Pope laments loss of innocent life in Malaysian plane crash

Vatican City, Jul 18, 2014 / 10:16 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Following the crash of a Malaysian passenger plane in eastern Ukraine yesterday, Pope Francis has offered prayers for the victims, urging all parties involved in the country’s conflict to work for peace. “The Holy Father Francis has learned with dismay of the tragedy of the Malaysian Airlines aircraft downed in east Ukraine, a region marked by high tensions,” A July 18 statement from the Vatican read. “He … [Read more...]

Pope Francis makes phone call to Israel, Palestine presidents

Vatican City, Jul 18, 2014 / 08:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In wake of the rising death toll in Gaza due to increased tensions between Israel and Palestine, Pope Francis made a personal call to both presidents in order to ask for peace. “Following last Sunday’s heartfelt appeal for continued prayer for peace in the Holy Land, this morning the Holy Father Francis personally telephoned President Shimon Peres and President Mahmoud Abbas,” a July 18 statement from the Vatican … [Read more...]

Polygamy, gender identity seen as key challenges for families in Africa

Vatican City, Jul 18, 2014 / 06:19 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Representatives from the Pontifical Council for the Family gathered in the Republic of the Congo with over 40 bishops last week to discuss the state of families in Africa, highlighting both strengths and challenges they face. “The bishops are very glad and positive about the family because it is really the structure of African society,” Fr. Andrea Ciucci told CNA July 11, however “there are some problems not typically … [Read more...]

Vatican bank starts second phase of reform effort

Vatican City, Jul 17, 2014 / 08:04 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Institute for Religious Works, or 'Vatican Bank', has released its annual report for 2013, announcing the start of the second phase of its intended reform. Ernst von Freyberg, the outgoing president of the institute’s board, said it will “continue to serve with prudence” and provide specialized financial services to the Church around the world. “The valuable services that can be offered by the … [Read more...]

Pope Francis to make two trips to Italian city of Caserta

Vatican City, Jul 17, 2014 / 07:52 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Vatican confirmed today that Pope Francis will travel twice to the city where an evangelical pastor from Buenos Aires is living, in order to meet with local Catholics in addition to visiting his old friend. In a statement released July 17, the Vatican announced that Pope Francis has added a day onto his already-planned trip to the city of Caserta in the Campania region of Italy to visit Pastor Giovanni Traettino, who is an old friend … [Read more...]

Chaldean patriarch: current state of Iraq is ‘chaos’

Vatican City, Jul 17, 2014 / 05:54 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako of Iraq has written a letter urging government officials to “waste no more time” in electing new leaders, and lamented the grim possibility of finding a peaceful solution to conflict. “Only the president of the parliament was elected and later, maybe next week, there will be an election for the President of the Republic and also the prime minister,” Patriarch Sako told CNA July 16, … [Read more...]

Vatican lauds wide reach of #PAUSEforPeace campaign

Vatican City, Jul 16, 2014 / 08:03 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In wake of the Vatican’s viral campaign urging faithful worldwide to pause for a moment of silence during the World Cup final, officials have expressed their hope that the fruits will continue to grow. “For me it has been a true surprise to see how a tweet launched with such a short amount of time managed to involve the communities, parishes, religious and laymen that united in this initiative,” Msgr. Melchor told CNA … [Read more...]