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Bishop Anthony Sharma, Nepal's first bishop who oversaw the growth of the Catholic Church, died this week, four days before his 78th birthday. Bishop Sharma was suffering from brain cancer and was undergoing treatment, reported the Apostolic Vicariate of Nepal


A secret peace agreement was made between Christian and Muslim militias during Pope Francis’ trip to the Central African Republic last month. The non-aggression pact was signed between the leader of the Seleka Muslim rebels an the Anti-Balaka Christian group. It was brokered in part by the Vatican security services and a copy was handed to Francis' at an open-air Mass in Bangui


A group of 30 Christian leaders, including Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington, has asked for a meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry in advance of the State Department's declaration of genocides taking place around the world. The group believes Middle East Christians should be included in any listing of genocide victims based on their treatment by the Islamic State, commonly called Isis.

 


Catholic churches in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu are cancelling Christmas in order to divert funds to help victims of flooding in Chennai - the worst in more than a century that are being blamed on climate change. Dozens were killed and thousands were left homeless as Chennai - the fifth most populous city in India - suffered the worst November for rainfall in more than 20 years and the wettest December day in over a century when more than 12 inches fell on 1 December.


The deputy headmaster of a Roman Catholic school in west London is in court today after being charged with possessing extreme pornographic images of children. Peter William Allott, 36, who is deputy headmaster of St Benedict’s School, in Ealing, was arrested on Monday by officers from the Metropolitan Police and the National Crime Agency.


Australia sex abuse commission: Paedophile priests working at dioceses across Australia were recognised as ticking "time bombs" at a 1992 meeting of a special bishops' committee, the chairman of that committee told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, at which Cardinal George Pell is to make his third appearance next week. Bishop Peter Connors confirmed that 'time bombs' was "a reference to dioceses where there were priests operating who had had serious allegations against them".


The Vatican offers fair trials including the presumption of innocence and the right to a defence, a spokesman for the Holy See said today. Five people, including two journalists, are currently standing trial in the small city state for the leaking and dissemination of documents revealing mismanagement of the Holy See’s finances. Today the court ruled that Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Holy See’s Secretary of State, will be called as a witness during the trial.


Faith schools should admit fewer children and staff from their own religion according to a commission set up to investigate religion and belief in public life. The commission, headed by retired judge Baroness Butler-Sloss came to the conclusion after hearing submissions across a range of religious and ethical traditions. It also made a case for the legal requirement for most schools in the UK to include Christian worship to be scrapped and applauded the decision for schools in Scotland to designate a “time for reflection” instead.


The two week summit, made up of the United Nations' nearly 200 countries, aims to secure a global agreement to address rising average temperatures and the impacts of climate change. The meeting in the Parisian suburb of Le Bourget began with world leaders, including Prime Minister David Cameron, sharing their national ambitions for tackling greenhouse gas emissions and their hopes for the future. At least ten country leaders made explicit reference to the papal encyclical published earlier this year.

 


The Tablet rounds up the web stories, analysis and comment this week that provide a thought-provoking look at the world around us. They are not from a Catholic viewpoint per say but they speak to Catholicism today. This week we look at the effect of Francis' Africa trip, a gay priests view of Spotlight and gun laws in Australia...


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