WARSAW, Poland -- Catholic leaders urged dialogue and restraint in Belarus, amid violent street clashes following a contested Aug. 9 presidential election.

COVID forces Knock shrine to close Aug. 15 to discourage crowds

By Catholic News Service

KNOCK, Ireland -- The Marian shrine at Knock announced Aug. 10 that in addition to postponing the popular Knock Novena and pilgrimage because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the shrine and its church would be closed for the Aug. 15 feast of the Assumption of Mary to ensure pilgrims do not arrive anyway.

Lebanese rise up against government


AMMAN, Jordan -- Viewing the burned wasteland of the Beirut port, one’s eye catches a grey concrete slab in the foreground. It bears this stark message scribbled by the Lebanese in black ink: “My Government Did This.”

Suspended priest excommunicated for still saying Mass, teaching against pope


SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- A suspended priest in the Diocese of Sacramento has been automatically excommunicated because he continued to celebrate Mass despite being instructed not to do so by Bishop Jaime Soto, and he also has refused to acknowledge Pope Francis as head of the Catholic Church.

'These were innocent children,' archbishop says of South Sudan murders


NAIROBI, Kenya -- The Catholic archbishop of Juba condemned "in the strongest terms possible" the murder of three young girls, killed while watching television in their Juba home.

Explosion in Beirut adds suffering to Lebanon's dire situation


AMMAN, Jordan -- Hospitals in the Lebanese capital are overwhelmed with those suffering injuries from a massive explosion in Beirut's port, causing widespread damage the city and rocking the tiny Mediterranean nation already devastated by the coronavirus and its worst financial crisis since the 1975-1990 civil war.

Eleven Philippine dioceses suspend Masses in effort to control COVID-19


MANILA, Philippines -- The Philippine government issued new orders restricting movement in an effort to control a spike in COVID-19, resulting in 10 dioceses suspending public Masses.

Bishops from Japan, U.S. call Catholics to work for nuclear disarmament


CLEVELAND -- The path to true peace requires the world to abolish nuclear weapons, an American bishop and a Japanese archbishop said as the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombings at the end of World War II approached.

Loyola University Maryland removes Flannery O'Connor's name from hall


BALTIMORE -- Thirteen years after naming a new residence hall at Loyola University Maryland in honor of the Catholic author Flannery O'Connor, Jesuit Father Brian Linnane, the university's president, removed the writer's name from the building.

Caritas warns of rise in human trafficking


VATICAN CITY -- As governments and world leaders struggle to contain the coronavirus pandemic, they must also work harder to protect victims of human trafficking, said the Vatican-based international network of Catholic charities.

Refugee advocates declare victory


Refugee advocates are applauding a Federal Court ruling that Canada’s Safe Third Country Agreement with the United States violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms by sending refugees who arrive at Canadian land borders back to detention in the United States.