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Most Popular News Within Last 30 Days

Catholic ethicists decry lax ‘brain-death’ standards [Exclusive]

Current medical criteria for diagnosing “brain death” are woefully inadequate, and more than half of organ donors who have been declared “brain dead” are still alive. These...

USCCB publishes Q & A on chemical abortion

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities has released “Just the Facts: Q & A on Chemical Abortion.”

The three-page text addresses five questions: “What is chemical abortion?”, “How does a chemical abortion work?”, “What are the risks of chemical abortion?”, “What has the FDA done to protect the lives and health of women using chemical abortion?”, and “What is the status and importance of this controversy?”

Prelates detail humanitarian costs of war in Ukraine

“What’s happening now in Ukraine is genocide,” Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk said at February 14 press conference organized by the international Catholic charity Aid to the...

‘American bishops offer the world an example of courage,’ says French Bishop

American bishops are more likely than French bishops to proclaim the truth when it is countercultural, said Bishop Marc Aillet of Bayonne (France), author of the recently published Le temps des saints (The Time of Saints).

“When I went to the US, I found that parishes had services specifically dedicated to the dignity of life, and at every March for Life, a substantial number of bishops participate, which is not the case in France or elsewhere,” he said.

“It’s fair to say that many of their bishops are not ‘mute dogs,’” he added. “Perhaps they can encourage us French bishops to bark a little louder?”

Pope, at general audience, warns against sorrow

At his February 7 general audience, held in Paul VI Audience Hall, Pope Francis warned against spiritual sorrow, in the seventh talk in a series of Wednesday general audiences devoted to the virtues...

Leading Nigerian prelate rips government economic policies—and Fiducia Supplicans

As the Nigerian bishops gathered for their first meeting of 2024, the president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria offered strong criticism of the nation’s endemic insecurity...

German bishops back off confrontation with Vatican

Following a new warning from the Vatican, the Catholic bishops of Germany have stepped away from plans to approve formation of a new “Synodal Council” to include lay people in forming Church policies.

At their meeting this week, the German bishops’ conference was scheduled to vote on statutes for the Synodal Council, despite clear statements from Rome that the step would violate the Church’s teaching that bishops alone have authority to set diocesan policies. But after receiving a letter from Rome urging against the vote, the episcopal conference announced that the measure would be removed from this week’s agenda.

The Central Committee of German Catholics, which has partnered with the German bishops in promoting the Synodal Council, expressed dismay at the bishops’ concession; the group had urged the bishops to defy Rome and proceed with the vote. Irme Stetter-Karp, the president of the lay group, said: “The Catholic Church in Germany will not have a second chance if it stops the synodal path now.”

Impoverished Indonesian island described as ‘promised land for vocations’

The Indonesian island of Flores, an island that is slightly larger than Connecticut, is the “promised land of vocations,” an 80-year-old Italian missionary priest told the Vatican newspaper.

“Here there are four dioceses, five minor seminaries with a total of 500 young candidates—not to mention the interdiocesan seminary, famous for its school of philosophy and theology, where 400 study,” said Father Luigi Galvani.

In addition, “there are around 200 religious institutes, 57 congregations in the Diocese of Maumere alone,” he continued. In Maumere, the Society of the Divine Word, he said, has the largest seminary in the world, described as the “little Vatican,” where 1,300 students from different religious institutes study.

L’Osservatore Romano reported that Flores is the “poorest place in the nation” and that 70% of the island’s 1.5 million residents are Catholic, while Indonesia as a whole is 85% Muslim. The majority of Catholics, said Father Galvani, are “farmers and fishermen” who are “sensitive to the acceptance of the Gospel and religious commitment to such an extent that vocational promotion is very easy”—leading to hundreds of ordinations on the island every year.

Citing a recent request by Muslim bank employees to bless their bank, Father Galvani also spoke of the interfaith harmony on the island.

Female Anglican prelate addresses Pope’s Council of Cardinals

A female Anglican bishop joined a Salesian sister and a consecrated virgin in addressing the Pope’s advisory Council of Cardinals, which is meeting in Rome.

Rt. Rev. Jo Bailey Wells is the Anglican bishop of Dorking (England) and the Anglican Communion Office’s bishop for episcopal ministry.

Paris archdiocese unveils plans for reopening Notre Dame

The Archdiocese of Paris has outlined plans for a major celebration when the basilica of Notre Dame is reopened on December 8, following extensive renovations to repair the damage done by a devastating fire in April 2019.

In a pastoral letter released on February 2, Archbishop Laurent Ulrich said that the celebration will being 15 days before the formal reconsecration of the basilica, with a procession through the city to return the 14th-century image of the Virgin and Child, which somehow escaped the fire.

The focal point of the celebration will be the reconsecration of the main altar, during the first Mass on December 8, the feast of the Immaculate Conception and, this year, the Second Sunday of Advent. The celebrations will continue, however, through June 8, 2025, which is Pentecost Sunday.