Catholic Culture News
Catholic Culture News

Most Popular News Within Last 30 Days

The Zanchetta affair (Part 4): a blockbuster article

[For background, see: “The Zanchetta affair (Part 1): the bishop’s rise“ “The Zanchetta affair (Part 2): resignation, Archbishop Stanovnik, and a Vatican...

Orthodox prelate retires following allegation of affair

Patriarch John X, the head of the Patriarchate of Antioch (CNEWA profile), has accepted the resignation of Metropolitan Joseph of North America, and expressed the desire that the prelate “may complete the remaining time of his life in peace and repentance.”

Metropolitan Joseph’s retirement follows an allegation of a 16-year affair with a married woman.

The Zanchetta affair (Part 5): the Pope speaks

[For background, see: “The Zanchetta affair (Part 1): the bishop’s rise“ “The Zanchetta affair (Part 2): resignation, Archbishop Stanovnik, and a Vatican...

German bishops fail to approve Synodal Way’s call to change Catholic teaching on sexual morality

33 of 57 German bishops voted to approve the Synodal Way’s call to change Catholic teaching on sexual morality—five votes shy of the two-thirds majority required for the motion to pass.

The proposed statement won approval by more than two-thirds of the voters, but the voting system required a two-thirds majority of the bishops for final approval.

The 30-page document said that it is “urgently necessary to overcome some of the restrictions in questions of sexuality, for reasons of sexual science as well as theology.” It called for changes in Church teaching on homosexuality, and said that “it will not be possible to reorient pastoral care without re-defining the emphasis of the Church’s sexual teaching to a significant degree.”

Bishop Georg Bätzing, president of the German bishops’ conference, decried his brother bishops’ failure to approve the motion and said that it created a “crisis-like atmosphere,” and showed that “synodality has not gone far enough.” He indicated that he plans to present the statement to the Synod of Bishops despite the absence of approval.

Irme Stetter-Karp, the lay co-chair of the Synodal Path, complained that “there are bishops in this assembly who are not prepared to voice their opinions,” suggesting that some bishops voted against the measure despite their personal support for the proposed changes. She said that the setback made her question whether her commitment to the cause of change in the Church “is the right investment of time.”

Italy’s new leader seen posing challenge for Pope Francis

The victory of Giorgia Meloni, at the head of an Italian populist movement, will pose new challenges for Pope Francis, writes Robert Royal of The Catholic Thing.

Meloni, who has been widely portrayed in the mainstream media as a “ultraconservative,” appealed to voters who are troubled by mass immigration and skeptical of climate-change measures—issues on which Pope Francis has taken a very different stand. Royal notes that the for Pontiff, “it would be hard for him to criticize a political coalition that enjoys broad public support.” Other prelates in Italy, he continues, “will now be in a difficult spot between papal preferences and popular sentiment.”

Belgian bishops publish liturgical service for same-sex unions

The Catholic bishops of Flanders, the Flemish-speaking section of Belgium, have made public a proposed service of blessings for same-sex unions.

Led by Cardinal Jozef De Kesel of Brussels, the bishops published a document entitled “Being pastorally close to homosexual persons,” which provides a script for a liturgical service in which a couple can “express before God how they are committed to one another.”

The document appears to be a direct challenge to the Vatican directive, issued last year, that the Church cannot give blessings to homosexual unions. That challenge comes shortly before the bishops of Belgium are due to make their ad limina visit to Rome.

Interfaith statement affirms tolerance and pluralism

A statement issued by the 7th Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, meeting in Kazakhstan this week, condemned intolerance, extremism, persecution, terrorism, all forms of coercion in the name of religion. The statement referred with approval to the Document on Human Fraternity signed by Pope Francis and Sheikh Ahmad al-Tayyeb, which had also declared that religious differences reflect God’s will.

The lengthy (35 paragraph) statement, issued at the conclusion of the conference in which Pope Francis participated, also proclaimed that pluralism in religious belief is one of the “expressions of the wisdom of God’s will in creation.”

The statement called upon all religious leaders to support the causes of the poor and migrants, and to commit themselves to the battle against climate change.

The statement was signed by “a majority” of nearly 100 delegates, from 60 different countries, who had joined in the meeting.

US bishops release national synthesis outlining common themes raised in synod listening sessions

The synod synthesis showed a “desire for greater communion”, highlighted “enduring wounds” in the Church, and made the claim that the synodal process has “renewed” the Church in the US.

Catholic colleges offer coed dorm rooming

At least three Catholic colleges in the US—Sacred Heart and Fairfield universities in Connecticut, and St. Mary’s College in California—now allow students to share a dormitory room with a member of the opposite sex.

At Sacred Heart, the “gender-inclusive housing option” recommends against rooming with a romantic partner, but “current procedures do not require students to disclose their reason for roommate requests.” Students are encouraged, but not required, to tell their parents about their coed rooms.

Cardinal Müller critiques Pontifical Academy for Life’s text on contraception

In analyzing a recent publication of the Pontifical Academy for Life, Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the former Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (2012-17), said that “ the document directly contradicts the Church’s received teaching without even making attempts at engaging this teaching on its own terms.”

The co-author of Cardinal Müller’s critique is Stephan Kampowski, professor of philosophical anthropology at the Pontifical Theological John Paul II Institute for Marriage and the Family Sciences.