March 2018

No heresy in showing mercy to divorced and remarried
(Saturday, 10 March 2018 )

VATICAN (CNS): “A heresy is a tenacious disagreement with formal dogma. The doctrine of the indissolubility of marriage has not been called into question on Pope Francis’ part,” Walter Cardinal Kasper, a theologian, told Vatican News on March 5.
 
In an interview about his new book, The Message of Amoris Laetitia (Joy of Love): A Fraternal Discussion, the German cardinal said that the pope’s exhortation on the family should...

Mercy at the centre of five years of papacy
(Saturday, 10 March 2018 )

The 13th of March will mark the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis’ pontificate. Over the past five years, he has brought the Catholic Church new life. In particular, his concern for the poor and the disadvantaged in words and deeds, and his commitment to the promotion of peace have greatly impressed people within and outside the Church.
 
What is most impressive is that he stresses on the Church to “go out” to care for the poor and to practise social...

Greater Church role for women a process cardinal says
(Saturday, 10 March 2018 )

ROME (CNS): “It’s a question of changing a culture, and I believe that will take time, but I think that Pope Francis—more than anybody—has tried and continues to try and continues to bring about that change each and every day,” Kevin Cardinal Farrell, Prefect of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, said during a question-and-answer session after the presentation of the book, A Pope Francis Lexicon, on March 1 in Rome.
 
The cardinal said...

Former Vatican bank officials to stand trial
(Saturday, 10 March 2018 )

VATICAN (CNS): A former president of the Vatican bank, 78-year-old Angelo Caloia, and his attorney, 94-year-old Gabriele Liuzzo, are set to go on trial at the Vatican on March 15 on embezzling and money-laundering charges, Reuters reported.
 
The bank, officially known as the Institute for the Works of Religion, alleges that the former officials’ illegal conduct led to damages to the bank in excess of 50 million euros ($482.7 million), according to a press...

World Meeting of Families to focus on The Joy of Love
(Saturday, 10 March 2018 )

DUBLIN (CNS): The ninth World Meeting of Families will be held in dublin, Ireland from August 21 to 26, the organisers announced on February 28. A preliminary programme for the Pastoral Congress is scheduled frome August 22 to 24, the festival of families on August 25, followed by the final outdoor Mass in Dublin’s Phoenix Park on August 26.
 
The Vatican has not confirmed whether Pope Francis will attend.
 
Brenda Drumm, media and communications...

Complicated procedures stymie low-income family allowance scheme
(Saturday, 10 March 2018 )

HONG KONG (SE): A survey conducted by the Diocesan Pastoral Centre for Workers (Kowloon) shows that it is hard for the families of ethnic minorities to apply for the low-income working family allowance. The centre called on the government to simplify application procedures to make it easier for families to avail of it.
 
The pastoral centre interviewed 145 people from ethnic minorities through questionnaires from December 2017 to January 2018. 
 
The...

Indonesian women march for legal protection
(Saturday, 10 March 2018 )

JAKARTA (UCAN): An estimated 1,200 women as well as children, students and women’s rights advocates took part in the second Women’s March in Indonesia on March 3, to push for new regulations to protect women from violence.
 
Using the hashtag #LawanBersama (fight together), they carried banners as they walked about 2.5 kilometres through Jakarta and gathered at a park in the National Monument area overlooking the State Palace, five days ahead of...

German bishops preparing Communion rules for mixed marriages
(Saturday, 10 March 2018 )

BERLIN (CNS): The German Bishops’ Conference continues to develop its recent decision to allow non-Catholic spouses in mixed denomination marriages to receive Communion in limited cases.
 
The document, primarily addressed to pastors, contains specific guidance about whether Communion is possible in particular cases for married couples of different Christian denominations. 
 
The document has been developed over several months, based on Pope...

Appeals to stop posting disinformation about Marawi
(Saturday, 10 March 2018 )

MANILA and COTABATO (UCAN): A group of Muslim leaders from the war-torn city of Marawi in Mindanao, the Philippines, have appealed to Filipinos to stop posting disinformation on social media that might spark discord.
 
Social media posts in recent weeks have claimed that Marawi’s Catholic cathedral would be the first structure to be rebuilt in the city which was reduced to rubble after a five-month conflict last year.
 
Bishop Edwin de la Peña...

Around the Traps
(Saturday, 10 March 2018 )

Irish bishop resigns over abusive priest
DUBLIN (CNS): Bishop John McAreavey of Dromore, Northern Ireland, resigned on March 1 after increased criticism over how he dealt with revelations of an abusive priest. 
 
The bishop came under fire in a programme on BBC Northern Ireland on February 28, after it emerged that he concelebrated an anniversary Mass with a priest he knew had stepped down after being sent for treatment following...