News/International

BONN, Germany -- Catholic bishops have distanced themselves from a letter in which several prominent Catholic clergy warned there were attempts to use the COVID-19 pandemic to create a "world government beyond all control."

Church leaders oppose Israeli plans to annex West Bank

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JERUSALEM -- Moving forward with an Israeli plan to unilaterally annex West Bank land could mean the end to the already languishing Palestinian-Israeli peace talks, said the heads of the Holy Land churches.

Churches in Europe reopening with restrictions

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ROME -- With a number of countries in Europe slowly easing restrictions as part of a long-term strategy for containing the spread of the coronavirus, churches, too, are seeing changes in what is or will be allowed.

Australian commission publishes redacted report sections on Cardinal Pell

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VALLA BEACH, Australia -- The Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse published redacted sections of its 2017 report, and new findings said it did not believe some of the testimony given to it by Cardinal George Pell.

Dolan blasted for Trump comments

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CLEVELAND -- Laudatory comments about President Donald Trump by New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan have been blasted in a letter to the prelate from more than 1,500 faith leaders.

Our Lady of America apparitions declared "not supernatural"

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WASHINGTON -- Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Indiana, and five other bishops have concluded that alleged apparitions of Our Lady of America -- said to have taken place more than six decades ago -- were not of supernatural origin.

Public allowed, with restrictions, for Mass in Italy starting mid-May

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ROME -- The Italian bishops and government have agreed on a protocol to allow the public to be present for liturgical celebrations starting May 18.

Sacristan sentenced to life in prison for murder of Indian shrine rector

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COCHIN, India -- An Indian court sentenced former sacristan Johny Vattaparamban, 54, to life imprisonment for the 2018 murder of the rector of popular St. Thomas Shrine at Malayattoor, in southern Kerala state.

In new biography, Pope Benedict says world threatened by humanism

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MUNICH -- In a newly published biography, Retired Pope Benedict XVI said the Catholic Church is threatened by a "worldwide dictatorship of seemingly humanist ideologies." He cited same-sex marriage, abortion and the "creation of humans in the laboratory" as examples.

Polish historian questions German researcher's claims about wartime pope

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OXFORD, England -- A top Polish historian has questioned claims by German researchers that newly opened Vatican archives contain information damning the role played by Pope Pius XII during World War II.

Italian government issues rules for funerals as lockdown eases

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ROME -- While the Italian bishops and government officials continue negotiating a way to resume the public celebration of Masses, the government provided guidelines that permit the celebration of funerals beginning May 4.