The bells are silent

Munster Cathedral will be closed for more than a year at the beginning of November. Cathedral bells also silent. The mass on All Souls' Day, followed by the blessing of the graves, will probably be the last service in the cathedral until Advent 2012.-St. Paul's Cathedral will be, the diocese announced on Monday. The reason is the interior renovation of the cathedral.


“Confidence and hope”

Archbishop Ludwig Schick © Angelika Zinzow (KNA)

At the end of his week-long trip to Cameroon, Archbishop Ludwig Schick of Bamberg praised the commitment of the church and the faithful there. He praised the fact that the Church "always remains with the people despite the dangerous circumstances of life".


Nothing goes without grain

The ongoing drought is increasingly causing problems for German farmers, grain growers complain about the lack of rain. And it is not only Germany that is concerned about agricultural products: The UN fears constantly high prices – in the coming decade.

The situation with wheat is particularly critical. The head of the agricultural and plant production department at the German Farmers' Association, Jens Rademacher, told the BILD newspaper, "We are in a critical phase."In many areas it has not rained properly for four weeks."Record crop yields are no longer to be expected this year," Rademacher told the paper. However, it is still too early to ame that there will be massive crop failures. If there is a lot of rainfall in the next few days, a good harvest can still be expected, he said.

OECD/FAO report: Food prices remain ho Prices for agricultural products are expected to remain higher than average over the next decade. That's the conclusion of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation (OECD) in a report presented Thursday in Paris. Although the current record levels of food prices would probably not be reached again. However, increased price fluctuations are to be expected in return.Both organizations stressed that to combat the current food crisis, agricultural production and yields in developing countries must be significantly improved. This will require an opening of agricultural markets, said OECD Secretary-General Angel GurrIa bi the presentation of the so-called "Agricultural Outlook" by the OECD and FAO. Governments could also do more to promote economic growth and development in poor countries in order to increase the purchasing power of the poorest people.


“A grave sin”

U.S.-Mexico border fence © Gregory Bull

The U.S. Catholic bishops have called on the government to immediately end the separation of families who enter the country illegally. They called Homeland Security's "zero tolerance policy" a "grave sin".


No “spirit of forgiveness” yet

The Christian churches in Zimbabwe have for the first time condemned the recent presidential election as rigged and criticized the violent actions of the party of head of state Robert Mugabe. Church leaders lament political violence in the country, ranging from displacement and torture to murder, which has traumatized the population.