• Religious freedom trackers chafe at congressional proposal
    The federal commission that tracks global religious freedom is facing a rift with Capitol Hill over a proposal that some members warn would hurt its effectiveness. At issue is bipartisan legislation introduced two months ago to reauthorize the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom for four years. The bill also would ask the commission to review “the abuse of religion ... read more
    Published on 11-22-2019By Elana Schor
  • In Thailand, Pope tells religions to work for peace; Catholic youth to hold firm to faith
    BANGKOK, Thailand – Speaking to people from 18 different religions on Friday, Pope Francis said that the complex challenges of the world today – including globalization, the rapid advances of technology and the persistence of civil conflicts resulting in migration, refugees, famine and war – makes the need for cooperation between religions all the more pressing. “These challenges remind us ... read more
    Published on 11-22-2019By Inés San Martín
  • Church becomes improvised morgue as Bolivian violence continues
    A church located on the outskirts of Bolivia’s capital city became an improvised morgue Nov. 20, following another deadly day of protests in the South American country. Father Gechi Revelin of St. Francis Parish in El Alto said protesters started to bring corpses into his small church late Nov. 19 following intense clashes between Bolivia’s military and supporters of former ... read more
    Published on 11-22-2019By Manuel Rueda
  • DC priest says he was ‘too busy’ to abuse parishioners
    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A D.C. priest convicted of sexually abusing two child parishioners is asking for mercy at his sentencing and maintaining his innocence, saying he was “too busy to do a crazy thing.” WTOP-FM reports 47-year-old Urbano Vazquez submitted a nine-page written letter to a judge ahead of his Friday sentencing. He faces up to 45 years’ imprisonment. The ... read more
    Published on 11-22-2019By Associated Press
  • Pope’s cousin takes star turn in Thailand as papal whisperer
    BANGKOK — She made him wait for her while she chatted with Thailand’s king and queen. She chided him for only visiting Bangkok and not the “real Thailand.” And she got a chuckle out of “Jorge” when she took her time translating his off-the-cuff Spanish for local priests and nuns to understand. Sister Ana Rosa Sivori has taken something of ... read more
    Published on 11-22-2019By Nicole Winfield
  • China pressuring priest at center of agreement with Vatican
    BEIJING — A Chinese Catholic priest whose demotion was key to a now-stalled effort at reconciliation between China and the Vatican is being pressured to join the official Communist Party-controlled church organization, a fellow priest and Catholic news source said. Bishop Vincenzo Guo Xijin was one of two legitimate bishops who remain loyal to the pope who were asked last ... read more
    Published on 11-22-2019By Associated Press
  • Lawsuit: Church pressured victims into unfair settlements
    NEW YORK — Two impoverished Mississippi men who say they were sexually assaulted by Franciscan missionaries filed a federal lawsuit Thursday claiming that Catholic officials pressured them into signing settlements that paid them little money and required them to remain silent about the alleged abuse. The lawsuit, filed in New York, claims the church officials drew up the agreements a ... read more
    Published on 11-22-2019By Michael Rezendes
  • Be brave enough to dialogue, pope tells Thai religious leaders
    BANGKOK (CNS) — Meeting Thai religious leaders and then celebrating Mass with Catholic young adults, Pope Francis encouraged them to strengthen a culture that treasures the past, holds fast to faith, is unafraid of differences and always seeks a way to promote dialogue and cooperation. No single nation or religious or ethnic group can guarantee itself a future “in isolation ... read more
    Published on 11-22-2019
  • Be brave enough to dialogue, pope tells Thai religious leaders
    BANGKOK (CNS) — Meeting Thai religious leaders and then celebrating Mass with Catholic young adults, Pope Francis encouraged them to strengthen a culture that treasures the past, holds fast to faith, is unafraid of differences and always seeks a way to promote dialogue and cooperation. No single nation or religious or ethnic group can guarantee itself a future “in isolation ... read more
    Published on 11-22-2019
  • Federal judge blocks scheduled executions of federal death-row inmates
    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A federal judge Nov. 20 temporarily blocked the executions of four federal death-row inmates scheduled for December and January, saying the lethal injections they were to receive goes against the Federal Death Penalty Act. When U.S. Attorney General William Barr announced in July that the government was reinstating the federal death penalty after a 16-year hiatus, he ... read more
    Published on 11-22-2019By Carol Zimmermann
  • Nicaragua: Pro-government crowd attacks church parishioners
    MANAGUA, Nicaragua — Political violence broke out at a Catholic church in the Nicaraguan city of Masaya on Thursday as government sympathizers attacked parishioners with clubs, machetes and metal bars. The attack came after it became known that San Juan Bautista parish priest Father Harving Padilla planned to lead a procession to another church a few blocks away in solidarity ... read more
    Published on 11-22-2019By Gabriela Selser
  • Children’s rights group says ‘third wave’ of abuse scandals hitting Latin America
    A children’s rights group is warning that a “Third Wave” of clerical sex abuse scandals is hitting Latin America, with revelations showing how the Catholic Church has continued to try and hide the extent of the crisis. The London-based Child Rights International Network (CRIN) released The Third Wave: Justice for survivors of child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church in ... read more
    Published on 11-22-2019By Charles Collins
  • South Sudan opposition appeals to Church for help in peace process
    Members of one of South Sudan’s main opposition coalitions met in Rome earlier this week, thanking Pope Francis for his continued support for the country and appealing to a politically influential Rome-based Catholic group to lend a hand in negotiations. At the close of a three-day meeting at the Rome headquarters of the Sant’Egidio community, the South Sudan Opposition Movements ... read more
    Published on 11-22-2019By Elise Harris
  • ‘Holy War’ to kick off when Boston College arrives at Notre Dame on Saturday
    SOUTH BEND, Indiana — It’s been called the “Holy War.” Boston College and Notre Dame, the two most prominent football programs at Catholic universities, face off for the 25th time on Saturday night. Although the rivalry is relativity young, the Boston College Eagles met the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame for the first time in 1975, their common heritage gives ... read more
    Published on 11-22-2019By Jack Lyons
  • Panel ponders Pope, liberalism, nationalism, and not burying the Gospel’s lede
    WASHINGTON, D.C. — As impeachment hearings divided the nation Wednesday, several blocks away a blockbuster line-up of Catholic thinkers sought to harness the Church’s social teachings to make sense of increasing political and cultural volatility while, at the same time, wrestling with public witness in a fractured church. The wide-ranging conversation on “Nationalism, Post-liberalism, and Pope Francis,” was sponsored by ... read more
    Published on 11-22-2019By Christopher White
  • Religious freedom trackers chafe at congressional proposal
    The federal commission that tracks global religious freedom is facing a rift with Capitol Hill over a proposal that some members warn would hurt its effectiveness. At issue is bipartisan legislation introduced two months ago to reauthorize the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom for four years. The bill also would ask the commission to review “the abuse of religion ... read more
    Published on 11-22-2019By Elana Schor
  • In Thailand, Pope tells religions to work for peace; Catholic youth to hold firm to faith
    BANGKOK, Thailand – Speaking to people from 18 different religions on Friday, Pope Francis said that the complex challenges of the world today – including globalization, the rapid advances of technology and the persistence of civil conflicts resulting in migration, refugees, famine and war – makes the need for cooperation between religions all the more pressing. “These challenges remind us ... read more
    Published on 11-22-2019By Inés San Martín
  • Church becomes improvised morgue as Bolivian violence continues
    A church located on the outskirts of Bolivia’s capital city became an improvised morgue Nov. 20, following another deadly day of protests in the South American country. Father Gechi Revelin of St. Francis Parish in El Alto said protesters started to bring corpses into his small church late Nov. 19 following intense clashes between Bolivia’s military and supporters of former ... read more
    Published on 11-22-2019By Manuel Rueda
  • DC priest says he was ‘too busy’ to abuse parishioners
    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A D.C. priest convicted of sexually abusing two child parishioners is asking for mercy at his sentencing and maintaining his innocence, saying he was “too busy to do a crazy thing.” WTOP-FM reports 47-year-old Urbano Vazquez submitted a nine-page written letter to a judge ahead of his Friday sentencing. He faces up to 45 years’ imprisonment. The ... read more
    Published on 11-22-2019By Associated Press
  • Pope’s cousin takes star turn in Thailand as papal whisperer
    BANGKOK — She made him wait for her while she chatted with Thailand’s king and queen. She chided him for only visiting Bangkok and not the “real Thailand.” And she got a chuckle out of “Jorge” when she took her time translating his off-the-cuff Spanish for local priests and nuns to understand. Sister Ana Rosa Sivori has taken something of ... read more
    Published on 11-22-2019By Nicole Winfield
  • China pressuring priest at center of agreement with Vatican
    BEIJING — A Chinese Catholic priest whose demotion was key to a now-stalled effort at reconciliation between China and the Vatican is being pressured to join the official Communist Party-controlled church organization, a fellow priest and Catholic news source said. Bishop Vincenzo Guo Xijin was one of two legitimate bishops who remain loyal to the pope who were asked last ... read more
    Published on 11-22-2019By Associated Press
  • Lawsuit: Church pressured victims into unfair settlements
    NEW YORK — Two impoverished Mississippi men who say they were sexually assaulted by Franciscan missionaries filed a federal lawsuit Thursday claiming that Catholic officials pressured them into signing settlements that paid them little money and required them to remain silent about the alleged abuse. The lawsuit, filed in New York, claims the church officials drew up the agreements a ... read more
    Published on 11-22-2019By Michael Rezendes
  • Be brave enough to dialogue, pope tells Thai religious leaders
    BANGKOK (CNS) — Meeting Thai religious leaders and then celebrating Mass with Catholic young adults, Pope Francis encouraged them to strengthen a culture that treasures the past, holds fast to faith, is unafraid of differences and always seeks a way to promote dialogue and cooperation. No single nation or religious or ethnic group can guarantee itself a future “in isolation ... read more
    Published on 11-22-2019
  • Be brave enough to dialogue, pope tells Thai religious leaders
    BANGKOK (CNS) — Meeting Thai religious leaders and then celebrating Mass with Catholic young adults, Pope Francis encouraged them to strengthen a culture that treasures the past, holds fast to faith, is unafraid of differences and always seeks a way to promote dialogue and cooperation. No single nation or religious or ethnic group can guarantee itself a future “in isolation ... read more
    Published on 11-22-2019
  • Federal judge blocks scheduled executions of federal death-row inmates
    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A federal judge Nov. 20 temporarily blocked the executions of four federal death-row inmates scheduled for December and January, saying the lethal injections they were to receive goes against the Federal Death Penalty Act. When U.S. Attorney General William Barr announced in July that the government was reinstating the federal death penalty after a 16-year hiatus, he ... read more
    Published on 11-22-2019By Carol Zimmermann
  • Nicaragua: Pro-government crowd attacks church parishioners
    MANAGUA, Nicaragua — Political violence broke out at a Catholic church in the Nicaraguan city of Masaya on Thursday as government sympathizers attacked parishioners with clubs, machetes and metal bars. The attack came after it became known that San Juan Bautista parish priest Father Harving Padilla planned to lead a procession to another church a few blocks away in solidarity ... read more
    Published on 11-22-2019By Gabriela Selser
  • Children’s rights group says ‘third wave’ of abuse scandals hitting Latin America
    A children’s rights group is warning that a “Third Wave” of clerical sex abuse scandals is hitting Latin America, with revelations showing how the Catholic Church has continued to try and hide the extent of the crisis. The London-based Child Rights International Network (CRIN) released The Third Wave: Justice for survivors of child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church in ... read more
    Published on 11-22-2019By Charles Collins
  • South Sudan opposition appeals to Church for help in peace process
    Members of one of South Sudan’s main opposition coalitions met in Rome earlier this week, thanking Pope Francis for his continued support for the country and appealing to a politically influential Rome-based Catholic group to lend a hand in negotiations. At the close of a three-day meeting at the Rome headquarters of the Sant’Egidio community, the South Sudan Opposition Movements ... read more
    Published on 11-22-2019By Elise Harris
  • ‘Holy War’ to kick off when Boston College arrives at Notre Dame on Saturday
    SOUTH BEND, Indiana — It’s been called the “Holy War.” Boston College and Notre Dame, the two most prominent football programs at Catholic universities, face off for the 25th time on Saturday night. Although the rivalry is relativity young, the Boston College Eagles met the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame for the first time in 1975, their common heritage gives ... read more
    Published on 11-22-2019By Jack Lyons
  • Panel ponders Pope, liberalism, nationalism, and not burying the Gospel’s lede
    WASHINGTON, D.C. — As impeachment hearings divided the nation Wednesday, several blocks away a blockbuster line-up of Catholic thinkers sought to harness the Church’s social teachings to make sense of increasing political and cultural volatility while, at the same time, wrestling with public witness in a fractured church. The wide-ranging conversation on “Nationalism, Post-liberalism, and Pope Francis,” was sponsored by ... read more
    Published on 11-22-2019By Christopher White