Portugal cardinal meets pope as sex abuse allegations swirl
The Catholic Church in Portugal says the archbishop of Lisbon has met with Pope Francis in a private audience at the Vatican to discuss “events in recent weeks that have marked the life of the Church in Portugal.”washingtonpost.com
'Rescind the Doctrine' protest greets pope at mass
Pope Francis celebrated Mass at Canada's National Shrine on Thursday after protesters were removed. The protesters were calling for the Church to rescind a centuries-old decrees that were used to justify the seizure of Native lands. (July 29)news.yahoo.com
Tribal leaders, members react to pope's apology on schools
Pope Francis’s apology for the Catholic Church’s role in Canada’s abusive residential schools was a full-throated denunciation of a decadeslong policy of forced assimilation that aimed to strip Indigenous children of their culture and traumatized generationswashingtonpost.com
Two Jesuit priests killed in Mexican area torn by drug violence
The religious order demanded justice and the return of the bodies of the Mexican priests, which were removed by the armed men. “The Sierra Tarahumara, like many other regions of the country, suffers violence and neglect,” their statement read. “They killed him, then the priests emerged, and it seems they were killed too,” he said. About 30 Indigenous leaders have been killed in the region in the past two decades, according to Mexican news reports. “The Jesuits of Mexico will not be silent about the reality that lacerates our society,” their statement said.washingtonpost.com
Pope cracks down on new Catholic religious start-ups
Pope Francis has taken another step to reign in new religious groups in the Catholic Church after their unregulated proliferation in recent decades led to abuses in governance that allowed spiritual and sexual misconduct to go unchecked. Francis issued a new decree published Wednesday that requires prior Vatican approval for bishops to erect new associations of the faithful, often the first step in the creation of a new apostolic society or institute of consecrate life. The decree follows a similar one issued in 2020 that required prior Vatican approval for d iocesan-level religious orders, suggesting the Vatican was now cracking down even further to better regulate the origins of these new forms of religious life and take the decisions about them out of the hands of local bishops.news.yahoo.com
Mourners say goodbye to Uvalde teacher and her husband
Mourners gathered Wednesday at a Catholic church to say goodbye to Robb Elementary School teacher Irma Garcia — who died in the shooting at the Uvalde, Texas, grade school — and her husband, Joe — who died two days later from a heart attack. Nineteen children and two teachers — Garcia and her co-teacher, 44-year-old Eva Mireles — were killed May 24 when an 18-year-old gunman burst into their classroom. The litany of visitations, funerals and burials began Monday and will continue into mid-June. At Sacred Heart Catholic Church on Wednesday, twin black hearses carrying the coffins of the Garcias arrived in a procession led by police and civilian motorcycle riders.news.yahoo.com
Catholic leader blasts Israeli conduct at journalist funeral
The top Catholic clergyman in the Holy Land on Monday condemned the police beating of mourners carrying the casket of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, accusing the authorities of violating human rights and disrespecting the Catholic Church. Latin Patriarch Pierbattista Pizzaballa told reporters at St. Joseph Hospital in Jerusalem that Friday's incident, broadcast around the world, was a “disproportionate use of force” to the Palestinian flag-waving crowd of thousands proceeding from the hospital to a nearby Catholic church in Jerusalem's Old City. The attack drew worldwide condemnation and added to the shock and outrage of Abu Akleh's killing as she covered a shootout in the occupied West Bank.news.yahoo.com
1st German Catholic diocese allows women to perform baptisms
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Essen has become the first in Germany to allow women to perform baptisms, citing a lack of priests. The diocese said in a statement Monday that Bishop Franz-Josef Overbeck tasked 18 lay ministers —17 of them women — with conferring the sacrament of admission into the Church at a ceremony over the weekend. Until now only priests and deacons — functions the Catholic Church reserves for men — were allowed to perform baptisms.news.yahoo.com
AP PHOTOS: Lviv residents seek comfort in Sunday service
Their hands clasped in prayer and faces ridden with fear and sadness, some residents of Lviv sought consolation at a Sunday Mass at a Catholic church in the city in western Ukraine. The 17th-century church was silent during the ceremony, reflecting the moment laden with emotion and concern because of the ongoing Russian invasion. Built by Jesuit missionaries, the Saints Peter and Paul Garrison Church in Lviv was damaged during World War II and used to store more than 2 million books during the Soviet Era.news.yahoo.com
Rejection or welcome: Transgender Catholics encounter both
For transgender Catholics across the United States, retaining their faith can entail complex calculations. A small but growing number of parishes have formed LGBTQ support groups and welcome transgender people on their own terms. The latest policy targeting trans Catholics was issued by the Archdiocese of Milwaukee in January.news.yahoo.com
Like in Arizona, botched baptisms roiled Michigan church
One word caught the ear of a young priest a few years ago when his father shared a video of his 1990 baptism at a suburban Detroit church. “Wait,” the Rev. Matthew Hood recalled thinking. Indeed, an error by a deacon who said “We baptize” instead of “I baptize” spoiled Hood's baptism in the eyes of the Catholic Church — and, in domino-like fashion, erased his other sacraments and meant that he wasn't really a priest.news.yahoo.com
Benedict woes come as German church reform pressure rises
A report on decades of sexual abuse in Germany that shone an unflattering spotlight on retired Pope Benedict XVI has come on top of already strong pressure in Germany to reconsider Catholic rules on issues including homosexuality and women’s roles.
2 arrested after allegedly bringing gun into West Side Catholic church during service, Archdiocese says
Two people are in custody after an incident involving a gun inside a West Side Catholic church that caused parishioners to flee the building during morning services, according to the Archdiocese of San Antonio.
Rwanda's Kagame welcomes French 'truth' about the genocide
President Paul Kagame of Rwanda on Wednesday described a French report documenting France’s role in the 1994 genocide as “a good thing,” welcoming efforts in Paris to “move forward with a good understanding of what happened” 27 years after the massacres that shocked the world.
German archbishop offers to resign after abuse criticism
The report commissioned by Cologne's archbishop, Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki, absolved Woelki himself of any neglect of duty with respect to abuse victims. Francis has previously declined, at least initially, to accept resignations when they were offered to repent for mishandling sex abuse cases, though he has relented after time. Woelki said he also would temporarily suspend two Cologne church officials based on the findings of the investigation. The report found Schwaderlapp neglected his duty to inform and report abuse allegations in eight cases. AdIn January, a new system drawn up by the church to compensate abuse victims took effect.
Belgian bishop lashes out at Vatican over gay unions decree
FILE - In this Saturday, May 8, 2010 file photo, from left, Liege Bishop Aloysius Jousten, Brussels Archbishop Andre Leonard, Tournai Bishop Guy Harpigny and Antwerp Bishop Johan Bonny attend a press conference at the Vatican. Belgian bishop Johan Bonny, in an opinion piece, has lashed out at the Vatican over its decree that the Catholic Church won't bless same-sex unions. The Congregation's note distinguished between blessing same-sex unions and the church’s welcoming and blessing of gay people, which it endorsed. It argued that such unions were not part of God’s plan and that any sacramental recognition of them could be confused with marriage. AdThe orthodoxy office's document argued that same-sex unions can't be blessed by the Catholic Church because they are not part of that plan.
Vatican bars gay union blessing, says God 'can't bless sin'
(Tiziana Fabi/Pool photo via AP)ROME – The Vatican declared Monday that the Catholic Church won't bless same-sex unions since God “cannot bless sin.”The Vatican’s orthodoxy office, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, issued a formal response to a question about whether Catholic clergy have the authority to bless gay unions. Since gay unions aren't intended to be part of that plan, they can't be blessed by the church, the document said. Francis has endorsed providing gay couples with legal protections in same-sex unions, but that was in reference to the civil sphere, not within the church. At the time, Argentine lawmakers were considering approving gay marriage, which the Catholic Church opposes. AdSpeaking of families with gay children, he said: “You can’t kick someone out of a family, nor make their life miserable for this.
Vatican clears retired US bishop of multiple abuse claims
His attorney, Thomas Jubin, said multiple allegations against Hart were “specious,” with some based on second- and third-hand information, and with some accusers emphasizing that Hart didn't physically touch them. “Despite this, Bishop Hart asks me to convey that he continues to pray for all involved in this case so that they may find peace and healing. In Cheyenne, Biegler has previously stood by the findings of his review board, which determined a half-dozen claims were credible. As a result, the sentence showed the arbitrary nature of Vatican’s canonical sex abuse deliberations and judgments, which aren't public. The first known allegations against Hart dated to the early 1960s and were made in the late 1980s.
The Latest: Hong Kong ends lockdown in Kowloon neighborhood
The district has been at the center of a worsening coronavirus outbreak, with over 160 cases reported over the first three weeks in January. As of Sunday, Hong Kong has reported 10,086 cases of the coronavirus, with 169 deaths recorded. The nation of 26 million people has reported fewer than 30,000 virus cases and a little over 900 deaths. There have been 373,090 total virus cases and a death toll of 3,279 since the pandemic began, according to the health department. The U.S. accounts for roughly one of every four cases reported worldwide and one of every five deaths.
New Braunfels Catholic church celebrates 175 years of history
New Braunfels – The year 1845 does not only represent a landmark for the city of New Braunfels, but also the start of the Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church in the city. COVID-19 canceled the city and church’s big plans to celebrate the huge milestone birthday, but that hasn’t stopped church officials from appreciating the history behind it all. “The bishop came over and talked to the city leaders of New Braunfels and said, ‘Hey, you guys promised us some land for our church. “It was the little room that grew,” Phelan said. “This church has been here for a very very long time,” Phelan said.
Orthodox priest shot at church in France, motive unknown
Police officers and rescue workers block the access to the scene after a Greek Orthodox priest was shot Saturday Oct.31, 2020 while he was closing his church in the city of Lyon, central France. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)LYON – A Greek Orthodox priest was shot Saturday while he was closing his church in the French city of Lyon, and authorities locked down part of the city to hunt for the assailant, authorities said. “We don’t know at this stage the motive for this attack.”Antoine Callot, the pastor at another Greek Orthodox church in Lyon, identified the wounded priest as Nikolas Kakavelakis, a 45-year-old father of two. No one was guarding the church targeted Saturday in Lyon, or the church attacked in Nice on Thursday. The Greek Foreign Ministry said in a statement: “We condemn the attack against an Orthodox priest of Greek origin near the Church of the Annunciation in Lyon, France.
Poland: Tens of thousands hold new protest over abortion ban
The protests were triggered by an Oct. 22 ruling by Poland’s constitutional court that abortion in cases of severe fetal deformities was unconstitutional. He has long supported a total ban on abortion and he is being blamed now for being behind the court ruling, issued by party loyalties. "The will of people to protest should be a lesson for anyone who wants to impose authoritarian ways.”Poland's abortion law was forged by political and Catholic Church leaders in 1993. Earlier attempts by the country's conservative ruling party to change the law to ban all abortions also prompted enormous street protests, including in 2016 and 2017. Such actions and vulgarity have offended many people in the largely Catholic nation, even some who disagree with the court ruling.
Vatican, China extend bishop agreement over US opposition
VATICAN CITY – The Vatican and China extended a controversial accord on bishop nominations Thursday over strong opposition from the White House and conservative Catholics given Beijing's crackdown on religious believers. The Holy See and Beijing government jointly announced a two-year extension to the 2018 agreement, which expired Thursday. Beijing foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters at a daily briefing Thursday that China and the Vatican decided to extend the agreement “after friendly consultations." But he said the Vatican needed to chart its own path with China, regardless of U.S. policy. “The Vatican needs to have its own relationship with China, with the Chinese people who are so numerous."
Pope: Market capitalism has failed in pandemic, needs reform
ROME – Pope Francis says the coronavirus pandemic has proven that the “magic theories” of market capitalism have failed and that the world needs a new type of politics that promotes dialogue and solidarity and rejects war at all costs. “Fratelli Tutti” (Brothers All) was released on the feast day of his namesake, the peace-loving St. Francis of Assisi. In the encyclical, Francis rejected even the Catholic Church’s own doctrine justifying war as a means of legitimate defense, saying it had been too broadly applied over the centuries and was no longer viable. “Aside from the differing ways that various countries responded to the crisis, their inability to work together became quite evident,” Francis wrote. In this case, “Fratelli Tutti” is a quote from the “Admonitions,” the guidelines penned by St. Francis in the 13th century.
Vatican releases financial, budget data amid scandal
ROME – The Vatican released a detailed budget, balance sheet and earning statement for the first time ever Thursday as it seeks to reassure Catholics amid a corruption scandal that has exposed its shoddy financial management. The data marked the first time since 2016 that the Vatican has released any information about its finances, despite pledges by Pope Francis from the start of his pontificate in 2013 to be more transparent and accountable. The data showed that the Vatican bureaucracy had narrowed its deficit to 11 million euros from 75 million euros in 2018, despite a continued fall in donations from dioceses and individuals alike. Astonishingly, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith - in recent decades perhaps the best-known Vatican office because it processes all clergy sex abuse cases - operates on an annual budget of 3.36 million euros. That represents 1% of the Curia’s budget for its apostolic work, far less than what is budgeted for the Vatican's Apostolic Library or Archives.
Pompeo urges Vatican to condemn human rights abuses in China
Pompeo made the appeal at a conference on religious freedom organized by the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See, with top Vatican officials in the audience. Pompeo has strongly criticized the accord, penning an essay earlier this month suggesting that the Vatican had compromised its moral authority by signing it. The Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, said the Holy See was “surprised” by Pompeo’s article. Both focused instead on the Holy See’s longstanding history of promoting religious freedom as a fundamental human right. After the conference, Pompeo met with Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte, the first Group of Seven leader to sign onto China’s infrastructure-building Belt and Road initiative.
Nobel laureate refuses local honor over Poland's LGBT 'rift'
Tokarczuk said in a tweet Friday that while she appreciated being considered, she “sadly” couldn't accept Lower Silesia’s honorary citizenship. She said that receiving it at the same time as Bishop Ignacy Dec would highlight the “painful rift” in Poland over LGBT rights. Dec has repeatedly described the LGBT rights movement as a threat to the Catholic Church and to Poland, which is predominantly Catholic. “Instead of being a joyous celebration of a sense of community, it is a vivid illustration of the painful rift in our society,” she said. Poland has produced heated debates over LGBT rights in recent months, including after right-wing President Andrzej Duda described the movement as worse than communism as part of his reelection campaign earlier this year.