News in Church Issues

Addressing the roots of clergy sex abuse

Addressing the roots of clergy sex abuse

by: Fr Amado L. Picardal CSsR - La Croix International in Church Issues,

Priests should be able to mutually affirm and appreciate the good things that they are doing and to admonish those who fail to live up to the ideals of the priesthood whether informally or formally — during meetings and recollections. There is a need to develop a corporate culture among the clergy where everyone is encouraged and inspired to live up to the high standards of the priesthood and those whose behavior is inappropriate or sinful can be corrected. 

Broken trust in a broken clerical system

Broken trust in a broken clerical system

by: Robert Mickens, Rome - La Croix International in Church Issues,

A priest friend predicted some 15 or more years ago that the next big scandal or crisis in the Church would be of a financial nature. He was speaking of a clerical system that puts "Father" in charge of everything – even the parish purse strings. Thank God the Catholic Church has as many good and honest priests as it does. Because it sure calls for heroism to be good in a very bad and broken clericalist system where "Father knows best" and the people are expected to do what he tells them.

German bishop says only a new theology can save the Church

German bishop says only a new theology can save the Church

by: Christa Pongratz-Lippitt, Vienna - La Croix International in Church Issues,

Wilmer, who was superior general of the worldwide missionary and teaching order known as the "Dehonians" (Congregation of the Priests of the Sacred Heart) before becoming bishop, drew criticism just three months into his new job when he told the Kölner Stadt Anzeiger that abuse of power was in the Church's DNA.

The European and American Catholic divide

The European and American Catholic divide

by: Massimo Faggioli - La Croix International in Church Issues,

The anti-European sentiment running in the veins of the U.S. Catholic hard right has put Trump's "Make America great again" on the geopolitical map of the Church. Trumpism has penetrated the body of American Christianity and that means the future of the global Catholic community is now an open question.

When the Bishop of Rome speaks to his diocese, people should listen

When the Bishop of Rome speaks to his diocese, people should listen

by: Robert Mickens, Rome - La Croix International in Church Issues,

Pope Francis' most recent address to Rome's diocesan assembly did not make many headlines. But it should have. And here's why. This is all a rather long preface to the May 9 visit Pope Francis made to St. John Lateran, where he gave an important – but somewhat overlooked – address to Rome's diocesan assembly.  Because this was another one of those talks where the pope spoke freely and prophetically about his vision for a renewed, missionary Church.

‘The future is bright: I’m convinced of that’

‘The future is bright: I’m convinced of that’

by: Blanche Girouard and John Griffiths - The Tablet in Church Issues,

What is the experience of being a priest today, serving in an ordinary parish, in a Church that is struggling to maintain its credibility? In a new six-part series, six men – some ordained more than 50 years ago, others not long out of the seminary – share their fears and concerns, their hopes and dreams.

Combating Clericalism

Combating Clericalism

by: Claire Lesegretain - La Croix International in Church Issues,

When the pope speaks of clericalism, he insists on the fact that this problem concerns the whole Church. If there is temptation to perversion, it affects all that is most sensitive in the life of the Church. Moreover, you only need to see the extent to which the pope's words evoked strong reactions to realize that this is a crucial matter. 

Rethinking the diversity of ministries to overcome clericalism

Rethinking the diversity of ministries to overcome clericalism

by: Isabelle de Gaulmyn, Strasbourg - La Croix International in Church Issues,

A conference organized by the Strasbourg Faculty of Theology has examined several possibilities for re-balancing the power of priests and lay people. "Clericalism is the enemy!" was the mantra of anticlerical Republicans during the late 19th century. Curiously, the slogan has now become a favorite among Catholics in relation to ecclesial dysfunction.

 UK’s persecution review too limited, Churches warn

UK’s persecution review too limited, Churches warn

by: Liz Dodd , Rose Gamble - The Tablet in Church Issues,

The Prime minister and foreign secretary used their Easter messages to highlight the cause of persecuted Christians around the world, despite the heads of the Churches in England decrying as “limited” a much-lauded government inquiry into persecution.

Pope updates norms for former Anglicans, Episcopalians

Pope updates norms for former Anglicans, Episcopalians

by: La Croix International staff - Vatican City in Church Issues,

Divine Worship "gives expression to and preserves for Catholic worship the worthy Anglican liturgical patrimony, understood as that which has nourished the Catholic faith throughout the history of the Anglican tradition and prompted aspirations towards ecclesial unity."

Bishops ask Catholics: What does the Bible mean to you?

Bishops ask Catholics: What does the Bible mean to you?

by: Liz Dodd - The Tablet in Church Issues,

Catholics in England and Wales are being asked whether they think the Bible is fiction or part of an outdated collection of historical documents in a new a national survey into attitudes toward scripture. The Bishops’ Conference launched the survey into Catholic attitudes towards the Bible in preparation for an upcoming year dedicated to Scripture, called the God Who Speaks.

Christus vivit: At the heart of the solution

Christus vivit: At the heart of the solution

by: Chris Knowles - The Tablet in Church Issues,

The Synod in Rome in October last year focused on young people, faith and vocational discernment; in his reflection on the Synod published last week, Pope Francis places the energy, creativity and openness of young people at the centre of his reform of the Church.

The Church under pressure: Reform or counter-reform?

The Church under pressure: Reform or counter-reform?

by: Massimo Faggioli - La Croix International in Church Issues,

Bishop Charles Morerod recently told La Croix "the Church reforms itself under the influence of seemingly adverse forces. "Mounting pressure is a key factor to consider in the debates within the Church about the institutional reforms that are needed to address how bishops have failed in handling sex abuse cases. But this pressure on the institutional Church is undeniably different today from that of the past.

Britain to retain status within European bishops' commission after Brexit

Britain to retain status within European bishops' commission after Brexit

by: Jonathan Luxmoore , Ellen Teague - The Tablet in Church Issues,

"EU churches wish to send a clear signal that they stand for a united Europe", said the Austrian Church's Comece delegate, Bishop Egidius Zsifkovics. "Brexit is a tragic development, particularly since Europe owes so much to Britain, so it's important to all our members that British representatives continue participating in our discussions".