22 pastoral workers killed in 2013: Fides

agenziaFides, the agency of he Pontifical Mission Societies, announced that in 2013 twenty-two pastoral workers were killed worldwide, mostly–19–priests. This is nearly double the number from 2012 when 13 workers were killed.

The area most affected by the killings is Latin America, especially Columbia. Here’s the breakdown:

19 priests, 1 religious sister, 2 laypersons. In America: 15 priests (7 in Colombia, 4 in Mexico, 1 in Brazil, 1 in Venezuela, 1 in Panama, 1 in Haiti) were killed; in Africa: 1 priest was killed in Tanzania, 1 religious sister in Madagascar, 1 lay person in Nigeria were killed; in Asia 1 priest in India and 1 in Syria were killed; in the Philippines 1 lay person was killed; in Europe a priest was killed in Italy.

Fides stated that the majority of pastoral workers were killed in particularly violent attacks. Such attacks, the agency said, are “a sign of the climate of moral decline, economic and cultural poverty, which generates violence and disregard for human life.”

In his Angelus address on Nov. 17 Pope Francis called for prayer for those who suffer for the faith: “Let us think about our many Christian brothers and sisters who are suffering persecution for their faith. There are so many, perhaps more now than in past centuries,”

For the Fides report, click here.

For the Zenit News Agency summary, click here.

Pope curbs conferral of “monsignor” title

Pope curbs conferral of “monsignor” title

The Catholic News Service (Jan. 6, 2014) reported that Pope Francis has decided to limit the conferral of the honor of “monsignor” to secular or diocesan priests who are at least 65 years old. In addition, of the three grades of the title––apostolic protonotary, honorary prelate of His Holiness, and chaplain of His Holiness––only the last will be available to “worthy” diocesan priests who meet the age requirement. The report notes that nunciatures around the world were notified of the decision on Dec. 30 by the Vatican Secretariat of State along instructions to inform local bishops.

The change is not retroactive and does not affect Vatican officials or members of religious orders. The Vatican Insider (Jan. 4, 2014), the

Internet service of the Italian journal LaStampa, states that those who have already been conferred the honor will not lose their title. The CNS report goes on to note that there has been no change regarding the granting of ecclesiastical honors to laypeople.

For the CNS report, click here.

For the Vatican Insider report, click here.

For the National Catholic Register (Jan. 6, 2014) report, click here.

NCR correspondent John Allen, Jr. accepts position at The Boston Globe

Alan Jr.Photo courtesy of NCRNational Catholic Reporter senior correspondent John Allen, Jr. will begin a new position as associate editor of The Boston Globe on Feb. 1. The announcement was made concurrently by NCR and The Boston Globe on Jan. 7.
According to both announcements, The Boston Globe is exploring the launch of a freestanding publication devoted to Catholicism.

In a conversation with the Catholic News Agency (Jan. 9, 2014), Allen said, “What I really hope we can accomplish is to offer a model of what serious coverage of the Catholic Church will look like in a major secular news outlet.

“Fundamentally, what I hope is that this will lift up an example of what getting this story right would look like, so that in the end it’s not just The Boston Globe doing it, but I hope it has a kind of leavening effect in the media business generally.”

He will continue reporting for the NCR, including coverage from Rome till the end of January.

Allen will be one of the featured speakers at the 46th annual NFPC Convocation April 28-May 1 in Atlanta. The theme of the assembly is “Renewing the Heart of the Church.”

For the NCR report, click here.

For The Boston Globe report, click here.

For the CNA summary

Resources for Ongoing Formation of Priests for the New Evangelization

USCCB LogoThe US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations has asked NFPC to pass on information about New Evangelization resources available for priests in regard to implementation of the committee’s theme for 2014 – The Sacrament of Confession. Click here for a list of resources.