- Carbon: problem … and solution
Although the latest UN Climate Change Conference in Lima this week has been working towards an agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, a church-supported campaign that urges industry to reject fossil fuels is unrealistic, according to a senior energy engineer
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- Leading abuse campaigner in England and Wales appointed to papal commission
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- Pope Francis a key player in US and Cuba's historic normalising of relations
- Thousands of dancers tango for Francis' birthday in St Peter’s Square
The Church in the World
The Vatican has instructed all bishops’ conferences to initiate wide-ranging consultations and discussions on matters arising from October’s Extraordinary Synod on the Family, in preparation for the Ordinary Synod that will take place in October 2015.
Cardinal Christoph Schönborn has said that some participants’ responses at October’s Extraordi-nary Synod on the Family were characterised by fear, writes Christa Pongratz-Lippitt.
A French court has stirred up a hornet’s nest by ordering a regional government office to take down the Christmas crib it set up in its lobby as usual this Advent.
Cardinal PHILIPPE Barbarin, the Archbishop of Lyons, has led a second Catholic delegation to Irbil in Iraqi Kurdistan to visit Christians who took refuge there from Islamic State (IS) militants who seized their cities of Mosul and Qaraqosh last summer, writes Tom Heneghan.
FAITH LEADERS have pledged to make joint visits to regions experiencing violent conflicts and the refugee camps that they precipitate, writes Hannah Roberts.
Pope Francis has praised the role of women in theology, saying that women have a “feminine genius” that helps them discern “unexplored aspects of the unfathomable mystery of Christ”.
Nine out of 10 Italian doctors are refusing to carry out abortions, pro-abortion campaigners say, writes Hannah Roberts.
A row has erupted between the Diocese of Córdoba and local government officials over whether the city’s famous cathedral should retain a reference to its Islamic past.
The Vatican spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi has denied that there was any collaboration among cardinals in the run-up to the election of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio at the papal conclave last year, writes James Roberts.
A future meeting between Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill has not been ruled out by Russia’s Orthodox Church, which will first insist on steps to tackle inter-church tensions, writes Jonathan Luxmoore.
Pope Emeritus Benedict has denied that he sought to influence the Synod on the Family by excising a passage about Communion for remarried Catholics in a new volume of his collected works, writes Christa Pongratz-Lippitt.
Poland’s Catholic Church has attacked state broadcasting directors for allowing TV channels to run a brief programme defending the rights of homosexuals, writes Jonathan Luxmoore.
POPE FRANCIS called with renewed urgency for full unity between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches last weekend during a visit to Turkey that set ecumenism firmly within the context of Christianity in the Middle East.
In a wide-ranging interview with Israel’s ynetnews.com last weekend, his first with Israeli media, Pope Francis spoke of his distress over the persecution of Christians in the Middle East and his hatred of anti-Semitism, writes James Roberts.
The cardinal responsible for overseeing Pope Francis’ reform of the Roman Curia has confirmed that two new congregations will be set up and suggested that lay people could be appointed to lead some of Rome’s dicasteries.
Pope Francis, the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and leaders from other major religions have pledged to use their faiths to eradicate modern slavery by 2020.
MONKS AND?NUNS have been ordered by Pope Francis to throw open empty monasteries and convents to migrants and the poor.
Western Governments are partly to blame for the horrors being carried out by Islamic State (IS) terrorists, a Syrian priest based in London has claimed.
In Kenya and Nigeria, Islamist killings have risen in the last few days, with Somalia’s al-Shabaab and Boko Haram respectively carrying out deadly massacres in the two countries, writes Fredrick Nzwili. Church leaders fear Christmas celebrations in Muslim-majority regions will be vulnerable to attack.
A revision of an essay in the fourth volume of the Collected Works of Pope Emeritus Benedict, recently released in German, has ignited a controversy over the removal of a passage about Communion for remarried divorcees, writes Christa Pongratz-Lippitt.
Guinean Cardinal Robert Sarah has been appointed head of the Vatican congregation that determines liturgical practices in the Church.
THE POPE has set out his vision for a revitalised Europe in which he emphasises the dignity of human life, of work, of migrants and the importance of protecting the environment, writes Abigail Frymann Rouch.
The huge Christmas tree outside Notre Dame cathedral in Paris this year has been given by Russia, highlighting the role of religious contacts in its diplomacy.
President Barack Obama has signed an executive order that will permit as many as 5 million undocumented migrants to “come out of the shadows” and avoid the prospect of deportation should they be apprehended by police, writes Michael Sean Winters.
Pope Francis has said that the Church must be “a mother for migrants”, writes Hannah Roberts.
Three priests and a teacher have been arrested in connection with a sex-abuse scandal in Granada.
Churches in north-eastern Kenya have been put under tight security, and Christians are fleeing the region after the killing of 28 Christians by Somalia’s Islamist al-Shabaab terrorists last Saturday.
In Northern Nigeria, civilians are taking up arms to fight the Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram, in the face of the army’s inability to protect local populations, according to Fr John Bakeni, secretary of Maiduguri diocese, writes Fredrick Nzwili.
Blessed Kuriakose Elias Chavara from southern Kerala state, popular for his spiritual leadership and initiatives for social reforms, has drawn glowing tributes even from Hindu leaders on his canonisation on 23 November at the Vatican, writes Anto Akkara.
The breakdown of marriage and family has led to an “ecological” human crisis that is harming the poor above all, Pope Francis warned on Monday. In a brief address opening a Vatican-hosted interreligious colloquium in support of the concept of male-female complementarity,
Pope Francis has given the green light for showers for homeless people to be installed under the colonnades of St Peter’s Square, writes Hannah Roberts.
Pope Francis has approved lifting the ban on the ordination of married men to the priesthood in Eastern Catholic Churches outside their traditional territories, including in the United States, Canada and Australia.
Pope Francis has described last week’s violent attacks on refugees in Italy as a “social emergency”.
Former President Nicolas Sarkozy has caused an uproar in his conservative UMP party by saying he would repeal France’s same-sex marriage law if elected again in 2017, writes Tom Heneghan.
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), writing after last month’s Synod on the Family, has stated that church laws on Communion for divorced and remarried Catholics remain in force, writes Tom Heneghan.
A survey published last week by the Washington DC-based Pew Research Center provides new evidence of the decline of Roman Catholicism in Latin America.
The Catholic Church in India has joined the chorus of condemnation over shocking deaths from botched sterilisation surgeries at a health camp organised by the health department of Chhattisgarh state in central India, writes Anto Akkara.
Chicago’s Holy Name Cathedral was packed to capacity on consecutive days to welcome Archbishop Blase Cupich as the city’s ninth archbishop.
Boston’s Cardinal Seán O’Malley told the CBS news programme 60 Minutes that the Vatican must “urgently address” the case of Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-St Joseph, the only US bishop convicted of failing to report clergy sex abuse to the authorities.
Pope Francis wrote to Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott before last weekend’s G20 summit in Brisbane that world leaders must not forget that many lives were at stake behind their discussions, writes Mark Brolly.
Archbishop Anthony Fisher has apologised for sexual abuse and the failure of some church leaders to respond to it while expressing hopes for a humbler, more compassionate and rejuvenated Catholicism at his installation as ninth Archbishop of Sydney.
Pope Francis has appointed Archbishop Paul Gallagher as the Vatican’s Secretary for Relations with States, a post equivalent to that of foreign minister. He will be the first native English speaker to hold the position.
Catholic Bishops in Kenya have reiterated their opposition to a controversial tetanus vaccine campaign, claiming their independent tests have proved the doses contain a hormone “that causes infertility and multiple miscarriages”, writes Fredrick Nzwili.
Pope Francis has drawn up plans to make the appeals process for paedophile priests more efficient, writes Hannah Roberts.
In commemorations marking the twenty-fifth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Cardinal Reinhard Marx recalled the importance of Pope St John Paul II’s groundbreaking fight for freedom in Poland.
Prompted by the highly publicised assisted suicide of an American woman on 1 November, Germany’s bishops have reiterated their call on the German Government to forbid assisted suicide by law, writes Christa Pongratz-Lippitt.
In Vienna for the fiftieth anniversary of the Pro Oriente Foundation, the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I; the Coptic Pope-Patriarch, Tawadros II; and Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, chairman of the Pro-Oriente curatorium, called on all Christian Churches to raise their voices for the persecuted Christians in the Middle East, writes Christa Pongratz-Lippitt.
The President of the European Parliament has welcomed the Pope’s planned visit on 25 November, which will be the first by a pontiff since John Paul II addressed MEPs in 1988, writes Jonathan Luxmoore.
France’s bishops ended their autumn plenary session in Lourdes on 9 November without laying out guidance for their dioceses on how to drive the discussion on family issues launched at last month’s Synod of Bishops, writes Tom Heneghan.
Tented Iraqi refugee camps have been damaged by torrential wind and rain. Many of the 10,000 Christian families who fled Mosul and the Nineveh Plain before the barbaric offensive of jihadist militants, and found refuge in Kurdistan, face a freezing winter in tents.
Cardinal Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, has called for the international community to pressurise the Government of Pakistan to review its blasphemy law after a young Christian couple were burned alive by a mob in Punjab Province on 4 November, writes Ellen Teague.
Kenneth Gavin, director of communications at the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, has issued a statement clarifying remarks made by Archbishop Charles Chaput in the context of the Synod on the Family, in which he said “confusion is of the Devil”, writes James Roberts.