Australian panel blasts Catholic hierarchy, urges end to celibacy and confessional seal (AP) An Australian Royal Commission investigating sexual abuse of children has denounced “catastrophic failures of leadership of Catholic Church authorities over many decades.” The commission recommended a new law requiring priests to inform police if they had any evidence of abuse—including evidence from sacramental confessions. The group also suggested an end to clerical celibacy.
Vatican preparing to launch new media web site (CNS) The Vatican will launch a new web site “in the coming days,” offering a multimedia approach to Vatican news. The initiative, which was presented to the Council of Cardinals by Msgr. Dario Vigano, the head of the Secretariat for Communications, is the centerpiece of a new Vatican approach to social communications.
Nigerian prelate urges appointment of new bishop for troubled diocese (Crux) Breaking with other members of the Nigerian bishops’ conference, Bishop Joseph Danlami Bogobiri of Kafanchan has expressed sympathy for the priests and people of the Ahaira diocese, who have refused to accept the appointment of Bishop Peter Ebere Okpaleke. He argues that the Vatican should “give Ahiara a bishop close to their hearts.”
North American Orthodox-Catholic dialogue critiques document on primacy, synodality (USCCB) In 2016, the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church met in Chieti, Italy, and published “Synodality and Primacy in the First Millennium”. The North American Orthodox - Catholic Theological Consultation has issued an 8-page friendly critique of the Chieti document. Dated 10/28, the critique was released by the USCCB on 12/14.
Priests jailed for caroling in India's Madhya Pradesh state (Aid to the Church in Need) A group of 32 Catholic priests and seminarians were taken into custody by police in India’s Madhya Pradesh state on December 14, when they conducted an annual Christmas-caroling program. When other priests visited the police station to inquire about the arrests, they too were detained. The clerics were charged under a new law against proselytism in Madhya Pradesh, a state where Hindu militants have gained power.