Scores of German Catholic churches join in blessing same-sex unions (Wall Street Journal) About 100 Catholic churches across Germany joined in a nationwide event on May 10, offering church blessings to same-sex couples in direct defiance of the Vatican. At St. Benedict’s church in Munich, where about 30 gay and lesbian couples received blessings, Father Wolfgang Rothe said: “Heavens were open. All people were happy.” But the German initiative—coming as a challenge to the Vatican’s statement that Catholic churches cannot bless same-sex unions—escalated the threat of an open schism.
In Australia, charities fear free speech at risk (Catholic Leader) A proposed law “may be misused to inhibit legitimate public dialogue by charities or persons associated with charities to the detriment of Australian representative democracy,” the head of Catholic Social Services Australia warned. “We believe that the proposal as drafted will leave us in the position of having to monitor and ‘punish’ staff, volunteers, and those of our members, or face the constant threat of our charitable status removed.”
Madison bishop welcomes Archbishop Cordileone's pastoral letter (Madison Catholic Herald) Welcoming Archbishop Cordileone’s pastoral letter on the dignity of the unborn, Holy Communion, and Catholic politicians, Bishop Donald Hying said that “66 million lives have been snuffed out at the very beginning of their existence, and countless individuals have been spiritually, emotionally, and psychologically damaged by this profound violence” of abortion.
Cardinal Stella discusses work of Congregation for Clergy (Vatican News) Cardinal Beniamino Stella, who has been Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy since 2013, affirmed the value of clerical celibacy. “The topic of the celibate life of the priest regularly receives attention for the fact that it is a ‘sign of contradiction’ in respect to the world’s mentality,” he said. “The same is true with a marriage that is faithful, indissoluble and open to life.”
Abide in Jesus' love, Pope tells pilgrims (Vatican Press Office) In his May 9 Regina Caeli address, Pope Francis reflected on John 15:9-17, the Gospel reading of the day day. “The love Jesus gives us is the same with which the Father loves Him: pure love, unconditional, freely given love,” Pope Francis said. “May the Virgin Mary help us to abide in Jesus’ love and to grow in love for everyone, witnessing to the joy of the Risen Lord.”
Papal appeal for peace in Jerusalem amid ongoing clashes (Vatican News) “With particular concern I am following the events that are happening in Jerusalem,” Pope Francis said on May 9.” I pray that it may be a place of encounter and not of violent clashes, a place of prayer and peace. I invite everyone to seek shared solutions so that the multireligious and multicultural identity of the Holy City is respected and brotherhood prevails. Violence begets violence. Enough with the clashes.”
Biden strips doctors' conscience-rights protection on abortion, sex-changes (LifeNews) The Biden Administration has reversed a Trump policy that protected health-care workers from being forced to participate in abortions or sex-change procedures. The Department of Health and Human Services announced on May 10 that in the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”), a ban on discrimination “on the basis of sex” would be interpreted as including “pregnancy termination.” The new rule also stipulates that health-care personnel cannot discriminate on the basis of “sexual orientation or gender identity.” Dr. Rachel Levine, assistant secretary for health, who is himself transgender, said: “No one should be discriminated against when seeking medical services because of who they are.”
'We need paths of healing and salvation': papal message to vaccine concert (Vatican Press Office) “And I mean healing at the root, healing the cause of the evil and not just the symptoms,” Pope Francis told VAX LIVE: The Concert to Reunite the World. “In these sick roots we find the virus of individualism, which does not make us freer or more equal or more brotherly or sisterly, but rather makes us indifferent to the suffering of others. And a variant of this virus is closed nationalism.”
Italian judge killed by Mafia is beatified in Sicily (Reuters) Blessed Rosario Angelo Livatino was “a martyr of justice and faith,” Pope Francis said on May 9. “In his service to the community as an upstanding judge, [he] never allowed himself to become corrupt . . . He always placed his work ‘under the protection of God’; for this reason he became a witness to the Gospel up to his heroic death. May his example be for everyone, especially for judges, an incentive to be loyal defenders of lawfulness and freedom.”