News Briefs

Archbishop Paulinus Costa, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Bangladesh, criticized the “barbarous killing and looting” that left more than 140 people dead or missing following the recent mutiny of the Bangladesh military. • Poland’s chief rabbi, Michael Schudrich (right), said he hopes Pope Benedict XVI’s trip to Israel will be an opportunity for the pope to demonstrate to the world his deep knowledge of and respect for Judaism. • The head of the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X said on Feb. 26 that his order is not ready to accept the teachings of the Second Vatican Council, which the Vatican has set as a condition for full reconciliation of the order with the church. • The latest church statistics show that the number of Catholics remains stable at 1.147 billion people worldwide and that the number of priests and seminarians worldwide has been showing a modest, yet steady increase. • The Vatican has announced that a California woman, Heidi Sierras, will be baptized by Pope Benedict during the Easter Vigil in Rome.

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Youths attending a pre-synod meeting participate in the Way of the Cross at the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome on March 23. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
The meeting of the Synod of Bishops on young people is an opportunity for an ongoing conversation between everyday lived experience and church teachings.
Michele DillonSeptember 21, 2018
Pope Francis ends his official visit to Vilnius on Sunday evening at the Museum of Occupations and Freedom Fights, housed in the former headquarters of the K.G.B.
Edward W. Schmidt, S.J.September 21, 2018
Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin of Newark told the people of his archdiocese Sept. 21 that Pope Francis has granted his request that he stay at home to remain with them during this "time of crisis" in the U.S. church.
Catholic News ServiceSeptember 21, 2018
Girls gather for celebrations marking the feast of the Assumption in August 2012 in Aglona, Latvia. Twenty-five years after St. John Paul II visited Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, Pope Francis will make the same three-nation visit Sept. 22-25, stopping at a number of the same places as his saint-predecessor. (CNS photo/Ints Kalinins, Reuters)
He is the second pope to visit these Baltic nations. John Paul II came to the region in September 1993, after the collapse of communism, and was welcomed as a hero. Pope Francis comes exactly 25 years later, but much has changed since that first papal visit.
Gerard O’ConnellSeptember 21, 2018