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Catholic Church

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI praised new communications technologies like Twitter on Tuesday (Jan. 24), saying that even “concise phrases, often no longer than a verse from the Bible,” can convey “profound thoughts.” Benedict did not explicitly refer to Twitter in his yearly message for World Communications Day, but Monsignor Claudio Maria Celli, president […] Read More

(RNS) More than 40 Catholic leaders and theologians have issued an open letter to Catholic candidates Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, warning them “to stop perpetuating ugly racial stereotypes on the campaign trail.” The signers of the open letter, which was released Friday (Jan. 20), cited Gingrich’s repeated criticisms of Barack Obama as a “food […] Read More

(RNS) The Obama administration said Friday (Jan. 20) that it will not broaden the religious exemption in new rules that require employers to provide contraception coverage to employees, a move that angered religious groups and opened a high stakes election-year fight. Instead, the White House will give faith groups a one-year extension to find a […] Read More

(RNS) “Radical secularism” is gaining ground in American society and poses a “grave threat” to the Catholic Church’s freedom of expression in the public square, Pope Benedict XVI told a group of U.S. bishops on Thursday (Jan. 19). The delegation of bishops from the mid-Atlantic region, led by Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl, is in Rome […] Read More

PARIS (RNS) A decade ago, Rene Lebouvier requested that his local Catholic church erase his name from the baptismal register. The church noted his demands on the margins of its records and the chapter was closed. But the clergy abuse scandals rocking Europe, coupled with Pope Benedict XVI’s conservative stances on contraception, hardened Lebouvier’s views. […] Read More

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Just eight months after being unveiled, a controversial statue of Pope John Paul II in Rome is receiving a major makeover. The 16-foot statue stands just outside the city’s main railway station but, since last May, it has been met by harsh criticism by locals and art experts alike. The Vatican newspaper, […] Read More

(RNS) Barbara Koob moved from Utica, N.Y., to nearby Syracuse in the summer of 1862, when she was 24, to enter the convent of the Sisters of St. Francis. Twenty-one years later, the woman the world now knows as Saint Marianne Cope left Syracuse to work as a missionary among the lepers in Hawaii. Even […] Read More

(RNS) President Obama on Tuesday (Jan. 10) named an immigration expert with longstanding ties to the Catholic Church as his top domestic policy official, continuing a campaign-year makeover of White House staff. The hiring of Cecilia Munoz, along with the appointment on Monday of Jacob Lew, an Orthodox Jew, as White House chief of staff, […] Read More

VATICAN CITY (RNS) The world economy needs “new rules” to overcome the current financial crisis and to ensure that “all can lead a dignified life,” Pope Benedict XVI told Vatican diplomats on Monday (Jan. 9). Benedict’s New Year’s address to diplomats accredited to the Holy See traditionally presents the Vatican’s views on global affairs. The […] Read More

(RNS) Ten years after the sex abuse scandal erupted in the Archdiocese of Boston, Cardinal Sean O’Malley has written a contrite public letter, faulting the church’s response and insisting that the church can never again fail to protect the young. “As a church we must continue to express the depth of our sorrow and contrition […] Read More