Background: World Day of Migrants and Refugees (CWN) On September 25, the Church observes the 108th World Day of Migrants and Refugees, a commemoration instituted by St. Pius X. Pope Francis’s message for the day, issued on May 9, is entitled “Building the Future with Migrants and Refugees.”
Vatican's top prosecutor resigns (Vatican News) The Vatican’s top prosecutor has resigned, midway through the most important criminal trial in Vatican history.
Gian Piero Milano, who has held the office of “Promotor of Justice” since 2013, has stepped down, several weeks before his 75th birthday. He will be replaced by Alessandro Diddi, who has been an assistant prosecutor. Diddi has supervised the investigation that led to the trial of Cardinal Angelo Becciu and nine other defendants on financial-misconduct charges. That trial is ongoing.
The brief Vatican announcement of the change did not provide any reason why Milano stepped down before reaching the ordinary retirement age for Vatican officials, or whether his departure—and Diddi’s promotion—is related to the financial trial.
Pope Francis to International Thomistic Congress: Go to Thomas (Vatican News) On September 22, Pope Francis received participants in the 11th International Thomistic Congress, organized by the Pontifical Academy of Saint Thomas Aquinas and the Angelicum Thomistic Institute.
“We’re seeing a modest renaissance of Thomism in the Church, particularly in the English-speaking world,” said Father Thomas Joseph White, OP, rector of the Angelicum. “I think it’s the most important Thomistic conference internationally to take place in decades.”
Nigerian bishop deplores military attack on city market (Fides) Bishop Augustine Tochukwu Ukwuoma of Orlu, in Nigeria’s Imo State (map), denounced a military attack on a market. Orlu is the site of an insurgency that began last year.
“I still maintain the view that human life is sacred and should be respected,” said Bishop Ukwuoma. “The inhabitants of this area are petty traders and subsistent farmers who live basically from hand to mouth ... Did they think of the number of children who will have nothing to eat because their parents have lost their sources of income?”
Pope Francis extends a hand to China (CNA) “The Holy See extends a hand, but it knows that on the other side there is a knife, and the blade is directed toward our hand,” said one person involved in the Holy See’s negotiations with China. “Every time we reach out our hand, our hand bleeds. And yet, we must continue to extend our hand.”
Results of Vatican's synod session with the disabled presented to Pope (Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life) In May, officials of the Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life and the Synod of Bishops held an online listening session with 30 persons with disabilities from 20 countries.
On September 21, participants in the session met with Pope Francis and presented him with the results of their deliberations. They called for greater accessibility, said that no one should be denied the sacraments because of disability, and called for an “us, not them” mentality when speaking of persons with disabilities. They also requested that at least one person with disabilities take part in the Synod on Synodality.
France won't extradite priest, 92, to Canada, but Oblates might expel him (CNS) Father Joannès Rivoire, OMI, a missionary among the Inuit from the 1960 to 1992, was first accused of sexual abuse in 1991 and left for his native France in 1993. He denies the allegations but has admitted breaking his vow of chastity with an adult Inuit woman.
His superior in France said that the order’s leaders are “determined to continue their efforts to convince Joannès Rivoire to appear before the Canadian justice system,” but that the priest has repeatedly refused to go.
Cardinal Müller: Vatican 'should not sacrifice Cardinal Zen for China' (UCANews) Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, who served as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith from 2012 to 2017, said recently that the August 28-30 consistory of cardinals, from which Cardinal Joseph Zen of Hong Kong was absent, “would have been an opportunity to declare full solidarity” with him.
“In this case, I wonder why not criticize Beijing,” the prelate said. “Zen is a symbol [of defiance] and he was arrested on a pretext, he did nothing. He is authoritative, courageous, and much feared by the [Chinese] government. He is 90 years old, and we left him alone.”
Pope urges business consultants to promote diversity (Vatican News) Speaking on September 22 to consultants from the Deloitte Global firm, Pope Francis encouraged them to promote cultural responsibility and to enhance diversity.
Saying that the world “is suffering from worsening environmental conditions,” the Pontiff told the business consultants that they should “cooperate in reorienting our way of living on this our planet.”
Papal preface to Argentine book (L'Osservatore Romano (Italian)) Pope Francis has written a preface for Por qué Patria Grande, a recent book by Miguel Ángel Barrios on Latin American politics in the time of pandemic.
In his preface, the Pope discussed facets of Latin America’s Christian identity and recalled Alberto Methol Ferré, a Uruguayan thinker who influenced both Barrios and the Pontiff.
In Haiti, radio hosts call for attacks on Catholic institutions (Fides) Claiming that the Church is involved in arms trafficking, some radio hosts in Haiti have called for attacks on Catholic institutions, the Fides news agency reported.
The Church “is not involved in the arms trade,” the Caribbean nation’s bishops said in response. “Stop sowing confusion among the population. Defamation and slander are serious sins.”
“The situation of poverty and insecurity that is rampant everywhere clearly shows that our state authorities do not have the ability to bring the country back to normal,” the bishops also said in their recent statement. “The people need to live and have every right to live with respect and dignity.”
Pregnancy center demands release of firebombing video (CNA) A New York pregnancy-help center has brought suit against local police, seeking to recover video footage that it submitted to the police to document a firebombing.
The site of CompassCare Pregnancy Services, located outside Buffalo, was badly damaged by the attack on June 7, and director James Harden reports that security cameras captured images of individuals involved and the license plates on their vehicles. That tape, along with “a mountain of other evidence,” was turned over to law-enforcement officials.
“It’s Day 106 [since the bombing]. There have been no arrests,” Harden says. Frustrated that neither the police nor the FBI have shown any urgency in investigating the bombings at pregnancy-help centers, CompassCare has demanded the return of the video.
Police officials say that release of the video could compromise their investigation.
Renew commitment to nuclear test ban, Vatican Secretary of State urges (Holy See Mission) Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Holy See’s Secretary of State, addressed participants in a UN meeting on the 25th anniversary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).
The treaty, ratified by 175 nations, will not enter into force until eight additional nations, including China and the United States, ratify it.
“The Holy See deplores any resumption of testing and calls upon all States to maintain adherence to the zero-yield moratorium,” said Cardinal Parolin. “As global tensions rise and we hear rhetoric threatening the use of nuclear weapons, it is more crucial than ever to bring the CTBT into force.”
Cardinal Parolin also called on nations that rely on nuclear deterrence to assist “those who have suffered due to radioactivity released by nuclear testing, which has a disproportionate impact on women, girls, and the unborn and has contaminated environments across the world.”
“While these States do not currently have a legal responsibility to contribute to such efforts, they have [a] moral obligation to redress the harms inflicted by nuclear testing,” he added.
Pope: May we pray for and help those with Alzheimer's disease (Vatican News) “Today is World Alzheimer’s Day, a disease that affects so many people, who are often pushed to the margins of society because of this condition,” Pope Francis said on September 21, at the conclusion of his general audience. “Let us pray for those suffering from Alzheimer’s, for their families, and for those who lovingly care for them, that they may be increasingly supported and helped.”
Pope encourages Norbertines to 'rethink history,' be missionaries (Vatican Press Office) At a September 22 audience with Canons Regular of Prémontré—commonly known as Norbertines—Pope Francis said: “The presence of a community of sisters or brothers is a like a shining beacon in the surrounding environment.”
The Pope encouraged the Norbertines to imitate the missionary impulse of St. Norbert. In Europe particularly, he said, religious orders are “invited to rethink their history.” He added that religious communities should “cultivate a fraternal interest in all other communities,” and learn the benefits of federation.
Cameroon Church leaders reject kidnappers' ransom demand (Fides) “We will not pay a dime” to ransom the nine Catholics kidnapped from a Catholic church on September 16, Archbishop Andrew Nkea Fuanya of Bamenda has announced.
The archbishop, who is president of the Cameroon bishops’ conference, said that the payment of ransom “would create a dangerous precedent,” possibly encouraging other abductions.
The archbishop said that the September 16 raid on St. Mary’s Church in Nchang was carried out by separatist guerillas, who were angry because the Church does not endorse their campaign.
Bishop meets with priests in troubled French diocese (Crux) BIshop Dominique Rey of Fréjus-Toulon, France, met last week with his priests, for a candid conversation about the direction of the diocese in the wake of a Vatican investigation that produced an unprecedented order suspending all priestly ordinations.
“Since the suspension of ordinations in June, no new information has come from Rome and the diocese still does not know when priests and deacons can be ordained again,” the diocese announced.
The Vatican order evidently reflected concerns that Bishop Rey had brought disorder to the diocese by welcoming different sorts of active and growing Catholic communities—notably including traditionalist groups. Bishop Rey reported that the Vatican’s investigation had shown him his “errors of appreciation and discernment in the reception and follow-up with certain communities.” Nevertheless he told his clergy that he was impressed with “the missionary fruits and the fruitfulness of the various charisms and pastoral initiatives of the diocese.”