Catholic News

  1. 'Nature has rights,' synod participant says at press briefing (Vatican News) - “Humanity cannot destroy ecosystems in the name of progress,” said Felicio de Araujo Pontes, Jr., an auditor at the synod. Other participants in the October 17 press briefing (video) discussed inculturation and education.
  2. 40 indigenous persons meet with Pope (Vatican News) - “They expressed their gratitude to the Holy Father for convoking the Synod, and asked for help in implementing their desire to ensure a peaceful and happy life for their peoples, caring for their land, and protecting its waters, for their descendants to enjoy,” said Matteo Bruni, director of the Holy See Press Office.
  3. Algerian officials close 2 more Protestant churches (AsiaNews) - The nation of 41.7 million (map) is 99% Muslim (predominantly Sunni), and Islam is the official religion.
  4. Australia to amend religious freedom legislation to consider health facilities (CNS) - ““This bill would provide important protection against discrimination on the grounds of religious belief or activity and a positive protection of our freedom to act in accordance with our religious faith, but excludes vital parts of the work of the Church,” said Archbishop Peter Comensoli of Melbourne.
  5. Background: World Mission Sunday (CWN) -

    On October 21, the Church around the world commemorates World Mission Sunday. The theme of the Pope’s message for the day is “Baptized and Sent: The Church of Christ on Mission in the World.”

  6. Bishop advocates reconciliation commission in Guinea-Bissau (Fides) - Bishop José Camnate Na Bissing of Bissau has recommended the establishment of a reconciliation committee to address ethnic conflicts in Guinea-Bissau. “Why do some of our Guinean brothers not want to believe in the power of forgiveness?” he asked.
  7. Brazilian bishop insists that the Amazon's indigenous people can understand celibacy (CNA) - “It’s not the indigenous culture that finds insurmountable difficulties in understanding celibacy,” said Bishop José Luis Azcona, who led an Amazonian diocese for nearly 30 years. “For many reasons, there has been a transmission of the faith that was not transformed into culture, a faith that was not completely received, not thought out completely, not lived faithfully.”
  8. Brazilian prelate ducks question on Ford Foundation funding (Catholic World Report) - At an October 17 Vatican press conference, Archbishop Roque Paloschi, the president of the Brazilian bishops’ indigenous missionary council, deflected a question about Ford Foundation support for his group. When journalist Edward Pentin remarked that reports showed heavy Ford Foundation support for the Pan-Amazon Church Network, Archbishop Paloschi only replied that the group’s financial accounts had been audited by the Brazilian bishops and the government.
  9. CDF determines abuse allegation against Texas bishop is 'manifestly unfounded' (Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston) - In June, a woman accused Auxiliary Bishop George Sheltz of Galveston-Houston of molesting her in 1971.
  10. Caritas works to help Syrians displaced by Turkish bombings (CNS) - “Hundreds of thousands of people have escaped,” said a spokesman for the Catholic aid agency Caritas Syria. “They need water where they have fled.”
  11. Constantinople, Moscow patriarchs write forewords to books by Pope Francis (Vatican Press Office) - Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople has written the foreword to “Our Mother Earth”; Patriarch Kirill of Moscow has written the foreword to “Prayer.” The books are part of the Vatican publishing house’s new “Exchange of Gifts” ecumenical series, which includes collections of papal texts and a previously unpublished work by the Pope.
  12. Data show mass exodus from Catholic Church in Amazon region (L'Espresso) - Working with statistics furnished by the Vatican press office, Sandro Magister of L’Espresso finds that the Catholic proportion of the population in the Amazon region has plummeted in the years since 1970: “fully 46% of the 34 million inhabitants in the region have in recent decades abandoned the Catholic Church to switch to other religious denominations.”
  13. Financial Times examines 'Vatican's money trail to prime London property' (Financial Times) - Domenico Giani, the head of the Vatican Gendarmerie, resigned recently in the wake of a stunning October 1 raid on the offices of the Vatican Secretariat of State and the Financial Information Authority.
  14. Following Turkish invasion of Syria, prelate calls on Catholics in US to 'beseech our Lord' for peace (USCCB) - “The ancient Christians and other religious minorities who have called this region home for millennia are at risk of being lost forever,” said Archbishop Timothy Broglio, the archbishop for the military services and chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace. “I invite all people of good will [to] join me in beseeching our Lord, the Prince of Peace, for real solutions and stability and to prepare to meet the concrete needs of the new wave of refugees.”
  15. In US, decline of Christianity continues at rapid pace (CWN) -

    A new study by the Pew Forum finds a steep decline in the number of Americans who identify themselves as Christians, and a similar drop in the number of Americans who identify themselves as Catholic.

  16. Multiple new abuse claims lodged against McCarrick (Washington Post) - Former cardinal Theodore McCarrick has been accused of molesting at least seven underage boys over a period of years, the Washington Post reports.
  17. Newman canonization the 'experience of a thousand lifetimes,' says cured Chicago mother (CNS) - The healing of Melissa Villalobos helped lead to St. John Henry Newman’s canonization.
  18. Pope Francis lauds St. John Paul II, St. Luke (Vatican Press Office) - “Let us give thanks to the Lord for all the good that has been done in the Church, in the world and in human hearts through the words of John Paul II, his works and his holiness,” Pope Francis said on October 16, the anniversary of the saint’s election to the papacy in 1978. Pope Francis also described St. Luke, whose feast day is October 18, as “the evangelist who best reveals the heart of Jesus and His mercy.”
  19. Vatican backs dismissal of Indian nun who protested against bishop accused of rape (AsiaNews) - Indian prosecutors have charged Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Jalandhar with rape. Bishop Mulakkal has insisted that he is innocent.
  20. Vatican prefect summarizes synod's main themes (Vatican News) - The Amazon synod’s main themes, according to Paolo Ruffini, prefect of the Dicastery for Communication, are the “Amazon region as a paradigm for the earth as our common home, a calling to ecological conversion; interculturation; access to the sacraments and education; ministries; migration; rural and urban life; [and] international and multilateral engagement for human rights.” He made his remarks at an October 16 press briefing (video).
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