#ShortNews: Court paves way for sale of Los Angeles convent to Katy Perry

A California judge has cleared the way for the sale of a convent by the Los Angeles archdiocese to entertainer Katy Perry.

Judge Stephanie Bowick ruled that a previous sale of the property, by community of women religious who once lived there, had been invalid because it did not have the written approval of the archdiocese. The Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, who have vacated the property, have sought to block the sale to Katy Perry, because they wish to control the proceeds from the sale and because they disapprove of Perry’s public activities.


#ShortNews: Pope tells European leaders: solidarity will overcome populism, ‘fruit of egotism’

Addressing 27 European heads of state on March 24, Pope Francis said that the founders of the European Union rightly understood that “the heart of the European political project could only be man himself.

In 1957, the Pontiff recalled, European leaders were “full of hope and expectation, enthusiasm and apprehension.” The founders of the European community, he said, had a goal that went beyond economic alliance:

The founding fathers remind us that Europe is not a conglomeration of rules to obey, or a manual of protocols and procedures to follow. It is a way of life, a way of understanding man based on his transcendent and inalienable dignity, as something more than simply a sum of rights to defend or claims to advance.

Unlike his predecessors, Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, who had frequently warned against the lost of Europe’s shared Christian identity, Pope Francis did not focus on that theme. He devoted only one paragraph of his lengthy speech to the Christian heritage, quoting Alcide de Gasperi, one of the principal founders of the European community, who said that “at the origin of European civilization there is Christianity.”

In the remainder of the speech the Pontiff spoke more generally about the foundation of European society. He said that the “pillars” of the European community are “the centrality of man, effective solidarity, openness to the world, the pursuit of peace and development, openness to the future.”


#ShortNews: In Africa, faith is a ‘happy matter,’ says Cardinal Arinze

Nigerian Cardinal Francis Arinze said that he is not considered a “conservative” in Africa, during an interview with John Allen of Crux.

Cardinal Arinze drew sharp distinctions between the prevailing attitudes of Africans and Westerners during the interview, which took place during a Notre Dame conference on African theology. The cardinal explained: “In Europe and North America, the culture is secularistic. Religion is treated as a private matter, and people seem to apologize for their religion.”

Cardinal Arinze, who is the retired prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, said that “religion is a happy matter” in most African societies.