Grand Imam of Al-Azhar meets with Pope Francis at Vatican (Vatican Press Office) During his February apostolic journey to the United Arab Emirates, Pope Francis and the Grand Imam, regarded by many Sunni Muslims as the highest religious authority, signed Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together. On November 15, members of the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity met with the Pope and the Grand Imam at the Vatican.
Pope Francis: 'Move the deacons away from the altar' (Vatican News) In an address to participants in a Vatican conference on the laity’s identity and mission, Pope Francis extemporaneously “warned against the danger of what he termed as ‘clericalizing the laity,’” according to Vatican News. “Sometimes, he said, permanent deacons, who are to be the custodians of service in dioceses, soon find themselves ‘looking at the altar’ and end up as ‘wannabe priests.’ Work with the laity but don’t clericalize them, the Pope said. ‘Move the deacons away from the altar … They are the custodians of service, not first-class altar boys or second-class priests.’”
Pope speaks to Havana's people of faith, charity, and hope on city's 500th anniversary (Vatican Press Office) “Faith is at the roots of the city,” Pope Francis said in his Spanish-language video. “Do not forget those roots, the testimony of faith of your ancestors. The founding act of the city of Havana was the celebration of Holy Mass. Therein lies the centrality of Christian life: in the Eucharist, the sacrament that brings us Christians together as a people in the presence of the Lord Who speaks to us, nourishes us, and sends us to be witnesses in the midst of the world. Witnesses of the Gospel.”
Experienced Vatican diplomat named new nuncio at United Nations (Holy See Mission) Following the conclusion of Archbishop Bernardito Auza’s five-year term, Pope Francis has appointed Archbishop Gabriele Giordano Caccia as apostolic nuncio and Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations. The 61-year-old Milan priest was a leading official of the Secretariat of State (Assessor for General Affairs, 2002-09) before becoming apostolic nuncio to Lebanon (2009-17) and the Philippines (2017-19).
Jury orders pro-life investigator to pay Planned Parenthood $870,000 for exposing aborted baby part sales (LifeNews.com) “While top Planned Parenthood witnesses spent six weeks testifying under oath that the undercover videos are true and Planned Parenthood sold fetal organs on a quid pro quo basis, a biased judge with close Planned Parenthood ties spent six weeks trying to influence the jury with pre-determined rulings and suppressed the video evidence,” said David Daleiden. “This is a dangerous precedent for citizen journalism and First Amendment civil rights across the country, sending a message that speaking truth and facts to criticize the powerful is no longer protected by our institutions.”
New York bishops meet Pope at end of 'ad limina' visits (CNS) “It was intense, in terms of the painful situations we shared,” said Bishop Edward Scharfenberger of Albany, referring to the sexual abuse of minors. “What was heartwarming was how you could tell that Pope Francis was listening with his heart, and he expressed his gratitude realizing that we are in difficult situations where there is lots of pain and expressed great admiration for the work that’s been done.”
Archbishop Scicluna: be prepared for new revelations (Crux) Speaking at a conference held at the University of Notre Dame, Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta warned that Catholics should be prepared for more shocking revelations about clerical misconduct. The archbishop works with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in handling sex-abuse cases.