With rising COVID-19 cases inside the Vatican, pressure mounts for Francis to don a mask

By Claire Giangravé — October 27, 2020

VATICAN CITY (RNS) — ‘We are trying to convince him’ to wear a mask, said the Rev. Augusto Zampini, adjunct secretary of the Vatican Department for Promoting Integral Human Development and one of the coordinators of the Vatican COVID-19 commission.

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French police operations underway after beheading of teacher

By Associated Press — October 19, 2020

PARIS (AP) — Tens of thousands of demonstrators gathered on Sunday across France in support of freedom of speech and in memory of the slain 47-year-old teacher.

Clergy shortage grows to more than 3k Catholics for every priest, Vatican data shows

By Claire Giangravé — October 16, 2020

VATICAN CITY (RNS) — The reasons for the steady hemorrhage of Catholic clergy worldwide are varied, from secularization to the church’s ongoing sexual and financial scandals. And the COVID-19 pandemic has brought its own challenges.

Samaritan’s Purse to set up coronavirus field hospital in the Bahamas

By Yonat Shimron — October 15, 2020

(RNS) — The humanitarian relief organization run by Franklin Graham will open a field hospital in Nassau, where hospital facilities are overwhelmed with people suffering from COVID-19.

Hindu nationalists see Muslim jihad everywhere in India

By Bhavya Dore — October 5, 2020

(RNS) — The Quran’s concept of the term ‘jihad’ is being framed as a conspiracy against India’s Hindu majority.

In wake of financial scandals, Vatican releases budget for first time in four years

By Claire Giangravé — October 1, 2020

VATICAN CITY (RNS) — ‘The faithful have the right to know how we utilize our resources,’ said the prefect for economy at the Vatican, the Rev. Juan Antonio Guerrero Alves.

Nationalism ‘must not prevail,’ Pope Francis says, addressing the United Nations

By Claire Giangravé — September 25, 2020

VATICAN CITY (RNS) — ‘We never emerge from a crisis just as we were. We come out either better or worse,’ Pope Francis said in a video message to the United Nations September 25.

Second coronavirus lockdown in Israel frustrates many religious Jews’ plans for High Holidays

By Michele Chabin — September 16, 2020

JERUSALEM (RNS) — The three-week shutdown is timed not only to take advantage of the slow pace of the High Holiday period, but is also an acknowledgment that crowded religious institutions were a coronavirus breeding ground this past winter.

Global missionary efforts have taken a hit in the time of coronavirus

By Claire Giangravé — September 9, 2020

VATICAN CTY (RNS) — The COVID-19 pandemic saw a ‘large reduction’ in the realm of missionary work, aggravating an ongoing decline in the number of vocations and priests seeking to become missionaries.

Pope Francis launches his post-COVID agenda with announcement of new encyclical

By Claire Giangravé — September 8, 2020

VATICAN CITY (RNS) — While some people spent the monthslong lockdowns making bread, knitting or watching Netflix, Francis seems to have pondered a plan for a new economic model.

Pope Francis calls for a day of fasting and prayer for Lebanon

By Claire Giangravé — September 2, 2020

VATICAN CITY (RNS) — Standing beside a waving Lebanese flag, Pope Francis paid homage to the troubled population of Beirut on Wednesday (Sept. 2) and implored its residents to ‘take courage’ as they begin the reconstruction of their city.

New Zealand mosque shooter sentenced to life without parole

By NIck Perry — August 27, 2020

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AP) — The white supremacist who slaughtered 51 worshippers at two New Zealand mosques was sentenced Thursday to life in prison without the possibility of parole, the first time the maximum available sentence has been imposed in the country.

Hong Kong issues warrant for Samuel Chu, an American citizen, activist and pastor’s son

By Kevin Douglas Grant — August 26, 2020

(RNS) — The arrest warrant caught the attention of American officials concerned about Chinese imposition of authoritarian rule in Hong Kong.

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