Some Dutch churches to skip Mass due to energy costs, priest shortage

Some Dutch churches to skip Mass due to energy costs, priest shortage

AMSTERDAM, Sept 1 (Reuters) - Rocketing energy bills and a shortage of priests have driven a Dutch Roman Catholic Diocese to cut down on religious services in some churches. The southern Diocese of Roermond, which oversee roughly 290 churches in the province of Limburg, wrote to its parishes last week to encourage some to periodically skip Mass, spokesman Matheu Bemelmans said on Thursday. "Finances cannot be a dominant factor, but we cannot ignore them either. If you only have a handful of people each donating a euro ($1), that's not enough to cover the heating bill," Bemelmans said. Numbers of…
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Portugal launches inquiries into alleged Catholic Church sexual abuse

Portugal launches inquiries into alleged Catholic Church sexual abuse

Portuguese prosecutors said they have launched 10 inquiries into alleged child sexual abuse by Catholic Church clergy, the first such move since a commission was created seven months ago to investigate accusations. A commission investigating child sexual abuse by Catholic clergy in the Iberian nation has collected around 350 testimonies since it started its work in January. It has said that number was "just the tip of the iceberg". The majority of the alleged crimes were committed decades ago, and can no longer be investigated due to Portugal's statute of limitations, but the commission has submitted 17 testimonies to public…
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Catholic priest abducted in Nigeria, diocese says

Catholic priest abducted in Nigeria, diocese says

KANO, Nigeria (Reuters) -A Nigerian Catholic priest was abducted from his rectory in the town of Zambina in the northern state of Kaduna in the early hours of Monday, the local Catholic diocese said on Monday. It said parishioners went to look for Father Emmanuel Silas after waiting in vain for him to conduct the morning mass. It is not clear who carried out the abduction. Armed gangs are rife across Nigeria's northwest where they rob or kidnap for ransom, and violence has been increasing, where thinly stretched security forces often fail to stop the attacks. The latest kidnap comes…
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Pope apologises to Canadian indigenous for wrongs at residential schools

Pope apologises to Canadian indigenous for wrongs at residential schools

VATICAN CITY, April 1 (Reuters) - Pope Francis apologised to Canadian indigenous peoples on Friday for the Catholic Church's role in residential schools that sought to erase their cultures and where many children were abused. Francis, in an address to the native leaders at the end of a week of private meetings with individual groups of delegates from various indigenous nations, also said he would make a trip to Canada. He gave no dates but sources have said they expect the trip for this summer. A handout picture provided by the Vatican Media shows Pope Francis meets, in a private…
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Italy’s Catholic Church faces pressure for independent abuse inquiry

Italy’s Catholic Church faces pressure for independent abuse inquiry

At a trial under way in Sicily, a 28-year-old Italian is seeking justice against a man he accuses of forcing him to perform sex acts before going on to become a priest. The victim says the alleged abuse, committed more than a decade ago when he was a minor and the accused was a seminarian leading youth groups, included forced masturbation and oral sex in sacristies and schoolrooms. The accused denies the charges. The victim went to the police only after the Church failed to act on his accusations, which he spelled out to two priests and at a meeting…
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Spain hands list of 1,000 contested Church properties to local authorities

Spain hands list of 1,000 contested Church properties to local authorities

Spain's government handed over a list of almost 1,000 properties claimed by the Catholic Church on contested legal grounds to a federation of local authorities on Thursday, taking a first step towards resolving long-running feuds over ownership. The conflict stems from a law introduced by former conservative Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar in 1998 that allowed the Church to register properties linked to religious practice as possessions, even without proof of ownership. In 2020 Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez's left-wing coalition government - while acknowledging that the church had acted within the law - compiled a list of 35,000 of properties…
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Portugal urges victims of clergy sexual abuse to break the silence

Portugal urges victims of clergy sexual abuse to break the silence

A commission investigating allegations of historical child sexual abuse by members of the Portuguese Catholic church urged victims to speak up and help them lift a veil of silence around the issue. "We want (victims) to report, finally and without fear, what happened to them," the head of the newly-created commission, psychiatrist Pedro Strecht, told a news conference during which he announced the team conducting the investigation. Portugal's Bishops Conference announced the creation of the body last month after a major investigation in France revealed that around 3,000 priests and religious officials sexually abused 200,000 children over the past 70…
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US Catholic bishops face clash with Biden over abortion

US Catholic bishops face clash with Biden over abortion

US Catholic bishops are on a potential collision course with President Joe Biden after voting to commission a document that may call for him to be barred from Holy Communion. Biden is the second Catholic elected US president, after John F Kennedy. He could be the first president to be denied Communion by his Church - a remarkable development that emphasises the divisive nature of abortion in US politics and religious life. The US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) clashed online over whether to draw up a teaching document on politicians who support abortion. Holy Communion is the most important…
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Church complains after UK police shut down London Polish Church Good Friday service

Church complains after UK police shut down London Polish Church Good Friday service

A Roman Catholic church in London said on Saturday it would complain to the police after officers shut down a Good Friday service on the grounds it broke COVID-19 lockdown rules limiting the size of congregations. Footage on social media showed two officers entering the Christ the King Polish Catholic Church in Balham, south London, while the service was taking place. One was heard telling the congregation: "This gathering is unfortunately unlawful under the coronavirus regulations we have currently. You are not allowed to meet inside with this many people under law." Those who failed to comply with instructions to…
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The Cross is the Christological foundation of fraternity – Cantalamessa

The Cross is the Christological foundation of fraternity – Cantalamessa

Pope Francis lies down in prayer prior to celebrating Good Friday Mass for the Passion of the Lord at St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican, during the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic in Vatican City, 02 April 2021. “We build fraternity in precisely the same way that we build peace, that is starting close by, with ourselves… For us, that means universal fraternity starts with the Catholic Church,” said the Preacher of the Papal Household, Cardinal Raniero Cantalamessa.  He made the point in his homily at the Celebration of the Lord’s Passion on Good Friday evening in St. Peter’s Basilica, which was…
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Two suspected suicide bombers wound 14 people at Indonesian Catholic church – UPDATE

Two suspected suicide bombers wound 14 people at Indonesian Catholic church – UPDATE

Two suspected suicide bombers blew themselves up outside a Catholic church in the Indonesian city of Makassar on Sunday, wounding fourteen people on the first day of the Easter Holy Week, the country's national police said. The congregation had been inside the church on the island of Sulawesi at the time of the explosion, police said, just as the mass was ending. Local police had previously said the bomber had acted alone. Forensic policemen work in front of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Cathedral in the aftermath of an explosion, in Makassar, South Sulawesi, Indonesia, 28 March 2021. At least…
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New Zealand’s Catholic Church apologises to survivors of abuse

New Zealand’s Catholic Church apologises to survivors of abuse

New Zealand’s Catholic Church formally apologised on Friday to the survivors of abuse within the church and said its systems and culture must change. Cardinal John Dew, who is the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Wellington and Metropolitan of New Zealand, made the apology at the Royal Commission into Abuse in Care on behalf of the bishops and congregational leaders in New Zealand. “Today, recognising the importance of this moment, I apologise to you, on behalf of the bishops and congregational leaders of the Catholic Church in Aotearoa New Zealand,” said Cardinal Dew, who is also the president of the New…
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American bishops welcome Biden’s election citing ‘time for unity’

American bishops welcome Biden’s election citing ‘time for unity’

Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles and President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops  congratulated the Democratic candidate: "We acknowledge that he joins the late President John F. Kennedy as the second United States president to profess the Catholic faith." We thank God for the blessings of liberty. The American people have spoken in this election. Now is the time for our leaders to come together in a spirit of national unity and to commit themselves to dialogue and compromise for the common good. His love in our lives, and to build His Kingdom on earth. I believe…
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NCR congratulates Joe Biden – Second Catholic to be elected President

NCR congratulates Joe Biden – Second Catholic to be elected President

For only the second time in our nation's 244-year-history, a Catholic has been elected to the highest office in the land. Joe Biden, the former vice president, a cradle Catholic and current parishioner at St. Joseph on the Brandywine in Greenville, Delaware, will become the 46th president of the United States. As fellow Catholics, we offer our congratulations. The media love the external symbols of Biden's faith: the rosary beads he is known to clutch during a crisis, the rolled-up bulletin in hand as he leaves Mass on Election Day, the quoting of papal encyclicals on the campaign trail. But his rosary is not…
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European bishops demand Belarus allow return of Catholic leader

European bishops demand Belarus allow return of Catholic leader

Roman Catholic bishops urged Belarus’s leader Alexander Lukashenko to let its most senior cleric come back into the country. Minsk’s archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz (photo), who has angered Lukashenko by defending the rights of anti-government protesters, was stopped at the border on Monday as he was returning home from a ceremony in neighboring Poland. Lukashenko, who is facing the biggest challenge to his 26-year rule, told reporters the prelate had been barred because he had “dragged Catholic believers” into politics. “We do not care who he is,” Lukashenko said. In a statement, the Council of the Bishops’ Conferences of Europe (CCEE),…
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N Korea Pyongyang’s diocese to be dedicated to Our Lady of Fatima

N Korea Pyongyang’s diocese to be dedicated to Our Lady of Fatima

The Diocese of Pyongyang, North Korea, is to be dedicated to Our Lady of Fatima on 15 August, the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Vatican News reports. The Archbishop of Seoul and Apostolic Administrator of Pyongyang, Cardinal Andrew Soo-jung Yeom, made this announcement in his message for the liturgical Solemnity. He said that the assumption into heaven of Our Lady “is a sign of hope for us, the faithful, because it has given us hope that if we are faithful in our believing like the Holy Mother, we will be saved and rewarded with eternal life…
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Crucifix in Nicaragua cathedral torched in ‘hatred of the Church’

Crucifix in Nicaragua cathedral torched in ‘hatred of the Church’

Vatican News reports witnesses saying that a hooded man entered the Chapel of the Blood of Chris, Managua on Friday and threw a Molotov cocktail. The petrol bomb started a fire that engulfed a 400-year-old crucifix housed in the chapel. The blaze was brought under control fairly quickly, and no one was injured. But the attack has left a deep wound on Nicaragua’s Catholic community. The Archdiocese of Managua released a statement on Friday, calling the attack a “premeditated and planned act, carried out by someone with experience in this field.” The crucifix was completely destroyed in the fire, which the statement says was…
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Pope Francis urges Catholics to spend more time in silence and in conversation with God

Pope Francis urges Catholics to spend more time in silence and in conversation with God

Pope Francis urged Catholics Wednesday to use the season of Lent to spend less time immersed in the chatter and noise of the world through television and their phones, and to spend more time in silence and in conversation with God. “Lent is the right time to make room for the Word of God. It is the time to turn off the television and open the Bible. It is the time to disconnect from your cell phone and connect to the Gospel,” the pope said Feb. 26. This penitential period, he continued, is also the time to work on giving…
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Blessed Devasahayam, Indian martyr cleared for sainthood

Blessed Devasahayam, Indian martyr cleared for sainthood

Pope Francis authorised the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to promulgate 8 decrees regarding 10 candidates, clearing two of them for sainthood. This included Indian martyr, Blessed Lazarus, called Devasahayam, an 18th century high-caste Hindu married man who converted to Catholicism.  A decree acknowledged a miracle through his intercession that cleared him for sainthood. Devasahayam was declared Blessed on December 2, 2012, in Kottar, 300 years after his birth. In remarks that day during the midday “Angelus” prayer in the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI recalled Devasahayam as “faithful layman”.  He urged Christians to “join in the joy of the…
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“War brings only death and destruction” Pope Francis

“War brings only death and destruction” Pope Francis

Pope Francis said there is a “terrible air of tension” in many parts of the world. “I call upon all parties to fan the flame of dialogue and self-control, and to banish the shadow of enmity,” he said. “War brings only death and destruction.” On Saturday, Patriarch Louis Rafaël Sako, Patriarch of the Chaldean Catholic Church in Iraq, issued a strong appeal on Saturday in the wake of the U.S. drone strike in Baghdad which killed Iranian General Qasem Soleimani, and the protests which followed. “Iraqis are still shocked by what happened last week. It is deplorable that our country should be…
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Christmas Mass – Betlehem

Christmas Mass – Betlehem

Clergymen arrive for a mass at the Church of the Nativity on Christmas eve in leading to the Church of the Nativity, the traditionally accepted birthplace of Jesus Christ, on Christmas Eve in the West bank town of Bethlehem, 24 December 2019. The Church of the Nativity, built on the site where Jesus Christ is believed to have been born in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, is administered jointly by Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Armenian Apostolic, and Syriac Orthodox church. EPA-EFE/ABED AL HASHLAMOUN
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Pope Francis to celebrate mass for 100th anniversary of John Paul II’s birth

Pope Francis to celebrate mass for 100th anniversary of John Paul II’s birth

The Polish episcopate announced that in May, 2020, Pope Francis will celebrate a Mass for the 100th anniversary of John Paul II's birth. It will be in the Vatican on May 17. Karol Wojtyla was actually born the day after, on May 18. However, the bishops of Poland preferred to celebrate on the 17th because it is Sunday. This would allow more people to participate. In Poland, the anniversary will be celebrated everywhere. The episcopate will publish a message to reflect on the actuality of John Paul II's magisterium. The Polish pope played an important role in the life of…
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Pope Francis turns 83

Pope Francis turns 83

Pope Francis (Jorge Mario Bergoglio) was born on 17 December 1936. He was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Bergoglio was ordained a Catholic priest in 1969, and from 1973 to 1979 was Argentina's provincial superior of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). He became the archbishop of Buenos Aires in 1998 and was created a cardinal in 2001 by Pope John Paul II. He led the Argentine Church during the December 2001 riots in Argentina. The administrations of Néstor Kirchner and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner considered him a political rival. Following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI on 28 February 2013,…
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Cardinal Pell’s investigation deliberately used to deflect a major police force scandal in Australia

Cardinal Pell’s investigation deliberately used to deflect a major police force scandal in Australia

Leaked documents show that senior police officials in the Australian state of Victoria discussed by email the way that their 2014 investigation into Cardinal George Pell could deflect public scrutiny from an emerging corruption scandal in the police force. The Catholic News Agency reports that "in a 2014 email exchange, then-Deputy Commissioner Graham Ashton and Charlie Morton, assistant director of media and corporate communications for the Victoria police department, discussed how to respond to a high-profile scandal which would hamper the credibility of Victoria police operations." According to the report, an email dated April 1, 2014, Morton advised Ashton not…
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Vatican donates building to shelter Rome’s homeless and poor

Vatican donates building to shelter Rome’s homeless and poor

The Vatican has donated a building near St Peter's hitherto used by nuns to shelter Rome's homeless and poor, ANSA sources said Friday. The building, which overlooks St Peter's Square, will be run as a dormitory by the Office of Papal Charities and the Sant' Egidio activist community. The "well-appointed" building will be able to house up to 50 people, the sources said. Initially some 30-35 homeless and poor will be housed, they said. Via ANSA 
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Pray like the poor, not the Pharisee – Pope Francis

Pray like the poor, not the Pharisee – Pope Francis

The Pope focused his reflections on three figures in this Sunday’s readings: a Pharisee, a tax collector, and a poor person. Each of them tells us something about how to pray, and suggests the kind of prayer that is “pleasing to God”. The prayer of the Pharisee Pope Francis said the Pharisee begins well by giving thanks to God, “because the best prayer is that of gratitude and praise”. Immediately afterwards, though, he adds he is grateful because he is “not like other men”. Filled with self-assurance “about his own ability to keep the commandments, his own merits and virtues,…
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Catholic Bishops Back Ordination of Married Men as Priests in Amazon

Catholic Bishops Back Ordination of Married Men as Priests in Amazon

Bishops meeting at the Vatican formally recommended on Saturday that Pope Francis lift in the Amazon region the Roman Catholic Church’s nearly 1,000-year-old restriction on the ordination of married men as priests to address a scarcity, a step that could revolutionize the priesthood. New York Times reports: "It is the first time a summit of bishops convened by a pope has endorsed such a historic change to the tradition of a celibate priesthood. The proposal, while limited to remote areas in South America and married men already ordained as deacons in the church, could set a precedent for easing the…
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Pope Francis proclaims five new Saints

Pope Francis proclaims five new Saints

Cardinal John Henry Newman, Sister Marian Thresia, Sister Giuseppina Vannini, Sister Dulce Lopes Pontes, and Marguerite Bays were proclaimed Saints by Pope Francis in a ceremony which took place on Sunday at the Vatican. In his homily, Pope Francis reflected on Saint Luke’s Gospel account of Jesus healing the lepers. Theirs was a “journey of faith”, said the Pope. There are three steps in this journey, he added, all expressed in the actions of the lepers whom Jesus heals: “They cry out, they walk and they give thanks”. Vatican News reports "the lepers “cry out”, said Pope Francis, both because of…
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Compassion is key – Pope Francis

Compassion is key – Pope Francis

Pope Francis created 13 new Cardinals during an Ordinary Public Consistory in St Peter’s Basilica on Saturday afternoon. In his homily reflects on the importance of being aware of God’s compassion. In fact "Compassion” was the keyword in Pope Francis’ homily during the Ordinary Public Consistory, celebrated in the Vatican before members of the College of Cardinals, and delegations from five continents. “Compassion is a keyword in the Gospel”, he said. “It is forever written in the heart of God”. God’s love for His people is “drenched with compassion”, said Pope Francis, while, “sad to say, it appears that what…
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Cardinal Pell to appeal conviction

Cardinal Pell to appeal conviction

Cardinal George Pell will appeal his conviction to the Australian High Court, following the decision last week by the Court of Appeal in Victoria to uphold his conviction for child sexual abuse. Sources close to the cardinal told CNA Aug. 26 that Pell would be exercising his final appeal and that, while the majority of “special leave to appeal” cases were not granted by the High Court, his case would likely be accepted given the controversy triggered by the split decision of the Appeal Court judgement. In seeking to take his case to the High Court in Canberra, Australia’s supreme…
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Polemic between exorcists and Jesuit head over existence of the Devil

Polemic between exorcists and Jesuit head over existence of the Devil

The Devil really exists, the International Association of Exorcists (AIE) insisted after the head of the Jesuit order said Satan was just a symbol. Jesuit Superior General Arturo Sosa Abascal told the annual meeting of the influential Catholic group Communion and Liberation in Rimini, Italy, that "symbols are part of reality and the Devil exists as symbolic reality, not as personal reality". He reiterated his comments in the Italian magazine Tempi saying that “the devil exists as a symbolic reality, not as a personal reality.” The AIE was quick to refute the 70-year-old Venezuelan's claim, saying existence of Satan saying…
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Cardinal George Pell loses appeal against sexual abuse convictions

Cardinal George Pell loses appeal against sexual abuse convictions

Cardinal George Pell, the most senior Catholic cleric to be convicted of sexual abuse, has failed in a legal bid to quash his convictions in Australia. Pell, the former Vatican treasurer, was jailed for six years in March after being found guilty of abusing two boys in a Melbourne cathedral in the 1990s. He maintains his innocence. There were three grounds of appeal. Two were procedural or technical: the plea of not guilty was not made in the presence of the jury panel; and the defence was not permitted to play a "visual representation" of part of its argument in…
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Salvini’s use of the rosary beads and invocation of Catholic religion for his populist politics hurts – Gozo’s Bishop Grech

Salvini’s use of the rosary beads and invocation of Catholic religion for his populist politics hurts – Gozo’s Bishop Grech

Gozo Bishop Mario Grech has said that it ‘hurts’ to watch Italy's Home Affairs Minister Matteo Salvini brandish rosary beads and invoke European saints while insisting on putting a stop to the “Islamic invasion”. Mgr. Grech was being interviewed on the Church’s radio station. The Times reports that people who use their beliefs to bolster populism are manipulating religion and manipulating people’s mind, the bishop said. “This is clear exploitation, when the homily preaches the polar opposite,” Mgr. Grech said. During the interview, Mgr. Grech expressed his concern that Catholics with such narrow beliefs wanted to return to a sectarian…
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Catholic Priests and Nuns arrested after protest against Trump’s migration policy

Catholic Priests and Nuns arrested after protest against Trump’s migration policy

Priests and nuns were among 70 people arrested for ‘crowding, obstructing, incommoding’, and several were filmed being led away in handcuffs after taking part in a protest against Trump’ migration policy. The clergy members were among 70 Catholic activists who descended upon the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C. on Thursday for the protests. The group of Catholic sisters, priests, brothers and lay Catholic advocates recited the rosary as they gathered inside the Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill for what organizers dubbed the “Catholic Day of Action for Immigrant Children.” Some of the participants held photos of children…
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Do the right-wing victories mean that Pope Francis has lost the battle against the alt-right Christians? – Fr Joe Borg

Do the right-wing victories mean that Pope Francis has lost the battle against the alt-right Christians? – Fr Joe Borg

St Pope John Paul II seems to have had more electoral successes than Pope Francis. This opening sentence will probably surprise many given that popes do not lead politi­cal parties and neither do they contest general elections. This is true indeed. Fr Joe Borg, on the Sunday Times (7th July) writes on how "what a pope says can – and sometimes does – have a political impact on voters and elections." He speaks about the electoral effect of what St Pope John Paul II did and said made, in Poland. The positive effect of his support for Solidarność is not only…
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Vatican insists that priests cannot reveal confession secrets

Vatican insists that priests cannot reveal confession secrets

The Vatican on Monday strongly reaffirmed Catholic teaching that priests cannot reveal what they learn in confession, in an apparent response to moves in Australia and elsewhere to force them to do so in cases of sexual abuse. A document from the Vatican’s Apostolic Penitentiary, which deals with issues of the sacrament of confession, said no government could force clergy to violate the seal. “The inviolable secret of confession comes directly from divine revealed law and its roots are in the very nature of the sacrament, to the point that no exception can be admitted in any Church framework, let…
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The Lord does not work miracles with those who consider themselves righteous, but with those who know themselves to be needy – Pope Francis

The Lord does not work miracles with those who consider themselves righteous, but with those who know themselves to be needy – Pope Francis

As Bishop of Rome, Pope Francis on Saturday celebrated the feast of the Patrons of this ancient city, Saints Peter and Paul. Dressed in red vestments and against the backdrop of a magnificent St Peter’s Basilica, the Pope noted that these Apostles “stand before us as witnesses.” During his homily, the Pontiff said, “if we go to the heart of that testimony, we can see them as witnesses to life, witnesses to forgiveness and witnesses to Jesus.” Pope Francis underlined that the lives of these Saints  “were not neat and linear.” “There is a great teaching here”, he went on to say. …
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Tension between the Vatican and China

Tension between the Vatican and China

The Vatican has told bishops and priests in China that they must follow their own consciences in deciding whether to register with the government, and it urged Catholics in the country not to judge them for the choices they make. The Vatican also asked China’s communist government on Friday to stop intimidating Catholic clergy who want to remain unequivocally loyal to the pope and refuse to sign ambiguous official registration forms. The problem, the Vatican said, is that registration almost always requires the bishop or priest to accept "the principle of independence, autonomy and self-administration of the church in China,"…
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Archbishop Scicluna recounts how his life got perhaps saved by a victim of sex abuse

Archbishop Scicluna recounts how his life got perhaps saved by a victim of sex abuse

Archbishop Scicluna while answering question during RTK’s programme Follow-up  said that he himself was helped, perhaps his life saved, by a victim of sex abuse whose testimony he was listening to during his mission to Chile. Archbishop Scicluna said that while in Chile he was not feeling well and was in pain. The abuse victim who was now a medical consultant, after asking a number of questions to the Archbishop advised him to immediately go to hospital for tests. Scicluna heeded the advice and following tests the hospital personnel said that he needed an operation. The story was also reported…
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Young Polish priest who was ordained last month following a terminal cancer diagnosis has died

Young Polish priest who was ordained last month following a terminal cancer diagnosis has died

A young Polish priest who was ordained last month following a terminal cancer diagnosis has died, his community announced Monday. Fr. Michal Los, FDP, died June 17 in the morning, the Congregation of the Orionine Fathers said in a Facebook post. “We believe that he met with the Risen Christ whom he so desperately wanted to serve as a priest. Thank you for all your prayers and support,” the congregation said. On May 24, Los was ordained a priest in his Warsaw hospital bed. He had been diagnosed with cancer about a month prior. At the time of his ordination,…
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Chilean Auxiliary Bishop appointed less than a month ago, resigns

Chilean Auxiliary Bishop appointed less than a month ago, resigns

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Fr. Carlos Eugenio Irarrázaval Errazuriz as auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Santiago de Chile. The Chilean auxiliary bishop was appointed by Pope Francis less than a month ago. Carlos Eugenio Irarrazaval was appointed by the pope in an effort to rebuild the church’s credibility following a pervasive sex abuse scandal that exposed hundreds of allegations now being investigated by Chilean criminal prosecutors. The archdiocese of Santiago did not specify the reasons for Irarrazaval’s departure in its statement, but said the decision for Irarrázaval to resign “was the fruit of dialogue and joint…
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Catholic priest, killed in Kenya, five months since ordination

Catholic priest, killed in Kenya, five months since ordination

A Catholic priest was killed in Kenya. Fr. Eutycas Murangiri Muthur, of the parish of Limbine, diocese of Meru, county of Tigania, was stabbed to death by one or more individuals at about 1.30 am on June 4th, in Makutano, at about 200 km from the capital, Nairobi. The circumstances of the killing are not clear but the police arrested a man and a woman who apparently were with Fr. Eutycas. Fr. Eutycas was 32 years old and was ordained on December 23, 2018. The priest’s father, Mr Domiciano Muthuri, said the family and faithful of Nkabune Parish, where Fr…
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Four Catholics killed during a procession in Burkina Faso

Four Catholics killed during a procession in Burkina Faso

Armed  assailants killed four Catholics and destroyed a statue of the Virgin Mary in northern Burkina Faso, Catholic church officials revealed, the third deadly attack against Christians in the West African country in the span of two weeks. This last attack happened in the diocese of Ouahigouya, and it confirms a trend towards increasingly sectarian violence amid a strengthening jihadist insurgency. The parade with a statue of the Virgin Mary was moving through the town of Ouahigouya on Monday when "a group of terrorists intercepted the procession, killing four worshippers and burning the statue," said a spokesman for the Ouagadougou…
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Nineteen conservative Catholics accuse and brand Pope Francis as heretic

Nineteen conservative Catholics accuse and brand Pope Francis as heretic

A group of nineteen Catholics, including some prominent academics, have published an open letter to the bishops of the world accusing Pope Francis of heresy. The letter, made public on April 30, was dated “Easter week” and signed by 19 individuals, including Fr. Aiden Nichols OP, an internationally recognized theologian and author. The 15-page letter begins by asking the bishops of the world to take some action against the pope. “We are addressing this letter to you for two reasons: first to accuse Pope Francis of the canonical delict of heresy, and second, to request that you take the steps necessary…
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Here I am

Here I am

Pope Francis lies down in prayer during the celebration the Lord's Passion on Good Friday at Saint Peter's Basilica, Vatican City, 19 April 2019. Good Friday is a Christian commemoration of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary. It is observed during Holy Week as part of the Easter Triduum on the Friday preceding Easter Sunday. EPA-EFE/MAURIZIO BRAMBATTI
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Spanish Catholic Church caught in a controversy over ‘gay conversion’ courses

Spanish Catholic Church caught in a controversy over ‘gay conversion’ courses

A Roman Catholic diocese near Madrid is being investigated after a Spanish newspaper reported that it was running courses to "cure" gay men of homosexuality. The deputy head of the Madrid regional administration, Pedro Rollán, warned of penalties if the Church had broken the region's anti-homophobia laws. The diocese of Alcalá de Henares, north-east of Spain's capital, denied offering such "cures", in a statement. It added it provided pastoral and spiritual company to those freely seeking it. The controversy erupted after report by El Diario, in which a reporter posed as a gay man seeking sexual orientation help from the…
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LGBT rights set to be Poland’s electoral battlefront

LGBT rights set to be Poland’s electoral battlefront

Poland's ruling The Law and Justice Party (PiS) has condemned a new school sex education programme planned in Poland's opposition-ruled capital Warsaw, calling it an infringement of traditional Catholic values by Western liberalism. This comes as Poland is facing two key elections this year and the PiS is facing a decline in popularity amid corruption allegations and questions about party chief Jaroslaw Kaczynski's business dealings. Poland's European Coalition, an umbrella grouping of opposition parties, has passed PiS by two points ahead of May's European Parliament elections, according to a new opinion poll. Parliamentary elections will follow in the autumn. Indications…
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On this day, six years ago Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected Pope

On this day, six years ago Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected Pope

It was on 13 March 2013, that Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected as the head of the worldwide Catholic Church.  He was elected in the 5th ballot on the second day of the conclave that was held following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI on 28 February 2013. The 82-year old Pontiff is the first Pope from the American continent, the first Jesuit Pope in history and the first Pontiff who adopted the name of Italy’s popular Saint Francis of Assisi. Six days later, on 19 March, the feast of St. Joseph, Pope Francis inaugurated his pontificate with a solemn Mass…
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Lent is a time to rediscover the direction of life

Lent is a time to rediscover the direction of life

Pope Francis summoned Christians to slow down in a fast-paced and often directionless life and fast from the unnecessary things that distract us, to heed Lent that he described as "a wake-up call for the soul". The Vatican News reports that the Pope’s words came during the homily at Holy Mass on Ash Wednesday with the blessing and imposition of the ashes that took place, as per tradition, in the Basilica of Saint Sabina on the Aventine Hill. “Lent is the time to rediscover the direction of life.  Because in life’s journey, as in every journey, what really matters is not…
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Protection of Minors – Archbishop Scicluna says silence unacceptable

Protection of Minors – Archbishop Scicluna says silence unacceptable

"I will never give up…" Archbishop Charles Scicluna, president of the Maltese Bishops’ Conference, the Pope’s entrusted reformer in combatting and investigating sex abuse, and one of the four organizers of this week’s Summit on the Protection of Minor’s in the Church in the Vatican, Feb. 21-24, said this, noting that even if it takes time, even if mistakes are made, there is no excuse in his mind to ever stop working toward protecting minors and the innocent in the Church. The comments were made at the Holy See Press Office today, Feb. 18, where a press conference was held…
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From Ratzinger to Bergoglio, Scicluna at the forefront of the fight on Child Abuse

From Ratzinger to Bergoglio, Scicluna at the forefront of the fight on Child Abuse

The Catholic News Agency (Italian edition) reports that Archbishop Scicluna stands out as one of the clergymen who are fighting in the forefront to stem the scandal of child abuse. Pope Francis also sent him to Chile to continue investigations into the abuses and coverings of the same by bishops and Chilean clergy since last June. He is the prelate who more than any other has accumulated experience in combating the scourge of child abuse. From Benedetto to Francesco. "I have little to say to young people who have been abused. I prefer to cry with them. Silence and crying…
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Manifesto of Faith published by sacked Cardinal Mueller defining differences between Pope and the Conservatives within the church

Manifesto of Faith published by sacked Cardinal Mueller defining differences between Pope and the Conservatives within the church

A cardinal who was sacked from a senior Vatican post by Pope Francis has written his own “Manifesto of Faith,” in the latest attack on the pontiff’s authority by a leading member of the Church’s conservative wing. Cardinal Gerhard Mueller, 71, a German who was the Vatican’s doctrinal chief until 2017, issued the four-page manifesto on Friday via conservative Catholic media outlets. He said “many bishops, priests, religious and lay people” had requested it. He did not say how many and why he was issuing it now. However, conservatives balked this week when Francis made the first trip by a…
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Pope Francis appoints Maltese Archbishop Scicluna as Adjunct Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

Pope Francis appoints Maltese Archbishop Scicluna as Adjunct Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

His Holiness Pope Francis appointed Maltese Archbishop Charles J. Scicluna as Adjunct Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of the Holy See. Whilst remaining the Archbishop of Malta, Mgr Scicluna will have a greater role in the Congregation which is responsible to promote and safeguard the doctrine on faith and morals in the Church. The pope’s decision gives the Maltese archbishop the lead role in the fight against abuse in the church and in the protection of minors. America reports that the surprise announcement came as the Vatican prepares for an unprecedented summit meeting of the presidents of…
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Bono speaks of Pope’s sincere pain for abuse in Ireland

U2 frontman Bono has described Pope Francis as being "aghast" about sex abuse in the Catholic Church. The Irish singer met privately with Francis on Wednesday at the Vatican hotel where the pope lives, to discuss themes that Bono told reporters included "the wild beast that is capitalism" and sustainable development. Bono said that because Francis visited Ireland recently, they spoke about the pontiff's "feelings about what has happened in the church." The Irish church's reputation is stained by cases of pedophile priests and systematic abuse cover-ups. Bono said he told Francis how it looks to some that abusers are…
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Catholic Church in Germany acknowledge ‘depressing and shameful’ 70-year legacy of child sexual abuse

Catholic Church in Germany acknowledge ‘depressing and shameful’ 70-year legacy of child sexual abuse

The Catholic Church in Germany acknowledged a “depressing and shameful” legacy of sexual abuse on Wednesday after a leaked study said clerics had abused thousands of children over a 70-year period. DW A study commissioned by the German Bishops Conference examined 3,677 cases of abuse allegedly perpetrated by clergy nationwide, German magazine Der Spiegel reported on Wednesday. The universities of Giessen, Heidelberg and Mannheim were involved in the research, which implicated 1,670 priests in sexual abuse spanning from 1946 to 2014. The victims in Germany were predominantly male and more than half of them were 13 years of age or younger. Every…
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Diplomatique Expert recommends…

Diplomatique Expert recommends…

Our consulting arm Diplomatique Expert, recommends the following reads from major news outlets for insight on the main news of the week.   The Observer In Chemnitz, anti-fascists stand up to the Nazi salutes of Germany's far right - Louise Osborne A week after violent clashes that shook Germany and echoed round the world, demonstrators took to the streets of Chemnitz again on Saturday, for the latest round of a high-profile, high-stakes battle over the soul and future of their country. Thousands of people, arms linked and chanting, marched down a street where a week ago far-right demonstrators performed Nazi…
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Police raid Chilean Episcopal conference over alleged rapes and sexual abuse by Marist congregation

Police raid Chilean Episcopal conference over alleged rapes and sexual abuse by Marist congregation

AP: Police raided the Chilean Episcopal Conference on Tuesday in a case over alleged rapes and sexual abuse committed by members of the Marist Congregation, prosecutor Raúl Guzmán said. Guzmán and investigative police personnel arrived with a court order at the headquarters located in the heart of the Chilean capital. The prosecutor investigates more than 50 complaints from people who claim that while they were studying in Marist schools and were minors they were repeatedly abused. "We are collecting and complementing the information that we have already received for the identification of victims who have made complaints about abuses of different…
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Wednesday Morning Briefing

Wednesday Morning Briefing

Good morning, The news around the world, including Malta are dominated with the tragedy that took place on Tuesday in Genoa, Italy. Earlier, the last news cycle started off with the issue of the Westminster terror attack, at the same time that the economic world was waiting for developments on the Turkish front. In the process, a solution for the MV Aquarius was found. Our morning briefing follows: Italy witnessed an unprecedented, perhaps foretold disaster in Genoa. Over a hundred meters of the Morandi bridge on the A10 motorway collapsed while a storm struck the region. 35 people were confirmed…
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