Canon lawyer: German Church tax dispute needs more reflection

Vatican City, Sep 27, 2012 / 04:24 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A leading canon lawyer has called for further reflection on the German Church’s decision to refuse the sacraments and Christian burial to Catholics who do not pay the country’s Church tax.Dr. Edward Peters, a canon lawyer and the first layman to serve as a consultant to the Church’s highest court, explained that excommunication is invoked today “only against the gravest ecclesiastical offenses, things like … [Read more...]

Video shows Cuban government harassing women dissidents

Havana, Cuba, Sep 27, 2012 / 04:04 pm (CNA).- Cuban dissident group Women in White has denounced state police for harassing them as they were trying to leave their offices on Sept. 24 to attend Mass in honor of Our Lady of Mercies. The incident was caught on video by a group member, sent to the local Hablemos Press, and posted on YouTube. It shows agents attempting to assault the leader of the dissident group, Berta Soler, who was rescued by her companions. Soler said the women had … [Read more...]

Pope’s former butler could face four years in prison

Vatican City, Sep 27, 2012 / 03:35 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The trial of Pope Benedict's former butler, Paolo Gabriele, will begin Sept. 29 as he faces up to four years in prison for stealing confidential documents. According to the Vatican’s appeals court prosecutor, Giovanni Giacobbe, the trial will be public and the first hearing will take place before a three-judge panel.   Paolo faces a minimum sentence for “aggravated theft” of three years and a maximum of … [Read more...]

Pope to Catholic politicians: seek the common good

Vatican City, Sep 27, 2012 / 12:05 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- At the end of his general audience on Sept. 26, Pope Benedict called on Catholic politicians to work for the common good in accordance with Church teaching. During his remarks to attendees in St. Peter's square, the Pope reminded Catholic lawmakers “of the need to generously seek the common good of all citizens, in a way that is consistent with the convictions proper to the sons and daughters of the Church.” Pope … [Read more...]

Ivory smuggling charge against priest reveals abuse investigation

Cebu, Philippines, Sep 27, 2012 / 10:50 am (CNA).- A National Geographic story on ivory smuggling has renewed focus on a prominent Philippines priest accused of sexual abuse in Los Angeles in the 1980s.Monsignor Cristobal Garcia, an ivory collector, told a National Geographic correspondent he could smuggle ivory into the U.S. by wrapping it in “old, stinky underwear” and pouring ketchup on it.The smuggling remarks, published in the October 2012 issue of National Geographic, … [Read more...]

Book busts myths about Church teaching on hot topics

Denver, Colo., Sep 27, 2012 / 04:23 am (CNA).- Dr. Christopher Kaczor's new book addresses some of the most widely-held myths about the Catholic Church and its teachings, tackling sensitive topics like homosexuality and the abuse scandal.“I really hope that people who are struggling with these issues and have difficulties, are able to be really aided … to find their way to happiness,” Kaczor told CNA Sept. 26.His new work is titled “The Seven Big Myths about … [Read more...]

Bishop Paprocki warns of ‘intrinsic evils’ in Democratic platform

Springfield, Ill., Sep 27, 2012 / 02:11 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Drawing particular attention to the Democratic Party platform’s support for “intrinsic evils” like abortion and “same-sex marriage,” Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki of Springfield, Ill. has said Catholics need to “think and pray very carefully” about their votes in the upcoming election.“My job is not to tell you for whom you should vote. But I do have a duty to speak out on moral … [Read more...]