Powerful Vatican Cardinal Becciu resigns amid scandal (AP) Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu, 72, oversaw the internal affairs of the Roman Curia as Substitute (Sostituto) of the Secretariat of State from 2011 to 2018. Pope Francis created him a cardinal in the 2018 consistory and named him Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. The prelate, as Edward Pentin notes, has been linked to financial scandals (see 2019 Phil Lawler analysis).
Pope stresses environment in message to UN (Vatican News) In a video message to the UN, delivered September 25 for the 75th anniversary of the international body, Pope Francis said that the Covid pandemic shows “we cannot live without one another, or worse still, pitted against one another.” The Pontiff said that crisis should force us to “choose what matters and what passes away,” and to know “the importance of avoiding every temptation to exceed our natural limits.” He also urged international action against human-rights abuses, listing persecution, the use of weapons of mass destruction, human trafficking, and forced migration.
West Virginia bishop says predecessor's apology inadequate (CNA) Bishop Mark Brennan of Wheeling-Charleston, West Virginia has said that a public apology from his predecessor, Bishop Michael Bransfield, was “self-serving and lacking in any recognition of, or contrition for, having actually offended people.” Bishop Bransfield—who was directed to apologize and make restitution after a Vatican inquiry found him guilty of financial and sexual misconduct—replied that he did not want to “do battle” with Bishop Brennan.
Louisville archbishop pleads for peace, rejection of violence following Breonna Taylor decision (Archdiocese of Louisville) “Whatever our reaction to decisions by the Grand Jury and the Attorney General’s Office, we must now come together to work for racial justice,” Archbishop Joseph Kurtz said following the announcement of the results of the Breonna Taylor investigation. “There is no question that our nation’s original sin of racism continues to destroy and harm the lives of persons of color and that racism extends through so many systems of our society….educational, economic, religious, housing, criminal justice, voting, and employment.”
California pastor wins in court, will continue services (Thomas More Society) Rev. John MacArthur won a round in a Calfornia court on September 25, with the rejection of a government bid to shut down his Grace Community Church and hold the Evangelical pastor in contempt. The court ruled that county officials can take action against the Protestant community only if and when the government prevails in a case in which Rev. MacArthur challenges the constitutionality of government restrictions on his worship services.
Immigrants and refugees are 'essential workers during COVID-19,' bishop tells US House subcommittee (Justice for Immigrants) “Immigrants comprise 31% of U.S. agricultural employees,” Auxiliary Bishop Mario Dorsonville of Washington, chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on Migration, told the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship. “They risk their own safety to support their families and to ensure continuity in the nation’s food supply chains ... We urge Congress to include immigrant and refugee families in any future COVID-19 relief as well as be made eligible for past relief efforts.”
Caritas: Long-awaited EU Pact on Asylum and Migration falls short (Vatican News) “the Pact’s top priorities seem to be deterrence, preventing migration to the EU, and intensifying cooperation with countries of origin,” said Caritas Europa, the Church’s humanitarian network in Europe. Caritas called on the EU to “radically change its course or to propose policies that would definitively prevent the creation of future, undignified migrant camps.”
Pope criticized for 'masculine' title of new encyclical (National Catholic Reporter) The Pontiff will travel to Assisi on October 3 to sign Fratelli Tutti (Brothers All), an encyclical letter on fraternity and social friendship. A Vatican spokesman has defended the title as inclusive; a Vatican newspaper article also defended the title but suggested that it be translated in such a way that “all Christians, men and women, feel involved.”
Asia's bishops encourage faithful to live with hope during pandemic (Fides) “Across Asia, many people are now hurt, physically, emotionally, financially and spiritually,” the Federation of the Asian Bishops’ Conferences said in a statement. “With its response to the pandemic, the Catholic Church joins the charity movement. This is the time to bring God’s goodness, mercy and love to our world.”
Tibetan farmers, like Uyghurs, in Chinese re-education camps (AsiaNews) The AsiaNews service reports that in Tibet, farmers and other rural dwellers have been confined in re-education camps—formerly military facilities—where they are effectively providing slave labor while being indoctrinated. The camps are similar to institutions that hold Uyghur Muslims.
Russian Catholics worried by new religion law (AsiaNews) Russian Catholics are concerned about new legislation designed to curb “extremism” in religion. Father Kirill Gorbunov, the vicar general of the Archdiocese of the Mother of God (Moscow), points in particular to a requirement that religious leaders be trained in Russian academic institutions, to ensure that they are steeped in the country’s cultural traditions.