Not 'good guys and bad guys': Pope describes war as 'imperialisms in conflict,' with Ukraine as victim (La Civiltà Cattolica) The Jesuit journal La Civiltà Cattolica has published a transcript of a September 15 conversation between Pope Francis and members of the Society of Jesus. The conversation took place during the Pontiff’s apostolic journey to Kazakhstan.
Asked, “How do you see the geopolitical situation we are experiencing?”, he replied, “There is a war going on and I think it is a mistake to think that this is a cowboy movie where there are good guys and bad guys.”
“The victim of this conflict is Ukraine,” he continued. “A head of state, in December last year, came to tell me that he was very concerned because NATO had gone barking at the gates of Russia ... He expressed fear that this would provoke a war, and this broke out two months later. So, one cannot be simplistic in reasoning about the causes of the conflict. I see imperialisms in conflict.”
Vatican confirms sanctions on Nobel-laureate bishop (Pillar) The Vatican has confirmed that sanctions were imposed on Bishop Carlos Felipe Ximenes Belo in 2019, after he was charged with multiple instances of sexual abuse.
Bishop Belo, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1996 for his work on behalf of human rights in East Timor, resigned from his post in the Dili diocese in 2002, at the age of 54, citing health reasons. He has since lived in Portugal.
The Vatican evidently imposed disciplinary sanctions on Bishop Belo—without any public announcement—sometime after the eruption of a worldwide scandal over revelations that leading Church officials had failed to take action on abuse complaints against former cardinal Theodore McCarrick.
Jesus is the best, most faithful friend a person can have, Pope says (CNS) Continuing his weekly catechesis on discernment, Pope Francis devoted his September 28 general audience to “the elements of discernment: familiarity with the Lord.”
“Being in prayer means opening my heart to Jesus, drawing close to Jesus, allowing Jesus to enter into my heart and making us feel His presence,” the Pope said. “And there we can discern when it is Jesus and when it is us with our thoughts, that so many times are far from what Jesus wants. Let us ask for this grace: to live a relationship of friendship with the Lord, as a friend speaks to a friend.”
Head of Vatican Synod office: 'Let us trust in our people' (National Catholic Reporter) Referring to homosexual couples and Catholics who have remarried outside the Church, Cardinal Mario Grech, the Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops, said, “What has the Church to fear if these two groups within the faithful are given the opportunity to express their intimate sense of spiritual realities which they experience? Might this be an opportunity for the Church to listen to the Holy Spirit speaking through them also?”
“When we say that we are listening to the others, we are also saying that we are listening to the Holy Spirit, and for me, this is something sacred and it was about time that we came around to recognize this wealth, this richness in the Church,” he added.
The prelate made his remarks during a recent address to the Leadership Roundtable’s 2022 Catholic Partnership Summit.
Nicaragua's Ortega describes Church as 'perfect tyranny' (France24) Lashing out at Church leaders who have protested the arrest of Bishop Rolando Álvarez, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega denounced the Catholic Church as “a perfect tyranny.”
In an angry denunciation of the Church, Ortega said that the Catholic clerics in Nicaragua are “coup plotters,” who are agents of “American imperialism.”
Ortega—whose authoritarian rule has frequently put him into conflict with the Nicaraguan hierarchy—still identifies himself as a Catholic.
Chief Rabbi of Rome assesses Jewish-Vatican relations (The Tablet) Riccardo Di Segni, the co-author of this article, has been Chief Rabbi of Rome since 2001. “A comparison with the past is always necessary, not only because it shows progress, but it reminds us that the confrontation between two worlds is always difficult, regardless of the time,” he concludes.
Article examines clergy-penitent privilege (AP) The Associated Press examines state legislation on the clergy-penitent privilege, which recognizes the confidentiality of the Sacrament of Penance. The article’s tone is tendentious: “This loophole has resulted in an unknown number of predators being allowed to continue abusing children for years despite having confessed the behavior to religious officials.”
Pittsburgh diocese discourages attendance at traditionalist conference (Pillar) The Diocese of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has announced that it “does not support, endorse, or encourage people to attend” a Catholic Identity Conference taking place in the city this weekend.
The Catholic Identity Conference will feature a lineup of prominent traditionalist Catholics, including Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano and Bishop Athanasius Schneider. Organizers have announced that at a press conference, they will “present articles of resistance against the Vatican and to the pontificate of Pope Francis.”
USCCB action alert: 'Urge HHS to do no harm to life and liberty' (USCCB) The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has proposed a regulation that “could function as both an abortion mandate and a gender transition procedure mandate,” the US Conference of Catholic Bishops warns.
Catholics are asked to “join the USCCB in encouraging the HHS to clarify that ‘discrimination on the basis of sex’ is not an abortion mandate, and that health care workers and medical facilities must be free to conscientiously object to gender transition procedures.”
Ukrainian Catholic leader rues 'truly hellish day' (Archeparchy of Philadelphia) Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, said on September 27 that “summarizing this day, we can say that it was truly hellish for Ukraine.”
“In just one day, Russia hit Ukraine with nine cruise missiles, made 22 airstrikes, and carried 90 attacks by rocket and jet systems,” he continued. “More than 50 settlements, cities, and villages of Ukraine were affected by Russian shelling.”
He added, “Despite the great pains, the great tension, and the deep wounds that Ukraine has experienced and is experiencing, in particular in the last day, we can still say today: Ukraine is standing! Ukraine is fighting! Ukraine is praying!”
Russian Catholic bishops support rights of conscientious objectors (Fides) The Catholic bishops of Russia have issued a statement insisting that “war has never been nor will be a means of solving problems between nations.”
In their statement, obviously aimed at the current war in Ukraine, the bishops stress that the Russian constitution provides for conscientious objection. A recent government announcement seemed to deny that conscientious objectors would be exempt from a recent mobilization order.
Oxford closes Catholic college (Spectator) Administrators at Oxford University have announced that St. Benet’s Hall, which now hosts 130 students, must be closed because of financial difficulties—although an American donor had pledged £40 million ($43 million) to put the Catholic institution on a sound footing.