Jonathan Luxmoore is a freelance writer covering church news from Oxford, England, and Warsaw, Poland, and serving as a staff commentator for Polish Radio. He studied modern history at the University of Oxford and international relations at the London School of Economics and was a co-founder of the Polish chapter of Transparency International, the world's largest anti-corruption nongovernmental organization. His coverage of religious affairs during the transition to democracy in Eastern Europe won five Catholic Press Association awards, and his books include The Vatican and the Red Flag (London/New York, 1999), Rethinking Christendom: Europe's Struggle for Christianity (Leominster, 2005) and a two-volume study of communist-era martyrdom, The God of the Gulag (Gracewing, 2016).
Despite high-level interchurch closeness between pope and patriarch, on the local level "the Catholic Church still faces great challenges merely building bridges with Russian society."
Germany's Catholic Church said it would review its employment system after top European judges warned it could violate anti-discrimination laws by requiring staffers to be religious.
The president of the Polish bishops' conference cautioned Polish and Hungarian political leaders against fostering nationalism and xenophobia as both countries face European Union sanctions over their alleged authoritarian direction.
Francis at Five Years: Over the five years since his March 2013 election, as the first pope of the global south, Francis has left the world in little doubt where his church stands on key contemporary issues.