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Pope talks criticisms, shortage of priests in interview with German weekly

VATICAN CITY—When facing criticism, a sense of humor and the grace to remain at peace are always the best response, Pope Francis said in an interview with Germany’s Die Zeit newspaper. In the interview, published March 8 online and in print March 9, the pope laughed and said the Roman dialect featured in posters that […]


Rice Bowl is an opportunity for ‘a culture of encounter’

The season of Lent is marked by many traditions among Catholics in the United States. Symbolized by its ubiquitous cardboard box, CRS Rice Bowl has been a practice for generations of Catholics. Beginning in 1975 as a response to a growing famine in Africa, CRS Rice Bowl today shines a light on the Catholic community’s […]


Catholic bishops react to House bill to repeal, replace health care law

WASHINGTON—Calling health care “a vital concern for nearly every person in the country,” the U.S. Catholic bishops said March 8 they will be reviewing closely a measure introduced in the House March 6 to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. “Discussions on health care reform have reached a level of intensity which is making […]


God’s voice is heard through humility, Franciscan tells pope, Curia at retreat

VATICAN CITY—Humility is needed in order to recognize the voice of God in others, especially those who are perceived to be weak or subject to prejudice, a Franciscan friar told Pope Francis and members of the Roman Curia during their Lenten retreat. God not only speaks through Jesus, but also speaks to him through Peter, […]


Religious and secular leaders react to updated refugee ban with concern, opposition

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Within hours of President Donald Trump’s new executive order March 6 banning refugees from six majority-Muslim nations, Catholic and other religious groups joined secular leaders in questioning the wisdom of such a move, with others vowing to oppose it outright. Bill O’Keefe, vice president for advocacy and government relations at Catholic Relief Services, said […]


Cardinal: Alleged Vatican resistance to child protection a ‘cliche’

VATICAN CITY—The Vatican’s doctrinal chief dismissed accusations that some Vatican officials are resisting recommendations on best practices for protecting children and vulnerable adults from clergy sex abuse. “I think this cliche must be put to an end: the idea that the pope, who wants the reform, is on one side and, on the other, a […]


Bible, like cellphone, should be carried always, pope says

VATICAN CITY—Christians should care about reading God’s messages in the Bible as much as they care about checking messages on their cellphones, Pope Francis said. As Christ did in the desert when tempted by Satan, men and women can defend themselves from temptation with the word of God if they read it often, meditate on […]


Situation for Iraqi refugees in Jordan ‘critical and dangerous’

AL-UM-KUNDUN, Jordan—Catholic leaders have expressed concern for tens of thousands of Iraqi Christian refugees sheltering in Jordan as access to international aid tightens with crises deepening in the Middle East and elsewhere. “The situation of Iraqi Christians refugees is critical and dangerous,” Father Khalil Jaar told Catholic News Service on the sidelines of a conference […]


Papal academies: Bigger threat to planet is greed, not population growth

VATICAN CITY—Increasing threats against biodiversity, unsustainable use of the earth’s resources and accelerated extinction rates are driven more by overconsumption and unjust wealth distribution than by the number of people on the planet, a Vatican workshop concluded. While the world’s population has tripled since 1950 with close to 7.4 billion people today, per capita income […]


Use 40 days of prayer, fasting, almsgiving to ‘jump-start’ faith

WASHINGTON—Lent, the 40-day period before Easter, is often viewed as a time to give up something and go without meat on Fridays. But a glance at almost any Catholic parish bulletin during Lent will reveal that a lot is more going on during this time with increased opportunities for prayer, confession, Stations of the Cross […]


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