Chinese Singles for ChristBEIJING, China - She sat at the hospital bed, her baby face brightening as visitors came to hold her hand, tell her stories and shower her with gifts of s'mores, pizza and, most of all, roses.

A growing faith in atheist China

Bernadette Woo attended her first Mass at Christmas 2001BEIJING, China - They came clutching their shopping bags, curious newcomers who pushed and shoved their way to get a closer view. As regular worshippers celebrated in silence, the visitors chatted and filed in and out of the overflowing cathedral throughout the service.

Afghan mission bound to fail, says Caritas head

TORONTO - Canada's twin goals of military success and humanitarian aid in Afghanistan are doomed to failure, the president of Caritas Internationalis told The Catholic Register as he visited the international aid network's Canadian partner.

Turkey's Christians urged to live in harmony with all


Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Pope Bendedict XVIISTANBUL, Turkey - Closing out a four-day pilgrimage of dialogue in Turkey, Pope Benedict XVI celebrated Mass with the tiny Christian community in Istanbul and encouraged it to live in harmony with the Muslim majority.

"Brothers and sisters, your communities walk the humble path of daily companionship with those who do not share our faith, yet profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us adore the one, merciful God," the Pope said in a sermon.

Papal gestures win over Turkish hosts

Pope visits the Istanbul, Blue MosqueISTANBUL, Turkey  - During his four-day trip to Turkey, Pope Benedict XVI, known for his precise and incisive words, showed he was also a master of the spontaneous gesture.

While his scholarly words in a September lecture in Germany offended millions of Muslims, his prayer in an Istanbul mosque surprised and delighted many of them.

Benedict offers friendship to Turkish Muslims


Pope Benedict XVI shakes hands with Ali Bardakoglu, the head of Turkey's religious affairs directorateANKARA, Turkey - Acknowledging that his four-day trip to Turkey would be largely symbolic, Pope Benedict XVI opened his visit by paying respect to the Turkish state and extending a hand of friendship to its predominantly Muslim population.

On the plane from Rome Nov. 28, Pope Benedict told reporters, "We must not exaggerate; one cannot expect great results in just three days. The value (of the trip) I would say is symbolic, the fruit of the encounters themselves, of encounters in friendship and respect."

Value of priestly celibacy reaffirmed

VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI and top Vatican officials, meeting to review the status of married priests, reaffirmed the value of priestly celibacy and said its importance should be highlighted among priests and seminarians.

Honduran cardinal seeks 'helping hand' on mining problem

TORONTO - A cardinal in Honduras has asked the Canadian government to rein in Canadian mining companies operating in his country.

Benedict offers 'outstretched hand' to Islam

Pope Benedict meets Islamic womanVATICAN CITY  - Pope Benedict XVI's remarks on Islam in Regensburg, Germany, opened a new chapter in the Vatican's 40-year dialogue with the Muslim world and brought the Pope's own views on Islam into clearer focus.

Vatican: Saddam death sentence wrong

Saddam HusseinVATICAN CITY - The head of the Vatican's justice and peace office and an editor of a Vatican-approved Jesuit journal said it would be wrong to carry out the death penalty against Saddam Hussein.

Pope encourages Irish bishops to bring healing to abuse victims

Pope Benedict XVIPope Benedict XVI said priestly sexual abuse of minors was a "heart-rending" tragedy that requires an effort of purification by the church.