News Briefs

Catholics in England and Wales will be obliged to abstain from meat every Friday after a restoration of the discipline takes effect on Sept. 16, the first anniversary of Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to Britain. • “Things are worse than I thought,” said Haruo Someno, a Passionist priest volunteer for Caritas Japan cleaning up a community damaged by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. “God is at work here, but finding out how is going to be a challenge that must be met.” • On May 12 Mexico’s Interior Ministry fired seven top officials after revelations that immigration officers had handed over migrants to criminal groups, who then demanded ransoms from victim’s relatives. • A Vatican instruction issued on May 13 requires bishops and pastors to “respond generously” to Catholics who seek to celebrate the Mass according to the Tridentine rite. • More than 70 Catholic scholars challenged the Republican House Speaker John Boehner, who was honored at the The Catholic University of America’s commencement, to uphold the church’s preferential option for the poor as he frames his 2012 legislative priorities. • The Melkite Catholic Church has opened the Al-Liqa’a (“the encounter”) cultural center in Beirut, Lebanon, with a mission of “building bridges across a divided world.”

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Pope Francis listens to a question from Vera Shcherbakova of the Itar-Tass news agency while talking with journalists aboard his flight from Cairo to Rome April 29. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
The situation in North Korea, he added, has been heated for a long time, "but now it seems it has heated up too much, no?"
Gerard O'ConnellApril 29, 2017
Pope Francis greets children dressed as pharaohs and in traditional dress as he arrives to celebrate Mass at the Air Defense Stadium in Cairo April 29. (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano)
Francis took the risk, trusting in God. His decision transmitted a message of hope on the political front to all Egyptians, Christians and Muslims alike, who are well aware that their country is today a target for ISIS terrorists and is engaged in a battle against terrorism.
Gerard O'ConnellApril 29, 2017
Pope Francis greets the crowd as he arrives to celebrate Mass at the Air Defense Stadium in Cairo April 29. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
The only kind of fanaticism that is acceptable to God is being fanatical about loving and helping others, Pope Francis said on his final day in Egypt.
U.S. President Donald Trump talks to journalists in the Oval Office at the White House on March 24 after the American Health Care Act was pulled before a vote. (CNS photo/Carlos Barria, Reuters)
Predictably Mr. Trump has also clashed with the Catholic Church and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on many of the policies he has promoted during his first 100 days.
Kevin ClarkeApril 28, 2017