News/International

HONG KONG – A senior Vatican official has hinted there is an unofficial agreement between the Holy See and Beijing on the appointment of bishops, even as negotiations to formalize arrangements continue to hit roadblocks, reported ucanews.com.

Phoenix Diocese says retired bishop 'categorically denies' abuse claim

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PHOENIX – The Diocese of Phoenix said retired Bishop Thomas J. O'Brien, who headed the diocese from 1982 to 2003, "categorically denies" an allegation that he sexually abused a young boy while the youngster was in grade school in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Archaeologists think they’ve unearthed hometown of three apostles

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JERUSALEM – After decades of searching, Israeli archaeologists working on the shores of the Sea of Galilee believe they have uncovered the lost Roman city of Julias, home of the apostles Peter, Andrew and Philip.

West Bank priests stress nonviolence as youths protest Israeli occupation

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JERUSALEM – With tensions still high in the Old City following weeks of violence, Fr. Firas Aridah completed his work at the Latin Patriarchate early so he could leave Jerusalem for his West Bank parish before any possible violence began.

Oklahoma farm community honours hometown hero on path to sainthood

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OKARCHE, Okla. – Past the grain elevator and the bar famous for its fried chicken, Oklahoma Highway 3 leads to a century-old church where Father Stanley Francis Rother served as an altar boy.

Sandwiches for homeless changing lives of recipients, parishioners alike

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WASHINGTON – While driving to work with his son, Eric Von Gay Sr. noticed a homeless man walk out of his tent to look for food in the grass. That's when Eric Gay Jr. got the idea to "keep what Father Bill started."

Italian priest takes Virgin Mary on a paddle boat to bless beachgoers

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ROME, Italy – Every August, for the feast of the Madonna of the Sea, Italian priest Father Mario Calogiuri takes to the beach of San Foca to bless swimmers and seafarers "between the deckchairs and umbrellas" in a blue swimsuit, according to Italian source La Repubblica.

Religious leaders unite to fight Holy Land environmental issues

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JERUSALEM – A heat wave in Israel and the Palestinian territories in July and near-record electricity usage – where it was available – are indications that, despite the continuous political tensions here, Christians, Muslims and Jews are facing a common enemy that needs to be confronted in a united manner.

Catholic schools are a pillar of Church in Sudan

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KHARTOUM, Sudan – Dust and mud brick houses everywhere – as far as the eye can see. The houses are indistinguishable in colour from the ground on which they stand. Trees are few and far between.

Ethicists warn of problems as U.S. scientists alter human embryo genes

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WASHINGTON – Researchers in Oregon have announced that they have successfully altered genes in a human embryo for the first time in the United States, but Catholic ethicists warn that the procedure was morally objectionable for many reasons.

Cardinal Parolin’s Russia visit packed with political, religious significance

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VATICAN CITY – The Vatican Secretary of State's visit to Russia later this month comes at a crucial juncture for the country, and is packed with both political and religious significance.