100 incidents of vandalism reported at Catholic sites in US since May 2020 (USCCB) “These incidents of vandalism have ranged from the tragic to the obscene, from the transparent to the inexplicable,” said Cardinal Timothy Dolan, chairman of the bishops’ Committee for Religious Liberty, and Archbishop Paul Coakley , chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development. “We call on our elected officials to step forward and condemn these attacks. We thank our law enforcement for investigating these incidents and taking appropriate steps to prevent further harm.”“In all cases, we must reach out to the perpetrators with prayer and forgiveness,” they added. “True, where the motive was retribution for some past fault of ours, we must reconcile; where misunderstanding of our teachings has caused anger toward us, we must offer clarity; but this destruction must stop.”
Do not be accomplices to abortion, Pope tells Italian pharmacists (Vatican Press Office) “I have had occasion to return to the subject of abortion recently,” Pope Francis said in an October 14 address to participants in a conference organized by the Italian Society of Hospital Pharmacy. “You know that I am very clear about this: it is a homicide and it is not licit to become an accomplice.”“Having said that, our duty is to be close to people, our positive duty: to be close to situations, especially women, so that they do not come to think of the abortion solution, because in reality it is not the solution,” the Pope continued. “Then after ten, twenty, thirty years, life sends you the bill. And you have to be in a confessional to understand the price of this, which is so hard.”
Pope lauds 'ambitious goal' of eliminating hunger (Vatican Press Office) In a message to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), for the annual observance of World Food Day, Pope Francis observed that “overcoming hunger once and for all is an ambitious goal.” He remarked on the paradox that “more than 3 billion people do not have access to a nutritious diet, while on the other hand, almost2 billion people are overweight or obese.” The Covid epidemic, he said, has presented the world with an opportunity to change, “to make ethical and sustainable choices,” to address the problem of hunger.
Pope Francis: 'I will never tire of upholding the dignity of work' (Vatican News) “Work expresses and nourishes the dignity of the human being, it allows the individual to develop the capacities that God has given him or her, it helps weave relationships of exchange and mutual aid, it allows one to feel that he or she is collaborating with God in taking care of this world and developing it, it makes the person feel useful to society and in solidarity with his or her loved ones,” the Pope said in a video message to a colloquium organized by Argentina’s 400 largest companies.
Children have suffered most from lockdowns, Vatican diplomat says (Vatican News) Archbishop Janusz Urbanczyk, the representative of the Holy See to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, told participants in a conference that children “are some of the most vulnerable of our population and have suffered most from the lockdown and closure of schools due to the pandemic.”“Schools represent the possibility of a better life than the one they are currently living,” he added.
English bishops call for 9 days of prayer to defeat attempt to legalize assisted suicide (CBCEW) “The novena, asking the intercession of Pope Saint John Paul II, who spoke courageously about the infinite worth of each human person and witnessed to the cross in his final illness, calls upon Catholics and all who share our view that assisted suicide is wrong, to pray with perseverance that this Bill will be defeated,” said Bishop John Sherrington, Lead Bishop for Life Issues for the English and Welsh bishops.
Biden to meet Pope October 29: confirmed (Reuters) Pope Francis will meet with US President Joe Biden at the Vatican on October 29, the White House has confirmed.
Biden will be in Rome for a G20 meeting. He is also scheduled to attend the UN’s climate-change meeting in Glasgow, Scotland, after his visit to Rome. Pope Francis had been hoping to attend that meeting if his health allowed it, but apparently will not make the trip.
Most US churches not pushing vaccines, poll finds (Pew Forum) Most American churchgoers report that their pastors have not spoken about the Covid vaccines, according to a new Pew survey. Among those who have spoken about the issue, however, the vast majority have encouraged vaccination.
Among Catholic respondents, 52% said that they had heard “not much” from their pastors about vaccination; 43% had been encouraged to take the vaccine, and only 3% had been discouraged.
Questioned as to whether Pope Francis was a reliable guide on the question, Catholics were almost equally divided, with a slim majority (52%) saying they had little or no confidence in the Pope’s advice.
Papal visit to East Timor contingent on vaccination rates? (LICAS.news) A visit by Pope Francis to East Timor “should only take place if a large part of the population is vaccinated,” an official at the country’s apostolic nunciature has said. Msgr. Marco Sprizzi explained that if vaccination rates are not high enough, the large crowds expected to greet the Pontiff could “endanger the population.”
Nigeria working to persuade terrorists to abandon violence (Fides) The Nigerian government has engaged in a secret outreach to leaders of the Boko Haram terrorist group, hoping to reintegrate them into a society, the Fides news service reports. Some Boko Haram members have left the group, accepting the government offer to assist in their transition to peaceful life. Father Donatus Tizhe, a priest of the Maiduguri diocese, tells Fides: “We do not know much about it because it is a secret program, but we are convinced that after so many failures, it will work.”
Vatican-backed abuse research institute expands mandate (AP) Father Hans Zollner, SJ, a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors and founding president of the Center for Child Protection at the Pontifical Gregorian University, said that the institute will examine the sexual and spiritual abuse of adults, including the abuse of seminarians and nuns by their superiors.
Prelate discusses mission, work of Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization (Vatican News) Archbishop Rino Fisichella has led the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization since Pope Benedict XVI established it in 2010.“Little by little,” he said, “the dicastery has tried to encourage the Christian community so that it might be aware of the work of evangelization, while not forgetting the cultural context, especially in the West, which is living a profound epochal transformation that has consequences also on the faith.”
Leading French bishop discusses confessional seal with nation's interior minister (CNA) Commenting on French law on the mandatory reporting of the sexual abuse of children, Archbishop Éric de Moulins-Beaufort, president of the French bishops’ conference, told a reporter that “the seal of confession imposes itself on us, and in this, it is stronger than the laws of the Republic.”“I told him what I say to all religions: there is no law that is superior to the laws of the National Assembly and the Senate,” said Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin, who summoned the prelate to a meeting. “The French Republic respects all religions from the moment they respect the Republic and the laws of the Republic.”“Archbishop Éric de Moulins-Beaufort was able to discuss with Gérald Darmanin the clumsy wording” of his remark, the bishops’ conference said in a statement following the meeting. “The state has the task of organizing social life and regulating public order. For us Christians, faith appeals to the conscience of each person, it calls to seek the good without respite, which cannot be done without respecting the laws of the country.”The conference’s statement led Reuters to report, “France’s top bishop acknowledges that law takes precedence over confession secrecy.”
US nuncio says he'll stay on, confirms Pope-Biden meeting at end of month (CNS) Archbishop Christophe Pierre, 75, who was appointed apostolic nuncio to the United States in April 2016, said that Pope Francis has asked him to stay in his position beyond the customary five-year term and retirement age.Warning against polarization and “cultural war” and praising synodality, he confirmed indirectly that President Biden and Pope Francis will meet when the president visits Rome later this month, despite the “tense situation because of the agenda of the Democratic Party on abortion.”“The Pope is not a dictator, he is a mobilizer,” the nuncio added. “What he wants is to help the Church be Church here (in the US).”Asked why a portrait of his predecessor, papal critic Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, remains in the nunciature, Archbishop Pierre said, “Because we are not Americans (who) want to take away the statues. We respect history.”
Rep. Pelosi meets with Pope Francis (CNS) The Speaker of the House was in Rome to address the Pre-COP26 Parliamentary Meeting. ( COP26 is the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow.)The meeting took place a week Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco launched a campaign of prayer and fasting for her conversion of heart on abortion.
On Saturday evening, Pelosi attended Mass at St. Patrick’s church in Rome, but was forced to leave because of a “security incident.” Father Stephen Petroff said: “She was going to do our second reading today, but of course her safety is most important.”
Joan Lewis, the veteran EWTN correspondent in Rome, told the Catholic News Agency that the “security incident” was not related to Pelosi’s appearance, but to a large anti-lockdown demonstration in the neighborhood of the church.