Reuters blog archive
from Tales from the Trail:
Under new provisions outlined by Obama's administration, Catholic hospitals, schools and charities will be required to provide health insurance for their employees covering contraception even if though it violates the church's teachings.
Catholic bishops' complaints about the law have filtered onto the Republican campaign trail to find a challenger to Obama in the presidential election next Nov. 6.
Newt Gingrich has declared the policy a war on America's religious freedom and Rick Santorum has spoken out against it as well.
The Roman Catholic Church, often accused of dragging its feet on sexual abuse scandals, will turn to the Internet with a new e-learning center to help safeguard children and the victims of molestation. The Vatican presented the move at a news conference on Saturday flagging an international conference on sexual abuse of children by clergy to be held next February at Rome's Pontifical Gregorian University with church backing.
U.S. Roman Catholic bishops on Thursday approved slight revisions to their policy governing child sex abuse, saying the church would not tolerate offending priests. But critics said children were still vulnerable. After minimal debate, the bishops passed revisions to its decade-old Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, which for the first time listed child pornography as equivalent to sexual abuse and cited the need to protect mentally disabled people from abuse.
China's Foreign Ministry said on Thursday it hoped the Vatican could acknowledge the reality of religious freedom in the country, after the pope said Beijing was putting pressure on the faithful who want to remain loyal to the Vatican.
A church-sponsored study on Wednesday blamed poorly trained priests and a deviant society for the Roman Catholic Church's sex abuse crisis, but victims dismissed it as a whitewash of an institutional coverup. The largest study ever done on youth sexual abuse by U.S. Catholic clergy concluded that priests were no more likely to abuse than anyone else, gay priests were not more likely than straight priests to abuse, and the priestly vow of celibacy was not directly to blame.
Mons. Charles Scicluna, the Justice Promoter in the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) and its top expert on clerical sexual abuse issues, gave the following interview to Reuters Television on Monday to explain the Roman Catholic Church's new guidelines for dealing with priests accused of molesting children. The Vatican told bishops around the world earlier on Monday that they must make it a global priority to root out sexual abuse and cooperate with civil authorities to end the scandals that have tarnished the Roman Catholic Church's image around the world.
Philippine Catholic bishops on Tuesday walked out of talks with the government over a planned bill allowing contraception in open opposition to President Benigno Aquino who vowed to push the bill into law. Aquino pledged last month to push for the enactment of a reproductive health bill in Congress in a bid to lower the maternal death rate in the Philippines, even at the risk of excommunication from the Roman Catholic Church.
(Photo: A reproductive health advocate dressed as a condom distributes condoms to jeepney passengers in Manila March 1, 2010/Romeo Ranoco)
Seven in 10 Filipinos support a reproductive health bill permitting education on contraception which would also help check population growth, despite opposition from the powerful Roman Catholic Church, a survey showed on Tuesday.
The Church, a major social and political force in the poor Southeast Asian nation of about 95 million, has blocked similar bills since the 1990s and earlier this year denounced President Benigno Aquino's support for contraception.
(Photo: Bishops at Mass marking the end of the synod of bishops from the Middle East in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican October 24, 2010/Alessia Pierdomenico)
Pope Benedict called on Islamic countries in the Middle East on Sunday to guarantee freedom of worship to non-Muslims and said peace in the region was the best remedy for a worrying exodus of Christians.
He made his a appeal at a solemn mass in St Peter's Basilica ending a two week Vatican summit of bishops from the Middle East, whose final document criticized Israel and urged the Jewish state to end its occupation of Palestinian territories.
Bishops of Poland's influential Roman Catholic Church have branded in vitro fertilization (IVF) "the younger sister of eugenics" in a letter aimed at swaying lawmakers ahead of a parliamentary debate.
Their intervention, two weeks after the Vatican condemned the awarding of the 2010 Nobel Prize for medicine to IVF pioneer Robert Edwards, triggered an unusually sharp response from lawmakers who say the clergy should not meddle in politics.