Catholic News

  1. 19 martyrs beatified in Algeria; Pope hails them as 'great sign of brotherhood' for the world (Vatican News) - Bishop Pierre Claverie of Oran and his 18 companions, including seven monks of Tibhirine, were martyred between 1994 and 1996 during the Algerian Civil War. Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, presided at the Mass of beatification in Oran (video).
  2. China reneges on its deals: the Vatican is learning that the hard way (The Atlantic) - “The disappearance of a bishop is an object lesson in interacting with Beijing,” writes Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian, a journalist who has covered international affairs for Foreign Policy magazine and the Washington Post.
  3. Conversion is the way to wait for the Lord's coming, Pope tells pilgrims (Vatican News) - On December 9, the Second Sunday of Advent, Pope Francis delivered his Sunday Angelus address to pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square (video).
  4. Council of Cardinals meeting this week (Vatican Press Office) - The Council of Cardinals is meeting in Rome this week, to continue its work on an overhaul of the Roman Curia. The group will meet on Monday through Wednesday, with Pope Francis expected to take part in the discussions.
  5. Ecumenical Patriarch calls for honest interreligious dialogue for the sake of peace (Ecumenical Patriarchate) - Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, who holds a primacy of honor among the Orthodox churches, made his remarks as he visited South Korea.
  6. English, Welsh bishops call for 'ambitious action' on climate change (Catholic Church in England and Wales) - The 24th UN Climate Change Conference (COP24) began on December 2 in Katowice, Poland. Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, spoke at the conference and said there was an “urgent need for swift action.”
  7. Entrust yourself to God as Mary did, Pope says on feast of Immaculate Conception (Vatican News) - On December 8, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Pope Francis delivered his Angelus address to pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square (video).
  8. FBI engaged in wide-ranging probe of clergy sex abuse in Buffalo Diocese (Buffalo News) - “Federal authorities have fanned out across Western New York to learn more about a clergy abuse scandal that until now largely has been ignored by law enforcement,” according to the report. One person quoted in the article said that FBI agents ahve interviewed 40 people and “were looking for evidence to present to a grand jury.”
  9. French bishops condemn violent protests (Conférence des évêques de France (French)) - The “yellow vest” movement originally protested fuel tax increases but has grown into a more amorphous mass movement whose members have burned down a public building in Puy-en-Velay and have threatened to kill government employees. The president of the Bishops’ Conference of France said that the crisis manifests a “lack of listening and dialogue in our country”; he condemned the violence and called for prayer and dialogue.
  10. Lebanese bishops: country cannot support Syrian refugees (Fides) - The Maronite Catholic bishops of Lebanon have said that their county “can no longer carry the weight” of supporting Syrian refugees. An estimated 1.5 million Syrians have fled to Lebanon—a figure equivalent to nearly one-third of the country’s native population. The Maronite bishops said that displaced Syrians should return home, even if the conflict in their country remains unresolved.
  11. Milan's archbishop warns of Italian demographic crisis (Chiesa di Milano (Italian)) - Each year, the archbishop of Milan delivers an address to the city on the feast of St. Ambrose. Archbishop Mario Delpini called on citizens to live reasonably, rather than cave in to emotions and slogans. He also spoke about “the demographic crisis that seems to condemn the Italian population to an inexorable and unsustainable aging,” bleak employment prospects for youth, and loneliness among the elderly.
  12. Moscow patriarch honors Russian Muslim leader (Moscow Patriarchate) - Patriarch Kirill of Moscow honored Talgat Tadzhuddin, Russia’s grand mufti from 1992 to 2015, with an ecclesiastical award typically conferred on prominent public figures. “The history of relationships between believers in our country is unique,” the Russian Orthodox leader said, “for it includes not only glorious pages of mutual help and solidarity in the face of a common enemy, but also the tragic experience of persecutions under the atheistic regime.”
  13. Nuns reportedly misappropriated $500,000 to feed gambling habit (CBS) - After the Los Angeles archdiocese announced that it would not press legal charges against two women religious who had diverted a “substantial” sum of money from a local Catholic school, a CBS report alleges that the two sisters took about $500,000, which they used for gambling.
  14. Over 20 German prosecutors are investigating Church abuse scandal (CNS) - “Authorities in Cologne, Passau and Gorlitz have publicly initiated criminal proceedings,” according to the report. “A further 20 public prosecutors nationwide are currently examining evidence against Church officials in Germany’s 27 Catholic dioceses.”
  15. Papal visit to United Arab Emirates is the culmination of decades of work by pioneering priests (The National (UAE)) - Pope Francis will visit the Arabian Peninsula nation in February to take part in an interfaith meeting, the Vatican announced on December 6.
  16. Pope prays for Rome in traditional homage to Immaculate Mary (Vatican News) - Following a custom that dates back several decades, Pope Francis left the Vatican on December 8 and traveled to the Piazza di Spagna in Rome, where he offered an act of veneration to the Blessed Virgin Mary at the Column of the Immaculate Conception (video).
  17. Remain firm in your faith in your homeland, Catholic patriarchs tell Middle East's Christians (Vatican News) - The Catholic patriarchs of the Middle East recently gathered in Baghdad. Click here for the full French-language text of their joint statement.
  18. Vatican establishes new office to work with charismatic renewal (National Catholic Register) - The Catholic Charismatic Renewal International Service—CHARIS—was formally established by Pope Francis on December 8. Working within the new dicastery for Laity, Family, and Life, the office will provide worldwide liaison with the Catholic charismatic renewal.
  19. Vatican explains reorganization of Vatican City State's government (Vatican Press Office) - The Holy See Press Office has released a note explaining Pope Francis’s decision to reorganize the government of Vatican City State. The note was issued by the office of Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, President of the Governorate of Vatican City State since 2011.
  20. Vatican launches apostolic visitation of Chilean religious community (AP) - Some current and former sisters of the Institute of the Good Samaritan allege that some sisters were removed from the community after they denounced abuse by priests.
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