Catholic News Service

Catholic News Service

MANILA, Philippines - The country's Catholic bishops urged voters to reject "notoriously corrupt" politicians running in next year's national elections in a pastoral letter sent to parishes.

BUKAVU, Congo - Bishops from eastern Congo criticized the failure of their government and the United Nations to act against "genocide, jihadist fundamentalism and Balkanization" in the country, which is widely considered Africa's most Catholic.

YANGON, Myanmar - Cardinal Charles Bo has asked the government of Myanmar to squelch hate speech and do more to help Rohingya refugees, many of whom have fled the country and are trapped at sea as countries refuse them entry.

JUBA, South Sudan - Human rights in South Sudan are abused "on the battlefield and in peaceful areas," and much of the country is without effective governance, church leaders said.

RHODES, Greece - Migrants pay thousands of dollars to human traffickers in countries like Turkey and Libya to ferry them to what they hope are the greener pastures of Europe. The growing crises in places like Libya allow traffickers to work almost unobstructed.

JERUSALEM - Israel is downplaying the recent media flurry over reports the Vatican and Palestinian representatives have finalized the text of a formal agreement recognizing freedom of religion in the "State of Palestine" and outlining the rights and obligations of the Catholic Church, its agencies and its personnel in the territory.

BOSTON - Sr. Helen Prejean, the death penalty abolition advocate, told a jury May 11 that convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev expressed remorse for his victims in discussions with her.

MILAN - The Holy See's official pavilion at the Milan Expo 2015, the newest edition of the every-five-years world's fair, will be a public space of relaxation and learning.

PARIS - The exodus of Christians from the Middle East — due to wars, conflicts, socio-economic crises and persecution — will weaken moderate Islam "which, thanks to the Islamic-Christian conviviality, is so far the vast majority of Muslims in the Middle East," said Lebanese Cardinal Bechara Rai.

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia - Ethiopia's Catholic bishops condemned "in unambiguous terms" the execution of 30 Ethiopian Christian migrants in Libya.