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Catholic News Service

Catholic News Service

BEIRUT - Cardinal Angelo Scola of Milan, representing Pope Francis, and Cardinal Bechara Rai, the Maronite Catholic patriarch, traveled to Irbil, Iraq, to meet with Christians who had fled from Islamic State forces.

MEXICO CITY - Pope Francis aims to touch the hearts of people so that they act to stem climate change and change their lifestyle to reduce negative impacts on the planet in his encyclical on the environment, said a priest at the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina.

NEW YORK - Syriac Catholic Archbishop Yohanna Moshe of Mosul, Iraq, called on the world's government to oust Islamic State militants from northern parts of the country so thousands of displaced Christians can return home.

WASHINGTON - Tariq Aziz, a Chaldean Catholic who represented Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein's government on the world stage as foreign minister and deputy prime minister, died June 5 after suffering a heart attack.

KARACHI, Pakistan - The human rights body of Pakistan's Catholic Church pleaded with President Mamnoon Hussain to grant clemency to a Christian death row convict who was a juvenile at the time of the alleged crime.

MANILA, Philippines - The country's Catholic bishops urged voters to reject "notoriously corrupt" politicians running in next year's national elections in a pastoral letter sent to parishes.

BUKAVU, Congo - Bishops from eastern Congo criticized the failure of their government and the United Nations to act against "genocide, jihadist fundamentalism and Balkanization" in the country, which is widely considered Africa's most Catholic.

YANGON, Myanmar - Cardinal Charles Bo has asked the government of Myanmar to squelch hate speech and do more to help Rohingya refugees, many of whom have fled the country and are trapped at sea as countries refuse them entry.

JUBA, South Sudan - Human rights in South Sudan are abused "on the battlefield and in peaceful areas," and much of the country is without effective governance, church leaders said.

RHODES, Greece - Migrants pay thousands of dollars to human traffickers in countries like Turkey and Libya to ferry them to what they hope are the greener pastures of Europe. The growing crises in places like Libya allow traffickers to work almost unobstructed.