Thai Christian leaders urge followers to stay out of political crisis

BANGKOK, Thailand (CNS) Catholic and Protestant leaders said they have urged Christians to stay neutral and pray for peace in the country, which remains...

Gaza Strip resembles a concentration camp, says top Vatican official

VATICAN CITY (CNS) The Gaza Strip increasingly is looking like "a big concentration camp" while egoism, hatred, poverty and injustice are fueling the continual...

Pope says world’s future depends on ethical solutions to poverty, war

VATICAN CITY (CNS) Saying the future of the world was at stake, Pope Benedict XVI called for major new efforts to reduce global poverty,...

Gaza priest’s message at Mass for peace: “We cry and nobody...

JERUSALEM (CNS) The pastor of the Catholic parish in Gaza City described Gaza as "drowning in blood" as hospitals overflowed with patients. In...

Violating human dignity is root of all conflict, says Vatican official

VATICAN CITY (CNS) Not respecting human dignity lies at the root of all conflict, including the renewed violence in the Gaza Strip, said a...

Pope: Financial crisis calls for new economic model, solidarity

VATICAN CITY (CNS) The current financial crisis should be seen as a challenge to find new economic models that promote honesty, development and concern...

Recession increases requests for assistance

WELLINGTON Catholic social agencies workloads are soaring as the economy turns sour. Society of St Vincent de Paul centres have had a 40...

Pope says Christians must resolve to help others in 2009

VATICAN CITY (CNS) Christians should not fear what the continuing financial crisis will bring in 2009, but they should trust in God and resolve...

Bishop blesses hospital extension

DUNEDIN The $10 million redevelopment of the private Mercy Hospital in Dunedin has been opened and blessed and in some ways the redevelopment may...

As Israel attacks Gaza Strip, residents fear it’s just the beginning

JERUSALEM (CNS) -- After three days of Israeli attacks on Hamas in the Gaza Strip, a local parish priest said the buildings are shaking,...

Bishops prefer kneeling for Eucharistic Prayer

AUCKLAND New Zealands Catholic bishops are to seek approval from the Vatican for kneeling to be the standard posture of the faithful during the...

On Christmas, Pope calls for peace, help for world’s children

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI celebrated Christmas with a call to peace and a plea on behalf of the world's children. ...

In messages, Holy Land church leaders call for peace, reconciliation

JERUSALEM (CNS) -- Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal's first Christmas message as patriarch of Jerusalem was one of hope and encouragement, without ignoring the Holy...

Source: Israel, Vatican eager to finalise talks before papal visit

JERUSALEM (CNS) Israeli and Vatican negotiators appear eager to finalise negotiations on fiscal and property matters prior to the Pope's visit to the Holy...

Beer company removes Christmas-themed billboards

AUCKLAND The short-lived Tui beer billboards about Christ and Christmas served a purpose, a Catholic Church spokeswoman said. After protests, Dominion Breweries took...

Vatican supports ending violence against homosexuals, not new rights

VATICAN CITY (CNS) The Vatican said it condemns all forms of violence against homosexuals, but does not support a proposed United Nations declaration recognising...

Pope: Economic crisis can reveal true meaning of Christmas

VATICAN CITY (CNS) This year's economic crisis could help people rediscover the true meaning of Christmas and the values of life, love and charity,...

Pope chooses themes for next three World Youth Day celebrations

VATICAN CITY (CNS) Pope Benedict XVI has chosen the themes for the next three World Youth Days in order to help young Catholics better...

More women leaders needed at the Vatican, says Cherie Blair

ROME (CNS) The Catholic Church would benefit from having more women in senior-level positions at the Vatican, Cherie Blair said during a conference on...

Planned Parenthood gift certificates for holidays called ‘offensive’

INDIANAPOLIS (CNS) A holiday gift-certificate campaign by Planned Parenthood of Indiana "is offensive because Christmas is about celebrating the gift of human life", said...

Pope names Spaniard to succeed Cardinal Arinze at worship congregation

VATICAN CITY (CNS) Pope Benedict XVI has accepted the resignation of Nigerian Cardinal Francis Arinze as prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and...

Prayer effort will seek to stop abortions

HAMILTON The organiser of 40 days of prayer and fasting focusing on abortion before and after the general election is putting together a round-the-clock...

Catholics and Anglicans continue “frank discussion”

AUCKLAND Catholic and Anglican members of the Anglican Roman Catholic Commission of Aotearoa New Zealand (ARCCANZ) clergy and lay examined dialogue between the two...

Catholic officials, organisations launch campaign for climate change

WARSAW, Poland (CNS) Catholic Church officials from 38 countries have launched a campaign with more than 170 Catholic organisations to persuade the United Nations...

Theologians’ task is to reflect on truth taught by Church, Pope...

VATICAN CITY (CNS) While theologians can make valuable contributions to society's reflections on justice, peace and ecology, their main task is to reflect on...

Austrian monks’ CD of Gregorian chant tops pop charts worldwide

NEW YORK (CNS) They're Austrian. They're Catholic. They sing. That description might make readers think of "The Sound of Music" and the von...

Cardinal says Christians must accept the risk of dialogue

VATICAN CITY (CNS) Inter-religious dialogue carries some risks, but the benefits it promises to all believers and to a world yearning for peace make...

Pope prays for release of two Italian nuns kidnapped in Kenya

VATICAN CITY (CNS) The "painful and gravely unjust" kidnapping of two Italian nuns in Kenya is of great concern to Pope Benedict XVI, who...

Vatican official says Galileo was a man of faith

ROME (CNS) Fourteen years after Pope John Paul II said the Catholic Church erred when it condemned the 17th-century astronomer Galileo Galilei, the Vatican...

Vatican wins award for creating rooftop solar-power generator

VATICAN CITY (CNS) The Vatican has won the 2008 Euro Solar Prize for turning the football field-sized roof of its Paul VI audience hall...