National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Warsaw, Poland

Changes in family life challenge Europe’s Catholic church


When Catholic bishops arrive in Rome this October to debate “the vocation and mission of the family,” most will have carefully diagnosed the situation in their own dioceses.

That task may well have proved hardest in Europe, where traditional notions of family life are being widely challenged. Yet while some Catholics think the church is losing ground in consequence, others are more optimistic.

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.

Polish bishops vow to resist change at synod on the family

Poland's Catholic bishops pledged to resist changes to Catholic teaching on marriage and family life at October's synod on the family at the Vatican and rejected demands for reform by German-speaking Catholics.

"Polish church delegates will certainly stick to the understanding of Popes Paul VI and John Paul II," said Msgr. Jozef Kloch, spokesman for the Polish bishops' conference.

Cardinal says bishops' conferences cannot go it alone on doctrine

The prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has advised bishops' conferences not to take "doctrinal and disciplinary decisions" on issues that rightly fall under the magisterium of the church.

Cardinal Gerhard Muller said while bishops' conferences have authority on some matters, "they don't constitute a magisterium within the magisterium, independently of the pope and out of communion with other bishops."

Laicized Polish priest gets seven years in jail for child sexual abuse

The Polish bishops' conference defended its handling of sexual abuse by clergy after a former priest was jailed in connection with the case of Jozef Wesolowski, the laicized former nuncio to the Dominican Republic.

"The Catholic Church is the only entity in Poland to have adopted guidelines on pedophilia," Fr. Jozef Kloch, conference spokesman, told Catholic News Service.

Catholics join in marking 70th anniversary of Auschwitz liberation

Catholic leaders joined in commemorations of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp, where 1.2 million mostly Jewish prisoners were killed by the Nazis during World War II.

"When we ask how God was present in the hell of Auschwitz, we must remember God's last word is one of peace," said Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz of Krakow, Poland.


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September 25-October 8, 2015


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