The nation’s Roman Catholic bishops have approved, by a vote of 191 to 1, a policy statement condemning embryonic stem cell research. Their seven-page statement calls such research “a gravely immoral act.” The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops took the vote June 13 at its semiannual meeting, held in Orlando, Florida.
The Catholic archbishop of Kansas City, Kansas, said he hopes Governor Kathleen Sebelius will abide by his request for her to stop receiving communion before he has to take further punitive measures because she supports abortion rights.
Americans are more likely than Europeans to own and read a Bible, but Poles are most likely to have a basic knowledge of scripture, reports the Vatican, citing preliminary findings from a survey made for a synod of bishops in October.
Benedict XVI has a reputation as a blunt, rigorous teacher of doctrine, so it was perhaps surprising that the highlight of his much publicized visit to the U.S. was an unexpected private pastoral act—his meeting with people who had been sexually abused by Catholic priests.
“In hope we were saved” (Spe salvi facti sumus). Pope Benedict’s encyclical Spe salvi, released in late 2007, begins with this quote from Paul’s letter to the Romans (8:24). Benedict goes on immediately to speak of redemption: “According to the Christian faith, “redemption”—salvation—is not simply a given.
Archbishop Alfred Hughes of New Orleans is asking his Catholic flock, including those far from the flood zone, to prepare for a reorganization of Catholic life befitting a church deeply damaged by Hurricane Katrina.
Research indicates that within the next 12 years, the number of Muslims worshiping at mosques in Britain will outstrip that of Catholics attending mass. According to London’s Daily Telegraph March 25, the study by Britain’s Christian Research organization estimates that the number of Catholics attending Sunday mass will have dropped to 679,000 by 2020.
Pope Benedict XVI has called for greater consistency in the granting of annulments, suggesting that Catholic church authorities in some countries have been too lax in declaring marriages void. The pope apparently did not cite U.S. dioceses, though they handle more than half of all annulments worldwide.