- Jan 24, 2020
The Catholic Church in China registered 48,556 baptisms in 2017, reflecting the vitality and missionary strength of the Catholic communities there, according to a report by Fides, the news agency of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.
While one could see Monday’s resignation of an embattled Nigerian bishop as the pope blinking, it may also be an act of mercy by the pope and humility by the bishop.
An embattled bishop who has not been able to set foot in his diocese in Nigeria for over five years has resigned his position, saying it is “no longer beneficial to the Church” for him to hold his position, just over eight months after Pope Francis threatened to suspend any priest who refused to accept him.
Fides said 23 people working for the church worldwide — 13 priests, one religious brother, one religious sister and eight lay persons — died violent deaths in 2017; that number was down from 28 people killed in 2016.
Last week, Pope Francis appointed Archbishop Protase Rugambwa of Tanzania to be the secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. The congregation is responsible for the work of spreading the Gospel in mission territories.
Cardinal Oswald Gracis of India says his fellow Indian Prince of the Church, Ivan Dias, who died in Rome on Monday at the age of 81, was a “martyr for mission,” driven by a relentless missionary zeal and willing to put up with illness and suffering as the result of his efforts.