Where are the facts?

Statue of Pope John Paul II. © 1000 Words (shutterstock)

More than 1.200 Polish professors and scientists defend Pope John Paul II. against possible slander. They reject accusations that he covered up pedophilic acts of Catholic clerics.

They express this in a joint appeal in view of a "wave of accusations" against the Polish-born pope (1978-2005). A thorough analysis of the Vatican's investigative report on the dismissed U.S. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick found "no facts" that could be the basis for such accusations, the signatories said, according to Polish media reports (Wednesday).

Christina Cherry
Raise voice

A couple in love © 4 PM production (shutterstock)

In the Osnabruck diocese, several "blessing services for lovers" will take place in the next few days, to which homosexual couples are also welcome. Lovers are invited to be blessed, the diocese announced.

To this end, special services would be offered in numerous churches of the diocese.

The organizers are thus joining an initiative of Catholic chaplains who are campaigning nationwide for the 10. May around to "blessing services for lovers" calls. She is reacting to the Vatican's no to the blessing of homosexual couples, which had also met with criticism among German theologians and some bishops.

Christina Cherry
Without insignia before the judge

View into a courtroom © corgarashu (shutterstock)

At the district court in Kottayam in the Indian state of Kerala, the rape trial of Catholic bishop Franco Mulakkal began on Thursday. He is accused of raping a superior general.

After the reading of the indictment, Mulakkal pleaded not guilty, Catholic news portal Matters India reported.

The 56-year-old bishop of Jalandhar in the state of Punjab is accused of repeatedly raping the former superior general of the Missionaries of Jesus at a monastery in Kerala between 2014 and 2016. In contrast to previous hearings, Mulakkal appeared in court for the start of the trial without the episcopal regalia, she said.

Christina Cherry
Talking to each other? Yes please!

Several hundred people talk about social cohesion at a congress in Cologne. As different as the participants are: They all agree that conversation and exchange are the most important things.

At the end Moritz Brake will get loud applause. The lieutenant captain, who was deployed at sea off Somalia and Lebanon, stands up for human dignity without distinction in front of an audience of several hundred people. Actually a matter of course, because at least on paper the dignity of all human beings is inviolable, as is well known. But in times of populism and extremism, such an avowal sometimes takes on a signal effect. "We must make our ship stronger," says Brake metaphorically, referring to the reception of migrants in Germany, for example.

Christina Cherry

Could celibacy be a reason for clergy abuse in the Catholic Church? Passau Bishop Stefan Oster has his doubts about this and sees no need to discuss celibacy in principle.

The results of the German Bishops' Conference's abuse study made it clear that celibacy was "not the real problem," Youth Bishop Stefan Oster of Passau told the ZDF morning show on Wednesday.

Systemic problem?

The problem lies rather in the fact that the way of life and the system of the Catholic Church has always attracted people who "are possibly sexually immature and have a problem and hope to be able to suppress it in the church in such a structure, not to have to face it," Oster said.

Christina Cherry
Abuse crisis catches up with catholic bishops

2018 goes down in the annals as a disturbing one for the Catholic Church in the U.S. Resurgence of unaddressed abuse past shocks faithful and leaves bishops scrambling for explanations.

The epicenter of the 2018 abuse quake has a name: Theodore McCarrick. Washington's 88-year-old ex-cardinal allegedly sexually assaulted two minors some 50 years ago and later coerced young priest candidates into sex. Further cases are not excluded. And McCarrick, of all people, had led the fight against priest sexual assault in the wake of revelations in the Boston archdiocese after the turn of the millennium.

Christina Cherry

Cardinal Marx (z.v.l.) at synod press conference © Paul Haring/CNS (CBA)

Reinhard Cardinal Marx expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the World Synod of Bishops on Marriage and the Family. The Synod gives a "positive impulse" to advance the theme of marriage and family, he said.

The president of the German Bishops' Conference told reporters in Rome on Saturday evening. He said he was "very happy that we have made a step forward here". Overall, the synod supported the "path of the pope," even if the final document was a "compromise text" in some places, said the Munich cardinal. Its outcome now enables the pope to "go one step further".

Christina Cherry

The two highest representatives of the Church of England have reacted to the marriage of two homosexual Anglican priests with clear criticism. Clergy have no right to "simply ignore" the teachings of the church, the British press quoted a statement by Archbishops Rowan Williams and John Sentamu on Wednesday. The Anglican Church's position on sexuality is "well known" and "still relevant".

Observers see the reaction of the head bishops of Canterbury and York as an attempt to appease the conservative wing, which is threatening to split from the Anglican world communion in protest against a course of the church that is perceived as increasingly liberal. Over the weekend, it was revealed that New Zealand clergyman David Lord had married his English brother minister Peter Cowell. Although the Anglican Church accepts the blessing of homosexual unions, critics complained that the ceremony was too similar to the Anglican marriage rite. Lord has since resigned from the priesthood. The Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, ordered an investigation on Monday. Meanwhile the celebrating priest feels no remorse. He had wanted to "test the boundaries," the Rev. Martin Dudley wrote in an op-ed for the New Statesman magazine (Tuesday). After all, the love of two men is neither "unusual" nor "perverse" and is accepted outside the church. In the Church of England, the blessing of homosexual partnerships is tolerated. Homosexual priests are also allowed to exercise their ministry as long as they are celibate. The controversy in the Anglican world communion over practicing homosexuals sparked in 2003 over the appointment of Gene Robinson as bishop of New Hampshire.

Christina Cherry

Wunibald Muller © KNA

The Recollectio House is an institution of the Benedictine Abbey of Munsterschwarzach. It is financially supported by several dioceses. His offers are aimed at priests, religious and church employees in personal and professional crises.

Growing doubts about the faith among priests and church employees are registered by the Catholic theologian and psychologist Wunibald Muller. He warns against an "inner emigration" and relies on the "great and liberating power of faith".

Christina Cherry