The number of Christians persecuted for their faith globally has risen by more than 13 per cent, an anti-persecution charity has found. Global charity, Open Doors International, today (16 January) released its “2019 World Watch List”, an annual league table ranking the 50 countries where Christians face the most extreme persecution.
News in Church Issues
If there was a common denominator, aside from the Christian faith, that united most pilgrims heading to the opening Mass for World Youth Day 2019 in Panama, it was that each person, in his or her own way, faced a challenge back home.
Myanmar's Cardinal Charles Maung Bo of Yangon, incoming president of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC), has prioritised peace, justice, reconciliation and indigenous rights in planning for the Asian church "new evangelization".
A source, on condition of anonymity, told ucanews.com that officials determined that, as three local Christian churches already had crosses removed, the Catholic Church should not be exempted. John, a Catholic of China's so-called 'open church', rather than what is known as the 'underground church', said it was depressing that such problems persisted.
The complex reasons people join the church and remain in it are as complicated and various as the reasons others leave it....For me, well, I’m not getting up on a Sunday morning and wrestling two kids into Mary Janes before nine o’clock for a metaphor. The enormity, the impossibility of the idea, is the whole freaking point.
The Gregorian Reform is key to understanding the relationship between clergy and lay people in the Church today. In an interview with the German monthly, Vatican Magazin, Cardinal Walter Brandmüller has recently written that the present situation in the Church is “comparable to that of the 11th and 12th centuries.”
There is an opportunity – and a desperate need – for churches that are architectural gems to be restored. These heritage buildings may serve as places of prayer and quiet reflection for all.
We celebrate Jan. 1 so vigorously because we hope for better things to come. It articulates our Christmas belief that there can be “news of great joy for all the people.” But it only works if we take it on board. Things will change. So, must we. And that makes some people nervous.
A Vatican delegation has travelled to China to oversee the placement of formerly illicit bishops into dioceses that had been run by underground bishops.The arrangements were made between a Vatican delegation led by Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli and seven former illicit bishops from the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association and two underground bishops from Mindong and Shantou dioceses of eastern China respectively at a Beijing meeting on Dec. 10.
The shocking testimony that a former nun from Germany recently offered when she accused an official at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of making sexual advances on her during confession is a page straight out of the Middle Ages.
"The Strength of Vocation", by Father Fernando Prado cmf, is based on four hours of interviews with the pontiff on the chllenges of being a member of the clergy.It will be published next week.
One of the more curious issues about the recent "temporary" deal between the Vatican and Beijing on the appointment of bishops, as described in the official state-run Chinese media, was the lack of any resolution of the status of bishops appointed by the Vatican but not recognized by Communist Party-run Catholic groups.
The pews were emptying even before the Pennsylvania grand jury report, the McCarrick revelations, and Archbishop Viganò’s testimony. We have been through Boston. We have seen consumerism and materialism eat into the church’s grip on Catholics’ imaginations. Polarization has taken a terrible toll.
A partner of Jesuit Missions in South Sudan was murdered in the early hours of today (15 November) at the Daniel Comboni Jesuit Residence in Cueibet where he lived. Fr Victor-Luke Odhiambo SJ was in the TV room when the gunmen broke into the compound. When his companions heard gunshots, they pressed the alarm and the killers ran off leaving Fr Victor-Luke for dead.
Despite reports of a shortage of priests and dwindling congregations, the number of new Catholics grew by an estimated 14 million from 2015 to 2016. The news was released just ahead of World Mission Day on Oct. 21 and is based on the “Church’s Book of Statistics,” according to a report by Agenzia Fides, the Vatican news agency.
The Tablet sponsored a group of students and their principal from the English Martyrs Catholic School in Leicester to visit Rome for their own "mini-synod" during the last week of the Synod of Bishops on Young People. The aim was for students to engage with the Youth Synod and respond with how relevant the content of the synod was to them; how relevant the Church is to them and to report back about their experience.
The youngest members of the family are certainly having a say. In the synod hall, a group of 18- to 29-year-olds sit at the back. They cannot vote, but they are making their voices heard. They have developed a “clap-o-meter” where each bishop’s intervention in the gathering is greeted with whoops, cheers or just polite applause. It is a slightly cheeky example of the organic “synodality” in action so loved by this Pope.
With the launch of a new book, Pope Francis is calling for a new alliance — between young and old — to change the world. In an effort to counteract today's "culture of waste" that too easily marginalizes or ignores the young and the elderly, the book by Loyola Press creates a model of storytelling, dialogue, connection and reflection to help inspire these two groups to come together and rediscover older people's lost "treasure of their wisdom."
The only way out of this mess is to admit that Catholicism is not basically about popes and bishops, rules and teachings. It is about Jesus Christ, the love of God incarnate in a human being. And the church itself is not an institution, but the People of God. Like all people, we use institutions to regulate our lives, but the institution is not our definition.
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".