The number of Catholic priests, lay leaders, and missionaries assassinated increased last year, according to a report by an Italian Catholic organization. Twenty-two Catholic church leaders and faithful were murdered in 2013, reported the Fides News Agency of Rome.
This number was comprised of 19 priests, 1 nun, and two lay leaders. It is an increase from 2012, which had a total of 12 murders.
"As it has been for some time, Fides' list does not only include missionaries ad gentes in the strict sense, but all pastoral care workers who died violent deaths," reads a Fides article. "We do not propose to use the term 'martyrs', if not in its etymological meaning of 'witnesses' since it is up to the Church to judge their possible merits and also because of the [scarcity] of available information in most cases, with regard to their life and even the circumstances of their death." more >>
A Roman Catholic congregation in a small Oregon town has erected a pro-life display featuring over 500 white crosses. Parishioners from St. Francis Catholic Church of Sherwood and a local chapter of the Knights of Columbus built the display last weekend.
Fr. Ysrael C. Bien, parish priest for St. Francis Catholic, told The Christian Post that the display was meant "to promote life issues outside the confines of our parish community." Bien presided over "a simple blessing" Sunday in honor of the display, which was meant to be in remembrance of the "millions of babies" aborted since 1973.
"When a knight saw similar memorial white crosses erected in California, he got the idea and brought it to the council and myself for approval," said Bien. "The parish Respect Life committee also got involved and before you know it, parishioners, including our youth ministry members, began painting the crosses." more >>
The Church of England recently clarified its move to offer alternatives to phrases such as "repent" of one's sins and "reject the devil" in baptism services after it was accused of "dumbing down" the official text.
The church body said in a statement Saturday that a 2011 motion requesting for additional materials with "culturally appropriate and accessible language" "would not replace or revise the current Baptism service but would be available for use as alternatives to three parts of the service."
The motion had been proposed by a group of clergy from the Diocese of Liverpool who felt "they were losing touch with congregations at important moments," such as baptisms. They felt a "tension between understandability and historic theological reference in our rites" especially when unchurched persons, such as godparents, were involved. more >>
Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) has compared himself to "Duck Dynasty" reality television show Phil Robertson in an email newsletter to supporters this week.
"I have been in similar situations to the one Phil Robertson finds himself in now. I have learned to navigate [liberal] intolerance while holding firm to our values," King wrote.
The congressman also told potential voters that he would be "doubling down" against those who criticized him for holding beliefs "contrary to views held by those with loud megaphones, including the liberal media and PC police. ... The leftists who disagree with him made it clear with their attacks that conservatives are to be driven from public life if they express their opinions, however, objectively true they might be." more >>
Controversial political activist Julian Assange recently stated his belief that Jesus Christ was a "great activist" and that the Catholic Church uses confessionals to spy on people.
Assange, the founder and head of the website Wikileaks, made his remarks about the Catholic Church in a three-minute speech on British Broadcasting Corporation Radio.
"Through the Confessional system, the Catholic Church spied on lives of its congregants, while Latin mass excluded most people who couldn't speak Latin from any understanding of the very system of thought that bound them," said Assange. more >>
A recently released report from Pew Research has found that six in 10 Americans believe that evolution is how the species came to be.
Pew's Religion & Public Life Project released results Monday that showed 60 percent of respondents stating belief that humans have evolved with time, versus 33 percent who believe that humans have existed in their present form since the beginning.