Lansing, Michigan

Consecrated virgins ‘shocked’ by new Vatican rules

The US Association of Consecrated Virgins has said it is “deeply disappointed” after a Vatican instruction suggested the discipline was open to women who were not virgins. The document, Ecclesiae Sponsae Imago (“The Image of the Church as Bride”), said: “To have kept her body in perfect continence … or to have practised the virtue of chastity in an exemplary way, while of great importance with regard to discernment, are not essential prerequisites.” The US group called this “shocking”, adding: “The entire tradition of the Church has firmly upheld that a woman must have received the gift of virginity”, both physical and spiritual, “in order to receive the consecration of virgins”.


Vatican sends mission to troubled diocese

The diocese of Memphis, Tennessee, underwent a three-day apostolic visitation last month amid criticism of its leadership. The visitors, Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta and Archbishop Bernard Hebda of St Paul and Minneapolis, interviewed around 50 priests and laity during their trip. Bishop Martin Holley of Memphis generated controversy after asking each of his priests to sign a resignation letter and ordering the transfer of three quarters of them. There were protests from priests, some of whom had been in their positions for years. In a letter to priests, Bishop Holley said the purpose of the visitation was to “assist the local diocese and improve the Church’s ability to minister to the people it serves”.


Mob attacks cardinal, nuncio and bishop

A cardinal, nuncio and bishop were among clergy attacked by a pro-government mob in the Nicaraguan city of Diriamba last week.

​How to continue reading…

This article appears in the Catholic Herald magazine - to read it in full subscribe to our digital edition from just 30p a week

The Catholic Herald is your essential weekly guide to the Catholic world; latest news, incisive opinion, expert analysis and spiritual reflection