Stories for September 2017
Released Saturday, Sep. 2
The theme of the 2017 world's fair (officially called Expo 2017), which is taking place in Kazakhstan, is "Future Energy"; the Holy See's pavilion has the theme of "Energy for the Common Good: Caring for our Common Home." Accordingly, the Holy Father, in his brief message, reflects on the use of energy resources.
The Pope received Cardinal Ouellet (the prefect of the Congregation for Bishops), the Italian ambassador, three nuncios, and members of the Korean Council of Religious Leaders.
The Pontiff called for a "shared commitment to various issues: the sacred dignity of the human person, the hunger and poverty which still afflict too many peoples, the rejection of violence, in particular that violence which profanes the name of God and desecrates religion, the corruption that gives rise to injustice, moral decay, and the crisis of the family, of the economy and, not least of all, the crisis of hope."
Released Monday, Sep. 4
Pope Francis devoted his September 3 Sunday Angelus address to the Gospel passage of the day (Matthew 16:21-27). After reflecting on the passage, he prayed: May Mary Most Holy, who followed...
The Vatican newspaper covered this story on the top of its front page.
Pope Francis is scheduled to visit the nation in late November.
"The Bishops' Conference is to be lauded for taking this decision," Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, said in an August letter.
Member of German bishops’ justice and peace commission appeals for family farms, sustainable agriculture
In an address to the Third Summer Theological Institute for Catholic Priests, Patriarch Kirill praised the impact of the February 2016 meeting in Havana with Pope Francis. The patriarch also took aim at "uniatism" (the Eastern Catholic churches).
Bishop George Murry called for prayer on September 9, the feast of St. Peter Claver and the US bishops' annual Day of Prayer for Peace in Our Communities.
The article's author is a Protestant who delivered a talk the conference.
The link will take readers to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's determination letter (PDF).
Father Paul Couturier (1881-1953), a French ecumenical pioneer, established the Dombes Group in 1937.
More than two years after his appointment by Pope Francis, Archbishop Piergiorgio Bertoldi has begun his diplomatic mission in the largely Muslim nation of Niger. In 2015, dozens of churches were burned down in the African nation; the prelate observed reconstruction efforts and celebrated Mass in a parish that had been rebuilt.
The last stage culminated in a document on synodality and primacy in the first millennium.
The Pontiff received an Argentine bishop, the founder of the Neocatechumenal Way, and the bishops of Honduras.
Canon-law expert Edward Peters responds to Father Frank Brennan's announcement that he favors legal recognition of same-sex marriage. Peters dismisses Father Brennan’s explanation that civil marriage is a separate matter from the Catholic ideal of marriage. Peters explains the relationship between civil and sacramental marriage. In the process he also explains the requirement of “canonical form”—which can complicate the discussion, but does not alter the fundamental character of marriage.
"Irregular migration is not freely chosen, but rather forced on people because legal and secure channels are simply not available," a Vatican spokesman says, in a statement urging world leaders to protect migrants from exploitation.
Chicago's Cardinal Blase Cupich speaks of parish closings, politics, and secularization in a wide-ranging interview. Speaking about the question of unbelief, he says that "some of the greatest Christians I know are people who don’t actually have a faith system that they believe in, but in their activity, in the way they conduct themselves, there is a goodness there.”
The Diocese of Concordia-Pordenone, Italy, has opened a cause for the beatification of Cardinal Celso Costantini (1876–1958), who was appointed the Vatican's first apostolic delegate to China in 1922. His work is credited with giving the Chinese hierarchy the organizational strength that ensured the survival of the "underground" Church in the Communist era. The process for his beatification is likely to be slow, because of remaining tensions between Rome and Beijing.
The late Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor held a reception in Rome just before the 2013 conclave to encourage cardinals from the British Commonwealth nations to support the election of Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, according to a new book.
The British cardinal, who died last week, was ineligible to participate in the papal election because of his age. But he joined in pre-conclave talks and organized a reception at the British embassy to discuss his enthusiasm for the Argentine cardinal. That account appears in a forthcoming book, The Keys and the Kingdom” Britain and the Papacy from John Paul II to Francis, by Catherine Pepinster, the former editor of the Catholic weekly The Tablet.
If the report of the reception is accurate, it would seem to be a clear violation of the rule against lobbying before a conclave.
As the Filipino military completes its drive to oust Islamic terrorists who had sought to seize the city of Marawi, Bishop Edwin de La Pena pleads for a cautious approach that will safeguard the lives of hostages captured in the city’s cathedral.
"Unfortunately, there are no negotiations,” the bishop reports, “because the militants are extremists and in their hate ideology they have left no room for dialogue. Moreover President Duterte has chosen the hard line and there are no channels for possible negotiations.”
The Chaldean Catholic Patriarchate of Baghdad has dismissed criticism from a group called the Chaldean National Congress, saying that the US-based organization has sought to "use the Chaldean name for personal interests." The Patriarchate said that the group has made no positive contribution to the effort to provide security for Christians living in the Nineveh Plains.
A Mexican bishop says that the judiciary system has 'lost credibility' after the leader of a powerful drug-trafficking gang was released shortly after his arrest. "Impunity exists," said Bishop Rutilo Muñoz Zamora of Coatzacoalcos.
Father Cyriacus Onunkwo was taken from his vehicle on September 1; his body was found in a neighboring town the next day. Police see the killing as "a clear case of abduction and murder."
Prize-winning reporter shows ‘reckless disregard for truth’ in series on priests’ children, analyst argues
Boston Globe reporter Michael Rezendes won a Pulitzer Prize in 2002 for his involvement in the “Spotlight” series that tore open the sex-abuse scandal in the Catholic Church. But in a new “Spotlight” series, on children fathered by priests, Rezendes ignores some facts and invents others, argues Thomas Nash in this Catholic World Report critique. In fact Nash argues that in a television interview with CBS This Morning, Rezendes showed a “reckless disregard for the truth”—the standard for libel.
Released Tuesday, Sep. 5
The Pope's apostolic journey to Colombia begins on September 6. To watch the Spanish-language video, click here.
Pope Francis met in Paul VI Audience Hall with a large crowd from Shalom, a Brazilian charismatic community founded in 1982 that was later recognized as an international association of the faithful. Click here for video coverage of the September 4 audience.
Father Michael Czerny, head of the Vatican delegation, made his remarks at the UN's 5th thematic session this year on facilitating safe, orderly, and regular migration.
The prelate's cathedral is located in the largest city in Rojava, a self-declared Syrian Kurdish autonomous region.
The Vatican newspaper's report on North Korea's latest nuclear test appeared on the top of the front page.
Pope Francis will visit Myanmar in late November.
Other members of the Alliance for World-Openness, Solidarity, Democracy, and the Rule of Law include Protestant, Jewish, and Muslim groups, as well as organizations associated with employers, trade unions, and the Olympics.
Pennsylvania school pays settlement, must permit transgendered students to use ‘pronouns and restrooms’ of their choice
The two spoke in favor of European unity and immigration and warned against “discrediting or excluding” anyone on the basis of “faith, color of the skin, sexual orientation, or ethnicity.”
Pope Francis will visit the nation in January 2018.
Father Diego Javier Fares, an Argentine Jesuit, notes that Pope Francis has said that a good shepherd has "the smell of the sheep." The bad shepherd, on the other hand, is the one who "sells, or rather, undersells the inheritance received freely."
The Bose Monastic Community is an Italian ecumenical monastery founded in 1965 by Enzo Bianchi, a Catholic layman. This year's conference--the 25th annual conference--begins on September 6 and is devoted to "the gift of hospitality."
The Pope's special envoy for the September 5 dedication is Cardinal Ernest Simoni, 88, who suffered torture and imprisonment under Albania's Communist regime.
The French ecumenical monastic community was founded in 1940 and hosts thousands of young adults every summer.
As Irish bishops consider a plan to train the country's first permanent deacons, the Association of Catholic Priests-- a group that has called for major changes in Church teachings-- suggests postponing implementation until a Vatican commission on female deacons reports its findings.
While the Colombian government's peace agreement with rebel groups may dominate the headlines, Archbishop Ettore Balestrero, the apostolic nuncio in Colombia, tells Vatican Radio that "the Pope himself has underlined the pastoral nature of his visit." The Pope's trip-- the 20th voyage of his pontificate-- will begin on September 6 with his arrival in Bogota. he will make stops in Villavicencio, Medellin, and Cartagena before returning to Rome on Monday, September 11. The last papal visit to Colombia was by Pope John Paul II, 31 years ago.
Soaking rain was no deterrent as 5,000 Catholics joined their bishops in the consecration of Scotland to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The ceremony took place at the Marian shrine of Carfin.
Archbishop Thomas D'Souza announced that Mother Teresa will be Calcutta's 2nd patron saint, alongside St. Francis Xavier.
An international convention is not effective, since some of the world's most powerful nations-- the US, Russia, China, India, Brazil, Israel, and Pakistan-- have not accepted it.
The "status quo" is the agreement, dating back to the Ottoman Empire, that protects the existing arrangements of religious bodies in the Holy Land. Orthodox and Catholic leaders united in a statement protesting Israeli policy decisions that, they say, undermine the "laws, agreements, and regulations that have ordered our life for centuries."
Last week a spokesman for Muqtada al Sadr said that the Iraqi Shi'ite leader would meet with Pope Francis during a forthcoming trip to Europe. The Vatican has revealed that no such meeting is scheduled, nor has any request for a meeting been received.
The ELN is the smaller of two groups that have been fighting the government for years. The larger group, the FARC, had already struck a peace agreement.
Released Wednesday, Sep. 6
Since 1964, the Colombian conflict has claimed over 175,000 lives and displaced over 4.7 million people.
Guatemala's bishops expressed "deep indignation for the unfounded accusations spread by a daily newspaper" after a paper (La Hora) reported that the apostolic nuncio helped arrange a meeting at which the nation's president announced the firing of a UN anti-corruption official. The bishops had earlier denounced the firing.
The Vatican newspaper gave this story front-page coverage in its September 6 edition.
Pope Francis will visit Myanmar in late November.
The Nairobi cardinal, still recalled with much fondness in Kenya, died 14 years ago.
A medical ethics professor discusses the lack of adequate care for those in a minimally conscious state. "Legal protections have eluded this population precisely because they have been disenfranchised by their injury," he writes. "They have fallen outside the scope of legal protections and been subject to abuse and neglect."
Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, the retired Archbishop of Bologna, Italy, died on September 6 at the age of 79. Cardinal Caffarra was one of the four cardinals who submitted dubia to Pope Francis,...
Jacob Rees-Mogg, a Catholic lawmaker who has been touted as future Conservative Party leader, states: "Life is sacrosanct and begins at the point of conception." Rees-Mogg also indicated that he is firmly opposed to same-sex marriage.
Josef Seifert was dismissed from his post at the International Academy of Philosophy by Archbishop Javier Martinez Fernandez of Granada. The archbishop said that Seifert's criticism of Amoris Laetitia "damages the communion of the Church, confuses the faith of the faithful, and sows distrust in the successor fo St. Peter."
If current trends continue, China will have more Protestant residents than any other country in the world by 2025, a Purdue sociologist calculates.
Gauri Lankesh, a leftist who styled herself as a "secular, non-sectarian citizen," and criticized the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, was shot and killed near her home.
Pope Francis left Rome on Wednesday morning, September 6, to begin the 20th foreign trip of his pontificate: a visit to Colombia. The Pontiff is scheduled to arrive in Bogota at 4:30 in the...
Official of bishops’ conference in South Sudan released on bail after arrest on food-poisoning charge
"We must teach even if they threaten us," said Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan, the former president of the Filipino bishops' conference. "We must tech even if they kill us, and if they kill us our message will echo even more because the best way to teach is through martyrdom."
Released Thursday, Sep. 7
Pope Francis: Message for the opening of the 25th International Ecumenical Conference on Orthodox Spirituality at Bose, Italy
Omnis Terra is published by the Pontifical Mission Societies.
The Vatican newspaper placed its coverage of President Trump's decision--and the protests against it--on the top of the front page on September 7.
The Vatican newspaper gave this story front-page coverage on September 7.
Archbishop Paul Gallagher, the Vatican's Secretary for Relations with States, made his remarks during a panel discussion in Slovenia.
The court ruled that the photographer is exempt from some anti-discrimination laws because she does not have a storefront.
Theme of Brazilian bishops’ annual ‘Cry of the Excluded’ initiative: struggle for human rights, democracy
"The people need to occupy the streets in a conscious and organized way to gain, defend, and guarantee their rights," said Bishop Angélico Sândalo Bernardino, the retired prelate who is in charge of the initiative.
The "moment of prayer and union," attended by Catholics, Jews, and Muslims, took place at the Al Ahmad Mosque in Buenos Aires. The theme of the bishops' reflection for the day was water as a gift from God and a human right.
A Vatican tribunal held a 2nd hearing on September 7 in a case involving the alleged misappropriation of funds by two former administrators of the Bambino Gesu hospital. After a short session,...
The US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has joined with 32 pro-life groups in appeal to the House of Representatives to pass the Conscience Protection Act, which protects the rights of health-care personnel to avoid involvement in abortion procedures. "Even many 'pro-choice' Americans realize that the logic of their position requires them to respect a choice not to be involved in abortion," the statement reads.
Steve Bannon, the former White House strategist, charged that American Catholic bishops have pressed for immigration reform because "they need illegal aliens to fill the churches." Bannon said that the bishops have "an economic interest in unlimited immigration."
During Judiciary Committee hearings on two nominees for the federal judiciary, Democratic senators questioned Notre Dame Law professor Amy Coney Barrett about her Catholic faith. "The dogma lives loudly in you," Senator Dianne Feinstein of California told Barrett.
Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, who identifies himself as a Catholic, said that "going into a person's religion is not the right thing to do in every circumstance." But he defended his questioning of Barrett because "she's been outspoken." Article VI, Section III of the US Constitution stipulates that "no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."
Daniel McCormack, who was first ordained and later retained in ministry despite evidence of sexual misconduct, has completed a prison sentence, but authorities argue that he remains a threat. The Chicago archdiocese has paid several million dollars in damages to McCormack's victims.
In the first full day of his visit to Colombia, September 7, Pope Francis said that he was making “a journey of peace and reconciliation,” and spoke consistently about the need for...
Released Friday, Sep. 8
In its September 8 edition, L'Osservatore Romano devoted front-page coverage to this French media report.
Much of the growth comes from vocations to the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, a religious institute founded by Blessed Jules Chevalier in 1854. Since its founding in 1919, the Diocese of Manado has been governed by a bishop who is a member of the institute.
This Reuters article offers helpful background information on Kenya's electoral crisis.
The Vatican newspaper devoted front-page coverage to this story in its September 8 edition.
Over two-thirds of students in Lebanon are educated in private schools, and a recently announced public school salary increase potentially affects private schools' continued viability. The archbishop of Beirut asks, "If they [private schools] stop working, will the State be able to provide education for these students?"
Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, who assumed office in June, is openly homosexual and has announced a 2018 abortion referendum.
After former Trump aide Bannon said that the Church has ‘economic interest’ in immigration, the chief spokesman for the US bishops' conference said that "this isn't Catholic partisanship. The Bible is clear: welcoming immigrants is indispensable to our faith ... Our pro-immigration stance is based on fidelity to God's word and honors the American dream. For anyone to suggest that it is out of sordid motives of statistics or financial gain is outrageous and insulting."
"Due to the emergency and for their safety, the faithful are dispensed from their obligation to attend Mass this weekend," Archbishop Thomas Wenski said. "Parish priests should follow instructions of civil authorities regarding need for evacuation in their area."
Both Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis have praised "Lord of the World," the 1907 apocalyptic novel by Father Robert Hugh Benson (1871-1914). The Vatican newspaper has now published an article praising Benson's " Friendship of Christ," a collection of sermons published in 1912.
11% of Americans are "white Catholic," 7% are "Hispanic Catholic," and 2% are "other nonwhite Catholic," according to the new report. Catholics in the South now outnumber Catholics in the Northeast or Midwest, and the majority of Catholics under 30 are Latino. The report also found that 24% of Americans are religiously unaffiliated.
"I am optimistic, yes, very optimistic," said a Syriac Catholic archbishop. "When you look around the villages, you see that life is back again."
The president of the Pontifical Council for Culture decried the "depravities, blasphemies, and idolatries" associated with the "perverse cult among Mexican narcos."
Speaking to the Latin American bishops' conference, CELAM, on the 2nd day of his visit to Colombia, Pope Francis said that evangelization should always be a call to "the encounter with the living Christ." He urged the region's bishops to expand the roles played in the Church by women and young people. And he insisted: "Without joy, we attract no one."
A former police officer was charged with masterminding a kidnapping syndicate, allegedly responsible for the abduction and murder of Father Cyriacus Onunkwo.
In a new book, Hope in Action, Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster argues that a climate of mistrust in religion is finally breaking, and more people are open to faith. The book is a collection of the cardinal's speeches and statements.
"We cannot lose hope, we cannot give up," said Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino of Caracas, speaking of the Venezuelan bishops' opposition to the regime of President Nicolas Maduro. The cardinal spoke after he and other Venezuelan bishops met privately with Pope Francis in Bogota.
Pope Francis exhorted the faithful to lift the "thick darkness" that has hung over Colombia during years of civil war, as he celebrated an outdoor Mass in Bogota. The Pontiff insisted on an end to the "thirst for vengeance and the hatred which stains the hands of those who would right wrongs on their own authority." An estimated 1 million people attended the papal Mass-- among them, many who have suffered because of the long struggle between Colombia's government and rebel guerrillas, and many refugees from the current political unrest in neighboring Venezuela.
Cardinal Dolan rips Bannon’s ‘preposterous and rather insulting’ statement on bishops’ immigration stand
"And the Bible is so, so clear that to treat the immigrant with dignity and respect.. is a Biblical mandate."
John Allen observes that in the trial of two former Bambino Gesu Hospital executives, the most interesting questions involve the former Vatican Secretary of State. "In some ways, one wonders if Bertone, at least in terms of his reputation, might have been better off if prosecutors actually had indicted him."
Bishop Alexander Pyone Cho of Pyay, Myanmar, says that the Rohingya minority is peaceful, but extremists have "generated more and more violence" against the minority group. The area struck by the violence is completely closed, the bishop reports, and no reliable news is available about recent developments.
Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the US bishops' committee on religious freedom, said that the questioning of Notre Dame law professor Amy Barrett by members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which concentrated on her Catholic faith, was "offensive to basic human rights." The archbishop said that the questions "harken back to a time in our country when anti-Catholic bigotry did distort our laws and civil order."
Released Monday, Sep. 11
Vatican Radio has offered extensive coverage of the Pope's apostolic journey, posting over 40 English-language stories.
The prelate oversaw the reform of the Legionaries of Christ and served as president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See from 2008 to 2011.
Pope Francis is scheduled to visit Myanmar in late November.
Archbishop Paul Gallagher said that "the Catholic community in Iran has an important role and is fully respected."
The Vatican Secretary of State's essay appears on page 8.
"As long as UNFPA supports or participates in any program of coercive birth limitation, the United States will not fund UNFPA," said a US diplomat.
"Freedom in all sectors of society has been shrinking since Xi Jinping came into power," one analyst observes.
Stained glass windows of Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson removed from Episcopal Church’s National Cathedral
Cardinal Luis Tagle of Manila insists that "the country cannot be governed by violence," as Filipino Church leaders continue to denounce the vigilante campaign against drug traffickers, encouraged by President Duterte, which is responsible for 1,000 extra-judicial killings a month.
India's government has proposed mandatory attendance for elementary-school students next Sunday, to mark the birthday of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Archbishop Andrews Thazhath of Thrissur says the proposal is "against the spirit and deed of the constitution."
A council of lay leaders in the Nigerian diocese of Ahiara has announced that Bishop Peter Okpaleke “has no place in the Ahiara diocese.” Their public statement rejects a demand from Pope Francis and a plea from the country’s bishops for acceptance of the bishop appointed in 2012.
Father John Jenkins takes California Senator Diane Feinstein to task for questioning the Catholic faith of Amy Barrett (a Notre Dame law professor). "It is chilling to hear from a United States Senator that this might now disqualify someone from service as a federal judge," Father Jenkins writes.
Pope Francis suffered bruises on his face when he stumbled into a bar on the popemobile as it lurched through a crowd in Cartagena, Colombia, on Sunday, September 10. The Pope was cut over his left eye and sported a very visible bruise under it, but was not seriously hurt and continued with his scheduled appearances. "I was punched," he joked, explaining his battered appearance.
The Vatican publishing house, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, has published a listing of all the Catholic dioceses in China, with their bishops: an accounting that has previously been unavailable to the public. The listing shows the many Chinese bishops who have served time in prison camps, and several who are still in custody. Veteran Vatican-watcher Sandro Magister of L'Espresso sees the listing as another sign that talks between Rome and Beijing have bogged down.
The Vatican yearbook, the Annuario Pontificio, lists all bishops in other countries, but for years has not listed the Chinese dioceses.
John Bercow, speaker of the House of Commons, told gay activists at a reception: "I still feel we'll only have proper equal marriage when you can bloody well get married in a church if you want to do so, without having to fight the church for the equality that should be your right."
Pope Francis urged the people of Colombia to "be slaves of peace, forever," on the final day of his visit. He encouraged them toward reconciliation after years of civil war, "taking the first step" toward a restoration of peace. "These have been intense and beautiful days," the Pope told the crowd in Cartagena, the last stop on his tour.
Pope Francis said that he hopes American President Donald Trump will reconsider ending a federal policy that allows the children of illegal immigrants to remain in the US, during a...
Pope Francis has amended the Code of Canon Law to give national bishops’ conferences the primary role in approving the translations of liturgical texts. The motu proprio Magnum Principium, released...
Released Tuesday, Sep. 12
Apostolic journey of Pope Francis in Colombia: return to Rome and telegrams to heads of state (including President Trump)
60% of Venezuelan children under five are malnourished, according to a recent study.
The Vatican newspaper gave front-page coverage on September 12 to President Sergio Mattarella's remarks.
"When on matters of sexual morality, people do not espouse chastity, they open themselves to deep-seated forces within," said Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth. "They can even unwittingly allow the Evil One to bind himself like a serpent tightly around their hearts. They then self-justify their situation and when challenged lash out, full of rage. Like with a drunk, you can’t reason with them."
According to an earlier report, Father John Baker had decided to remain in Key West in order to minister to those who did not evacuate.
Father René Laurentin, a prominent Mariologist who served as a peritus at the Second Vatican Council (1962-65), died on September 10 at the age of 99. A student of neo-Thomist philosopher...
Massacre in Central African Republic: “We’re going to do something to you Christians that won’t be forgotten for many generations”
Father Thomas Uzhunnalil, the Salesian missionary priest who was kidnapped in Yemen in March 2016, has been released.
Bishop Paul Hinder, the apostolic vicar for southern Arabia, announced the priest’s release on September 12. He provided no details, but thanked government officials who had worked for Father Uzuhunnalil’s safe return. The government of Oman reportedly played a key role in the process.
Officials in India, Father Uzhunnalil’s native country, had indicated in August that they were optimistic the priest would soon be free. No details about his condition or his captors had been available.
Father Uzhunnalil was taken captive in a raid by Islamic terrorists on a home for the elderly in Aden, run by the Missionaries of Charity. Four nuns and twelve other people were killed in the raid.
Rejecting an order from Pope Francis, the Brothers of Charity have announed that they will continue to allow euthanasia at the 15 psychiatric hospitals they administer in Belgium. At a September...
Bishop Shao Zhumin of Wenzhou, China, who was taken into custody by government officials on May 18, has revealed that he is in a hospital in Beijing. The faithful of Wenzhou had heard nothing about...
Released Wednesday, Sep. 13
The Vatican newspaper (9/13 edition) devoted its most prominent front-page coverage to this story.
Pope Francis is scheduled to visit Myanmar in late November.
The Vatican newspaper (9/13 edition) devoted front-page coverage to this story.
Al-Shabaab, a jihadist group that controls parts of Somalia, is also active in Yemen and Kenya. It has an estimated 7,000-9,000 members.
Although the jihadist group has suffered recent losses, it still controls over 10% of Syrian and Iraqi territory.
Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor’s funeral rites: Archbishop Bernard Longley’s sermon at solemn Vespers
Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, who died on September 1, served as Archbishop of Westminster from 2000 to 2009.
40,000 Jews have left France since 2006, over half of them in the last 3 years. An estimated 440,000 remain.
The famed basilica, designed by Antoni Gaudí, was consecrated by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010.
The orphanage, closed in 1981, was operated by the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul.
Brazil: 4th National Missionary Congress denounces corruption, privatization, ecological destruction
"We are angry to see the devastation of the Amazon and the degradation of nature," stated the Congress's final message. "This reality, far from discouraging us, imposes a vigorous missionary action on us."
The missionary priest was martyred in Guatemala in 1981.
The bishops' conference published this statement on the 2nd anniversary of the Pope's call to Europe's Catholic institutions to shelter migrants and refugees.
Click here for the Vatican's YouTube video of the general audience.
Pope Francis reflected on his visit to Colombia during his regular weekly audience on September 13. The Pope said that the main purpose of his trip had been to promote reconciliation in a country...
The Council of Cardinals held its 21st meeting at the Vatican this week, as it moves toward completion of a plan for the reorganization of the Roman Curia. At a briefing on September 13, Greg...
A study of donations to disaster relief shows that older, better educated, and more religious people are more active donors. Not surprisingly, wealthier people give larger gifts, but the typical gift is $50, with many thousands of middle-class households contributing.
Ireland’s former president Mary McAleese has scolded the Holy See for not incorporating the UN’s Convention on the Rights of the Child into Church teaching. She cited the Church’s approval for corporal punishment of children by parents.
Commentary on Magnum Principium, the anti-Catholic display in the US Senate, and the Belgian brothers' defiance of the Pontiff.
Released Thursday, Sep. 14
Pope Francis appointed Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli, 64, as apostolic nuncio to Israel and apostolic delegate in Jerusalem and Palestine--one of the more sensitive Vatican diplomatic posts. The experienced diplomat succeeds Archbishop Giuseppe Lazzarotto, 75.
The Vatican newspaper (9/14 edition) devoted front-page coverage to this story.
French intellectual sees ‘neo-Protestant challenge’ to traditional Catholic/secular political culture
Australian study: ‘deeply homophobic environment,’ ‘denigration of women,’ and discipline of celibacy contribute to abuse of minors
The study was written by two former priests associated with Catholics for Renewal, an organization that has called for radical changes in Church governance.
In a 2010 study, psychologist Richard Cross showed that the rate of abuse among Anglican priests in Australia—who are not bound by the rule of celibacy—was roughly equivalent to that among Catholic priests.
Mark Regnerus: Christians are part of the same dating pool as everyone else. That’s bad for the Church.
Archbishop Ivan Jurkovic made his remarks at a meeting of the Trade and Development Board of UNCTAD, the UN Conference on Trade and Development.
Pope Francis has met with Father Thomas Uzhunnalil, the Indian Salesian priest who was kidnapped in Yemen in March 4, 2016, and released 18 months later on September 12. During the September 13...
US bishops’ executive committee decries ‘demonic ideologies of white supremacy, neo-Nazism and racism’
Among the hostages is Marawi vicar general Father Teresito Soganub, abducted in May from the city's cathedral.
The crown prince, Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, ordered the name change to "consolidate bonds of humanity between followers of different religions.”
Pope Francis asked newly appointed bishops to “cultivate an attitude of listening” in their pastoral work, in an address delivered on September 14 to participants in an orientation...
Resuming his regular morning Mass at the St. Martha Residence after a summer hiatus, the Pope said that it is wrong to see Jesus only as a spiritual teacher. "A Christ without a Cross is not the Lord," he said. At the same time, he continued, to see the Cross without Christ is to fall into a meaningless tragedy.
Father Thomas Uzhunnalil said that his captors-- who still have not been fully identified-- provided him with diabetes medication. "I never thought I would be killed," he said.
Albrecht von Boeselager, who was the focus of a dispute that prompted a papal intervention into the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, has lost a lawsuit against a Catholic media outlet that...
Released Friday, Sep. 15
The message, signed by Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, refers both to ecological issues and to the "interior desertification rooted in our failure to love God and neighbor." The conference is the 13th follow-up meeting of signatories of this 1994 UN anti-desertification agreement (background). The United States and over 190 other nations are parties to the agreement.
The Pope will visit Cesena, a northern Italian city of 97,000, to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the birth of Pope Pius VI. He will then travel to Bologna to take part in the conclusion of an archdiocesan Eucharistic Congress.
Archbishop Silvano Tomasi suggested that world leaders should follow the example of President Franklin Roosevelt and the advice of economist John Maynard Keynes, using government spending to raise economic prospects. The archbishop who also criticized "xenophobic rhetoric," made his remarks at a press conference in Geneva, Switzerland, at which a new UN trade and development report was presented.
Family members say that "the teachers did nothing to stop the violence" against Sharon Masih, the only Christian in a class of 70 students.
The Vatican newspaper (9/15 edition) devoted front-page coverage to this story. Pope Francis is scheduled to visit Myanmar in late November.
In a front-page article (9/15 edition), Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti recalled that September 15 is the anniversary of both the birth (1937) and the martyrdom (1993) of the Palermo priest who denounced the Mafia.
The measure has little chance of success in the full Senate. Two Republican senators (Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski) voted to overturn the pro-life initiatives, while one Democrat (Sen. Joe Manchin) joined the majority of the committee's Republicans in supporting them.
The Cistercian abbey of Chiaraville, founded in 1135, was suppressed by Napoleon in 1798; monks returned in 1952 but not did elect their own abbot. The Cistercian abbot general will confer his blessing on the new abbot on September 16.
The Vatican has recalled a diplomatic official who was working in the office of the apostolic nuncio in Washington, DC. The official—who was not identified—was the focus of a police investigation involving child pornography. The Holy See declined a prosecutor’s request to waive the official’s diplomatic immunity, choosing instead to bring him back to Rome to face a Vatican investigation.
The bishops issued a statement after a UN report charged the country's government with human-rights violations. The bishops, who have been critical of the government, said that the top priority should be "blocking the way to all those who choose the path of war."
At a conference marking the 10th anniversary of Summorum Pontificum, Cardinal Robert Sarah strongly defended the use of the traditional liturgy. "These communities need paternal care," he said of parishes dedicated to the Extraordinary Form. The cardinal also repeated his encouragement to priests to offer Mass ad orientem.
Cardinal Sarah's influence at the Vatican may have decreased, as his views on liturgical matters clearly do not match those of Pope Francis. But as John Allen of Crux writes: "If anyone expects Sarah now to go gentle into that good night, muting his strenuous defense of liturgical tradition, they can forget it."
The Polish hierarchy, which has enjoyed generally friendly relations with the country's current political leadership, has become openly critical of the government's determination to restrict immigration. "We must be open and compassionate and ready to help those most needy, weak and persecuted, migrants and refugees," said Archbishop Wojciech Polak of Gniezno, at a Mass at the Marian shrine of Jasna Gora.
"The vocation of your life and work is joy," Pope Francis told members of the Italian National Association of traveling show people-- a group that includes circus performers, amusement-park workers, street performers, and musicians.
In his homily at Mass on September 15, the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, Pope Francis said that Mary is a model in understanding Jesus as "a sign of contradiction." Mary never denies Jesus, he remarked; she stands by Him at the Cross.
Released Monday, Sep. 18
Pope Francis: Address to participants in the general chapter of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (full text)
The institute was founded by Father Jules Chevalier in France in 1854.
Pope Francis received Cardinal Marc Ouellet (the prefect of the Congregation for Bishops), participants in the general chapter of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and the bishops of Nicaragua, who were in Rome for their ad limina visit.
The message was signed by the Vatican's Secretary of State and addressed to the archbishop of Pompeii, site of the famed shrine to Our Lady of the Rosary. The pilgrimage was organized by the charismatic Renewal in the Holy Spirit movement.
The college is administered by the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia (Nashville Dominicans), an institute that continues to attract numerous vocations.
On September 15, Casamari Abbey commemorated its 800th anniversary. Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican's Secretary of State, was the papal legate for the occasion, which Pope Francis commemorated with a letter.
Archbishop Paul Gallagher is the Vatican's Secretary for Relations with States.
Cardinal Kevin Farrell has led the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life since its inception a year ago.
In May, militants of the ISIS-affiliated Maute group stormed the Philippine city of 200,000, burning schools and churches and abducting the vicar general and other Catholics from the cathedral.
Omnis Terra, a publication of the Pontifical Mission Societies, recalls the 2008 persecution in the eastern Indian state of Orissa (since renamed Odisha).
The prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, historically known as the 'red pope' because of his authority over mission dioceses, has begun a 10-day visit to Japan, a nation that is only 0.4% Catholic.
On September 15, a bomb exploded at the Parsons Green tube station in London, injuring 30. Click here for an updated summary of news on the explosion.
The Vatican newspaper gave this story front-page coverage in its 9/16 edition.
The Sunni Muslim jihadist group targeted a southern Iraqi city through which Shiite Muslim pilgrims travel.
In a front-page op-ed, Giuseppe Fiorentino (the paper’s vice-editor) argued that the Korean peninsula is the most heavily armed area in the world and that the armament industry has little interest in promoting peace in the region. Fiorentino also wrote that Kim Jong Un is able to persevere in his dangerous course because the US needs to work closely with China, a Pyongyang ally that is slow to take action and “controls a good slice of Washington’s public debt.”
Slaves on our streets: Cardinal Nichols chairs think tank’s first roundtable on abolishing modern slavery
A video of the address is available here.
Father Chito Suganob and 13 other hostages seized by Islamic terrorists who took over the cathedral in Marawi in May have been freed by Filipino government troops on September 16. Military officials have declined to provide details on the operation, explaining that their campaign against the Islamic extremists in Marawi is still continuing.
An Italian newspaper has published a sensational story claiming that Vatican officials played a role in the abduction of Emanuela Orlandi, the teenage daughter of a Vatican employee, who disappeared...
Father Thomas Uzhunnalil told reporters that to this day he does not know why the Islamic terrorists who seized him in March 2016 allowed him to live. Father Uzhunnalil was overcome with emotion when he recalled the Missionaries of Charity who were killed in the terrorist attack on a nursing home in Aden, Yemen. The priest, who does not understand Arabic, was unable to identify his captors.
The faithful should pray for their political leaders, the Pope told a congregation in the St. Martha residence; and leaders should pray for God's guidance. Even leaders who are not believers should "confront yourself with your conscience, with the wisdom of your people, but do not remain isolated with the small group of your political party.”
In a message to the Catholic bishops of Japan, Pope Francis listed alienation, suicide, and “an obsession for work and earning” among that country’s urgent social problems. He encouraged the bishops not to become resigned, nor to be bogged down in “paralyzing dialogue,” but to emulate the example of the country’s martyrs and the “hidden Christians” who preserved the faith.
The archdiocese turned down a petition for personnel files involving the late Father A. Joseph Maskell, who died in 2001, having denied allegations of abuse. A spokesman for the archdiocese said that although the accusations are taken "very seriously," the disclosure of confidential files would not resolve questions and would "create a precedent that would likely soon be followed by requests for the release of personnel records of other priests and employees of the Church.”
Syrian President Bashar Assad said that Christians are "part of the origin of the nation, and without them there is no pluralistic Syria," in a September 17 address.
Brother Rene Stockman, the head of the Brothers of Charity, will confer next week with Vatican officials regarding the appropriate disciplinary response to Belgian members of the order, who have defied a Vatican order by continuing to allow euthanasia at psychiatric hospitals they administer.
While most Australian Catholic bishops have urged the faithful to support marriage, and the episcopal conference has called for a month of prayer before a nationwide poll on same-sex marriage, Bishop Vincent Long Van Nguyen of Parramatta has said that Catholics are not obliged to reject legal recognition of same-sex marriage. Saying that the Church's teachings will not change, he encouraged voters to read the "signs of the times" on the issue.
Released Tuesday, Sep. 19
On Monday, Pope Francis received Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi (the president of the Pontifical Council for Culture), two apostolic nuncios, and the bishops of Bolivia, who were present in Rome for their ad limina visit.
The Vietnamese prelate was imprisoned in a Communist reeducation camp for 13 years.
The African nation of 7.8 million is nearly 30% Christian and 20% Muslim, with half the population retaining indigenous beliefs.
Pope Francis spent hours on Sunday (9/17) with 550 Italian youth who were accompanied by Franciscan friars. The Pope addressed them in the morning (following a reading from Psalm 121) and answered their questions in the afternoon.
The Vatican newspaper (9/18-9/19 edition) gave front-page coverage to this story.
The Vatican newspaper (9/18-9/19 edition) gave front-page coverage to this story.
As the Vatican prepares for the October 2018 synod on youth, Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops, said that “we must look to young people not just so that they help us understand how to announce the Gospel, but also to get a better insight of what Jesus asks of His Church, what He expects of it, what should be cut out and sewn up again for such mission.”
“All humanity, including the people of Japan, are in need this extraordinary and generous redeeming grace and loving mercy,” said Cardinal Fernando Filoni. “All of us need this salvation that the law of the karma or destiny cannot offer because it comes only from God as revealed by Jesus Christ.”
The prelate, a staunch defender of Catholic teaching on marriage and the family, died on September 6.
Cardinal DiNardo: ‘We hope the Holy See will be forthcoming with more details’ on child-porn investigation of embassy official
The former president of the Bambino Gesu Hospital foundation strongly defended the spending of over €400,000 to refurbish the apartment of Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone. Judges on a Vatican tribunal appeared skeptical, but Giuseppe Profiti said all arrangements for the renovation were handled by the Vatican city-state, not his office.
With a motu proprio issued on September 19, Pope Francis has closed the Vatican Institute set up by St. John Paul II to study marriage and family life, replacing it with a new Institute with a...
The Catholic bishops of South Sudan have condemned the widespread atrocities and human-rights violations in a civil war “which we have frequently described as having no moral justification whatsoever.”
Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Bombay says that the Council of Cardinals will soon be ready to present a complete plan for reorganization of the Roman Curia. “It will take two or three more meetings,” he says, adding that “by June perhaps we’ll be seeing the end of the tunnel.”
In his homily at morning Mass on September 19, Pope Francis said that Christian compassion means “drawing near” to those in need. He decried the tendency to lament a tragedy or injustice without taking action. “This is not Christian,” he said.
Father Antonio Stefanizzi was director of Vatican Radio from 1953 to 1977.
Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane that “we still have a long way to go” in the effort to protect children. But today, he said, Australia’s Catholic schools “are probably the safest places in the nation for a child to be.”
Michael Wustrow has withdrawn his application for a post in the Orlando diocese, where officials were conducting a background check after having offered him a post. Wustrow has been relieved of his current post with the Rockville Center, New York diocese as the FBI pursues a criminal investigation.
A new book by an Italian investigative journalist raises questions about the possible involvement of Vatican officials in the unresolved disappearance of a teenage girl in 1983. Emiliano...
Released Wednesday, Sep. 20
Pope Francis appointed a new bishop in Spain.
Cardinal Fernando Filoni is Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples; Japan is 0.4% Catholic.
Father Rother (1935-81) will be beatified in Oklahoma City on September 23.
Pope Francis is scheduled to visit Myanmar in late November.
See our liturgical calendar for information about the saint and the liquefying of his blood on his feast day.
The prize is an initiative of the Ratzinger Foundation and Francisco de Vitoria University in Madrid. The award ceremony will take place at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.
Cardinal Giuseppe Siri (1906-89) was archbishop of Genoa from 1946 to 1987.
The theme of the October 2018 synod is “youth, faith, and vocational discernment.” The seminar took place from September 11 to 15 at the Jesuit General Curia in Rome.
After devoting last week’s general audience to his apostolic journey to Colombia, Pope Francis has returned to the theme of Christian hope. Click here for the full text and here for a video of the audience.
Archbishop Paul Gallagher, the Holy See’s Secretary for Relations with States, made his remarks on September 19.
As protests spread in Togo, with citizens demanding democratic reforms to end decades of one-party rule, the country’s bishops called for constant prayer, urged the military to remain neutral, and backed the calls for political reform.
Freed by Filipino troops after being held for four months as a hostage of Islamic militants in Marawi, Father Chito Soganub says: “My seizure was God’s will.” He intends to return to Marawi to work for coexistence between Christians and Muslims, saying that they are “brothers and we believe in the only, unique God.”
Officials in the state of Madhya Pradesh closed down a Catholic college that served the poor, after Hindu nationalists complained that the school was designed to encourage conversions. Authorities claimed that the school did not have proper legal permits—a charge that Catholic leaders dispute. Archbishop Leo Cornelio of Bhopal spoke of “harassment against Christians and an anti-Christian atmosphere surrounding our mission.”
Officials at the Irish shrine said that because the SSPX was in “an irregular canonical relationship with the Catholic Church,” priests of the traditionalist order were not allowed to celebrate Mass there.
Officials at the Irish shrine said that because the SSPX was in “an irregular canonical relationship with the Catholic Church,” priests of the traditionalist order were not allowed to celebrate Mass there.
Cardinal Philippe Barbarin of Lyon will face criminal charges for an alleged failure to report accusations of abuse against a priest in his archdiocese. The cardinal will face trial next April, along with six other priests who reportedly had knowledge of the abuse complaints against Father Bernard Preynat.
Cardinal Barbarin has consistently denied covering up evidence of abuse. He has explained that a previous archbishop had returned the priest to active ministry after handling complaints dating back to the 1980s, and when new complaints were lodged, Cardinal Barbarin informed public authorities and suspended the accused priest.
The decision to prosecute the cardinal reverses an earlier decision by a French prosecutor, who announced last year that “the investigation did not demonstrate any criminal offense.”
Released Thursday, Sep. 21
On September 20, Pope Francis received the secretary-general of the Muslim World League, which tweeted a video clip of the encounter.
Pope Francis accepted the resignations of two Brazilian prelates because of age (both are 75) and named their successors.
“From the glory, grace and truth brought by Christ, the people of Japan cannot be excluded,” said Cardinal Fernando Filoni, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. “God has not stopped at the doors of this country, which although noble and cultured, awaits the Kingdom of God.”
In a front-page opinion piece in its 9/21 edition, L’Osservatore Romano’s vice editor took President Donald Trump to task for failing to discuss climate change in his UN speech. Giuseppe Fiorentino also said that Trump’s “America first” philosophy runs counter to the need for a multilateral response to climate change and the North Korean threat.
“Freedom of belief and religion is not truly considered a human right” in Vietnam, the bishops’ conference said in a recent statement. “The authorities spend God knows how much money, resources and personnel to acquire information, conduct discreet inquiries, control religious activities.”
Indonesia: religious orders renew commitment to interfaith dialogue following trial of Christian politician
“The West had three master narratives which we have held since the 17th or 18th century,” writes the former Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth. “Today, they have all broken down.”
Pope Francis repeated his assurance that the Church would “respond with the application of the firmest measures” against sexual abuse of children, in his prepared remarks to a September 21 audience...
Archbishop Paul Gallagher, the Vatican’s Secretary for Relations with States, said that the Holy See is “troubled by the continued lack of progress in achieving the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty, in a September 20 address at UN headquarters in New York. The archbishop argued that the ban “is more urgent when one considers contemporary threats to peace.”
The archbishop added: “Nuclear arms offer a false sense of security. The uneasy peace promised by nuclear deterrence has time and time again proved a tragic failure.”
During his visit to the UN, Archbishop Gallagher signed, on behalf of the Vatican, a Treaty on the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons, which will enter into force if and when it is ratified by 50 nations.
Vandals caused “huge damage” at a Catholic shrine in Beit Jimal, Israel, on September 20. Bishop Giacinto Boulos Marcuzzo, the apostolic vicar for Jerusalem, said that the attack was the work of “fanatics.” The vandalism appeared to be the latest in a series of attacks by Jewish extremists against Christian churches.
Vatican police have begun removing homeless people who sleep in St. Peter’s Square during the day, in response to disturbances. The homeless are allowed to sleep in the square at night.
The Society of Jesus has historically played a key role in the Vatican’s offices of public communications, particularly Vatican Radio. The agreement anticipates that the Jesuits will continue to contribute to the work of the new consolidated Secretariat.
Released Friday, Sep. 22
Pope Francis received in separate audiences the new Lithuanian ambassador, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, the apostolic nuncio to Belgium, the members of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, and the members of Italy’s Parliamentary Anti-Mafia Commission.
An apostolic vicariate is typically established in a missionary territory; it is governed by an apostolic vicar in the Roman Pontiff’s name (Canon 371). A diocese, on the other hand, is typically governed by its own bishop.
“Fighting against the mafias means not only repressing,” the Pontiff told members of the commission—the 4th since 1963. “It also means reclaiming, transforming, and building, and this involves commitment at two levels,” political and economic.
Vatican cardinal, World Muslim League leader discuss religious violence, violations of religious freedom
The head of the World Muslim League, Muhammad Al-Issa, also met with Pope Francis.
Click here for background on the case.
The Focolare movement was founded in 1943 by the Servant of God Chiara Lubich (1920-2008).
L’Osservatore Romano has published a front-page article by Msgr. Pierangelo Sequeri, the president of the newly refounded John Paul II Pontifical Theological Institute for Marriage and Family...
Archbishop Rino Fisichella, the president of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, praised the work of Father Max Seckler on his 90th birthday. Seckler is professor emeritus of fundamental theology at University of Tübingen and thus a colleague of Father Ratzinger in 1960s. When Ratzinger was elected Pope in 2005, Seckler recalled with sadness the verbal abuse Father Ratzinger experienced from students.
The Ashling Hotel in Dublin told Human Life International that it was concerned for the safety of participants and guests, after receiving threats from abortion supporters.
After Pope Francis acknowledged that Church leaders were late to recognize the problem of clerical abuse, Francis Rocca of the Wall Street Journal observes that the Vatican recently recalled an official at the apostolic nunciature in Washington, DC, who was suspected of involvement in child pornography. Some American bishops would have preferred to have the priest face prosecution in the US.
Massimo Spina, who was the treasurer of the Bambino Gesu Hospital foundation, told a Vatican tribunal that he had been assured that the foundation was authorized to spend €400,000 on renovations of the apartment of Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone. Spina said that his immediate superior “told me there were no problems because Cardinal Bertone had clarified the situation with the Holy Father in person.”
Speaking to a UN session on the conflict in in Syria, Archbishop Richard Gallagher emphasized the “tremendous suffering, affecting millions of innocent children and other civilians” in that country. He insisted that “humanitarian workers must have rapid, safe, and unhindered access wherever there are people in need.”
Archbishop Gallagher also called upon international leaders to increase support for the countries that have accepted hundreds of thousands of refugees from Syria; he named Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Turkey, and Egypt.
Speaking at a UN session on the protection of religious minorities during armed conflict, Archbishop Richard Gallagher observed that “war and conflict often provide the backdrop for religious minorities to be targeted for persecution, sexual and all forms of physical violence, subjugation, false detention, expropriation of property, enslavement, forced exile, murder, ethnic cleansing and other crimes against humanity.” The archbishop specifically cited as an example the “barbarities committed by ISIS.”
The Vatican’s top foreign-policy official asked world leader to take action, recognize equality before the law, foster education, and “block the flow of money and weapons destined to those intending to use them to target religious minorities.” He added that religious leaders have an obligation to promote dialogue and discourage extremism.
Speaking on September 22 to a conference of European Church officials focused on migration, Pope Francis said that the worldwide surge in migration offers the Church a “new missionary frontier.”
The Pope said that he is troubled by opposition among Catholics to the acceptance of refugees and migrants. He rejected an argument for restricting immigration “justified by an unspecified ‘moral duty’ to preserve the original cultural and religious identity.”
Released Monday, Sep. 25
The document, dated April 16, was presented at a September 22 press conference (video). It commemorates the 50th anniversary of Populorum Progressio, Blessed Paul VI’s encyclical on the development of peoples.
Pope Francis received the president of Peru, apostolic nuncios to Russia and Indonesia, and European bishops’ conference officials who work with migration.
Pope Francis is scheduled to visit the South American nation in January, and he and President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski discussed education, the environment, development, and poverty. The nation of 30.8 million is 81% Catholic and 13% evangelical.
Click here for background on the case.
The Pope received the new Italian ambassador to the Holy See, the prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, the recently retired secretary of the Pontifical Council for Culture, and participants in the Trappists’ general chapter.
Pope Francis: Address to participants in the general chapter of the Order of the Cistercians of the Strict Observance (full text)
Assiduous prayer, sobriety of life, unity in charity, and fidelity to spiritual heritage were among the themes of the Pontiff’s address to members of the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance, also known as the Trappists.
Archbishop Giovanni Angelo Becciu (the Substitute of the Secretariat of State) said that Libero Milone’s allegations were “false and unjustified” and that “he went against all the rules and was spying on the private lives of his superiors and staff, including me. If he had not agreed to resign, we would have prosecuted him.” The Holy See Press Office issued a similar response.
Signatories of “A Filial Correction Concerning the Propagation of Heresies” include Msgr. Antonio Livi (dean emeritus of the Pontifical Lateran University), Ettore Gotti Tedeschi (former head of the Vatican bank), and Bishop Bernard Fellay, head of the Society of St. Pius X.
For a video of the Pope’s address, click here.
“It is true, you must seek the Lord and do everything to find Him; but the important thing is that it is He Who is searching for you,” Pope Francis preached on September 24.
Barbara Blaine, the founder and longtime president of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), died suddenly on September 24 at the age of 61. Blaine had resigned from the SNAP presidency earlier this year. The family announced that a “celebration of Barbara’s life will be held at a future date.”
A Texas lawyer nominated for the Federal Elections Commission faces questioning because has called attention to the work of conservative Catholic web sites on his social-media profiles. Trey Trainor describes himself as “a very devout, orthodox Catholic.”