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Updated: 38 min 41 sec ago

'An app in exile': China's most popular Bible app faces government censorship (World Magazine)

Mon, 10/21/2019 - 10:10 AM
“Nearly all of WeDevote’s users are from mainland China, where government officials recently made it more difficult to purchase physical copies of the Bible,” according to the report. After 10 million downloads, the government “blocked Chinese access to WeDevote’s website and scrubbed the app from most domestic app stores.”

Cardinal Schönborn asks: Why so few permanent deacons in the Amazon region? (Vatican News)

Mon, 10/21/2019 - 9:10 AM
Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, who will help draft the Amazon synod’s final document, said that instead of discussing the ordination of married men to the priesthood, “Why not start with viri probati [approved men as] deacons in the villages? Prepare them as catechists, as deacons, before asking whether they can become priests?”

Bombay high court strikes down legal force of Goa's Church marriage decisions (Hindustan Times)

Mon, 10/21/2019 - 9:10 AM
The southwestern Indian state of Goa (map) is 66% Hindu, 25% Christian, and 8% Muslim.

Peruvian Jesuit cardinal: 'Even some indigenous communities do not want married priests' (America)

Mon, 10/21/2019 - 9:10 AM
Cardinal Pedro Barreto Jimeno, one of the synod’s president delegates, said that the majority of synod fathers favor the ordination of married men in the Amazon, though “Pope Francis is not going to change the law, he has never thought of changing the law on celibacy.” The cardinal sees the synod as ultimately about Laudato si’, the Pope’s second encyclical letter. Cardinal Barreto added that there are some “who do not accept the risk of walking,” but instead “want a static Church, a Church of doctrine, more than one of pastoral action. They want a Church that is different from the one Jesus wants, which is a Church of solidarity, a Church that really responds to the needs of people, and of nature itself.”

US missionary bishop calls for 'preferential option for the Amazon' (CNS)

Mon, 10/21/2019 - 9:10 AM
“We have to say that this destruction of the Amazon and the violence against its peoples and defenders has to stop,” said Bishop Robert Flock of San Ignacio de Velasco, Bolivia. “The Church sides with them.”

Indigenous vow to stand with Pope Francis, with each other (CNS)

Mon, 10/21/2019 - 9:10 AM
After 40 indigenous persons met with the Pope, a Xucuru leader from northeastern Brazil told other North and South American indigenous leaders, “We have to walk with Pope Francis and not leave him alone. And we must all pray together because only together can we protect our mother earth.”

Vatican hosts seminar on cooperation between Church, international organizations in Amazon region (Vatican Press Office)

Mon, 10/21/2019 - 8:10 AM
The Joseph Ratzinger-Benedict XVI Vatican Foundation organized the seminar, which was entitled “The challenges of the Pan-Amazonian Region: necessary cooperation between International Organizations and the Catholic Church and ethical leadership.”

Witness to the Gospel and pray for missionaries, Pope tells pilgrims (Zenit)

Mon, 10/21/2019 - 8:10 AM
Pope Francis made his remarks during his Angelus address (video) on October 20, World Mission Sunday.

Worldwide Catholic population increases slightly; number of priests, religious, and seminarians declines (Vatican Press Office)

Mon, 10/21/2019 - 8:10 AM
Between the end of 2016 and the end of 2017, the percentage of Catholics among the world’s population rose from 17.67% (1,299,059,000) to 17.73% (1,313,278,000), according to an October 19 Vatican press release. The number of priests fell by 387 to 414,582; the number of women religious plunged by 10,535 to 648,910. The number of major seminarians fell by 832 to 115,328. (The number of major seminarians worldwide rose from 63,882 in 1978, to 110,553 in 2000, and peaked at 120,616 in 2011.)

Reports of small working groups presented at synod (Vatican News)

Mon, 10/21/2019 - 8:10 AM
Among the many themes of the reports of the working groups are “a Church for the poor and against all forms of violence,” a proposed International Ecclesial Observatory on Human Rights, “Church not an NGO [non-governmental organization], more ecumenical dialogue,” “ministries, laity and rejection of clericalism,” “women and the diaconate,” and the priestly ordination of married men “of good reputation, preferably indigenous chosen by the communities of origin, but under specific conditions.”

Pope pays tribute to Vatican Ethnological Museum's openness to all cultures (Vatican Press Office)

Mon, 10/21/2019 - 8:10 AM
Now known as the Anima Mundi [soul of the world] Museum, the Ethnological Museum, one of the Vatican Museums, holds over 80,000 works of art. Pope Francis spoke as the museum inaugurated a new exhibition, “Mater Amazonia – The deep breath of the world.”

Martyred missionary priest beatified in Myanmar (AsiaNews)

Mon, 10/21/2019 - 8:10 AM
Blessed Alfredo Cremonesi (1902-1953), a member from the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions, was slain by government troops in the largely Buddhist Southeast Asian nation (map).

Bishops join in "catacomb pact" for Amazon environment (Catholic World Report)

Mon, 10/21/2019 - 6:10 AM
Dozens of bishops participating in the Amazon Synod gathered on October 20 in the catacombs of St. Domitalla to sign a “Pact of the Catacombs for the Common Home. For a Church with an Amazonian face, poor and servant, prophetic and Samaritan.” The gesture recalled the original “Catacomb Pact” signed by a few bishops as the Second Vatican Council ended, promising solidarity with the poor.”

Vatican message to world's Hindus puts stress on work for peace (Vatican Press Office)

Mon, 10/21/2019 - 6:10 AM
In an annual message to the world’s Hindus, the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue stressed the need for the world’s religious leaders to work for peace. “Only when adherents of religions demand of themselves a life consistent with their religious ethic will they be seen to fulfill their role as builders of peace and as witnesses to our shared humanity,” said the message. The message was released for the observation of Deepavali, the Hindu festival of light.

Leaked documents expose Vatican financial scandal (CWN)

Mon, 10/21/2019 - 4:10 AM

Using leaked Vatican documents, the Italian journal L’Espresso has revealed details of unauthorized financial transactions, concluding that “the Holy See is facing a scandal that has few precedents in recent history.”

Pachamama icons taken from Roman church, thrown in Tiber (YouTube)

Mon, 10/21/2019 - 2:10 AM
Two men entered the church of Santa Maria in Traspontina early on Monday morning, removed the Pachamama icons that had been on display there, and threw them in the Tiber River. The men, who did not identify themselves, posted a YouTube video of their action, explaining: “We do not longer stay silent. We start to act NOW!” Vatican spokesman Paolo Ruffini decried the action, saying that it was “against the spirit of dialogue.”

Background: World Mission Sunday (CWN)

Fri, 10/18/2019 - 9:10 AM

On October 20, the Church around the world commemorates World Mission Sunday. The theme of the Pope’s message for the day is “Baptized and Sent: The Church of Christ on Mission in the World,” which is also the theme of the Church’s extraordinary missionary month (October 2019) in celebration of the centenary of Pope Benedict XV’s apostolic letter Maximum Illud.

In US, decline of Christianity continues at rapid pace (CWN)

Fri, 10/18/2019 - 9:10 AM

A new study by the Pew Forum finds a steep decline in the number of Americans who identify themselves as Christians, and a similar drop in the number of Americans who identify themselves as Catholic.

Australia to amend religious freedom legislation to consider health facilities (CNS)

Fri, 10/18/2019 - 9:10 AM
““This bill would provide important protection against discrimination on the grounds of religious belief or activity and a positive protection of our freedom to act in accordance with our religious faith, but excludes vital parts of the work of the Church,” said Archbishop Peter Comensoli of Melbourne.