Catholic News Service

Catholic News Service

BALTIMORE -- More than eight centuries ago, St. Francis of Assisi and two companions randomly opened a prayer book three times inside their parish church of St. Nicolo in Italy.

Asia Bibi, the Catholic woman acquitted of blasphemy after spending eight years on death row in Pakistan, described herself as "a prisoner of fanaticism" in her newly published autobiography.

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis met Argentina's new president, Alberto Fernandez, amid widespread speculation that they would talk about the pope finally returning to his homeland for a visit.

LYON, France -- A French cardinal welcomed an appeal court judgment that overturned his suspended jail sentence for failing to report abuse, but confirmed he will ask Pope Francis to allow him to resign.

NEW ORLEANS -- The New Orleans Saints said in a Jan. 24 statement that the football team has "no interest in concealing information from the press or public" in any matter related to clergy sex abuse.

HONG KONG -- The Chinese respiratory coronavirus has spread to almost every province in mainland China, which extended its Spring Festival holiday by three days to delay travel by up to 500 million people.

CALABASAS, Calif. -- As the world mourned the loss of basketball great Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven others killed in a tragic helicopter crash Jan. 26, many recalled how Bryant gave much credit to his Catholic faith for seeing him through the bad times and strengthening his marriage and family.

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis has approved the election of Italian Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re as dean of the College of Cardinals and of Argentine Cardinal Leonardo Sandri as the subdean.

LOS ANGELES -- From his childhood days in Sudbury, Ont., through to his battle with cancer, Alex Trebek has believed in the power of prayer.

Celebrating 60 years of priesthood, Archbishop Lawrence Saldanha, who migrated to Toronto after his retirement in Pakistan, has taken up the cause of supporting persecuted Pakistani Christians who seek asylum in Canada.