Regarding concerns of continued political unrest and humanitarian needs in South Sudan, the Catholic Bishops Conference is making an urgent appeal to the world for pastoral resources to help what they call a “desperate” situation in the country.
Outside the gates of the women-only Kinnaird College in this central Pakistani city, boys shyly approach, bearing roses and small tokens of affection.
The girls, clad in a spectrum of reds, happily accept, even as they peer around nervously to see who is watching.
"Feb. 14 is a very special day for me to celebrate love because it was on this day last year that I met my boyfriend," said Sania Ehsan, 21, holding a basket full of chocolates and heart-shaped cookies to exchange with her Valentine.
The issue is especially pressing in Africa, where Nigeria recently adopted harsh prison terms for people in same-sex relationships.
A Spanish bishop urged medical personnel to stop performing abortions, as new church-backed legal restrictions passed their first parliamentary hurdle.
"Those who assist with abortions are seen as automatically excommunicated because the church wants to defend the weak," said Madrid Auxiliary Bishop Juan Martinez Camino.
The new president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India said the church should draw strength from spirituality to engage in works of charity.
"Energy for charitable works should come from our spiritual strength," Cardinal Baselios Thottunkal of Trivandrum told a news conference Wednesday at the end of the weeklong bishops' assembly.
The bomb threat that caused officials of the Jesuit Ateneo de Manila University to order the evacuation of people from the campus around noon today was a "hoax," according to the school's newspaper.
"QCPD (Quezon City Policed Department) Chief Supt. Richard Albano says that the bomb threat was a hoax,” The Guidon, ADMU’s official school publication, announced on Twitter Wednesday afternoon.
As the World Health Organization declared India "polio-free" on Tuesday, church health workers celebrated and reflected on the challenges they faced convincing parents to allow their children to get the vaccine.
"It is a moment of great of joy for all the health workers," said Fr. Tomi Thomas, director-general of the Catholic Health Association of India, many of whose 3,400 Catholic health care centers were partners in the government's polio eradication program.
The global persecution of Christians has gone from bad to worse, said U.S. Rep. Chris Smith at a congressional hearing Tuesday on Capitol Hill.
Smith, a New Jersey Republican, along with other U.S. House subcommittee members and various speakers gave testimony about religious hostilities against Christians worldwide. Speakers noted that religious persecution violates basic human rights.
Smith likened the persecution of Christians in Iraq to genocide.
"Christians remain the most persecuted group in the world and thus deserve special attention," he said.
Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk of Kiev-Halych, Ukraine, head of the Ukrainian Catholic church, capped a weeklong visit to the United States by asking all people of goodwill to join Ukrainian Catholics in prayer to resolve the ongoing political crisis in Ukraine.
Each night at 9 p.m. -- 2 p.m. EST -- Ukrainians pray one Our Father and one Hail Mary for the intention for a peaceful and nonviolent resolution to the crisis in Ukraine.
Vietnamese Jesuits are urged to continue bringing the Gospel's values to people as they celebrate the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first Jesuits to Vietnam.