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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...


our more priests have been charged with the murder in 2013 of a seminary rector in Bangalore, in southern India. Ten people, including six priests, have now been accused of being involved in the death of Father K J Thomas, whose body was found inside St Peter’s Pontifical Seminary Institute (pictured), in Bangalore, the capital of the southern state of Karnataka. Fr Elias Daniel and Fr William Patrick, along with a layman only named as Peter — were arrested in June 2014.


Campaigners said that they will appeal a High Court ruling today that dismissed their challenge to a loosening of the law in regards to prosecuting cases of assisted suicide. Disability campaigners Merv and Nikki Kenward brought the case after Director of Public Prosecutions, Alison Saunders, amended the wording in the prosecution of assisted suicide last year that they feel makes it less likely that healthcare professionals will be prosecuted for assisting suicide.


Archbishop Julian Porteous of Hobart says the Christian church is entering a new era in its history in Australia "where it is no longer seen as a respected presence in the society, but is viewed by many as an obstacle to the wellbeing of society". "Governments hostile to Christianity are more emboldened than ever to pass legislation which they know is incompatible with Christian beliefs and practices," he told the Australian Christian Lobby on 17 November. "One would expect this to escalate in the years ahead."


Cathedrals around the country will be following the example of Pope Francis next Tuesday, 8 December as he crosses the threshold of the Holy Door in St Peter’s Basilica to inaugurate the Holy Year of Mercy. On Sunday 13 December, the Bishop of Clifton, Declan Lang, will open a door of pilgrimage during a Mass at Clifton Cathedral in Bristol at the same time as two more are opened at St Mary’s, Glastonbury, and Prinknash Abbey in Gloucestershire. The following Saturday (19.12) a fourth will open at Downside Abbey, Bath.


The world is facing a “now or never” moment to tackle climate change, Pope Francis said on his flight back to Rome from Africa ahead of a United Nations conference on the topic in Paris.

Pope Francis launched the Church’s jubilee Year of Mercy in the conflict-ridden Central African Republic (CAR) calling on people to forgive their enemies and lay down weapons, write Christopher Lamb and Fredrick Nzwili.

France has urged its Muslim leaders to promote an “enlightened Islam” to counter the views of Islamic State (IS), the radical Islamist movement that has claimed responsibility for the 13 November Paris massacre that killed 130 people.

France’s far-right National Front (FN) goes into regional elections tomorrow and on 13 December, hoping to win up to three of the 13 regional assemblies in metropolitan France – what would be its first victories in such polls – thanks in part to rising support among Catholics, writes Tom Heneghan.

The University of Notre Dame has announced it will be retaining its requirement that all undergraduates take two theology courses, writes Michael Sean Winters.

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