As for religious education, state schools are required to offer the subject, but parents may keep their children away; and significantly, the content (ie, which faiths are explained) is determined by agreements with local authorities in which faith groups are consulted.
News in Church Issues
Pope Francis has named as Secretary of State Archbishop Pietro Parolin. This morning, Saturday, 31 August, the Pontiff made public having accepted the resignation of Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone - who has held the position since 15 September 2006 – asking him to retain his responsibilities until 15 October, Archbishop Parolin will take possession of his new office.
But many in the church are raising their eyebrows–and their hopes–over the first Jesuit pope’s call for a “deeper theology of women” and his note on “a lack of a theological development” when it comes to the female half of the world’s population.
Can one really unravel the mystery of China? Perhaps not, but the country has risen to global superpower status. Accordingly, the Western world should learn more about the Chinese economy, diplomacy and culture. A better understanding of the Catholic Church in China could bear fruit as well.
The Education Secretary suggested a new strategy was needed to improve the quality of lessons amid fears over a decline in the number of children studying RE to a high standard. Major faith groups including the Church of England and Roman Catholic Church will be involved in the project to “improve the quality and celebrate great religious education teaching”, he said.
Pope Francis, who now celebrates his first 100 days in office, has had open and frank conversations with such as the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I and the new leader of the Anglican Communion and Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.
At a meeting in the Vatican this morning, the Holy Father also told the more than 400 gathered Pontifical representatives to help select new bishops that are close to the people they will serve. Scotland is expecting a Vatican Episcopal appointment for St Andrews and Edinburgh Archdiocese this month, and further appointments to Paisley and Dunkeld Dioceses after the summer.
Dear Pope, can you explain to us what Jesus meant when He said to the people who were following Him: “I am the bread of life”? (Anna). In preparing me for my First Communion day, my catechist told me that Jesus is present in the Eucharist. But how? I can’t see Him! (Andrea)
A state funeral for the bishop Jin Luxian, and house arrest for his successor, Ma Daqin. The former honored by the regime, the latter accused of rebellion against his country. When it comes to China, what will the new pope do?
Pope Francis told priests on Sunday to practice what they preach, saying the church’s credibility was on the line. During a Mass to formally take possession of one of the Vatican basilicas in Rome, Francis said ordinary Catholics need to “see in our actions what they hear from our lips.”
The Lord wants these Gospel witnesses, these figures who have made a contribution so that faith in him would grow, to be known, and their memory kept alive in the Church. We can historically distinguish the role of the first women in early Christianity, during Jesus' earthly life and in the events of the first Christian generation.
I take pride in my Catholic faith not for what the Church can do or cannot, but because I’m a member of the world’s largest faith organization. Because I believe that no matter how rich or poor, my joys and hopes, grievances and anxieties count, and there is someone with authority to listen to me.
No doubt, also in dealing with this delicate matter the new pope will be inspired by the spirit of his patron Saint Francis who, in the history of the Church was a pioneer of dialogue. Communism has been the staunch opponent of the Church in China. Pope Francis will have to deal with this matter. He will find inspiration in the way his predecessors approached China.
Pope Benedict XVI has vowed "unconditional obedience and reverence" to his eventual successor. He was speaking on his final day in office at the Vatican to his cardinals, one of whom will be elected next month to replace him.
Based on what I know personally, at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith he was the first person, and the most determined person, to take on what he called the ‘open wound’ in the body of the church, meaning the sexual abuse of minors by clergy.
The new Archbishop of Canterbury will issue a challenge to David Cameron by voicing opposition to gay marriage on the eve of the first parliamentary vote on the controversial new law. In his first official day as leader of the Church of England, the Rt Rev Justin Welby is expected to say that marriage should remain “between a man and a woman”.
Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles told an interfaith prayer breakfast that freedom of religion comes from God and that no one, court, legislature, or government agency, can take it away.
Ecumenism is quite different from a matter of mere ecclesial policy or a purely pragmatic issue; rather, it is intrinsic to the faith itself. For this reason the Year of Faith also calls us to actualize the foundations of faith of the Church's ecumenical endeavour and to reinforce them anew.
Commenting on the theme of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity — “What does God require of us”, taken this year from the Book of Micah — the Pope underlined how the Prophet explains “to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with our God”.