Dec 13, 2007 - 08:13 pm .- Earlier today, Pope Benedict issued a “fresh call” to public officials calling on them to help restore the hope of people around the world through education in moral and human values and resorting to dialogue instead of violence to solve disputes. The Pope went on to raise particular areas where hope is threatened in the diplomats’ respective countries.
Dec 13, 2007 - 04:29 pm .- In order to celebrate the 660th anniversary of the presence of the Franciscans in the Holy Land, the Bethlehem grottos have been opened for extended hours.
Dec 13, 2007 - 04:00 pm .- The Vatican Pontifical Councils for Culture and Social Communications will host the 11th Festival of Spiritual Movies dubbed “Tertio Millennio”, in Rome from December 11 to 16.
Dec 13, 2007 - 03:30 pm .- Government officials in Germany announced they will seek to outlaw Scientology in the country, saying it is incompatible with the German constitution and calling it a “psycho-sect” seeking “the absolute repression of the individual.”
Dec 13, 2007 - 12:22 pm .- Operational plans for World Youth Day 2008 have been approved by the Pontifical Council of the Laity, the Vatican body overseeing preparations.
Dec 13, 2007 - 12:09 pm .- Strict emergency laws will be in force during the World Youth Day events in 2008, tightening security and banning unapproved advertisements near event venues, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
Dec 13, 2007 - 12:01 pm .- Hundreds of thousands of people gathered in Mexico City on Wednesday to celebrate the 476th anniversary of the apparition of the Our Lady of Guadalupe to St. Juan Diego, the Associated Press reports.
Dec 13, 2007 - 12:00 pm .- A judge in southern Chile sentenced a Catholic priest to recite seven psalms daily for three months as a punishment for illegal parking.
Dec 13, 2007 - 11:32 am .- Pope Benedict held an unusually large audience today as he received seven new ambassadors to the Holy See from various countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia. He used the occasion to call upon all public officials to do everything in their power to restore hope to the people they rule. The pontiff said this must be done by overcoming violence with dialogue and educating people in human and moral values.The Holy Father told the diplomats that their role is “particularly important in today's world, in order to show that in all situations of international life, dialogue must overcome violence, and the desire for peace and fraternity must prevail over contrasts and selfishness that lead[s] only to tensions”.
Dec 13, 2007 - 10:55 am .- A complex labor dispute between a Californian Catholic healthcare company and its employees could end in an agreement with a union that promotes homosexual rights, the California Catholic Daily reports. Workers in Santa Rosa have rallied for a “fair election agreement” with the St. Joseph Health System. The agreement would allow workers to vote on whether to unionize.
Dec 13, 2007 - 10:46 am .- Pope Benedict XVI has sent a brief letter to the Archbishop of Caracas, Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino, in which he expresses his “closeness and solidarity in this unfortunate circumstance,” after the attack by Chavez sympathizers against the cardinal on December 7.
Dec 13, 2007 - 10:43 am .- Tomorrow evening St. Peter’s Square will be lit with the glow of a fully adorned Christmas tree from northern Italy. Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo, president of the Governorate of Vatican City State, will preside at the official lighting ceremony of the tree which was recently erected in St. Peter's Square.
Dec 13, 2007 - 10:20 am .- The Catholic Foundation for the Roman Catholic Church in Northern Colorado, an independent nonprofit corporation dedicated to helping Catholics serve others locally, regionally and worldwide, has announced today that Gerald “Bud” Laber has been appointed president of the organization.