VATICAN CITY — The murder of a priest in northern France, taken hostage with a handful of other faithful during a weekday morning Mass July 26, is another act of "absurd violence" added to too many stories of senseless violence and death, Vatican spokesman Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi said.
Pope Francis was informed about the hostage situation at the church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray near Rouen and the murder of 84-year-old Father Jacques Hamel.
WASHINGTON — The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held a hearing July 12 on the First Amendment Defense Act, a bill two U.S archbishops said would provide "a measure of protection for religious freedom at the federal level."
The legislation was introduced June 17 by Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho. The same day Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, introduced the measure as S. 1598 in the Senate. Members of Congress adjourned July 14 for a seven-week recess.
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis said he looks forward to his upcoming visit to Poland for World Youth Day and that his visit will be inspired by mercy during this Jubilee Year.
The "blessed memory of St. John Paul II, who instituted the World Youth Days and was the guide of the Polish people in its recent historic journey toward freedom," will also serve as an inspiration, the pope said in a July 19 video message to the people of Poland.
The pope will join hundreds of thousands of young people from around the world during his July 27-31 visit to celebrate World Youth Day.
VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis condemned the attack on Bastille Day celebrations in France, calling it an act of "blind violence."
The pope expressed his "deep sorrow" and "spiritual closeness" with the French people in a message to Bishop Andre Marceau of Nice. The message, signed by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, said Pope Francis entrusted the victims and their families to God's mercy.
NEW YORK — The digital world is the richest, most challenging and limitless territory for evangelization ever devised, but Catholic communicators must be professional, creative and empathetic to realize its full potential.
That was the view of speakers at a July 6 Catholic Digital Communications Conference at Jesuit-run Fordham University.
They examined myriad ways to use social media and the internet to spread the faith to nonbelievers and help believers grow in their understanding and practice.