National Catholic Reporter

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Polish bishops condemn IVF law, warn Catholics to not use process

Poland's Catholic bishops condemned a law allowing state funding for in vitro fertilization, which was signed into law Wednesday by outgoing President Bronislaw Komorowski despite a seven-year church campaign to block it.

"As with abortion, Catholics cannot use in vitro -- among other reasons because the cost of the birth of a single human person is the destruction of other unborn children," the bishops' conference said.

Vatican adviser: Married priests, women deacons would add 'dynamism'


"Married priests and women deacons should be reintroduced as soon as possible. That would bring new dynamism to the church," Dietmar Winkler, the future dean of Salzburg University's Catholic theological faculty, told the Austrian daily Salzburger Nachrichten in an interview during the Salzburg Festival.

He said he could not see why men who feel called to the priesthood should be forced to remain celibate. Asceticism, which religious feel called to, is a charism that could not be forced on people, Winkler said.

Patriarch calls lives of Middle East Christians 'bad' and 'less bad'

Christians in the Middle East are facing difficulties ranging from "bad" to "less bad," said Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal of Jerusalem.

While describing the condition of the Palestinians in the West Bank as "bad," he said their situation is better than the challenges faced by Christians in Syria and Iraq, especially those who have been forced to flee homes in the fact of Islamic State militants.

Twal pushed again for an end to hostilities throughout the Holy Land and the Middle East.

African clergy to protest Obama's gay-rights 'agenda' on trip

Anti-gay activists, including conservative clerics, traditional elders and politicians, are threatening to resist any push by President Barack Obama for gay rights during his Kenya visit later this week, with tactics that range from throwing rotten eggs to marching naked and boycotting his speeches.

German cardinal says arson attacks on immigrant hostels 'sow hatred'


A German Catholic church leader condemned an arson attack that destroyed a reception center for asylum seekers.

Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich-Freising, president of the German bishops' conference, said the attack revealed that "some groups" were trying to "sow hatred" against migrants.

The July 16 incident in the Bavarian town of Reichertshofen, is the latest in a wave of attacks against hostels for asylum seekers as anti-immigration sentiments rise in Germany in the face of unprecedented numbers of asylum applications.

Christians grow weary over rising threat of kidnapping in Syria, Iraq


Arab Christians are viewing with growing concern and revulsion an uptick in kidnappings of both their clergy and civilians as violence worsens in Syria and Iraq.

In mid-July, another Catholic clergyman went missing in Syria, making him possibly the eighth clerical victim of apparent abduction in the war-ravaged country.

Melkite Fr. Tony Boutros, 50, and his Muslim driver were first reported missing by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.


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In This Issue

September 25-October 8, 2015


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