News/International

While pundits in the West wonder whether Pope Francis really will brave out-of-control COVID-19 infections, shootings and bombings to visit Iraq, there’s not much doubt among Iraqis and others who know the Pope’s commitment to Christianity in the Middle East.

Sr. Ortiz: Torture victim to peacemaker

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CLEVELAND -- Ursuline Sr. Dianna Ortiz was teaching Indigenous children as a missionary in Guatemala in 1989 when her ministry was torn apart in the midst of the country’s brutal civil war.

Toronto Catholic activist fears for her family caught in Myanmar military coup

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As a general strike swept across Myanmar — three weeks after a Feb. 1 military coup prevented a new, elected government from taking office — a Toronto-based Kachin Catholic activist found herself praying for the safety of her family at home in the Southeast Asian country. 

Bishop ‘cleanses’ Colombian city

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BOGOTA, Colombia -- The bishop of a Colombian city suffering from a deadly spike in drug violence boarded a fire truck to spray the town’s main street with holy water and help to “cleanse it” of evil.

Severe weather prompts emergency response from church leaders as Lent begins

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CLEVELAND -- Below-zero temperatures, teeth-chattering wind chills and deep snow turned the southern Plains into an Arctic landscape, forcing Catholic Charities agencies to adopt emergency measures to get people to safety.

Iraq tightens restrictions ahead of Pope’s visit

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VATICAN CITY -- Two days after the Iraqi government announced stringent COVID-19 precautions, including the closure of mosques and churches “until further notice,” the prime minister met with the Vatican nuncio to discuss preparations for the scheduled visit of Pope Francis.

Vaccine woes add to issues in Global South

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VATICAN CITY -- When the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020, Pope Francis warned it could make inequalities existing around the world even worse.

Scottish Christian leaders say hate crime bill limits freedom to disagree

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GLASGOW, Scotland -- The Scottish government should withdraw parts of a hate crime bill because of the risk it will lead to the prosecution of people solely for disagreeing with gender ideology and same-sex marriage, said Catholic and Protestant leaders.

Iraqis eagerly await Pope's visit in face of pandemic and security challenges

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AMMAN, Jordan -- Despite challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and security concerns, Pope Francis hopes to visit Iraq, an opportunity that eluded his predecessors.

Dioceses cry foul over funding report

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U.S. dioceses are crying foul over an investigative report on coronavirus relief funding they say grossly mischaracterized the Catholic Church’s finances and unrestricted cash flows, leaving the impression the Church used the 2020 CARES Act to hoard cash.

Kansas bishop steps aside following abuse allegation

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DODGE CITY, Kan. -- Denying any wrongdoing, Bishop John B. Brungardt of Dodge City has stepped away from his duties and pledged to cooperate with authorities investigating an allegation of abuse of a minor made against him.