#ShortNews: Pope reflects on parable of weeds and wheat

“With this image Jesus tells is that in this world the good and the evil are so intertwined that it is impossible to separate and extirpate all the evil,” the Pope told the crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square. “God alone can do this, and He will do so in the Last Judgment.”

“The present situation, with its ambiguities and its composite character, is the field of the freedom, the field of the freedom of Christians, in which the difficult exercise of discernment between good and evil takes place,” Pope Francis continued, as he called for “decision and patience”:

The decision is to want to be the good seed—we all want this, with all our strength, and, hence, distancing ourselves from the Evil One and his seductions. Patience means to prefer a Church that is leaven in the dough, who does not fear soiling her hands washing the clothes of her children, rather than a Church of “pure ones” that pretends to judge before the time who is and who is not in the Kingdom of God.

Christ “tells us that the boundary line between the good and the evil passes in the heart of every person, passes in the heart of every one of us, that is, we are all sinners,” the Pope added. “With Baptism, He has also given us Confession, because we are always in need of being forgiven for our sins.”


#ShortNews: 125th anniversary of Catholic faith in Zambia

The bishops of Zambia, joined by the apostolic nuncio, recently celebrated a Mass marking the 125th anniversary of the Catholic faith in Zambia.

The nation of 15.5 million is now 75% Protestant and 20% Catholic.

“The Catholic Church has continued to be a strong and reliable partner with government in not only the delivery of social services but also in advocating for integral development,” said Inonge Wina, the nation’s vice president.

Archbishop Telesphore Mpundu, president of the episcopal conference, warned against tribalism, regionalism, and attempts to link the Church to partisan politics.

#ShortNews: Germany: 162,000 Catholics left Church, 537 parishes closed in 2016

162,093 Catholics left the Church in Germany during 2016—down from 181,925 in 2015, according to statistics released by the bishops’ conference on July 21.

28.5% of Germans are Catholic, and the Catholic population stands at 23,582,000, down from 27,533,000 in 1996.

537 parishes closed in 2016. Over the past two decades, over 3,000 parishes have closed, with the number declining from 13,329 to 10,280.

There are now 13,856 priests in Germany, down from 14,087 the previous year. The Sunday Mass attendance rate was 10.2% in 2016, down from 10.4% in 2015.