World News

Prayers for rain, or no more of it: U.S. grapples with drought while Ireland, India suffer from flooding

In the Midwest United States, high temperatures and the worst drought in decades are stunting crops and moving Catholics to pray for rain. But Catholic communities in Ireland and India are praying for just the opposite. In those countries heavy rains are flooding farm fields and homes. The desperation of drought-stricken farmers in the Midwest […]

Trouble for Church in China: One Chinese bishop ordained without Pope’s approval is excommunicated, while a validly ordained bishop faces government restrictions

The ordination in China of a bishop without papal mandate follows that of a bishop ordained with Vatican approval who rejected the Chinese government-sanctioned Catholic association. That bishop is facing Chinese restrictions on his ministry and is on retreat due to “exhaustion” after his ordination. “His witness is an encouragement for our Catholics, so we can only pray for him," a priest in Shanghai said. Catholics called for prayers and fasting for the bishop on July 9, feast of the Chinese Martyrs.

New particle may unlock new discoveries, says Vatican astronomer

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The discovery of a new sub-atomic particle — the so-called Higgs boson — may help scientists discover how the hidden structure of all matter in the universe works, a Vatican astronomer said. “It indicates that reality is deeper and more rich and strange than our everyday life,” U.S. Jesuit Brother Guy […]

Mexican Church officials laud presidential vote

MEXICO CITY (CNS) — The Mexican bishops’ conference expressed satisfaction with “the exemplary participation of citizens” in the July 1 federal elections, which returned the once long-ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party to power. “As pastors of the Catholic Church, we are pleased to notice that our call to go to the polls in a conscious and […]

16th-century Peruvian convent and its historic art eyed for restoration

LIMA, Peru (CNS) — Half-hidden behind palm trees at the end of a once elegant avenue in a now rundown neighborhood, the Convento de los Descalzos — the Convent of the Barefoot Friars — has witnessed half a millennium of Peruvian history. Age, economic woes and benign neglect have taken their toll, and the convent […]

Pope defends Vatican secretary of state against ‘unjust criticism’

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI reaffirmed his trust in the Vatican’s secretary of state and defended him against a barrage of “unjust criticism” in the Italian media. In a letter addressed to “dear brother” Italian Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, 77, the pope expressed his “profound appreciation for your discreet presence and wise counsel, which […]

Holy See budget shows major loss despite rise in donations

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Holy See sustained its largest budget deficit of the past decade in 2011 as a result of global financial trends, the Vatican said July 5. But Vatican City State, which includes the income-generating Vatican Museums and Vatican post office, ended 2011 with a surplus of 21.8 million euros ($27 million). […]

Papal nuncio cautious about Church of the Nativity’s designation

JERUSALEM (CNS) — The designation of Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity as a UNESCO World Heritage site complicates relations between the three churches that oversee the holy site as well as relations between the Israeli and Palestinian communities, said a church official. Archbishop Antonio Franco, papal nuncio to Israel and the Palestinian territories, said the […]

Kenyan bishops call for increased security after church attacks

NAIROBI, Kenya (CNS) — Kenya’s Catholic bishops called upon the government to intensify its security efforts in the country’s north after the July 1 attacks on two churches, including a Catholic cathedral, that left at least 17 people dead and more than 50 people injured. The simultaneous attacks on Our Lady of Consolation Cathedral and […]

Pope brings Archbishop Fulton Sheen step closer to sainthood

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI has approved the heroic virtues of U.S. Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, the Vatican announced June 28, clearing the way for the advancement of his sainthood cause. Among the others honored in decrees announced the same day were first prelate of Opus Dei, the Canadian and Irish-American founders of […]