Pope Francis: Message for World Day of Vocations 2018

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Next October, the Fifteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops will meet to discuss the theme of young people and in particular the relationship between young people, faith and vocation. There we will have a chance to consider more deeply how, at the centre of our life, is the call to joy that God addresses to us and how this is "God's plan for me...

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Holy Land: Last-ditch effort to save school threatened with demolition

ICN has received an urgent appeal for help to save a school on the West Bank supported by the Comboni Sisters, which is being threatened with demolition by the Israeli Authorities. Next Wednesday, April 25, the Israeli High Court will hear the final appeal of the Palestinian Bedouin community of Al Khan al Ahmar. If the appeal is rejected, the sc...

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Bishop Lang welcomes worldwide decline of death sentences and executions

Bishop Declan Lang

Bishop Declan Lang, the lead Bishop for international affairs has welcomed the decline of the death penalty across the world and called on Catholics to help "make this the generation that ends capital punishment for good."

Statistics released last week show that the number of recorded death sentences and executions fell in 2017, while the total number of countries to abolish the death pen...

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Pakistan: Archbishop appeals for prayers after yet another attack on Christians

A leading Pakistan bishop has appealed for prayer after Christians in Quetta suffered their third attack in five months. Two Christian men - named as Rashid Khalid and Azhar Iqbal - and three others were injured after four attackers on motorbikes started shooting at people near a church in Quetta's Essa Nagri Christian neighbourhood. The attack, last Sunday (15th April), came nearl...

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Kenya: Bishops calls for a presidency that is 'above politics'

The Bishops of Kenya have welcomed the recent meeting between President Uhuru Kenyatta and the leader of the opposition Raila Odinga, aimed at overcoming the tensions for last year's disputed presidential elections, describing it as "a step forward in the right direction" but they say it "must be accelerated in order to reach a meaningful and lasting reconciliation."

In their statement pu...

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New international head for Aid to the Church in Need

Thomas Heine-Geldern

Faith and trust in God will be the model of leadership for Aid to the Church in Need's new international Executive President - who said he will be taking his cue from his predecessor's approach to the charity.

The appointment of Thomas Heine-Geldern, previously president of the board of ACN Austria, was publicly announced during a ceremony held at the charity's international headquarters ...

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Pope meets Alfie Evans' Dad

Pope Francis met with Tom Evans, the father of seriously ill British toddler Alfie Evans, in the Vatican today.

Afterwards the Holy Father renewed his appeal for the respect of the lives of Alfie, and Vincent Laurent, a French hospital patient. He said: "the only author of life, from its beginning to its natural end, is God."

Speaking during the General Audience today, the Pope sai...

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Syria: Bishop appeals for peace - 'we need prayer not further violence'

Bishop with war damaged icon

Following the latest attacks in Syria, one of the country's leading bishops has issued an impassioned plea for peace - saying that the country needs prayer and not further violence. Melkite Archbishop Jean Abdou Arbach of Homs, Hama and Yabroud told Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need that after seven years of war - and the latest bombing raids on the country - Syrians are tired of the c...

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Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI celebrates 91st birthday

Pope Emeritus Benedict with Pope Francis last month

April 16th marked Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI's 91st birthday. He spent the day quietly in the 'Mater Ecclesia' Monastery in the Vatican, where he lives. The day of Joseph Ratzinger's birth has been seen by some as a sign of Divine Providence. It was certainly a sign of things to come. The future Pope Benedict XVI was born on Holy Saturday, April 16th 1927. His birthplace is Marktl-an...

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Pope prays for 'little Alfie Evans' and Vincent Lambert

Pope Francis called attention to the plight of British infant Alfie Evans and French patient Vincent Lambert during remarks at the Regina Coeli with pilgrims in St Peter's Square on Sunday.

The families of Alfie and Vincent have been fighting legal battles to ensure their loved ones continue to receive necessary, basic medical care.

Alfie Evans is suffering from an undiagnosed...

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Catholic Bishops protest at deployment of National Guard on US-Mexico border

In response to announcements regarding deploying the United States National Guard to the US/Mexico Border, Bishop James A Tamayo and his US Catholic brother Bishops of the US/Mexico Border issued the following statement in English and Spanish: We are deeply concerned by the announcement that the National Guard will be deployed on the US/Mexico Border.

The continued mil...

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Pope Francis encourages parents to baptise their children early

Pope Francis has urged parents to baptise their children soon after birth, thus giving them the opportunity - and the free gift - of having Jesus Christ live inside them from the beginning.

Addressing thousands of pilgrims gathered in St Peter's Square for the Wednesday General Audience, the Pope focused his catechism on the intrinsic link between Easter and the Sacrament of Baptism.

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Nigeria: Fear of another Boko Haram onslaught as Christians shot dead

Fr Alexander Yeyock with parishioners, 8 April 2017, St John's Church, Asso © ACN-Fr A Yeyock

Islamist nomadic herdsmen may be about to launch another 'jihadist crusade' involving mass murder, according to a local Church leader, after two young Catholic fathers became the latest fatalities in unprovoked attacks on Christian communities in northern Nigeria. Father-of-three Yohanna Stephen and Dakare Martins, who has one child, were shot dead in Asso village, Kaduna State, with milit...

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