Vatican officials to be called to testify at ‘VatiLeaks’ trial

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Vatican judges have granted a request by one of the defendants to have several prominent Vatican officials take the stand and testify in the so-called “VatiLeaks” trial regarding the leaking and publication of confidential documents. Following deliberations Dec. 7, Giuseppe Dalla Torre, the presiding judge, along with three other Vatican judges,…

Pope: Stopping climate change, poverty go hand-in-hand

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Heads of states at the U.N. climate change conference in Paris must do everything possible to mitigate the effects of both climate change and poverty “for the good of our common home,” Pope Francis said. “The two choices go together: to stop climate change and curb poverty so that human dignity…

Judge’s ruling frozen embryos must be destroyed called ‘tragic case’

LEVITTOWN, Pa. (CNS) — A California state judge’s ruling that a now-divorced couple’s five frozen embryos must be destroyed is an example of doing something that technology allows without considering all its aspects, according to medical ethicists. Christopher White, director of research and education for the California-based Center for Bioethics and Culture, called the dispute…

Civil war, terrorism — and now politics — affecting Syrian refugees

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The trickle of refugees that left Syria when that country’s Arab Spring-styled protests morphed in late 2011 into civil war, turned to a flood and then a torrent this year as hostilities escalated when euphemistically termed “outside actors” got more deeply involved. With the government of President Bashar Assad controlling perhaps one-quarter…

San Bernardino bishop urges prayers for unity, healing after shootings

OXNARD, Calif. (CNS) — Arriving in the late morning Dec. 2 at the San Bernardino diocesan pastoral center for his job in the diocese’s Office of Worship, Chris Estrella knew something was very wrong. “I could see a police blockade of Waterman Avenue, which is where the Inland Regional Center is located,” said Estrella, music…

Through thick and thin: Pope urges youths to read the Bible

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis said his Bible is old, beat up and worth more to him than anything money can buy. “If you saw my Bible, you would not be impressed,” he wrote to young people. “You’d say, ‘What? This is the pope’s Bible? A book so old, so beat up?’ You might…

Terrorist attacks pose challenge for all ‘people of faith,’ says imam

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Atrocities committed in the name of Islam reverberate in a historic mosque in Washington. “It’s difficult,” said Imam Talib Shareef, who is head preacher at the Nation’s Mosque. He made the comments in an interview with Catholic News Service Nov. 28. Two weeks earlier, terrorist attacks, which the Islamic State claimed responsibility…

Homeless, poor get star treatment at Vatican movie premiere

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The usual fanfare that comes with the world premiere of a movie is pretty standard: the lights and cameras, the celebrities walking down the red carpet and screaming fans trying to catch a glimpse of their favorite actors. At the Vatican, however, a movie premiere is not your typical star-studded event….

Action plan offers Catholics down-to-earth ideas to implement encyclical

CONYERS, Ga. (CNS) — Mimi Soileau goes nearly weekly to see what vegetables are ripe to be plucked from garden beds beside her parish church, St. Pius X. Time spent with her hands in the dirt is nothing new for this 85-year-old master gardener. She’s currently harvesting hearty kale, eggplant and broccoli from the raised…