News/International

BEIRUT -- Lebanese Cardinal Bechara Rai warned that the Christian presence in the Middle East is shrinking and church leaders "are called to face the winds that blow in our homelands."

‘Existential danger’ threatens Lebanon’s future

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RYE, N.Y. -- Amid the turmoil of a global pandemic coupled with a devastating August explosion that destroyed Beirut’s port while killing 200, injuring 6,000 more, Lebanon is facing “an existential danger” it has never experienced before, said Maronite Patriarch Bechara Rai.

Bruce Springsteen gives pep talk of sorts to Boston College freshmen

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WASHINGTON -- As this unusual school year gets underway, Boston College freshmen were reminded that they've already been through a lot and were urged -- as college graduating seniors usually are -- that they have to go out and change the world.

Politicians at heart of Lebanon’s problems

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Maronite Patriarch Cardinal Bechara Rai wants a revolution in Lebanon, but not too much revolution.

Pope takes message to global stage with UN address

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VATICAN CITY -- When he addresses, via video message, the UN General Assembly Sept. 21, Pope Francis is expected to speak about using the coronavirus crisis as an opportunity to re-think economic, political and environmental policies in a way that will benefit humanity and the Earth.

Catholic award for attorney general ‘shocking’

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WASHINGTON -- The Association of U.S. Catholic Priests and the Catholic Mobilizing Network said they strongly object to an award the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast organizers plan to present to U.S. Attorney General William Barr during the annual breakfast, which is to be livestreamed Sept. 23 from Washington.

New bill may stifle freedom of conscience, religion, Malta bishops warn

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ROME -- Catholic bishops in Malta said that while they support equality and are against discrimination, they are concerned that two new bills meant to protect people's rights would instead threaten personal freedoms.

Colombian church leaders call for reconciliation, truth following protests

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BOGOTA, Colombia -- Bishops in Colombia prayed for the victims of police violence and urged protesters not to take justice into their own hands, following a chaotic week in which 13 people were killed during protests over law enforcement in the South American country.

New Australian law requires priests to break seal of confession

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BRISBANE, Australia -- A new law requires priests in the state of Queensland to break the seal of confession to report child sex abuse to police or face three years in jail.

'We need a miracle,' Lebanese nun says a month after Beirut blasts

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BEIRUT -- Sister Marie Justine el Osta had just begun a spiritual retreat in a mountain convent 27 miles north of Beirut. Even in that remote location, the blast that rocked Lebanon's capital Aug. 4 could be felt, like an earthquake.

Visiting Lebanon, Cardinal Parolin emphasizes 'You are not alone'

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BEIRUT -- Bringing a message of hope to Lebanon, a month after a double blast struck Beirut, Pope Francis' closest collaborator assured the Lebanese: "You are not alone. The whole world supports you."