News in Church Issues

Jesuit Missions partner murdered in South Sudan

Jesuit Missions partner murdered in South Sudan

by: James Roberts - The Tablet in Church Issues,

A partner of Jesuit Missions in South Sudan was murdered in the early hours of today (15 November) at the Daniel Comboni Jesuit Residence in Cueibet where he lived. Fr Victor-Luke Odhiambo SJ was in the TV room when the gunmen broke into the compound. When his companions heard gunshots, they pressed the alarm and the killers ran off leaving Fr Victor-Luke for dead.

14 million new Catholics recorded

14 million new Catholics recorded

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

Despite reports of a shortage of priests and dwindling congregations, the number of new Catholics grew by an estimated 14 million from 2015 to 2016. The news was released just ahead of World Mission Day on Oct. 21 and is based on the “Church’s Book of Statistics,” according to a report by Agenzia Fides, the Vatican news agency.

Young Catholics at Youth Synod: 'We are up for the challenge.'

Young Catholics at Youth Synod: 'We are up for the challenge.'

by: Christopher Lamb - The Tablet in Church Issues,

The Tablet sponsored a group of students and their principal from the English Martyrs Catholic School in Leicester to visit Rome for their own "mini-synod" during the last week of the Synod of Bishops on Young People. The aim was for students to engage with the Youth Synod and respond with how relevant the content of the synod was to them; how relevant the Church is to them and to report back about their experience.

On the road to Emmaus

On the road to Emmaus

by: Christopher Lamb - The Tablet in Church Issues,

The youngest members of the family are certainly having a say. In the synod hall, a group of 18- to 29-year-olds sit at the back. They cannot vote, but they are making their voices heard. They have developed a “clap-o-meter” where each bishop’s intervention in the gathering is greeted with whoops, cheers or just polite applause. It is a slightly cheeky example of the organic “synodality” in action so loved by this Pope.

Pope calls for new alliance between young and old

Pope calls for new alliance between young and old

by: Carol Glatz - Catholic News Service in Church Issues,

With the launch of a new book, Pope Francis is calling for a new alliance — between young and old — to change the world. In an effort to counteract today's "culture of waste" that too easily marginalizes or ignores the young and the elderly, the book by Loyola Press creates a model of storytelling, dialogue, connection and reflection to help inspire these two groups to come together and rediscover older people's lost "treasure of their wisdom."

The unintended and horrible consequences of bad good intentions

The unintended and horrible consequences of bad good intentions

by: Father Bill Grimm - UCAN in Church Issues,

The only way out of this mess is to admit that Catholicism is not basically about popes and bishops, rules and teachings. It is about Jesus Christ, the love of God incarnate in a human being. And the church itself is not an institution, but the People of God. Like all people, we use institutions to regulate our lives, but the institution is not our definition.

Why two new saints have a special place in Francis' heart

Why two new saints have a special place in Francis' heart

by: Nicolas Seneze - La Croix International in Church Issues,

Pope canonized Paul VI and Oscar Romero on Sunday. Pope Francis often quotes his predecessor in his texts, and considers his apostolic exhortation Evangelii muntiandi as "the greatest pastoral document written to this day." The two men have a great deal in common. Francis also has much in common with Archbishop Oscar Romero, even above and beyond the fact that they both are from Latin America. "What they have in common, above all, is their love for the poor".

A boat in search of safe harbour

A boat in search of safe harbour

by: Card. Vincent Nichols - The Tablet in Church Issues,

 Cardinal Vincent Nichols reflects on lessons from the Synod on Youth. A spirit of humble confession of fault and realism about our failures has marked the first days of the Synod of Bishops on Youth, Faith and Vocational Discernment, taking place in Rome. There is an undercurrent of anger – especially directed at us bishops – at the damage done to so many and dismay at the many ways in which this is seriously inhibiting the work of the Gospel.

More church crosses demolished in China

More church crosses demolished in China

by: ucanews.com, Hong Kong in Church Issues,

Chinese officials have ordered the demolition of crosses and some other church structures in three dioceses in China. Dioceses in Zhejiang, Henan and Guizhou provinces have this month been subjected to a new campaign to remove public symbols of Christianity.

Help me do whatever it takes to move Vatican II forward, pope says

Help me do whatever it takes to move Vatican II forward, pope says

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

What needs to be done today is to accompany the Church in a deep spiritual renewal and to help in implementing the Second Vatican Council, says Pope Francis. Speaking to Jesuits from the province of Lithuania and Latvia during his visit to the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, Francis reiterated the need for prayers to make progress to move the Council forward in the Church.

Pope says synod aims to identify how to support the faith of youth

Pope says synod aims to identify how to support the faith of youth

by: Cindy Wooden - Catholic News Service in Church Issues,

The goal of the synod, Pope Francis said, is not to prepare a document — synod documents, he said, generally are "only read by a few and criticized by many " — but to identify "concrete pastoral proposals" that would help all church members reach out to, walk with and support the faith of young people.

From inquisitor to saint: Oscar Romero

From inquisitor to saint: Oscar Romero

by: Michael E. Lee - The Tablet in Church Issues,

Canonisation - Oscar Romero: It was a horrific re-enactment of the death of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Becket in 1170. On 24 March 1980, Archbishop Oscar Romero of San Salvador was murdered by an assassin’s bullet as he celebrated the Eucharist. For the previous three years, he had denounced injustices in his country and defended human rights.

Pope Francis on the vulnerability of priests

Pope Francis on the vulnerability of priests

by: Ruth Gledhill - The Tablet in Church Issues,

Pope Francis has spoken with the Welsh and English Catholic bishops of how vulnerable priests are feeling in the difficult circumstances of today's critical environment. In a two-hour meeting with the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales at the end of their "ad limina Apostolorum" visit to Rome last week, he urged them to live their faith with joy. 

Royal English College of Valladolid reflects on historical contribution to church

Royal English College of Valladolid reflects on historical contribution to church

by: Edward Kendall - The Tablet in Church Issues,

The Royal English College of St Alban’s in Valladolid, Spain, dates back to 1589, when Catholicism was banned in England and Wales and it began training priests to help keep the faith alive. In 1998 the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales endorsed St Alban’s as its Propaedeutic Seminary, helping establish a one-year programme of formation for men before they move on to major seminary. 

Chinese bishops to attend Vatican synod for first time

Chinese bishops to attend Vatican synod for first time

by: Christopher Lamb - The Tablet in Church Issues,

Francis’ lifting of the excommunications means that all of China’s bishops are now in communion with Rome for the first time in many years. Two bishops from mainland China, including one whose excommunication was lifted just over a week ago, will become the first from their country to attend a Synod of Bishops when they participate in this month’s gathering in the Vatican. 

Pope Francis under fire

Pope Francis under fire

by: Richard R. Gaillardetz - The Tablet in Church Issues,

While many bishops have raised their voices in support for the Pope, many others have been content to simply wait out this papacy in silence. The challenges to Pope Francis by several among those closest to him represent a thinly-veiled attempt at something close to a palace coup.

Holy See signs deal with China over bishops

Holy See signs deal with China over bishops

by: Christopher Lamb - The Tablet in Church Issues,
Speaking after the deal was announced, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican's Secretary of State said it was now the first time in many years that all of China's bishops were now in communion with the Holy See. In a statement the Vatican said it had signed the deal on the 22 September in Beijing, a move that is the first step towards the Holy See and China re-establishing full diplomatic relations.
Call revived to end bishops' monopoly over wealth

Call revived to end bishops' monopoly over wealth

by: Joseph Benny, Kochi - UCAN in Church Issues,

A campaign to reform laws governing church property and finances has gained momentum in India's southern Kerala state, where a rape case against a bishop has created a furore. Church activists, including theologians, have for more than a decade sought greater lay participation in managing the temporal wealth of the Catholic Church, purportedly to check embezzlement.

Holy See signs deal with China over bishops

Holy See signs deal with China over bishops

by: Christopher Lamb - The Tablet in Church Issues,
Speaking after the deal was announced, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican's Secretary of State said it was now the first time in many years that all of China's bishops were now in communion with the Holy See. In a statement the Vatican said it had signed the deal on the 22 September in Beijing, a move that is the first step towards the Holy See and China re-establishing full diplomatic relations.