News/International

VATICAN CITY -- Condemning the "heinous assassination" of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse, Pope Francis urged the people of Haiti to shun violence and make a commitment to dialogue and solidarity as the path to a better future.

Catholic agency responds to tragedy at Florida condo towers

By

MIAMI BEACH -- Staff members with Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Miami were on location and developing a response strategy June 24 near the stunning wreckage of a partially collapsed beachfront high-rise apartment building.

Bethlehem looks to expand economy beyond tourism

By

BETHLEHEM, West Bank -- Graduating in July as part of Bethlehem University’s first software engineering class, students Marianna Bannoura, Oriana Sabat and Mariam Qumsieh already have a market-ready app under their belts.

‘Meaning of Eucharist’ document sparks bishops’ debate

By

WASHINGTON -- After a lengthy debate, the U.S. bishops have given the green light to a draft a document on the “meaning of the Eucharist in the life of the Church.”

Vatican expresses concern about proposed Italian law on homophobia

By

VATICAN CITY -- The Vatican has informed Italy that a draft law to fight homophobia and discrimination and violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity could violate the freedom of Catholics to teach and practice their faith.

U.N. investigators call on church to do more to stop abuse

By

VATICAN CITY -- While acknowledging Vatican-mandated reforms in the handling of clerical sexual abuse, four U.N. special rapporteurs urged the Vatican to make it mandatory that church officials everywhere report abuse allegations to civil authorities.

EU bishops criticize report for stance on abortion, conscience clauses

By

BRUSSELS -- The bishops of the European Union, while applauding a proposed EU report on expanding the access of all women to adequate health care, take strong issue with the report's characterization of abortion as a human right and its claim that "a total ban on abortion care or denial of abortion care is a form of gender-based violence."

U.S. Supreme Court rules in favour of Catholic agency in foster case

By

WASHINGTON -- In a unanimous decision June 17, the Supreme Court said that a Catholic social service agency should not have been excluded from Philadelphia's foster care program because it did not accept same-sex couples as foster parents.

As fighting continues in Myanmar, thousands take refuge in churches

By

YANGON, Myanmar -- Thousands of people have taken refuge in churches and convents as Myanmar's military continues to fight local resistance forces.

Bill ends abortion limits, warns pro-life group

By

WASHINGTON -- The Women’s Health Protection Act, introduced in the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House on June 8, “would invalidate nearly all existing state limitations on abortion,” said Jennifer Popik, director of federal legislation for National Right to Life.

EU urged to improve immigration policies

By

VATICAN CITY -- As the remains of a rickety boat, pulled from the floor of the Mediterranean Sea, were enshrined as a memorial to the hundreds of migrants who died when it sank, Pope Francis prayed that such tragedies would “challenge everyone’s conscience and foster the growth of a more supportive humanity that tears down the wall of indifference.”