Reflecting on crèche and Christmas tree, Pope calls for 'effective decisions' to protect our common home (Vatican Press Office) “Today’s meeting offers me the opportunity to renew my encouragement to your people, who last year suffered a devastating natural disaster, with the destruction of entire wooded areas,” the Pope said to members of delegations from Trentino and Veneto, who donated the Christmas tree and the Nativity display in St. Peter’s Square (video). “These are events that alarm us, they are warning signs that creation sends us, and that ask us to take effective decisions immediately for the protection of our common home.”
Take time to understand the poor, Pope urges Jesuit editors (AsiaNews) At a December 6 audience with editors of the Italian Jesuit magazine Aggiornamenti Sociali, Pope Francis advised reformers to take time to understand the problem. He said, “before rushing to their aid, this option requires that we be on their side, even when we look at the dynamics of society.” He added that “the poor have so much to teach us.”
Vatican investment in Elton John biopic? (National Catholic Reporter) According to the Italian daily Corriere della Sera, funds contributed to the Peter’s Pence collection were invested in the production of Rocketman, the film biography of homosexual entertainer Elton John. The paper reports that Vatican funds also went into the production of Men in Black: International.
German bishop faces embezzlement charge (Crux) A German bishop who is under investigation on embezzlement charges has taken a leave from his pastoral duties. Bishop Johannes Buendgens, an auxiliary of the Aachen diocese, has been accused of accepting over €125,000 ($140,000) from a man who was no longer legally competent.
'Welcome the stranger,' bishops exhort Irish Catholics (Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference) The bishops called on “all Catholic parishes and communities to welcome and assist refugees in their local areas in light of the Gospel message.” Lamenting “the use of intolerant language in public and political discourse as well as the growing hostility towards migrants and refugees coming to Ireland,” the bishops added that “Christians, in their language and actions, are asked to lead by example and to welcome the stranger.”
Video released for Pope's monthly prayer intention (YouTube (Vatican News)) The Pope’s December prayer intention is “that every country may determine to take the necessary measures to make the future of children, especially those who suffer, a priority.” In the video, Pope Francis comments, “Every child who is marginalized, abused, abandoned, without schooling, or without medical care, is a cry that rises up to God. In each of them is Christ, who came to our world as a defenseless child; it is Christ who looks at us through the eyes of each of these children.”