Courtney Mares

Courtney Mares

Courtney Mares is a Rome Correspondent for Catholic News Agency. A graduate of Harvard University, she has reported from news bureaus on three continents and was awarded the Gardner Fellowship for her work with North Korean refugees.

Articles by Courtney Mares

Pope Francis creates ‘new’ diocese in China, accepting borders drawn by Beijing

Jan 29, 2024 / 13:40 pm

The Holy See Press Office said Pope Francis established the diocese on April 20, 2023, “in the desire to promote the pastoral care of the Lord’s flock.”

Islamic State claims responsibility for attack on Catholic church in Istanbul

Jan 29, 2024 / 07:27 am

Two suspects described as members of the Islamic State group have been arrested following the shooting at Santa Maria Church in Istanbul’s Sariyer district.

Pope Francis: ‘The devil always takes away your freedom’

Jan 28, 2024 / 12:18 pm

Pope Francis encouraged people to learn how to “say ‘no’ to the temptations of evil before they creep into the soul” by invoking the name of Jesus.

One person killed in shooting at Catholic church in Istanbul, manhunt underway

Jan 28, 2024 / 06:53 am

Bishop Massimiliano Palinuro, the apostolic vicar of Istanbul, told EWTN News on Jan. 28 that a parishioner was killed “during the consecration.”

Pope Francis thanks Vatican journalists for reporting on scandals in the Church

Jan 22, 2024 / 11:30 am

Journalists accredited to the Holy See Press Office met the pope in a private audience at the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace on Jan. 22. 

Pope Francis calls for release of 6 religious sisters taken hostage in Haiti

Jan 21, 2024 / 11:05 am

Armed gunmen took the religious sisters hostage in Port-au-Prince on Friday during a bus hijacking.

Pope Francis announces Year of Prayer to prepare for 2025 Jubilee

Jan 21, 2024 / 10:00 am

In his Angelus address, the pope said that a Year of Prayer starting Jan. 21 will be “a year dedicated to rediscovering the great value and absolute need for prayer.”

Pope Francis: Return to God’s word rather than social media’s ‘violence of words’

Jan 21, 2024 / 08:00 am

Speaking of the “immense power” that the word of God can unleash in people’s lives, Pope Francis encouraged us to always “have the Gospel within easy reach.”

Could Pope Francis become the first pope to visit Vietnam?

Jan 18, 2024 / 15:13 pm

Vietnam has one of the largest Catholic populations among countries never visited by a pope. Pope Francis is keen to visit the Southeast Asian country.

PHOTOS: Animals blessed in St. Peter’s Square for feast of St. Anthony Abbot

Jan 17, 2024 / 14:00 pm

On the feast of the co-patron saint of animals, the Vatican welcomed animals large and small to be blessed by Cardinal Mauro Gambetti.

Pope Francis issues new regulations setting spending limits for Vatican offices

Jan 17, 2024 / 12:50 pm

Pope Francis amended the Vatican’s financial regulations on Tuesday, enshrining a spending limit into law.

Pope Francis: ‘I like to think of hell as empty’

Jan 15, 2024 / 13:05 pm

Pope Francis appeared on Italy’s most popular prime-time talk show on Sunday night where the pontiff shared how he hopes that hell is “empty.”

Pope Francis responds to resistance to Fiducia Supplicans: ‘The Lord blesses everyone’

Jan 15, 2024 / 09:37 am

Pope Francis responded publicly to questions about the Vatican’s declaration on blessings for same-sex couples for the first time in a television interview on Sunday night. 

Pope Francis: ‘War itself is a crime against humanity’

Jan 14, 2024 / 08:45 am

Speaking at the end of his Angelus address, the pope urged people to pray for all who are suffering due to “the cruelty of war.”

Vatican announces major restoration project in St. Peter’s Basilica

Jan 11, 2024 / 13:15 pm

The Vatican announced on Thursday that the soaring baldacchino over the main altar of St. Peter’s Basilica will undergo a major restoration.

Pope Francis confirms new head of Syro-Malabar Catholic Church

Jan 10, 2024 / 10:15 am

Pope Francis has confirmed a new head of the Syro-Malabar Church, the largest Eastern Catholic church in India.

Vatican official says Church should allow married priests

Jan 8, 2024 / 12:13 pm

Archbishop Charles Scicluna said that the Church should learn from the Eastern Churches, which allow married men the option to get ordained to the priesthood.

Pope Francis calls surrogacy ‘deplorable,’ calls for global ban in speech to ambassadors

Jan 8, 2024 / 08:55 am

Pope Francis called surrogacy “deplorable” and called for a global ban on the exploitative practice of “so-called surrogate motherhood.”

Pope Francis: If you don’t know the date of your baptism, look it up

Jan 7, 2024 / 10:04 am

Speaking from the window of the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace, the pope said Jan. 7 that the anniversary of one’s baptism should be celebrated each year “like a birthday.”

PHOTOS: Pope Francis baptizes 16 babies in the Sistine Chapel

Jan 7, 2024 / 07:30 am

On the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, the pope baptized 16 babies and presided over Mass beneath Michelangelo’s frescoes.