Vatican shuts down fountains as Rome deals with drought

VATICAN CITY – While Rome reels from one of its worst droughts in decades, the Vatican is doing its part to conserve water by shutting down the city-state's 100 fountains.

Report on German choir abuse hailed as step in right direction

ROME, Italy – A member of Pope Francis' commission to protect minors says a new report on the abuse of more than 500 choir boys in Germany points to a current reality in many non-western countries – and that bringing these things to light means progress for everyone.

Aspiring religious delay entry to pay off debt

WASHINGTON – For some aspiring priests and religious, the biggest obstacle to pursuing their vocation is student debt.

Catholic cartoonist draws inspiration from fantasy classics, family life

FRONT ROYAL, Va. – As many parents know, all kids come into the world ready to draw, but as the years pass, each child reaches a point where they make a choice – to draw or not to draw.

Pope's visit to Cartagena to highlight inequality in Latin America

LIMA, Peru – When Pope Francis visits Colombia in September, he will take his message of mercy and reconciliation to Cartagena, a city that still bears scars of its painful history as a slave port. And he will walk the streets where another Jesuit, St. Peter Claver, put that message into practice four centuries ago.

New research: Shroud of Turin bears blood of a torture victim

TURIN, Italy – New research indicates that the Shroud of Turin shows signs of blood from a torture victim, and undermines arguments that the reputed burial shroud of Jesus Christ was painted.

Pope names new members of Roman Rota in ongoing Curia reform

VATICAN CITY – Fr. Pierangelo Pietracatella and Fr. Hans-Peter Fischer are the newest members of the Roman Rota, and mark the latest in a string of appointments Pope Francis has made this summer as part of his ongoing effort to restructure the Roman Curia.

Faith: Training for kingdom of God

17th Sunday in Ordinary Time, July 30 (Year A) 1 Kings 3:5-12; Psalm 119; Romans 8:28-30; Matthew 13:44-52

Imagine a supernatural being offering to grant us whatever we ask. This has been a recurrent theme in legends and mythology.

Religious leaders often in best position to fight extremism: Vatican's UN nuncio

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Religious leaders, not secularists, are often in the best position to persuade violent religious extremists towards peace, the papal nuncio to the United Nations has said in response to an effort to prevent atrocities.

Cardinal Simoni to consecrate church of Mother Teresa in Kosovo

PRIZREN, Serbia – Pope Francis on Saturday appointed Cardinal Ernest Simoni to be his delegate at the consecration of a cathedral dedicated to St. Teresa of Calcutta in Pristina, the capital of the self-declared state of Kosovo.

Benedict XVI: Cardinal Meisner died a 'cheerful' man

VATICAN CITY – In a letter sent for the funeral of the late Cardinal Joachim Meisner, retired Pope Benedict XVI praised the prelate as a passionate pastor, who died a happy man at peace with the Lord and his will for the universal Church.