Archive for January 11th, 2016

Part 1: In new interview, Francis pushes for a church big on mercy, tough on law / National Catholic Reporter

Pope Francis has offered his most detailed outline yet for the role of the Catholic church in the modern era, saying in a new book-length interview (published in three parts) the church needs to follow Jesus’ example more closely and seek to ‘enter the darkness’ in which many of today’s people live.

“The pontiff has also responded sharply to church leaders who have criticized his focus on the boundless nature of God’s mercy and who suggest that the focus obscures church teachings.

“Francis compares such criticisms to ‘angry mutterings’ that Jesus also heard ‘from those who are only ever used to having things fit into their preconceived notions and ritual purity instead of letting themselves be surprised by reality, by a greater love or a higher standard.’

“In the new book, titled ‘The Name of God is Mercy and to be released Tuesday (Nov. 12), the pope states: ‘Jesus goes and heals and integrates the marginalized, the ones who are outside the city, the ones outside the encampment. In so doing, he shows us the way.'”

By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story. Also by Joshua J. McElwee, “Part 2: The Pope’s personal encounters with mercy” and “Part 3: Francis explains ‘who am I to judge?'”

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Pope Benedict’s brother says he was unaware of abuse / The New York Times

The Rev. Georg Ratzinger, the elder brother of former Pope Benedict XVI, said in an interview published Sunday (Jan. 10) that he had no knowledge that young boys in an internationally known German church choir he directed for 30 years had suffered sexual abuse.

“‘I did not hear anything at all about sexual abuse,’ Father Ratzinger, 91, told a Bavarian regional newspaper, Passauer Neue Presse. ‘I was not aware that any sexual abuse was taking place at that time.’

“Reports of physical and sexual abuse in the choir, the Regensburger Domspatzen in Bavaria, first emerged in 2010 as part of a nationwide wave of revelations linking officials of the Roman Catholic Church in Germany to the mistreatment of children.”

By Melissa Eddy, The New York Times — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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