In a letter to the Prime Minister on August 20th, co-signed by the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Glenn Davies, and the Greek Orthodox Primate, Archbishop Makarios, Archbishop Fisher suggested that the projected use of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine might cause a crisis of conscience for some potential recipients because cell lines derived from a 1973 aborted foetus were involved in its production.
News in Church Issues
Some years ago, during the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI, Father General Adolfo Nicolás sketched points for a possible letter to the Society. Although he never wrote the letter, he did share these points with a few friends. The following text, while still rough and informal, expresses clearly the direction of his thinking. With the permission of Father Nicolás, we share it now.
It was not hard to imagine the new papal encyclical on fraternity and social friendship would provoke criticism in certain quarters. Pope Francis released Fratelli tutti on October 4 and some have begun to accuse him of interfering in politics and the economic sphere, being naïve about human nature and overreaching his authority as a religious figure.
"Fratelli tutti" calls for fraternity and "social friendship"; this relatively long magisterial document is a summary of Pope Francis's thoughts. The new magisterial document from Pope Francis -- the encyclical Fratelli tutti -- opens with a rather bleak assessment of the current state of the world.
The vitality of the Church and, above all, the faith that animates her pastors and her faithful cannot be measured by numbers and statistics. Only God knows the mysterious and unique relationship that unites him to people who profess themselves Catholic. This is what constitutes the essence of the faith.
We should be grateful to Anne-Marie Pelletier for her recent book L’Église, des femmes avec des hommes, which collects and develops several lines of reflection on the relationship between women and men in the Church that she had already initiated in previous writings.
Over the last few decades China’s growing involvement in Africa has led many observers to point out that Chinese Christianity could benefit from this new proximity. In fact, the growing number of citizens from the Middle Kingdom who move to Africa encounter vibrant Christian communities. It appears that some of those Chinese have also embraced Christianity and taken it home with them.
This week sees the start of a new school year, pandemic permitting, of course. It’s the perfect excuse to explore the role of medieval monasteries in education, or to be specific, the part monasteries played as providers of what we’d now call a secondary education (watch this space for a column on monks and universities).
China has accomplished much in recent decades with huge social, economic and political transformations. However, the challenges faced by the local Catholic Church are not vanishing. All kinds of difficulties continue to constrain the growth of the Chinese Catholic Church, forcing it to adapt its own framework and to produce new responses.
The Zimbabwe government has launched an astonishing attack on the country's Catholic bishops after the bishops issued a pastoral letter critical of the government.
Certain doctrinal criticisms of the current pontificate show a gradual but increasingly clear-cut separation from the Second Vatican Council — not from a certain interpretation of some texts, but from the Council texts themselves. Some interpretations that insist on contrasting Pope Francis with his immediate predecessors thus end up openly criticizing even St John Paul II and Benedict XVI.
China has been accused of hacking Vatican computers as well as those in the Diocese of Hong Kong and other Catholic organizations from May.The hacking appears to be an attempt to gain an advantage in talks between the Vatican and China, due to resume as early as this week, about a fresh deal on the appointment of bishops.
On May 12, 2016, at a meeting of the International Union of the Superiors General of Women’s Religious Orders, one sister asked Pope Francis why women were excluded from decision-making processes in the Church and from preaching at Eucharistic celebrations. In asking, she cited his words, “the feminine genius is needed in all expressions of the life of the Church and Society.”
The Vatican's Congregation for the Clergy has released a new document to help guide the reform of parish communities. Entitled "The pastoral conversion of the Parish community in the service of the evangelizing mission of the Church," the document promotes pastoral care based on closeness and cooperation between parishes, Vatican News reported.
But the loving convergence of divine and human desire promoted by the Our Father is suddenly interrupted by the penultimate petition, "and lead us not into temptation". It is precisely this last aspect that has generated pastoral discomfort and has led exegetes and Church leaders – among whom we now include Pope Francis – to ask for a modification of the centuries-old formula of the liturgical prayer that would respond to sentiments now widely shared and promote a more accurate and respectful conception of God.
The Covid pandemic will have long-lasting repercussions for the Church. Our Rome correspondent suggests that the Catholicism that will emerge from the crisis under the leadership of Pope Francis will be leaner and clearer in its mission.
La Civiltà Cattolica was founded in the mid-nineteenth century but only since last February has it been available in English. The following is a speech about the publication’s purpose given by editor-in-chief Father Antonio Spadaro, SJ, at a meeting of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines in the city of Cebu.
Russia's Orthodox patriarch has vowed to continue fighting for unity and "canonical purity" throughout 2020. Meanwhile, the head of Ukraine's new independent church predicted more Orthodox leaderships would grant him recognition during the coming year.
Just over a year ago, on September 22, 2018, an Agreement was signed between the Holy See and the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Despite its temporary nature, its importance is such that it has attracted much comment, and it has already become the focus of in-depth study.