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Pope begins seven-day pilgrimage to Chile, Peru

IMAGE: CNS/Paul Haring

By Junno Arocho Esteves

SANTIAGO, Chile (CNS) -- Pope Francis arrived in Santiago, the first stop on a seven-day, six-city visit to Peru and Chile, where he will take his message of hope to people on the margins of society.

Arriving in Santiago after more than 15 hours in the air, Pope Francis was greeted by Chilean President Michelle Bachelet and a young Chilean girl. He told the crowd he was happy to be in Chile, and he blessed the workers at the [...]

2018-01-15T18:58:00+00:00 January 15th, 2018|Catholic News|

Fear becomes sin when it leads to hostility toward migrants, pope says

IMAGE: CNS/Paul Haring

By Cindy Wooden

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Being afraid and concerned about the impact of migration is not a sin, Pope Francis said, but it is a sin to let those fears lead to a refusal to help people in need.

"The sin is to allow these fears to determine our responses, to limit our choices, to compromise respect and generosity, to feed hostility and rejection," the pope said Jan. 14, celebrating Mass for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees.

While fear [...]

2018-01-14T10:20:00+00:00 January 14th, 2018|Catholic News|

Catholics urged to ignore rhetoric, help immigrants facing deportation

IMAGE: CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz

By Beth Griffin

NEW YORK (CNS) -- Catholics have a responsibility to look past the noisy rhetoric of the current debate on immigration and answer the "cry of the poor" by engaging with individuals facing deportation.

That was the focus of a National Migration Week discussion Jan. 11 at the Church of St. Francis Assisi in New York examining the plight of individuals affected by President Donald Trump's Jan. 25, 2017, executive order on deportation. Presenters discussed practical actions to extend Christian [...]

2018-01-12T15:46:00+00:00 January 12th, 2018|Catholic News|

Trump comments ‘harsh, offensive,’ Vatican newspaper says

IMAGE: CNS/Bob Roller

By Cindy Wooden

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- In its continuing coverage of the U.S. immigration debate, the Vatican newspaper noted media reports that President Donald Trump "used particularly harsh and offensive words about immigrants" from several countries.

"No agreement on Dreamers" was the headline on the lead story for L'Osservatore Romano's edition dated Jan. 13 and published late Jan. 12.

In the past few days, the paper reported, "the tension on the theme of immigration has risen noticeably" with Trump and a bipartisan group from [...]

2018-01-12T12:17:00+00:00 January 12th, 2018|Catholic News|

Catholic Charities in Iowa archdiocese ends refugee resettlement program

IMAGE: CNS photo/Dan Russo, The Witness

By Dan Russo

DUBUQUE, Iowa (CNS) -- Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Dubuque is preparing to end its refugee resettlement program after 77 years in operation.

The primary reason the program is closing down is because the numbers of refugees are down.

The U.S. Department of State decreased the number of refugees who can legally seek refuge in the United States from 110,000 to 45,000 annually. Also, the department's Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration recently announced that all refugee [...]

2018-01-11T15:38:00+00:00 January 11th, 2018|Catholic News|

Update: Pope faces challenge of restoring trust in wake of Peru, Chile scandals

IMAGE: CNS photo/Pablo Sanhueza, Reuters

By Junno Arocho Esteves

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- When Pope Francis embarks on his fourth visit to South America, he will face the enormous task of restoring trust and encouraging healing after scandals in Chile and Peru left many wounded and angry at the Catholic Church.

Pope Francis planned the Jan. 15-21 trip as an opportunity to take a message of hope and comfort to people on the margins of society, particularly the indigenous people.

However, the challenges facing the church [...]

2018-01-12T09:00:00+00:00 January 11th, 2018|Catholic News|

Ending DACA will lead to ‘humanitarian crisis,’ says Archbishop Gomez



LOS ANGELES (CNS) -- Congress must separate "the conversation about DACA" from the "larger issues" about U.S. immigration policy, because allowing the program to expire will lead "to a humanitarian crisis," especially in Los Angeles, said Archbishop Jose H. Gomez.

"As a nation, we have a moral and humanitarian obligation to the 'Dreamers.' These young people have done nothing wrong. And their futures hang in the balance of these debates," he wrote in a column. "So, I hope you will join me in [...]

2018-01-10T16:00:00+00:00 January 10th, 2018|Catholic News|

Don’t rush through silence at Mass, pope says at general audience

IMAGE: CNS/Paul Haring

By Junno Arocho Esteves

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The silence that precedes the opening prayer at Mass is an opportunity for Christians to commend to God the fate of the church and the world, Pope Francis said.

Departing from his prepared text at his weekly general audience Jan. 10, the pope urged priests "to observe this brief silence and not hurry."

"I recommend this to the priests. Without this silence, we risk neglecting the reflection of the soul," he said.

Continuing his [...]

2018-01-10T08:57:00+00:00 January 10th, 2018|Catholic News|

Basketball helps priests teach New Jersey students about vocations

IMAGE: CNS photo/John Blaine

By Mary Stadnyk and Rich Fisher

HOLMDEL, N.J. (CNS) -- Students at St. John Vianney High School expected their recent pep rally to be fun, colorful and filled with good-natured competition.

But they were completely taken by surprise during the pre-Christmas celebration when six priests ran out onto the basketball court for a friendly exhibition game -- all with the intention to teach about vocations.

The basketball game was a way "to reach out and let them know that priests are approachable and they, [...]

2018-01-09T10:45:00+00:00 January 9th, 2018|Catholic News|

Catholic groups decry end of immigration protection for Salvadorans

IMAGE: CNS photo/Andrew Kelly, Reuters

By Rhina Guidos

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- As the Catholic Church in the U.S. began observing National Migration Week, a time to reflect on the circumstances confronting migrants, immigrants, refugees, and human trafficking victims, the administration of President Donald Trump announced that it would end an immigration program for thousands of Salvadorans, one of the largest groups of modern-day immigrants in the country and one that includes many Catholics.

More than 200,000 Salvadorans, living under a special immigration status in the U.S., [...]

2018-01-08T16:19:00+00:00 January 8th, 2018|Catholic News|