Pope Francis received members of the US-based Papal Foundation in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace on April 27 and expressed his gratitude “for your desire to assist the Church’s efforts to proclaim that message of hope to the ends of the earth and to work for the spiritual and material advancement of our brothers and sisters throughout the world, especially in developing countries.”
In its newly released annual report, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) is urging the State Department to designate or redesignate 16 nations as “countries of particular concern” (CPCs) because they are nations in which there are “particularly severe violations of religious freedom that are systematic, ongoing and egregious.”
An Egyptian Jesuit expert on Islam said that Pope Francis is visiting Egypt to foster ties with al-Azhar University, which holds a position of high respect in the Sunni Muslim world.
Citing a dozen federal programs by name, the chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development and the president and CEO of Catholic Charities USA called upon members of Congress to “oppose proposed damaging cuts or structural changes to domestic anti-poverty programs that would undermine assistance to people in need.”
The chairman of the Democratic National Committee said that the Committee would not support pro-life Democratic candidates—prompting criticism from Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York.
The Vatican has expressed support for Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino of Caracas, two weeks after a leftist mob burst into a basilica where he was celebrating Mass.
Leaders of the Knights of Malta have recommended that members select an interim leader, as the date for the election of a new grand master approaches.
The Council of Cardinals has concluded a 3-day meeting, during which the group discussed plans for the possible reorganization of the Congregation for Evangelization,. the Pontifical Council for New Evangelization, and the Vatican tribunals.
A Brazilian bishop has endorsed a national strike, called by union leaders for April 28 to protest the government’s plans for labor and pension reforms.
A Capuchin friar was killed and a deacon badly wounded when would-be robbers broke into a friary in Madagascar on April 22, the Fides news service reports.
Catholic schools in Pakistan have begun to look like prisons because of the security measures that are needed to guard against terrorist attacks, Archbishop Sebastian Shaw of Lahore has said.
St. Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin, an institution administered by the Sisters of Charity, has agreed to provide legal abortions, as part of a deal that will make the National Maternity Hospital a part of St. Vincent’s.
The Pew Research Center has released a study finding that repression of groups of religious believers is on the increase.
The publication of the Archdiocese of Mexico City has denounced domestic violence and the killing of women.
Prelates call on Europe to be ‘free of populism,’ return to ‘Christian and human values’
The primates of Poland, Francis, Spain, and Bohemia gathered in Gniezno, Poland, for the 600th anniversary of the decision that the archbishop of Gniezno would also be Primate of Poland.
Pope Francis has made a surprise recorded video appearance at the annual TED conference in Vancouver.
Pope Francis offered Mass on April 25, the Feast of St. Mark, for Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria, the head of the Coptic Orthodox Church.
Reflecting on Christ’s words at the conclusion of St. Matthew’s Gospel (“I am with you all days, to the end of the age”), Pope Francis devoted his April 26 general audience to “the promise that gives hope.”
The Benedictine monks who established a community in Norcia in 2000 have announced plans to move out of the town, to set up a new monastery in the neighboring hills.
An Indian priest has filed a criminal complaint alleging that his archbishop attemped to poison him, in a bizarre legal case.