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).
In Poland, scholars and leaders weigh in after a Catholic newspaper ran a priest's attack on leaders of both church and state, amid new data showing a drop in Mass attendance, and ongoing criticism of the church's ties with Poland's government.
Making Peace: In places like Congo and the Central African Republic, church leaders have been deeply involved in peacemaking, in a mark of the engagement fostered by Pope Francis.
The president of Croatia's bishops' conference condemned "unjust verdicts" at a United Nations war crimes trial, after a general publicly committed suicide when his appeal was rejected.
All over Europe, local leaders seek to adapt structurally and pastorally to falling numbers and dwindling participation. Elsewhere too, clustering and merging parishes have offered a potential solution; and while they have been tackled differently across the continent, those behind the changes are determined to see them in a positive light.