World News in Brief

Mass-finder App is launched

A new app to help the faithful locate the nearest Mass or confession service to them has been launched.

A collaboration between Scotland’s Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh and technology company Musemantik, the app uses GPS satellite technology to highlight sites within a given diocese to guide users to Churches and services offered at any time during a given day. 

The app was officially launched by Archbishop Leo Cushley of St Andrews and Edinburgh at a special event in Rome, who expressed the hope that other dioceses around the world will purchase the app based on the hoped-for success in at least five Scottish dioceses in addition to St Andrews that have agreed to adopt it.


Go-ahead for transfer of Fulton remains

A court in the US state of New York has ruled that the body of Archbishop Fulton Sheen should be moved from the local archdiocese to the Diocese of Peoria in Illinois. 

Following a case in which both dioceses claimed the remains of the famed prelate, whose cause for canonisation was stalled as a result, Judge Arlene Bluth ruled in favour of a submission made by Archbishop Sheen’s niece, Joan Sheen, that her relative should be interred in Peoria as he had requested. Judge Bluth stated: “This is what is not speculation: there is no support for the conclusion that Archbishop Sheen expressed a specific desire to be buried in St Patrick’s Cathedral.”

It is hoped now that Archbishop Sheen’s beatification will proceed shortly after his remains reach Peoria.

In a statement after the ruling, the Archdiocese of New York said: “The Trustees of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, who operate the archdiocesan cemeteries, including Calvary Cemetery and the crypt beneath the high altar of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, will need to review [the] decision with their lawyers and determine what next steps they wish to take.”


Norway consecrates Europe’s first cathedral in decade

The Catholic Church community in Norway has witness the first consecration of a new cathedral on the European continent in a decade. 

In the presence of Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, acting as the envoy for Pope Francis, Catholics in the city of Trondheim, approximately 250 miles north of the capital Oslo gathered for the ceremony to officially open the Cathedral of St Olaf, a 450-seat structure completed at a cost of €12.5million. 

The building sits on the site of a previous cathedral dedicated to St Olaf which had been demolished due to serious disrepair.

St Olaf’s story is one of a Norse raider who ultimately became King of Norway. Baptised at Rouen in France in 1010, he is credited with bringing Christianity to Norway through his request for missionaries to his kingdom. After his death in battle in 1031, miracles linked to his tomb led to his being canonised in 1164.

The construction of the new cathedral comes amid a growth in Catholic numbers in Norway. When the original St Olaf’s was built in 1973, it served the needs of just 500 faithful in Trondheim. Today there are 6,000 in the city.


European bishops call for recognition of Sunday as ‘rest day’

The Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community (COMECE) has called for a greater recognition of Sunday as a day of rest. In a document restating its support for the European Pillar of Social Rights, COMECE said: “As in times of digitalisation of the economy, the boundaries between private and work-life become increasingly blurred, COMECE proposes to incorporate decent working hours and the right to a common weekly day of rest,” the bishops’ commission stated. “This day should be in principal the Sunday, which is recognised by tradition and custom in most of the member states or regions.”