SEATTLE -- South Sudan's civil war has taken a brutal turn, despite appeals from the country's Church leaders to stop the violence.
In the oil hub of Bentiu, rebels loyal to ousted Vice President Riek Machar, an ethnic Nuer, killed more than 200 civilians and wounded more than 400 in mid-April, the United Nations reported April 21. People were slaughtered inside a mosque, a hospital and the city's Catholic church. The U.N. said hate speech was broadcast on local radio stations, urging certain groups to leave the city and encouraging men to rape women.
VATICAN CITY -- Just over a week before Pope Francis canonizes two of his predecessors in a ceremony in St. Peter's Square, Romans were bracing for the arrival of as many as 3 million outsiders.
Nineteen heads of state, 24 prime ministers and 23 government ministers from various countries are due in Rome April 27-28 for the canonization of Blessed John XXIII and Blessed John Paul II, Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said.
WASHINGTON -- Responding to concerns about Catholic involvement with Girl Scouts, a U.S. bishops' committee released key points from its dialogue with Girl Scout leaders outlining major concerns of Church leaders and the national organization's responses.
The aim of the resource, issued April 2 by the bishops' Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, was not to support or oppose Catholic involvement with Girl Scouts of the USA, known as GSUSA, but to provide local bishops, pastors, youth leaders and parents with necessary information to determine their level of involvement.
UNITED NATIONS -- An intervention from the Holy See's Permanent Observer Mission to the United Nations decried the low birth rates in 80 countries in the world, saying the statistics "should be a great cause for alarm."
Msgr. Janusz Urbanczyk, who is first counselor and charge d'affaires at the mission, delivered the intervention April 10 to the U.N.'s Commission on Population and Development.