Catholic News Service

Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON - The U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee March 2 unanimously passed a bipartisan measure condemning as genocide the killing of Christians, Yezidis and other ethnic and religious minorities by Islamic State militants in the Middle East.

SYDNEY - For a third consecutive day, a top Vatican official gave testimony to an Australian commission about what he knew of the Church's reassignment of abusive priests.

SYDNEY - When former Bishop Ronald Mulkearns of Ballarat moved a pedophile priest from parish to parish in the early 1970s without divulging the underlying reasons for the moves, the appointments implied the bishop had confidence in the priest, Cardinal George Pell told Australia's Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

SYDNEY - The Vatican's Prefect for the Secretariat of the Economy, Cardinal George Pell, told a special hearing of Australia's Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that he was not trying "to defend the indefensible."

TAMPA, Fla. - Fourteen bishops from Canada, the United States and Latin America explored ways to invite the faithful into what Pope Francis has called "an encounter with Jesus Christ" during three days of prayer and discussion.

KALAMAZOO, Mich. - Expressing shock and sadness, Bishop Paul J. Bradley of Kalamazoo offered prayers for the six people who were killed and two others who were injured by a gunman in the western Michigan city.

BEIJING - A top Politburo official told faith leaders that religious groups must promote Chinese culture and become more compatible with socialism.

TAINAN, Taiwan - Pope Francis sent condolences to Taiwan following an earthquake that left at least 37 people dead as the island prepared to celebrate Chinese New Year, reported ucanews.com.

VATICAN CITY - Russian Orthodox officials said the planned meeting between Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow is not a signal that decades of tension have been resolved, but emphasizes the need to work together on behalf of persecuted Christians in the Middle East.

BERLIN - Catholic bishops in Germany and Austria have urged their countries to continue accepting refugees, despite demands for new restrictions after New Year's Eve violence in Cologne and other cities.