SPIRITED THINKING SINCE 1888
Luke Coppen

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January 10, 2020
A leading French architect has called for the roof of Notre-Dame Cathedral to be rebuilt in wood rather than metal or concrete. Germany’s AfD party has criticised Cardinal Marx for donating €50,000 (£42,000, $55,000) to a migrant sea rescue charity. The election of Venezuela’s new National Assembly president is “invalid”, an archbishop has said. A
January 09, 2020
We are witnessing the “killing of the Church in China”, Cardinal Joseph Zen has said in a letter to the world’s cardinals. Hundreds of thousands of Filipinos have taken part in a procession of the Black Nazarene. A Mexican priest is in a “serious condition” after being kidnapped and shot four times. Huw Williams reports
January 08, 2020
A Bavarian television network has offered a rare behind-the-scenes look at the daily life of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. There is “no end in sight to the horror” of Australia’s wildfires, Archbishop Mark Coleridge has said. A dispute between a bishop and his priests in Togo has “injured communion and outraged charity”, Cardinal Luis Antonio
January 07, 2020
Malta’s democracy “cannot function without respect for truth and justice”, Archbishop Charles Scicluna has said. Australian Archbishop Anthony Fisher has written a prayer for rain to be said at Masses. An estimated 1.3 million people took part in Marches of the Three Kings in Poland yesterday. John Allen says the Holy See “might be a
January 06, 2020
We are called “to become saints in love”, Pope Francis said at yesterday’s Angelus (full text, full video). Chinese authorities have reportedly “seized over 100 Catholic meeting venues” in Fuzhou archdiocese. China will begin enforcing “tough new rules” on religious activities on February 1. Gwendolyn Smith says that Pope Francis has “provided an immaculate blueprint
January 03, 2020
Burmese Cardinal Charles Bo has signed an open letter condemning police brutality in Hong Kong (full text). Twenty-nine missionaries were killed in 2019, according to Fides. Togo’s ruling party “specialises in fraud”, a retired archbishop has said. The synod of the Syro-Malabar Church may discuss which way priests should face when celebrating Mass. Samuel Gregg
January 02, 2020
Anti-Semitic graffiti in London has brought “shame to us all”, Cardinal Vincent Nichols has said. “There will be no peace if we do not hope,” Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle said at a New Year’s Eve Mass in Manila. John Allen wonders if Pope Francis “might either travel to Syria, or invite Assad to Rome” this
January 02, 2020
What will happen to the Church in the coming decade? Only God knows, but it’s still worth considering what may lie ahead in the 2020s. Here are 10 things that might happen in the next 10 years – some more likely than others. Demographic change If current trends continue, the Church will grow by roughly
December 30, 2019
The New York Times describes the desperate efforts to save Notre-Dame from destruction. Adam Willis meets Filipino Catholics resisting President Duterte’s drugs war. Eve Fairbanks asks why young women are flocking to religious life. Ruth Graham tracks down Theodore McCarrick. CNN investigates how convicted paedophile Fr Luk Delft was left free to commit crimes in
December 13, 2019
“Nuclear deterrence can only produce the illusion of security,” Pope Francis has said in his 2020 World Day of Peace message (Vatican summary, full text). The Church in Lebanon is “going to face hard times”, Melkite Archbishop Georges Bacouni has predicted. A Vatican official has said that linking homosexuality and paedophilia is a “great injustice”.
December 12, 2019
As little as 10 per cent of Peter’s Pence donations are spent on charitable works, according to the Wall Street Journal. Iraq’s Christian leaders have “unanimously cancelled Christmas-related celebrations”. Turkey’s Armenian Church has elected a new patriarch amid claims of government interference. John Allen and Sandro Magister comment on Cardinal Tagle’s Vatican appointment. Ryan Dagur
December 11, 2019
Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle has urged Asian bishops’ conferences to “get our young people and women involved” (Edward Pentin). Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia has said he would “hold the hand” of someone dying by assisted suicide. Rome’s Congolese community has asked the Pope to canonise two martyrs. The Franciscan University of Steubenville has entered a partnership