An alternative to Hartz IV: The Association of Catholic Entrepreneurs proposes an "activating basic income. Recipients of unemployment benefit II would be able to choose between the current benefit and a basic income with improved opportunities for additional earnings.

Increasing proportion - but still underrepresented

Women's quota in the Catholic Church © Oliver Berg

The Catholic Church in Germany wants to significantly increase the proportion of women in leadership positions. The Catholic News Agency lists important dates.

New compensation system under discussion

Symbolic image of abuse in the church © Clearviewstock (shutterstock)

The victims' initiative "Eckiger Tisch" has renewed its demand that a lump-sum compensation of 300.000 euros to victims of abuse by priests or other employees in the Catholic Church.

Vive la France? © Ian Langsdon

France has rebelled again at the end of the year. President Emmanuel Macron has his back against the wall in 2019. Marianne, the legendary standard bearer of the Grande Nation, has already experienced all sorts of things.

In an interview with the Catholic News Agency (KNA), Marianne talks about the current crisis and different ways of dealing with it through reforms. The conversation is of course – how could it be otherwise – purely fictional. The broken windows and illusions of 2018 are real.

Altar with bread and wine © Harald Oppitz (KNA)

There is much talk about the possibility of Catholics and Protestants celebrating communion together. Too much, says journalist Christiane Florin. She suggests keeping quiet about it until "the invitations are sent out".

She fought for her office – in the end, Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff lost: The Senate voted for her removal – Michel Temer will succeed her, which could cause great concern for the Latin American relief organization Adveniat.

Interviewer: How do you assess this, was Dilma Roussef unjustly suspended?

Norbert Bolte (Brazil consultant at the Catholic Latin America relief organization Adveniat): In Brazil, we are dealing with a presidential democracy. There, the president is elected by the people. And now a process has taken place in the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies that has removed this president from office. But this impeachment procedure presupposes that the person, the president in this case, has been proven to have culpably violated the law.

The federal cabinet has cleared the way for reform of consumer insolvency law. According to the Federal Ministry of Justice in Berlin, the ministerial roundtable on Wednesday approved a bill presented by department head Brigitte Zypries (SPD) to simplify the debt relief process. Less bureaucratic than before, the procedure creates a socially just balance between the interests of creditors and debtors, Zypries stressed. It offers "the honest debtor a fair chance for a new start without debts".

Church and money © Harald Oppitz (KNA)

The priest from Ballenstedt, who embezzled money from the parish treasury, has now justified his act. He had been informed he had won the Spanish lottery – and had then transferred alleged fees to the scammers.

Refugees on the rescue ship "Lifeline" © Felix Weiss

Munich Cardinal Reinhard Marx has defended his donation to private sea rescuers in the Mediterranean Sea. In a guest article for the "Bild" newspaper, the chairman of the German Bishops' Conference praised the work of the rescue organizations.