Worshippers, protesters fined $1,800 in British Columbia (B.C. Catholic) “Participating in a worship service in B.C. has been contrary to public health orders since Nov. 19 and can lead to a $2,300 [$1,811 USD] fine,” according to the report. “A number of British Columbian worshippers have been on the receiving end of those tickets, some for holding religious services, others for protesting the orders without collecting names and numbers of all fellow protesters.”
Catholic advocates welcome treaty banning nuclear weapons coming into force (CNS) 86 states have signed, and 51 have ratified, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. “We are very much trying to encourage people to have . . . a more holistic approach to justice and development and care for creation, developing trust among people, education and health care and dialogue,” said Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, the Vatican’s Secretary for Relations with States. “These are factors in humanity’s security at this time.”
More worshippers allowed at Oregon Masses (Catholic Sentinel) After Gov. Kate Brown downgraded the state’s rules (limit of 25% capacity or 100 people) to guidelines, Archbishop Alexander Sample of Portland announced a 50% capacity limit in parishes (so as to maintain social distancing). Masks are still required, while signing up for Mass is no longer required.
El Paso bishop decries America's 'hardening of the heart' (Give Us This Day) “Standing here at the US-Mexico border, how do we begin to diagnose the soul of our country?” asked Bishop Mark Seitz. “A government and society which view fleeing children and families as threats; a government which treats children in US custody worse than animals; a government and society who turn their backs on pregnant mothers, babies, and families and make them wait in Ciudad Juarez without a thought to the crushing consequences on this challenged city . . .”
Cardinal Gregory: 'We need the Lord to cast out demon of division in our nation' (Catholic Standard) “The Lord casts out evil spirits, and we often, as we look at the world around us, in particular during these past several days here in our nation, we need the Lord to cast out the spirit of evil, hatred, division, bigotry, racism, inequity,” the Archbishop of Washington preached on January 13. “We have lots of evil spirits that somehow are destroying the harmony of the nation, making people of different races and cultures and languages and religions afraid of one another.”
North Korea ranked most dangerous place to be a Christian (Open Doors USA) The annual Open Doors World Watch List, which monitors the persecution of Christians, ranks North Korea, Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya, Pakistan, Eritrea, Yemen, Iran, Nigeria, and India as the places where Christians face the most persecution. The report also highlighted the impact of Covid on religious persecution.