“Take care, brothers, that none of you may have an evil and unfaithful heart, so as to forsake the living God.” This is the harsh “message”, the “warning” as Pope Francis calls it, that the author of the Letter to the Hebrews addresses to the Christian community in today’s liturgy. The Pope warns that the Christian community, in all its components – “priests, nuns, bishops” – runs this danger of “slipping towards a perverse heart”.
We can ask ourselves: Do I have a hard heart, do I have a closed heart? Do I let my heart grow? Am I afraid that it will grow? And we always grow with trials, with difficulties, we grow as we all grow as children: we learn to walk [by] falling. From crawling to walking, how many times we have fallen! But we grow through difficulties. Hardness. And, what amounts to the same thing, being closed. But who remains in this? “Who are they, father?” They are the fainthearted. Faintheartedness is an ugly attitude in a Christian, he lacks the courage to live. He is closed off…
Read the full article: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope-francis/mass-casa-santa-marta/2019-01/word-of-god-is-not-ideology-it-is-life-that-makes-us-grow.html
Hell broke loose on the Christians of Kandhamal on August 25, 2008, after Hindu extremists blamed Christians for the August 23 murder of Hindu leader Swami Lakshmanananda Saraswati, even though Maoist rebels claimed the assassination.
Fr. Singh said that ten years after the violence, the victims, their families and survivors still await justice. In addition, 7 Adivasi Dalit (indigenous of low cast origin) Christians who were falsely accused of the murder of Lakshmanananda, are behind bars for the last 10 years under life imprisonment. On the contrary, not a single person who committed “heinous crimes” such as murder, gang rape, arson, looting and destruction of churches and homes, is behind bars. Besides, Fr. Singh said, there is also a huge amount of intimidation and threat against justice and the Christians.
Fr. Singh pointed out that the 2007 and 2008 violence on Christians was the worst in past 300 years in India.
Hundreds of innocent people were killed or injured in the violence, nearly 7000 homes were reduced to ashes and 395 churches were demolished. This went on for 6 to 7 months but what Fr. Singh regrets most is that 10 years after the violence, people still haven’t been able to return to their homes and villages.
Read full article: https://www.vaticannews.va/en/church/news/2019-01/india-kandhamal-odisha-antichristian-violence-justice-raikia.html
Amid turmoil in the Roman Catholic Church in the ongoing fallout from priest sex abuse scandals, a record-low 31% of U.S. Catholics rate the honesty and ethical standards of the clergy as “very high” or “high.” This marks an 18-percentage-point drop between 2017 and 2018, when more sexual abuse allegations against priests surfaced and questions arose about the Vatican’s response.
In response to this crisis in the Catholic Church, Pope Francis will convene a meeting of Catholic bishops from around the world in February to address the issue. This is the first meeting of its kind, and the pope has said it is “a further step in the Church’s efforts to shed full light on the facts.” The outcome of that meeting may very well be a deciding factor for many Catholics who are questioning the future of their church.
Still, despite the turmoil, the percentage of Americans who self-identify as Catholic has been stable and a slim majority of Catholics still consider religion to be very important in their lives. That only one-third of Catholics who consider religion very important to them rate the clergy’s ethical standards highly seems to show that they are able to separate the institution from their own personal faith.
Read full article: https://news.gallup.com/poll/245858/catholics-faith-clergy-shaken.aspx