Study of Ordaining Women Deacons

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


Vatican to Try Five, Including Reporters, over Leaks Scandal

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

Germany Spied on the Vatican

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

World’s Tallest Church Building Nears Completion

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

Fugitive Fathers: Priests Suspended after GlobalPost Investigation

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

Catechism Styles: Bullet Point vs. Narrative

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

African Bishops Criticize Vatican’s Priorities as Eurocentric

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’ –