Catholic News Service

Catholic News Service

CHICAGO - Cardinal Francis E. George, the retired archbishop of Chicago who was the first native Chicagoan to head the archdiocese, died April 17 at his residence after nearly 10 years battling cancer. He was 78.

PANAMA CITY - An hourlong meeting April 11 between U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro marked the first such personal encounter between the leaders of the two neighbouring countries since 1958.

VATICAN CITY - With an obligation to lead and protect everyone in their nations, government officials cannot be content "to hope that the poor collect the crumbs that fall from the table of the rich," Pope Francis said in a message to the Summit of the Americas.

VATICAN CITY - Mercy is at the heart of the Church's credibility and the Church has a duty to profess it and live it, Pope Francis said in a document that officially proclaims the 2015-2016 extraordinary Holy Year of Mercy.

CHICAGO - Catholicos Dinkha IV, patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East, died March 26 at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. A virus infection and pneumonia were cited as the cause of death. He was 79.

NAIROBI, Kenya - The president of the Kenyan bishops' conference called on Easter worshippers to commit themselves to praying for peace and security in their homeland after militants attacked a college campus days earlier.

GENEVA - The Holy See's permanent observer to the United Nations in Geneva called on the international community to assist Nigeria and neighbouring countries to rid the region of Boko Haram insurgency.

WASHINGTON - Hundreds of Christian religious leaders of various churches signed onto a Holy Week call to end the death penalty in the United States.

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama will welcome Pope Francis to the White House Sept. 23.

VATICAN CITY - The head of the Melkite Catholic Church rejected outright all calls for an international military intervention in Syria and urged Pope Francis and all Christian churches to "promote a concrete and realistic road map" to peace in the beleaguered nation.