Ukrainian Orthodox break with Moscow, condemn war (Interfax) The leaders of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church who had been allied with the Patriarchate of Moscow have condemned the war on Ukraine, repudiated the support of Moscow’s Patriarch Kirill, and stated their desire for independence from the Russian Orthodox Church.
After weeks of tension, heightened the Russian Orthodox Church’s support for the war, the Council of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church approved a measure to amend the body’s statutes, looking toward “full independence.” The statement stopped just short of calling for autonomy—a move that has already been made by the rival Ukrainian Orthodox Church—Kiev patriarchate.
“The Council condemns war as a violation of God’s commandment, ‘Thou shalt not kill,’” the group announced. “We disagree with the position of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia on the war in Ukraine.”
The loss of the Ukrainian Orthodox parishes that have remained loyal to Moscow patriarchate would have an enormous effect on the Russian Orthodox Church. The Orthodox faith is vigorous in Ukraine, and the number of worshippers actually attending services there may approach—or even surpass—the number of active members of Russian parishes.
Pope Francis: World needs a new Christian model of economy (Vatican News) “We cannot live with an economic pattern that comes from the liberals and the Enlightenment” Pope Francis said in extemporaneous remarks to the directors of the Global Solidarity Fund. “Nor can we live with an economic pattern that comes from Communism. We need a Christian economy, let’s put it this way.”
The Pope also praised the work of economist Mariana Mazzucato after he said that “we need to move from the liberal economy to an economy shared by the people, to a communitarian economy.”
(During his remarks, the Pope also joked about America’s Irish and Italian immigrants.)
Virginia bishop will observe ban on Communion for Pelosi (CNA) Bishop Michael Burbidge has announced that his Arlington diocese will respect the decision of San Francisco’s Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone that Speaker Nancy Pelosi should not receive Communion.
Bishop Burbidge, whose diocese abuts Washington, DC, explained that Archbishop Cordileone is the Speaker’s bishop, and his decision “is not limited to just a geographical area.”
Ukrainian Catholic leader compares Russian Orthodox defense of war to ISIS (Crux) Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, criticized Patriarch Kirill’s “Christian justification for this war.”
Those who support the Patriarch’s “Russian world” teaching are “truly exploiting the Christian message for a nationalist, Russian ideology,” Major Archbishop Shevchuk said at a virtual event organized by the Fondazione Ambrosianeum (video). This justification for war, he added, “is increasingly close to the doctrine of ISIS, of the Islamic State.”
Cardinal O'Malley tells Italian bishops that 'facing truth' is only way to tackle abuse (Crux) “Sexual abuse has always been wrong, for sure,” Cardinal Seán O’Malley of Boston, president of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, told Italy’s bishops as they consider whether to commission an investigative report into the clerical sexual abuse of minors. “But how pastors have dealt with these accusations, while inadequate in some cases, should not be seen through the lens of what we know today.”
German bishops' leader defends promotion of accused priest (CNA) The president of the German bishops’ conference has defended his decision to promote a priest who has been accused of sexual harassment.
Bishop Georg Bätzing of Limburg said that he would ask a diocesan board to review the appointment of a priest, whose identity has not been made public, as dean of a diocesan region. The priest has been the subject of several complaints, but denies misconduct.
Bishop Bätzing, as head of the German episcopal conference, has enthusiastically supported the Synodal Path, saying that the Church must undergo radical change because of the sex-abuse scandal.
'Every war goes against principles of the UN,' Pope tells Italy's Civil Protection service (Crux) Itay’s Civil Protection Department is responsible for emergency prevention and management.
During a recent address to members of the service, Pope Francis said that “the first form of protection we need is that which preserves us from social isolation ... The second protection to promote is that against environmental disasters ... The third form of protection comes through prevention.”
“Every war marks a surrender of the human capacity to protect,” the Pope added. “A denial of what is written in the solemn commitments of the United Nations. This is why St. Paul VI, speaking before the UN, proclaimed, ‘Never again war!’ We repeat this today, in the face of what is happening in Ukraine, and we protect the dream of peace among people, the sacred right of peoples to peace.”
Cardinal Burke: Pope should remove dissenting German bishops (FSSPX) Cardinal Raymond Burke has said that Pope Francis should challenge the German bishops who have called for radical changes in Church teaching, and “ask them to renounce the heresies.”
The Roman Pontiff is the guarantor of unity in the universal Church, Cardinal Burke observed. “It is up to him to correct these bishops.” He argued that “if they do do not renounce their errors and correct themselves, then he would have to remove them from office.”
Canadian bishops mark 'somber anniversary' of Kamloops Residential School findings (CCCB) A year after the discovery of graves at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School, the Canadian bishops said that “on this somber anniversary, Canada’s Catholic Bishops wish to reiterate our deep regret and heartfelt sadness for the Catholic Church’s role in the Indian residential schools.”
“Today, we pray for children who did not return home, and for the survivors and communities who grieve and cope with the trauma as the truth of residential schools comes to light.”
Latin Patriarch encourages 'new narrative' for Jerusalem (CBCEW) “Usually we talk, here in the Middle East, especially in [the] Holy Land, about the need to defend ourselves, our borders – identity borders, physical borders, political borders and so on,“ said Patriarch Pierbattista Pizzaballa.
“In our Christian tradition, the role of Jerusalem is to be open and the gates are there to ‘define’ the identities but not to ‘defend’ from the others,” he continued. “This is a completely different perspective. We have to let people know that we want to be inclusive without ‘cancelling’ different identities.”
Vietnamese dissident, freed from prison, describes restrictions on Church (AsiaNews) Ho Duc Hoa, a Vietnamese Catholic who had been sentenced to 13 years in prison for his work on publicity work on behalf of the Redemptorist order—which was classified as working “to overthrow the people’s government”—has been released and allowed to travel to the US, as a result of pressure from the state department.
The Vietnamese dissident discussed the restrictions on the Church in his native country, in an interview with AsiaNews.
Bulgarian leader, Pope discuss corruption (Vatican News) Pope Francis received Prime Minister Kiril Petkov of Bulgaria in a 15-minute private audience on May 23. The Southeast European nation of 6.9 million (map) is 83% Christian (79% Orthodox) and 14% Muslim; the Pope made an apostolic journey there in 2019.
“I was honoured to meet His Holiness Pope Francis,” Petkov tweeted. “I was grateful to receive his blessing for the direction taken. We agreed that corruption is a disease that needs constant efforts.”
Vatican trial offers glimpses into Sostituto's range of work (Crux) The Vatican’s Secretariat of State has three sections: the Section for General Affairs, the Section for Relations with States, and the Section for Diplomatic Staff. As head of the first section, the Sostituto, or Substitute for the Secretariat of State, coordinates the internal affairs of the Roman Curia.
For better or for worse, the Church is keeping Haiti afloat (Christian Century) “When societies lack good governance and social stability, churches and clergy often fill in the gaps,” Philip Jenkins writes in this brief overview of Church-state relations in Haiti (map). “Repeatedly, during times of violence and political chaos, it is the bishops who have been called on to mediate and to encourage free elections.”
Pope Francis assures Russian Orthodox leader of his prayers (ANSA) On May 24—the day on which many Orthodox Christians commemorate Saints Cyril and Methodius according to the Julian calendar—Pope Francis sent name-day greetings to Patriarch Kirill of Moscow.
“The feast of Saint Cyril, the great apostle of the Slavs, gives me the opportunity to send you my best wishes and to assure you of prayers for Your Holiness and for the Church entrusted to your pastoral care,” Pope Francis said.
“In these days I pray to our heavenly Father that the Holy Spirit will renew us and strengthen us in the ministry of the Gospel, especially in our efforts to protect the value and dignity of every human life,” the Pope added.
Cardinal Zen says Vatican's China policy is 'unwise' (La Prensa Latina) Cardinal Joseph Zen said that Vatican policy toward China is “unwise,” as he celebrated Mass in Hong Kong on May 24, the day set aside for prayer for the Church in China.
Cardinal Zen said that Vatican officials had “good intentions” in their dealings with the Beijing regime, as they seek to ensure the freedom of the Church. But he said the secret deal with China was not producing that effect.
Earlier the same day, the cardinal had appeared in court to answer criminal charges, having been arrested for his role in a foundation that provided legal support for democracy activists. The Vatican has not commented on the arrest, beyond a mild statement that the Holy See was following the story with interest.
Resist cynicism in old age, Pope recommends (Vatican News) At his weekly public audience on May 25, Pope Francis spoke about the Book of Wisdom, continuing his series of talks on old age with a meditation on the temptation toward cynicism.
As elderly people wonder whether their lives were well spent, the Pope remarked, “old age makes the appointment with disenchantment almost inevitable.” But he said that “the resistance of old age to the demoralizing effects of this disenchantment is decisive.”
The disenchantment, the Pope continued, stems from a “fatal temptation of an omnipotence of knowledge” and “the mind devoid of affection for justice.” The balanced wisdom of old age, he said, should counteract the arrogance of those who claim knowledge—especially in an “age of fake news, collective superstitions, and pseudo-scientific truths.”
Pope calls for gun control after Texas school shooting (NPR) At the conclusion of his regular public audience on May 25, Pope Francis said that he was praying for the young victims of a mass shooting in Texas, and for their families.
“It is time to say enough to the indiscriminate trafficking in arms,” the Pope said.