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Theologian steps down as consultant to US bishops’ committee following publication of letter critical of Pope Francis

Father Thomas Weinandy, a member of the International Theological Commission since 2014, led the US bishops’ Secretariat for Doctrine and Pastoral Practices from 2005 to 2013. Here are links to the text of his letter and Cardinal Daniel DiNardo’s subsequent statement on dialogue within the Church.

Augustinian prior general writes strongly worded letter on Reformation’s 500th anniversary

“Luther not only abandoned the Order but abhorred religious life with all his might, rejected ascetic practices and piety, rejected praying the breviary and other obligations, radically altered sacramental theology, condemned the vows and promoted the abandonment and the mass exodus of vowed religious,” writes Father Alejandro Moral Antón in a letter republished in L’Osservatore Romano (10/26). “The damage done to the Order and to religious life in Germany was enormous.”

Nuclear weapons inherently immoral, Pope says

Pope Francis issued an unmistakable condemnation of nuclear weapons on November, declaring that “the threat of their use, as well as their very possession, is firmly to be...

Two women appointed to lead roles in Vatican office for laity and life

Pope Francis has appointed two women as undersecretaries in the new dicastery for Laity, Family, and Life. Gabriella Gambino, a professor at the John Paul II Pontifical Theological Institute,...

Cardinal Burke laments apostasy, says the Church ‘appears not to know herself’

Speaking recently at a conference on Our Lady of Fatima, Cardinal Raymond Burke said that the Church “appears not to know herself, her identity in Christ, Who comes to us through the unbroken Apostolic Tradition.” The prelate criticized “those who exercise the pastoral office” for “their failure to teach the faith, in fidelity to the Church’s constant doctrine and practice, whether through explicit declarations and actions or through a superficial, confused or even worldly approach.”

Scholar: only 1/6 of Catholics in 2050 will be European

Baylor University’s Philip Jenkins predicts that in 2050, 40% of Catholics will live in Latin America and 25% in Africa. He adds, “A southward-looking Church may be a vibrant and flourishing body, but it might pose some challenges for Catholics of the older Euro-American world.”

Iowa: judge sides with city in dispute with church over feeding of homeless

The city of Davenport, citing a zoning ordinance, ordered a Protestant church to cease offering breakfast to the homeless. Later, the city backtracked, and the judge ruled there was no need for an injunction.

British court upholds university’s expulsion of student who wrote that same-sex marriage is sinful

Sheffield University expelled the student from its master’s program in social work after he wrote on Facebook that “same-sex marriage is a sin whether we like it or not. It is God’s words and man’s sentiments would not change His words.”

Laicized priest resigns academic post after abuse charges become public

A Catholic priest who was removed from ministry after being charged with sexual abuse has resigned his academic post after his past record was made public. Jaime Lara had been a priest of the Brooklyn diocese from 1973 to 1992. After leaving ministry he became a medieval scholar, teaching at Yale Divinity School among other places. He resigned his most recent post, at Arizona State University, after the diocese posted his name on a list of priests who had been accused of abuse.

Man who killed martyred Indian nun in front row at beatification Mass

Released from prison and forgiven by the victim’s family, the man who killed Blessed Rani Maria Vattalil in 1995 said that he still feels the “weight of such a terrible crime.”