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Latest news: Europe

As church-goers wane, Germany's controversial tax prompts unease

Feb 12, 2015 - 04:02 am .- While church attendees dwindle in Germany, questions have arisen once again over the controversial state-imposed church tax – and whether it's time for the country's bishops to address concerns around it.

Pope Francis hopes to invigorate Philadelphia Church in US visit

Feb 10, 2015 - 08:55 am .- With preparations for the World Meeting of Families well underway, Pope Francis has told Archbishop Charles Chaput he hopes his visit will inspire joy and confidence in the Church of Philadelphia.

Parish dedicated to Rome's poor gets a visit from Pope Francis

Feb 8, 2015 - 12:01 pm .- Pope Francis traveled in the eastern outskirts of Rome on Sunday afternoon to hear confessions and say Mass at a parish known for its commitment to the city's poor and the marginalized.

Austerity marks the life of Archbishop Blazquez, Spain's next cardinal

Feb 8, 2015 - 06:01 am .- Archbishop Ricardo Blazquez Perez' friends say one of his first decisions as Archbishop of Valladolid was to set aside part of his salary to help those affected by Spain's economic crisis. Although he will be made a cardinal within the week, his pay remains the same – that of a typical parish priest.

Pray – don't speculate – about the Vatican family synod, say novena organizers

Feb 6, 2015 - 04:02 am .- Amid concern over whether or not October's Synod on the Family will protect the Church's teaching on marriage, one lay initiative is calling upon Catholics to put their words to better use – and pray.

Archbishop Edoardo Menichelli: a talented preacher and soon-to-be cardinal

Feb 6, 2015 - 12:04 am .- When he learned in January Pope Francis would make him a cardinal, Archbishop Edoardo Menichelli of Ancona-Osimo did not want to comment. He had turned 75 in October, presenting his resignation to the Pope.

Political instability, war, and terrorism know no borders – Vatican official

Feb 4, 2015 - 11:40 am .- As the Vatican's Secretary of State addressed the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean on Monday regarding the shared challenge of migration, Italy's Red Cross announced it is awarding the people of Lampedusa for their commitment to welcoming African emigrants.

Embryos with three parents? The risks are yet to come, critics warn

Feb 4, 2015 - 04:02 am .- Despite warnings from religious leaders and scientists, British lawmakers have voted to allow a version of in-vitro fertilization that uses the DNA of three different people to conceive a baby.

Could Italy's new president turn the spotlight on Catholic social teaching?

Feb 2, 2015 - 09:51 pm .- Saturday's election of Sergio Mattarella as Italy's president is an affirmation of the social commitment of Catholics in public policy, according Fr. Bartolomeo Sorge, S.J., who has long been close to Mattarella.

Church in Italy fights against imposition of gender ideology in schools

Jan 31, 2015 - 06:08 am .- The general secretary of the Italian bishops conference stressed on Friday that the attempt to introduce textbooks into the nation's schools that present gender theory as a fact are an effort to turn biological data upside down.

Woman bishop challenges future of Anglican-Catholic dialogue

Jan 30, 2015 - 03:04 pm .- While the consecration of the Church of England's first woman bishop presents significant challenges in bringing Catholics and Anglicans into “closer communion,” ecumenical leaders say the door to dialogue remains open.

Will the number of dioceses in Italy be cut in the near future?

Jan 28, 2015 - 12:03 am .- A plan to reduce the number of Italian dioceses has been widely debated in the Italian bishops conference, and a first draft of the plan has reportedly already been given to the Congregation for Bishops and has undergone some adjustments.

Blessed Odoardo Focherini, the father of seven who saved 100 Jewish lives

Jan 27, 2015 - 05:01 pm .- As Pope Francis tweeted Jan. 27 to observe the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, it is worth remembering Bl. Odoardo Focherini, who died a martyr to rescue Jews from Nazi persecution.

Beatification cause opened for founder of Focolare movement

Jan 24, 2015 - 07:48 am .- Bishop Rafaello Martinelli of Frascati, Italy, has announced that the beatification cause will be opened for the founder of the Focolare movement, Chiara Lubich.

Ahead of Synod, UK Catholics to venerate relics of St Therese's parents

Jan 16, 2015 - 05:06 pm .- Catholics in the Diocese of Portsmouth will have an invaluable opportunity this May to venerate the relics of St. Therese of Lisieux’s parents, a saintly married couple, ahead of the upcoming Synod on the Family.

Scottish archbishop credits God's grace for healing process in diocese

Jan 13, 2015 - 05:18 pm .- Following the 2013 resignation of Cardinal Keith O'Brien as Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, his successor acknowledges the healing process for the diocese is continuing by God’s grace, but will take time.

For refugees, Spanish bishops propose 'a Church without borders'

Jan 13, 2015 - 02:03 pm .- The Spanish bishops have released a message for their nation's Day of the Immigrant and Refugee, which will be held Jan. 18, entitled "A Church without borders, a Mother for all."

How a crucifix restoration in Rome offers hope to the poor

Jan 11, 2015 - 04:03 pm .- After receiving inspiration from an aged crucifix, Cardinal James Stafford commissioned it to be restored as a sign of compassion for Rome’s suffering poor and unemployed population.

For Sri Lanka, Pope's visit solidifies peace after brutal civil war

Jan 9, 2015 - 04:04 pm .- Falling just five years after the end of Sri Lanka’s civil war, Pope Francis’ visit to the country is seen as a sign of reconciliation, a message expected to be shown through his gestures more than his words.

Haitian amputees lace-up soccer cleats on Roman sports field

Jan 9, 2015 - 04:29 am .- Five years after the island of Haiti was devastated by a massive earthquake, three young amputees will have the opportunity to play soccer in Rome through the help of the Knights of Columbus.

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