Pope Francis said he wants to study the possibility of ordaining women as deacons, a step that could for the first time open the ranks of the Catholic Church’s all-male clergy to women.
CHR Comment: The word “deacon” literally means “servant,” and was variously used in the Scriptures and in church history. The article explains that currently ordained Roman Catholic deacons are allowed to preach at Mass but cannot consecrate the Sacrament. Whether women deacons would have the same office and service as the male deacons would be part of the study. In any case, “deacon” has meant many things over the centuries.
Source: Pope Francis: Let’s study possibility of ordaining women deacons
The Vatican on Saturday ordered five people, including two Italian journalists, to stand trial for leaking and publishing secret documents, in the latest development in a leaks scandal which is rocking the papacy.
CHR Comment: The leaks involved financial information, which the reporters described as representing the values and interests of the Vatican, resulting in mismanagement, greed, and corruption. The leaked or stolen information was recently published in two books titled Avarice and Merchants in the Temple. The latter is available in English and is currently ranked as a best seller in Italian history.
Source: Vatican to try five, including reporters, over leaks scandal | Reuters#qgoX7TFPEl4pddRW.97
German magazine says targets included the U.S. Interior Department and U.N. offices.
CHR Comment: The article briefly mentions that Germany spied on the Vatican by monitoring communications. The Vatican is an independent state, though it is only 109 acres and has a population of about a thousand people, as the second link below describes.
Source: ‘Der Spiegel’: Germany spied on U.S. embassies, Vatican
‘Church of Spies’ by Mark Riebling tells the gripping history of the Vatican’s covert operations during World War II.
CHR Comment: An extensive article about Vatican activities during World War II.
Source: When the Pope Ordered the Death of Adolf Hitler | Mental Floss
Barcelona basilica should be finished by 2026, except for a few touches.
CHR Comment: Out of deference to God, the building is a little shorter than the nearby mountains. After 130 years of building, four different architects, and surviving the Spanish Civil War, the project is nearly complete. The article includes a link to the basilica’s website.
Source: Barcelona basilica nears completion after more than 130 years
The Catholic Diocese of Green Bay is taking action to shut down a fake Twitter account.
CHR Comment: Identity theft and false solicitations caused Bishop David Ricken to take action and request that Twitter remove the false account. The convenience of social media also allows convenient abuse of Christian activities.
Source: Twitter hell: Bishop victim of fake account
Arrests part of criminal investigations by Vatican police underway for several months.
CHR Comment: The article briefly refers to other leaks and describes the incident with Benedict XVI’s butler. There are apparently some books on Vatican finances coming out.
Source: Vatican arrests 2 accused of leaking documents
One month ago, GlobalPost published a lengthy investigation into Catholic clergy who have been accused of sexual abuse in the United States or Europe, yet continue to work as priests in remote South American dioceses.
CHR Comment: The article describes a number of cases where due process is incomplete or sentences were not applied. God, have pity on Your Church.
Source: Fugitive fathers: Priests suspended after GlobalPost investigation
When the “Dutch Catechism” appeared in 1966, it quickly became a best seller in part because its style was so different from the “Baltimore Catechism” commonly used by American Roman Catholics. Whereas the Baltimore Catechism was written in a point by point style, the Dutch Catechism was written as a narrative, attempting to show the relationships between Catholic doctrines.
Source: Religion in American History: An Unlikely Bestseller: The Dutch Catechism in 1960s America
The Catholic Church’s increasing diversity has deepened the rift between conservatives and progressives as Pope Francis pushes increasing acceptance for marginalized church members.
CHR Comment: Africans now comprise 16% of the Roman Catholic Church, which gives them greater influence. However, European and North American Catholics (“westerners”) still have 32% of the members and set the agenda for church discussions.
Source: African bishops criticize Vatican’s priorities as ‘Eurocentric’ – CSMonitor.com