“We’ve got to find the ways of speaking to people about the positive values of marriage as it’s always been understood, while not getting boxed off by somehow being accused of being homophobic,” Archbishop Nichols told CNA on Dec. 1 in Rome.
News in Church Issues
The Pontifical Council for the Laity is currently celebrating its twenty-fifth plenary assembly on the theme: "The Question of God in Today's World".Turning his attention to World Youth Day, Benedict XVI said: "An extraordinary cascade of light, joy and hope illuminated not only Madrid, but also Europe and the entire world, clearly re-establishing the importance of seeking God in today's world."
Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster has said in a speech to MPs, peers and charity workers that Government cuts are “already being felt disproportionally by the most vulnerable”. It is the closest a Catholic bishop in England and Wales has come to criticising the Coalition’s austerity measures.
There are serious questions of integrity here. Mainstream Catholics are having imposed on them profound changes that are not self-evidently for the better. The real challenge of the new translation centres on how we handle those human and ecclesial realities. For my part, I am at something of a loss.
"Today, the celebration of the Synod concludes with the signing of the Exhortation 'Africae Munus'", he said. "The Synod gave an impetus to the Catholic Church in Africa, which prayed, reflected on and discussed the theme of reconciliation, justice and peace.
Vladimir: “Did you ever read the Bible?” Estragon: “The Bible…. I must have taken a look at it.” This exchange by the two vagabond protagonists of Samuel Beckett’s celebrated play,Waiting for Godot (1952) expresses an attitude which is common to many: the Bible, which is so acclaimed, is at least worth a glance, but like the classics it is so little read.
Let us seriously respond to the expectations of the young. Benedict XVI’s indications on the vital art of education.
In recent years, we “adults,” have had difficulty taking seriously into consideration the possibility of indicating to young people authentic values and correct choices. Not to mention the difficulty and near allergy to addressing the theme of the search for truth.
Twelve nurses in New Jersey have filed a lawsuit against a local government hospital for being told they would lose their jobs if they refuse to perform abortions. The case shows evidence of “a systematic attack on the right of pro-life professionals to engage in their careers without being forced to violate their fundamental moral and religious beliefs,” Matt Bowman, attorney for the Alliance Defense Fund, told CNA.
Major national Churches are often the focus of protest. A homeless man, known to the authorities for his radical activism, once slipped into one with his supporters and wrecked it, overturning tables and lashing out with a homemade whip. His point was that what should have been a place of prayer for all people had become an institution fleecing the poor. Those were tougher times than now, and he was executed a week later.
The Church does not wish to enter into the technical issues behind the current economic crisis, but remains within the ambit of her religious and ethical functions. Thus she highlights not just the moral causes of the crisis but, more specifically, the ideological causes. Old ideologies have been replaced by new ones, "neo-liberalist, neo-utilitarian, and technocratic which, by reducing the common good to economic, financial and technical questions, place the future of democratic institutions themselves at risk".
According to the latest census of Catholic schools published by the Catholic Education Service of England and Wales (CES) the overall percentage of Catholic pupils in Catholic state schools fell to little more than 70 per cent last year. In Catholic sixth-form colleges the figure was closer to half.
“The Catholicity of our schools is not defined by the religious backgrounds of the children they take in, but by what they have to offer children,” said Mr Mannix. “[Catholic schools] are one of our most important tools for evangelisation. They can show children the good things Catholicism has to offer.”
Catholics tend to prefer traditional print and television media for their religious news and commentary. They particularly favor their local diocese’s publication, according to a new survey from the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate. One in five respondents said they watched a religious or spiritual program on television in the last three months.
Whether divorced and remarried Catholics can receive Communion is now firmly back in the spotlight after the 400 clerics backing the Austrian Priests’ Initiative said in their “Appeal to Disobedience” that they would not refuse Communion to remarried divorcees. Christian Wulff, a divorced and remarried Catholic, said he hoped the Church would soften its position on admitting people in his position to the sacraments.
Colleges that have deliberately watered down their Catholic identity, in part to help themselves compete for government aid, now face church pressure to strengthen their religious identity. The choice for Catholic educators is increasingly clear: defend religious liberty and stand up for a strong Catholic identity—or give up the pretense.
Does the proportion of Catholic children in Catholic schools actually matter? According to the latest census data from the Catholic Education Service of England and Wales (CES), Catholic schools in some dioceses, such as Plymouth, are more likely than not to have a majority of non-Catholic pupils.
The Catholic Church's position on capital punishment has evolved considerably over the centuries. And as a result, "it is not a message that is immediately understood -- that there is no room for supporting the death penalty in today's world," said a Vatican's expert on capital punishment and arms control.
The Church in Germany is superbly organized. But behind the structures, is there also a corresponding spiritual strength, the strength of faith in the living God? We must honestly admit that we have more than enough by way of structure but not enough by way of Spirit. I would add: the real crisis facing the Church in the western world is a crisis of faith. If we do not find a way of genuinely renewing our faith, all structural reform will remain ineffective.
Recognising the seriousness of the crimes detailed in the report, which should never have happened within the Church of Jesus Christ, and wishing to respond to the Irish Government's request, the Holy See, after carefully examining the Cloyne Report and considering the many issues raised, has sought to respond comprehensively.