Even today’s dominant religions have continually evolved throughout history. Early Christianity, for example, was a truly broad church: ancient documents include yarns about Jesus’ family life and testaments to the nobility of Judas. It took three centuries for the Christian church to consolidate around a canon of scriptures – and then in 1054 it split into the Eastern Orthodox and Catholic churches.
The believers’ reflection on the fate of Mary after death continued to grow over the centuries. It led to the belief in her assumption and, on 1 November 1950, to the papal definition: “The Immaculate Conception Mother of God ever Virgin, finished the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.”
“If the world hates you, remember that the world hated me before you. This would not be so if you belonged to the world because the world loves its own” (Jn 15:18-19). He calmed their perplexed and vacillating spirits recalling that a dramatic destiny puts together, for always, all the just ones. “Remember, that is how the ancestors of this people treated the prophets. Alas for you when people speak well of you, for that is how the ancestors of these people treated the false prophets” (Lk 6:23,26).
Pope Francis has spoken out about his concerns that Catholic priests are being "attacked and blamed" for crimes they did not commit. And he has warned them not to retreat into "closed and elitist" groups as a result because this "poisons the soul".
A new seminary to train priests for the whole of Asia will open in the Chinese territory of Macau in September. The Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples has entrusted management of the Redemptoris Mater College for Evangelization in Asia to the Neocatechumenal Way.
In the latest mob attack in India, a 17-year-old Muslim boy in northern Uttar Pradesh state was allegedly set ablaze by a Hindu mob after he refused to chant a slogan hailing the Hindu faith's Lord Ram. .... Hindus form 966 million, or 80 percent, of India's population of 1.3 billion. Muslims account for 172 million, or 14 percent, while Christians comprise 29 million, or 2.3 percent.
Fans of the Catholic author GK Chesterton have spoken of their frustration and disappointment at the decision not to open his cause for sainthood. Last week the Bishop of Northampton, Peter Doyle, wrote to the President of the Society of Gilbert Keith Chesterton, Dr Dale Ahlquist, stating that following a year-long investigation into the cause, much prayer, and a visit to the Congregation for the Cause of Saints in Rome, he was unable to promote Chesterton’s canonisation.
A recent survey carried out for the BBC showed that the most popular world leader in the Arab world was not the President of the United States or of Russia – or any Arab leader – but none other than President Erdogan. This embrace of a nationalistic, authoritarian, interfering non-Arab in Arab affairs might, at first glance, look odd.
Each belongs to one of the City of London’s most familiar yet overlooked group of workers – that amorphous community responsible for cleaning the City, mostly in the small hours, long after everyone else has gone home or before even the earliest of starters arrives to switch on their computer.