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Religion

  • ‘Celibacy is not a dogma’

    ‘Celibacy is not a dogma’

    Pope Francis said he believed that Roman Catholic priests should be celibate but the rule was not an unchangeable dogma, and “the door is always open” to change. Francis made similar comments when he was archbishop of Buenos Aires but his remarks...

  • Papal retirements ‘could become normal in Church’

    Pope Francis said he would be open to retiring eventually like his predecessor, Benedict XVI, instead of ruling for life, adding that the concept of a ‘pope emeritus’ could someday become normal in the Church. “I will do what the Lord tells me to...

  • Faith regeneration

    Today’s readings: Acts 8, 5-8.14-17; 1 Peter 3, 15-18; John 14, 15-21. The ecclesial landscape that emer­ges from the different reports on the Vatican survey in preparation for the upcoming Synod of Bishops is, to say the least, confusing. Most...

  • Dynamic, vibrant communities

    Dynamic, vibrant communities

    It is a pretty scary thought to realise that the Church is the shop window of Christianity and that precisely you and I, as Christians, are the Church’s shop window. The reality is that Christians have always been strongly scrutinised, tested and...

  • Quotes and news

    According to the recently published report Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians, there were 241 documented cases of intolerance against Christians in Europe in 2013. Observatory director Gudrun Kugler said secularism is...

  • Unfolding truth

    Today’s readings: Acts 6, 1-7; 1 Peter 2, 4-9; John 14, 1-12. Before the Church got used to calling itself The Church, it was called The Way. It is not far-fetched to claim that at different times in its history, the Church lost touch with its...

  • Charity of goodness

    Charity of goodness

    The Church in Malta today is celebrating Charity Day. It is the highlight of an annual Charity Week aimed at encouraging the faithful to live the relationship between faith and charity more intensely. This time round, the invitation is to reflect...

  • Quotes and news

    Pope Francis appealed to UN executives to work in favour of “a true, worldwide ethical mobilisation” to help the poor and preserve human dignity. He urged them to promote human development by challenging injustice and resisting the “economy of...

  • A caring Church?

    Today’s readings: Acts 2, 14.36-41; 1 Peter 2, 20-25; John 10, 1-10. After Christ’s death, the Apostles’ experience and conviction that he was alive translated concretely in their having the feeling that it was his Spirit that was guiding them in...

  • ‘The Establishment is trying…’

    ‘The Establishment is trying…’

    “...to block Italy’s reform”. This statement was made by the young Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi in an interview in last Sunday’s Corriere della Sera. Renzi said: “It is clear that a large part of the ruling class is against us”, and among...

  • Quotes and news

    The US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has named 15 nations as guilty of severe violations of religious liberty. Eight of these nations already had this status. These are Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Saudi...

  • Devout sceptics

    Today’s readings: Acts 2, 14.22-28; 1 Peter 1, 17-21; Luke 24, 13-35. In his An Agnostic’s Apology, (1893) Sir Leslie Stephen describes human­kind as “dimly discerning light enough for our daily needs, but hopelessly differing whenever we attempt...

  • Chesterton’s social and economic vision

    Chesterton’s social and economic vision

    The late Sunday Times of Malta columnist, John Micallef (alias Roamer) was an avid Chestertonian and a firm believer that the ideas and writings of G.K. Chesterton are still of great relevance and need a much wider acceptance. In his enthusiasm to...

  • Quotes and news

    Addressing a meeting of Franciscan provincials in St Petersburg, Florida, Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Mara­diaga said: “We have to be prepared, since this beautiful but strange popularity [of Pope Francis] is beginning to strengthen adhe­rences, but...

  • Resurrection signposts

    Today’s readings: Acts 2, 42-47; 1 Peter 1, 3-9; John 20, 19-31. We may think of the times we live in today as extremely challenging for the faith and as exceptional insofar as the difficulties in witnessing to one’s belief are concerned. Not true.

  • The Church and the family

    The Church and the family

    Until recently, the family was considered sacred. Nowadays, those who still consider it to be so are convinced that the family is in crisis. For sure, the family is facing all types of problems: marriages not lasting; many prefer cohabiting; we...

  • Quotes and news

    A recent Lourdes meeting of the French bishops was characterised by the growing polarisation in the country and differences among the bishops following the introduction of gay marriage legislation last year. While some bishops took an active part...

  • The miracle behind John Paul’s sainthood

    The miracle behind John Paul’s sainthood

    Floribeth Mora Diaz does not care if people think she is crazy. She is convinced – and so is the Vatican – that she owes her life to a miracle cure because she prayed to the late Pope John Paul. “I have experienced the mercy of God in my own life...

  • Historic canonisation brings joy, controversy

    Historic canonisation brings joy, controversy

    Over 1m people flocking to Rome to witness late Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II become saints on Sunday Two giants of Roman Catholicism in the 20th century will become saints on Sunday at an unprecedented twin canonisation that has aroused...

  • Resilient believers

    Today’s readings: Acts 10, 34.37-43; Colossians 3, 1-4; John 20, 1-9. Every time Easter comes and we proclaim that Christ’s mission is accomplished and we have been redeemed through his death and resurrection, I always have the feeling inside of...

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