News in Church Issues

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.
When making statues is a sin

When making statues is a sin

by: Kamran Chaudhry, Lahore - UCAN in Church Issues,

Some Protestants and Muslims in Pakistan accuse Catholics of being idol worshippers. Pakistani Catholic Yaqoob Masih is a controversial and polarizing figure among many Christians in Punjab province because of the statues he makes. 

Trent’s long shadow

Trent’s long shadow

by: Massimo Faggioli - La Croix International in Church Issues,

New investigations into the seminaries of Boston and Lincoln (Nebraska), and the grand-jury report from Pennsylvania, the sex abuse crisis has reached a new stage. If this is, as many believe, the most serious crisis in the Catholic Church since the Protestant Reformation, then the analysis of this systemic failure of the institutional church needs to take the long view, comparing this period in the church’s history to others in order to discover where exactly things went wrong.

Clericalism: The culture that enables abuse and insists on hiding it

Clericalism: The culture that enables abuse and insists on hiding it

by: Cindy Wooden - The Tablet in Church Issues,

Throughout his pontificate, Pope Francis has targeted clericalism as an illness in the church, an ailment that pretends "the church" means "priests and bishops," that ignores or minimises the God-given grace and talents of laypeople and that emphasizes the authority of clerics over their obligation of service.

Challenges for families today

Challenges for families today

by: Father Shay Cullen - UCAN in Church Issues,

What is family to each one of us and how important is it to belong to a family? We all greatly desire and long for the secure "happy family" whose members love and trust each other, share solidarity, give mutual help and care, and are faithful to shared values and goals.

A time to keep silence

A time to keep silence

by: Austen Ivereigh in Church Issues,

Pope Francis refused to answer reporters’ questions about a letter released on Sunday by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, instead urging reporters to draw their own conclusions about the former papal nuncio’s accusations. Austen Ivereigh explains that the roots of Francis’ response might be found in an article that Jorge Mario Bergoglio wrote in 1990, in which he claims silence is sometimes the only way to let the spirits reveal themselves.