Catholic News Service

Catholic News Service

ROCHESTER, N.H. - In April 2013, the parents of slain U.S. journalist James Foley attended a prayer vigil at Marquette University in Milwaukee to pray for their son, who at that time had disappeared in Syria.

ST. LOUIS - Residents of Ferguson "are struggling to find peace in the chaos" that has followed the shooting death of an unarmed teen by a police officer and "as people of Christ, we are struggling to find direction in the unrest," said Archbishop Robert Carlson of St. Louis.

JOLIETTE, Quebec - St. Charles Borromeo Cathedral was packed as Bishop Gilles Lussier and several priests concelebrated the funeral of Father Raymond Gravel, an outspoken social activist and advocate for Quebec independence.

WASHINGTON - Western leaders pressed their governments to increase humanitarian efforts on behalf of persecuted Christians and other minorities in northern Iraq.

VATICAN CITY - As Chinese authorities raised the official death toll from an Aug. 3 earthquake in the southern Yunnan province, Pope Francis offered public prayers for the victims and their families.

WASHINGTON - The displacement of people around the globe because of their religious beliefs in 2013 rose to levels unseen in years, the State Department reported.

BERLIN - As the world marks the 100th anniversary of the First World War, Germany's Catholic bishops urged efforts to overcome "destructive self- interest" and acknowledged the shared guilt of churches for the conflict, which left 16 million dead.

WASHINGTON - The Obama administration has filed a brief with the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver indicating it plans to develop an alternative for Catholic and other religious nonprofit employers to opt out of providing federally mandated contraceptives they object to including in their employee health care coverage.

VATICAN CITY - Though exactly what happened to Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 remained unclear, Pope Francis offered prayers for the 298 passengers and crew members who died when it came down in eastern Ukraine.

BATON ROUGE, La. - Louisiana's Supreme Court has ruled that a priest may be compelled to testify as to what he heard in the confessional in 2008 concerning an abuse case.