German bishops defend position on communion for the divorced and remarried

From Catholic News Service:  Church officials in Germany defended plans by the country’s bishops’ conference to allow some divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Communion, insisting they have the pope’s endorsement. “We already have our own guidelines, and the pope has now clearly signaled that certain things can be decided locally,” said Robert Eberle, spokesman [Read More...]

German bishops allow “morning after” pill in cases of rape—UPDATED

Details from the AP:  Roman Catholic-run hospitals can prescribe limited emergency contraception to rape victims, German bishops said Thursday as they sought to contain fallout from an embarrassing recent case in which two hospitals refused to treat a woman. In a statement issued at the end of a regular meeting in the western city of [Read More...]

German church drops sex abuse investigation; independent researcher claims church interference

Details, from AP:  Germany’s Roman Catholic Church said Wednesday it has called off an independent institute’s investigation into sexual abuse by clergy over several decades. The lead researcher complained that the church wanted too much control over his work. In 2011, the church asked Prof. Christian Pfeiffer’s Lower Saxony Criminological Research Institute to analyze data [Read More...]

German bishops will refuse sacraments to those who don’t pay “church tax”

At a time when more Germans are leaving the Church and fewer are being baptized, the bishops have embarked on a bold crackdown. Details, from Huffington Post and Reuters: Germany’s Roman Catholic bishops have decreed that people who opt out of a “church tax” should not be given sacraments and religious burials, getting tougher on [Read More...]

A million expected to see the “Holy Robe” of Jesus in Germany

It’s just gone on display, for the first time in decades: Over the next four weeks, around a million German Christians will be travelling to Trier to admire the “Heiliger Rock”, or the Holy Robe: one of the most important relics in German Christendom, that Jesus supposedly wore before being crucified. Stephan Ackermann, the Bishop [Read More...]

“God’s igloo”: Germans build Catholic church made of ice

I shudder to think what baptisms would be like. Details: A church built entirely of ice and snow has opened in Bavaria — a century after villagers first built a snow church in an act of protest. The church at Mitterfirmiansreut, near the Czech border, is more than 65 feet in length and boasts a [Read More...]

What’s so funny? Here’s proof that laughter is contagious

From a train in Germany, a fit of laughter spreads like a virus — or at least something viral — and YouTubers are hysterically lapping it up: It’s unclear what the joke that sparked the mass hysterics was, but mobile phone footage uploaded to the video sharing site has caught the imagination of many online [Read More...]

Muslim leader to Pope: "I wish to see Muslims and Christians growing in mutual understanding…"

“The following story by the Prophet Mohammed reminds us of the Gospel according to Matthew: “Allah will ask a man on the Day of Resurrection: ‘I was sick but you did not visit Me, I asked food from you but you did not feed Me and I asked drink from you but you did not [Read More...]

Pope to Muslims: "We believers have a special contribution to make…"

“From the 1970s onwards, the presence of numerous Muslim families has increasingly become a distinguishing mark of this country. Constant effort is needed in order to foster better mutual acquaintance and understanding. Not only is this important for peaceful coexistence, but also for the contribution that each can make towards building up the common good [Read More...]

Remembering a courageous pro-life homily that made history

It happened 70 years ago today: the Bishop of Munster, Germany climbed into the pulpit to condemn the Nazi’s euthanasia program.  Bishop Clemens August von Galen later became a cardinal, and was beatified in 2005.  L’Osservatore Romano takes note: The bishop did not hide from his faithful the names of certain places nor his attempts [Read More...]


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