In an open letter, 11 German priests from the Cologne archdiocese have urged the church to take action regarding women's ordination and priestly celibacy.
A Mexican priest was found dead on Jan. 11: The body of Father Joaquin Hernandez Sifuentes, 42, was discovered in Parras de la Fuente, approximately 90 miles west of his working-class parish in Saltillo, while his vehicle was discovered abandoned in another state, the Coahuila state prosecutor's office said in a statement. At least 16 priests have been killed since December 2012, according to a count by Mexico's Catholic Multimedia Center.
Workshops in the Central African Republic promote healing: "Even though the situation we have now is difficult, with God's mercy, we can rebuild our country and reconcile with each other," said Hada Katidja Siba, one of the workshop participants.
Catholic Church in Turkey: A church leader in Turkey said Catholics are fearful about attending church after recent terrorist attacks, but insisted local Christians can count on government protection. "Although we can move around freely, people are understandably afraid of coming to Mass and there's been a drop in participation," said Bishop Ruben Tierrablanca Gonzalez, apostolic vicar of Istanbul.
New video released featuring kidnapped Catholic priest: A desperate videotaped appeal by a Catholic priest kidnapped in Yemen by Islamic extremists last March surfaced over the Christmas holidays, raising new hopes for his release but also concerns about his health and the state of efforts to free him.
The deletion of a paragraph about command responsibility affects Colombian prosecutors' ongoing investigations of generals in the "false positives" scandal in which the military is accused murdering civilians.
Peace talks in Congo: Catholic leaders in Congo said they hope for lasting peace, after the bishops' conference helped mediate a government-opposition accord. "We're all saluting this great step, the fruit of a dialogue arranged by the church," said Msgr. Leonard Santedi Kinkupu, rector of Kinshasa's Catholic University and former of secretary-general of the bishops' conference.
Transgender rights in India: The church in India's Kerala state has formed a group of priests, nuns and laypeople to respond to the pastoral needs of transgender people, reported ucanews.com. "The whole church has a big role to play," said Father Paul Madassery, who is in charge of pro-life support for the Kerala Catholic Bishops' Council. He noted Pope Francis had talked about the need to give "pastoral care to the LGBT community."
There is a general recognition of the energy generated by the methodology and theology of the Latin American church. Where does this sense of something new come from and what does it mean for our church? What we should not expect is a series of new authoritative pronouncements or dogmas, nor a denial of the existing ones. Rather, what we might expect is a new way of being church, a church very much involved in and related to the ordinary, daily life of our universe.
Chinese Catholic relations: Chinese Catholics must run their church independently — implying at arm’s length — from the Vatican, and guide believers on a "Sinicisation path", said a senior Communist Party official, as China and the Vatican seek to improve relations.