The global Catholic church is vastly divided on major issues, including gay marriage, abortion and women priests, according to a survey released by Univision.
A mission area of the Dutch Carmelites in the Philippines has emerged from a painful era of establishment with members and partners prepared to take on the challenge of carrying on as an independent province.
As first provincial of the Philippine Province of Blessed Titus Brandsma, "It makes me feel a little tense," Carmelite Fr. Christian Buenafe, 47, said at provincial headquarters in Quezon City, northeast of Manila. "We will run our own structure, finances, formation, leadership and governance."
Typhoon Haiyan left little that Donabel Castillon could recognize of the land she farms with her family.
Eco Catholic: When it comes to water issues, studies by the United Nations repeatedly show that if women aren't involved, those solutions won't work.
"It is fascinating to see how Pope Francis is encouraging, reviving and renewing the church," Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna said.
Lebanese Cardinal Bechara Rai said the Maronite Catholic church could not remain a bystander as Lebanon neared an "existential crisis."
"We must return to the achievements reached by the Lebanese people when they devised the original national pact," Rai said, referring to the 1943 agreement that laid the foundation of Lebanon as a multiconfessional state. "Coexistence lies in belonging to a civilized project that brings together Muslims and Christians."
Syrians fleeing to neighboring Jordan from the besieged central city of Homs said some people there are starving to death for lack of food.
"People are dying of hunger especially, babies and young children," said Um Mohamed, the mother of four children, who fled with her family to this northern Jordanian town in mid-2013 after her son was hit in the chest with shrapnel from an exploding bomb.
"There is no milk, no basics are available," she said, citing phone conversations with family members stuck in Homs.
Beginning in 2005, after decades of civil war in South Sudan, bishops of that country invited international religious communities to consider serving in South Sudan. Since that point, members of men’s and women’s congregations have been committed to a presence to support the church through the collaborative project, Solidarity with South Sudan, which prepares and supports people to respond to the immense needs there in health care, agriculture, education and parish ministry.
Pope Francis is considering a visit to South Korea this summer, and the activists of Korea’s Jeju Island are appealing for a solidarity appearance.
With news of Francis’ possible trip to South Korea, the activist website, Save Jeju Now, is urging people to send letters to the pope, asking him not only to visit Jeju Island, but also to preside over their daily Mass at the construction site of a future naval base. A sample letter to Francis states,
The report from the U.N. Commission on the Rights of the Child raised concerns with a number of substandard policies, specifically regarding sexual abuse.