John Allen in Rome: Ahead of the Jan. 22 summit on Syria, the Vatican is continuing its full-court press for peace with gestures intended to reach policy-makers and ordinary people.
Christian and Muslim leaders in Nigeria welcomed a controversial law that bans same-sex marriages and imposes a 14-year jail term for homosexual relations.
Bishops from North America, Europe and Africa called on international leaders to act immediately so people living in the Gaza Strip can have access to basic necessities.
"Gaza is a man-made disaster, a shocking scandal, an injustice that cries out to the human community for a resolution. We call upon political leaders to improve the humanitarian situation of the people in Gaza, assuring access to the basic necessities for a dignified human life, the possibilities for economic development and freedom of movement," they said in their statement Thursday.
Ivory's Coast's new cardinal is confident his nomination will advance peace after a decade of conflict and instability in the French-speaking West African country.
"I ask God to give me the grace of strength, so I can work on the different personal encounters we've already begun and continue them until wounded hearts are finally healed," said Cardinal-designate Jean-Pierre Kutwa of Abidjan.
He spoke after Pope Francis announced Sunday that he was among 19 prelates who will be elevated to the College of Cardinals in a consistory at the Vatican Feb. 22.
The Pew Research Center found that global religious hostilities reached a six-year high in 2012 and affected more people than government curbs on religious freedom.
Two Tamil bishops in Sri Lanka joined a call for an independent inquiry into reported war crimes in the closing stages of the protracted ethnic war in the Indian Ocean island nation in 2009.
Bishop Rayappu Joseph of Mannar and Bishop Thomas Savundaranayagam Emmanuel of Jaffna reiterated the demand during a meeting with Stephen Rapp, U.S. ambassador-at-large for war crimes issues in the State Department's Office of Global Criminal Justice, in early January in Jaffna.
Pope Francis fueled hope for renewed interest in the pastoral theology inspired by the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC) when he announced Sunday in Rome that Archbishop Orlando Quevedo of Cotabato is among new cardinals he will instate next month.
The pope during his weekly Sunday public address at St. Peter Square named Quevedo among 19 bishops he will formally instate as cardinals at a Feb. 22 consistory. Quevedo was FABC secretary general until 2011.
Thailand is struggling to curb trafficking amid international pressure, and dozens of American groups have entered the country to fight the issue.
Beginning Monday, key leaders of the emergent "rights of nature" movement are holding an international summit in Quito, Ecuador. Adrian Dominican Sr. Elise Garcia will provide updates to NCR’s Eco Catholic blog while attending the summit, which aims "to devise a unified global strategy for advancing the Rights of Nature movement around the world," according to a press release.
The nation's inspector general said he would continue investigating a prominent Jesuit under the country's Sedition Act, but he would not question him again.
Jesuit Fr. Lawrence Andrew, editor of the Catholic Herald, is under investigation for telling the news portal Malaysian Insider that "Allah" would continue to be used in Malay-language Masses in the state of Selangor, because it is the Arabic word for God.
In November, the sultan of Selangor, who is also the head of Islam in the state, said only Muslims may use the word "Allah."