Latest Issue: 18 October 2014
18 October 2014
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The Church in the World

16 October 2014 by Christopher Lamb

A document released by the Synod on the Family proposing a dramatic shift in the Church’s pastoral care for relationships outside of marriage has sparked fierce opposition.

16 October 2014 by Abigail Frymann Rouch

One-third of divorced and remarried Catholics who have not had their first marriage annulled receive Communion, even if they have not sought the permission of their priest, a global survey conducted by The Tablet has found, writes Abigail Frymann Rouch.

16 October 2014

The award of the Nobel Peace Prize 2014 to Malala Yousafzai “is good news for all of Pakistan and puts the issue of women’s rights and the right to education at the centre of public debate”, the Pakistan Catholic Bishops’ National Commission for Justice and Peace said in response to the announcement of the award.

16 October 2014 by Jonathan Luxmoore

The president of Bosnia-Herzegovina’s Catholic Bishops’ Conference has told citizens they have a “moral duty” to remain active in the electoral process, despite the frustration caused by “false ­promises, corruption and stagnation”, writes Jonathan Luxmoore.

16 October 2014 by Ellen Teague

Almost 200 church communities have disappeared in Maiduguri Diocese in north-eastern Nigeria since August, with church buildings destroyed by Boko Haram Islamic terrorists, a diocesan official reported, writes Ellen Teague.

16 October 2014 by Ellen Teague

A Franciscan priest abducted by Islamist terrorists in Syria on 5 October has been released to house arrest at his convent in the north-eastern village of Knayeh, writes Ellen Teague.

16 October 2014 by Mark Brolly

A public hearing has been told that police in New South Wales and church officials may have colluded to prevent the prosecution of individuals who abused children.

16 October 2014 by Isabel de Bertodano

The Archbishop of Acapulco has demanded that the authorities take responsibility for uncovering how dozens of students in the town of Iguala disappeared on the way to a protest, saying the case “reaches into the political sphere”.

16 October 2014 by Fredrick Nzwili

Kenyan Catholic bishops have strongly opposed a national tetanus vaccination campaign, which the Government launched on 13 October targeting 2.4 million women of child-bearing age, writes Fredrick Nzwili.

16 October 2014 by Jonathan Luxmoore

Human-rights campaigners have warned that Christians still face “serious discrimination” in Turkey, despite recent government gestures in the run-up to a late-November visit by the Pope, writes Jonathan Luxmoore.

16 October 2014 by Hannah Roberts in Rome

Militant Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka are demanding Buddhism become the state religion, ahead of the visit to the country by Pope Francis on 13-14 January next year, writes Hannah Roberts.

16 October 2014 by Hannah Roberts in Rome

The Prime Minister of Vietnam will meet Pope Francis today in an apparent sign of thawing Vatican relations with the Communist world, writes Hannah Roberts.

Previous issues

09 October 2014 by Christopher Lamb

Pope Francis opened the Synod on the Family this week by urging cardinals and bishops boldly to speak their mind without fear or favour. This led to hopes that the gathering will generate the kind of decision-making that was envisaged by the Second Vatican Council.

09 October 2014 by Liz Dodd

THE CHRISTIAN world looks to Rome to stem the tide of Islamic militancy, the Anglican former Bishop of Rochester, Michael Nazir-Ali, said, writes Liz Dodd.

09 October 2014 by Ellen Teague

A Franciscan priest and up to 20 parishioners have been seized by terrorists linked to the Islamist al-Nusra Front at a village in north-western Syria, writes Ellen Teague.

09 October 2014 by Hannah Roberts in Rome

A Catholic priest has identified the location of tons of toxic waste buried by the Mafia after persuading informants to confide in him. In the 1980s and 1990s companies owned by the Neapolitan Camorra mob were paid by big business, mostly in northern Italy, to dispose of the industrial and toxic waste legally.

09 October 2014 by Tom Heneghan

More than 75,000 people demonstrated in Paris and Bordeaux last Sunday against the “deconstruction of the family”, reviving the protest movement that began last year in opposition to gay marriage, writes Tom Heneghan.

09 October 2014 by Isabel de Bertodano

A new civil code hastily approved by the chamber of deputies in Argentina is not supported by the Church, according to a lawyer working on behalf of the bishops, writes Isabel de Bertodano.

09 October 2014 by Peter Kavanagh

Some 80 volunteers blanketed a 400-metre stretch of Parliament Hill, Ottawa, last week, with 100,000 tiny flags, half of them blue, half pink.

09 October 2014 by Ellen Teague

Christians driven from their homes by terrorists from the Islamic State (IS) must be given the right to return to their homes and the freedom to practise their religion, the Vatican’s Middle East experts have declared, write Hannah Roberts and Ellen Teague.

09 October 2014 by Isabel de Bertodano

The Government has asked the Guatemalan Church to mediate in negotiations between indigenous groups and the mining industry, writes Isabel de Bertodano.

09 October 2014 by Tom Heneghan

The left-leaning Luxembourg Government is considering ending state subsidies for Churches and religious education in state schools, writes Tom Heneghan.

02 October 2014 by Ellen Teague

As tens of thousands of protesters brought Hong Kong business districts to a halt this week, Christian voices were prominent among those demanding democracy in the territory.

Ahead of the Synod on the Family that starts tomorrow, disagreements over the proposals of Cardinal Walter Kasper regarding remarried divorcees and their receiving of Communion have sharpened dramatically, write Christa Pongratz-Lippitt and James Roberts.

02 October 2014 by Fredrick Nzwili

Mgr Robert J. Vitillo, delegate to the United Nations in Geneva for Caritas Internationalis, has said that the ebola crisis in Liberia remains extremely grave and continues to disrupt everyday life for most of the population.

02 October 2014 by Jonathan Luxmoore

A senior Vatican official has warned that Ukraine will need “far-reaching reform” regardless of the “Russian aggression” it faces, writes Jonathan Luxmoore.

02 October 2014 by Isabel de Bertodano

A Paraguayan bishop removed from his post by the Vatican has given a robust defence of himself, saying Pope Francis “will have to answer to God” for his removal, writes Isabel de Bertodano.

02 October 2014 by Hannah Roberts in Rome

Pope Francis has condemned the way the elderly are often abandoned – especially in richer societies – as a form of “hidden euthanasia”.

02 October 2014 by Ellen Teague

Mariam Ibrahim, the Sudanese woman who escaped a death sentence imposed for refusing to renounce her Christian faith, has announced that she wants to campaign on the issue of religious freedom, writes Ellen Teague.

02 October 2014 by James Roberts

The Vatican Secretary of State has accused the United Nations of systematically failing to deal with the profound crises the world faces today, writes James Roberts.

25 September 2014 by James Roberts

During a packed one-day visit to Albania last Sunday, Pope Francis affirmed the achievements of the formerly Communist country, while at the same time using the visit to illustrate how the Gospel should be lived today, and how the world’s worst conflicts need to be addressed.

25 September 2014 by Hannah Roberts in Rome

Pope Francis has reportedly invited Chinese President Xi Jinping to his home in Rome, in a move that could thaw relations between Beijing and the Vatican, writes Hannah Roberts.

25 September 2014 by Hannah Roberts in Rome

A close Muslim friend of Pope Francis has urged the West not to play into the hands of Islamic State militants by believing that their acts of terror are part of a religious war, writes Hannah Roberts.

25 September 2014 by Michael Sean Winters, Mark Brolly

Two major episcopal appointments are being seen as indicators of the direction of the Catholic Church under Pope Francis and, at the same time, as attempts to win back those alienated from the Church.

25 September 2014 by Jonathan Luxmoore

A Russian Orthodox leader has bitterly attacked Ukraine’s Greek Catholic Church, as a Catholic bishop warned of growing pressure against clergy and laity in the country’s Russian-occupied Crimea region, writes Jonathan Luxmoore.

25 September 2014 by Tom Heneghan

A Belgian serving a life sentence for murder and rape has won the right to an assisted suicide under the country’s euthanasia law, thus widening the scope of the law’s application and setting a precedent that has prompted about 15 more convicts to request the same option.

25 September 2014 by Ellen Teague

Christians were prominent in last Sunday’s climate marches around the world, lobbying this week’s meeting of world leaders at a UN climate summit on 23 September in New York.

25 September 2014 by Christa Pongratz-Lippitt

Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, has called on Lutherans to recognise the failures of the Reformation, as well as the failures of the Catholic Church at the time, writes Christa Pongratz-Lippitt.

25 September 2014 by Hannah Roberts in Rome

Pope Francis has appointed a commission to study a reform of the process of marriage annulment, writes Hannah Roberts.

25 September 2014

The Vatican has placed the laicised papal ambassador Jozef Wesolowski under house arrest as he awaits a criminal trial for sexually abusing young boys, Catholic News Service reports.

In a rare celebration of marriages by a pope, Francis presided over the vows of 20 ­couples from the Rome Diocese, at St Peter’s last Sunday.

18 September 2014 by Joanna Moorhead

Hopes that the forthcoming Synod on the Family will make radical changes to doctrine may be premature, Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth warned this week, writes Joanna Moorhead.

18 September 2014 by Mark Brolly

Catholic Social Services Victoria (CSSV) has issued a plea to voters in the state election in November to lobby candidates about families that are struggling to make ends meet, and those on the margins of society, writes Mark Brolly.

During a visit to First World War graves last weekend, Pope Francis said the eight million lives lost in the conflict showed that “war is folly”. “War ruins everything, even bonds between brothers.

18 September 2014 by Tom Heneghan

Some 10,000 Iraqi Christians have applied for visas at the French Consulate in Erbil, capital of the Kurdistan region where they have taken refuge from Islamic State militants who drove them from their homes, according to the France-based Association for Support of Minorities of the East (AEMO).

18 September 2014 by Abigail Frymann Rouch

Conflict in Iraq, Syria and Gaza has led to the greatest humanitarian crisis since the Second World War, the head of the Catholic Church’s relief and development agencies said, writes Abigail Frymann.

18 September 2014 by Josef Pazderka

A Catholic priest serving in one of the parishes in the Crimean peninsula, occupied by Russian forces, will have to leave his post in October because the authorities will not renew his residence permit, writes Josef Pazderka.

18 September 2014 by Michael Sean Winters

The diocese of Buffalo, New York, became the latest to implement a “Catholics Come Home” programme designed to bring lapsed Catholics back to the practice of the faith.

18 September 2014 by Fredrick Nzwili

Police in Burundi say they are holding the killer of three nuns who were murdered in their convent near the capital, Bujumbura, but nuns and others are questioning the police version of events, writes Fredrick Nzwili.

18 September 2014 by Christa Pongratz-Lippitt

“The number of Catholics in some of our dioceses has tripled or even quadrupled”, the secretary of the Nordic bishops’ conference, Sr Anna Mirijam Kaschner CPS, told ­journalists at the Hamburg Diocese’s annual meeting on 10 September, writes Christa Pongratz-Lippitt.