It’s emblematic of where we are at present that something that is going beautifully right, as many things are in the Catholic Church, gets no attention while many people, including many Catholics, are obsessed with the things that have been going wrong. Scandal sells papers, and always will, of course. Still, there’s much else happening out there that needs to be reckoned with if you really want a full picture of Catholicism at this special moment in Church history.
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The pope has basked in an emotional send off at his final general audience in St Peter's Square, recalling moments of "joy and light" but also times of great difficulty. "To love the church means also to have the courage to take difficult, painful decisions, always keeping the good of the church in mind, not oneself," he said to thundering applause.
Pope Benedict XVI was “exhausted and disheartened” well before his Feb. 11 resignation announcement, according to his German biographer, Peter Seewald. He added that he had “never seen Benedict XVI so drained of energy” and “deeply disheartened” as when he met him last summer
When Pope Benedict's successor is chosen, the civil war between conservatives and liberals will resume with ferocity. Pope Benedict's resignation has brought about a brief truce in the civil war that rages through the Catholic church worldwide, but hostilities will resume as soon as his successor is chosen.
There is potentially great significance in Benedict’s action, and it may be that his resignation will be his greatest contribution to ecclesiology. He has so subordinated his person to the office that he could renounce it.
Historians argue endlessly about whether Richard III was a hero or a villain, but what can be said with confidence is that he was a Catholic. If it is established that the remains recently disinterred from a Leicester car park are indeed those of the last Plantagenet king, then a final resting-place should be in a Catholic church.
In his address, Lord Williams said: ''Religion has always been a matter of community building, a matter of building relations of compassion, fellow-feeling and, dare I say it, inclusion. ''The notion that religious commitment can be purely a private matter is one that runs against the grain of religious history.''
The Catholic school system in the United Kingdom is one of the success stories of which the various Catholic communities of these islands can feel rightly proud. Usually such schools are in demand, sometimes oversubscribed; frequently their success outshines that of other schools in the neighbourhood.
The Friends of All Saints Church in Maerdy had tried to save it from closure, but failed. A village where parishioners fought to save their church is one of the least religious places in Wales and England, the 2011 Census shows. Residents of Maerdy, Rhondda, staged a sit-in at All Saints Church after it was threatened with closure, before it eventually shut its doors last July.
More than 900 sixth form students from schools across the North-East are attending the two-day conference at Carmel RC College, in Darlington, hosted by world-renowned philosopher and theologian, Dr Peter Vardy, and his wife, Charlotte.
The Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales is sending out a million postcards calling on MPs to oppose the Government’s redefinition of marriage. The postcards will be sent to parishes next week. Each card will have a space for people to sign their name so they can post it to their MP.
Having already given away $28bn, Bill Gates intends to eradicate polio, with the same drive he brought to Microsoft . He speaks to Neil Tweedie. Later this month, Gates will deliver the BBC’s Dimbleby Lecture, taking as his theme the value of the young human being Photo: Andrew Crowley for the Telegraph.
Thousands converge on Eiffel Tower to protest against François Hollande's plan to legalise gay marriage and adoption. Demonstrators take part in a protest against gay marriage in Paris that was strongly backed the Catholic church.
Representation in Venice is as important for nations as for artists. A pavilion at the Biennale is a sign that a state, no matter how troubled or politically backward, has joined the Western cultural consensus. It’s six years since the first whispers of a plan for a Vatican pavilion at the fifty-fourth Biennale followed the appointment in 2009 of the art-loving Gianfranco Ravasi as President of the Pontifical Council for Culture.
Be bearers of the message of Christian unity. Pope addresses 45,000 young members of the ecumenical Taizé community. Dear young friends, Christ does not remove you from the world. He sends you there where His light is missing, so that you may bring it to others. Yes, you are all called to be small lights to those around you.
I spent the last three days of the year helping on a retreat for young people in south London. On New Year's Eve we had a discussion session, and I put this question to them: If you knew the world was going to end in exactly one hour, what would you do with the time?
Nothing captures that better than his own words: “Canterbury is much more than a functional building. It is an effort to make sense of the cosmos and reach out to its maker. Whether or not you want to talk about God, you can’t help but stand back and admire what humans can achieve in pursuit of transcendence.”
The Christmas story is surely one of the greatest stories ever told. It chronicles a birth from which the world records time as before or after. Moreover, it is written in a way that has inflamed the romantic imagination for 2000 years. This hasn't always been for the good.