New statistics on money laundering and thefts

Vatican: number of thefts increased © CBA

On suspicion of money laundering, Vatican judiciary seized more than two million euros in 2016. That's according to a report by the Vatican prosecutor's office. In addition, he said, the number of thefts has increased.

Pope Francis meets Thuringia's minister president Bodo Ramelow © Osservatore Romano / Handout

Stimulated conversation © Osservatore Romano / Handout

After yesterday's cancellation due to illness, the time had come on Friday: Thuringia's Prime Minister Bodo Ramelow was received in audience by Pope Francis. The greatest wish of the left-wing politician, however, could probably not be fulfilled.

Negative carbon footprint pays off

The Benedictine Abbey in Munsterschwarzach has even managed to achieve a negative CO2 balance with its eco-project. This has made the abbey a real showcase project that is even economically profitable.

Crisis of the cities also a crisis of the churches

The churches warned against the impoverishment of individual communities, especially in the Ruhr region. The financial crisis of cities and municipalities has the consequence that already structurally weak areas are now hit even harder, said the Bishop of Essen, Franz-Josef Overbeck, on Tuesday evening in Dusseldorf.

Pope Francis at the general audience © Ettore Ferrari

Spain's tenor Placido Domingo attended general audience © Ettore Ferrari

Pope Francis has called on the church not to accept dirty donations. The people of God have no need of such money, he said at his general audience on Wednesday in St. Peter's Square.

No money for weapons

A woman prays the rosary with folded hands © Corinne Simon (KNA)

Praying the rosary unites people as a "spiritual family". The Pope has called for the rediscovery of the domestic form of prayer. He also prayed for politicians and scientists who are searching for a cure for the virus.

German Bishops' Conference expects church tax to fall by up to ten percent because of the economic crisis. But the reserves of the Catholic Church are only slightly affected, according to Archbishop Robert Zollitsch. In a newspaper interview, he also commented on a possible visit to Germany by the pope and Angela Merkel's criticism of Benedict.

With her public criticism of Pope Benedict XVI. German Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) was ill-advised after catching the eye of Archbishop Robert Zollitsch. He could understand Merkel's concern with regard to the bishop of the traditionalist Pius Brotherhood and Holocaust denier Richard Williamson, said the chairman of the German Bishops' Conference in an interview with Berlin's "Tagesspiegel" (Monday). "That she wanted to speak out about it, I understand well," Zollitsch said verbatim. But it would have been right to choose the diplomatic way. Merkel had also made demands that had already been met at the time. Zollitsch expressed hope for an early resolution of the conflict over the Pius Brotherhood. "I would like to see this happen this year," he said. To justify this, he referred to surveys in France, according to which the reputation of Benedict XVI. has decreased strongly.

No decision yet on the Pope's trip to Germany

The worker chaplain

It's no coincidence that Pope Francis begins his Genoa visit this Saturday at the ailing ILVA steel mill. It is a symbol of Italy's industry – and its crisis. And: pastoral care for workers has a tradition in Genoa.

The family federation of the Catholiken welcomes the project to relieve family members with the maintenance for parents in need of care. It is urgently necessary to do something against the life of the families at the subsistence level.

The controversial sociologist and UN human rights activist Jean Ziegler tells why he became a Catholic and how he sees the future.