China: still no 'yes' to Vatican agreement (AsiaNews) Asked by a Japanese reporter to comment on the extension of provisional Sino-Vatican agreement, the spokesman for the Chinese foreign ministry said that the provisional agreement “has been working smoothly since it was reached two years ago” and did not comment on its potential extension.
US bishops decry new federal executions (USCCB) “After the first murder recorded in the Bible, God did not end Cain’s life, but rather preserved it, warning others not to kill Cain (Gn. 4:15),” said the chairmen of the US bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development and Committee on Pro-Life Activities. “In the last 60 years, before the Trump administration restarted federal executions, there were only four federal executions. Since July, there have been five ... We say to President Trump and Attorney General Barr: Enough. Stop these executions.”
EU bishops urge action to protect asylum seekers (COMECE) “These people came to Europe for help, and we left them as refugees in camps,” said Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, SJ, president of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union, following a fire at the Lésvos refugee camp (for whose victims the Pope has expressed solidarity). “It is a shame for Europe. What is on fire is not only the camp of Moria, but also the identity of Europe. We cannot claim Europe’s Christian roots if we leave people in despair.”
Vatican silent on the Abraham Accords (Crux) Analyzing the Vatican’s silence on recent Middle East peace agreements brokered by President Trump, John Allen writes that “the Vatican can’t object to any step that seems to promote peace, but it also doesn’t have to go out of its way to praise figures [President Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu] about whom it has reservations on multiple fronts.” In addition, “the Holy See definitely wants peace in the Middle East, but this isn’t really their plan for it.”
Vatican Secretary of State pays tribute to UN on 75th anniversary (Holy See Mission) “The United Nations is not perfect and it has not always lived up to its name and ideals, and it has harmed itself whenever particular interests have triumphed over the common good,” Cardinal Pietro Parolin cautioned during the September 21 UN virtual meeting. Nonetheless, “the United Nations Organization, where the peoples of the world unite in dialogue and common action, is needed as much today as ever to respond to the undiminished hopes of the peoples of the world.”
In Austria, tougher restrictions at Mass due to rise in Covid infections (SIR) “The faithful must wear protective masks covering their mouths and noses at all indoor Catholic services in all the dioceses of Austria,” according to the report. “When Holy Communion is dispensed, the rules also provide that both the faithful and the ministers should wear face masks covering their mouths and noses.”
Irish monastery receives canonical visitation; founder resigns (National Catholic Reporter) The visitors to Silverstream Priory said they were “very concerned about your current financial situation and the economic viability of the monastery”; the Irish bishops’ spokesman described the visitation as routine. According to the report, the founder, Prior Mark Daniel Kirby, has denied a sexual misconduct complaint made by a former monk and has resigned from his office for reasons of health. The visitation’s leader, Benedictine Abbot Brendan Coffey of Glenstal Abbey, is now the priory’s administrator.
Quebec places tight new restrictions on churches (Catholic Herald) The government of Quebec has imposed strict new limits on churches, allowing for only 50 people to attend services—or 25 people in areas designated for special concern. Cardinal Gerald Lacroix said that he was “very surprised” by the new rules, and hoped they would be reconsidered. “It’s not fair,” he said.
Pontifical council, World Council of Churches publish 'Serving a Wounded World in Interreligious Solidarity' (Vatican Press Office) The 20-page document, dated August 27, begins, “What does it mean for Christians to love and serve our fellow human beings in a world in which the COVID-19 pandemic has inflicted widespread suffering? At a time such as this, the World Council of Churches and the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue call upon the followers of Jesus Christ to love and serve our neighbors. We focus on the importance of doing so in solidarity also with those who profess and practice religions that are different from our own or consider themselves unaffiliated to any particular faith tradition.”
'Forge new paths,' leading Italian prelate urges (SIR) In light of the pandemic, “far from being nostalgic, lamentable or withdrawn into implausible shortcuts, we feel the responsibility to forge new paths where we can reshape the image of our ecclesial presence,” Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti of Perugia-Città della Pieve, the president of the Italian Bishops’ Conference, said at a meeting of the conference’s leaders.
Poll shows Biden with 53%-41% lead among Catholics (ETWN News) The EWTN News/RealClear Opinion Research poll found that Trump led Biden by 61%-37% among those who attend Mass more than once a week. In addition, “while Hispanics who identify as Catholics overall support Biden by a margin of more than two to one (63% to 31%), among those who go to Mass at least weekly, more than four in 10 support Trump (43%), while Biden gets support from 54%.”