Catholic News Service

Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON - Tariq Aziz, a Chaldean Catholic who represented Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein's government on the world stage as foreign minister and deputy prime minister, died June 5 after suffering a heart attack.

KARACHI, Pakistan - The human rights body of Pakistan's Catholic Church pleaded with President Mamnoon Hussain to grant clemency to a Christian death row convict who was a juvenile at the time of the alleged crime.

MANILA, Philippines - The country's Catholic bishops urged voters to reject "notoriously corrupt" politicians running in next year's national elections in a pastoral letter sent to parishes.

BUKAVU, Congo - Bishops from eastern Congo criticized the failure of their government and the United Nations to act against "genocide, jihadist fundamentalism and Balkanization" in the country, which is widely considered Africa's most Catholic.

YANGON, Myanmar - Cardinal Charles Bo has asked the government of Myanmar to squelch hate speech and do more to help Rohingya refugees, many of whom have fled the country and are trapped at sea as countries refuse them entry.

JUBA, South Sudan - Human rights in South Sudan are abused "on the battlefield and in peaceful areas," and much of the country is without effective governance, church leaders said.

RHODES, Greece - Migrants pay thousands of dollars to human traffickers in countries like Turkey and Libya to ferry them to what they hope are the greener pastures of Europe. The growing crises in places like Libya allow traffickers to work almost unobstructed.

JERUSALEM - Israel is downplaying the recent media flurry over reports the Vatican and Palestinian representatives have finalized the text of a formal agreement recognizing freedom of religion in the "State of Palestine" and outlining the rights and obligations of the Catholic Church, its agencies and its personnel in the territory.

BOSTON - Sr. Helen Prejean, the death penalty abolition advocate, told a jury May 11 that convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev expressed remorse for his victims in discussions with her.

MILAN - The Holy See's official pavilion at the Milan Expo 2015, the newest edition of the every-five-years world's fair, will be a public space of relaxation and learning.