We say: Reflecting on Mandela, it lifts our spirits to recall that the ideals of freedom and equality cannot be contained behind prison bars.
A formidable human-trafficking industry has driven Catholic religious women to collaborate among themselves and with other sectors of society to stop trafficking.
Zimbabwe is more polarized now than it was before this year's general elections, said the country's bishops.
"The political fault lines and their impact on all aspects of the lives of Zimbabweans are set not only to deepen, but also to stand in the way of progress and ultimately in the way of peace," the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops' Conference said in a pastoral letter Tuesday.
"We note with apprehension that ... there are no visible prospects for improvement in the spheres of life in Zimbabwe that cry for restoration to give people hope for a better life," the bishops said.
The kidnapping of five Orthodox nuns from a Christian village near Damascus has shocked Syria's Christian community and filled many Christians with fear, said Chaldean Bishop Antoine Audo of Aleppo, Syria.
Speaking Tuesday to Vatican Radio, Audo said the latest information is that the superior and four of the nuns belonging to the Orthodox Monastery of Santa Tecla in Maaloula were kidnapped during the night Sunday and taken to Yabrud, a city nearby.
"We have no more information," he said.
Officials in Germany defended the plans to allow some divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Communion, saying they have the pope's endorsement.
The man behind Pope Francis' Twitter account wants Catholics to use social media to spread the message of Christ's life.
Peace in the Middle East, particularly the war in Syria, topped the agenda Monday as Pope Francis welcomed Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Officials at Egypt's Al-Azhar University said they are eagerly awaiting a message from the Vatican that could jump-start their stalled talks.
Their dialogue faltered and was eventually suspended altogether by Al-Azhar in 2011 after a series of remarks made by now-retired Pope Benedict XVI.
Mahmoud Azab, adviser on dialogue to Al-Azhar's grand imam, Sheik Ahmad el-Tayeb, told Catholic News Service that Fr. Rafic Greiche, spokesman for Egypt's Catholic church, informed them a Vatican envoy would visit Dec. 3.
This fall, rather than attending their first freshman classes, potential students of the Iraqi Student Project are simply trying to survive Syria's war-torn streets.
Climate change represents an "ethical challenge to civilization," said the Vatican's lead representative to an international conference discussing the worldwide impact of climate change.
Archbishop Celestino Migliore told attendees at a church-run conference that the Vatican would help "form consciences and ethical perspectives" on climate change in line with Catholic social teaching and encourage "fairness, impartiality and mutual responsibility" when it came to action to address the environmental threat.