Pope calls for renewed biblical humanism, enriched by classical tradition and other cultures (Pontifical Council for Culture) On November 23, Pope Francis sent a video message to the members of the Pontifical Council for Culture as they held a virtual plenary assembly on the theme of “rethinking anthropology: toward a new humanism.”In the 1960s, “a secular, immanentist, materialist humanism came face to face with a Christian one, open to transcendence,” Pope Francis said in his message. “Both, however, could share a common basis, a fundamental convergence on some radical questions related to human nature. This has now disappeared because of the fluidity of the contemporary cultural vision.”The Pope called for a renewed “biblical and classical humanism” that draws on the ancient Greek and Latin tradition as well as on contemporary cultures. The Pope cited the “holistic vision of Asian cultures,” the “solidarity of African cultures,” the sense of family and celebration in Latin America, and the cultures of indigenous peoples around the world.
The 'beatitudes of the bishop': Pope offers guidance to Italian episcopate (CNS) Pope Francis met privately with Italy’s bishops for two hours on November 22 as they began a four-day special assembly on “the synodal journey of the Church in Italy.”The meeting took place in the Ergife Palace Hotel, where the bishops are holding their assembly.Printed on a prayer card which the Pope distributed to the Italian episcopate, the “beatitudes of the bishop” were not written by Pope Francis, but by Archbishop Domenico Battaglia of Naples. They begin, “Blessed is the bishop who makes poverty and sharing his way of life, so that by his witness he is building up the kingdom of heaven.”
Pontifical academy laments approval of Italy's 1st assisted suicide (Pontifical Academy for Life) The Pontifical Academy for Life has issued a statement following an ethics committee’s approval of Italy’s first assisted suicide.In a 2019 decision, Italy’s Constitutional Court approved assisted suicide in certain cases. A 43-year-old man who was paralyzed in an accident a decade ago sought an assisted suicide, and his request was initially denied.“What happened to the doctors’ oath to care for the suffering?” the Pontifical Academy said following the approval of the assisted suicide. “Can giving death to someone else become normal?”The Academy added, “We must ask ourselves how to be truly responsible for the lives of all. The most convincing way seems to us to take care of others according to the logic of palliative care, which also envisages the possibility of stopping all treatments that are considered disproportionate by the patient, within the relationship with the healthcare team.”
English, Welsh bishops say vulnerable do not yet need to return to Mass (Crux) “When the Church speaks of the Sunday obligation, it reminds us that attending Mass is a personal response to the selfless offering of Christ’s love,” the bishops said in their statement (Honouring Sunday). “At this time, we recognize that for some people there may be certain factors which hinder attendance at Sunday Mass. The pandemic is clearly not over.”“The risk of infection is still present,” they added. “For some, there is legitimate fear in gathering together. As your bishops, we recognize that these prevailing circumstances suggest that not everyone is yet in the position to fulfil the absolute duty to attend freely Sunday Mass.”
US bishops encourage cooperation with federal Indian boarding school investigation (CNS) In June, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland announced an investigation into American Indian boarding schools.“If the government asks for any records you may possess, we encourage cooperation,” Archbishop Paul Coakley (chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development) and Bishop James Wall (chairman of the Subcommittee on Native American Affairs) advised their brother bishops.
Latin American bishops must 'revive Aparecida' and go to peripheries, leading prelate says (CNS) The Sixth Ecclesial Assembly of Latin America and the Caribbean, which opened on November 21, is the most significant Latin American bishops’ meeting since the 2007 meeting in Aparecida, Brazil, at which the future Pope Francis chaired the committee that drafted the final document.Archbishop Héctor Miguel Cabrejos Vidarte, the Peruvian Franciscan prelate who is president of CELAM (the Episcopal Conference of Latin America), called on the assembly to “revive Aparecida” and to “open new paths forward, new ways of educating in the pastoral faith, new ways of evangelizing, new ways of being in the society and world of today.”In his message to the Assembly, Pope Francis called on participants to reflect on “listening” and “overflow”: that is, “ the ‘overflow’ of the creative love of his Spirit, who urges us to go out fearlessly to meet others, and who encourages the Church to become ever more evangelizing and missionary through a process of pastoral conversion.”
After McWilliams, Cleveland seminary faces questions (Pillar) Father Robert McWilliams, 41, was sentenced to life in prison for sexually exploiting boys in Confession and collecting a large cache of child pornography. He was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Cleveland in 2017.“The seminary’s rector told a reporter last month there were no red flags in the priest’s file,” writes JD Flynn, editor-in-chief of The Pillar. “But that claim may not hold water with Catholics looking for ecclesial reform, in the wake of the McCarrick scandal, and with two Cleveland priests, ordained in the same 2017 class, both now accused of aberrant sexual behavior.”
Bishop Rhoades: 'The Holy Spirit was at work' in USCCB Eucharist document (Pillar) Bishop Kevin Rhoades of Fort Wayne — South Bend, until recently the chairman of the US bishops’ doctrine committee, was the bishop primarily responsible for The Mystery of the Eucharist in the Life of the Church, which was recently approved in a 222-8 vote.Addressing the reception of Holy Communion by pro-abortion politicians, he said, “I don’t think we skirted the issue.”Bishop Rhoades criticized comments on pro-abortion politicians made by Cardinal Roger Mahony, the retired Archbishop of Los Angeles, in a Vatican News interview prior to the bishops’ vote. “I very much disagree with that,” said Bishop Rhoades. “I was saddened to read that because it’s just not consistent for a Catholic to be supporting legalized abortion or funding of abortion. It’s not consistent with one’s faith.”
Christmas tree arrives in St. Peter's Square (Vatican News) The 2021 Vatican Christmas tree hails from Andalo, a village of 1,000 in Italy’s Trentino province (map). The tree weighs eight tons and is 113 feet tall, the Vatican newspaper’s Italian edition reported.Archbishop Fernando Vérgez Alzaga, LC, the president of the Governorate of Vatican City State, will preside at a tree-lighting ceremony on December 10. The tree will remain lit until the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, the conclusion of the Christmas season.
US bishops approve statement on the Eucharist, National Eucharistic Revival (CNS) In a 222-8 vote, the US bishops approved “The Mystery of the Eucharist in the Life of the Church,” as well as a three-year plan for a National Eucharistic Revival. In a 201-17 vote, the bishops approved a national Eucharistic congress in Indianapolis in summer 2024.The bishops’ statement “does not contain reference to pro-abortion Catholic politicians, though it does mention the possibility of prohibiting Catholics from Holy Communion,” The Pillar reported.