Category: Church


The Road Ahead

The Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family, which concluded last October, seemed lackluster and uneventful, at least from the point of view of secular media and generally disinterested observers. For one, no concrete solutions and strong positions were made on the issues that were debated on the floor. For example, a decision on whether divorced Catholics who remarried will be allowed to take Holy Communion, one of the hotly-contested issues in the Synod’s working document, was not made.


Combating Human Trafficking

The cooperation between women religious and London’s Metropolitan Police to combat human trafficking has been of enormous importance and has produced great results. The hope is, therefore, that this experience can be repeated in other countries as well. This is according to the Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Vincent Gerard Nichols, who chaired the international conference promoted by the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, entitled “Combating Human Trafficking: Church and Law Enforcement in Partnership.”


Pope Elevates 2 Asians, 17 Others As Cardinals

Pope Francis formally invested 19 new cardinals in a solemn rite at St. Peter’s Basilica on February 22, the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter. This is the first batch of collaborators that Francis has named in his year-old papacy.

Dates Set For St. Francis Xavier’s Exposition

Francis Xavier, a Basque, was born in Spain, April 7, 1506, and arrived in Goa on May 6, 1542. His missionary work took him across Asia over the next 10 years. He died on Dec. 3, 1552, on Sancian island, just short of his ultimate goal: China. His body was first laid to rest in Portuguese Malacca (presently northern Malaysia). Two years later, the body was moved to the Portuguese colony at Goa, today a popular tourist enclave, and installed in the Basilica of Bom Jesus. The basilica and the mausoleum there that hold the relics of Francis Xavier are a popular pilgrimage site year round. Every 10 years, the relics are moved in solemn procession to the nearby Se Cathedral where they are available for public veneration for 44 days. The saint’s body is intact, except for his right arm, which was removed so that it could be displayed as a relic at the Church of the Gesù in Rome. He is said to have baptized more than 300,000 people across Asia, using his right hand to pour the baptismal water.  


The Real Thérèse Of Lisieux

It is a story of true holiness and manipulated documents, told by Gianni Gennari in his new book “Teresa di Lisieux, il fascino della santità. I segreti di una “dottrina” ritrovata” (Thérèse of Lisieux, The appeal of Sainthood. The secrets of a rediscovered “doctrine” – Lindau publishers). And one recounted in meticulous detail and inspired by documents that remained unpublished until now. The volume reconstructs the life of an extraordinary woman. Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus is remembered by the faithful as the “little saint” and is identified with the “spiritual infancy” described in Matthew’s Gospel: “If you do not change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” And, yet, Thérèse Françoise Marie Martin, who died in the Carmel of Lisieux at the tender age of 24 in September 1897 and was canonized by Pius XI in 1925, never used the expression “spiritual infancy” in her original writings.

Increase In Number Of Missionaries Killed

Over the past 10 years, 261 Catholic workers have been killed around the world, including 190 priests and four bishops. In December, Pope Benedict condemned the recent deaths of four monks in a number of African countries. Among them was 70-year-old French priest Louis Blondel (photo), who was killed during a burglary at his home in a shanty town north of Johannesburg, South Africa. 

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