World News

Middle Eastern Catholic leaders, diplomats denounce Western interference, neglect

ROME (CNS) — Western nations need to respect the people of the Middle East and trust them to solve their own problems, said an Iraqi diplomat, an Iraqi archbishop and a Syrian-born representative of the Melkite Catholic Church. The two religious leaders also called for an end to foreign military intervention and other interference in […]

Pope says God’s word comes first in worship

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — In everyday life, people are told that it’s best to think before they speak, but in worship, speaking God’s word should come before reflection, said Pope Benedict XVI. “The first requirement for a good liturgical celebration is that there be prayer and a conversation with God, first and foremost listening and […]

Pope names record number of women to Synod on Evangelization

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Choosing men and women from every part of the world and from a wide variety of professions, Pope Benedict XVI nominated 45 experts and 49 observers for the upcoming world Synod of Bishops. The Oct. 7-28 gathering will include the largest bloc of women — 10 experts and 19 observers — […]

German bishops defend exclusion of Catholics who stop paying tax

WARSAW, Poland (CNS) — The German bishops’ conference defended a controversial decree that said Catholics who stop paying a church membership tax cannot receive sacraments. “There must be consequences for people who distance themselves from the church by a public act,” said Archbishop Robert Zollitsch of Freiburg, conference president, in defending the Sept. 20 decree. […]

Papyrus fragment with reference to Jesus’ ‘wife’ stirs debate

ROME (CNS) — Scholars are unlikely to agree anytime soon on the authenticity of a newly published text containing a reference to Jesus’ “wife.” But the tiny papyrus fragment, purportedly dating to the fourth century A.D., has already stirred interest in the early church’s attitudes toward marriage, sex and the role of women. The fragment […]

Vatican synod to examine when divided Christians can preach together

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The potential power, but also the limits, of an ecumenical proclamation of the Gospel and defense of Gospel values is likely to be a key topic during October’s world Synod of Bishops on the new evangelization. The ecumenical focus will be particularly sharp Oct. 10 when — at the personal invitation […]

Marking Jewish holy days, pope urges joint sharing of faith values

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI expressed hope that Christians and Jews would bear witness to the whole world of the values that stem from adoring one God. In a telegram to Chief Rabbi Riccardo di Segni of Rome to mark the Jewish high holy days, the pope sent his greetings to members of […]

Christians, Muslims must give joint witness for peace, pope says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI said his three-day trip to Lebanon convinced him that now is the time for Christians and Muslims to bear witness together against violence and in favor of dialogue and peace. In Lebanon, he said, Muslims “welcomed me with great respect,” and their presence at each of his public […]

New head of doctrinal congregation says abuse victims are first concern

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The senior Vatican official with authority for investigating priests accused of sexual abuse said that, in such cases, “always and everywhere the most important concern is for those who have been the victims of this terrible abuse.” Archbishop Gerhard L. Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, […]

Encounter with God only answer to suffering and evil, says ethicist

ROME (CNS) — Pain, suffering and human mortality shouldn’t be explained away, ignored or denied, but embraced by faith in God, said an expert in the philosophy and ethics of science. In fact, only a concrete encounter with the Lord can provide solace for people grappling with the question of how there can be a […]