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Erich Priebke, Nazi war criminal, gets funeral from Italian schismatic Catholic group to jeers of ‘murderer’ from protesters
Shouting “murderer” and “executioner,” hundreds of people jeered the remains of Nazi war criminal Erich Priebke as his coffin arrived Tuesday for a funeral Mass celebrated by a splinter Catholic group opposed to Vatican outreach to Jews.
Ever since Priebke died Friday at age 100, debate has raged over what to do with his remains, with Pope Francis’ vicar for Rome refusing him a funeral in a Catholic Church. Priebke participated in one of the worst massacres in German-occupied Italy during World War II, the slaughter of 335 civilians at the Areatine Caves outside Rome.

No one appeared ready to take him until, in a surreal turn, the schismatic Society of St. Pius X in the city of Albano Laziale stepped forward to celebrate the funeral Mass. (Photo: Franco Origlia/Getty Images)

Erich Priebke, Nazi war criminal, gets funeral from Italian schismatic Catholic group to jeers of ‘murderer’ from protesters

Shouting “murderer” and “executioner,” hundreds of people jeered the remains of Nazi war criminal Erich Priebke as his coffin arrived Tuesday for a funeral Mass celebrated by a splinter Catholic group opposed to Vatican outreach to Jews.

Ever since Priebke died Friday at age 100, debate has raged over what to do with his remains, with Pope Francis’ vicar for Rome refusing him a funeral in a Catholic Church. Priebke participated in one of the worst massacres in German-occupied Italy during World War II, the slaughter of 335 civilians at the Areatine Caves outside Rome.

No one appeared ready to take him until, in a surreal turn, the schismatic Society of St. Pius X in the city of Albano Laziale stepped forward to celebrate the funeral Mass. (Photo: Franco Origlia/Getty Images)

Church could ‘fall like a house of cards’ if it doesn’t temper stances on contraception, gays and abortion, Pope says
Pope Francis has warned that the Catholic Church’s moral structure might “fall like a house of cards” if it doesn’t balance its divisive rules about abortion, gays and contraception with the greater need to make the church a merciful, more welcoming place for all.
Six months into his papacy, Francis set out his vision for the church and his priorities as pope in a remarkably lengthy and self-critical interview with La Civilta Cattolica, the Italian Jesuit magazine.
“The church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently,” Francis said. “We have to find a new balance; otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel.” (TIZIANA FABI/AFP/Getty Images)

Church could ‘fall like a house of cards’ if it doesn’t temper stances on contraception, gays and abortion, Pope says

Pope Francis has warned that the Catholic Church’s moral structure might “fall like a house of cards” if it doesn’t balance its divisive rules about abortion, gays and contraception with the greater need to make the church a merciful, more welcoming place for all.

Six months into his papacy, Francis set out his vision for the church and his priorities as pope in a remarkably lengthy and self-critical interview with La Civilta Cattolica, the Italian Jesuit magazine.

“The church’s pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently,” Francis said. “We have to find a new balance; otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel.” (TIZIANA FABI/AFP/Getty Images)

Pope Francis urges protection of the environment, the poor during his installation Mass
Pope Francis urged princes, presidents, sheiks and thousands of ordinary people gathered for his installation Mass on Tuesday to protect the environment, the weakest and the poorest, mapping out a clear focus of his priorities as leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics.

The Argentine native is the first pope from Latin America and the first named for the 13th-century friar St. Francis of Assisi, whose life’s work was to care for nature, the poor and most disadvantaged. Echoing the gentleness for which St. Francis is known, the pope said a little bit of tenderness can “open up a horizon of hope.”

The Vatican said between 150,000-200,000 people attended the Mass, held under bright blue skies after days of chilly rain and featuring flag-waving fans from around the world. “Shalom!” read one banner, Hebrew for “Peace.” “Viva il Papa” read another, “Long live the pope.” In Buenos Aires, thousands of people packed the central Plaza di Mayo square to watch the celebration on giant TV screens.

Francis was interrupted by applause several times during his homily, including when he spoke of the need to protect the environment, serve one another with love and not allow “omens of destruction,” hatred, envy and pride to “defile our lives.” (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, Oded Balilty)

Pope Benedict XVI to resign due to ‘deteriorating’ health, the first pontiff to do so in nearly 600 yearsPope Benedict XVI announced Monday that he would resign on Feb. 28 because he was simply too infirm to carry on — the first pontiff to do so in nearly 600 years. The decision sets the stage for a conclave to elect a new pope before the end of March.The 85-year-old pope announced his decision in Latin during a meeting of Vatican cardinals on Monday morning.He emphasized that carrying out the duties of being pope — the leader of more than a billion Roman Catholics worldwide — requires “both strength of mind and body.”“After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths due to an advanced age are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry.” (Alexander Heimann/Getty Images)

Pope Benedict XVI to resign due to ‘deteriorating’ health, the first pontiff to do so in nearly 600 years
Pope Benedict XVI announced Monday that he would resign on Feb. 28 because he was simply too infirm to carry on — the first pontiff to do so in nearly 600 years. The decision sets the stage for a conclave to elect a new pope before the end of March.

The 85-year-old pope announced his decision in Latin during a meeting of Vatican cardinals on Monday morning.

He emphasized that carrying out the duties of being pope — the leader of more than a billion Roman Catholics worldwide — requires “both strength of mind and body.”

“After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths due to an advanced age are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry.” (Alexander Heimann/Getty Images)

Rise of the atheists: U.S. Protestants lose majority status as church attendance fallsFor the first time in its history, the United States does not have a Protestant majority, according to a new study.One reason: The number of Americans with no religious affiliation is on the rise.The percentage of Protestant adults in the U.S. has reached a low of 48 per cent, the first time that Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life has reported with certainty that the number has fallen below 50 per cent. The drop has long been anticipated and comes at a time when no Protestants are on the U.S. Supreme Court and the Republicans have their first presidential ticket with no Protestant nominees.

Rise of the atheists: U.S. Protestants lose majority status as church attendance falls
For the first time in its history, the United States does not have a Protestant majority, according to a new study.

One reason: The number of Americans with no religious affiliation is on the rise.

The percentage of Protestant adults in the U.S. has reached a low of 48 per cent, the first time that Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life has reported with certainty that the number has fallen below 50 per cent. The drop has long been anticipated and comes at a time when no Protestants are on the U.S. Supreme Court and the Republicans have their first presidential ticket with no Protestant nominees.

Anti-bullying bill subverts Catholic curriculum: groupA private group of Catholic parents is worried Ontario’s proposed anti-bullying legislation, Bill 13, will force the religious schools their children attend to change fundamental Church teachings on homosexual behaviour.“Our concern is that this anti-bullying legislation is meant to bring a change in the Catholic curriculum,” said Teresa Pierre, director of Ontario Catholic Parent Advocates, which wants to see Bill 13 dropped. “We are concerned about the potential erosion of Catholic principles.“The province’s goal is to change Catholic social teaching in our schools under the cause of ending homophobia. I think they’re following the momentum of a social agenda that has been at work for the past 10 years.”“We would not tolerate negative speech toward anyone based on his or her  sexual orientation in our schools,” she said. “Nevertheless, we don’t  want society telling the Church what is proper behaviour and what it  should teach.”  (Photo: Peter J. Thompson/National Post)

Anti-bullying bill subverts Catholic curriculum: group
A private group of Catholic parents is worried Ontario’s proposed anti-bullying legislation, Bill 13, will force the religious schools their children attend to change fundamental Church teachings on homosexual behaviour.

“Our concern is that this anti-bullying legislation is meant to bring a change in the Catholic curriculum,” said Teresa Pierre, director of Ontario Catholic Parent Advocates, which wants to see Bill 13 dropped. “We are concerned about the potential erosion of Catholic principles.

“The province’s goal is to change Catholic social teaching in our schools under the cause of ending homophobia. I think they’re following the momentum of a social agenda that has been at work for the past 10 years.”

“We would not tolerate negative speech toward anyone based on his or her sexual orientation in our schools,” she said. “Nevertheless, we don’t want society telling the Church what is proper behaviour and what it should teach.”  (Photo: Peter J. Thompson/National Post)