A former Vatican cardinal who congratulated a French bishop for hiding a sexually abusive priest has said he acted with the approval of the late Pope John Paul, a Spanish newspaper reported on Saturday.
As a tide of previously confidential Catholic Church documents about child sexual abuse by priests has risen over recent weeks, the Vatican has been able to say that none of them was a “smoking gun” proving it had instructed bishops to cover up the scandals. This defense looks thinner than ever with the posting of a 2001 letter by Cardinal Darío Castrillón Hoyos congratulating (yes, congratulating!) a bishop for not only hiding a self-confessed serial abuser but earning himself a criminal sentence for doing so. For more on the 2001 case, click here.
The Vatican has opened an investigation into reported apparitions of the Virgin Mary at the small town of Medjugorje in southern Bosnia which have drawn more than 30 million pilgrims and divided the Catholic Church.
When a Catholic priest’s refusal to distribute communion to someone at Mass hits the headlines, it’s usually a U.S. Catholic politician supporting abortion rights who’s at the non-receiving end. Things are a bit different in the Netherlands, where the headlines these days are about a small town’s “carnival prince” turned away at the altar. That refusal led to gay protests at at some Sunday Masses, including the nearby cathedral, and decisions to refuse communion to everyone present. The protesters have vowed to continue for the next seven Sundays.
The head of Germany’s 25 million Protestants resigned on Wednesday after police stopped her for driving while under the influence of alcohol just four months after becoming the third woman to head a major Christian church.
Bishop Richard Williamson, the ultra-traditionalist prelate whose denial of the extent of the Holocaust created an uproar in the Catholic Church and with Jews early last year, has said the discussions at the Vatican to rehabilitate his Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX) are a “dialogue of the deaf.” Williamson, one of the four SSPX bishops whose bans of excommunication were lifted by Pope Benedict only days after his controversial views were aired on Swedish television, said the two sides had “absolutely irreconcilable” positions.
Anyone hoping to get an idea of how many Church of England traditionalists may abandon the Mother Church for Rome in disgust and despair over women bishops may have to wait a little longer.