Austrian Catholics start year of celebrations for Emperor Maximilian

The Austrian Catholic Church will officially begin a year of honor Jan. 11 to remember the founder of Austria's Catholic Habsburg Empire, Maximilian I, to mark the 500th anniversary of his death.

German cardinal urges change in tradition ahead of celibacy discussion

German Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich and Freising called for change in long-standing church tradition as the German bishops' conference prepares for a workshop debate to "review" the issue of celibacy for priests.

German prosecutors launch crackdown on church sex abuse

German police and prosecutors are launching investigations into clergy sexual abuse following the Sept. 12 leak of a report containing evidence of 3,700 alleged child sex abuse cases in the Catholic Church over a 68-year-period.

Hearing examines China's policy on religion, new agreement with Vatican

Debate continues about whether the Vatican's provisional agreement with China will improve relations between the Chinese state and members of religious groups, which have had a long history of conflict.