A Roman Observer: The Vatican published its annual financial statement last week, but it is not at all transparent or detailed and probably not completely accurate.
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.
Europe must agree on shared financial and social policies to offset the risk of another crisis that almost saw Greece quit the eurozone, said a European bishops' commission.
A Thursday statement issued by German Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich, president of the Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Community, expressed relief that a bailout package had prevented the "Grexit" -- the prospect of Greece abandoning the euro currency and returning to using the drachma.
The presidents of the bishops' conferences of Germany, France and Switzerland decided their preparation for the Synod of Bishops on the family could benefit from listening to theologians, biblical scholars and canon lawyers from all three countries, said the spokesman for the German bishops.
"It was a real fruitful discussion and very broad and that was important; it was not just about the hot topics" of divorce and homosexuality, Matthias Kopp, the spokesman, told Catholic News Service on Wednesday.
Simply Spirit: The Vatican's former hard-line freeze on discussing women's roles may at last be thawing out.
When Pope Francis last year effectively demoted U.S. Cardinal Raymond Burke by moving him out of a senior post in the Vatican to a largely ceremonial role as head of a Rome-based Catholic charity, it was viewed as a way to sideline one of the pope's most outspoken critics on the right.
But the move seems to have left Burke free to air his conservative -- and pointed -- views on efforts to change church practices.
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."
Pope Francis on Tuesday approved a set of new legislative norms that formalize his moves to bring financial accountability and transparency to the Catholic church's central bureaucracy.
"My hope is that he speaks very intensely on the family, that no matter where he goes everybody knows that he came here because of the international [meeting] on the family."
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.