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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German, Polish bishops urge reconciliation to mark WWII anniversary

The German and Polish Catholic bishops' conferences released a joint statement marking the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II in the city of Wielun, Poland.

German church hosts Maximilian Kolbe mass at Auschwitz

Archbishop Ludwig Schick honored the Franciscan priest who was killed by Nazis, saying that his life and writings show that God "gives to all people, races and nations equal dignity and equal rights."

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.