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Church News

Spanish prior at Franco mausoleum refuses to allow exhumation

Madrid - The prior of the mausoleum where Spanish dictator Francisco Franco is buried said Wednesday he would prevent the dictator's remains from being exhumed from the grounds, even though the courts and the Church have approved the project.

Spanish Church says will not oppose Franco exhumation

Madrid - Spain's Catholic Church said Thursday it would not oppose the exhumation of the remains of late Spanish dictator Francisco Franco and their removal from a huge state mausoleum outside Madrid.

Russian priests break silence on opposition crackdown

Moscow - Dozens of Orthodox priests took Russians by surprise this week to defend jailed anti-government protesters, breaking ranks with Church authorities who for years have aligned themselves with the Kremlin.

US church leaders charged with using homeless for 'forced labor'

Los Angeles - Leaders of a California-based church have been arrested on charges of imprisoning dozens of mostly homeless people and forcing them to panhandle six days a week for their benefit.

Top Philippine court refuses to legalise gay marriage

Manila - A landmark case to legalise gay marriage was rejected by the Philippines' highest court on Tuesday, but LGBT advocates in the deeply Catholic nation vowed to push their battle in the legislature.

Argentine trial starts against priests for sexually abusing deaf children

Mendoza - Two priests and a gardener appeared in court Monday to face charges of sexually abusing deaf children in their care, in a case that has sent shockwaves through Argentina's Catholic church.

'They're demonic': the deaf victims of Argentina's pedophile priests speak out

Mendoza - Ezequiel Villalonga spent most of his life at the Provolo Institute in Mendoza, a Catholic school for deaf children. But now the 18-year-old, who is deaf and mute, has lost all faith in the Church.

Erdogan lays stone for modern Turkey's first new church

Ankara - President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday laid the foundation stone for the first new church in Turkey since it became a modern republic in 1923.

Russian comedy duo pranks North Macedonia PM

Skopje - Two Russian pranksters famous for hoax phone calls have tricked North Macedonia's prime minister into seemingly agreeing to pay a bribe and accusing Russia of having "many spies" in the Balkans.

Russian comedy duo pranks North Macedonia PM

Skopje - Two Russian pranksters famous for hoax phone calls have tricked North Macedonia's prime minister into seemingly agreeing to pay a bribe and accusing Russia of having "many spies" in the Balkans.

Former patriarch threatens future of new Ukraine church

Kiev - The former head of Ukraine's breakaway independent church held a rare conference of clerics Thursday with the aim of restoring his religious leadership, threatening the future of Ukraine's new unified Orthodox Church.

Sri Lanka policeman defies president to testify at attack probe

Colombo - A Sri Lankan police officer on Tuesday defied President Maithripala Sirisena and testified before a parliamentary investigation into the Easter Sunday suicide bombings that killed 258 people.

Serbian Orthodox Church urges Montenegro to scrap property bill

Podgorica - Thousands of people joined an open-air council of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Podgorica on Saturday, accusing the Montenegrin government of trying to steal its church property through a draft law on religious freedom.

Saudi Arabia extradites Sri Lankans linked to Easter attacks

Colombo - Five Sri Lankans wanted in connection with the Easter bombings that killed 258 people were arrested in Saudi Arabia and extradited Friday, police and Interpol said.

Catholic church bombed in Sri Lanka attacks reopens

Colombo - Sri Lanka's bombed Catholic church was reconsecrated Wednesday with a prayer for a strong national leader to punish those responsible for the Easter attacks that killed 258 people.

Sri Lanka MPs defy president to resume Easter attack probe

Colombo - Sri Lanka's parliament Tuesday defied President Maithripala Sirisena and resumed investigations into security lapses surrounding the Easter suicide bombings that killed 258 people, officials said, as a political crisis in the country deepened.

India's Modi makes unscheduled stop at bombed Sri Lanka church

Colombo - India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi made an unexpected visit Sunday to a Colombo church bombed during the Easter suicide attacks on his first trip to neighbouring Sri Lanka since his election triumph.

Sri Lanka president sacks intelligence chief over Easter attacks probe

Colombo - Sri Lanka's president has sacked the national intelligence chief and will not cooperate with a parliamentary investigation into security lapses before the Easter suicide bombings, officials said Saturday.

Police chief blames president for failing to prevent Sri Lanka attacks

Colombo - Sri Lanka's suspended police chief has petitioned the Supreme Court, accusing President Maithripala Sirisena of failing to prevent the Easter bombings that killed 258 people.

Kosovo mayor refuses to cede land to UNESCO Serbian monastery

Pristina - A mayor in Kosovo has refused to cede contested land to a UNESCO-listed Serbian Orthodox monastery despite a court order and pressure from the EU, in a long-runningThe status of Serbian Orthodox church sites in mainly Muslim Kosovo is an acute source o...

Poland tightens laws on paedophiles as crisis hits church

Warsaw - Poland on Thursday raised jail terms for convicted paedophiles to a maximum 30 years after a groundbreaking documentary on child sex abuse among Polish priests sparked public outrage and a crisis in the devoutly Catholic country's church.

Polish paedophilia scandal rocks political scene

Warsaw - A Polish documentary on clergy paedophilia that has shocked the devout country could deal a blow to the chances of the ruling conservatives in this month's European Parliament elections, given the party's close ties to the Catholic Church, analysts sai...

Tensions rise over Ukraine's new independent church

Kiev - Ukrainian clerical infighting broke out into the open Wednesday in a development that analysts say may threaten the future of Ukraine's new unified Orthodox Church -- to Moscow's delight.

Russia cathedral protests expose church role tensions

Yekaterinburg - Thousands of people protested for a third straight day Wednesday plans for a new cathedral in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg in a case exposing tensions over the growing authority of the Orthodox Church.

Tensions rise over Ukraine's new independent church

Kiev - Bitter divisions among Ukraine's religious leaders were laid bare Wednesday when honorary Patriarch Filaret accused the young head of the newly created united church of governing single-handedly despite earlier agreements.

Poland cracks down on child sex abuse as priest film goes viral

Warsaw - Poland's right-wing government on Tuesday unveiled plans to crack down on paedophiles by raising prison sentences to a maximum 30 years as a ground-breaking documentary on paedophilia among Polish priests went viral in the Catholic country.

Gunmen kill four at Catholic parade in Burkina Faso: church

Ouagadougou - Gunmen killed four Catholics in a religious procession in northern Burkina Faso a day after a priest and five parishioners were murdered at mass, church officials said Tuesday.

Gunmen kill six during Catholic mass in Burkina Faso

Ouagadougou - Gunmen killed a priest and five parishioners during mass Sunday in an attack on a Catholic church in Dablo, northern Burkina Faso, security sources and a local official said.

Sri Lanka Catholics say lonely prayers as churches close for second week

Negombo - Father Suranga Warnakulasuriya said prayers alone in his church Sunday, as Catholic services were suspended across Sri Lanka for the second straight week since the Easter suicide attacks.

Sri Lanka steps up security for low-key May day

Colombo - Sri Lanka stepped up security Wednesday as political parties staged low-key May Day commemorations after calling off scheduled rallies following fears of Islamist bomb attacks.
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