Vatican excommunicates pro-govt Chinese Catholic bishop, criticizes Beijing

July 17, 2011

(Christmas mass at a Catholic church in Beijing December 24, 2009./David Gray)

A Chinese bishop ordained without papal approval has been excommunicated from the Catholic Church, the Vatican has said, bringing relations between the Vatican and Beijing to a new low. In a statement branding Thursday’s ordination illegitimate, the Vatican said Pope Benedict “deplores” the way communist authorities are treating Chinese Catholics who want to remain faithful to Rome instead of to the state-backed Church.

Irish Catholic Church concealed child abuse even after new prevention rules in 1990s

July 13, 2011

(Cloyne Cathedral, 7 May 2009/John Armagh)

A government-sponsored report said on Wednesday the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in Ireland continued to conceal the sexual abuse of children by priests even after it introduced rules in the mid-1990s to protect minors.

German court fines SSPX Bishop Williamson for denying Holocaust

By Reuters Staff
July 12, 2011

(Photo: Bishop Williamson leaves for London after expulsion order from Argentina, 24 Feb 2009/Enrique Marcarian)

As Vatican readies to recognise South Sudan, a look back at tense 1993 papal visit

July 8, 2011

(A man holds up South Sudan's new flag as South Sudanese children rehearse their dance routine, to be performed at half time during South Sudan's national soccer team's match with Kenya as part of the independence day celebrations, in Juba July 7, 2011/Paul Banks)

Pope slams selfish food speculators, urges curbs on world commodity markets

July 1, 2011

(Traders in the Corn options pit at the CME Group signal orders shortly before the closing bell in Chicago, February 11, 2011/Frank Polich )

Christians issue code of conduct for spreading faith without fanning tensions

June 28, 2011

(Evangelical pastor Marcos Pereira da Silva embraces a prisoner as his missionaries stand by at the 52nd Police Station jail in Nova Iguacu, near Rio de Janeiro, which they visited on October 29, 2009 to evangelize prisoners/Ricardo Moraes )

“If I were Pope Benedict, this is what I’d tell them in Berlin …”

June 27, 2011

(The Reichstag building, seat of the German Bundestag in Berlin, where Pope Benedict will deliver a speech on September 22. Picture taken on November 22, 2010/Pawel Kopczynski )

Criticised Israeli ambassador backtracks on rare praise of Pope Pius XII

June 26, 2011

(Photo exhibit critical of Pius XII at at Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem, 15 April 2007/Yonathan Weitzman)

Israeli envoy to Vatican voices rare praise of wartime Pope Pius XII

June 24, 2011

(Pope Pius XII in an undated file photo/Osservatore Romano)

A leading Israeli official has praised Pope Pius XII for saving Jews during the Nazi occupation of Rome, a surprise twist in a long-standing controversy over the pontiff’s wartime role. The comments by Mordechay Lewy, the Israeli ambassador to the Vatican, were some of the warmest ever made by a Jewish official about Pius. Most have been very critical of his record.

Vatican turns to Internet to stem sexual abuse scandals

June 19, 2011

(A computer mouse pad with an image of Pope John Paul II in Brazil, October 2, 1997/Gregg Newton)