Jesus In Beijing: How Christianity Is Transforming China And Changing The Global Balance Of Power

Dr. David Aikman, veteran TIME magazine senior correspondent and Beijing bureau chief details the story of China’s enormously rapid conversion to Christianity and what this change means to the global balance of power|CRIMSON TAZVINZWA||

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Top Catholic cardinal admits church destroyed documents on clergy sexual abuse

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Nun condemns Vatican over clergy sex abuse
Nun condemns Vatican over clergy sex abuse
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Source: CNN

Catholic cardinal: Potential proof of abuse destroyed 02:27
Rome (CNN)In a remarkable admission, German Cardinal Reinhard Marx said Saturday that documents that could have contained proof of clergy sexual abuse in the Catholic Church were destroyed or never drawn up.

“Files that could have documented the terrible deeds and named those responsible were destroyed or not even created,” said Marx, the archbishop of Munich and president of the German Bishops’ Conference.
“The stipulated procedures and processes for the prosecution offenses were deliberately not complied with,” he added, “but instead canceled and overridden.

Opening summit, Pope urges ‘concrete, effective measures’ on abuse

ROME: Has The Vatican finally find its divine moral voice? Pope Francis resolves cleaning up the clergy sex abuse infested church

ROME – Over the years, the Vatican has demonstrated a fairly remarkable capacity from a PR point of view to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory – striving to offer the world good news about the pope and the Church, only to find a way to step on that story and turn it into something else.

One thinks, for instance, about a wave of sexual abuse scandals that swept Ireland and then much of Europe in 2009 and 2010, which actually triggered real reform in Catholicism and revealed Pope Benedict XVI as an honest-to-God change agent.

Nevertheless, that storyline was basically hijacked when Italian Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Vatican’s former Secretary of State and Dean of the College of Cardinals, called the complaints of abuse survivors “petty gossip” during an Easter Sunday homily.

It’s still early in the game, but there have already been hints during this week’s high-profile summit on clerical sexual abuse that the Vatican may find ways to take our eyes off the prize this time too.

Pope Francis urges people to forgo materialism for simpler life

Francis celebrated a Christmas Eve Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica, opening a busy week for the pope that includes a Christmas Day message and blessing, a Dec. 26 prayer, New Year’s Eve vespers and a Jan. 1 Mass.

During his homily Monday, Francis lamented that many people find their life’s meaning in possessions when the biblical story of Christ’s birth emphasizes that God appeared to people who were poor when it came to earthly possessions, but faithful.

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National Geographic’s “Pope Francis and the New Vatican”26 PHOTOS

“Standing before the manger, we understand that the food of life is not material riches but love, not gluttony but charity, not ostentation but simplicity,” Francis said, dressed in simple white vestments.

“An insatiable greed marks all human history, even today, when paradoxically a few dine luxuriantly while all too many go without the daily bread needed to survive,” he said.

Francis has focused on the world’s poor and downtrodden, its refugees and marginalized, during his five-year papacy. The Catholic Church’s first pope from Latin American instructed the Vatican to better care for the homeless around Rome, opening a barber shop, shower and medical clinic for them in the embracing colonnade of St. Peter’s Square.

To extend his outreach this Christmas, Francis sent his trusted secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, to Iraq to celebrate with the country’s long-suffering Christians.

Catholics are among the religious minorities targeted for Islamic State of Syria and Iraq (ISIS)-inspired violence that has driven tens of thousands from their homes.

Parolin met Monday in Baghdad with Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi. He is scheduled in the coming days to travel to northern Iraq to meet with Kurdish leaders in Irbil and to celebrate Mass in Qaraqosh in the Nineveh plains, near Mosul, according to the Vatican.

The Vatican has for years expressed concern about the exodus of Christians from communities that have existed since the time of Jesus, and urged them to return when security conditions permit.