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Uniatism as a path to Christian unity is ‘over,’ Pope tells Russian Orthodox delegation

On June 2, the Vatican press office released remarks made by Pope Francis in a May 30 audience with a Russian Orthodox delegation. In stating that “Uniatism as a path of unity is not valid today,” Pope Francis affirmed Vatican policy of recent decades but did so in a particularly forceful way; at the same time, he said that existing Eastern Catholic churches “must be respected.” The Pontiff also pledged not to interfere “in internal matters of the Russian Orthodox Church, nor in political issues ... And those who meddle do not obey the Holy See.” (“Uniatism” is more fully discussed in this 1993 document.)

Vatican blocks German bishops’ proposal for intercommunion

With the approval of Pope Francis, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) has instructed the German bishops’ conference not to publish a policy that would have allowed Protestant...

CDF prefect confirms: ordination of women is impossible, teaching is permanent

The prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) has reaffirmed the permanent authority of the Church’s teaching that women cannot be ordained to the priesthood, in an...

Abuse scandal’s total cost: over $3.3 billion since 2004

The abuse scandal cost American dioceses and religious institutes $642,975,667 between 2014 and 2017, according to Table 6 (page 46) of the newly released report. In the previous decade, the scandal’s total cost was $2,744,881,843. Between mid-2016 and mid-2017, there were 695 new allegations involving 654 alleged victims (over 80% of them male); the majority of new allegations involved incidents that reportedly took place before 1980.

Pope confirms: seminaries should exclude homosexuals

In a closed-door discussion with Italian bishops, Pope Francis reportedly said that seminaries should not accept men who are, or may be, active homosexuals. “If you have even the slightest doubt, it’s better not to let them enter,” the Pope was quoted as saying. Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti, the newly elected president of the Italian bishops’ conference, confirmed the substance of the papal statements.

The Pope’s stand confirms a 2005 Instruction from the Congregation for Catholic Education, and a later 2016 document from the Congregation for Clergy advising against acceptance of candidates for the priesthood who “practice homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies, or support the so-called gay culture.”

Benedictine monastery celebrates 1000 years

Pope Francis has named Cardinal Anders Arborelius of Sweden as his representative to the celebration of the 1000th anniversary of Buckfast Abbey in Devon, England.

Chilean bishop suspends 20% of his priests for involvement in child-abuse network

A Chilean bishop has suspended more than one-fifth of the priests in his diocese, because of their reported involvement in a network engaged in pornography and child abuse. Bishop Alejandro Goic Karmelic of Rangacua, who heads the Chilean bishops’ committee on sexual abuse, had reportedly been informed about the network more than a year ago, but delayed taking action. Bishop Goic—one of the 31 active Chilean bishops who tendered their resignations last week—is already 78 years old and thus well beyond normative retirement age.

Pope sending abuse investigators back to troubled Chilean diocese

Archbishop Charles Scicluna and Msgr. Jordi Bertomeu, who led a Vatican investigation of sex abuse in Chile earlier this year, will return to the South American country to “advance the process...

Priests in Australia’s capital to be required to break seal of Confession, report confessed child abuse

The ACT Legislative Assembly (referred to in the article) is the Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly. The measure, which has the support of Australia’s three leading political parties, will go into effect on March 31, 2019.

Providence College official puts restraining order on graduate who defended marriage

An official at Providence College has obtained a restraining order to bar Michael Smalanskas, a recent graduate, from the Rhode Island campus. Smalanskas, who received threats after posting messages defending traditional marriage, had complained that the Catholic school failed to protect him—and in fact encouraged hostility. Kristine Goodwin, the vice president, of student affairs, said that Smalanskas himself was a threat, reporting that he “glared at me.”