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.
News in Church Issues
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 Old ideologies have been replaced by new ones, "neo-liberalist, neo-utilitarian, and technocratic which, by reducing the common good to economic, financial and technical questions, place the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.
Correcting the behavior of those gone astray is an essential part of Christian life, said Pope Benedict XVI in his Sunday Angelus address Sept. 4. The Pope made his comments in the light of today’s Gospel in which Jesus suggests that “if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone.”
I like what Greg Stier writes about paying attention to Youth Ministry in our different churches. While attending World Youth Day in Madrid and looking at the huge multitude of young believers I came to realise that the youngster with their faith and joy re-present truely the Risen Lord. Christ is young, and so should be the Church. (GG)
A leading bishop has warned that the Church of England must "act now" to secure its role in education amid swift policy change. He expressed concern about support for Church-run academies and the exclusion of RE from the English baccalaureate.
The Church has always stressed that commercial activity is essential to the common good. Her social teaching, past and present, insists that commercial activity should be directed to the common good and not merely to the private profit of property holders
Pope Benedict said there was an “urgency of the reform” to favour the “adaptation of rites to the various cultures, especially in mission territory”. Surely the most important mission territory the European Church must address if it is to have any future is literally on its doorstep – the young of our countries.