“What we are witnessing is the death of a clerically-dominated Catholic Church,” says The Irish Times. Fifty years ago, Ireland was second to no other country in the number of priests it produced. Now the increasing age of the Irish clergy means that soon, when these priests reach the retirement age of 75, some parishes will be without priests. The roots of the crisis are said by some to rest with the pivotal decision banning artificial contraception, which was published in the 1968 papal
encyclical Humanae Vitae. That document, continues the Times, led first to “the beginning of people questioning the teachings of the Church” and then to “a decline of confidence in church leadership.”
Magnetic North on the Move
When the magnetic North Pole was located in 1831, it was in northern Canada, “about 1,700 miles from the geographic North Pole,” says the French newspaper Le Figaro. Up until 1989, magnetic north was moving closer to the geographic pole at three to nine miles a year. According to the Paris Institute of Global Physics, the magnetic pole is presently moving “at about 34 miles a year” and in 2007 was located only 342 miles from the geographic pole. At the current speed and direction, by 2020, the aurora borealis, or northern lights, which accompanies magnetic north, “will be more visible above Siberia than Canada,” says the newspaper.