World - Word&Way


Pope Francis told a group of children with autism and spectrum disorders Monday (Sept. 21) that they are beautiful, unique flowers in the eyes of God. Francis met with members of an Austrian center for autism, Sonnenschein (“Sunshine”), in an audience at the Vatican.

With precision and boundless energy, a team of carpenters used medieval techniques to raise up — by hand — a three-ton oak truss Saturday in front of Notre Dame Cathedral, a replica of the wooden structures that were consumed in the landmark’s devastating April 2019 fire that also toppled its spire.

Pope Francis is giving his blessing to a new Vatican think tank that is seeking to prevent the Mafia and organized crime groups from exploiting the image of the Virgin Mary for their own illicit ends.

A Pakistani court sentenced a Christian man to death after finding him guilty of blasphemy for insulting Islam's Prophet Muhammad in text messages he sent to a Muslim co-worker in 2013, a defense lawyer said Thursday (Sept. 10).

Hundreds of fans attended a special kind of musical happening Saturday (Sept. 5) at a church in Germany: a chord change in an organ piece that is supposed to last for an entirety of 639 years. 

French President Emmanuel Macron criticized Friday what he called “Islamic separatism” in his country and those who seek French citizenship without accepting  France’s “right to commit blasphemy.”

On Sept. 1, 1920, a French general, Henri Gouraud, stood on the porch of a Beirut palace surrounded by local politicians and religious leaders and declared the State of Greater Lebanon — the precursor of the modern state of Lebanon. A century later, the mood could not be more somber.

During the coronavirus crisis, Pope Francis has become a 21st century “prisoner of the Vatican” — as one of his predecessors was once known — robbed of the crowds, foreign travel, and visits to the peripheries that so defined and popularized his papacy.

Two significant, global religious bodies on Thursday (Aug. 27) called on Christians to band together to fight “sins” laid bare or aggravated by the pandemic, including racism and economic injustice.

Throughout Latin America, evangelical churches have flouted public health guidelines by holding in-person services, or have personally ministered to church members in homes and other settings. In at least two countries, evangelical pastors have died in alarming numbers during the pandemic.