German bishop agrees to audit and apologises for uproar after Vatican visit

September 15, 2013

(Limburg cathedral and old town, 23 April 2013/Benjamin Dahlhoff)

A German Catholic bishop accused by critics of being an autocrat and lavish spender has agreed to let an outside commission audit his finances after a rare week-long visit by a Vatican monitor.

from The Great Debate:

Seeking justice for Syrians

By Diane Orentlicher
September 13, 2013

Demanding “accountability for those who would use the world’s most heinous weapons against the world’s most vulnerable people ,” the Obama administration has forcefully argued that Syria must be punished for gassing more than 1,400 civilians to death in a single day -- an act President Barack Obama called “a crime against humanity, and a violation of the laws of war” in his speech Tuesday night. Leaders around the world have also denounced Syria’s “war crimes” and its “crime against civilization.” But if they seem to be making the case for prosecutions, that option has, in fact, received scant serious attention -- despite French and British efforts to press the issue.

New generation of theologians to promote retired Pope Benedict’s teachings

September 12, 2013

(Pope Benedict XVI waves as he arrives to lead the weekly general audience in Saint Peter’s Square at the Vatican April 18, 2012. REUTERS/Max Rossi )

German court rules Muslim girls must join swimming classes

September 11, 2013

(Twenty-year-old trainee volunteer surf life saver Mecca Laalaa runs along North Cronulla Beach in Sydney during her Bronze medallion competency test January 13, 2007. REUTERS/Tim Wimborne)

Vatican cardinal looks into German ‘luxury bishop’ charges

September 9, 2013

(Limburg cathedral, 12 December 2004/Super-Grobi)

The Vatican launched a rare review of a German Catholic diocese on Monday following accusations its bishop spent lavishly on a new residence, putting him out of step with the new “church of the poor” promoted by Pope Francis.

Pope Francis biopic in the works from fellow Argentine: report

By Reuters Staff
September 3, 2013

(Pope Francis listens to journalists’ questions as he flies back Rome following his visit to Brazil July 29, 2013. REUTERS/Luca Zennaro/Pool)

from The Great Debate:

Why a medieval peasant got more vacation time than you

By Lynn Stuart Parramore
August 29, 2013

Life for the medieval peasant was certainly no picnic. His life was shadowed by fear of famine, disease and bursts of warfare. His diet and personal hygiene left much to be desired. But despite his reputation as a miserable wretch, you might envy him one thing: his vacations.

German Catholic seminarians expelled for Nazi jokes and Hitler salute

August 1, 2013

(Würzburg cathedral, July 2007/Zairon)

An investigation into rumors of neo-Nazi activity at a seminary in Bavaria has resulted in two student priests being expelled for imitating the Nazi salute and making jokes about death camps, two bishops announced.

French Muslims split over start of Ramadan despite prior accord on date

July 9, 2013

(A child is seen near members of the Muslim community attending midday prayers at Strasbourg Grand Mosque in Strasbourg on the first day of Ramadan July 9, 2013. REUTERS/Vincent Kessle)