Good evening and welcome to Perspectives Daily.
The Vatican confirmed yesterday that the Pope is studying how to speed up the handling of clergy abuse cases as the C9 Cardinals wrap up their 23rd meeting with him yesterday.
The Pope and his international Council of Cardinals have been discussing the possibility of establishing regional tribunals around the world that would judge cases of clergy abuse thus decentralizing the role of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in handling such issues.
Vatican spokesperson Greg Burke confirmed that this is in fact, one of the options as the Pope himself mentioned this as a possibility during the flight back from Fatima last May. During that inflight press conference the Pope told reporters that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith was overwhelmed with many delayed cases because they have been piling up. But he added, that discussions about regional tribunals were still "in the planning stage."
Now according to the Vatican Insider, the establishment of regional tribunals would resolve the complication of dealing with cases in various countries, with different laws and customs, allowing for a faster process in examining those cases.
Greg Burke did emphasized however that if established, regional tribunals will always be under the authority of the doctrinal congregation. The Council of Cardinals will meet again in April.
We go to Ireland now where the organizers of the upcoming World Meeting of Families just released the first draft of the schedule of events for this much anticipated conference taking place in Dublin this summer.
Although the Vatican hasn’t officially confirmed the Pope’s attendance organizers unveiled the preliminary program for the Pastoral Congress which will include The festival of families on Aug. 25, followed by the final outdoor Mass in Dublin's Phoenix Park Aug. 26.
We recently had a chance to talk to some of the organizers about what the World Meeting of Families is all about and the vision they have for this international Catholic event. Here is what they had to say.
And for more information on the event, you can visit their website listed here.
In Germany now, the German bishops are continuing to develop a document on its recent decision on allowing non-Catholic spouses in mixed denomination marriages to receive Communion in limited cases.
The conference president Cardinal Reinhard Marx, announced last week that the bishops deem it possible in certain cases to allow the Eucharist to be given to non-Catholic spouses in a mixed-denomination marriage.
The document primarily addressed to pastors, is now undergoing revisions and the bishops have to agree on a final version which is expected to be published in the coming weeks.
And finally tonight some sad news from China where, Catholic churches are having its religious features forcibly removed by the government.
UCAN news is reporting that crosses, statues, bell towers and other exterior religious features in churches in northwest China, are being demolished by order of the communist authorities. A source told ucanews that, no reason has given for the action, but it is widely believed that the government does not view religious features as aligned with traditional chinese culture.
More than 15-hundred churches in China, both Catholic and Protestant, have been targeted for demolition or cross removals in recent years. Chinese authorities are increasingly using property regulations to remove crosses and demolish churches.
That is all that we have time for this week. Join us again on Monday, when I bring you more news and stories from the Perspectives of a Catholic Lens.