*** DEBUG END ***

World news in brief

24 November 2023


The Pope at his weekly General Audience in St Peter's Square, Rome, on Wednesday

The Pope at his weekly General Audience in St Peter's Square, Rome, on Wednesday

Safeguarding is ‘not a negotiable matter’

WORK to protect children and vulnerable people from abuse is “not a negotiable matter”, the Pope has said. He was addressing the first national meeting, held on Saturday, of diocesan and regional representatives of the Italian Church’s Child Protection Services and Listening Centres, Vatican News reports. “We cannot stop in our action to protect minors and vulnerable people and, at the same time, to combat any form of abuse, whether sexual, of power, or of conscience.” This was the responsibility of “the entire community”, and “no silence or concealment can be accepted on the subject of abuse.” He spoke of the importance of listening to victims, and prosecuting the guilty. “What you are doing is precious both for the victims and for the entire ecclesial community,” he said. Last year, it was reported that about two-thirds of dioceses in Italy had set up listening centres, and 20,000 people had taken part in safeguarding training (News, 25 November 2022).

Pope responds to German theologians’ concerns

POPE FRANCIS has expressed concerns about steps taken in the Roman Catholic Church in Germany that “threaten to move further away from the common path of the universal Church”. He was responding, on 10 November, to a letter from four women scholars in Germany who had withdrawn from the German Synodal Path. The Path concluded this year, having considered the blessing of same-sex couples, priestly celibacy, clerical power, abuse, and the possibility of the priestly ordination of women, among other issues. The women expressed particular concern about proposals to establish a synodal committee “aimed at preparing the introduction of a directive and decision-making council”. In his response, the Pope said that such a body “cannot be harmonised with the sacramental structure of the Catholic Church” and had been prohibited by the Holy See, which has emphasised that the synodal process cannot make doctrinal decisions. He thanked the women for their work and “witness of faith”.


Browse Church and Charity jobs on the Church Times jobsite

Forthcoming Events


Keeping faith in Journalism: a Church Times Webinar

11 March 2024 | 6pm GMT

An expert panel discusses trust between the media and the public

Online Tickets available


Church Times/RSCM:

Festival of Faith and Music

26 - 28 April 2024

See the full programme on the festival website. 

Early bird tickets available


Green Church Awards

Closing date: 30 June 2024

Read more details about the awards


Welcome to the Church Times

​To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)