News/International

VATICAN CITY -- Almost 10 weeks after St. Peter's Basilica was closed to the public in cooperation with Italy's COVID-19 lockdown measures, the faithful and tourists were allowed back in May 18.

Vatican workers sanitize St. Peter's Basilica

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VATICAN CITY -- In preparation for the May 18 resumption of public liturgies in Italy and a morning Mass with Pope Francis at the tomb of St. John Paul II, Vatican workers cleaned and sanitized the inside of St. Peter's Basilica May 15.

Sweden’s approach to virus draws criticism from cardinal

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ROME -- Sweden’s high death rate among the elderly raises questions about the government’s effectiveness in combating COVID-19, said the nation’s cardinal.

Britain says churches can't open until July; bishops not happy

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MANCHESTER, England -- Churches in England and Wales must wait until July before they may reopen, under a coronavirus recovery strategy published by the government.

German bishops reject COVID-19 'conspiracy theories' by prominent clergy

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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.