As Syria war drags on, Vatican official notes sense of helplessness

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Five years after the war in Syria began, there is a “feeling of helplessness in front of an endless human tragedy,” a Vatican official told the U.N. Human Rights Council. A “continuation of the conflict and its procession of refugees, disrespect of human rights and international humanitarian law” add to the…

Minneapolis mayor attends Vatican workshop on climate change, poverty

  By Carol Glatz Catholic News Service  VATICAN CITY (CNS) — After decades of world leaders trying to set global goals to address climate change and extreme poverty, city mayors gathered at the Vatican to pledge they will take real action and lead the fight on their streets. Pope Francis told the mayors, including Minneapolis…

Pope OKs plan to investigate, judge bishops who fail to act on abuse

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis has approved new procedures for the Vatican to investigate and judge claims of “abuse of office” by bishops who allegedly failed to protect minors and vulnerable adults from sex abuse. The procedures will include a new “judicial section” within the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that has…

Catholics to press nuclear weapons ban at U.N. treaty review conference

WASHINGTON (CNS) — It was April 11, 1963, as the Catholic Church was in the midst of the Second Vatican Council, that St. John XXIII issued his landmark social encyclical “Pacem in Terris” (“Peace on Earth”) that included a call for a verifiable ban on nuclear weapons. More than 50 years later, the Holy See…

Greenwald native to read at pope’s Easter Mass

People from the Greenwald area of the diocese may see a familiar face if they watch Pope Francis’ televised Easter Mass. Greenwald native Thomas Schulzetenberg — who currently serves as the director of the University of Mary’s Rome campus — has been asked by the Vatican to lector in English during the Mass at St….

Vatican Palm Sunday recalls early Christian martyrs, brave sea captain

By Carol Glatz Catholic News Service  The Palm Sunday procession at the foot of an 85-foot-tall Egyptian obelisk in St. Peter’s Square recalls the martyrdom of many early Christians and the fast-thinking foresight of an Italian Renaissance sea captain. Palm Sunday at the Vatican begins with a procession of young people carrying olive branches and…

Not just pretty pictures: Church art is catechetical storybook of faith

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Having so much world-famous art housed in Rome’s churches and chapels has risked turning the city’s sacred spaces into sightseer circuses. A hushed prayerful atmosphere for the faithful is often broken by clicking cameras and tourists exchanging guidebook details. But one Rome attraction has managed to hold on to its spiritual…

Nuncio: Vatican brings leaven of Gospel, experience of humanity to U.N.

NEW YORK (CNS) — The Vatican is a credible and admired presence at the United Nations because it speaks from practical experience, according to the Holy See’s permanent observer to the U.N. “Our network on the ground lends credibility to what we say,” said Archbishop Bernardito Auza. As a nonvoting member since 1964, the Vatican…

Homeless man of deep faith given funeral, burial in Vatican City

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — A homeless man who faithfully attended Mass at a church inside Vatican City for decades was buried in a Vatican cemetery after it was discovered he had died and was left unidentified in a hospital morgue. Willy Herteleer was well-known by the Swiss Guards keeping watch at St. Anne’s Gate, by…