Faith and Justice: The news around the world is tragic and depressing. Our choices are: do nothing, use diplomacy, impose sanctions, or intervene militarily. Are there other options?
A Vatican spokesman on Thursday released more information about Pope Francis' trip next week to South Korea, highlighted by his attendance at the sixth Asian Youth Day and the beatification of 124 Korean martyrs.
It will be his first trip to Asia as pope.
The pope's itinerary is packed with a wide range of events. He will meet with:
North Korea has declined an invitation by South Korean Catholics to participate in a Mass to be celebrated by Pope Francis at the end of his five-day visit.
Francis is scheduled to celebrate a Mass for peace and reconciliation Aug. 18 on the Korean Peninsula at Myeong-dong Cathedral in central Seoul. Catholic church officials in Seoul extended several requests to Pyongyang to send a delegation of believers to attend the event.
The pope also made a "pressing appeal to the international community to take initiatives to put an end to the humanitarian drama underway."
Reflection: One bomb did more damage in a matter of minutes to Japanese Christianity than had 400 years of intense persecution by the rulers of Japan.
A Salvadoran judge ruled that Spanish Passionist Fr. Antonio Rodriguez, known for his work in rehabilitating gang members, should remain in jail, accused of various crimes regarding gang activities.
A Catholic official in Libya said church leaders would remain in the country to support Muslims as well as Christians who remained.
"People are frightened -- there's no visible law and order, and absolutely no police or military protection for our churches," said Franciscan Fr. Allan Arcebuche, vicar general of Tripoli's Catholic apostolic vicariate, the church jurisdiction in the region.
Bishop Rogelio Livieres Plano says Pope Benedict XVI vouched for a priest accused of sexual misconduct days before he became pope.
In Iraqi cities under the control of Islamic extremists, everyone walks in fear amid a new reign of terror.
After nearly four weeks of fighting between Israel and the Palestinian militant Hamas, the expectation that things will get better has been consistently disappointed.