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Most Popular News Within Last 30 Days

Mazzucato brings ‘more humanity’ to Pontifical Academy for Life, Pope Francis says of supporter of abortion ‘rights’

In a wide-ranging in-flight press conference on his return from Bahrain, Pope Francis fielded questions on women’s dignity, the war in Ukraine, the sexual abuse scandal, and the Church in...

Cardinal Zen found guilty in Hong Kong trial

Cardinal Joseph Zen, the retired Bishop of Hong Kong, was found guilty on November 25 on charges of failing to register a charitable fund that provided legal help for defendants accused of violating China’s draconian new “security” law.

The cardinal and five co-defendants will be required to pay a fine equivalent to $500.

After his conviction, Cardinal Zen said that the case should not be seen as a violation of religious freedom. But the 90-year-old cardinal, an outspoken supporter of democracy, hinted that the conviction was a violation of other human rights. He identified himself as “a Hong Kong citizen who strongly supports providing humanitarian assistance.”

The Vatican had avoided comment on Cardinal Zen’s case. But after the verdict was released, the Vatican News service issued a carefully worded report, pointing out that the law under which the cardinal and his co-defendants were sentenced allowed an exemption for organizations “”exclusively for religious, charitable, social or recreational purposes.”

The Vatican News story concluded with a noteworthy statement, acknowledged Cardinal Zen’s fight for religious freedom but muting his accusations against Beijing by using the word “allegedly”:
In the past, Cardinal Zen has also criticized the Chinese Communist Party for allegedly persecuting religious communities.

The Zanchetta affair (Part 7): ‘Lucas’ and Father Belda Iniesta

[For background, see: “The Zanchetta affair (Part 1): the bishop’s rise“ “The Zanchetta affair (Part 2): resignation, Archbishop Stanovnik, and a Vatican...

Pro-life advocates suffer defeat in 5 states on abortion, infanticide-prevention ballot initiatives

On Election Day, voters in five states decided the fate of abortion-related ballot initiatives—and pro-life advocates suffered defeats in all five. California voters passed Proposition 1,...

Dutch bishop rips ‘vile’ Synod process

A Dutch bishop has charged that the process of preparation for the Synod on Synodality has become “a megaphone for non-Church views” and a forum for “an evaporated faith, no longer practiced and not accepting the Church’s positions.”

Bishop Robert Mutsaerts, an auxiliary of the Diocese of Hertogenbosch (more commonly known as Den Bosch), said that the Synod process “is more like a sociological experiment” than a movement of the Holy Spirit. He said that he was aware of other prelates, including cardinals, who had questioned the process—and even questioned the meaning of the term “synodality,” which has been so commonly used to describe both the process and its goal.

“One thing is clear to me,” Bishop Mutsaerts said. “God is out of the picture in this vile synodal process. The Holy Spirit has absolutely nothing to do with it.”

‘Perversion’: Russia condemns Pope’s remarks on cruelty of soldiers in Ukraine

In an interview with the Jesuit periodical America, Pope Francis said that he has received “much information about the cruelty of the troops” in Ukraine, and that “generally, the cruelest are perhaps those who are of Russia but are not of the Russian tradition, such as the Chechens, the Buryats and so on.”

Maria Zakharova, director of the Information and Press Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, said that “this is no longer Russophobia, it’s a perversion on a level I can’t even name. We are one family with Buryats, Chechens, and other representatives of our multinational and multi-confessional country.”

German bishops’ president: ‘We want to be Catholic in a different way’

Following a frank discussion between the German bishops and Curial leaders over the German Synodal Way, the president of the bishops’ conference said, “We want to be Catholic in a different way.”

“The Pope is a clever Jesuit,” said Bishop Georg Bätzing of Limburg. “He let us wrestle with one another as brothers.” Bishop Bätzing expressed gratitude that no clear limits on the German bishops’ actions emerged from their visit to Rome, which included a meeting with the Pope.

On the other hand, Bishop Stefan Oster of Passau emphasized that the prefects of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Dicastery for Bishops made “no concessions.” Irme Stetter-Karp, co-president of the Synodal Way, said that the “fundamental criticism of the Synodal Way” at the Vatican “not only snubs the German bishops, who overwhelmingly consider reforms necessary,” but “also disregards the impatience of many Catholics with their Church.”

Chicago archdiocese finally reinstates Sunday Mass obligation

The Archdiocese of Chicago will reinstate the Sunday Mass obligation later this month, after a lapse of more than eighteen months.

Early in 2021, Cardinal Blase Cupich, like most other American prelates, had announced a dispensation from the Catholic’s duty to attend Mass on Sunday, because of mounting fear of the spread of Covid. That dispensation has remained in place in Chicago, long after most other dioceses returned to the normal practice.

The dispensation will end, and Catholics in Chicago will be required to attend Sunday Mass under pain of sin, beginning with the November 27, the first Sunday of Advent.

Pope to French bishops: Care for people ‘disoriented’ by Traditionis Custodes

“Pope Francis ... invites you to the greatest solicitude and paternity for those people ⁠— especially young people, priests, and laity ⁠— who are disoriented by the motu proprio Traditionis Custodes, which you will be working to implement,” Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Holy See’s Secretary of State, said in a message to French bishops as they held their fall meeting. (Traditionis Custodes is the 2021 papal document restricting the celebration of the extraordinary form of the Mass.)

Disgraced former USCCB official named pastor

Msgr. Jeffrey Burrill resigned as general secretary of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2021 after the Pillar reported that he had frequently used the hookup app Grindr on his mobile phone to arrange homosexual encounters. Bishop William Callahan of La Crosse (Wisconsin) has now named him pastor of a parish; in June, he had named Burrill the parish’s temporary administrator.