SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
Jonathan Luxmoore

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May 16, 2019
As voters across Europe prepare to elect a new European Parliament, bishops have urged continued support for the European Union against a current wave of discontent. Yet some Catholic leaders are warning the EU’s established practices could face a serious challenge from new radical parties following the May 23-26 ballot. “The Church has always viewed
May 16, 2019
When the Pope mentioned the projected canonisation of a communist-era cardinal, the reactions demonstrated the passions still surrounding the recent past in Eastern Europe. Francis was asked during his flight back from Bulgaria about the case of Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac (1898-1960), who led Croatia’s Catholic Church during the Second World War and subsequent communist takeover,
May 02, 2019
The Spanish Church wished “light and strength” to premier Pedro Sánchez after his Socialist Party took a strong lead in Sunday’s election, almost certainly enabling it to stay in office. In a letter to the prime minister on Monday, bishops’ conference president Cardinal Ricardo Blázquez said: “The support your project has received is a sign
April 04, 2019
When Spain’s bishops’ conference revealed a recent 24 per cent rise in priestly ordinations, the unexpected news offered a reminder that the Church remains a social and cultural force to be reckoned with. The data, outlined in a mid-March statement by the conference’s Commission for Seminaries and Universities, confirmed that 135 priests had been ordained
March 21, 2019
Officials in Gdańsk have ordered the removal of a monument to a Catholic priest linked to the Solidarity movement amid accusations that he was a paedophile, as the country’s bishops take new steps to combat clerical abuse. “We’ll probably never know the truth, since this key figure is no longer alive,” explained Aleksandra Dulkiewicz, Gdańsk’s
March 14, 2019
The Vatican secretary of state has praised the Polish Church’s traditional closeness to Rome as key to its survival under hostile regimes, in a speech marking the centenary of the nation’s conference of bishops and diplomatic ties with the Vatican. Cardinal Pietro Parolin told the bishops: “Your indispensable task now is to uphold this heritage,
February 28, 2019
Controversial plans by Spain’s governing Socialists to rebury General Francisco Franco will not be opposed by the Vatican, which has now instructed Church leaders to comply with government demands, according to the country’s media. La Vanguardia reported that Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State, had stated this clearly in a letter to Spain’s
February 01, 2019
Polish prosecutors have charged three former communist secret police agents with attempting to frame Blessed Jerzy Popieluszko before they abducted and murdered him. The three were among four men convicted of Blessed Popieluszko’s murder; all four were released early after controversial sentence revisions. Marcin Golebiewicz, an official with the Commission for Investigating Crimes against the
January 17, 2019
Two weeks after long-delayed elections were finally held in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) – the country with the largest Catholic population in Africa – Church leaders are questioning the declared results and appealing for help from the international community. In a video briefing at the United Nations last weekend, Archbishop Marcel Utembi
January 10, 2019
When a party widely seen as far-right entered one of Spain’s regional parliaments last month, it posed a dilemma for the Catholic Church during a time of tension over the Socialist government’s secularisation programme. “This result shows attacks on religious freedom don’t go unpunished – those seeking to divide Spain and create a world without
December 20, 2018
In the Central African Republic (CAR), one of the world’s most violent countries, the year ended much as it had begun, with Catholic Church leaders condemning brutality by rival armed gangs and deploring the failure of government forces and international peacekeepers to prevent attacks on defenceless civilians. “I have the impression a war for positions
December 18, 2018
The head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church has welcomed the election of a leader for the country’s new independent Orthodox church. In Kiev on December 15, 192 bishops from Ukraine’s three previously divided Orthodox denominations elected Metropolitan Epiphanius, 39, as metropolitan of Kiev and all Ukraine. He will receive a final decree, or tomos, establishing