Latest Issue: 26 April 2014
26 April 2014
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The Church in the World

24 April 2014 by Christa Pongratz-Lippitt

The new Archbishop of Salzburg, Franz Lackner, told the Austrian daily Salzburger Nachrichten on Maundy Thursday that he “totally agreed” with Cardinal Walter Kasper that a way must be found for remarried divorcees to make a new start in the Church, writes Christa Pongratz-Lippitt.

24 April 2014 by James Roberts, Josef Pazderka

Five million pilgrims are expected in Rome tomorrow for the canonisation of two popes, John XXIII and John Paul II.

24 April 2014

French Catholics should remain open to dialogue and political engagement in a society that is no longer based on Christian values, rather than retreat into narrowly focused factions, Archbishop Georges Pontier, president of the bishops’ conference, has said, writes Tom Heneghan.

24 April 2014 by James Roberts

In his Urbi and Orbi message, to Rome and the world, on Easter Sunday, Pope Francis linked the agonies experienced in the most conflict-ridden areas of the world with the Resurrection of Christ.

24 April 2014 by Mark Brolly

A former Justice of the High Court of Australia, Dyson Heydon QC, has declared anti-Catholicism “the racism of the intellectuals” and compared modern attacks on the Catholic faith to the anti-clerical Kulturkampf waged by German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, writes Mark Brolly.

24 April 2014 by Abigail Frymann

The country “is in a state of great sorrow and anxiety,” the president of South Korea’s bishops’ conference said following the capsizing of the Sewol ferry off the south-east coast of the country on 16 April, writes Abigail Frymann.

24 April 2014 by Fredrick Nzwili

Catholic Church leaders in Nigeria are urging the release of 190 schoolgirls who are still missing, after last week’s mass abductions of 234 by suspected Boko Haram terrorists.

24 April 2014 by Michael Sean Winters

In a speech on 8 April in St Petersburg, Florida, Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga warned that curial opposition to Pope Francis’ efforts to create a “new way of being church” is mounting, writes Michael Sean Winters.

Previous issues

16 April 2014 by James Roberts

Pope Francis has made the most dramatic apology for clerical sexual abuse of children in the Catholic Church that he has to date.

16 April 2014 by Tom Heneghan

Marseille Archbishop Georges Pontier, president of the French bishops’ conference, urged fellow bishops to avoid being “manipu­lated by social movements” when he opened their spring plenary meeting last week.

16 April 2014 by Abigail Frymann

THE 100,000 faithful at the Palm Sunday Mass in St Peter’s Square last Sunday were challenged by Pope Francis to reflect on the narrative of Christ’s Passion and death, and to ask “Who am I?”, writes Abigail Frymann

16 April 2014 by Christa Pongratz-Lippitt

The first Catholic priest since the Reformation has been ordained at the Protestant Church of Norway’s Nidaros Cathedral, writes Christa Pongratz-Lippitt.

16 April 2014 by Christa Pongratz-Lippitt

A two-term course for the heads of Christian schools, the first of its kind in the world, has opened at the Church Pedagogical Academy in Vienna (KPH Vienna/Krems), writes Christa Pongratz-Lippitt.

16 April 2014 by Liz Dodd

Christians in South India have been urged to boycott the Hindu nationalist party, the BJP, in the country’s parliamentary elections, in an unprecedented letter from church leaders including the Archbishop of Hyderabad.

16 April 2014 by Ellen Teague

A Catholic leader in Central African Republic (CAR) says the decision to establish a robust UN peacekeeping operation is a “welcome step” towards peace in the country, but that the world needs to act immediately, writes Ellen Teague.

16 April 2014 by Isabel de Bertodano

OPPOSING SIDES in the Venezuelan conflict have been urged by Pope Francis to have courage and be open to one another, as they begin peace talks.

16 April 2014 by Ellen Teague

LAWYERS representing a man accused of blasphemy in Pakistan’s Punjab province have been subject to death threats inside the courtroom at Multan Central Prison, writes Ellen Teague.

16 April 2014 by Michael Sean Winters

Former Florida governor and potential presidential candidate Jeb Bush has voiced compassion for immigrants who come to America without proper legal authorisation, writes Michael Sean Winters.

10 April 2014 by Christa Pongratz-Lippitt

A bishop who met with Pope Francis in a rare private audience on 4 April has said in an interview that the two men discussed the issue of the ordination of “proven” married men – viri probati – in a serious and positive way.

10 April 2014 by Tom Heneghan

A group of French Catholics including a bishop has visited Moscow to discuss the defence of the traditional family with Russian Orthodox Church leaders, drawing criticism in France because of the Ukraine crisis and the nature of Church-State relations in Russia, writes Tom Heneghan.

10 April 2014 by Christa Pongratz-Lippitt

Pope Francis has invited Erwin Kräutler, Bishop of Xingu in the Brazilian rainforest, to assist him with his next encyclical on the environment, writes Christa Pongratz-Lippitt.

10 April 2014 by Tom Heneghan

THE Catholic bishops of the Holy Land have said that repeated warnings in Western countries about the persecution of Christians in the Middle East “play into the hands of extremists at home and abroad whose aim is to sow prejudice and hatred, setting peoples and religions against one another”.

10 April 2014 by Ellen Teague

A Jesuit priest in Syria’s Old City of Homs, who drew international attention to the plight of civilians trapped there, was murdered on Monday, writes Ellen Teague.

10 April 2014 by Anto Akkara

Christians and human-rights groups in Pakistan have been stunned by a second blasphemy death sentence for Christians within a week, writes Anto Akkara.

10 April 2014 by James Roberts

In his homily last Friday at the Domus Sanctae Marthae, Pope Francis warned the faithful to expect persecution for following Christ, writes James Roberts. “All the people whom the Holy Spirit chooses to tell the truth to the People of God suffer persecution,” said Pope Francis

10 April 2014 by Michael Sean Winters

Los Angeles Archbishop José Gómez presided at an interfaith prayer service in the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels to pray for the passage of immigration reform.

10 April 2014 by Peter Kavanagh

The defeat of the Parti Quebecois (PQ) in Monday’s election is being seen by most observers as partly a rejection of ambitions to lead Quebec to separation through a referendum, writes Peter Kavanagh.

10 April 2014 by Tom Heneghan

Five young Belgians landed a rare 45-minute television interview with Pope Francis last week as part of a communications project that grew out of their participation in last year’s World Youth Day in Brazil.

10 April 2014 by Abigail Frymann

Pope Francis will wash the feet of 12 disabled and elderly people when he celebrates Mass on Maundy Thursday evening, the Vatican announced this week, writes Abigail Frymann.

03 April 2014 by Michael Sean Winters

THE MIGRATION Committee of the US ­bishops’ conference, along with the Pro-Life Committee chairman Cardinal Sean O’Malley, held a Mass at the US-Mexico border on Tuesday to commemorate the hundreds of people each year who perish trying to cross the border. Hundreds of would-be migrants die in the Arizona desert of dehydration or hypothermia or in shootings.

03 April 2014 by Francis McDonagh

THE ARGENTINIAN media is attributing to the “Francis effect” the decision by the archbishop of the country’s second city to allow the daughter of a lesbian couple to be baptised in his cathedral.

03 April 2014 by Liz Dodd

Pope Francis surprised congregants at a penitential service at St Peter’s Basilica in Rome on Friday last week by going to ­confession in public.

03 April 2014 by Abigail Frymann

The head of the Italian bishops’ conference has defended the exemption of bishops from having to report suspected child sex abuse to the police. “The Vatican requires national laws to be respected, and we know that there is no such duty [to report abuse] under Italian law,” Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco said at a meeting in Genoa last Saturday.

03 April 2014 by Christa Pongratz-Lippitt

The resignation of the Bishop of Limburg following the release of a report on financial mismanagement and impropriety in his diocese has highlighted the need for transparency in all the dioceses, according to the head of the German bishops’ conference, writes Christa Pongratz-Lippitt.

03 April 2014

The OFFICIAL programme of the pilgrimage of Pope Francis to the Holy Land was released last Thursday. He will visit Jordan, Palestine and Israel, celebrating Mass in all three countries. The visit runs from 24 to 26 May, and commemorates the fiftieth anniversary of the meeting in Jerusalem between Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras.

03 April 2014 by Michael Sean Winters

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA held his first meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican last week at which, according to the Vatican statement issued after the meeting, the two discussed “the exercise of the rights to religious freedom, life and conscientious objection”, writes Michael Sean Winters.

03 April 2014 by Michael Sean Winters

LAST WEEK, the US Supreme Court heard oral arguments in two cases related to the controversial contraception mandate that has caused bitterness and lawsuits between the Catholic Church and the Obama administration, writes Michael Sean Winters.

03 April 2014

POPE FRANCIS emphasised the evangelical gifts of the disabled when he met thousands of members of Catholic organisations for the blind and the deaf last weekend. The Apostolic Movement for the Blind and the Little Mission for the Deaf were meeting together in Rome to reflect on the culture of encounter in the Gospel.

03 April 2014 by Anto Akkara

THE TRIAL court of Lahore in Pakistan on 27 March sentenced Sawan Masih, a Catholic, to death for blasphemy.

03 April 2014 by Isabel de Bertodano

Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati, Archbishop of Santiago, has said that Chile is facing a major challenge as the new Government attempts to implement education reforms.

03 April 2014 by Isabel de Bertodano

An offer from the Vatican to send an envoy to act as mediator in the continuing political crisis in Venezuela has been welcomed by both President Nicolás Maduro and the main opposition parties, writes Isabel de Bertodano.

Cardinal Walter Kasper’s proposal to allow Communion for remarried divorcees was given a negative reception from some of his most powerful confrères at last month’s consistory, according to an Italian journalist.

27 March 2014 by Christa Pongratz-Lippitt

Cardinal Kurt Koch has welcomed the “new perspectives” Pope Francis has opened for ecumenism, especially the new priority the Pope has given to the dialogue with the Pentecostal Churches, writes Christa Pongratz-Lippitt.

27 March 2014

The POPE has permanently removed a German bishop following an investigation by the German bishops.

27 March 2014 by Elena Curti

FIVE LAYPEOPLE, four of them women, have been named by Pope Francis to the new Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.

27 March 2014 by Michael Sean Winters

President Barack Obama was set to meet Pope Francis on Thursday at the Vatican, writes Michael Sean Winters.

27 March 2014 by Liz Dodd

Convert or go to hell, Pope Francis has warned members of Italy’s Mafia in an emotional address to victims of gang violence, writes Liz Dodd. Speaking at a prayer vigil at the Church of San Gregorio VII in Rome last week Francis said that gangsters’ “blood-stained money, blood-stained power” would not give them happiness.

27 March 2014 by Anto Akkara

A chorus of international protest has forced the Sri Lankan Government to release two Catholic human-rights activists two days after their arbitrary arrest.

27 March 2014 by Josef Pazderka

Several Catholic priests fled the country’s Black Sea region of Crimea after receiving threatening phone calls and messages from local pro-Russian armed militia and in some cases being abducted for several days, writes Josef Pazderka.

27 March 2014 by Liz Dodd

A Catholic charity has given an “exceptional” £400,000 towards the construction of Bahrain’s first Catholic cathedral, which will also serve Catholics in neighbouring Saudi Arabia, where church-building is outlawed.

27 March 2014 by Tom Heneghan

The relic, pictured right, said to be the Crown of Thorns that was placed on Jesus’ head before the Crucifixion, was brought in procession on 21 March from Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral to the nearby Sainte Chapelle, which was built to house it in 1248, writes Tom Heneghan.