Genoa Archbishop to Head Italian Bishops’ Conference

Archbishop Angelo Bagnasco of Genoa, above, will replace Cardinal Camillo Ruini at the helm of the Italian Bishops’ Conference, reported the international news service AKI March 7. Archbishop Bagnasco, 64, served as military archbishop to Italy from 2003 to 2006 before being appointed archbishop of the northern port city. Cardinal Ruini, 75, who headed the Italian Bishops’ Conference for 16 years, will maintain his role as head of the Rome vicariate.

China: Vatican to Blame for Lack of Diplomatic Relations

Ye Xiaowen, the director of China’s State Bureau of Religious Affairs, said the breach with the Holy See is still great and it can only be healed if the Vatican makes the effort, Indian Catholic reported.

China has insisted that the Vatican break its ties with Taiwan, and that the Vatican not exercise its right to name its bishops, which Ye called getting involved in the internal affairs of China.

Japanese Martyrs to Be Beatified

The Vatican will beatify 188 Japanese who were martyred in the 17th century, All Headline News reported.

Nagasaki Archbishop Joseph Misuaki Takami said Pope Benedict is scheduled to approve the process of beatification in April. The ceremony is planned for November. Pope John Paul II first considered the idea of beatifying the Japanese martyrs when he visited Japan in 1981.

The Japanese martyrs include four clerics killed between 1603 and 1639 during the time of feudal shoguns and prosecution of Christians, which lasted until 1867, when the power of the emperors was restored.