House passes Equality Act in 224-206 vote (AP) “Rather than affirm human dignity in ways that meaningfully exceed existing practical protections, the Equality Act would discriminate against people of faith,” five bishops who chair USCCB committees warned in a February 23 letter. “It would also inflict numerous legal and social harms on Americans of any faith or none.”
Bishops defend property after Spain claims irregularities in registration (CNS) “In a 3,000-page report published Feb. 16, the government said the 34,961 assets registered before the law was modified in 2015 had included many nonreligious assets, including residential buildings, garages, farms and vineyards,” according to the report. “The report gives the Church until 2023 to provide proof of ownership of the assets.”
New Covid relief bill may permit taxpayer funding of abortion (National Committee for a Human Life Amendment) “Unlike previous COVID relief bills, this bill appropriates billions of taxpayer dollars that are not subject to longstanding, bi-partisan pro-life protections that are needed to prevent this funding from paying for abortions,” according to the action alert. “The US Conference of Catholic Bishops is communicating to Congress its strong opposition to any taxpayer funding of abortion as part of this legislation, saying that the Hyde Amendment policy must be included before this bill moves forward.”
Papal preacher delivers first Lenten Sermon (Vatican News) Cardinal Raniero Cantalamessa, the preacher of the pontifical household, delivered the first Lenten Sermon on January 26, beginning a weekly series on the theme: “Who do you say that I am?” In the first Friday sermon, the Capuchin preacher remarked on the “sober drunkenness” of the apostles—who were thought by cynics to be drunk on wine when they were filled with the Holy Spirit.
Holy See reiterates, broadens calls for disarmament (Vatican News) Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, the Vatican’s Secretary for Relations with States, addressed the High-Level Segment of the Conference on Disarmament. He “said that while the importance of disarmament was particularly evident for nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, it applied just as strongly to increased military competition in outer space, in cyberspace and artificial intelligence.”
China's new measures on clergy ignore Vatican agreement (UCANews) “The Communist government in China has promulgated a new set of rules for religious clergy to be implemented in two months, but they ignore the Sino-Vatican agreement on bishop appointments by asking people to elect their bishops democratically,” according to the report.
Vancouver archbishop asks health officials to reconsider public worship ban (The B.C. Catholic) “While we respect the measures taken by government to protect the health of British Columbians, we want to be assured that the orders are being fairly applied to all sectors of the population,” said Archbishop J. Michael Miller. “Specifically, we seek to understand why gathering for worship in limited numbers with safety precautions is not allowed, while bars, restaurants, and gyms remain open.”
Equality Act will discriminate against people of faith, US bishops warn (USCCB) “Rather than affirm human dignity in ways that meaningfully exceed existing practical protections, the Equality Act would discriminate against people of faith,” five bishops who chair USCCB committees warned in a February 23 letter. “It would also inflict numerous legal and social harms on Americans of any faith or none.” The Act (H.R. 5), sponsored by Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI), has 224 cosponsors in the House of Representatives.