The Vatican issued an urgent appeal for the release of more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by the Islamist militant group Boko Haram.
The Catholic bishops' conference of Cameroon has demanded the release of two Italian priests and a Canadian nun, a month after they were kidnapped by suspected Nigerian Islamists.
The bishops of Cameroon "strongly condemn these inadmissible attacks from extremist groups on church officials and all acts of violence which pose a threat to the dignity of the human person," the bishops said in a statement Monday signed by the conference president, Archbishop Samuel Kleda of Douala.
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Malta's bishops were "surprised" but reassured by the findings of the survey of Catholics they conducted for the Synod of Bishops on the family.
Some of South Sudan's considerable challenges and seemingly intractable problems are exemplified in the little hamlet of Gumbo, outside of Juba.
A steady stream of Iraqi refugees, smiling and displaying purple index fingers, emerged from a polling station in the Hashemi Shamali district, where the majority of these urban refugees live in the Jordanian capital.
"Change is badly needed in Iraq. Hopefully the elections will yield a suitable leader. God is gracious," said Um Martin, a Chaldean Catholic woman from the biblical city of Ninevah in northern Iraq.
Eight countries are on the State Department's "Countries of Particular Concern," and a commission recommended eight others be added.
The chairman of the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church pledged to be a "critical conscience" in the church in Ireland.
British doctors and nurses who refuse to dispense the morning-after pill on grounds of conscience will be unable to receive a specialist diploma in sexual health care.
Guidance issued by the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare states that medical professionals who, for religious reasons, refuse to hand out "emergency" contraception cannot receive the qualification.
The diploma is considered to represent the "gold standard" of sexual health care training, a source at the faculty told Catholic News Service in a telephone conversation Wednesday.