Zita Ballinger Fletcher is a journalist and the author of more than 10 fiction and nonfiction books. She writes on military history, genealogy and international affairs and has written articles for many publications including World War II History magazine, America's 1st Freedom magazine and the Gloucestershire Family History Society Journal (U.K.). She is fluent in German and has reported extensively on Germany's Catholic Church for Catholic News Service.

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Cardinal Marx: Church must have serious debate on celibacy, role of women

The Catholic Church in Germany is at a point where serious debate — including on priestly celibacy and the role of women — and openness to doing things in a new way must be encouraged, said the president of the German bishops' conference.

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.