Feb 21, 2006 - 12:00 am .- According to statistics from the 2006 edition of the Annuario Pontificio, the official Vatican yearbook, the world’s Catholic population grew by 12 million, or 1.1%, between 2003 and 2004.
Feb 21, 2006 - 12:00 am .- Bishop Alfonso Garza Treviño of Piedras Negras said this week numerous priests from the region have gone to the Pasta de Conchos mine near the town of San Juan de Sabinas, 85 miles southwest of Eagle Pass, Texas, to provide spiritual support and hope for the families of 65 workers who have been trapped inside since early Sunday morning.
Feb 21, 2006 - 12:00 am .- Some 250,000 people gathered on Sunday to witness the transfer of the remains of Sister Lucia, the last witness to the Marian apparitions of 1917, from the Carmelite convent in Coimbra to the Basilica of Fatima in Portugal.
Feb 21, 2006 - 12:00 am .- Australia’s Minister for Health, Tony Abbott, will present a $60-million package to cabinet today, which would allow women with unplanned pregnancies to seek counseling from trained professionals.
Feb 21, 2006 - 12:00 am .- Christians continue to be persecuted and treated unfairly around the world. In an effort to make their experiences more known, Christian Freedom International has launched a new educational series on the persecuted church. The first episode is titled “Remember the Persecuted: Indonesia.”
Feb 21, 2006 - 12:00 am .- Brandeis University and Boston College, through its Center for Christian-Jewish Learning, will co-sponsor a two-day conference next month to mark the 40th anniversary of Nostra Aetate.
Feb 21, 2006 - 12:00 am .- Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, archbishop of Washington, D.C., has taken a keener interest in the plight of Holy Land Christians and, at a recent meeting on foreign trade at the White House, asked President George W. Bush for help, reports nationally syndicated columnist Robert Novak.
Feb 21, 2006 - 12:00 am .- In the message, the Holy Father was "Saddened to learn of the tragic consequences of the recent violent protests in northern Nigeria,” and that he “assures all those affected of his closeness in prayer.”
Feb 21, 2006 - 12:00 am .- Earlier today, the Vatican released a letter from Pope Benedict XVI, reflecting on the death--one year ago tomorrow--of Monsignor Luigi Giussani, founder of the Church’s prominent Communion and Liberation movement; a man whom he called “a zealous pastor” and “a man who loved Christ.”
Feb 21, 2006 - 12:00 am .- During a press conference, held earlier today to mark the 75th anniversary of Vatican Radio, officials from the worldwide media giant called the station a bridge between the Pope, the Holy See and the world, and looked toward its continuing spread of the Gospel--particularly in poorer parts of the world, where the Church is often growing fastest.