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Pope rips EWTN ‘work of the devil’

Pope Francis has lashed out at the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), saying: “They are the work of the devil.” During a meeting with Jesuits in Slovakia, the Pontiff spoke of...
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German ‘Synodal Path’ set back by lack of quorum [News/Analysis]

News/analysis by Phil Lawler After adopting several statements that challenge Catholic doctrine, a plenary session of the German bishops’ “Synodal Path” was closed unexpectedly...

Pelosi responds to Archbishop Cordileone; he answers

After San Francisco’s Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone condemned legal abortion as “nothing short of child sacrifice,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi—who lives in his archdiocese—said that she and the archbishop “had a disagreement about who should decide this.” Pelosi went on: “I believe that god has given us a free will to honor our responsibilities.”

Archbishop Cordileone quickly shot back on his Twitter account: “Representatives in Congress: you have free will. Use it today to vote no to legalizing the killing of babies even weeks from birth. You have a choice. Give it to unborn babies, too.”

Vatican to require Covid vaccine ‘passport’

All visitors will be required to show a “green pass” in order to enter Vatican territory, beginning on October 1.

The new Vatican policy, which takes effect October 1, requires visitors to prove either that they are vaccinated against Covid, or have recovered from the disease, or have recently tested negative for the virus. The policy allows an exception for those participating in liturgical ceremonies inside the Vatican, “for the time strictly necessary for the performance of the rite.”

The policy was issued by Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, who at the age of 79 will soon step down as head of the Vatican city-state governorate, at the request of Pope Francis, who had authorized “all appropriate measures” to curb the epidemic. Coincidentally, Cardinal Bertello’s resignation will take effect on October 1, the day the new policy takes effect.

US prelate warns of ‘trans’ seminary candidates

The chairman of the US bishops’ canonical-affairs committee has alerted his fellow bishops to cases in which a biological woman has been “unknowingly admitted to seminary or religious life.” In a September 22 memo, Archbishop Jerome Listecki said that in every known case of a “transgender” candidate, her true sex had been discovered before ordination. He asked bishops to be careful to ensure that candidates for the priesthood are male.

Pope Francis opens synod on synodality

Pope Francis opened the two-year synod of synodality with an address on October 9 and Mass on October 10. The theme of the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops is “For a...

Cardinal Gregory on Communion: priests are pastors, not police

Questioned about the controversy over administering Communion to politicians who support abortion, Cardinal Wilton Gregory of Washington, DC, told the Crux news site that “we’re not there as police; we’re there as pastors.” The cardinal said that he was encouraged by recent remarks on the subject by Pope Francis, and “very grateful for the Holy Father’s words.”

During an exchange with reporters on his return flight from Slovakia on September 15, Pope Francis did not explicitly answer a question about withholding Communion, but advised: “Be a pastor; don’t go condemning.” The Pope said that “abortion is murder,” but also that “I have never refused the Eucharist to anyone.”

Archbishop urges prayers for Nancy Pelosi

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco has launched a campaign of prayer and fasting for Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Citing the passage in the House of Representatives of sweeping legislation to legalize abortion on demand, the archbishop said: “A conversion of heart of the majority of our Congressional representatives is needed on this issue, beginning with the leader of the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi.”

The archbishop asked Catholics to pledge to fast and pray the Rosary for the Speaker. For the first 1,000 people who signed the pledge, he said, the archdiocese would send Pelosi a rose on October 1, the feast of St. Therese of Lisieux, “as a symbol of your prayer and fasting for her.”

As German Synodal Assembly begins, lay Catholics express anger at Vatican

Bishop Georg Bätzing, president of the German bishops’ conference, said he understood all who were “desperate and stunned” by the Pope’s decision not to accept the resignations of three German bishops accused of mishandling abuse allegations, as well as his decision to grant Cardinal Rainer Mari Woelki of Cologne a sabbatical, permitting him to remain in office.

French report: over 300,000 victims of clerical abuse [updated]

[Details in italics below were not included in the original CWN news brief dated October 5.]

More than 200,000 children were abused by Catholic clerics over the past 70 years, and another 100,000 by lay church workers, according to a report issued on October 5 by an independent investigating commission.

The commission estimated that at least 3,000 abusers had served as priests or other church officials in France during the period that it had studied: between 1950 and the present. That figure, the report observed, “would imply a very high number of victims per aggressor.”

The figures in the report were projections, based on an in-depth study of 1,600 cases and reports on about 10,000 incidents. These results were supplemented by a telephone survey. The report’s authors acknowledge that their final projections could overestimate or underestimate the number of victims by as many as 50,000.

The investigation concluded that 80% of the abuse victims were boys. That figure contrasts dramatically with estimates of sexual abuse in France generally, where 75% of the victims are girls.

The report was issued by the Independent Commission on Sexual Abuse in the Church, established by the French bishops’ conference in November 2018. The investigation, a 30-month effort, was led by Jean-Marc Sauvé, a former vice-president of the French Council of State.

The 2,500-page report called upon Church leaders to denounce the abuse, end the culture of silence, and provide compensation for abuse victims. Until recently, said Sauvé, Church leaders had shown “a deep, cruel indifference toward victims.”

Correction: An earlier version of this report said that over 300,000 children were abused “by Catholic clerics”— failing to note the very large number reportedly abused by lay workers.