News/International

VATICAN – The percentage of Catholics in the world has remained steady, while the number of priests has decreased for the first time in almost a decade, according to Vatican statistics.

Cardinal Pell's appeal is fast-tracked to June, may wait three months behind bars

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SYDNEY – Australian Cardinal George Pell, the highest-ranked Catholic clergyman to be found guilty of child sexual abuse, has had his appeal process fast-tracked and might spend only three more months behind bars before it is heard.

Church leaders treat them as outcasts after going public, nuns in Indian rape case say

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COCHIN, India – As the Vatican grapples to devise stronger protocols and responses following a historic summit focused on clergy sex abuse of minors, five nuns in India complain of church repression for their support of a former superior general who was allegedly raped by a bishop.

Church works as bridge between Muslims, Christians, Nigerian archbishop says

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NEW YORK – The Catholic Church is working to bridge the divide between Muslims and Christians in a country where the divide between the groups is fraught with large and small issues, said a Nigerian archbishop.

How the Church in Chile is helping women victims of domestic violence

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SANTIAGO, Chile – The Vicariate for Social Pastoral Care of Caritas in the Archdiocese of Santiago takes in every year hundreds of women and their children, victims of domestic violence who find in their shelters comprehensive care to be able to get on with their lives.

Nicaraguan bishops say they have not been invited to political dialogue

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MANAGUA, Nicaragua – The Nicaraguan bishops' conference said it has not received invitations to play a role in a recently convened national dialogue to pull the nation out of political crisis.

Australian bishops respond to Pell sex abuse verdict

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MELBOURNE – Following news of Cardinal George Pell’s conviction of sexual abuse of minors, several bishops in Australia have have said they are committed to truth and justice, while declining to comment on Pell’s appeal until it has concluded.

Cardinal Pell labelled as 'at-risk' prisoner, awaits sentence in solitary confinement

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MELBOURNE – Cardinal George Pell is incarcerated at the Melbourne Assessment Prison while he awaits the results of a sentencing hearing held last week. Pell was convicted last year of child sexual abuse.

Religious persecution harms individuals, communities, Holy See official says

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VATICAN – Violating religious freedom harms not only the individuals being persecuted, it also damages communities and often opens the door to further violence, a Vatican representative said.

Ghana's bishops seek prayer as nation celebrates independence, Lent

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ACCRA, Ghana – This year's Lent has special significance because Ash Wednesday, March 6, marks the celebration of Ghana's 62nd anniversary of independence, said the Ghana Bishops' Conference.

Vatican announces theme for World Day of Migrants and Refugees

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VATICAN – After moving the Vatican celebration of the World Day of Migrants and Refugees from January to September, Pope Francis wants Catholics to understand how concern for migrants and refugees is part of a much broader Christian concern for people in need.