News/International

WARSAW, Poland – A close aide to St. John Paul II has vigorously defended the late pope's handling of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy and denied accusations that he ignored the problem during his 27-year pontificate.

Panel: Empowering women must not come at the cost of femininity, human dignity

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UNITED NATIONS – Women should not be required to divest themselves of femininity to achieve empowerment and gender equality, according to panelists at a March 19 event at the United Nations.

Academy for Life encourages Catholic parents to vaccinate children

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VATICAN – Catholic parents should vaccinate their children for the good of their children and the community, and they can do so with a "clear conscience" that "the use of such vaccines does not signify some sort of cooperation in voluntary abortion," said the Pontifical Academy for Life.

Historic flooding in American midwest threatening lives, destroying livelihoods

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WASHINGTON – The chairman of the U.S. bishops' domestic policy committee late March 19 expressed grief over the lives and livelihoods lost and threatened by the historic flooding in the Midwest and offered prayers for recovery.

Spain sees jump in ordinations to priesthood from 2017 to 2018

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MANCHESTER, England – Ordinations to the priesthood in Spain have soared by 24 percent in the last year.

Cardinal Parolin celebrates 150th anniversary of children's hospital

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VATICAN – The Vatican-owned Bambino Gesu Children's Hospital in Rome is a sign of the Catholic Church's commitment to caring for and protecting the dignity of the sick, said Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican secretary of state.

Study: Cohabiting couples have more doubts about their relationship than married couples

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WASHINGTON – A new study found that in 11 countries across the globe, cohabiting couples have more doubts about their relationship lasting and give less importance to their relationship than married couples do.

Nigerian bishops urge government to stop 'culture of death' after resurgence of killings

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LAGOS, Nigeria – Nigeria's Catholic bishops denounced a resurgence in killings and destruction of property in parts of the country and urged government action to stop the carnage.

'Our only hope is in God': New Zealanders gather to pray after mosque shooting

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Tears flowed during a Mass for peace at St. Mary's Pro-Cathedral in Christchurch, New Zealand, March 16, one day after terrorist attacked two mosques, leaving at least 50 people dead and dozens more injured.

French cardinal, convicted of abuse cover-up, meets Pope

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VATICAN – As he announced he would do after he was convicted of covering up sexual abuse committed by a priest, French Cardinal Philippe Barbarin of Lyon met Pope Francis March 18 to hand in his resignation.

Pope Francis encourages South Sudan peace process, hopes to visit

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VATICAN – As the process to implement a peace accord in South Sudan continues, Pope Francis met March 16 with South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and expressed the hope that, finally, he would be able to visit the country.