Catholic News Service

Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON - Like many students graduating from college this spring, Ivy Seraphin always assumed she would go straight to graduate school.

VATICAN CITY - Given the Holy Land's long and complex history of military, religious and cultural conflict, the run-up to Pope Francis' May 24-26 pilgrimage was inevitably marked by fears it would be marred by controversy — or worse.

KHARTOUM, Sudan - Churches in Sudan, including the Sudan Catholic Bishops' Conference, have condemned the death sentence handed to a pregnant Christian who refused to renounce her faith.

AMMAN, Jordan - Jordan's powerful and marginalized joined together at the banks of the River Jordan to welcome Pope Francis at the site believed to be where Jesus was baptized.

DUBLIN - The Vatican's chief prosecutor of sex abuse crimes said the Church needs to do more to develop the process for punishing bishops who fail in their duty to protect children.

LVIV, Ukraine - Ukrainian Catholic bishops said their country's May 25 presidential election must proceed, despite any efforts to derail it.

YAOUNDE, Cameroon - The Catholic bishops' conference of Cameroon has demanded the release of two Italian priests and a Canadian nun, a month after they were kidnapped by suspected Nigerian Islamists.

WASHINGTON - A Catholic-run hospital in the Nuba Mountains of war-torn South Kordofan in Sudan was targeted by the Sudanese air force over two days, said a retired bishop.

VATICAN CITY - Soccer-fan Pope Francis urged professional athletes to always be sportsmanlike on and off the field because so many people, especially kids, look up to them.

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis has appointed three cardinals, including Cardinal Gerald Lacroix of Quebec, to try to resolve a long-standing dispute with a Peruvian university and see if it would be possible to restore the university's designation as "pontifical" and "Catholic."