Catholic News Service

Catholic News Service

PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. – St. Mary's Catholic Church was at ground zero in the wildfires that devastated parts of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge Nov. 28, and while flames reached to within yards of the tourist city church, it appears to have been spared.

PARIS – The president of the French bishops' conference wrote French President Francois Hollande to express his worries about fast-tracked legislation that would extend illegal interference on abortions to websites. Archbishop Georges Pontier of Marseille, president, said the bishops think the legislation questions the very foundations of liberties in France, and he urged Hollande to not allow the bill's passage.

VATICAN CITY – After meeting Pope Francis at the Vatican, Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny said the Pope confirmed he will visit Ireland in 2018 and that trip organizers would look at the possibility of a stop in Northern Ireland.

BHOPAL, India – The grave of a nun murdered in central India 21 years ago has been exhumed as part of a process that may eventually lead to her canonization.

WASHINGTON – The chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities has called for increased efforts and "renewed vigor" to stop legalized physician-assisted suicide after the practice was approved by voters in Colorado and the District of Columbia City Council.

LONDON – Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster said some British media were stirring up xenophobic sentiments against migrants and refugees.

MANILA, Philippines – As protests erupted, church leaders criticized the secret hero's burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos, the dictator ousted in the 1986 People Power revolution.

BALTIMORE – Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Bishops, told the U.S. bishops that their ministry is to be "witnesses to the Risen One."

SEOUL, South Korea – South Korean Catholics have demanded that President Park Geun-hye step down over a scandal that has been coined "Choi Soon-sil gate."

HONG KONG – People think that Christian icon painting is the preserve of male painters and that only Orthodox Christians can create a good icon. But in the Diocese of Hong Kong, icon painter Cindy Ng has decided to set the record straight.