News Briefs

Archbishop Paulinus Costa, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Bangladesh, criticized the “barbarous killing and looting” that left more than 140 people dead or missing following the recent mutiny of the Bangladesh military. • Poland’s chief rabbi, Michael Schudrich (right), said he hopes Pope Benedict XVI’s trip to Israel will be an opportunity for the pope to demonstrate to the world his deep knowledge of and respect for Judaism. • The head of the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X said on Feb. 26 that his order is not ready to accept the teachings of the Second Vatican Council, which the Vatican has set as a condition for full reconciliation of the order with the church. • The latest church statistics show that the number of Catholics remains stable at 1.147 billion people worldwide and that the number of priests and seminarians worldwide has been showing a modest, yet steady increase. • The Vatican has announced that a California woman, Heidi Sierras, will be baptized by Pope Benedict during the Easter Vigil in Rome.

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