Government and Orthodox Church leaders in Russia have welcomed the Pope’s historic 12 February meeting with Patriarch Kirill, although the joint declaration they signed at Havana airport was criticised as a “betrayal” by the head of Ukraine’s Greek Catholic Church, write Jonathan Luxmoore and Christa Pongratz-Lippitt.
Comece, the commission of European Bishops’ Conferences, has hailed a European Parliament resolution branding the systematic killing of Christians, Yazidis and other religious minorities in Iraq and Syria by the violent Islamic State movement as genocide, writes Tom Heneghan.
Cardinal Rainer Woelki of Cologne has drawn attention to the fact that Christian refugees are being persecuted in Germany. Speaking at an ecumenical service in Düsseldorf on 13 February, he said it was alarming that Christians were being threatened by other asylum seekers in refugee camps.
The number of pilgrims visiting the Marian shrine at Lourdes fell by 24 per cent between 2009 and 2014, influenced by rising costs, administrative problems and competition from the Medjugorje shrine in Bosnia-Herzegovina, writes Tom Heneghan.
At an ecumenical remembrance service for the 11 people who died in a head-on train collision in Bad Aibling in Bavaria on 9 February, Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich and the leader of the German Protestant Church, Bishop Heinrich Bedford-Strohm,...