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Unique 'songs of sorrow' sung during Lent in Bangladesh


As darkness descends, Montu Tolentino makes his way to a house in Chorakhola village situated about 40-kilometers from Dhaka.

Once at the house the 45-year-old farmer joins around 30 Catholic villagers in singing traditional Lenten songs called koshter gaan (songs of sorrow).

"Koshter gaan is an important tradition we have been carrying out for generations," says Tolentino.

"Our families have handed down this tradition and we are proud to continue it," he says.

Read the article in UCAN News

Pope Francis: Year four begins

Pope Francis is now in the fourth year of his pontificate.

And in this relatively brief period of time one could say he's worked nothing short of a minor miracle in the way he's restored hope and enthusiasm among so many people in the church and beyond.

This has been especially true for those Catholics who eagerly embraced the reforms and the reforming spirit of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) only to grow weary and dejected in the nearly thirty-five years of exile they experienced under John Paul II and Benedict XVI, popes they saw as reversing the journey mapped out at Vatican II.

For them Francis's election has been nothing else if not proof that the Holy Spirit still shows up at the occasional conclave.

Read Robert Mickens' article in NCR

Let us remember the Golden Rule

“Let us remember the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Mt 7:12). This Rule points us in a clear direction. Let us treat others with the same passion and compassion with which we want to be treated. Let us seek for others the same possibilities which we seek for ourselves. Let us help others to grow, as we would like to be helped ourselves. In a word, if we want security, let us give security; if we want life, let us give life; if we want opportunities, let us provide opportunities. The yardstick we use for others will be the yardstick which time will use for us. The Golden Rule also reminds us of our responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage of its development.”  Pope Francis to the United States Congress, Sept. 24, 2015

See National Catholic Reporter for review of the third year of Francis' pontificate

Infallibility — Hans Küng appeals to Pope Francis


Next week, Hans Küng, the Catholic priest and Swiss theologian, will mark his 88th birthday. The fifth volume of his complete works, titled Infallibility, has just become available from the German publishing house Herder. In connection with the release of Infallibility, Küng has written the following “urgent appeal to Pope Francis to permit an open and impartial discussion on infallibility of pope and bishops.” The text of his urgent appeal is being released simultaneously by National Catholic Reporter and The Tablet.

Read the appeal

See Also: 

Der Fehler der Unfehlbarkeit

El País