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Former priest charged with sexually abusing children near LA

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A former Catholic priest has been charged with sexually assaulting four children while serving at two Los Angeles area churches...

Pope asks US bishop to resign after cover-up investigation

ROME (AP) — A bishop in Minnesota resigned Tuesday at the request of Pope Francis after he was investigated by the Vatican for allegedly...

Rioters ignore pleas for calm as violence flares in Belfast

BELFAST (AP) — Police in Northern Ireland deployed water cannons for the first time in six years Thursday as they tried to disperse protesters...

AP PHOTOS: Holy Week muted but joyful for world’s Christians

Christians around the globe celebrated Holy Week in face masks and observing social distance guidelines as the coronavirus pandemic dramatically altered the sacred Easter...

The Latest: Lockdown extended for metro Manila, surroundings

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine government extended a lockdown by another week Monday after an alarming spike in coronavirus infections continued to surge and...

Hymns through masks: Christians mark another pandemic Easter

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Christianity’s most joyous feast day was celebrated worldwide with the faithful spaced apart in pews and singing choruses of “Hallelujah”...

In Easter speech, pope calls wars in pandemic ‘scandalous’

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis in his traditional Easter Sunday address denounced as “scandalous” how armed conflicts continue to rage even as the...

Pope urges hope amid ‘darkness’ of pandemic in Easter vigil

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis urged his coronavirus-weary flock to not lose hope even through the continued “dark months” of the pandemic as he...

Christians mark Good Friday, Holy Week under virus woes

JERUSALEM (AP) — Christians in the Holy Land marked Good Friday without the mass pilgrimages usually seen in the days leading up to Easter...

Pope celebrates surprise Holy Thursday with ousted cardinal

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis celebrated a surprise Holy Thursday Mass with the cardinal he fired last year, extending an extraordinary gesture to...

Pope grants German archbishop faulted over abuse ‘time out’

BERLIN (AP) — Pope Francis has granted a “time out” to a German archbishop who offered his resignation after being faulted for his handling...

The Latest: Metro Manila, outlying provinces go on lockdown

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine officials placed Metropolitan Manila and four outlying provinces, a region of more than 25 million people, back to a lockdown...

Pope on pandemic’s second year: Weariness, economic hardship

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Celebrating Palm Sunday Mass for a second time in the pandemic without crowds of faithful, Pope Francis said while shock...

Romania OKs holding Easter celebrations despite virus surge

BUCHAREST (AP) — Romanian authorities announced Thursday that Easter celebrations in the deeply Christian country will go ahead in person this year, even though...

British judge: Vatican made ‘appalling’ claims in UK probe

ROME (AP) — A British judge has blasted Vatican prosecutors for making “appalling” misrepresentations to the court about their investigation into the Holy See’s...

Pope, citing pandemic effect, cuts pay for cardinals, others

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Trying to save jobs as the pandemic pummels Vatican revenues, Pope Francis has ordered pay cuts for cardinals and other...

Pope taps Chilean sex abuse whistleblower for Vatican panel

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis on Wednesday named a Chilean survivor of clerical sex abuse to serve on a Vatican commission that advises...

Pope decries lack of access to drinking water for many

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis on Sunday urged more efforts to ensure all people have access to drinking water. ...

Advocates urge transparency in Biden priest investigation

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — A prominent victims advocate group on Friday urged Santa Clara University in Northern California to release details about unspecified...

Biden inauguration priest under investigation in California

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — The Jesuit priest who presided over an inaugural Mass for President Joe Biden is under investigation for unspecified allegations...

Vatican cardinals defend gay union blessing ban amid dissent

ROME (AP) — Three cardinals close to Pope Francis defended a recent Holy See pronouncement that priests cannot bless same-sex unions as the Vatican...

German archbishop offers to resign after abuse criticism

COLOGNE, Germany (AP) — A report commissioned by Germany’s Cologne archdiocese on church officials’ handling of past cases of sexual abuse found 75 cases...

In Pope’s homeland, ex-priest leaves church over gay unions

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — A former priest and LGBTQ activist who has blessed same-sex unions in Pope Francis’ home country, Argentina, is leaving...

St. Patrick’s Day to be largely virtual in NYC for 2nd year

NEW YORK (AP) — A largely virtual St. Patrick's Day was planned for New York City on Wednesday, one year after the annual parade...

Ex-Vatican altar boy testifies in seminary sex abuse trial

ROME (AP) — A former Vatican altar boy has testified that an older seminarian would come into his bed at night to perform a...

Belgian bishop lashes out at Vatican over gay unions decree

BRUSSELS (AP) — A Belgian bishop has lashed out at the Vatican over its decree that the Catholic Church won’t bless same-sex unions since...

Pope says he symbolically kneels in plea for Myanmar peace

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis on Wednesday appealed for bloodshed to end and dialogue to prevail in Myanmar, saying he symbolically kneels in...

Jesuits in US pledge $100M for racial reconciliation

The U.S.-based branch of the Jesuits has unveiled ambitious plans for a “truth and reconciliation” initiative in partnership with descendants of people once enslaved...

LGBTQ Catholics stung by Vatican rebuff of same-sex unions

The Vatican’s declaration that same-sex unions are a sin the Roman Catholic Church cannot bless was no surprise for LGBTQ Catholics in the United...

Vatican bars gay union blessing, says God ‘can’t bless sin’

ROME (AP) — The Vatican declared Monday that the Catholic Church won't bless same-sex unions since God “cannot bless sin.” ...

Chicago parish fiercely backs priest after sex abuse claims

CHICAGO (AP) — When her teenage son was murdered outside a church in 2006, Pam Bosley contacted ministers around Chicago, hoping someone would help...

Vatican low on reserves to cover deficit, seeking donations

ROME (AP) — The Vatican warned Friday that it has nearly depleted its financial reserves from past donations to cover budget deficits over recent...

Iraqi woman who met the pope sees little chance for change

BAGHDAD (AP) — The story of Doha Sabah Abdallah's personal tragedy and loss deeply resonated with Pope Francis during his historic visit last weekend...

Pope weighed Iraq virus risk but believes God will protect

ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE (AP) — Pope Francis said Monday he weighed the risks of a high-profile trip to Iraq during the coronavirus pandemic,...

Pope Francis to visit Hungary in September, cardinal says

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Pope Francis will travel to Hungary's capital in September where he will participate in the closing Mass of a multiday,...

Where IS ruled, pope calls on Christians to forgive, rebuild

QARAQOSH, Iraq (AP) — Pope Francis urged Iraq’s Christians on Sunday to forgive the injustices against them by Muslim extremists and to rebuild as...

The Latest: Pope meets father of drowned Syrian refugee boy

IRBIL, Iraq (AP) — The Latest on Pope Francis' historic visit to Iraq, aimed at rallying the country's long-beleaguered Christian community and promoting interreligious...

Sri Lanka Catholics mark ‘Black Sunday’ for Easter victims

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Sri Lankan Roman Catholics attended Mass dressed in black on Sunday, with prayers and protests calling for justice for...

The Latest: Pope Francis delivers sermon in Baghdad church

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) — The Latest on Pope Francis' historic visit to Iraq, aimed at rallying the country's dwindling Christian community after decades of...

Pope urges Iraq to embrace its Christians on historic visit

BAGHDAD (AP) — Pope Francis opened the first-ever papal visit to Iraq on Friday with a plea for the country to protect its centuries-old...

The Latest: Pope honors massacre victims at Baghdad church

BAGHDAD (AP) — The Latest on Pope Francis' historic visit to Iraq to deliver a message of hope to the country's dwindling Christian community...

A timeline of disaster and displacement for Iraqi Christians

BAGHDAD (AP) — In Iraq, two decades of back-to-back conflicts have left ancient Christian communities that were once a vibrant and integral part of...

EXPLAINER: Pope’s risky Iraq trip aims to boost Christians

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis is pushing ahead with the first papal trip to Iraq despite rising coronavirus infections, hoping to encourage the...

Abortion concerns prompt archdiocese warning on vaccine

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Roman Catholic leaders in St. Louis and New Orleans are advising Catholics that the COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson,...

Vatican defends pope’s Iraq trip amid virus as ‘act of love’

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican defended Pope Francis’ decision to go ahead with his trip to Iraq this weekend despite rising coronavirus infections...

Polish court acquits activists who put LGBT rainbow on icon

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — A Polish court on Tuesday acquitted three activists who had been accused of desecration and offending religious feelings for producing...

Pope Benedict XVI defends resignation to ‘fanatic’ doubters

ROME (AP) — Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI has marked the eighth anniversary of his historic resignation by insisting in an interview published Monday that...

Pope prays for liberation of 317 kidnapped Nigerian students

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis on Sunday decried the kidnapping of 317 students from their boarding school in northwest Nigeria and prayed for...

‘Not a good idea:’ Experts concerned about pope trip to Iraq

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Infectious disease experts are expressing concern about Pope Francis’ upcoming trip to Iraq, given a sharp rise in coronavirus infections...

Iraq’s struggling Christians hope for boost from pope visit

Nasser Banyameen speaks about his hometown of Qaraqosh in the historical heartland of Iraqi Christianity with nostalgia. Before Islamic State group fighters swept through...

Ex-US priest on trial in East Timor on sex abuse charges

OECUSSE, East Timor (AP) — A defrocked American priest went on trial Tuesday to face charges he sexually abused young girls at his shelter...

East Timor postpones child sex abuse trial of ex-US priest

OECUSSE, East Timor (AP) — East Timor abruptly postponed the trial Monday of a defrocked American priest facing allegations he sexually abused young girls...

Anti-vax at the Vatican? You might lose your job

ROME (AP) — The Vatican is taking Pope Francis’ pro-vaccine stance very seriously: Any Vatican employee who refuses to get a coronavirus shot without...

Survey: Black Americans attend church and pray more often

NEW YORK (AP) — Black Americans attend church more regularly than Americans overall, and pray more often. Most attend churches that are predominantly Black,...

Marriage & divorce amid pandemic: Couples’ challenges abound

For many U.S. couples yearning to be married, the pandemic has wreaked havoc on their wedding plans while bolstering their teamwork and resilience. For...

COVID-defying nun toasts 117th birthday with wine and prayer

PARIS (AP) — Question: How does one cram enough candles onto a birthday cake for one of the world's oldest survivors of COVID-19? Answer:...

Nun named to voting position at Vatican praises ‘brave’ pope

ROME (AP) — A French nun who has become the first woman to hold a voting position at the Vatican said Wednesday that her...

Vatican seeks elder care rethink after COVID-19 ‘massacre’

ROME (AP) — The Vatican is calling for a new paradigm of care for older people after what it calls the “massacre” wrought by...

Pope moves ahead with plans to meet Shiite leader in Iraq

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis will meet with Iraq's top Shiite Muslim cleric, Ali al-Sistani, during a trip next month that will also include...

Pope seeks ‘Copernican revolution’ for post-COVID economy

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis urged governments on Monday to use the coronavirus crisis as a revolutionary opportunity to create a world that is...

Some California churches hold indoor services after ruling

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Some California churches opened their doors to worshippers on Sunday, after the state revised its guidelines for houses of prayer...

California revises indoor church guidelines after ruling

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom's office on Saturday issued revised guidelines for indoor church services after the Supreme Court lifted the...

Things to Know: Catholic Church got $1.5B in US virus relief

Here’s what’s happening Thursday with the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S.: ...

Biden, at prayer breakfast, calls out ‘political extremism’

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Thursday called for a confrontation of the “political extremism” that inspired the U.S. Capitol riot and appealed...

Pope seeks to encourage musicians silenced by coronavirus

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis on Thursday offered encouragement to musicians who have been silenced as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, acknowledging many...

Sitting on billions, Catholic dioceses amassed taxpayer aid

When the coronavirus forced churches to close their doors and give up Sunday collections, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte turned to the federal...

Pope denounces violence against women, demands protection

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis is denouncing the verbal, physical, psychological and sexual violence that women endure and is demanding greater protections for them. ...

A mix of hope and dismay as religious leaders assess Biden

Donald Trump's departure from the White House and the start of Joe Biden’s presidency have stirred new hopes among many religious leaders in the...

Pope on Iraq trip: Worthwhile even if most watch him on TV

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis said Monday he is still planning to visit Iraq in March, even if most Iraqis have to watch him...

Pope sets date to honor ‘forgotten’ grandparents and elders

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has established an annual date to honor grandparents and other elders, lamenting that they are often forgotten despite...

Tanzania’s leader denies COVID-19, and countrymen push back.

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Tanzania’s president says God has eliminated COVID-19 in his country. His own church now begs to differ. ...

California bishops fighting 2019 clergy sex abuse law

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Most California Roman Catholic bishops are asking a judge to throw out a 2019 law that allowed accusers of clergy...

Patriarch: Pope to meet Iraqi Shiite leader Sistani in Iraq

ROME (AP) — Iraq’s top Catholic official said Thursday that a deadly suicide bombing in Baghdad hasn’t thwarted Pope Francis’ plans to visit, and...

New protests as Polish court seals divisive abortion ruling

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — New anti-government protests broke out in Polish cities Wednesday, shortly after the country's top court confirmed its highly divisive ruling...

Vatican clears retired US bishop of multiple abuse claims

DENVER (AP) — The Vatican has cleared a retired U.S. bishop of multiple allegations he sexually abused minors and teenagers, rejecting lay experts' determination...

Biden attends Mass at DC church where he worshipped as VP

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden attended Mass for the first time since taking office, worshipping Sunday at the church he frequented when he...

Argentina’s abortion law enters force under watchful eyes

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Argentina’s groundbreaking abortion law went into force Sunday under the watchful eyes of women’s groups and government officials, who...

Ailing pope, reducing appearances, prays for homeless dead

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Ailing Pope Francis, who this week is making limited public appearances due to persistent pain, has drawn attention to the...

In a first for Spain, Jesuits admit to decades of sex abuse

MADRID (AP) — The first comprehensive internal inquiry on sex abuse allegations by a religious order in Spain has identified 81 children and 37...

Vatican convicts ex-bank chief in property embezzlement scam

ROME (AP) — The Vatican’s criminal tribunal on Thursday convicted the former head of the Vatican bank and his lawyer of embezzling millions of...

French doctor who made Down discovery closer to sainthood

ROME (AP) — The French doctor who discovered the genetic basis of Down syndrome but spent his career advocating against abortion as a result...

Vatican drops Italian extradition bid in test of fair trial

ROME (AP) — The Vatican on Monday abruptly abandoned its extradition request for an Italian woman wanted on embezzlement-related charges in a case that...

Poland: 3 on trial over LGBT sign on posters of revered icon

PLOCK, Poland (AP) — Three human rights activists went on trial Wednesday in Poland for alleged desecration and offending religious sentiment by adding the...

Irish PM sorry for ‘profound wrong’ of unwed mothers homes

LONDON (AP) — Ireland’s prime minster issued a formal state apology Wednesday to the thousands of unmarried women and their children who endured pain,...

Probe highlights Vatican legal system’s limited protections

VATICAN CITY (AP) — A criminal investigation into a Vatican real estate investment is exposing weaknesses in the city state’s judicial system and a...

Pope says women can read at Mass, but still can’t be priests

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis changed church law Monday to explicitly allow women to do more things during Mass, granting them access to the...

Anti-abortion faith leaders support use of COVID-19 vaccines

In a growing consensus, religious leaders at the forefront of the anti-abortion movement in the United States are telling their followers that the leading...

Pope prays for dead in Capitol rioting, appeals for calm

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis said Sunday that he is praying for those who died in the U.S. Capitol rioting and has appealed...

The Latest: Mexico sees record 16,105 new virus cases

MEXICO CITY — Mexico has posted another daily record for newly confirmed coronavirus cases, with 16,105 new infections reported Saturday, and a near-record of...

Pope Francis ‘astonished’ by mob attack on US Capitol

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has told an Italian broadcaster that he was “astonished” by the mob attack at the U.S. Capitol due...

Australian agency reviewing data on Vatican money transfers

ROME (AP) — The Australian government’s financial intelligence agency said Thursday it is reviewing its data after questions were raised about its report that...

Prelate blocked for months by Belarus resigns Minsk post

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis on Sunday accepted the resignation of Minsk’ archbishop who had been blocked for months by Belarusian authorities from...

Back pain causes pope to skip Vatican New Year’s ceremonies

VATICAN CITY (AP) — A back condition has forced Pope Francis to skip New Year’s ceremonies at St. Peter's Basilica, a Vatican spokesman said...

Bill legalizing abortion passed in pope’s native Argentina

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Argentina on Wednesday became the largest nation in Latin America to legalize elective abortion, a triumph for a feminist...

Argentine Senate weighs fate of abortion in pope’s homeland

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — The decades-long fight by Argentine women’s groups for legal abortion was being decided by the Senate in a debate...

Pope formally strips Vatican secretariat of state of assets

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis has formally stripped the Vatican secretariat of state of its financial assets and real estate holdings following its bungled...

Pope proclaims year of families, offers advice to keep peace

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis on Sunday proclaimed an upcoming year dedicated to the family as he doubled down on one of his papal...

The Latest: Japan sharply tightens ban on foreign visitors

TOKYO — Japan’s government will temporarily ban entry of all nonresident foreign nationals as a precaution against a new and potentially more contagious coronavirus...

A pandemic Christmas: Services move online, people stay home

ROME (AP) — Families that usually reunite on Christmas over a hearty, lingering meal celebrated apart Friday, services shifted online, and gift exchanges were...

Pope on Christmas: Vaccines for all; needy, vulnerable first

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis made a Christmas Day plea for authorities to make COVID-19 vaccines available to all, insisting that the first...

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