China has taken an aggressive stance against the Vatican over the key question of the nomination of bishops, in the run up to its leadership elections in 2012. Will the Holy See and Beijing manage to reach an agreement in time to prevent a meltdown in relations?
News in Church News
Promoting the New Evangelization is becoming a priority for the Catholic Church. The pope is calling on everyone to revitalize the message of the Gospel, and that of course, includes women. "We believe that in this case specifically, women can contribute so much in matters of listening, creativity and beauty,” says Marta Rodríguez, director of the Institute of Advanced Studies on Women in Rome.
Pope Benedict XVI has announced a “Year of Faith” to help Catholics appreciate the gift of faith, deepen their relationship with God and strengthen their commitment to sharing faith with others. Celebrating Mass on Sunday with participants in a Vatican conference on new evangelisation, the Pope said the Year of Faith would give “renewed energy to the mission of the whole Church to lead men and women out of the desert they often are in and toward the place of life: friendship with Christ who gives us fullness of life”.
Lone gunman reportedly kills Fr. Fausto Tentorio, a leading anti-crime campaigner in Kidapawan, Mindanao. The priest was due to attend a regular meeting of Kidapawan diocese clergy at the house of Bishop Romulo de la Cruz in Kidapawan City today. Father Tentorio had been an active law and order campaigner in Arakan town. Only recently, he was appointed as head of a civilian anti-criminal task force in the town.
The visiting non-resident pontifical representative for Vietnam has received a rapturous welcome in the south as he continues his working tour of the country “Catholics should have a clear conscience and live a life of love as a way to sow the seeds of the Good News in this country,” Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli told some 20,000 people who attended a special Mass at the Pilgrimage Center of Our Lady at Tan Hiep in Kien Giang province on Monday.
The pope told the crowd, they shouldn't be afraid to recognize the hardships that exists in their lives. He asked them to stay away from temptations like, laziness or hesitations that may come when they're thinking of doing a good deed.
Church people expect the first Vietnamese Catholic dictionary, launched with great fanfare yesterday, will make a major contribution in developing theology in Vietnam. “Today I would like to introduce you to the first Catholic Dictionary in Vietnamese,” Bishop Paul Bui Van Doc of My Tho, head of the bishops’ Episcopal Commission for the Doctrine of the Faith, told about 200 Catholics at the launch ceremony yesterday at the Archbishop’s Residence in Ho Chi Minh City.
The Holy Father received the Letters of Credence of Nigel Marcus Baker, the new British ambassador to the Holy See. "The Holy See and the United Kingdom continue to share a common concern for peace among nations, the integral development of peoples throughout the world, ... and the spread of authentic human rights..."
ASIA/INDIA - Catholic Church attacked in Kerala: "We are exposed to different extremism", says the Bishop
A Catholic church was attacked and devastated by vandals wearing masks in the diocese of Quilon, in South Kerala (Southern india). This is what His Exc. Mgr. Stanley Roman, Bishop of Quilon tells Fides, who is "concerned that, as Christians, we are exposed to the growth of different religious extremism.
Religious leaders pray over the grave of the nun beatified by John Paul II 2003. For Fr Cedric Prakash, who heads the Prashant Centre for human rights, justice and peace, people should learn from her teachings and that the poor deserve dignity and value. Only this way will corruption be defeated.
On the coast of Italy, in the town of Rimini, every summer one of the most important cultural events in the country takes place. It's called the “Meeting for Friendship Amongst Peoples” and it's organized by the Catholic movement “Communion and Liberation.”
Rampant inflation and other severe economic troubles are threatening to close seminaries in Uganda, despite the growing number of catholic priestly vocations. Despite over 1,000 young men preparing for the priesthood in the country’s five seminaries last year alone, there is still a shortage of priests in many parts of the country. Forty five percent of Uganda’s population of 33 million is Catholic.
The money was donated through Cafod, the agency of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales. Cafod director Chris Bain said the sum was “a tremendous tribute to Catholic communities which – despite the economic hardships at home – have once again shown overwhelming generosity towards those in need”.
These last few days Catholic faithful inside and outside China have noted with sadness and indignation words pronounced by Mr Liu Bainian, Rev Guo Jincai, Mgr Fang Xingyao and Rev Yang yu, which are hardly distinguishable from being schismatic. But today's statement by the Religious Affairs Bureau has reached the extreme of absurdity.
Pope Benedict XVI has advised holidaymakers to pack a copy of Sacred Scripture in an address to pilgrims at Castel Gandolfo, his summer residence. Vatican spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi said the Pope had suggested to “include a copy of the Sacred Scriptures in our suitcase” follows on from his call last year for Catholics to become more familiar with the Bible.
The Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization unveiled a new project today to re-evangelize some of Europe’s major cities. The metropolitan missions will be aimed at those who live the faith but often do so in a way that “lacks an awareness of how this can infuse their lifestyle.” The missions also hope to engage those who are far from the faith, but are “nonetheless attracted by the person of Jesus Christ.”
"Each World Youth Day is an extraordinary experience for a Church which is friend to young people, which shares their problems", said Cardinal Rylko. "A Church which places herself at the service of the new generations. It is an experience of Universal Church - unique of its kind - which embraces the entire planet, of a young Church full of enthusiasm and missionary vigour.
The Vatican is turning to the Internet in its struggle against child abuse with a new website allowing clergy around the world to share information on eradicating the problem. It will be “a step … on a long and painful path,” adding the website would bring together the latest research on child abuse and Church laws, while allowing churches in different countries to have their say.
Pope Benedict XVI has described the priesthood as a demanding and “awe-inspiring” ministry that brought him closer to God. The Pope’s unusually personal recollection came on the 60th anniversary of his priestly ordination in Bavaria in 1951 and the feast of Ss Peter and Paul, the patron saints of Rome.