News/International

MANCHESTER, England -- An English cardinal spoke of his relief that churches in England will not close during a third national lockdown.

French archbishop protests proposal to rein in religious extremism

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PARIS -- The head of French bishops' conference testified to a special commission of the National Assembly that while he understands the need to strengthen national security, a proposed law designed to rein in extremist militancy would place religions and religious believers under particular surveillance.

Resignation of Belarusian archbishop accepted immediately by Pope Francis

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VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz of Minsk, Belarus, who had been blocked from entering his homeland for four months until negotiations between the Vatican and the Belarusian authorities allowed him back in time for Christmas.

Argentina legalizes abortion during first 14 weeks of pregnancy

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MEXICO CITY -- Argentina has legalized abortion during the first 14 weeks of pregnancy, despite strong Catholic opposition and polls showing deep divisions on the issue.

Pope ‘badly advised’ on China-Vatican deal

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DUBLIN -- The last governor of Hong Kong criticized the Vatican’s agreement with China on the appointment of bishops and said Pope Francis has been “exceptionally badly advised” in concluding the pact.

Two Vatican cardinals test positive for COVID-19; one hospitalized

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VATICAN CITY -- Two top Vatican officials -- Cardinal Konrad Krajewski and Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello -- have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, Italian media reported, and a Vatican source confirmed.

Cardinal Pell's book shares spiritual insights from prison

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ROME -- The first evening Australian Cardinal George Pell was incarcerated, he began writing a record of his thoughts and experiences in the form of a diary.

French court finds former nuncio guilty of sexual assault

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VATICAN CITY -- A French criminal court found an Italian archbishop who was once the Vatican's ambassordor to Canada guilty of sexual assault against four men and handed him, in absentia, an eight-month suspended prison sentence.

US Supreme Court rules against worship restrictions in Colorado, New Jersey

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WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court, once again siding with houses of worship opposed to pandemic-related restrictions, ordered lower federal courts in Colorado and New Jersey Dec. 15 to reexamine state-imposed indoor worship restrictions.

Washington Archdiocese sues over D.C.'s 50-person cap on church attendance

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WASHINGTON -- The Archdiocese of Washington has petitioned the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to lift the 50-person cap on indoor religious gatherings in D.C.

Pre-Christmas celebration gives hope to Iraqi refugees still in Lebanon

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FANAR, Lebanon -- Toddlers could hardly contain their excitement as they danced in the church aisles to the Holy Missionary Choir's Christmas songs during a celebration that was a bright star of hope for Iraqi Syriac Catholic refugee families.