Cardinal Müller rips working document for Amazon Synod (CNA) Cardinal Gerhard Müllehr as issued a strong statement criticizing the working document for the Amazon Synod. The former prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith sees the document as making “a radical U-turn from the hermeneutics of Catholic theology.” In particular he decries the references to “cosmovision,” and rejects the suggestion that “there are new sources of Revelation.” He also criticizes the document for “flattery” aimed at Pope Francis, and says “the text could easily be cut down to half the length or less.”
USCCB president condemns threat of widespread immigration enforcement actions, new rule drastically limiting asylum (USCCB) On July 14, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) launched a nationwide deportation sweep that President Donald Trump had announced, delayed, and re-announced. On July 16, an interim final rule on asylum, announced the previous day, went into effect; under the rule, “asylum-seeking immigrants who pass through a third country en route to the US must first apply for refugee status in that country rather than at the US border,” NPR reported. Cardinal Daniel DiNardo commented, “It is contrary to American and Christian values to attempt to prevent people from migrating here when they are fleeing to save their lives and to find safety for their families.”
Influential bishop hopes Amazon Synod will move toward women's ordination (LifeSite News) A bishop serving on the preparatory commission for the Amazon Synod has indicated that he hopes the meeting will recommend the ordination of women—“at least” to the diaconate—and of married men. Bishop Erwin Kräutler, an Austrian-born bishop who now head the territorial prelature of Xingu in Brazil, reportedly played a major role in drafting the working document for the Synod.
Planned Parenthood ousts president in policy dispute (Washington Post) Leana Wen has been removed from her post as president of the Planned Parenthood Federation after just eight months. The board of Planned Parenthood did not explain the move, but informed sources said that Wen had declined to promote “transgender” rights to abortion. In her own statement the ousted president, a physician, said that she had hoped the organization would promote a broad range of health services, but the board decided “to double down on abortion rights advocacy.”
[Note: the Washington Post coverage provides a highly skewed account of Planned Parenthood involvement in the sale of fetal body parts.]
Religious restrictions on the rise worldwide (Pew Forum) A Pew Foundation survey has found that restrictions on religious activities have “increased markedly around the world” in the past decade. The Pew study cited restrictive laws and government policies, limits on religious activities, government harassment of believers, and social hostility, as well as outright religious violence.
Notre Dame was close to collapse, New York Times reports (New York Times) An exclusive report in the New York Times reveals that the basilica of Notre Dame in Paris was close to collapse during a fire in April. The Times shows, in an interactive report, how the main structure was spared from complete disaster by the timely work of firefighters—who took unusual risks to save the treasured church.
Parents in UK seek to move comatose child to Italy for treatment (CNA) In a case with overtones of the “Alfie Evans” case, the parents of a comatose 5-year-old girl have asked for court permission to move their child to Italy, after doctors in a London hospital said that further medical treatment was futile. Tafida Raqeeb had been “completely healthy” before suffering a burst blood vessel in her brain. Now doctors say that life-sustaining treatment is futile.
Bombed cathedral reopens in Philippines (Fides) The Catholic cathedral in Jolo, in the Philippines, was reopened for worship on July 16. The cathedral, located in the southwest of the country’s archipelago, had been badly damaged in a January 27 terrorist bombings that killed 21 people and injured dozens more. Several members of the Islamic separatist group Abu Sayyaf were arrested and charged with the bombing.
Regional bishops call for protection of Congo River basin, tropical forest (CNS) “The major challenge is how to safeguard this strategic reserve for humanity — this lung in the heart of Africa—given the demographic pressure facing our countries,” said Bishop Donatien Bafuidinsoni Maloko-Mana, SJ, of Inongo, Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Congo basin (map) is the world’s second largest, after the Amazon.
Rome plans campaign against ticket scalpers at Vatican Museums (Crux) Police in Rome are taking action against profiteers who profiteers who charge exorbitant prices for “skip-the-line” tickets to the Vatican Museums. Conscious of the long lines for entry, especially during the summer tourist seasons, firms buy tickets in bulk and charge a premium to unprepared visitors.
Professor charges American prelates with schism (La Croix) In an article for La Croix denouncing conservative critics of Pope Francis, Massimo Faggioli says that some American bishops as well as lay political leaders are “devout schismatics.” He names Archbishops Charles Chaput of Philadelphia and Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, as well as Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas. Faggioli teaches theology at Villanova University, which is located in Archbishop Chaput’s Philadelphia archdiocese.