The growth in the number of food banks in the UK in recent years has been something of a divisive issue. ‘A food bank is, and always should be, a short term response to a particular crisis,’ says Paul Chitnis – so what is the long term solution, and how should Christians be addressing this crisis?
News in Activities
On the one year anniversary of Benedict XVI’s announcement of his decision to resign from the Petrine ministry, Pope Francis has sent a tweet, asking the world to join him in prayer for the retired pontiff.
A trove of ancient documents unearthed at the Vatican could shed light on the brutal crackdown on Christianity in isolationist Japan under its samurai rulers, scholars say. The hoard contains about 10,000 pieces of paper, collected by an Italian priest who lived in Japan last century, mostly dating from the "Edo" period (1603-1867), when the country shut itself off from the outside world and declared Western religion illegal.
The call of Pope Francis to take the Gospel to the streets also includes the digital ones. The first message of Pope Francis for World Communications Day is consistent with the Holy Father’s concern for reaching individuals where they are. Today that often means the virtual confines of the digital environment.
Giving Voice, a peer-led organization of women religious, is using regular retreats and networking to improve peer support among young discerners. The latest retreat, held Jan. 17-19 at Our Lady of Guadalupe Monastery in west Phoenix, was aimed at women in their 20s and 30s. The retreat drew 23 women, all at various stages of discernment, who are living vowed religious life with 12 different communities.
The decision to drop references to God from the movement’s traditional pledge of allegiance and expel anyone who refuses to adopt the new version, amounts to “rank discrimination” against Christians, Muslims and followers of other faiths – often taking place inside church halls, according to opponents.
Secretary of State John Kerry, whose political career has at times put him publicly at odds with Catholic Church leadership, traveled to the Vatican in a visit that demonstrated a reinvigorated relationship between the world’s most powerful country and one of its most powerful institutions. The meeting – which the former altar boy deemed “a thrill” – marks a new, deeper alignment between Washington and the Vatican.
Bringing refugees from Syria to the West is not the answer to the crisis, according to the leader of Catholics in the disaster-stricken country, who says more can be done to help displaced people both there and elsewhere in the Middle East.
Some 50 new Catholic churches have been built in the Czech Republic since the 1989 collapse of the communist regime, mainly in Moravian regions with a higher share of believers, and another ten are being planned or under construction, daily Lidové Noviny (LN) writes today.
Since taking on my role in 2012 as the first ever UK Minister for faith, I have made the issue of religious freedom a personal priority. The threat to religious freedom, I believe, has become a global crisis. As a result, the UK government has elevated it to a key priority in our human rights work.
Voicing “anguish and dismay” at the deteriorating situation in South Sudan, a Catholic bishop shared his diocese’s ten proposals to help stabilize the country after the outbreak of violence in mid-December.
A rape victim has met her attacker in prison to tell him she has forgiven him - and called it a "great" experience to seek "peace and forgiveness together". Katja Rosenberg, 40, from London, said she felt she could forgive soon after the 2006 rape, believing things must have gone wrong in her attacker's life. "You wouldn't ever do that if you felt happy," she told BBC Radio 5 live.
The publication's editors argue the administration's move is “a political loser,” “constitutionally suspect” and “ultimately unproductive.” The editors of USA Today have urged the Obama administration to stop trying to require the Little Sisters of the Poor to abide by the federal contraception mandate in violation of their religious beliefs.
“Today, due to the advanced process of secularization, Catholic schools find themselves in a missionary situation, even in countries with an ancient Christian tradition,” reads the congregation's “Educating To Intercultural Dialogue in Catholic Schools.”
The Church of England has agreed to play a cricket match with the newly formed “Vatican cricket club”, with Lord’s cricket ground as the planned venue. The announcement was made today at a press conference hosted by Archbishop David Moxon, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s representative in Rome.
Pope Francis will create 16 new cardinal electors on February 22, and give red hats to 3 who are over the age of 80 that cannot vote in a conclave. Five are from “the peripheries”. His first consistory shows he is beginning a process to limit significantly the number of electors from Europe and the Roman Curia.
Amid accusations of Marxism, Pope Francis has turned the Vatican into the spearhead of radical economic thinking. Unfettered global capitalism has met its match at last. Ever since Bishop Bergoglio picked St Francis of Assisi to be his guiding inspiration and lead a "church for the poor", all his actions have been in the same direction.
Authorities have placed the town of Sumisip in Mindanao's Basilan province on "extreme red alert" after a bomb exploded down the street from a Catholic church, killing seven people and wounding five others on New Year's Eve.
Research suggests the opposite is true: as people climb the social ladder, their compassionate feelings towards other people decline. Berkeley psychologists Paul Piff and Dacher Keltner ran several studies looking at whether social class (as measured by wealth, occupational prestige, and education) influences how much we care about the feelings of others. In one study,