News Briefs

The Chaldean Catholic Archdiocese of Kirkuk, Iraq, for the first time in memory canceled Christmas Masses because of insecurity and attacks against Christians. • In a statement on Dec. 23, Federico Lombardi, S.J., argued that Jewish groups should not see Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to advance the sainthood cause of Pope Pius XII as a “hostile act.” • The FBI's report on hate crime statistics for 2008, released in late November, showed that the majority of hate crimes in the U.S. were motivated by racial bias but that religious groups and homosexuals were the next largest targets. • Orthodox Christians in predominantly Muslim Turkey "don't feel that we enjoy our full rights as Turkish citizens," Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, the spiritual head of the world's 300 million Orthodox told "60 Minutes," adding that he and other Christians in Turkey sometimes feel "crucified" by the actions of the Turkish government. • Members of Holy Family Parish in the Gaza Strip received only 10 of the 300 travel permits Israel issued to Gaza residents over the Christmas period, said the parish priest, Rev. Jorge Hernandez.

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

A dry fountains is seen in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican on July 24. The Vatican says it is shutting off all its fountains, including those in St. Peter's Square, because of Italy's drought. (Alessandro Di Meo/ANSA via AP)
Meteorologists say spring 2017 was Italy's third-driest in some 60 years. The drought has put Rome at risk for drastic water rationing, a measure being considered later this week by authorities.
APJuly 24, 2017
The parents of Charlie Gard dropped their legal bid Monday to send him to the United States for an experimental treatment after new medical tests showed that the window of opportunity to help him had closed.
Art by Andrew Zbihlyj
Having so often petitioned a gracious God for the blessing of mercy, how could I deny it to others?
Mark SingelJuly 24, 2017
“To the Bone,” which recently premiered on Netflix, tells the story of 20-year-old Ellen (Lily Collins), who is living with anorexia nervosa.
Karen RossJuly 21, 2017