At ecumenical congress, leading German bishop rules out general 'cross-denominational' Communion (CNS) Bishop Georg Bätzing, president of the German bishops’ conference, said that he administers Holy Communion “if someone joins who believes what we Catholics believe and wants to receive the Body of the Lord in faith in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ.” His position, he said, is different from “cross-denominational Communion in the sense of a general mutual invitation to participate in the Eucharist and the Lord’s Supper.”
Torzi, key figure in Vatican real-estate scandal, detained in London (AP) Gianluigi Torzi, a key figure in the London real-estate deal that triggered a Vatican scandal, has been detained in London. Torzi was arrested on a warrant issued by Italian prosecutors, who charge Torzi with money-laundering and tax evasion. He had been arrested by Vatican police last June, but released after 10 days. Vatican prosecutors still charge him with embezzlement, but have not formally indicted him.Vatican officials had sought to freeze Torzi’s assets in the United Kingdom, but a British judge released, saying that the Vatican had not shown sufficient evidence of wrongdoing. Torzi’s return to Rome, to face the charges made by Italian prosecutors, could shed more light on the Vatican’s financial scandal.
'Stop your tax dollars from paying for abortion': USCCB issues action alert (USCCB) “A serious effort is underway in Congress to force all taxpayers to pay for elective abortions,” notes the alert. “The Hyde Amendment and other similar laws have long protected taxpayers from funding elective abortions. Now, powerful members of Congress want to get rid of these laws, which have been supported by both Democrats and Republicans for 45 years.”
Scores of German Catholic churches join in blessing same-sex unions (Wall Street Journal) About 100 Catholic churches across Germany joined in a nationwide event on May 10, offering church blessings to same-sex couples in direct defiance of the Vatican. At St. Benedict’s church in Munich, where about 30 gay and lesbian couples received blessings, Father Wolfgang Rothe said: “Heavens were open. All people were happy.” But the German initiative—coming as a challenge to the Vatican’s statement that Catholic churches cannot bless same-sex unions—escalated the threat of an open schism.
Leading Ukrainian prelate criticizes idea of state church (Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church) “We absolutely do not share the idea of the so-called state church,” said Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. “Why? Because then the Church loses her freedom.” The prelate also warned, “If society falls apart and the state and business start building relations without taking into account the interests of society, then it ends in corruption, in a merger of big business and state institutions.”
Pope Francis recalls assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II (Vatican News) After his regular public audience on May 12, Pope Francis reminded a group of Polish pilgrims that this week marks the 40th anniversary of the shooting of Pope John Paul II. The assassination attempt occurred on the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, and beloved Polish Pontiff credited her with saving his life. “Let us place ourselves with trust under her maternal protection,” Pope Francis said.
Young American Jews trend toward Orthodox (Washington Post) America’s Jewish population is becoming more Orthodox, a new Pew survey shows. The study found that 17% of Jews under the age of 30 are Orthodox, compared with only 3% of those over 65 and 7% of those between 50 and 64. The trend is largely attributable to higher birth rates among Orthodox Jews.
At the same time, the Pew survey found that the number of non-religious Jews—who identify themselves as Jews but profess no faith—has risen from 22% to 27% in the past eight years.