishop Jose Azuaje Ayala of El Vigia-San Carlos del Zulia, Venezuela, told Catholic News Service April 22 during a visit to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.