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Emeritus Pope Benedict XVIs brother, Georg Ratzinger, dies

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The brother of Pope Benedict XVI, Monsignor Georg Ratzinger, has died at the age of 96. Monsignor Ratzinger died on Tuesday in the Bavarian city of Regensburg. In the days before his death, he was visited by his 93-year-old brother who journeyed beyond Italy for the first since resigning the papacy seven years ago. Georg and Joseph Ratzinger had been close to each other since the days of their youth. They were altar boys together. They entered seminary together in 1946 and they were ordained to the holy priesthood together in the summer of 1951 by Cardinal Michael von Faulhaber of Munich. Throughout his life, Georg Ratzinger was recognized as a gifted musician. He began playing the organ in his local church when he was just 11 years old. In 1957 he became the choral director in his home parish in the town of Traunstein. Then in 1964, he was made musical director at St. Peter’s Cathedral in Regensburg. It’s a post he held for 30 years. Under his direction, the cathedral choir recorded albums with major music labels including Deutsche Grammophon and Ars Musici.
U.S. Supreme Court lifts ban on state aid to religious schools
The top court in the United States has declared that bans on state aid being given to religious schools – including Catholic schools – is unconstitutional and should now be lifted. The ruling from the U.S. Supreme this week said that if a state chooses to subsidize private education, it cannot then deny that subsidy to a private school simply because it is religious in nature. Such bans are currently in place in 37 states across the US. This week’s ruling has been welcomed by the U.S. Bishops Conference. They issued a statement asserting that the full participation of religious institutions is essential for a strong civil society. The statement also described the ruling as, quote, a "blow to the odious legacy of anti-Catholicism in America.” .
Romania establishes ‘National Day of Awareness of Violence Against Christians’
Romania has established a new National Day of Awareness of Violence Against Christians. It will take place each year on August 16th. The new day of awareness was given the approval of Romania’s parliament on Wednesday. The law was introduced into the country’s Chamber of Deputies last year by the politician, Daniel Gheorghe. .
Pope Francis: True communicators promote welfare of others
A true communicator dedicates themselves completely to the welfare of the others. That was the message of Pope Francis to the participants of the Catholic Media Conference which took place this week under the theme of Together While Apart. The three-day annual event is organized by the US-based Catholic Press Association, although this year, due to COVID-19 restrictions, delegates were online and virtual, rather than together and in-person. Noting the theme of the conference, the Holy Father emphasized the importance of the media in, quote, “bringing people together, shortening distances, providing necessary information, and opening minds and hearts to the truth”.
Research reveals Londoners as more religious compared to the rest of Britain
People who live in the United Kingdom’s capital city, London, are more religious than people in the rest of the U.K. That’s according to a new survey commissioned by the London-based Think tank, Theos. They found that 62% of Londoners identify themselves as religious compared to 53% across the rest of the UK. Meanwhile, 1 in 4 Londoners attend a religious service at least once a month compared to 1 in 10 in the rest of the UK. It’s thought those figures may be due to the relatively higher numbers of immigrants who live in London.
Pope Francis names Reverend Martin Hayes as the bishop of Kilmore
Pope Francis has named a new bishop for the Diocese of Kilmore in Ireland. He’s 60-year-old Father Martin Hayes, who is a priest of the Archdiocese of Cashel and Emly. The Diocese of Kilmore straddles the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom, with parishes in both jurisdictions. Father Hayes was ordained to the holy priesthood in 1989.

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