Catholic News Service

Catholic News Service

COCHIN, India – The church in India's Kerala state has formed a group of priests, nuns and laypeople to respond to the pastoral needs of transgender people, reported ucanews.com.

PHILADELPHIA – Jesuit Father Joseph Fitzmyer, a leading Catholic biblical scholar, died Dec. 24 at Manresa Hall, a Jesuit infirmary in Philadelphia. He was 96.

BERLIN – As traditional family holiday celebrations continued with the coming of the New Year, an official with the German bishops' conference encouraged Catholic families to read Pope Francis' exhortation on the family, Amoris Laetitia ("The Joy of Love").

MANILA, Philippines – The emergency response to a major typhoon that hit the northern Philippines Christmas Day and killed at least six people was slowed because some government and aid workers were on holiday leave, a Catholic Relief Services official said.

MANILA, Philippines – A southern Philippines church that was yards away from a police car bombing Christmas Eve was to have tighter security for the coming New Year's weekend, said the priest who was celebrating Mass when the explosion occurred.

WASHINGTON – District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser Dec. 20 signed into law a bill allowing doctors to prescribe lethal medications to terminally ill patients who want to end their lives.

VATICAN CITY – Canadian Jesuit Fr. Michael Czerny has been appointed to the Vatican's new department for the Promotion of Integral Human Development.

VATICAN CITY – Make time to get ready for what Christmas really is about – the child born in Bethlehem signalling that "God is with us," Pope Francis said.

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed a bill that bans abortion in the state after 20 weeks of pregnancy, but also vetoed a bill that would have made abortion illegal when a fetal heartbeat can be detected, usually at about the sixth week of pregnancy.

AUSTIN, Texas – Texas Catholic bishops and the state's Catholic cemeteries are working together on efforts to provide a proper burial for children lost to abortion.