Displaying items by tag: Catholic Church

Bishop Paul Mason, the lead bishop for safeguarding in the Catholic Church in England and Wales, has defended the seal of the confessional even when a priest may hear disclosures of abuse. He said this after the biannual plenary meeting of bishops where a report by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) recommended that failure to report a disclosure of child sexual abuse should be a criminal offence, including disclosures made in the confessional. Bishop Mason said that it’s an extremely sensitive and difficult area, and IICSA noted that they didn’t come across priests who have described having had a paedophile in the Confessional. Bishop Paul said if we do have contact with these people, we have an opportunity to turn their lives around and report themselves to the authorities.

Published in British Isles
Thursday, 29 September 2022 22:19

Church criticises Scottish government re prayer vigils

The Scottish government's chief legal officer has come under fire after saying that prayer vigils outside abortion clinics could be 'far more damaging' than verbal protest. Addressing the UK's supreme court about abortion clinics in Northern Ireland, Dorothy Bain KC said she believed ‘standing in judgment’ was just as psychologically damaging for women. She wants prayer vigils to be excluded from ‘buffer zones' - areas where protesting or handing out leaflets are banned - outside abortion clinics. The Catholic Church has labelled Mrs Bain's remarks as ‘absurd and alarming’, and have condemned her comments. Everyone has the right to express and offer our opinion on religious belief, and more importantly, religious practice. The Church said, ‘To be told they can't stand silently in prayer, in this case, outside an abortion clinic or a hospital that carries out abortions is really, frankly, chilling and extremely worrying.’

Published in British Isles
Thursday, 07 November 2019 23:03

Italy: two nuns expecting babies

An investigation has been launched by the Catholic Church after two missionary nuns became pregnant whilst working in Africa. One of the nuns, a mother superior, aged 34, only realised she was pregnant when she visited the hospital, complaining of stomach pains. The two women are nuns in Sicily, but belong to separate orders and are expecting children despite their vows of chastity, causing ‘consternation at this news’. They are believed to be originally from Africa and were posted to their home continent as part of their charity missions. They have now returned to Italy to prepare for the births of their children.

Published in Europe
Friday, 01 November 2019 07:19

Amazon Rainforest - Bishops meet for Rome Synod

Indigenous tribes see the Catholic church as a key ally in the ecological fight – and an unprecedented synod is focused on how to stop the destruction.

by Dan Collyns in Puerto Maldonado

A hundred years ago the Harakmbut people were nearly wiped out.

Inhabitants of a vast jungle region where Peru intersects with Brazil and Bolivia, the tribespeople were enslaved by rubber barons and murdered en masse, only surviving thanks to the help of Dominican missionaries.

Now a new threat of extinction looms, and once again they are appealing to the Catholic church.

As wildfires and de-forestation drive the Amazon rainforest towards a tipping point beyond which it cannot recover, Yesica Patiachi, a Harakmbut leader from Peru, is heading to Rome to take part in an unprecedented synod of Catholic bishops from across the region.

Although she is not a practising Catholic, the 32-year-old schoolteacher sees the church as a key ally to save the rainforest.

“Eden is here in the Amazon and we are destroying it,” she said. “We cannot pray to God when we are destroying his creation.”

Starting on Sunday, bishops from the nine South American nations that share the Amazon will meet in the Vatican to try and muster the spiritual and earthly forces to pull the world’s largest rainforest back from the brink of destruction.

One of the synod’s organisers, Father Peter Hughes, said the three-week gathering would set out a new view of ecology based on Christian faith in God as the creator of a “common home”. Hughes said the Catholic church should firmly place itself alongside the region’s indigenous people and defending their territorial rights and way of life.

“The life of the [Amazon] people is intrinsically, inherently part of the territory. If the territory is injured, the people are injured,” he said.

Organizers insist that the church is not simply fighting for its share in the market of souls. Cardinal Claudio Hummes, the president of the synod, said this week that the Amazon was facing a crisis in which ecological problems were inseparable from social issues.

To find a solution, the world must hear “both the cry of the earth and that of the poor”, he said.

Additional reporting by Angela Giuffrida in Rome

From https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/oct/05/amazon-rainforest-catholic-church-synod-vatican

Pray: that the plundering and destruction of these natural resources will stop.

Pray: for the voices of the indigenous people to be heard and acted upon.

Pray: for the people of the Amazon region whose lives and livelihoods have been affected.

Thursday, 23 May 2019 21:58

Poland: Just Don't Tell Anyone

A survey showed that Poland's pro-EU opposition has a ten-point lead over the ruling nationalists ahead of European Parliament elections - a sharp turnaround that some analysts linked to a film about sexual abuse scandals in the Catholic Church. The documentary Just Don't Tell Anyone, which shows victims of child abuse confronting priests who had sexually abused them, has shocked Poles. The powerful Catholic Church has close ties with the governing Law and Justice party (PiS). The documentary has been viewed more than 18 million times on YouTube since it was released on 11 May. PiS has responded to public outcry by announcing tougher penalties for child abuse, but it has also stressed that the instances of abuse by priests should not be used as a reason to attack the Catholic Church. PiS sees Catholicism as a key element of Poles' national identity. Some say that the church is too powerful.

Published in Europe
Friday, 09 February 2018 09:47

Poland: Catholic Church of the far right

Far-right Polish groups are using links to religion to gain mainstream influence. A terrified onlooker saw hooligans chanting overtly racist and fascist slogans, calling for ‘White Poland’, and shouting ‘Beat the red scum’. He saw priests simply moving to the rhythm of these chants, doing nothing about them. Approaching two of them, he asked, ‘Is this what your Catholicism looks like?’ They lowered their heads, but said nothing. The church’s hard-line nationalist wing is out of control, and nobody is able or willing to stop it. Observers point to the close connections between the Catholic Church and two high-profile nationalist movements. The messages that Catholicism is the only true religion and that Poles are superior to other nations are thinly veiled by shallow humanitarian slogans.

Published in Europe