An overdue ad limina meeting between Irish bishops and Pope Francis last month was undoubtedly linked to the introduction of a raft of "progressive" measures in the country.
Concern for those suffering persecution and even genocide in the Middle East cannot be exclusive to Christians, said the U.S. Catholic bishops, but must take in concern for all in that region "who suffer persecution, both minorities and majorities," including Muslims.
China and the Vatican have reached consensus on the appointment of bishops, which will lead to the resolution of other outstanding problems, said Hong Kong Cardinal John Tong.
"From now on, there will be no more the crisis of a division between the open and underground communities in the Church in China," the cardinal said. "On the contrary, these two communities will gradually move toward reconciliation and communion on the aspects of law, pastoral care and relationships. The church in China will work together to preach the gospel of Jesus on the soil of China."
On International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation, the U.N.-sponsored awareness day, a Presbyterian pastor visited a rescue center for girls escaping the tribal procedure.
South Africa's Jesuit Institute said it is appalled at government actions that led to the deaths of 94 mentally ill patients in Gauteng province, and the bishops' justice and peace commission called for compensation to affected families.
Philippine cardinal on death penalty: "The death penalty has not reduced crime because it does not solve criminality from its roots," Manila Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle said. "To help solve these roots of criminality, the church and the state need to protect and strengthen the basic unit of society, which is the family."
Iraqi officials raised the national flag over the eastern part of Mosul: As some residents of the city of Mosul celebrate their new freedom from the Islamic State group, an Iraqi Christian leader who visited the war-torn city said Christian residents are unlikely to return. "I don't see a future for Christians in Mosul," said Father Emanuel Youkhana, a priest, or archimandrite, of the Assyrian Church of the East.
NCR Today: Caritas Minamisoma is an expanding Catholic relief effort in one of the hardest hit areas of the vast disaster zone along the eastern coast of Japan's main island.
Eco Catholic: We in the realm of environmental concern often have a simultaneous sense of needing to do more while knowing we also need to do less.
The Colombian government and rebel leaders reached a peace accord to officially end a war. After 52 years of conflict with 200,000 lives lost and 7 million people displaced, the Catholic bishops of Colombia continue to use the church's influence in the country to focus on reconciliation.