British Foreign Secretary William Hague has called the growing crisis in Ukraine the "biggest in Europe in the 21st Century" as 6,000 Russian troops took control of the Crimean Peninsula in Ukraine on Monday.
"Clearly we are very concerned about any possibility of a further move by Russia in other parts of Ukraine but that does not mean the position in the Crimea is stable," Hague told BBC.
"This is a very tense situation and dangerous situation that Russia's intervention has now produced." more >>
Pope Francis has signed off on a married man's decision to join the priesthood in the Maronite Catholic Church.
Deacon Wissam Akiki, of St. Louis, Mo., who is married and has a daughter, was expected to be ordained on Thursday night, in a the Maronite church. The sect of the Eastern Catholic Christianity originated in the fifth century in what is now modern-day Lebanon.
While married priests are common within in the Maronite Catholic Church overseas, says St. Raymond's Chancellor Louis Peters, marriage for religious leaders was banned in the U.S. in the 1920s. more >>
The former head of the Roman Catholic Church whose resignation last year made headlines across the globe has denied that he was forced into retirement.
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI recently stated that the claims by some that he was forced to resign were "absurd," reported Philip Pullella of Reuters.
"There is absolutely no doubt regarding the validity of my resignation from the Petrine ministry," said the former pontiff in remarks published Wednesday by the Vatican Insider. more >>
A 63-year-old heart attack patient and devout Catholic reportedly cursed at a Roman Catholic priest working as a chaplain at the Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C. because he refused to give him last rites and communion after he told him he was gay.
The man, Ronald Plishka, described as a retired travel agent and lifelong Catholic by the Washington Blade, said he was afraid he wouldn't have survived a heart attack on Feb. 7, so he asked a nurse to send in a priest to take his confession before continuing with communion and last rites.
Father Brian Coelho, who was on call at the hospital at the time, offered to facilitate the process. Instead of making his confession, however, Plishka decided to give the priest an earful about his love for Pope Francis and his acceptance of homosexuals. more >>
Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has praised Pope Francis for his decision to suspend Germany's "Bishop of Bling" Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst last year, following revelations that the bishop spent over $42 million on a luxury residence.
"His Holiness, the Pope, I think is very, very realistic and quite strict. I really admired his dismissing one German bishop [who was living] his own private life in a very sort of expensive, luxurious [way]," the Dalai Lama said in an interview with TIME on Wednesday during a two-week tour of the U.S. west coast.
The spiritual leader was seemingly referring to Tebartz-van Elst from the Diocese of Limburg, who in October 2013 caused an uproar in Germany after it was revealed that he spent vast amounts of money on a building project that included a free-standing bath, conference table and private chapel worth millions. more >>
A new economic report on India revealed a lower poverty rate in the world's second most populous country. At the same time, more than half of the population still cannot meet their basic needs. With that, the Roman Catholic Church in India echoed Pope Francis' call to devote itself to serving the poor and those marginalized by society.
"The Catholic community intends to improve its services to education, making schools and other educational institutions closer to the poor. It also aims to combat the culture of well-being, which leads to 'globalization of indifference,' as Pope Francis defines it," Agenzia Fides reported on Thursday, citing comments by the "Justice and Peace" Commission of the Indian Bishops.
The McKinsey Global Institute report, commissioned by the Indian government and released this month, revealed mixed economic news for the South Asian country. While the official poverty rate has gone down from 45 percent of the population in 1994 to 22 percent in 2012, it was found that 56 percent of the population, or 680 million people, still lack the means to meet essential needs, such as food, energy, housing, drinking water, sanitation, healthcare, education, and social security. more >>