Condoms and the Catholic church: a short history

For the past 42 years the church has shackled itself to a dogma that many of its adherants have simply ignored. No papal decree has been more flouted in the last half century than its repeated insistence that artificial birth control is morally wrong and sinful and none has alienated – or been ignored by…

Pope unlikely to grant bishop’s request to be reinstated

VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI will meet a German bishop who resigned in April following allegations that he hit children, but is unlikely to consider the bishop’s request to be reinstated, the Vatican said Wednesday (June 16). Bishop Walter Mixa, who admitted to striking children in the 1970s and ’80s, told the German daily…

Even atheists should welcome Benedict’s visit

Despite his uncuddly image, the pope has a message for believers and deniers alike. You know the world’s natural order has settled down again when the Free Church of Scotland has voiced its disapproval of a papal visitation. Several months have elapsed since it was announced that Benedict XVI would be embarking on a pilgrimage…

Pope’s UK visit will not be affected by Foreign Office memo, Vatican says

Vatican notes apology and says document mocking Catholic church will have no impact on Benedict XVI’s visit. The pope’s visit to Britain will not be affected by the leak of a memo from a Foreign Office brainstorming session that mocked the Catholic church, the Vatican said today. Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi noted the Foreign…

Full text of the pope’s letter to the Catholics of Ireland on child sex abuse

‘In order to recover from this grievous wound, the Church in Ireland must first acknowledge before the Lord and before others the serious sins committed against defenceless children’ The Vatican issued a pastoral letter from the pope to the Catholics of Ireland today, addressing the scandal of child sex abuse by priests and its concealment…

The off-message pontiff

If there is one leader on earth who ought to be sending out clear and unequivocal messages, then it is surely the pope. Yet, once again, the signals from Benedict and the Vatican this week have been oddly confusing. In his written clarification of the pope’s remarks aboard the plane taking him to Africa, his spokesman, Father…

Pope stirs up Jewish fury over bishop

“The Vatican is reinstating a British priest who denies millions died at the hands of the Nazis. – Tension between the Vatican and Jewish groups looked set to explode yesterday after Pope Benedict XVI rehabilitated a British bishop who has claimed no Jews died in gas chambers during the second world war.” > more. picture: uzvards,flickr.com

Pope Addresses Secularism in France

“PARIS — In his first visit to France as pope on Friday, Benedict XVI touched on central themes of his papacy — the tensions between faith and reason and church and state, as well as his efforts to reach out to Muslims and Jews — and urged an increasingly irreligious Europe to look back to its intellectual roots…