World News

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 […]

Pope Benedict arrives in Lebanon as ‘pilgrim of peace’

BEIRUT (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI arrived in Lebanon Sept. 14, saying that he came “as a pilgrim of peace, as a friend of God and as a friend of men.” In his remarks at a welcoming ceremony at Beirut’s airport, Pope Benedict praised Lebanon, with a mixed population of Christians and Muslims, for its […]

Catholic social programs foster Christian-Muslim understanding in Egypt

AL-MUKHALFA, Egypt (CNS) — On a recent summer evening, the local representative of Egypt’s ruling Muslim Brotherhood party paid a visit to the almost entirely Coptic Catholic village of Al-Mukhalfa, known as “Little Rome” deep in Egypt’s south. “When you are threatened, we are threatened,” party representative Yusuf Sherif told an audience of about 80 […]

Vatican firmly condemns US deaths, disrespect against religions

UPDATED — VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Vatican firmly condemned the recent attack against a U.S. consulate in Libya, which led to the death of a U.S. ambassador, three U.S. personnel and at least 10 Libyans. “The very serious attack organized against the United States diplomatic mission in Libya,” it said, “calls for the firmest […]

Bishop who brokered gang truce asks public’s trust

SAN SALVADOR (CNS) — Against all odds, as virtually everyone thought that the truce between violent Salvadoran gangs would break at any time, Bishop Fabio Colindres Abarca has proved otherwise. The agreement not only continues but has also led gang leaders to seek an agreement with the government. Yet skepticism reigns. “There are people who […]

Help Christians stay in Mideast, build peace, pope says at audience

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Just two days before beginning a pastoral journey to the Middle East, Pope Benedict XVI launched an appeal to all Christians in the region to respond to social and political tensions and insecurity by being hopeful, active builders of peace and reconciliation. At the end of his weekly general audience Sept. […]

Swiss bishop’s comments on Church reforms defended by spokesman

WARSAW, Poland (CNS) — A spokesman for the Swiss bishops’ conference defended its newly elected president, Bishop Markus Buchel of Sankt Gallen, after he called for local bishops to have a greater say on Church reforms. “Bishop Buchel has his colleagues’ confidence and his election has nothing to do with his views on such issues,” […]

Vatican hires expert in finance crime to combat money laundering

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — In an effort to comply more fully with international standards against financial criminal activity, the Vatican has hired an outside expert in combating money laundering and financing terrorism. Rene Brulhart, a 40-year-old Swiss international lawyer, started working as a consultant to the Vatican in September on “all matters related to anti-money […]