Catholic church

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Pope Francis and UN head Ban Ki-Moon, who met at the Vatican to discuss climate change, hope to influence this year’s crucial Paris climate talks. EPA/L'OSSERVATORE ROMANO/AAP

The Pope’s climate message will extend his advocacy for the poor

Pope Francis is set to release an encyclical on climate change next month, which he hopes will influence this year's Paris climate talks as well as continuing his work on behalf of the world's poorest.
The Catholic Archbishop of Adelaide, Philip Wilson, has been charged with concealing child sexual abuse in the 1970s. AAP/David Maruiz

Philip Wilson charges mark a dark day for the Catholic Church

Philip Wilson, the Catholic Archbishop of Adelaide, is the most senior clergyman in the world to face a charge of concealing sexual abuse in the church.
Religious institutions have consistently struggled to respond to child sexual abuse cases appropriately. L'Osservatore Romano/EPA

Speaking with: Tim Jones on child sexual abuse within religious institutions

Speaking with: Tim Jones on child sexual abuse within religious institutions. The Conversation21.6 MB (download)
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse reconvened this week. Announced in 2012, the commission was established due to growing concerns over consistently inadequate responses…
Will there be brotherly love in Philadelphia next September? Giampiero Sposito/Reuters

Pope Francis’s ‘American problem’

In late November, the Vatican confirmed that Pope Francis is going to visit the United States of America for the World Meeting of Families that will take place in Philadelphia at the end of September 2015…
They are listening but whose side are they on? Max Rossi/Reuters

The tectonic plates of world Catholicism shift

An extraordinary two weeks in Rome ended Saturday with a standing ovation. Pope Francis had invited 191 bishops and clergy to the Synod on the family to speak their minds on issues such as divorce, premarital…
The extraordinary synod of bishops on family is meeting for two weeks at the Vatican. EPA/L'Osservatore Romano

Pope sets off a ‘gay earthquake’? No, the church has hardly moved

A report of debate from the first half of the extraordinary synod of Catholic bishops meeting in Rome has been described as a “pastoral earthquake” and a “seismic shift in Rome” for praising gay relationships…
Throughout his recent royal commission appearance, Catholic cardinal George Pell focused on the ‘choices’ that victims of abuse make. AAP/Paul Miller

Moral responsibility a drive-by victim of Pell’s view of the church

Cardinal George Pell’s appearance at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will do little to rehabilitate his image in the eyes of clergy abuse victims. Via video link…
Crowd-pleaser: Pope Francis I. EPA/Chung Sung-Jun

After 65 years, is China finally ready to embrace the Pope?

Pope Francis flew over China on his way to South Korea late last week, where the Catholic Church has seen rapid growth in the last decade. Papal custom is to send a telegram to the leaders of nations over…
What is distinctive about the Catholic Church that might have fostered child abuse? David Goehring

With child abuse, we need to talk about original sin

The statistics attached to the Interim Report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse have confirmed what many people suspected – that while child abuse has been widespread…
Pope Francis argues that the poor are at the heart of the Gospel and it’s the communists who have ‘stolen the flag’. EPA/Nicola Lanese

Is the Pope Catholic or communist when he speaks out on poverty?

A blog in The Economist recently accused Pope Francis of following the founder of the Soviet Union, Vladimir Lenin, in adopting an “ultra-radical line” on capitalism. The blog, “Francis, capitalism and…
George Pell isn’t a personal devotee of new media, but he sees their value for spreading the word. AAP/Paul Miller

Can the Vatican go viral? George Pell’s communication challenge

Imagine you were playing with your phone while you waited for the World Cup final to get underway and you suddenly saw a photo of the Pope Emeritus eating popcorn with the current Pontiff on your timeline…
The idea may seem ‘old-fashioned’, says Pope Francis, ‘But look out because the devil is present! The devil is here … even in the 21st century!’ EPA/Maurizio Brambatti

What is Pope Francis on about with all this talk of Satan and evil?

Pope Francis’ discussion of the devil (or Satan) has been greeted with surprise by many. Why would a “progressive” Pope speak about an “old-school”, passé topic like the devil? Has not the Catholic Church…
John XXIII and John Paul II: most recent popes to join the ranks of saints. Mario Fornasari/Flickr

Standards for sainthood: what defines a ‘miracle’?

Popes John Paul II and John XXIII were declared saints by Pope Francis last Sunday. So what were the “miracles” necessary for John Paul’s sainthood, and how likely was it they really occurred? Almost 40…

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