We've posted two new stories to the website.
First, in his weekly letter from Rome, Robert Mickens names Cardinal Pell "the most prominent of the church’s self-described climate change skeptics," and wonders if he--or any Catholic--can "simply ignore the new encyclical or the parts they don’t like":
Many have done so before, not least concerning Paul VI’s controversial 1968 encyclical, Humanae Vitae. Of course, the cardinal and many others in the hierarchy call such people 'dissenters.'
Plus, a look at which bishops elected by their national episcopal conferences will attend October's Synod on the Family, and a look into the truth behind Francis's (not yet) "tribunal" to try bishops who abuse their office. Read the entire "Letter from Rome" here.
Next, Benjamin F. Carlson shows that China's growing urbanization means rural villages are under threat of extinction, and that may mean the end of "undergound" Roman Catholicism as well:
The countryside is not only the bedrock of Chinese traditions, but also the bedrock of Chinese Catholicism. The majority of China’s one hundred and thirteen dioceses were founded around small, provincial cities.... it is not surprising that China under Xi Jinping has shown little interest in improving ties with the Vatican.
Read all of "New Tests for 'Old' China's Catholics" here.