Posts tagged ‘global news’

#ShortNews: Christians are part of the same dating pool as everyone else.

Many Christians’ expectations about marriage have dimmed. Whereas only 37 percent of the least religious never-married adults in the 2014 Relationships in America survey said they would prefer instead to be married, 56 percent of the most religious never-married adults said the same. But 56 is a far cry from 80 or 90 percent.

Young Christians are suffering the bruising effects of participating in the same wider mating market as the rest of the country. Many Orthodox Jews and Mormons have eschewed the wider mating market, while Christians in their 20s and 30s have not. These Christians’ narratives are seldom radically different from nonreligious Americans.


#ShortNews: Is This the Face of Mary Magdalene?

Scientists were able to reconstruct a face based on an ancient skull—whether it belonged to the Biblical figure remains a mystery.

From the information, scientists were able to glean that the skull belonged to a woman who died at around 50 years old, and who was of Mediterranean descent. The shape of the nose and other features were determined using trigonometric ratios based on characteristics consistent with the skull’s age, sex, and ethnicity.

The facial reconstruction is based on computer modeling of the skull and depicts a woman with a pointed nose, high cheekbones, and a round face. For those who believe these are the bones of Mary Magdalene, this is the face of one of the Catholic Church’s most infamous women.


#ShortNews: no Christ without a Cross, no Cross without a Christ

On the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, Pope Francis during his homily at daily Mass preached on the “mystery of love” that is the Cross of Christ and warned against two spiritual temptations related to it.

The first temptation, he said, is to think of Christ without a cross or to reduce him a “spiritual teacher”. The second, he said, is to think of a cross without Christ or to remove all hope in a type of “spiritual masochism”.

Pope Francis said the Liturgy speaks of the Cross as a noble and faithful tree, pointing out that it is not always easy to understand the Cross. “We advance in the mystery of love only through contemplation,” he said.

#ShortNews: The Church in Pakistan proclaims the Year of the Eucharist

As explained to Fides, the idea was born of the participation of a Pakistani delegation at the International Eucharistic Congress which was celebrated in Cebu, Philippines. The theme is from the Gospel of John: “I am the bread of life” and the solemn inauguration will be held from 24 to 26 November in Karachi, with an Eucharistic Celebration in St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

The lives of Christians in Pakistan, concludes Mgr. Travas, “is already a Eucharistic life when in the face of sufferings, violence or unjustified discrimination, one thanks and praises God. But this strength and spirit can only come by putting the Eucharist as the source and culmination of individual life, of every believer who lives in our beloved country”.

As confirmed to Fides, the month of August saw the killing of three Christians in Pakistan, due to disputes related to matters of property ownership but also of religious character”. In the face of every form of violence, ours is a Eucharistic attitude: we do not respond with evil but by entrusting our suffering to God, accepting his will, blessing and thanking, praying for peace”.

#ShortNews: America’s Changing Religious Identity

The American religious landscape is undergoing a dramatic transformation. White Christians, once the dominant religious group in the U.S., now account for fewer than half of all adults living in the country. Today, fewer than half of all states are majority white Christian. As recently as 2007, 39 states had majority white Christian populations. These are two of the major findings from this report, which is based on findings from PRRI’s 2016 American Values Atlas, the single largest survey of American religious and denominational identity ever conducted. This landmark report is based on a sample of more than 101,000 Americans from all 50 states and includes detailed information about their religious affiliation, denominational ties, political affiliation, and other important demographic attributes.

#ShortNews: China to become ‘world’s most Christian nation’ within 15 years

Officially, the People’s Republic of China is an atheist country but that is changing fast as many of its 1.3 billion citizens seek meaning and spiritual comfort that neither communism nor capitalism seem to have supplied.

Prof Yang, a leading expert on religion in China, believes that number will swell to around 160 million by 2025. That would likely put China ahead even of the United States, which had around 159 million Protestants in 2010 but whose congregations are in decline.

By 2030, China’s total Christian population, including Catholics, would exceed 247 million, placing it above Mexico, Brazil and the United States as the largest Christian congregation in the world, he predicted.

#ShortNews: Pope: “Joy is a sign of vocation”

At his weekly public audience on August 30, Pope Francis said that “the joy of the encounter with Jesus” is the first indication of one’s vocation.

Pope Francis based his catechetical talk on the St. John’s account of Christ’s call to the first apostles (Jn 1:39). He remarked that the encounter remained always vivid in the apostles’ memories; the Gospel mentions the time of day when it took place.


Regarding the call for all Christians to be evangelists, the Pope said that the work is not carried out “by honing the instruments of rhetoric.” The key, he said, is “keeping in our eyes the glimmer of true happiness.” He encouraged young people especially to “cultivate healthy utopias.”

Pope Francis insisted on the importance of maintaining a hopeful attitude in order to attract others:

Please, I advise you: let us not listen to those who are disappointed and unhappy; let us not listen to those who cynically advise us not to cultivate hope in life; let us not trust in those who dampen every enthusiasm at the outset, saying that no enterprise is worth sacrificing all of life for; let us not listen to the “aged” of heart who suffocate youthful euphoria.