Pope begins new series of talks on issues raised by pandemic (Vatican News) At his public audience on Wednesday, August 5, Pope Francis announced that he was beginning a new series of weekly talks on the social issues that have been highlighted by the Covid pandemic. The Pope—who was resuming his weekly audiences after a July break—said that the Church has no expertise on the medical aspects of the pandemic, but can offer a moral perspective on the social and political issues that have come to the fore.
Kentucky bishops continue public Masses despite governor's request for 'pause' (The Record) After Gov. Andy Beshear asked churches to take a “two-Sunday pause” from in-person worship, Kentucky’s bishops “decided not to ask parishes to suspend worship because of the very good job Catholic parishes have been doing with what has been asked of us, e.g. social distancing, mask-wearing, hygiene, cleaning, etc. ,” said Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville. “In light of the very legitimate concern about rising cases, I ask all pastors to double down on issues such as social distancing and mask-wearing.”
Bishops from Japan, US call Catholics to work for nuclear disarmament (CNS) “I did not witness the horrific scenes that unfolded immediately following the bombing myself,” said Archbishop Joseph Mitsuaki Takami of Nagasaki, who was in his mother’s womb during the atomic bomb of August 9, 1945 (video). “But my maternal grandmother suffered burns all over her body and died a painful death after one week without receiving any medical attention.”
Wisconsin: Private insurers must cover transgender procedures (Commissioner of Insurance) “The department’s stance bars health insurers from banning or limiting health care coverage for transgender individuals for medical procedures that are otherwise covered, such as mastectomies for transgender men or breast enhancement for transgender women,” the Wisconsin State Journal reported. “To enforce the decision, the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance will not approve health insurance policies for consumers that contain exclusions or limitations on benefits.”
Pastor tells lector not to wear 'Black Lives Matter' t-shirt at Mass (Christian Post) A Catholic pastor in New Jersey has come under criticism for telling a parishioner that he should not wear a “Black Lives Matter” t-shirt while serving as lector at Mass. Father Brian Needles explained to the lector, “A t-shirt, incredibly enough, can be a real source of division and distraction.” The Newark archdiocese backed the pastor, saying that lectors are expected to adhere to a dress code, avoiding calling attention to themselves.
US bishops reprimand President Trump as often as they praise him (RNS) “In 22 press releases on immigrants and another 13 on refugees, the bishops attacked the administration’s policies as ‘misguided and untenable,’ ‘unacceptable,’ ‘appalling,’ ‘devastating,’ ‘very concerning,’ ‘heartbreaking,’ ‘unlawful and inhumane,’ ‘terrible,’ ‘callous,’ ‘disturbing’ and ‘contrary to American and Christian values,’” according to the analysis of bishops’ statements in 2019 and 2020. “These are not words used by starry-eyed supporters.”
These are not words used by starry-eyed supporters.
Video released for August papal prayer intention (Vatican News) The Pope’s August prayer intention is “for all those who work and live from the sea, among them sailors, fishermen and their families.” In the video, Pope Francis comments, “The life of sailors or fishermen and their families is very difficult. Sometimes they are victims of forced labor or are left behind in distant ports. The competition of industrial fishing and the problem of pollution make their work even more complicated. Without the people of the sea, many parts of the world would starve.”
Current illness not seen as life-threatening for Benedict XVI (CNA) Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI’s health is “not of particular concern,” according to his longtime secretary. Reacting to reports that the former Pontiff is “very frail” and suffering from an infection, Archbishop Georg Ganswein said that Benedict’s immediate illness is not life-threatening, and his overall condition is that of “a 93-year-old who is going through the most acute phase of a painful, but not serious disease.”