The nice thing about the film It’s a Wonderful Life is that it shows a man how much he is valued while he’s still around to take pleasure from the knowledge. It’s been a little like that since Mark Langham, until lately chaplain at Cambridge, let it be known to the chaplaincy that he’s very unwell and receiving palliative care; Westminster Cathedral, where he was administrator, did the same.
News in Church Issues
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set out in the 2030 Agenda, endorsed by the United Nations in 2015, are the result of a long deliberative process. They reflect a broad international consensus on the greatest challenges facing humanity in the 21st century. It is clear that scientists, economists, engineers, politicians, sociologists, and even militaries have many reasons to care about the SDGs.
Over the last decades interreligious dialogue in Asia has faced some tough challenges. Even though many religious leaders, organizations and thinkers have been working constructively and efficaciously, at the popular level religions often limit themselves to coexisting rather than engaging in dialogue and collaboration. Besides, tensions and conflicts, both short- and long-term, continue to be all too frequent.
More and more Mexicans are identifying as Protestants, as the Catholic Church watches people slowly walking away. Between 2000 and 2020, the proportion of Catholics in Mexico fell by ten points (from 88% to 77.7%), in favor of Protestants and Evangelicals.
To whom should religious freedom be granted: to individuals who follow their own consciences, or to religions as communities operating in the public sphere? In 2019 the International Theological Commission presented a study on this topic: Religious Freedom for the Good of All. Theological approaches and contemporary challenges. In this article I present an analysis of the document.
The pontificate of Pope Francis has now surpassed that of Benedict XVI in terms of duration. And Benedict has now been a "former" pope longer than he was actually the Roman Pontiff.The latest milestone comes during the eight-day Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, the "octave" when Christians ask God to guide them in healing the divisions that keep their various separated Churches and communities from realizing full communion.
When we apply the term “synodality” to the Church, we do not intend to designate a more collaborative decision-making process that merely leads to choosing an option, deliberating on a measure, or issuing an instruction. Rather, it is something that makes clear a fundamental aspect of ecclesial identity: its primary communal dimension, its essential evangelizing mission under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Once again, in light of some widely reported decisions taken by the Holy Father, many people are questioning and discussing the economic resources available to Vatican institutions and their proper administration in the service of the Church’s mission. This article intends to place recent events in a wider context, so that the Holy Father’s guidance and decisions may be better understood.
The discomfort of fragmentation. A peculiar characteristic of today’s so-called “Postmodern” era is the absence of global narratives. This is the basic hypothesis of the famous book by Jean-François Lyotard, The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge, published in 1979.
Once the office of bishop was clearly established in the early Church as the unitary head of a diocese (a Roman administrative unit), that office was filled by someone chosen by local people and priests, then ratified by the neighboring bishops, as a sign of the unity of the Church. Even the unbaptized were eligible, as we know from the oft-told story of St. Ambrose, whom the clergy and people of Milan chose as their bishop while he was still a catechumen.
"Anonymous Christian" is a term that's most often credited to the influential 20th century Jesuit theologian, Karl Rahner (1904-84).Rahner used it to try to explain how people who have never been baptized or have never known of Christ could still be saved.
The Covid-19 pandemic and other recent outbreaks of infectious diseases of animal origin have shed a new light on one of the most famous passages of Genesis, the story of the creation and the relationship between human beings and the animal world.
Since his election on March 13, 2013, among the many questions posed regarding the person and history of Pope Francis are those about the origins of his thought in general and of his theological mindset in particular. One person had a great influence on him: Fr. Miguel Ángel Fiorito (1916-2005).
The words politics, political, and politicians occur more than 100 times in Pope Francis' new encyclical Fratelli tutti. Chapter Five is titled "A better kind of politics". It's an indictment of populism, individualism and trickle-down economics. It laments the crisis of nation states and of the United Nations.And it calls for a new model of social, political and economic participation that is inspired by subsidiarity and solidarity, making possible a globalization of the most basic of human rights.
What exactly is social friendship? Pope Francis gives several indications in Fratelli tutti to help define the term. "A love capable of transcending borders is the basis of what in every city and country can be called 'social friendship'. Genuine social friendship within a society makes true universal openness possible," he writes (FT, 99).
The Encyclical “Fratelli Tutti” aims at promoting a universal aspiration toward fraternity and social friendship. This papal document focuses on human solidarity and charity, following the model of Good Samaritan, towards one’s own neighbour, who is in global health emergency. The encyclical calls for more human fraternity and solidarity, and is a plea to reject wars.
The Holy See and China have renewed their deal over the appointment of bishops for a further two years. In a statement, the Vatican explained that “both parties agreed to extend the experimental implementation phase of the Provisional Agreement” which was signed in Beijing and came into effect on 22 October 2018.
The church as institution is in trouble but not the Church as the People of God. Some Church groups are pressing for a post-pandemic opening up, others, who have already opened up, are sounding a lament as they find it is not business as usual. There are signs of grieving for the parish – an institution on its knees.
In a letter to the Prime Minister on August 20th, co-signed by the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Glenn Davies, and the Greek Orthodox Primate, Archbishop Makarios, Archbishop Fisher suggested that the projected use of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine might cause a crisis of conscience for some potential recipients because cell lines derived from a 1973 aborted foetus were involved in its production.
Some years ago, during the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI, Father General Adolfo Nicolás sketched points for a possible letter to the Society. Although he never wrote the letter, he did share these points with a few friends. The following text, while still rough and informal, expresses clearly the direction of his thinking. With the permission of Father Nicolás, we share it now.