Despite once being declared 'a national embarrassment', Matera's ancient stone dwellings and water systems are now renowned as a model for sustainable living. I was having coffee with Antonio Nicoletti in the Piazza Vittorio Veneto in the southern Italian city of Matera, when he recalled how the piazza was abuzz with anticipation in 1991.
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Pope Francis began his visit to Africa with a hard-hitting speech condemning the “economic colonialism” plundering the continent’s natural resources, and describing the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo as a “forgotten genocide.”
A Jesuit priest imprisoned for more than two decades in China has celebrated the 25th anniversary of his ordination. Father Matthew Chu Li-teh, SJ, 85, celebrated his silver jubilee with a Mass at Kuting Sacred Heart Church, Taipei, on Jan. 9.
The question is where to go to Mass. St Mark’s seems to discourage the habit on Sundays. The authorities may wish to prevent sightseeing under the guise of piety. But if you turn up for the 6.45pm vigil Mass, you find the main doors closed. Entrance is by an unmarked door in the north facade, through a curtain. It’s an astonishing place to worship, but the music isn’t up to much and the congregation fills only a few rows.
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Thursday presided over the Chrism Mass, during which the sacred oils used for the Sacraments and Ordinations were blessed. In his homily for the Mass, the Holy Father spoke about the “joy of the Gospel”.
Islamist hard-liners angry at the execution last month of the assassin of Punjab Gov. Salmaan Taseer have stepped up calls for Asia Bibi, a Catholic woman sentenced to die for blasphemy, to be put to death.
Pope Francis said he wants to be remembered as “a good person who tried to do good. I cannot ask for anything more than that.” The statement, as well as comments about his life as pope and situations that move him to tears, were part of an interview he gave in late May to La Voz del Pueblo, a newspaper from Argentina.
The author of Wolf Hall and the newly published Bring Up The Bodies told interviewer Lynn Barber that Catholics weren't quite the ticket. "I think that nowadays the Catholic church is not an institution for respectable people", she said. When Lynn Barber got Mantel to expand, she discovered that much of her remark was down to the abuse crisis. But there was more, with Mantel going on to damn priests and nuns for being "among the worst people I knew".
During a period when churches were rebuilt across China, Father Ye eagerly joined in the effort, declining repeated chances offered by relatives to emigrate overseas. “China needs priests,” Sister Chen quoted him as saying.
“The Holy Father expresses his strongest condemnation of the horrendous attack this morning that plunged the city of Paris into mourning, claiming a large number of victims, sowing death and causing consternation throughout the whole of French society, and profoundly disturbing all those who favour peace, well beyond the French borders.
The prelate called on Catholic teachers not to get tired of teaching "that God is the beginning and the end of all things, that he is the Father who wishes all to have life, and to have it to the full”. He reminded teachers of the dignity of their calling as "evangelizers within the world and its concerns”.
Philippine Catholic bishops have urged people not to rush to judge politicians linked to a multi-million dollar scam that allegedly channeled government funds to private individuals and groups.
England is suffering from a "worrying cultural divide" with poor adults much less likely to read books than their richer neighbours, a report says. The country is divided into two nations, those who read weekly or daily, and those who prefer TV and DVDs, it says. The research, from charity Booktrust, is based on a survey of 1,500 adults.
Once again Roma people are in the news and, as ever, they are the focus of prejudice and vilification. The most recent story surrounds alleged child abduction in Greece, following a raid on a Roma encampment. The narrative plays to some familiar stereotypes: allegations of criminal activities, welfare scrounging - and even that age-old fairytale so popular in Victorian times of children being stolen by Gypsies.
A mother of two who calmly confronted the Woolwich attackers on Wednesday has attributed her courage to her Catholic faith. Ingrid Loyau-Kennet, a practising Catholic, told the Daily Telegraph: “I live my life as a Christian. I believe in thinking about others and loving thy neighbour. We all have a duty to look after each other.
Sunday Mass in Dubai is surprisingly exuberant. The popular neighbourhood of Bur Dubai is home to Saint Mary’s Church. Faithful arrive just before 19:00. One would expect them to receive a sober welcome. But they would be wrong. Mass celebrations in this church are the fruit of meticulous and painstaking organisation.
It's lovely to see the daffodils everywhere, 'fluttering and dancing in the breeze', as Wordsworth wrote. This is an interesting article from the Guardian about our increasingly unpredictable weather. In church last night it was freezing cold ! Thank. God that spring is here at last. (Angela McGhin, North East Reporter)
Monday 3rd December students of the College will cross the Tiber River and make their way to the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican. There they will be received in Private Audience by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. They will bring with them to the Audience a relic of their proto-martyr, St Ralph Sherwin.
By tradition, the monks do not cook or have food prepared for them in their temples. Buddhist devotees in Sri Lanka who traditionally give food to monks are to be given special menus in an attempt to stop the clergy becoming sick. Reports suggest increasing numbers of Buddhist monks are contracting diet-related diseases such as diabetes because of fatty, sugary gifts.