Christians have a role in countering European populism, but as European politics fragment, not everyone is convinced populism can be deflected by condemnations.
The editor of the highest-circulation Dutch Catholic weekly said a "general sense of relief" in the church after March 15 elections was tempered by knowledge that many Catholics had supported the losing candidate. Prime Minister Mark Rutte's center-right People's Party claimed victory with 21 percent of votes, over 13 percent gained by the nationalist Party for Freedom, headed by Geert Wilders, which has advocated banning the Quran and closing mosques and Islamic schools.
Many European Catholics are unsure which direction their spiritual leaders are now likely to take on key issues such as the granting of Communion to the divorced and remarried.
Church leaders and organizations in Africa, Europe and the United States said it would be disastrous if U.S. President Donald Trump issued an executive order telling companies they no longer had to disclose whether their firms use "conflict minerals" from Congo.
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.
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.
Catholic martyrs beatified in Laos: Catholic martyrs from various nationalities have been beatified in Laos, in the first such gesture toward communist regime victims in Southeast Asia. A website statement by the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate order said all 17 martyrs had died at communist hands from 1954 to 1970 before Laos came under full control of the Maoist Pathet Lao regime in 1975.
Across Germany, Poland, France and Russia, bishops, prelates and other commentators offered contrasting outlooks on Donald Trump's U.S. presidential election.
Gender Theory: Cardinal Willem Eijk of Utrecht, Netherlands, said a papal encyclical or other magisterial document "might appear to be necessary" to counter the spread of the new theory that gender can be determined by personal choice rather than by biology.
Coptic Catholic church: Egypt passed a law codifying the rights of Christians to build and renovate churches