Catholic Church

Philippine Catholic bishops call on Filipinos to oppose death penalty

Catholic bishops in the Philippines on Sunday urged Filipinos to oppose efforts by legislators to restore the death penalty in the country, 11 years after it was abolished.

Clerical abuse survivor quits pope's child protection commission

A victim of clergy sexual abuse has resigned from the commission Pope Francis established to advise him on the issue, citing frustration with the lack of cooperation from the Holy See, the Vatican said Wednesday.

Francis, first pope to visit Anglicans in Rome, weighs S Sudan trip

Pope Francis became the first leader of the Catholic Church to visit the Anglican community in Rome on Sunday, where he said he was considering a trip to famine-struck South Sudan.

Frljic: Warsaw play big hit, ascribes criticism to conservative repression

The media have reported that Polish prosecutors on Wednesday began investigating Frljic's play, which the Catholic Church and the conservative community in Poland have called "blasphemous". 

Australian archbishops call abuse probe a 'catastrophic failure'

The Australian Catholic Church's handling of a child sex abuse scandal has been a "catastrophic failure" and amounted to "criminal negligence," blasted the country's archbishops Thursday.

Australia's Catholic Church paid 276 million to abuse victims

Australia's Catholic Church has paid 276 million Australian dollars (212 million US dollars) in compensation to thousands of people who were victims of sexual abuse by priests and other members of the church, an inquest was told on Thursday.

Australian inquiry details extent of "shocking" Catholic child abuse

Allegations of child sexual abuse in Australian Catholic churches and institutions were Monday described as "shocking" and "indefensible" during a public inquiry in Sydney.

Catholic dignitary says Church, HDZ BiH can't agree on basic issues

To illustrate his claim, he said that the last census showed that around 220,000 Croats live in Herzegovina, while 320,000 live in the area geographically termed Bosnia. The latter received only 15% of last year's government funding intended for various cultural projects, worth around 380,000 euros, while the rest was allocated to communities in Herzegovina, he said.

Maltese bishops' communion guidelines stir controversy, confusion

The Maltese bishops' new guidelines that make it possible for divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Holy Communion have triggered confusion among priests and criticism from conservative factions, local media reported on Sunday.

Vatican lets homeless take shelter in church due to extreme cold

The Vatican is letting the homeless sleep in one of its churches in Rome so they can escape a cold snap, the Holy See said in a statement Friday.

Philippines' Duterte orders free contraceptives for 6 million women

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered government agencies to provide free contraceptives and other reproductive health services to 6 million women, despite a temporary ban by the Supreme Court.

Cooperation with Catholic Church is good, says Croatian PM

 Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic on Monday received members of the Permanent Council of the Croatian Conference of Bishops (HBK), with both sides expressing their satisfaction with the good cooperation and open dialogue between the State and the Catholic Church, the government and HBK said in separate press releases.

Majority of Germans not going to church this Christmas, survey shows

The majority of German citizens will not be going to church over the Christmas holidays, according to survey results released on Saturday.

Pope gets 70,000 emails, meets homeless and mulls old age on birthday

Pope Francis mused about old age on Saturday, as he divided time on his 80th birthday between sitting down for breakfast with the homeless, leading Mass with cardinals and holding regular work engagements.

Australian archbishop quits after admitting child abuse failures

The Anglican archbishop of the Western Australian city of Perth stepped down late Thursday, four months after admitting he had failed to inform police about alleged child abuse by a senior cleric.

Wood-rimmed glasses from Croatia gift to Pope for his 80th birthday

Pope Francis, who will celebrate his 80th birthday on 17 December, will be given an unusual present, glasses the rims of which are made of a twig from a 1600-year-old olive tree on the Croatian island of Brijuni, local media have reported.

Pope Francis indefinitely extends priests' right to pardon abortion

Pope Francis on Monday indefinitely extended a provision that makes it easier for Catholics to seek a pardon for abortion, while insisting that the practice remains a "grave sin" for the Catholic Church.

Pope laments "virus of polarization" on naming new cardinals

Pope Francis warned of a "virus of polarization and hostility" within the Catholic Church and broader society on appointing 17 new cardinals in the Vatican on Saturday.

Pope Francis urges end of "terrible violence" in Syria and Iraq

Pope Francis issued a fresh call on Thursday for an end to the war in Syria and Iraq, as he welcomed to the Vatican a Christian leader from the region.

Cuba grants pardon to 787 prisoners at the request of Pope Francis

Cuba is to grant pardons to 787 prisoners in response to a call from Roman Catholic Pope Francis regarding the Holy Year of Mercy, the official Cuban Communist Party daily Granma said on its front page Tuesday.

Italy divorces up 57 per cent after approval of 'quick divorce' law

The divorce rate in Italy has boomed following the approval of a law simplifying procedures to end marriages, official data showed on Monday.

Pope celebrates Mass to round off pilgrimage of homeless to Rome

Pope Francis celebrated Mass at the Vatican on Sunday to mark the end of a pilgrimage to Rome by 4,000 homeless people from all over Europe, denouncing their exclusion from society in his homily.

PM, apostolic nuncio talk Croatia-Holy See relations, status of Bosnian Croats

Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic on Thursday met with the Apostolic Nuncio in Croatia, Msgr Alessandro D'Errico, with whom he discussed the further promotion of relations between Croatia and the Holy See and the status of the Croat people in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Plenkovic's public relations office said in a statement.

"We are all sinners:" Pope leads jubilee Mass with 1,000 prisoners

Pope Francis celebrated Mass in St Peter's Basilica in front of more than 1,000 prison inmates on Sunday, in one of the final events of the Jubilee of Mercy, an 11-month Catholic festival that wraps up in two weeks.

38 Catholic martyrs beatified in Albania

Thousands of Roman Catholic believers gathered in Shkoder, Albania on Saturday to attend the beatification of 38 Catholics tortured and killed during the communist dictatorship of former Albanian leader Enver Hoxha.

Vatican chastises Catholic radio for "offensive" Italy quake remarks

Suggestions by an ultraconservative Catholic radio network that Italy has been punished by God with devastating earthquakes after legalizing gay unions are offensive and scandalous, a top Vatican official has said.

Vatican: Pope's Jubilee has attracted more than 20 million pilgrims

The Jubilee of Mercy, a year-long Catholic festival due to wrap up in two weeks, has attracted more than 20 million pilgrims to Rome, a Vatican official said Thursday, dismissing claims it had been "a flop."

Zagreb archbishop appointed to Congregation for Divine Worship

Pope Francis has appointed Zagreb Archbishop Cardinal Josip Bozanic as a member of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments for another term, the Zagreb Archdiocese said in a press release on Wednesday.

Pope: "disconcerting" to see male and female roles being confused

Male and female roles must be clearly defined according to traditional Christian models of family life if society is to thrive, Pope Francis warned on Thursday.

Australian police fly to Vatican to interview senior cardinal

Australian police flew to the Vatican to interview a top cardinal over allegations of sexual assault that had been made against him.

Vatican: Cremating the dead is OK, but scattering of ashes is not

Catholics must not scatter the ashes of the dead or keep them at home, the Vatican reiterated in guidelines Tuesday, which confirmed that while cremations are not banned, traditional burials are preferable.

World's highest cathedral at risk amid stream of public urination

A stream of men relieving themselves on the world's highest cathedral - the Ulm Minster in the southern German city of Ulm - continues unabated despite the imposition of fines, endangering the building's integrity, city officials warn.

Protesters call for termination of Croatia-Holy See agreements

Around 400 people rallied in downtown Zagreb on Saturday to demand the termination of the agreements between Croatia and the Holy See which they said were harmful and negated provisions of the Constitution that define Croatia as a secular state.

Pope canonizes seven new saints, including 14-year-old martyr

Pope Francis on Sunday canonized six men and a woman,

Bishops say treatment of past inappropriate

The Croatian Bishops' Conference said in a press release on Saturday that at its 53rd plenary earlier this week the bishops considered "the inappropriate treatment of the past which is then reflected in our present" and that this referred to the treatment of the victims of the Jasenovac WWII concentration camp, those of the communist dictatorship and those of the 1991-95 Homeland War.

Pope says he invited transsexual to Vatican, urges mercy towards gays

Pope Francis said Sunday he has made outreach gestures towards gays throughout his career within the Catholic clergy and even invited a transsexual for a private chat at the Vatican.

Serial attacker of church buildings in Rome apprehended by police

A man who targeted four Catholic Church buildings in central Rome over the last 24 hours has been apprehended, Italian police said Saturday.

Tens of thousands protest against gay marriage in Mexico

Ten of thousands of people across Mexico have Saturday taken part in protests against a government plan to legalize same-sex marriage.

Three Balkan states claim link to world's newest saint Mother Theresa

Albania, Macedonia and Kosovo have warmly welcomed Pope Francis' recognition of Mother Teresa as a saint on Sunday, with all three Balkan countries claiming links to the iconic nun.

Bishop states principles to be followed by believers in Sept 11 election

Conducting a mass in the shrine of Ludbreg on Sunday, Sisak Bishop Vlado Kosic recalled the sacrifice of Croatian veterans for the country's freedom, underlining, in the context of early parliamentary elections set for September 11, that believers have principles and that they should not vote for those who use political power to turn the Croatian society into a society of atheists.

Mother Teresa declared a saint by Pope Francis before huge crowd

Mother Teresa, the Catholic nun who worked on behalf of the poor in the Indian city of Kolkata for a half-century, is declared a saint by Pope Francis.

Italy bishop at state funeral: Blame man, not God for quake tragedy

God cannot be blamed for the deadly earthquake that has devastated central Italy, a Catholic bishop said Tuesday, as he officiated a state funeral in Amatrice, the remote hilltop town worst hit by the tragedy.

Profile: Not-so-saintly Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa, the Roman Catholic nun soon to be canonized, was reviled, as well as revered in her lifetime. For many she was an angel, but for some a fanatic and an anti-feminist who associated with dictators.

"Christian hero" Mother Teresa to be be made a saint by Pope Francis

In a grand ceremony that will attract huge crowds to St Peter's Square, the nun known as the "Angel of the Poor" is set to be canonized by the pontiff who once said he dreamt of "a poor church, for the church."

Bishops in Croatia urge voters to consider economic planks, pro-birth policies

Catholic bishops in Croatia have issued a statement on the importance of the early parliamentary election, set for 11 September, calling on "the faithful and other citizens who care for Croatia" to go to the polls and take over responsibility for the fundamental values and prosperity of the entire society and for the further promotion of democracy in Croatia.

Zagreb archbishop urges demographic revival, preservation of Catholic tradition

The Archbishop of Zagreb, Cardinal Josip Bozanic, conducted a mass in the Marian shrine of Marija Bistrica on Monday, the Feast of the Assumption, calling for demographic revival, preservation of the Catholic tradition and for building reliable legal and legislative systems so that Croatian nationals were no longer tried abroad.

It's not right to link Islam with terrorism, Pope Francis says

Islam is not a violent religion, and only a minority of its followers have embraced fundamentalism, Pope Francis said in an overnight press conference.

Danish church new venue for Pokemon Go players

A church in southern Denmark has been opened up for players of the popular mobile phone game Pokemon Go, Danish broadcaster DR reported Friday.

Report: Police investigate top Vatican cardinal for child sex abuse

Cardinal George Pell, Australia's most senior Catholic cleric and a key figure in the Vatican under Pope Francis, is being investigated by police over child sex abuse allegations, broadcaster ABC reported Wednesday.

Ruling to revise trial of Cardinal Stepinac to be handed down Friday

The Zagreb County Court on Friday will, at the request of the family, decide on whether to revise the trial of Zagreb Archbishop Alojzije Stepinac who was sentenced in 1946 by the Communist regime to 16 years in prison and forced labour and was stripped of his political and civil rights for five years.

Prosecution makes sentencing requests in controversial VatiLeaks case

Four of the five defendants on trial for leaking sensitive information about the Catholic Church's finances should be convicted and given jail terms ranging from one year to three years and nine months, Vatican prosecutors said Monday.

Catholic Church shoots down Italy's offshore migrant centres idea

Italy's idea to set up "floating" migrant screening centres on the Mediterranean is "unthinkable," a top Catholic Church official said Wednesday, calling on Europe to instead open its doors to refugees.

Underground world of women priests exposed in Rome poster campaign

Hot on the heels of Pope Francis' announcement that the ranks of deacons may be opened up to women, photographs of females rebelling against the all-male priesthood are due to appear in the streets around the Vatican.

EU opponents and backers rally for rival protests in Warsaw

More than 1,000 Polish nationalists and followers of right-wing Catholic groups gathered in the capital Warsaw on midday Saturday to protest perceived EU interference in national politics.

The Catholic Church's position on sex and the family

Marriages should last until death and abortion is not permitted. What else does the Catholic Church teach on sex, marriage and the family?

Pope Francis opens the way for less rigid approach towards divorcees

The Catholic Church cannot give up its dogmas but should be more understanding towards people, like divorcees, who lead lives that stray from its teachings, Pope Francis said in a key document Friday.

Vatican to release pope document on divorcees and homosexuals

The Vatican will unveil a papal document on Friday that is expected to soften the Catholic Church's message towards people who do not follow its teachings on family life, including divorcees and homosexuals.

Pope calls for understanding church ahead of document on divorcees

The Catholic Church needs to be in listening and understanding mode towards sinners, Pope Francis said Sunday, five days ahead of the publication of a document that may soften the Vatican's approach towards divorcees.

Mother Teresa of Calcutta to become Catholic saint on September 4

Iconic missionary nun Mother Teresa of Calcutta will enter the ranks of Catholic Church saints on September 4, the Vatican said Tuesday, after Pope Francis and cardinals held a consistory meeting on the issue.

Zagreb Archbishop says starting anew makes sense

He said the light of Christmas revealed too many imitations in social relations, internationally too, whose goal was not the common good but a particular good, the good of a minority to the detriment of the majority.

Pope Francis' Christmas Eve message: Act soberly, be compassionate

Thousands of people attended the service, one of the grandest in Catholic Church liturgy. 

Slovenians reject same-sex marriages in a referendum

The rival, pro-gay marriage group voiced disappointment and promised to press for a return of a law allowing marriage, the STA news agency reported.

Slovenia votes in referendum on same-sex marriage

The parties of the centre-left government coalition supports the same-sex law, saying that it eliminated discrimination against gays. 

Cardinal at centre of VatiLeaks 2 scandal to return 150,000 euros

Nuzzi and Fittipaldi, whose prosecution has outraged press freedom defenders, risk up to eight years' imprisonment.