Browsing News Entries

Belgian bishops meet with Pope for their ad limina visit to Rome (Rome Reports)

Pope Francis received the bishops of Belgium on November 25. The Western European nation of 11.8 million (map) is 63% Christian (60% Catholic), 26% agnostic, 8% Muslim, and 2% atheist.

The meeting follows the bishops’ publication of a liturgical service for same-sex unions, in defiance of a 2021 Vatican document whose publication was approved by the Pope.

The Vatican did not issue a statement on the meeting, in contrast with the statement that followed the recent papal meeting with the German bishops.

Leading Colombian prelate calls for perseverance in peace efforts (Fides)

Over 175,000 civilians have lost their lives in the Colombian conflict, which began in 1964. The National Liberation Army (ELN) continues to wage war despite a 2016 peace agreement between the Colombian government and the main rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

“For many years we have been reflecting, praying, working, committing ourselves to the theme of peace and reconciliation, and as the psalmist says, when we say peace, others cry out for war,” said Archbishop Luis José Rueda Aparicio of Bogotá, the president of the bishops’ conference. “It seems we have finished one phase of the war and started another and not just regionally and nationally, but internationally.”

Seoul archbishop renews call for Korean peace, reconciliation (AsiaNews)

“Genuine forgiveness, reconciliation, and self-reflection [are] needed more than at any time in history,” said Archbishop Peter Chung Soon-taick, OCD, of Seoul (South Korea’s capital), who also serves as Apostolic Administrator of Pyongyang (North Korea’s capital).

The prelate made his remarks to the annual Korean Peninsula Peace-Sharing Forum as tensions between North and South Korea escalated.

Seattle archbishop criticized for purchase of expensive residence (National Catholic Reporter)

Archbishop Paul Etienne of Seattle is being criticized for the purchase of a $2.4 million residence on the city’s waterfront.

The price of the home is not out of line with the market in a desirable neighborhood. But when he first arrived in Seattle in 2019, Archbishop Etienne made a point of saying that he would not use the existing mansion traditionally occupied by the archbishop, but would “live a more simplified life.”

A full online guide to the world's Catholic hierarchy (CNS)

David Cheney, who describes himself as a “random Catholic dude,” has created an invaluable resource: the web site Catholic-Hierarchy.org , which provides up-to-date information about every bishop and every diocese in the world.

Down-syndrome woman loses challenge to UK's abortion law (CNA)

A woman with Down syndrome has lost her appeal against England’s abortion law, which allows for illegal abortion up until the time of birth if the baby is disabled.

Heidi Crowder argued that the law encourages discrimination, showing no respect for people like herself. But the Court of Appeal ruled that the law does not have “any significant role in causing discriminatory attitudes against disabled people generally, or those with Down’s in particular.”

Chinese bishops brief Hong Kong Catholics on 'Sinicization' campaign (National Catholic Register)

Catholic bishops from mainland China have been in Hong Kong this week, explaining the government’s plan for an independent Catholic Church loyal to the Communist party.

Bishop Joseph Shen Bin, the president of the Chinese episcopal conference—and vice-president of the government-controlled Catholic Patriotic Association—said that President Xi has “once again put forward the requirement of adhering to the direction of Sinicization of religion in China and actively guiding religion to adapt to the socialist society.”

Kidnapped priest and companions released in Nigeria (Fides)

A Catholic priest who was kidnapped on November 24, along with five members of a religious society, has been released.

Father Peter Abang Ochang and his companions were unharmed, a spokesman for the Ogoja diocese reported. He said that the kidnappers were probably not targeting a Catholic priest—although the seizure of priests has become common in Nigeria.

Ukrainian Orthodox Church takes another step away from Moscow (Ukrainian Orthodox Church)

The Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) has decide to make its own chrism, rather than taking chrism furnished by the Patriarchate of Moscow.

The decision marks another movement toward autonomy, since the making of chrism is a sign of an autocephalous (self-governing) Church.

May Advent awaken us to God's presence in our daily lives, Pope tells pilgrims (Vatican News)

During his November 27 Angelus address, Pope Francis reflected on Matthew 24:37-44, the Gospel reading of the day for the First Sunday of Advent.

“Brothers and sisters, in this Season of Advent, let us be shaken out of our torpor and let us awaken from our slumber!” the Pope said. “Let’s try to ask ourselves: am I aware of what I am living, am I alert, am I awake? Do I try to recognize God’s present in daily situations, or am I distracted and a little overwhelmed by things? If we are unaware of his coming today, we will also be unprepared when he arrives at the end of time. Therefore, brothers and sisters, let us remain vigilant!”