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A daily news briefing from Catholic News Agency, powered by artificial intelligence. Ask your smart speaker to play “Catholic News,” or listen every morning wherever you get podcasts. Get the latest news about Pope Francis and the Vatican, and much more. This is a service of EWTN News. For more information or to report a problem, please contact All of CNA's news can be found at


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A daily news briefing from Catholic News Agency, powered by artificial intelligence. Ask your smart speaker to play “Catholic News,” or listen every morning wherever you get podcasts. Get the latest news about Pope Francis and the Vatican, and much more. This is a service of EWTN News. For more information or to report a problem, please contact All of CNA's news can be found at




Catholic News will return on May 15

Thank you for listening to Catholic News. This podcast will take two brief summer breaks to allow the producers to go on vacation. The first break will be from today until May 15. The second will be for one week in July. As always, the latest news will be available at God bless you.


May 8, 2023

A daily news briefing from Catholic News Agency, powered by artificial intelligence. Ask your smart speaker to play “Catholic News,” or listen every morning wherever you get podcasts. - Pope Francis on Sunday warned against the danger of living life without a sense of purpose or a destination to set our course by, reminding the faithful that Jesus is “our compass for reaching heaven,” our true home. Speaking to pilgrims gathered on a sunny day in Saint Peter’s Square to pray the Regina Caeli, the pope reflected on the day’s Gospel reading, in which Jesus consoles his disciples before his ascension, telling them, “I am the way, the truth, and the life,” John 14:6. “Jesus uses the familiar image of home, the place of relationships and intimacy. In the Father’s house — he says to his friends, and to each one of us — there is space for you, you are welcome, you will always be received with the warmth of an embrace, and I am in heaven to prepare a place for you!” Pope Francis said that keeping in mind “where life is headed” is the way to get through the experiences of “fatigue, bewilderment, and even failure.” When we lose sight of what makes “life worth living for,” he said, we “compress our life into the present,” the pope said. We merely seek maximum enjoyment and “end up living day by day, without purpose, without a goal.” “Our homeland, instead, is in heaven; let us not forget the greatness and the beauty of our destination!” he urged. Today, the Church celebrates Saint Peter of Tarantaise, a Cistercian monk who reluctantly became Archbishop of Tarantaise in France. On his accession to the episcopacy, he reformed the diocese and set about providing education and distributing food to the poor, a tradition called the "May Bread,” which lasted until the French Revolution in 1789. He performed many miraculous healings during that time.


May 5, 2023

A daily news briefing from Catholic News Agency, powered by artificial intelligence. Ask your smart speaker to play “Catholic News,” or listen every morning wherever you get podcasts. - Pope Francis has sent a video message to the teens and young adults preparing to attend World Youth Day in Lisbon, Portugal, in August. World Youth Day was established by Pope John Paul II in 1985. The weeklong gathering usually attracts hundreds of thousands of young people. Pope Francis announced that the Portuguese capital would host the global Catholic gathering of young people at the closing Mass of the last international World Youth Day in Panama City in January 2019. In his video message, Pope Francis also shared “a secret” to preparing well for World Youth Day. “To prepare well, it’s good to look towards your roots,” he said, encouraging young people to spend time with the elderly before the gathering. “Many of you have grandparents. Visit your grandparents and ask them: ‘In your time did World Youth Day exist?’ — Surely not. ‘And what do you think I must do?’ Talk a little with your grandparents. They’ll give you wisdom.” The Vatican’s secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, will represent Pope Francis at the coronation of King Charles III on Saturday, May 6. Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni announced Parolin’s attendance on Thursday. Parolin will be in attendance with other high-ranking guests, including world leaders, representatives of European monarchies, and royal families from around the world. The presence of other crowned royals at the ceremony is a break from royal tradition, British press reported. Approximately 2,200 people have been invited to the crowning. A Catholic hospital system in Oklahoma is contesting federal officials’ demand that it must extinguish an enclosed tabernacle candle in its chapel or lose accreditation and its ability to serve needy patients. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a federal agency under the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), ordered Saint Francis Health System in Oklahoma to snuff out the candle after one of its contractors responsible for accrediting hospitals deemed it a fire hazard. Saint Francis Health System has five hospitals in eastern Oklahoma. It treats almost 400,000 patients per year and has provided over $650 million in free medical care over the last five years. Today, the Church celebrates Saint Hilary of Arles, a fifth-century bishop who gave up wealth and privilege in favor of austerity and sacrifice for the sake of the Church. The Church also celebrates Blessed Edmund Rice, an Irish businessman who was so moved by the plight of children in the port city where he worked that he founded schools and eventually a religious order to serve them.


May 4, 2023

A daily news briefing from Catholic News Agency, powered by artificial intelligence. Ask your smart speaker to play “Catholic News,” or listen every morning wherever you get podcasts. - For the first time since the Reformation, a Catholic prelate will be formally participating in the coronation of King Charles III on Saturday, May 6, along with other Christian leaders across the country who have been invited to formally bestow a blessing on the new king. The Order of Service, released by the Church of England, explains: “The progress of ecumenical relations since 1953 means that for the first time, this blessing is to be shared by Christian leaders across the country.” The blessings will take place shortly after the archbishop of Canterbury formally crowns King Charles III, after which Westminster Abbey’s bells will peal for two minutes and then the official blessings will commence. Cardinal Vincent Nichols, Catholic archbishop of Westminster, will say: “May God pour upon you the riches of his grace, keep you in his holy fear, prepare you for a happy eternity, and receive you at the last into his immortal glory.” Today, the Church celebrates the English Carthusian Martyrs, the 18 Carthusian monks who were put to death in England under King Henry VIII between 1535-1540 for maintaining their allegiance to the Pope. The Church also celebrates Saint Pelagia, a pagan woman who sought baptism after hearing a homily by a bishop. As a result of her conversion, the emperor's son, whose eye Pelagia had caught, turned against her, as did her mother. Together they reported her to the emperor in hopes that her faith would weaken under torture. Diocletian interviewed her, but he failed to persuade her to change her mind and heart about being a Christian. She ran from home, giving away all of her possessions and setting her slaves free, and lived as a hermit within the mountains. She was called "the beardless hermit," and went by the name of "Pelagius." She then died three or four years later, apparently as a result of extreme asceticism, which had emaciated her to the point she could no longer be recognized.


May 3, 2023

A daily news briefing from Catholic News Agency, powered by artificial intelligence. Ask your smart speaker to play “Catholic News,” or listen every morning wherever you get podcasts. - Pope Francis’ prayer intention for the month of May is for ecclesial movements and groups. “Ecclesial movements are a gift; they are a treasure in the Church,” the Holy Father said in a video released by the Vatican on May 2. “These movements renew the Church with their capacity for dialogue at the service of her evangelizing mission,” he said. “Each day, they rediscover in their charism new ways of showing the attractiveness and the newness of the Gospel.” “How do they do this? Speaking different languages, they seem different, but it is their creativity that creates these differences. But always understanding themselves and making themselves understood.” Pope Francis encouraged members of ecclesial groups to “remain in harmony with the Church, since harmony is a gift of the Holy Spirit.” The pope concluded his message with a prayer: “Let us pray that ecclesial movements and groups may daily rediscover their mission, an evangelizing mission, and that they place their own charisms at the service of the world’s needs.” Today, the Church celebrates Saints Phillip and James, Apostles. Philip was born in Bethsaida in Galilee and was one of the 12 Apostles that Jesus called. Immediately, Philip began to convert others, finding his friend Nathaniel and telling him that Jesus was the one whom Moses and the other prophets had foretold. James the Lesser is called “Lesser” because he was younger than the other Apostle by the same name, James the Great. James the less was related in some way to Jesus, and after Jesus’ Ascension into heaven, he became the head of the Church in Jerusalem. He was martyred in the year 62.


May 1, 2023

A daily news briefing from Catholic News Agency, powered by artificial intelligence. Ask your smart speaker to play “Catholic News,” or listen every morning wherever you get podcasts. - Speaking at a Catholic university in Hungary on Sunday, Pope Francis warned of the risk of technological domination and the threat it poses to culture and to our human ecology. He also spoke about the false freedoms offered by both communism and consumerism, and encouraged people to seek out Christ’s truth. The visit marked the final meeting in Francis’ three-day trip to Hungary’s capital. Pope Francis’ visit to Budapest included meetings with President Katalin Novák and Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. He also spent time with visually impaired children, young adults, and clergy. On the morning of April 30, he celebrated Mass for 50,000 people gathered in and around Kossuth Lajos Square. Pope Francis said on board the papal plane on Sunday that he did not lose consciousness before his hospitalization at the end of March, which was for “strong and acute pneumonia” in his lower lungs. Pope Francis spent three nights in Rome’s Gemelli Hospital March 29–April 1. A statement from the Holy See Press Office said the pope had been diagnosed with bronchitis and that his condition improved after receiving antibiotic infusion therapy. “The body responded well to the treatment. Thank God,” Francis said Sunday. Today, the Church celebrates Saint Joseph the Worker. Joseph has two feast days on the liturgical calendar. The first is March 19 — Joseph, the Husband of Mary. The second is May 1 — Joseph, the Worker. There is very little about the life of Joseph in Scripture, but we know he was the chaste husband of Mary, the foster father of Jesus, a carpenter and a man who was not wealthy. We also know that he came from the royal lineage of King David. We can see from his actions in scripture that Joseph was a compassionate man, and obedient to the will of God. He also loved Mary and Jesus and wanted to protect and provide for them. Since Joseph does not appear in Jesus' public life, at his death, or resurrection, many historians believe Joseph had probably died before Jesus entered public ministry. Joseph is the patron of many things, including the universal Church, fathers, the dying and social justice.


April 28, 2023

A daily news briefing from Catholic News Agency, powered by artificial intelligence. Ask your smart speaker to play “Catholic News,” or listen every morning wherever you get podcasts. - Pope Francis’ new appointments to the Dicastery for Evangelization include several prominent American Catholics. They include Monsignor Eugene (Geno) Sylva of the Diocese of Paterson, New Jersey. Pope Francis also appointed 14 consultors to advise the members of the dicastery. American layman Curtis Martin, founder of the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS), was named to this advisory group. Another new consultor for the dicastery is Petroc Willey, a theology professor at Franciscan University of Steubenville. For the complete list and to read interviews with the new consultors, visit catholic news agency dot com. The United States Catholic bishops are urging Congress to prioritize programs that feed needy families, support small-family farmers, and fund rural development in the 2023 Farm Bill, which legislative committees are currently crafting. The farm bill, which Congress renews every few years, is a comprehensive bill that normally includes farming subsidies, funding for food assistance programs, conservation initiatives, and rural development funding, among other things. The last farm bill passed in 2018 and many of its initiatives expire in 2023. For domestic food assistance programs, the USCCB urged lawmakers to strengthen the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by updating its calculations to reflect rising food prices. It also asked Congress to update medical deductions, increase benefits for households with young children, and end the cap on the Excess Shelter Deduction. The letter urged lawmakers to increase access to fresh fruit and vegetables at food banks and other programs. Today, the Church celebrates Saint Louis-Marie de Monfort, a 17th century saint who is revered for his intense devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Saint Louis-Marie is perhaps most famously known for his prayer of entrustment to Our Lady, “Totus Tuus ego sum,” which means, “I am all yours.” Pope Saint John Paul II took the phrase “Totus Tuus” as his episcopal motto.


April 27, 2023

A daily news briefing from Catholic News Agency, powered by artificial intelligence. Ask your smart speaker to play “Catholic News,” or listen every morning wherever you get podcasts. - More than 450 men are set to be ordained priests this year in the United States, and the survey of their ordination class shows that the overwhelming majority of priests-to-be were raised Catholic in intact families and individually showed habits of frequent church service and regular prayer life. The seminarians to be ordained, also known as ordinands, are overwhelmingly “cradle Catholics.” About 93% of ordinands were baptized Catholic as infants. Another 96% were raised by their biological parents. About 92% were raised by a married couple living together. For 84% of ordinands, both parents were Catholic. One in three respondents had a relative who is a priest or religious. More than 63% of survey respondents said their parish priest had been an encouraging influence on their vocation, followed by a fellow parishioner, a friend, their mother, father, or teacher or catechist. For the complete results of the poll, visit catholic news agency dot com. Hungary’s ambassador to the Holy See Eduard Habsburg says that Pope Francis will find “a vibrant Christian country” when he visits Hungary this weekend. In an interview with EWTN News, Habsburg said that Hungary has a “rich mixture of Christian churches living together very well” from Byzantine-rite Catholics to Calvinists. Hungary is a Catholic-majority country in Central Europe with a significant Protestant Christian minority — 20% of the population, according to the Pew Research Center. Both Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and President Katalin Novák are part of the Calvinist-oriented Hungarian Reformed Church, which has more than 1.6 million members. Christianity has a more than 1,000-year history in Hungary. Saint Stephen, king of Hungary, led his country to embrace the Christian faith during the 11th century. Today, the Church celebrates Saint Zita, a 13th century Italian woman whose humble and patient service to God has made her a patron saint of maids and other domestic workers.


April 26, 2023

A daily news briefing from Catholic News Agency, powered by artificial intelligence. Ask your smart speaker to play “Catholic News,” or listen every morning wherever you get podcasts. - The Vatican announced Wednesday that there will be laypeople participating as voting members in the Synod on Synodality’s October assembly, a break with past custom. Pope Francis also approve every member in advance. Previously, synodal gatherings have allowed laypeople to participate as auditors, without the right to vote. The general assembly of the Synod on Synodality will take place in two sessions, in October 2023 and October 2024. After the vote on a final document for the assembly, the pope alone decides whether to take any actions based on the recommendations in the final text or whether to adopt it as an official Church document. In past synods, auditors included priests, religious, and laypeople, who did not have the right to vote in synod deliberations. Now, these 70 members will be able to vote. According to the synod leadership, it is requested that “50% of [the selected people] be women and that the presence of young people also be emphasized.” Today, the Church celebrates Our Lady of Good Counsel, a purportedly miraculous image of the Virgin Mary and the child Jesus which appeared in an Italian church in the 15th century. Countless miracles have been attributed to the prayerful intercession of Our Lady of Good Counsel.


April 25, 2023

A daily news briefing from Catholic News Agency, powered by artificial intelligence. Ask your smart speaker to play “Catholic News,” or listen every morning wherever you get podcasts. - Pope Francis has said he would like to visit his home country of Argentina in 2024. Since his election to the papacy in 2013, Francis has never returned to his home country of Argentina. In a March interview with La Nacion, he explained that a trip to Argentina had been planned in 2017 but had to be canceled because of elections. The pope does not travel to a country in an election year. Pope Francis will receive the prime minister of Ukraine, Denys Shmyhal, at the Vatican on Thursday morning. The two last met at the Vatican in March 2021 amid clashes between Ukraine and Russia in the Donbas region. Shmyhal has been Ukraine’s prime minister since March 2020. Francis has been outspoken in his support for Ukraine since Russia’s full-scale invasion of the country on February 24, 2022. He frequently speaks of the “martyred” Ukrainian people and implores for peace between the two nations. In March 2022, he consecrated Ukraine and Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill April 20 allowing prisoners in the state to be sentenced to death without a unanimous jury verdict. Under the new law, a prisoner can be sentenced to death after eight of the 12 jurors recommend a death sentence, as long as the jury is unanimous that at least one aggravating factor — such as the crime being especially cruel or heinous — exists beyond a reasonable doubt. In that case, a judge has the option of sentencing the defendant to death or life in prison. If fewer than eight jurors agree on the death sentence, the jury’s recommendation must be for life in prison without the possibility of parole, and the judge must impose that sentence. The state’s Catholic bishops, represented by Michael Sheedy, executive director for the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops (FCCB), decried the change as a “setback.” Florida’s bishops have long advocated for an end to Florida’s death penalty and have called for sentences of life in prison rather than capital punishment. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, reflecting an update promulgated by Pope Francis in 2018, describes the death penalty as “inadmissible” and an “attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person. Today, the Church celebrates Saint Mark the Evangelist, the author of the second Gospel and the patron saint of notaries. Mark is often depicted as a winged lion in religious art.


April 21, 2023

A daily news briefing from Catholic News Agency, powered by artificial intelligence. Ask your smart speaker to play “Catholic News,” or listen every morning wherever you get podcasts. - The Archdiocese of Boston is responding to the Satanic Temple’s “SatanCon” event in Boston with scheduled eucharistic adoration, Catholic devotions, and “intense prayer.” “SatanCon,” as the Satanic Temple calls the event, is sold out and is being held from Friday to Sunday, April 28–30, at the Boston Marriott Copley Place to celebrate the organization’s history and values. The Satanic Temple, which, according to its website, denies the existence of God and Satan, is a political activist group known for protesting religious symbolism in public spaces and mocking Christianity. The archdiocese is offering parishes prayer cards while encouraging the recitation of the Saint Michael the Archangel prayer. A 5-year-old boy was reportedly beheaded when Islamists attacked a village in southern Kaduna State, Nigeria, leaving dozens of people dead. In the April 15 attack, the killers descended on Runji village in Zangon Kataf Local Government Area (LGA) of southern Kaduna State, leaving 33 people dead, among them 14 children. The 33 victims of the attack on Runji village were reportedly buried in a mass grave amid distressing scenes. In another attack on April 12, nine people were killed, four were injured, and five homes were damaged during an attack on Tanjei village in the area. Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves this week signed into law several pieces of pro-life and pro-family legislation, including the expansion of tax credits for pro-life pregnancy centers and adoption expenses. In an April 19 press release announcing the new laws, Reeves said they are part of a “New Pro-life Agenda” that Mississippi is pushing following the overturning of Roe v Wade last year. The legislation expands the tax credit for pregnancy resource centers across the state from $3.5 million to $10 million and creates an income tax credit for qualified adoption expenses. The program will cover a maximum of $10,000 worth of adoption expenses for those who adopt a child from Mississippi and $5,000 worth of expenses for children outside of Mississippi, according to the governor’s press release. Reeves also signed legislation authorizing “safe haven” baby boxes across Mississippi, where babies can be safely and legally surrendered. Mississippi has a 15-week abortion limit in place. Today the Church celebrates Saint Anselm, the 11th and 12th-century Benedictine monk and archbishop best known for his writings on Christ's atonement and the existence of God.


April 20, 2023

A daily news briefing from Catholic News Agency, powered by artificial intelligence. Ask your smart speaker to play “Catholic News,” or listen every morning wherever you get podcasts. - Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito issued a ruling Wednesday extending the court’s temporary pause on all restrictions on the abortion pill mifepristone. The extended pause will last for two more days and expire at 11:59 pm Friday, April 21. The court’s action is the latest development in Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v US Food and Drug Administration, a high-stakes case impacting abortion pill access across the country. Alito’s extension means that for the time being mifepristone continues to remain legal and approved for use up to 10 weeks of pregnancy. It can be mailed and administered via telemedicine without an in-person doctor’s visit. Chemical abortions now account for over half of all US abortions. Today the Church celebrates Saint Agnes of Montepulciano, a Tuscan woman who was admitted to the Dominican convent at Montepulciano at age nine despite it generally being against Church law to allow a child so young to join. Agnes' reputation for holiness attracted other sisters, and she became an abbess at the unheard of age of 15. She lived on bread and water for 15 years, slept on the ground and used a stone for a pillow. It was said that she had visions of the Virgin Mary and of the infant Jesus. Also on April 20, Eastern Catholics of the Byzantine tradition honor Saint Anastasius of Sinai, a seventh-century monk and priest known for his scriptural commentaries and defenses of Church teaching.


April 19, 2023

A daily news briefing from Catholic News Agency, powered by artificial intelligence. Ask your smart speaker to play “Catholic News,” or listen every morning wherever you get podcasts. - The criminal complaint filed in Wisconsin this week against former cardinal Theodore McCarrick was revealed to have come from James Grein, who has previously accused the laicized clergyman of serially abusing him over many years in several US states. Grein filed the only previous criminal complaint against McCarrick, now facing adjudication in Massachusetts court. McCarrick, 92, was laicized by Pope Francis in 2019 after a Vatican investigation found him guilty of sexually abusing minors and adults. The complaint, filed in Wisconsin in Walworth County Court, says McCarrick abused an unnamed victim with an unnamed accomplice at Geneva Lake in April 1977, according to the Washington Post. McCarrick faces a criminal charge of fourth-degree sexual assault for the alleged incident. Grein is now in his 60s. McCarrick has denied previous allegations from Grein. The Catholic bishops of Tennessee joined more than 130 religious leaders in the state Tuesday in calling on Republican Governor Bill Lee and the Legislature to enact tighter gun restrictions including “extreme risk” or “red flag” laws. The letter comes less than a month after a mass shooting at a private Christian school in Nashville in which a former student shot and killed three current students and three staff members. First, the religious leaders called for the implementation of “extreme risk laws,” sometimes referred to as “red flag laws.” The religious leaders also called on the lawmakers and governor to require background checks on all gun purchases and to close the “background check loophole.” Last week, Libya’s Internal Security Agency launched a campaign in the city of Tripoli to arrest Libyan citizens and foreigners accused of apostasy from Islam and preaching Christianity. The security agency did not specify the number of those arrested and refrained from publishing their names, stating only their initials. The agency released a video of six Libyans — including a girl — as well as a Pakistani and two Americans with their faces blocked out in which they confess to the charges. The two Americans worked at the Gateway International School in the Tripoli suburb of Zawiyat al-Dahmani that specializes in teaching English. The government agency said that the two Americans and the wife of one of them belonged to the Assemblies of God Christian missionary organization. It was not revealed whether the wife was arrested or not. The Americans were accused of secretly turning the school into a center for preaching Christianity. Libya ranks highly on the list of countries worldwide where Christians face the greatest persecution. Today the Church celebrates Blessed James Oldo, who experienced a radical conversion that led him to become a Franciscan tertiary, and later a priest.


April 18, 2023

A daily news briefing from Catholic News Agency, powered by artificial intelligence. Ask your smart speaker to play “Catholic News,” or listen every morning wherever you get podcasts. - A new study from the Pew Research Center found that while Catholicism remains the largest religious group among Latinos in the United States, the number of Latinos who identify as Catholic has declined by 24% since 2010, with the biggest decline seen among young Latinos born in the country. The Washington, DC-based think tank on April 13 released a survey of 7,647 American adults conducted between Aug. 1–14, 2022. According to the study, 43% of Latinos identify as Catholic, a number much lower than the 67% recorded in 2010. The situation is worse among younger Latinos. Of US-born Latinos between the ages of 18 and 29, 49% say they have no religious affiliation and only 30% say they are Catholic. Despite the discouraging numbers, the Pew Research Center survey says that Latinos are still “twice as likely as American adults overall to identify as Catholic and considerably less likely to identify as Protestant.” A pro-life pregnancy center in Bowling Green, Ohio, was vandalized with “Jane’s Revenge” pro-abortion graffiti on Saturday. The vandalism of Bowling Green Pregnancy Center, also known as HerChoice, is the 62nd pro-abortion attack on a pro-life pregnancy center since May 2022. The attacks began after a leak from the US Supreme Court indicated that the justices were poised to overturn Roe v Wade. The words “Liars,” “Fake clinic,” “Jane’s Revenge,” “Fund abortion,” and “Abort God,” were scrawled across the clinic in blue paint. A photo shows people cleaning the graffiti off in the aftermath. A federal judge granted a pro-life health care clinic a temporary exemption from Colorado’s first-in-the-nation ban on the abortion pill reversal regimen after the clinic filed a lawsuit soon after the measure took effect. US District Court Judge Daniel Domenico said in his injunction Sunday that the new law, which was part of a three-bill package expanding abortion in the state that was signed by Gov. Jared Polis on Friday, “burdens their own First Amendment rights.” The plaintiff, Bella Health and Wellness, a pro-life, Catholic-founded nonprofit health care clinic that provides abortion pill reversal with a progesterone treatment, challenged the law on Friday. Progesterone counteracts the effects of the abortion pill mifepristone. Domenico barred the enforcement of the new law against Bella but not against other providers of the reversal regimen, the Colorado Sun reported. Today the Church celebrates Blessed Marie-Anne Blondin, a Canadian woman whose life was a story of obedience in the face of personal setbacks.


April 17, 2023

A daily news briefing from Catholic News Agency, powered by artificial intelligence. Ask your smart speaker to play “Catholic News,” or listen every morning wherever you get podcasts. - Pope Francis said Friday that he plans to visit Mongolia, the world’s most sparsely populated sovereign country. In off-the-cuff remarks to employees of the Italian airline company that staffs the papal plane for his international trips, the pope said that he will travel to Mongolia after his scheduled trips to Hungary and France in the coming months. An apostolic journey to Mongolia would make Pope Francis the first pope to visit the Asian country that shares a 2,880-mile border with China, its most significant economic partner. Mongolia has a population of about 1,300 Catholics in a country of more than 3 million people. Pope Francis is scheduled to visit Budapest, Hungary, at the end of this month from April 28–30 in what will be his second visit to the central European country in three years. Pope Francis on Sunday defended Saint John Paul II against a recent accusation that the Polish pope secretly visited women at night. Pietro Orlandi, the brother of Emanuela Orlandi, a 15-year-old girl and Vatican citizen who went missing 40 years ago, insinuated this week that John Paul II secretly left the Vatican at night to engage in immoral behavior. Speaking to the public on Divine Mercy Sunday, a day established by Pope John Paul II in 2000, Pope Francis called the insinuation “unfounded and offensive.” The disappearance of Orlandi was the subject of a Netflix true-crime docuseries, “Vatican Girl: The Disappearance of Emanuela Orlandi,” which came out last year. The final episode of the series puts forward a theory that the Vatican was somehow involved in the disappearance. The Vatican has always denied having any role in the girl’s vanishing and has cooperated with other investigations into the disappearance in recent years. Catholic and pro-life leaders lamented Colorado Governor Jared Polis’ final approval of three strongly pro-abortion bills on Friday, objecting that they prioritize abortion “at the cost of countless children’s lives.” The new laws ban abortion-pill reversal treatments, greatly restrict advertising for pro-life pregnancy resource centers, require insurance providers to pay for abortions, and remove parental notification for minors seeking an abortion, among other measures. In an April 14 letter, the Catholic bishops of Colorado said there was “a strong outcry” against the three bills. They said the laws are out of step with the 63% of Coloradans who do not support unrestricted abortion. Most residents do not want to pay for abortion in their health insurance and do not want to penalize health care providers who object to abortion and “gender-affirming care.” Bella Health and Wellness, a pro-life, Catholic-founded health care clinic that provides abortion pill reversal, quickly filed a legal challenge to the abortion pill reversal ban, with the backing of the religious liberty legal group Becket. Today the Church celebrates Saint Stephen Harding, regarded as the founder of the Cistercian monasteries. Before his death in 1134, Stephen had established 13 monasteries. By the end of the 12th century there were 500 in Europe.


April 14, 2023

A daily news briefing from Catholic News Agency, powered by artificial intelligence. Ask your smart speaker to play “Catholic News,” or listen every morning wherever you get podcasts. - The Vatican announced Thursday the date and theme for the third annual World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly. The event will take place this year on July 23, the Sunday before the feast of Saints Anne and Joachim, the grandparents of Jesus, and the theme for the day, selected by the pope, will be “His mercy is from age to age” (Luke 1:50). According to the Vatican Dicastery for Laity, Family, and Life, the theme is linked to the theme for World Youth Day 2023, which also comes from the first chapter of the Gospel of Luke: “Mary arose and went with haste” (Luke 1:39). Pope Francis will preside over a special Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica to mark the grandparents’ day and has invited parishes, dioceses, associations, and communities around the world to celebrate the day “in their own pastoral context.” During President Joe Biden’s four-day trip to Ireland, he plans to visit Our Lady of Knock in Knock, County Mayo, which witnesses claim was the site of an apparition of Mary, the Mother of God; Saint Joseph, her spouse; and Saint John the Evangelist in 1879. Biden, who is the nation’s second Catholic president, will be the first American president to visit the shrine. He intends to visit the site on Friday, April 14, on his last day in Ireland. He will then visit Saint Muredach’s Cathedral in Ballina, where he will give an address. About 1.5 million people visit the shrine every year and it is a common destination in Ireland for Catholic pilgrims. Today the Church celebrates Saint Peter Gonzalez, who experienced a true conversion experience thanks to a public humiliation, which set him on the road to sainthood. After being thrown from his horse into a dungheap, and withdrawing into a period of prayer and meditation, he served as the confessor and court chaplain to King Saint Ferdinand III of Castile, and reformed court life. He also worked for the crusade against the Moors, went into the battlefields, and worked for humane treatment of Moorish prisoners. Fearing that the honors and easy life offered by the king’s court would lead him to return to his previous ways, he left the court and evangelized to shepherds and sailors.


April 13, 2023

A daily news briefing from Catholic News Agency, powered by artificial intelligence. Ask your smart speaker to play “Catholic News,” or listen every morning wherever you get podcasts. - Two Catholic Relief Services (CRS) workers were shot and killed April 9, Easter Sunday, while riding in a CRS vehicle in the Amhara region of Ethiopia on their way back from an assignment in Addis Ababa. In an April 10 statement, CRS, the international Catholic humanitarian aid agency that serves those most in need in more than 100 countries, said it was “devastated to report the loss” of two of its staff workers, Chuol Tongyik, 37, a security manager, and Amare Kindeya, 43, a driver. “The depth of our shock and sorrow is difficult to measure, and we are saddened over this senseless violence,” said Zemede Zewdie, a CRS representative in Ethiopia. According to Reuters, the murders took place during violent anti-government protests in the Amhara region of the country that followed the federal government’s decision to disband regional special forces units. A statewide board in Oklahoma voted Tuesday to reject a proposal brought by the Oklahoma Catholic Conference to create a virtual, religious charter school, which would be the first of its kind in the nation if it is ultimately approved. The Oklahoma Statewide Virtual Charter School Board voted unanimously on Tuesday to disapprove an application, first presented in February, to create Saint Isidore of Seville Catholic Virtual School, pending revisions. The Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, which aims to run the online school in partnership with the Diocese of Tulsa, will have the opportunity to resubmit its application after addressing the board’s concerns, and the board will have 30 days to approve or deny the revised application. Brett Farley, executive director of the Oklahoma Catholic Conference and a board member for the proposed school, told CNA it is “more often the case than not” that the charter school board disapproves the first draft of a school’s application, instead giving the school a chance to go back and address the board’s concerns. He said the plan’s backers are “not discouraged at all” and that they have already submitted some revisions to the board. Today the Church celebrates Pope Saint Martin I. The saint suffered exile and humiliation for his defense of orthodoxy in a dispute over the relationship between Christ's human and divine natures.


April 11, 2023

A daily news briefing from Catholic News Agency, powered by artificial intelligence. Ask your smart speaker to play “Catholic News,” or listen every morning wherever you get podcasts. - At least 94 people reportedly have died in a series of deadly attacks on Christian communities throughout Holy Week in Benue state in north-central Nigeria, an ominous sign of escalating violence blamed on Muslim militias in the country’s Middle Belt region. On April 2, armed men reportedly stormed a Palm Sunday service at a Pentecostal church in Akenawe-Tswarev in Logo county, Benue state, killing a young boy and kidnapping the pastor and other worshipers. Three days later, on April 5, gunmen killed at least 50 people in the village of Umogidi, located in Utokpo county, a Catholic stronghold in western Benue, the Associated Press reported. More recently, on the night of Good Friday, dozens were killed when Muslim gunmen raided an elementary school building in the village of Ngban that serves as a shelter for about 100 displaced Christian farmers and their families. An arrest has been made in connection with the vandalism of Saint Paulinus Catholic Church in Syracuse, Nebraska, that occurred on Palm Sunday weekend. Travis Ross, 32, was arrested April 6 by the Otoe County Sheriff’s Office after video evidence and witnesses led authorities to name him a suspect. Father Ryan Salisbury, Saint Paulinus' pastor, told CNA April 3 that when he walked into the church on April 1, he discovered that the altar had been tipped over, a statue desecrated, and several other objects damaged. A Sacred Heart of Jesus statue was also broken beyond repair and candlesticks were damaged. as well as the altar stone. The damage amounted to $5,000, he said. The tabernacle and the Eucharist remained untouched. Today the Church celebrates Saint Stanislaus of Krakow, the 11th-century bishop and martyr who died for the faith at the hands of King Boleslaus II. Canonized in 1253, Saint Stanislaus is a beloved patron of the Polish nation and people. In his own country he is commemorated May 8, the date of his death in 1079.


April 10, 2023

A daily news briefing from Catholic News Agency, powered by artificial intelligence. Ask your smart speaker to play “Catholic News,” or listen every morning wherever you get podcasts. - Pope Francis encouraged Christians to not be held back by fear of judgment, but to share the good news of Christ’s resurrection with others.Pope Francis addressed a crowd of people in St. Peter’s Square from a window of the Apostolic Palace for Monday of the Angel. Following his brief message, he recited the Regina Caeli, a Latin antiphon honoring the Virgin Mary which is prayed during the Easter Season. From Easter Sunday to Pentecost, Pope Francis will pray the Regina Caeli instead of the Angelus on Sundays. A top US military hospital ended its contract with a community of Franciscan friars just before Holy Week, putting a for-profit firm in charge of Catholic pastoral care, according to the Archdiocese of the Military Services. Archbishop Timothy Broglio, the head of the archdiocese, blasted the move by Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, calling it “incomprehensible.” The medical center ended its contract with the friars of Holy Name College in nearby Silver Spring, Maryland, on March 31, the archdiocese said in a statement. The friars have ministered at the medical center for nearly two decades, the archdiocese said. The archdiocese, which serves US military personnel and veterans and their beneficiaries at military facilities around the world, said medical center awarded the contract for Catholic pastoral care to a secular for-profit company. Today the Church celebrates Saint Fulbert, a scholar and philosopher, and also the bishop of Chartres, France. He spent much of his time as bishop rigorously defending monasticism and orthodoxy.


Holy Week 2023 Announcement

We will be back with new episodes on April 10. In the meantime, we wish you a blessed Holy Week. Thank you for listening. Sincerely, The Catholic News Team