Pope Francis said the assassination of "my confrere" Jesuit Fr. Frans van der Lugt, a 75-year-old Dutch Jesuit in Syria, "filled me with deep sadness."
Just days before Rwanda was to begin a weeklong period of official mourning to mark the 20th anniversary of its genocide, Pope Francis urged the country's bishops to be resolute in continuing the work of healing and reconciliation.
"Twenty years after those tragic events," when as many as 1 million people were murdered in savage acts of ethnic violence, Pope Francis said, "reconciliation and the healing of wounds must remain the priority of the church in Rwanda."
Essay: Despite presiding over a minor see in the Central African bush, Bishop Nicolas Djomo, a modern-day pontifex, looms large.
A Catholic priest who has built up a huge global following for his healing ministry has announced he will celebrate his final healing Mass in Cavite province on Easter after the collapse of a deal to build a massive Marian shrine there. The primary donor questioned financial management of his ministry's foundation in charge of the project.
Repeated references to persecution of Christians, "usually referring only to what Christians suffer at the hands of criminals claiming to be Muslims, plays into the hands of extremists," said Catholic leaders in the Holy Land.
Cardinal Luis Tagle's appointment to the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic life comes at a crucial time, one ecclesiologist said.
Writer Chris Herlinger is currently in South Sudan reporting for NCR. Here is his first letter regarding the experiences and fears of the people he has met. As he continues his work there, look for more blog posts, stories and photos from him about the realities people are facing.
First impressions aren’t always accurate. But in my first days here I have been struck by the extent of trauma people have experienced – and real worries that the violence that has rocked South Sudan since mid-December may not be over.
With fears that the situation in South Sudan is disappearing from the front pages of newspapers, the United Nations released a press statement yesterday appearing on U.N. News Centre about the desperate need for relief in the most remote areas of the country still affected by violence. As the rainy season approaches in central Africa, the situation for refugees living in camps becomes more precarious. Br. Bill Firman with Solidarity with South Sudan gives an update.
Aljazeera published a story this week, “Frontline Nuns,” profiling religious aid workers from Solidarity with South Sudan who are serving in areas of war while facing realities of their own safety. Br. Bill Firman, Solidarity’s executive director, also wrote to NCR this week with a letter titled, “Troubled Times.”
Decades of bloody conflict that claimed tens of thousands of lives was declared over when the Philippine government on Thursday signed a peace agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.