Home » World
  • Chinese priests, nuns spend years in U.S. to prepare for leadership

    RONKONKOMA, N.Y. (CNS) -- As Pope Francis' plane was cruising through Chinese airspace in mid-August en route to his first visit to the Far East, 20 Chinese priests and nuns were assembling halfway around the globe at a retreat house in the United States, preparing to begin a week of quiet prayer and reflection.

    Read more
  • Pope phones family of slain U.S. journalist

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Pope Francis phoned the bereaved family of James Foley, a U.S. journalist killed by Islamic State militants in Syria. In an Aug. 22 interview on NBC's "Today" show, John and Diane Foley briefly described the previous day's discussion with the pope, in which they spoke of shared grief at the death of loved ones.

    Read more
  • Catholic aid groups hope latest Israeli-Hamas cease-fire holds

    JERUSALEM (CNS) -- Catholic aid organizations are hopeful that the most recent cease-fire between Israel and Hamas will hold as they begin to assess the needs in Gaza after 50 days of war. "This is a window of opportunity," said Sami El-Yousef, Catholic Near East Welfare Association's regional director for Israel and the Palestinian territories. "(We hope) the unity government will take the lead. A lot of people here think the stage is set (for) a meaningful resumption of negotiations. Now it is up to leaders on both sides to make it happen, to move beyond (the same political hurdles.)

    Read more
  • Pope: Being envious, mean-spirited may be human, but it's not Christian

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Envy, jealousy and meanness are human instincts, but they are not Christian, since the division they cause among believers is the work of the devil, Pope Francis said. "Instead, God wants us to grow in the ability to come together, forgive each other and love each other in order to be ever more like him," he said at his weekly general audience Aug. 27.

    Read more
  • Why We Are Reaching Out to Anglicans Longing For Unity

    LONDON, August 26, 2014 (Zenit.org) - November this year will mark the 50th anniversary of the solemn promulgation of the Second Vatican Council Decree on Ecumenism, Unitatis Redintegratio. It still remains the authoritative document of the Catholic Church setting out the principles of ecumenical dialogue, though much of its teaching was expounded by St John Paul II in his encyclical Ut Unum Sint (1995).

    Read more
  • The Economic Impact of Aging

    ROME, August 24, 2014 (Zenit.org) - The dramatic aging of the world's population will impose a "demographic tax" on economic growth over the next two decades, warned a recent report published by Moody's Investors Service.

    Read more
  • U.S. missionary visits North Korea as silent 'apostle of peace'

    SEOUL, South Korea (CNS) -- Since the end of the Korean War in 1953, no Catholic priest has resided in the North of this divided peninsula, where autonomous religious activity is effectively forbidden. And no enemy of the communist regime there is more detested or fiercely denounced than the United States.

    Read more
  • Pope calls on Catholics to dialogue with China, other Asian societies

    SEOUL, South Korea (CNS) -- Speaking at the execution site of anonymous Korean martyrs, Pope Francis told Catholic bishops and young laypeople from across Asia to evangelize their continent through dialogue and openness, even with others suspicious or intolerant of the church. But he also urged them to challenge aspects of their cultures incompatible with Christian values.

    Read more
  • 800,000 watch as pope moves 124 Korean martyrs closer to sainthood

    SEOUL, South Korea (CNS) -- Pope Francis placed 124 Korean martyrs on the last step toward sainthood in a beatification Mass Aug. 16 that brought elation to the 800,000 people in attendance. The sun was searing as Bishop Francis Ahn Myong-ok of Masan, president of the commission for the beatification, asked the pope to pronounce the martyrs blessed. After hearing a brief collective biography of 124 of the original founders of the Korean Catholic Church, Pope Francis pronounced the formula of beatification.

    Read more
  • Pope talks airstrikes in Iraq, his health, possible U.S. visit

    ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT FROM SEOUL, South Korea (CNS) -- Pope Francis said the use of force can be justified to stop "unjust aggressors" such as Islamic State militants in northeastern Iraq, but he declined to endorse U.S. military airstrikes against the militants and said such humanitarian interventions should not be decided on by any single country.

    Read more
  • Pope thanks people for prayers for his family after deadly crash

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis, in mourning for the deaths of his nephew's wife and two small children, thanked people at his weekly general audience Aug. 20 for their prayers. After each of the priests who translate the pope's words offered him condolences for the tragedy that struck his family, Pope Francis explained to the people: "The pope has a family, too. We were five siblings, and I have 16 nieces and nephews. One of these nephews was in an accident. His wife died along with his two small children -- one who was 2 years old and the other several months."

    Read more
  • Cardinal, patriarch call for international action to liberate Iraq

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis' personal envoy to the suffering people of Iraq joined the Chaldean Catholic patriarch in launching an appeal to the international community Aug. 18, pleading for help to liberate villages controlled by the Islamic State terrorists and to provide the displaced with international protection.

    Read more
  • Elderly Iraqi Christians defy terrorists, flee to camp

    MANCHESTER, England (CNS) -- A group of 11 sick, disabled and elderly Iraqi Christians --including an 80-year-old woman with breast cancer -- defied terrorists who ordered them to convert to Islam or be beheaded, saying they preferred death to giving up their faith.

    Read more
  • Former sex slave says she still feels impact of meeting with pope

    SEOUL, South Korea (CNS) -- A day after Pope Francis left South Korea, a former sex slave who spent a few minutes with the pontiff said she still felt the impact of their meeting. In an interview with Catholic News Service, Kim Bok-dong, 88, said through an interpreter she told Pope Francis she wished for "a world without war." And then she asked him to urge the Japanese government, "'Please apologize to the victims and then resolve the comfort women issues.'"

    Read more
  • Pope tells Asians to witness to Christ in all aspects of life

    SEOSAN, South Korea (CNS) -- Pope Francis told young Asian Catholic leaders to witness to Christ in everything they do. During his homily on the muddy grounds of Haemi Fortress, Pope Francis urged more than 40,000 people -- including young Catholic leaders from 22 Asian countries -- to "reflect God's love." He reminded them it was their "right and duty to take part in the life of (their) societies."

    Read more
  • Asian youths inspired after pope spends extra time with them

    DANGJIN, South Korea (CNS) -- About 6,000 young people from 30 Asian countries had Pope Francis all to themselves for several hours Aug. 15. The youths said they felt inspired after Pope Francis went off script to answer questions from pre-selected participants, watched a re-enactment of a modern-day prodigal son and also sat down to lunch with a small group at the Asian Youth Day conference in the Daejeon Diocese.

    Read more
  • Pope says forgiveness key to reconciling divided Korea

    SEOUL, South Korea (CNS) -- Addressing young people from Korea and other Asian countries on their concerns about the future, Pope Francis said the best hope for reunification of the divided Korean peninsula lay in brotherly love and a spirit of forgiveness.

    Read more
  • At stadium Mass, pope tells Koreans to resist materialism

    SEOUL, South Korea (CNS) -- Celebrating Mass before some 50,000 people, Pope Francis prayed that Christian values overcome demoralization in economically successful societies. "The hope held out by the Gospel is the antidote to the spirit of despair that seems to grow like cancer in societies which are outwardly affluent yet often experience inner sadness and emptiness," the pope said Aug. 15 in his homily at the World Cup Stadium in Daejeon.

    Read more
  • Iraqi Christians beginning to die in hot, crowded camps, witnesses say

    MANCHESTER, England (CNS) -- Iraqi Christians driven from their homes by Islamic State fighters are beginning to die in crowded camps, witnesses claimed. Sahar Mansour, 40, who lectured in chemistry at the University of Mosul before she fled the city in June, said newborn babies, the sick and the elderly in the Ankawa refugee camp on the outskirts of Irbil are dying from diseases, thirst and malnutrition. Mansour now resides in the camp.

    Read more
  • Pope to U.N.: Act to end the tragedy in Iraq

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis formally asked U.N. agencies and the entire international community "to take action to end the humanitarian tragedy now underway" in northeastern Iraq. In a letter signed Aug. 9, but released by the Vatican only after it had been delivered, Pope Francis told U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon immediate action was needed "to stop and to prevent further systematic violence against ethnic and religious minorities."

    Read more
  • Christian patriarchs denounce silence on persecution in Mideast

    BEIRUT (CNS) -- Mideast Catholic and Orthodox patriarchs denounced the "total international silence" on the persecution of Christians in the Middle East and called for Muslim religious authorities to issue fatwas, or legal edicts, banning attacks against Christians and "other innocents."

    Read more
  • Iraqi minorities need more than material aid, cardinal says

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The one thing Iraqi church leaders and aid workers, foreign charities and governments cannot do for the displaced and terrorized people of northeastern Iraq is answer their question, "What will become of us?" said Cardinal Fernando Filoni, the pope's envoy to the region.

    Read more
  • Families of Korean ferry accident appeal to Pope Francis for justice

    SEOUL, South Korea (CNS) -- Families of the victims of the April Sewol ferry accident appealed directly to Pope Francis for justice on the eve of his Aug. 14-18 visit. Under overcast skies and spitting rain at the plaza outside of Seoul City Hall, a handful of families asked the pontiff to help them get answers for why their children "had to die" the way they did. They have been pushing for a special law that would allow for an independent, transparent investigation into the accident and the pressing criminal charges against those they believe responsible for the accident off the country's southwestern coast that left 304 people dead, mostly high school students.

    Read more
  • On eve of pope's visit, Americans in South Korea build Catholic faith

    MANILA, Philippines (CNS) -- Maryknoll Sister Jean Maloney first arrived in South Korea to work as a nurse after the Korean War ended more than 50 years ago. Sister Jean, 84, described herself in those days as "a young sister full of vitality" who thought she was bringing the Christian faith so she could tell everyone about God.

    Read more
  • Campaigners Appeal to Pope to Draw Attention to North Korea

    Campaigners Appeal to Pope to Draw Attention to North Korea Underline Grave and Widespread Human Rights Violations in Country ROME, August 12, 2014 (Zenit.org) - Human rights groups campaigning for justice in North Korea have published a letter welcoming Pope Francis to the peninsula and appealing to him to draw attention to the grave abuses taking place in the country.

    Read more
  • Pope Francis Sends Video Message to Koreans

    VATICAN CITY, August 11, 2014 (Zenit.org) - Here is the text of the Pope Francis' video message broadcast by KBS in Korea in light of the Holy Father's forthcoming Apostolic Visit to the Republic of Korea for the 6th Asian Youth Day:

    Read more
  • Pope's finance chief talks Vatican reform

    VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis wants a "poor church for the poor," but that "doesn't necessarily mean a church with empty coffers," said Cardinal George Pell, "and it certainly doesn't mean a church that is sloppy or inefficient or open to being robbed."

    Read more
  • Portuguese face economic crisis with pragmatism, hope

    LISBON, Portugal (CNS) -- A restaurant maitre d' in Almada tells patrons about his recent return home after a long hospitality career in Belgium. A business conference planner in Luxembourg returns to the Lisbon coastal communities for birthday and family celebrations.

    Read more
  • CRS official: Gaza a 'complete catastrophe' on 'brink of collapse'

    AMMAN, Jordan (CNS) -- A top Catholic charity official described Gaza as a "complete catastrophe" after nearly four weeks of fighting between Israel and the Palestinian militant Hamas. "Gaza is on the brink of collapse at this point," said Matthew McGarry, who directs the Catholic Relief Services' operations in Gaza, the West Bank and Jerusalem. He spoke to Catholic News Service in a phone interview from Jerusalem, describing the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, a coastal strip subject to Israeli airstrikes and artillery fire.

    Read more