In weekday Mass homily, Pope links 'doctors of the law,' scandal, persecution (Vatican News) The Pope preached that the “doctors of the law” “have an attitude that only the hypocrites use often: they are scandalized ... Now everyone has the right to enter into the church, even the divorced, everyone. But where are we? The scandal of the hypocrites ... And the Church, when it journeys through history, is persecuted by hypocrites: hypocrites within and without.”
South Sudan's bishops welcome peace agreement (Fides) The South Sudanese Civil War began in 2013. The peace agreement was signed as the nation’s bishops were meeting with Pope Francis in Rome—leading the president of the bishops’ conference to say, “This is a miracle!”
Belarus: Orthodox body seeks autocephalous status (AsiaNews) Belarus, an Eastern European nation of 9.6 million, is 48% Orthodox and 7% Catholic. The Belarusian Orthodox Church is under the control of the Moscow Patriarchate; the much smaller Belarusian Autocephalous Orthodox Church is seeking autocephalous status—in effect, a canonically recognized independence from Moscow.
Pope-emeritus Benedict defends his decision to resign (Bild (German)) Pope-emeritus Benedict defended his decision to resign in private letter, written last year to Cardinal Walter Brandmüller. The letter has been made public, nearly a year later, by the German tabloid Bild. In it the former Pope said that he understood the pain some people when he stepped down, but feared that pain had “turned into an anger” against him, and consequently “a papacy itself is now being devalued.” He added that the pain is aggravated by “sorrow about the situation in which the Church now finds herself.”