One of the fastest-growing religious affiliations, or more accurately disaffiliations, is the large number of people who declare themselves to be former Catholics. Departures from the Church are especially pronounced among the young, but are not limited to them. In places like Australia, France, Germany and increasingly in the United States, which for many years differed from other places, the Catholic Church is hemorrhaging members.
News in Church Issues
Everyone wants their lifetime to leave the world at least a tiny bit changed, and for the better; and it is possible that a piece I wrote for The Tablet in January 2020 could yield me my footnote. I wrote the piece in a pretty exasperated mood, fed up with the fact that Pope Francis says all the right things about women, and yet has done next to nothing to put our talents to use in leadership roles in the Church.
Pope Francis has added his voice to those of Catholic bishops across North and South America to urge people to get jabbed against Covid-19, calling it an “act of love”. In a video message produced in conjunction with the Ad Council, Pope Francis praised the work of researchers and scientists in producing safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines.
From May 24 to 27, 2021, the Italian Episcopal Conference held their 74th General Assembly. Pope Francis opened it with a prayer and a dialogue with the bishops present. The work of the Assembly, under the guidance of Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti, focused on the theme: “Proclaiming the Gospel in a time of rebirth. Starting a synodal journey.”
The concept “signs of the times” was introduced into official Catholic terminology by Pope John XXIII in the 1961 apostolic constitution Humanae Salutis (HS): “We know that the sight of these evils so depresses the minds of some people that they see nothing but darkness, which they think entirely envelops the world.
Modern Japanese offers three possibilities for translating the word “mission” in the Christian sense: “dendo” (teaching the way), “fukyo” (spreading the truth) and “senkyo” (announcing the truth). These three terms are used in different ways, especially in Christian Churches.
The man awaiting trial for the arson of the cathedral in Nantes in July last year today turned himself into police after the priest who offered him accommodation was murdered. Fr Olivier Maire, 60, the French provincial of the Montfort Missionaries, had offered him housing in Saint-Laurent-sur-Sèvre, south of Nantes while he waited for his court appearance.
The first global pandemic of the digital age arrived suddenly. The world was stopped in its tracks by an unnatural suspension of activity that interrupted business and pleasure. “For weeks now it has been evening. Thick darkness has gathered over our squares, our streets and our cities; it has taken over our lives, filling everything with a deafening silence and a distressing void that stops everything as it passes by.
The last 20 years have seen significant progress in the fields of bioscience and neuroscience. Particularly interesting is the question of when and how “religious capacity” evolved in hominids, and how it should be understood from the biological point of view.
In Lebanon, the only country in the Middle East with a considerable Christian population, there is a widespread perception that the number of Christians is declining. In Iraq, which Pope Francis visited in March, and Lebanon, which he plans to visit, efforts are being made to bring back the internal demographic equilibrium.
Jesuit Father Karl Rahner was one of the first to recognize that the Second Vatican Council had transformed the western Catholic Church into a world Church: “For the first time a world-wide Council with a world-wide episcopate came into existence and functioned independently."
On the occasion of the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, Pope Francis promulgated a document by which he recognized the possibility for women to exercise the instituted ministries of lector and acolyte. It is well known that earlier legislation, established by Paul VI with a similar measure, reserved these ministries to male laity.
In Umberto Eco’s novel The Name of the Rose, the blind monk Jorge of Burgos, quoting John Chrysostom, argues that “Christ never laughed.” Such a strong statement seems not only to categorically exclude the possibility that Jesus of Nazareth could laugh, but also questions his humanity, a humanity that implies an ability to participate in the totality of experience, including the possibility of experiencing the full range of affections and emotions.
There are two Pentecost traditions in the gospels. The first one, in John 20, has Jesus bequeath the Spirit on the same day as the Resurrection. Then, in Acts 2, we have the vivid version which is celebrated in our liturgical calendar. The word “Pentecost”, from the Greek word meaning “fiftieth”, was first given in the Old Testament to the Feast of Weeks, Shavuot, falling on the fiftieth day after Passover.
Jesuit Father Karl Rahner was one of the first to recognize that the Second Vatican Council had transformed the western Catholic Church into a world Church: “For the first time a world-wide Council with a world-wide episcopate came into existence and functioned independently.”
Pope Francis has refused Cardinal Reinhard Marx’s offer to resign over the clerical sexual abuse crisis, saying that although the German prelate had been courageous in taking responsibility for past scandals, Marx should stay in post.
No pope has spoken with such candour about his health, physical and mental, as Francis. A papal biographer sums up the diagnosis. During Pope Francis’ March visit to Iraq, when he seemed to be suffering more than usual from sciatica, a colleague in Rome who is in regular touch with him prayed that she might take some of his pain on herself...
The head of Germany's lay Catholics has said he is “shattered” by the resignation of Cardinal Reinhard Marx while others have written to Pope Francis, asking him not to accept.
The 16th century marks the beginning of the Modern Age. In the transition between the Middle Ages and the modern world, a series of completely new developments occurred almost simultaneously: the invention of printing, the discovery of the New World, gunpowder, a new way of keeping time (mechanical clocks), of experiencing it, and the relationship with money (“time is money!”), the development of banking, insurance and, above all, a new awareness of the identity and dignity of the human person.
Persecution of faith groups has drastically increased in more than 95 percent of the world’s worst-offending countries, according to the latest Religious Freedom in the World report. The report, by international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, shows how the latest technologies are being used to crush religious freedom.