Alliance Defending Freedom: It’s days away: The Supreme Court’s marriage decision is expected to come down on June 29.
Religion Clause Blog: Zenit reports that the Bilateral Permanent Working Commission between the Holy See and the State of Israel met in the Vatican on June 12 to discuss an agreement that has been under negotiation for the last 13 years.
LifeSiteNews: The Vatican is backing a petition campaign in the European Union that seeks a debate about enshrining personhood for the unborn from the moment of conception.
Christian Newswire: The Holy See mission to the United Nations assembly in New York called upon UN Member States to respect the right of parents to homeschool their children in a statement before the United Nations two weeks ago.
Irish Central: Prior to his death, al-Qaeda ring-leader Osama bin Laden was urged by Adam Gadahn, the American al-Qaeda spokesman, to consider reaching out to the Irish population in hopes of getting them to convert to Islam.
LifeSiteNews: “The State should respect the choices that parents make for their children and avoid attempts at ideological indoctrination,” the permanent observer mission of the Holy See to the United Nations wrote in a statement released last Tuesday.
Telegraph: The Pope’s representative in Britain has urged Roman Catholic leaders to form a united front with their Muslim and Jewish counterparts to oppose gay marriage.
AP: The issue of who should appoint bishops has been a key obstacle to Pope Benedict XVI’s goal of improving relations with Beijing.
Catholic News Service: Citing “serious doctrinal problems which affect many in consecrated life,” the Vatican announced a major reform of an association of women’s religious congregations in the U.S. to ensure their fidelity to Catholic teaching in areas including abortion, euthanasia, women’s ordination and homosexuality.
LifeSiteNews: The upcoming episode of Catholic Action Insight hosted by Thomas McKenna to air on EWTN on Wednesday, April 11 at 2:30pm and April 13 at 9:00pm EST will surely ignite discussion among Catholics on the impending mandate which is an attack on religious liberty. In this interview, Cardinal Raymond Burke speaks out for the first time in a public interview on matters of faith, religious liberty, and culpability in relation to this threatened mandate for employers. (interview excerpts included)
AFP on Yahoo: At least 43 Cuban dissidents have been arrested in areas near where Pope Benedict XVI visited last week, dissidents said Tuesday, as the United States urged their immediate release.
Sacramento Bee: After two papal visits, support is growing for the Roman Catholic Church among long-suffering Cubans. Yet support from the Communist Party that rules the island nation . . .
AP: Pope Benedict XVI demanded greater freedom for the Catholic Church in Cuba during an unusually politicized Mass before hundreds of thousands of people Wednesday . . .
LifeSiteNews: The Vatican’s principal representative before the United Nations, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, is objecting to demands to outlaw “discrimination” against homosexuals in a report commissioned by the United Nations Human Rights Council, on “Discriminatory Laws and Practices and Acts of Violence against Individuals based on their Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity”.
AP: Thirteen Cuban dissidents have holed up in a Roman Catholic church in Havana to press for an audience with Pope Benedict XVI when he visits in two weeks . . .
The Tablet: He said: “If the stories in the press about Blair’s thinking are true, I think he should examine his conscience carefully”, Vatican Insider reported.
Christian Newswire: Human Life International President Father Shenan J. Boquet today defended Pope Benedict XVI, whose statement in defense of chastity and traditional marriage has started an uproar in the media. The Holy Father was speaking to several U.S. Bishops who were in Rome for an ad limina visit.
Vatican Information Service: This morning in the Vatican Benedict XVI received a group of prelates from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, who have recently competed their “ad limina” visit. Extracts of his English-language remarks to them are given below:
LifeSiteNews: Hackers claiming ties to the high profile group Anonymous are taking credit after the Vatican website went down Wednesday, claiming they are going after the “corrupt” Catholic Church over the clergy sex abuse scandal as well as its stances against abortion and contraception.
Vatican Radio: The Holy See Delegation has addressed the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on the subject of religious freedom. Archbishop Silvano M.Tomasi said in many countries “the gap is growing between widely accepted stated principles, and their daily application on the ground.” He pointed out “rising restrictions on religion affect more than 2.2 billion people.
Denver Post: U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia today told a standing-room-only crowd of more than 500 Catholics to have “the courage to have your wisdom regarded as stupidity” by society’s sophisticates.
LifeSiteNews: A gathering of the Vatican’s own academy for promoting respect for life was met with palpable discontent from its own members and other registrants after presenters on the topic of infertility alluded to in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and other artificial reproduction technologies as “natural” and legitimate for treating patients, despite their conflict with Catholic moral teaching.
Catholic Culture: Proper treatment on infertility, the Pope said, should be “most respectful of the human condition of the people involved.” He decried the current approach, dominated by “scientism and the logic of profit,” and said that the heavy promotion of in vitro fertilization is restricting research on more promising techniques.
Chiesa.espressonline.it: Reward for those who obey the regime, punishment for those who are faithful to the pope. The bishop invited to Munich by the Community of Saint Egidio belongs to the first category. Here is a profile of him, set alongside that of a bishop who instead has been punished.
George Weigel at National Review Online: t was not surprising that ill-educated Catholics in Congress rushed to embrace President Obama’s “accommodation” on the HHS mandate on sterilization and contraception (including possible abortifacients), or that the faux accommodation was defended, if risibly, by another embodiment of Catholic Lite, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
LifeSiteNews.com: Families are a witness to “faith, courage and optimism” when they welcome many children even amid today’s social environment, said Pope Benedict XVI on Wednesday.
Catholic Culture: A February 15 meeting between Vatican officials and a visiting British diplomatic delegation ended in a joint statement emphasizing a shared commitment to promote and protect religious freedom.
News from The Associated Press: Pope Benedict XVI says Roman Catholics in the U.S. need to understand the “grave threats” to their faith posed by what he calls radical secularism in the political and cultural arenas.
Reuters: Pope Benedict said Monday that gay marriage was one of several threats to the traditional family that undermined “the future of humanity itself.”
Catholic Culture: An unidentified buyer has purchased the internet address “vatican.xxx,” raising the possibility that a pornographic site could occupy that space on the web.
Whatever the future holds, we need to understand that the economic collapse is not the main crisis which engulfs Europe. More significantly, we see the EU developing into the ever-tighter totalitarianism which was envisaged from its inception.
LifeSiteNews.com: The tenacity of the Catholic Church on the issue is remarkable given the massive pressure directed at the institution on the matter.
Life News: Pope Benedict XVI gave an excellent speech to attendees of a bioethics conference in Rome last week and one doesn’t have to be Catholic to appreciate his sentiment that researchers shouldn’t take one human life (human embryos) to potentially save the lives of patients.
LifeNews.com: For the next two days (November 9-11) the Vatican is hosting an international conference on adult stem cell research titled ‘Adult Stem Cells: Science and the Future of Man and Culture.’
News from The Associated Press: The Vatican has entered into an unusual partnership with a small U.S. biotech company to promote using adult stem cells for treating disease, rather than focusing research on embryonic stem cells.
Society of St. Pius X: : Bishop Bernard Fellay has asked all the rectors of seminaries and district superiors of the Society of Saint Pius X to organize, in reparation for the interreligious meeting in Assisi (October 27, 2011), public exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, Stations of the Cross, celebration of the Mass pro propaganda fidei [for the propagation of the faith], or the recitation of the Rosary, as individual circumstances allow.
Francis X. Rocca: Pope Benedict’s Interfaith Outreach: As a cardinal, Joseph Ratzinger was skeptical about a ‘common concept of God.’
Francis X. Rocca at WSJ.com: This audacious goal has unsettling implications for Catholicism’s relations with other faiths. After all, if religion is of more than merely subjective value, and if its many varieties are not just different expressions of the same reality, it follows that some religions are truer than others. And Benedict has never hidden his conviction of where the truth in its fullness lies. However undiplomatic it may seem in certain contexts, Benedict’s emphasis on objective truth is, by his lights, essential to the agenda for which he prayed in Assisi.
Lisa Miller at The Washington Post: That Justice Antonin Scalia believes in execution as a moral form of punishment is a well-known fact. That he is an observant, traditional Roman Catholic is, similarly, well-known.
Robert A. Sirico at WSJ.com: It was centralization that caused this mess in the first place. Central banks created paper money, easy and limitless credit, and the moral hazard that accompanies them. Why should we believe that more centralization is the solution when experience suggests precisely the opposite?
Catholic Culture: An annual Vatican message to the world’s Hindus emphasizes the importance of religious freedom—perhaps reflecting concern in Rome about the continued violence against the Christian minority in India.
The Hill: Wisconsin GOP Senate candidate Tommy Thompson is addressing an unprecedented conference of scientific and religious leaders next month at the Vatican on the topic of stem cell research.
L’Osservatore Romano criticises the BBC for wanting to “erase all traces of Christianity from Western culture”
A Reluctant Sinner Blog: The Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano has published a scathing opinion piece today (5 October), which questions the real motives behind the BBC’s desire to replace the ancient dating abbreviations “BC” (Before Christ) and “AD” (Anno Domini) with the more secular “BCE” (Before Common Era) and “CE” (Common Era).
In Germany, pope calls on lawmakers to keep faith in mind and defends his appearance before the legislature
KansasCity.com: Benedict’s speech to the Bundestag was mainly a philosophical attack on the idea that religion has no place in ethics and politics, but he began with a defense of his right to speak as Vatican head.
News from The Associated Press: “We are witnessing a growing indifference to religion in society,” he said at a formal welcoming ceremony at the German president’s Bellevue palace. He called religion a foundation for a successful society and said its values were essential for freedom.
The Washington Post: A campaign to hold the pope responsible for “crimes against humanity” is not a publicity stunt, sex abuse victims say, even as experts doubt it will have much success at the International Criminal Court.
Boston.com: A number of priests and laymen in China’s underground Catholic church have been detained in the country’s northwest in a struggle over the appointment of a new bishop, overseas reports said Wednesday.
AP: Pope Benedict XVI denounced the profit-at-all-cost mentality that he says is behind Europe’s current economic crisis as he arrived in hard-hit Spain on Thursday, and said morals and ethics must play a greater role in formulating economic policy in the future.
LifeNews.com: The Catholic Church’s stance on reproductive technologies is wildly unpopular. I think it is for two reasons. The first is that the Supreme Court has made up a constitutional right that is not actually in the Constitution, the “reproductive right.”
LifeSiteNews.com: Pope Benedict XVI has appointed three strong pro-life and orthodox bishops in Quebec in the last two weeks. The appointments appear to confirm the beginning of a massive sea change for the province in the wake of Cardinal Marc Ouellet’s appointment as head of the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops.
AP: The Vatican was “extremely unreasonable and rude” in expressing anger at the ordinations of Catholic bishops in China’s state-controlled church without the pope’s approval, the Chinese government said Monday.
Catholic Culture: Father Joseph Guo Jincai, who was ordained a bishop in November 2010 without a papal mandate and now serves as vice chairman of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, has announced that seven more bishops will be ordained in China at an unspecified time.
AP: It’s a revolution of sorts in Ireland, a nation founded on a pillar of devotion to Roman Catholicism, where many now question the church’s role in a rapidly changing society.
Catholic Bishop Finn at The Catholic Key Blog: : At one time we might have insisted that China’s desires to be accepted and welcomed as a partner with the West must be met by an insistence that it respects this fundamental human right of religious expression and organization. Now we must be careful that our need to come, hat in hand, to China in the economic sphere doesn’t require us to be silent about such significant restraints on human dignity.
Catholic Culture: The director of the Holy See Press Office has issued a statement in response to the recently published report on abuse in the Diocese of Cloyne.
AP: The Vatican encouraged Catholic bishops not to tell police about suspected pedophile priests and flouted Irish law, Ireland’s lawmakers declared Wednesday in an unprecedented denunciation of the Holy See’s influence in this predominantly Catholic country.
AP: The ordination is Beijing’s third without a papal mandate in eight months, deepening a standoff between China and the Vatican over the Holy See’s insistence on the pope’s sole right to appoint bishops. Beijing’s communist rulers see it as foreign interference.
Four Roman Catholic bishops have gone missing in China – Vatican Insider: The wherabouts of four Catholic bishops who were taken away by Chinese police are unknown
Chinese officials kidnap bishops of Guangdong to force them to take part in illicit Shantou ordination
Asia News: Three bishops were taken in the past two days: the bishop of Guangzhou has been missing for days. In Shenyang Mgr. Pei Junmin, designated to preside over the celebration, is being defended by his priests and faithful with a non-stop sit-in in the cathedral. PA claims the Vatican “divides the Church in China and creates more disputes.”
DFW Catholic: he Vatican’s representative to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva says a recent resolution on “sexual orientation and gender identity” is part of an agenda that could restrict the Church’s freedom.
VIS news – Holy See Press Office: The Agreement, which is written in English and Azeri and includes a preamble and eight articles, regulates the position of the Catholic Church in Azerbaijan.
Catholic Culture: For the 2nd time this month, Chinese officials have abruptly abandoned plans for the ordination of a bishop—after the priest who was to have been consecrated as a bishop obtained the approval of the Holy See.
LifeSiteNews.com: The Vatican has invested $1 million in a U.S. company, NeoStem, that works with adult stem cells to find cures for disease and injuries. This is the first time the Vatican has entered into an agreement with a private company to advance stem cell research.
VIS news – Holy See Press Office: At midday today in the Holy See Press Office a forthcoming international conference on the theme “Adult Stem Cells: Science and the Future of Man and Culture” was presented. The conference, organised by the Science and Faith Department of the Pontifical Council for Culture, is due to be held in the Vatican from 9 to 11 November.
Catholic Culture : Latest Headlines : Catholic opposition forced China to halt illicit ordination: China’s plans to ordain a new bishop without permission from the Holy See were thwarted by the concerted opposition of the Catholic laity, and the resistance of the priest who was chosen for episcopal office, according to Sandro Magister of L’Espresso.
Pauline Kosalka at Catholic Online: Ontario bishops have issued a memo urging Catholic school boards to set up clubs explicitly aimed to counter “bullying related to sexual orientation,” even though they banned the establishment of Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs) at Catholic schools just months ago?
Bill Donohue of the Catholic League at the NCRegister.com: Despite many strengths, what seriously mars the report is its ideological reluctance to deal forthrightly with the role of homosexuality. Let it be said at the outset that it is not my position that homosexuality causes predatory behavior. Indeed, this argument is absurd. As I have said many times, while it is true that most homosexual priests are not molesters, most of the molesters have been priests who are homosexual. Nothing in the report changes my mind, and indeed there is much in it that fortifies my position.
Patrick J. Reilly, President of the Cardinal Newman Society, at Catholic Culture: All of which lead attorneys at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty to recommend that Catholic institutions ensure that their religious identity is “bona fide” and “sincerely held,” so they can be more certain of eligibility for First Amendment exemptions to federal laws and regulations. Kevin Theriot, Senior Counsel at the Alliance Defense Fund, advises Catholic colleges to demonstrate their compliance with Vatican rules for Catholic higher education, as found in the 1990 apostolic constitution Ex corde Ecclesiae. One cannot, of course, fail to observe the irony in all of this . . .
The Washington Post: The Vatican’s handling of that meeting recalled its treatment of Geraldine Ferraro, a Catholic who was the Democratic vice presidential candidate in 1984. She opposed abortion, but also opposed outlawing it. Her 1985 meeting with Pope John Paul II was never officially announced and no photo was released.
AP: China’s government-controlled Catholic church is preparing to ordain a new bishop, and the leading candidate is a priest who lacks the Vatican’s backing, potentially adding fuel to a long-running feud between Beijing and the Holy See.
AP: A year after a widespread sex scandal rocked Roman Catholics in Pope Benedict XVI’s homeland, German intellectuals and faithful alike are turning their backs on the church, calling for change or simply leaving the congregation.
Religion Clause Blog: Next Saturday, Malta — which is 95% Catholic– is holding a referendum on whether divorce should be legalized in the country. The London Telegraph reports that Malta is the only member of the European Union that does not permit divorce and only one of two nations in the world.