Pope rallies from knee pain to proclaim 10 new saints (AP) “By embracing with enthusiasm their vocation – as a priest, as a consecrated woman, as a lay person – they devoted their lives to the Gospel,” Pope Francis preached at the Mass of canonization on May 15. “They discovered an incomparable joy and they became brilliant reflections of the Lord of history. For that is what a saint is: a luminous reflection of the Lord of history. May we strive to do the same.”
The ten new saints are Saints Titus Brandsma (1881-1942), Lazarus Devasahayam Pillai (1712-1752), César de Bus (1544-1607), Luigi Maria Palazzolo (1827-1886), Giustino Russolillo (1891-1955), Charles de Foucauld (1858-1916), Anne-Marie Rivier (1768-1838), Anna Maria Rubatto (1844-1904), Carolina (Maria of Jesus) Santocanale (1852-1923), and Maria Domenica Mantovani (1862-1934).
At the conclusion of the Mass, the Pope delivered a brief Regina Caeli address, in which he said, “While sadly in the world distances grow, and tensions and wars increase, may the new saints inspire solutions of togetherness and ways of dialogue, especially in the hearts and minds of those who hold positions of great responsibility and are called upon to be agents of peace, not war.”
Pelosi condemns arrest of Cardinal Zen; Chinese government pushes back (Washington Post) House Speaker Nancy Pelosi strongly criticized the arrest of Cardinal Joseph Zen of Hong Kong.
“Zen is an outspoken champion of democracy in the Catholic community, advocating for religious liberty in Hong Kong and, in 2016, urging the Vatican to reject an agreement that would give the People’s Republic of China say over the ordination of bishops,” Pelosi wrote in a Washington Post op-ed. “But he is not only a leader of Hong Kong’s and other Chinese Catholics.”
“To a broader audience, he is a critical voice of conscience: an embodiment of moral fortitude, who has been a constant presence as Hong Kong has led a decades-long pursuit of the freedoms promised with the handover from British rule,” she continued. “As speaker of the House, I have been blessed to witness Cardinal Zen’s courage and commitment up close.”
The Chinese Foreign Ministry “strongly disapproved and firmly rejected” Pelosi’s article and added, “We urge Nancy Pelosi to immediately withdraw her ‘black hand’ from Hong Kong affairs.”
Chilean bishop facing misconduct, abuse allegations leaves country (Crux) Auxiliary Bishop Cristián Roncagliolo Pacheco of Santiago, 52, was appointed by Pope Francis in 2017, and “faces accusations of inappropriate sexual conduct as well as abuse of power,” according to the report.
“Don Cristián’s decision to travel to Spain obeyed a direct instruction from the Congregation for Bishops,” fellow Auxiliary Bishop Alberto Ricardo Lorenzelli said in a memo. “The objective is to undergo a process of recovery of his physical, psychological and spiritual health.”
Louisiana high court upholds pastor's appeal against Covid restrictions (AP) The Louisiana Supreme Court has ruled in favor of a Protestant minister who was prosecuted for holding church services in defiance of state Covid regulations.
The court ruled that the restrictions on religious worship were not justified, and in the case of Rev. Tony Spell, “violate his fundamental right to exercise religion, do not survice strict scrutiny, and are thus unconstitutional.”
Asian bishops' leader condemns Cardinal Zen's arrest, decries crackdown in Hong Kong (UCANews) Cardinal Charles Maung Bo of Myanmar, the president of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences, condemned the arrest of Cardinal Joseph Zen of Hong Kong.
As he called for prayers, Cardinal Bo said that “Hong Kong used to be one of Asia’s freest and most open cities. Today, it has been transformed into a police state. Freedom of expression, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly and association, and academic freedom have all been dismantled.”
“I am aware of recent propaganda attacks against the Church in pro-Beijing media in Hong Kong, and of growing self-censorship among religious leaders due to the circumstances” he added. “To see a city that was a beacon for freedom, including religious freedom, move so radically and swiftly down a much darker and more repressive path is heartbreaking. To see a government in China break its promises made in an international treaty, the Sino-British Joint Declaration, so repeatedly and blatantly, is appalling.”
1 killed, several wounded in California church shooting (CBS News) A man attacked members of the Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church during a lunch reception on May 15, killing one and injuring several more. The congregation shares space with Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods, CA, where the shooting took place.
An Asian man was taken into custody. “We believe a group of churchgoers detained him and hogtied his legs with an extension cord and confiscated at least two weapons from him,” Orange County Undersheriff Jeff Hallock said.
Pope urges educators to respond to global crisis (Vatican Press Office) Meeting on May 16 with the rectors of the Universities of Lazio, Pope Francis said that academic leaders must recognize their role in society today, because “we are in crisis.”
Pointing to the Covid epidemic, the war in Ukraine, and the threat of climate change, the Pope said that current events “challenge us in an unprecedented and accelerated way.” He endorsed the Global Compact on Education, as well as the Abu Dhabi statement on human fraternity, as means by which leaders have responded to the crisis.
Pope's planned tour of Canada draws mixed reactions from Indigenous leaders (CTV News) On May 13, the Vatican announced on May 13 that Pope Francis will visit Edmonton, Québec and Iqaluit in July.
“While some [Indigenous leaders] say they hoped the Pope’s visit will be a step toward reconciliation, others are disappointed he will not be travelling to provinces such as Saskatchewan, where many of Canada’s residential schools were located,” according to the report.
New Jersey's bishops slam governor's latest abortion plan (Shore News Network) “The Catholic bishops of New Jersey join to express our disappointment and outrage over Governor [Phil] Murphy’s announcement regarding proposed legislation to expand access to abortion in New Jersey, an act that by its very nature terminates human life,” the bishops said in their statement.
“If enacted, this legislation would mandate health insurance coverage for abortions, codify regulations that permit non-physicians to perform abortions; and create a public fund that dedicates taxpayer money to pay for abortions.”
Vandals plague Brussels basilica (Kerknet (Dutch)) Vandals have broken more than 40 windows in the Koekelberg basilica in Brussels recently, and the walls of the building had been sprayed with paint.
The vandals—as yet unidentified—have thrown stones through windows over a period of several weeks. Precious stained-glass windows have been destroyed and, because some of the stones have been thrown during the day, caretakers and visitors to the basilica have been endangered.
Police are now patrolling the area carefully.
Ecumenical Patriarch recognizes Macedonian Orthodox Church in surprise move (The Tablet) Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, who holds a primacy of honor among the Orthodox churches, has granted recognition to the 1.3-million member Macedonian Orthodox Church.
The church (CNEWA profile) broke away from the Serbian Orthodox Church in 1967. According to the report, the Russian Orthodox Church, as well as the Serbian Orthodox Church, opposed the recognition.
Extreme abortion-on-demand bill fails in US Senate; 'stop pushing abortion,' bishops urge (USCCB) On May 11, the Women’s Health Protection Act of 2022 (S.4132) was defeated in the Senate in a 49-51 vote, with 60 votes needed to invoke cloture (“end the filibuster”).
The bill, approved by the House in a 218-211 vote, had previously failed in the Senate. The measure would have “imposed abortion on demand nationwide at any stage of pregnancy through federal statute and would have eliminated pro-life laws at every level of government—including parental notification for minor girls, informed consent, and health or safety protections specific to abortion facilities,” the US bishops’ conference noted.
“We are relieved that the Senate vote to advance this bill failed for the second time in less than three months,” said Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore (chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities) and Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York (chairman of the Committee for Religious Liberty), who described the bill as “far more extreme than Roe v. Wade.”
“More than 60 million unborn children have already lost their lives to abortion, and countless women suffer from the physical and emotional trauma of abortion,” they added, as they implored Congress “to stop pushing abortion as a solution to the needs of women and young girls.”
Bishop condemns 'abhorrently evil' slaying of 10 at Buffalo supermarket (CNA) “On behalf of the Diocese of Buffalo, I, in the strongest of terms, condemn this utterly senseless act and pray for the victims and all those impacted by this act of cowardice,” Bishop Michael Fisher said following a mass shooting. “The scourge of senseless gun violence that has taken the lives of so many across our nation and changed the lives of countless innocent men, women and children must come to an end.”
Do not interfere in China's internal affairs, government spokesman says after Cardinal Zen's arrest (Ministry of Foreign Affairs (China)) During a May 12 press conference, a reporter from a Hong Kong television station asked Zhao Lijian, spokesman of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, about the arrest of Cardinal Zen. (“The Vatican and the White House have both expressed concern. Does the Chinese side have any comment?”)
Zhao Lijian replied, “We have noticed relevant reports. I want to stress that Hong Kong is a society with rule of law where no organization or individual is above the law and all offenses shall be prosecuted and punished in accordance with law. We firmly oppose any act that denigrates rule of law in Hong Kong and interferes in its affairs.”
Vatican announces that Pope Francis will visit Canada in July (Vatican Press Office) “Accepting the invitation of the civil and ecclesiastical Authorities and the indigenous communities, His Holiness Pope Francis will make an Apostolic Journey to Canada from 24 to 30 July 2022. During this time, he will visit the cities of Edmonton, Québec and Iqaluit,” the Vatican press office announced on May 13.
The Pontiff, then, will visit three far-flung provincial and territorial capitals: Edmonton is the capital of Alberta, Québec is the capital of Quebec, and Iqaluit is the capital of Nunavut (map).
USCCB laments Cardinal Zen's arrest (USCCB) “The alarming news of the May 11 arrest in Hong Kong of Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun due to his past role in administering a humanitarian fund for protestors indicates the downward trend in respect for fundamental freedoms and human rights in Hong Kong,” said Bishop David Malloy of Rockford (IL), chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace.
Praising Cardinal Zen as a “strong supporter of democracy and justice,” Bishop Malloy added that “although Cardinal Zen has been released on bail, his situation remains precarious.”
Archbishop Roche: Vatican is preparing document on liturgical formation (Omnes (Spanish)) Archbishop Arthur Roche, the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, said in an interview with a Spanish Catholic magazine that his dicastery is preparing a document on the liturgical formation of all the baptized.
Commenting on Pope Francis’s restrictions on the extraordinary form of the Mass, the prelate also told the magazine (Omnes) that neither St. John Paul II nor Pope Benedict sought to promote the Tridentine Mass, but only to “care for people who have a difficulty” with the ordinary form.
“At this moment, the liberalism, the individualism that exists in this society are a challenge for the Church,” he added. “It is easy to think of my personal preference, of a specific type of liturgy, of a particular expression of celebration, of this priest rather than this other priest; but this individualism is not of the character of the Church.”
German bishops' leader responds to American critic of Synodal Path (CNA) BIshop George Bätzing of Limburg, the president of the German episcopal conference, has again responded to Denver’s Archbishop Samuel Aquila, who has charged that the German Synodal Path “challenges, and in some instances repudiates, the deposit of faith.”
Bishop Bätzing repeated the German bishops’ claim that changes in the Church are necessary as a response to the sex-abuse scandal. He said that Archbishop Aquila’s argument—that the scandal does not call for theological innovations—is “frighteningly one-line,” and that the American prelate does not understand the “multi-dimensional systemic factors in the Catholic Church which favor abuse.”