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New papal document is more than a response to critics [News Analysis]

In his new apostolic exhortation, Gaudete et Exsultate, Pope Francis offers a broad discussion of a general question applicable to all Christians: the personal call to holiness. However, the...

Number of priestly ordinations in US plunges in 2018

“The total number of potential ordinands for the class of 2018, 430, is a lower number from 590 in 2017,” according to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Holy Cross College students call attention to theology professor’s views on ‘drag king’ Jesus

The Fenwick Review, a conservative student newspaper at Jesuit-run Holy Cross College, has called attention to the radical views of a theology professor, Tat-siong Benny Liew, who sees Jesus as a “drag king” of “gender indeterminate.” Liew—who holds an endowed chair and teaches New Testament courses for freshmen at the Massachusetts school—recommends “imagining [Christ’s] passion experience as a (masochistic?) sexual relation with his own Father.”

Did Pope say there is no hell?

Pope Francis said that hell does not exist, according to Eugenio Scalfari, the founder of the daily La Repubblica.

After an interview with the Pontiff, Scalfari quoted him as saying: “There is no hell. There is the disappearances of sinful souls.”

The Vatican press office quickly issued a statement noting that Scalfari’s quotation cannot be considered “a faithful transcription” of the Pope’s actual words. Scalfari, who has now interviewed Pope Francis several times, does not record the sessions or take notes; he relies on his memory to reconstruct the conversations.

Dramatic papal letter on Chilean crisis leaves next steps uncertain [News Analysis]

In his letter to the bishops of Chile, Pope Francis acknowledges “serious mistakes” in his handling of sex-abuse complaints, but leaves open—at least for now—the question of...

China insists on control over Church

The Chinese government will insist on control over the Catholic Church and all other religious bodies, a spokesman has announced. “China’s constitution is clear,” said Chen...

Orthodox, Catholic prelates in Syria condemn US air strike

The Orthodox and Catholic patriarchs of Antioch have united in condemnation of the US air strikes on their country, saying that the attacks were “brutal aggression” and “a clear...

German bishops lodge dubia on colleagues’ decision to allow Communion for non-Catholic spouses

Seven German bishops, led by Cardinal Rainer Woelki of Cologne, have written to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, asking for clarification on whether their country’s episcopal conference has the authority to allow Communion for the non-Catholic spouses of Catholics. In February, by majority vote, the German bishops’ conference gave its approval for the policy.

‘Gaudete et Exsultate’: Pope issues apostolic exhortation on the call to holiness in today’s world

The new apostolic exhortation has five chapters: “the call to holiness,” “two subtle enemies of holiness” (a reference to contemporary Gnosticism and Pelagianism), “in the light of the Master,” “signs of holiness in today’s world,” and “spiritual combat, vigilance, and discernment.”

Chinese authorities seize ‘underground’ bishop

Bishop Vincent Guo Xijin of Mindong has been detained by police, the AsiaNews service reports.

Bishop Guo is one of the Chinese bishops who have been asked to step aside, as part of a proposed agreement between the Vatican and Beijing. He would be replaced by a bishop who was appointed by the Chinese government and illicitly ordained.

Bishop Guo was reportedly questioned by police, then taken away from his residence. He had also been detained by police just before Easter last year.