Stories from parishes, dioceses, religious orders and community groups all over the world. It also includes stories on specific topics such as the Vatican, the Pope, missionaries, aid projects, aid agencies, health & natural disasters.

Pope sends video message to people of Japan

Pope Francis sent a video message to the people of Japan on Monday, and urged them to protect all life - symbolized there by cherry blossoms - and to pray for his upcoming Apostolic Journey. The theme of his 23-26 November visit is: 'Protect All Life'.

In his video message sent on Monday, Pope Francis said this protective instinct resonates in our hearts and is particularly important in l...

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Pope joins 1,500 poor guests for lunch

Pope Francis joined around 1,500 poor people and volunteers for lunch Paul VI Hall on Sunday, after the special Mass in St Peter's for World Day of the Poor and the Angelus with pilgrims in St Peter's Square. During the Angelus Pope Francis spoke about society's painful indifference to poor people. The hall was beautifully decorated, On the menu there was lasagna, chicken with mushrooms and pot...

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Pope Francis: 'the poor lead us straight to God'

Pope at Mass on World Day of the Poor

Pope Francis marked the third World Day of the Poor today, with Holy Mass in St Peter's Basilica in the presence of poor people from the city of Rome accompanied by volunteers who assist the homeless and the most needy, the Pope said the poor "help us to reach heaven," "they are the treasure of the Church." Pope Francis established the day in his Apostolic Letter, Misericordia et Mis...

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Cuba: Religious freedom defender released

Ricardo Fernández Izaguirre

Ricardo Fernández Izaguirre, a prominent religious freedom defender in Cuba, has been released after being arbitrarily detained incommunicado for 29 hours. State security agents warned him however that he will still likely face criminal charges.

Izaguirre, an independent journalist has been arrested several times in recent months. He has documented several violations of religious freedom...

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Fr Shay Cullen: The Saving of Juan for a Life of Dignity

Cebu Fiesta - Image by Marcelino Rapayla Jr, Wikimedia Commons

It is a case of redemption for the 16-year old youth Juan, a pickpocket, who was caught with stolen goods during a fiesta in Cebu. He faced many years in prison. Philippine law is compassionate and when minors are found guilty they are given suspended sentences. Unknown to judges, most are detained in overcrowded detention cells such as the Operation Second Chance in Cebu City. A few lucky ones...

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Pope calls for urgent action to protect children in digital world

Pope Francis with conference participants

Pope Francis on Thursday called on experts in science and technology, the media, businesses, legislators, parents, religious leaders and others to join hands to take concrete and urgent action to protect children from criminal violence and harm in the digital world.

"We must ban from the face of the earth violence and every form of abuse against children," the Pope told some 80 participa...

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Pope appoints Jesuit as Prefect of Secretariat for Economy

Father Juan Antonio Guerrero

Pope Francis has chosen a Jesuit priest to head the Vatican Secretariat for the Economy. Father Juan Antonio Guerrero SJ, is scheduled to take on the role of the Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy of the Holy See in January 2020. Currently, Father Guerrero, aged 60, is the Father General's Delegate for Interprovincial Roman Houses and Works. He is also a General Councillor.<...

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Venice: St Mark's Cathedral engulfed by worst flood in 50 years

St Mark's Square is waist-deep in water tonight.

St Mark's Cathedral in Venice was inundated with floodwater late on Tuesday night. The historic church, which dates back to 1092, was swamped with water following the city's highest tide in 50 years which raised water levels by around six feet.

As strong winds whipped up the waves on the famous square, it transformed into a lake. Waters surged into the Basilica with a force "never seen be...

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Australia: High Court to hear Cardinal Pell appeal request

Cardinal George Pell

Two judges on Australia's highest court have announced that Cardinal George Pell's request for appeal will be decided by full court. Two justices of the Australian High Court announced today that they are referring Cardinal Pell's request for appeal to the seven members of the High Court. At that hearing, the members of the High Court will decide whether to accept or deny Cardinal Pe...

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Syria: Murdered priest was gunned down for his faith

Father Hovsep Hanna Bedoyan,  at a recent parish event

An Armenian-Catholic archbishop has spoken out about the murder of a priest of his Church which ISIS (Daesh) claimed responsibility for.

Speaking to Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need about the attack that killed Armenian-Catholic priest Father Hovsep Hanna Bedoyan on Monday (11th November), together with his father, and injured a deacon, Armenian-Catholic Archbishop Boutros Mara...

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Australian Bishop: 'Refugees live in inhuman conditions'

Desperate refugees, trapped on the islands with shortages of food, medicines and basic amenities

An Australian bishop has voiced grave concern over the 'inhuman' conditions of refugees attempting to reach his country.

Speaking after visit to Papua New Guinea and a meeting with some refugees and asylum seekers from Nauru and Manus Islands, Mgr Vincent Van Long, OFM, Bishop of the Diocese of Paramatta, Port Moresby, who came to Australia as a child refugee, said: "I've heard of the pre...

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Chile: Priest warns parishioners against seeking retribution after church desecrated

Smashed statues, broken pews in Church of the Assumption, Santiago

A priest, whose church in Chile was attacked and covered in satanic imagery and graffiti by hooded protestors, has begged his parishioners not to respond in anger.

The demonstrators broke into the Church of the Assumption, in Santiago, the capital, and set fire to pews, statues and other sacred images, many of which were dragged out of the church to make barricades against police.


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Pope: economics without ethics leads to throw-away culture

Pope Francis called for the promotion of a more just and humane economy that contributes to the eradication of poverty on the global level, when he met members of the Council for Inclusive Capitalism on Monday. In the face of rising levels of poverty in the world that bear witness to the prevalence of inequality rather than a harmonious integration of persons and nations, what is urg...

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Syria: Priest gunned down

Fr Hovsep Bidoyan  Image ACN

Armenian Catholic priest Father Hovsep Bidoyan has been murdered today (Monday, 11th November 2019), at the entrance of a church in eastern Syria.

Both Father Hovsep Bidoyan, from Qamishli, and his father were killed during a visit to the Armenian Catholic Church in Deir Ezzor, a city in eastern Syria.

The news was received this afternoon by Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Ne...

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