Pope hails message of Ut Unum Sint, 'irrevocable' bid for ecumenism (Vatican Press Office) Pope Francis marked the 25th anniversary of the encyclical Ut Unum Sint with a statement confirming the “irrevocable” commitment of the Catholic Church to the work of ecumenism. In a letter to Cardinal Kurt Koch, the president of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity, the Pope said that the encyclical by Pope John Paul II should be understood in the “same liturgical and spiritual context” in which it was written.
Papal prayer for China's Catholics (Vatican News) On May 24, the feast of Our Lady, Help of Christians and patroness of China, Pope Francis told the nation’s Catholics that the Church “accompanies you with prayer for a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit, so that the light and beauty of the Gospel might shine in you as the power of God for the salvation of those who believe.” The Pope also prayed that China’s Catholics might be “strong in faith and steadfast in fraternal union, joyful witnesses, promoters of charity and hope, and good citizens.”
Vatican Museums to reopen on June 1 after lockdown (Vatican News) “he Museums received some 7 million visitors last year and are the Holy See’s most reliable source of income, previously generating an estimated $100 million yearly,” the Reuters news agency noted. Earlier, the Vatican outlined safety measures the Museums would take upon reopening.
Churches are 'essential,' Trump declares (AP) “Today I’m identifying houses of worship—churches, synagogues, and mosques—as essential places that provide essential services,” President Donald Trump said on May 22. He said that churches should be open for worship, and threatened to “override” any orders from state governors keeping them closed.
Australian bishops weigh major reforms in governance (Sydney Morning Herald) Australia’s Catholic bishops are circulating a confidential report that suggests dramatic changes in Church governance, including lay participation in diocesan oversight. Archbishop Mark Coleridge, the president of the Australian bishops’ conference, confirmed that the proposals—which will be discussed at the bishops’ meeting in November—have “far-reaching implications for the Church’s life and missions.”
Minnesota bishops to resume public Masses in defiance of governor's order (Archdiocese of Saint Paul & Minneapolis) While maintaining the suspension of the obligation to attend Sunday Mass, the state’s bishops “are united in our conviction that we can safely resume public Masses in accordance with both our religious duties and with accepted public health and safety standards,” they said in a letter to Gov. Tim Walz. “It is now permissible for an unspecified number of people to go to shopping malls and enter stores, so long as no more than 50 percent of the occupancy capacity is reached … An order that sweeps so broadly that it prohibits, for example, a gathering of 11 people in a Cathedral with a seating capacity of several thousand defies reason.”