The Nov. 22 meeting between President Barack Obama and Morocco's King Mohammed VI was a bitter disappointment for supporters of human rights.
Copies of correspondence show the papal nuncio to Australia, Archbishop Paul Gallagher, claimed diplomatic immunity in response to repeated requests for archival documentation.
The diocese of San Isidro publicly apologized for the actions of Fr. Jose Mercau, a priest sentenced to 14 years in jail in 2006 for sexually abusing of four children.
"The San Isidro diocesan community, and especially the bishop and priests, publicly apologize to the young victims who were affected by the conduct of a priest within our diocese, Father Jose Mercau, when he was a priest at St. John the Baptist Church," said the document signed by Bishop Oscar Ojea and read at diocesan Masses Dec. 14-15.
The snowstorms and torrential rain that battered the Middle East in mid-December threatened to make this Christmas season an especially difficult one for Christians in Gaza.
Matthew McGarry, Catholic Relief Services' country representative, described the situation as "quite bad."
"There is extensive damage to infrastructure, and we haven't been able to get our staff in until today," McGarry told Catholic News Service on Tuesday. "We are targeting the most vulnerable families."
Many schools remained closed because of structural damage, he added.
News about Pope Francis continues to flow at such a torrid pace that it's hard to digest one development before the next one hits. His Dec. 15 blockbuster interview with La Stampa is a case in point, with a shake-up at the Congregation for Bishops 24 hours later making it already seem ancient history.
Warning that a Middle East empty of Christians would be "just like the Taliban," Iraq's most senior Catholic leader pointedly called on the West to show greater concern for suffering Christians in the region.
"We feel forgotten and isolated," said Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako, head of Iraq's Chaldean Catholic Church.
"We sometimes wonder, if they kill us all, what would be the reaction of Christians in the West? Would they do something then?"
Archbishop Mark Coleridge's statement to a Royal Commission about the mishandling of child sexual abuse could be the strongest a serving Australian bishop has made.
The Royal Commission has been granted permission to look into any private, public or nongovernmental organization that is involved or has been involved with children.
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.