Hundreds reportedly dead after massacre at church in Ethiopia (CNA) The attack on the Ethiopian Orthodox parish took place in Axum, an historic city in the northern part of the nation. The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church (CNEWA background) is among the Oriental Orthodox churches that ceased to be in full communion with the Holy See following the Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon (451).
Pope, due to visit Iraq in March, condemns Baghdad attack (Vatican Press Office) At least 32 people died, and 110 were injured, in a pair of suicide bombings. “In deploring this senseless act of brutality, he [the Holy Father] prays for the deceased victims and their families, for the injured and for the emergency personnel in attendance,” the Vatican’s Secretary of State said in a telegram to Iraqi President Barham Salih.
Archbishop Gomez repeats: Abortion is the 'most fundamental' injustice (@ArchbishopGomez) “Friends, there are many injustices in our society, but the most fundamental is the one our society rarely acknowledges — the routine taking of innocent human life every day through abortion. So let us pray and work for an end to this injustice,” the president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops tweeted after his Inauguration Day statement, which placed some emphasis on abortion, was met with unusual public criticism from Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago.
Pope Francis sends message to President Biden (Vatican Press Office) “At a time when the grave crises facing our human family call for farsighted and united responses, I pray that your decisions will be guided by a concern for building a society marked by authentic justice and freedom, together with unfailing respect for the rights and dignity of every person, especially the poor, the vulnerable and those who have no voice,” the Pontiff said in his message. Similar papal messages were sent for the inaugurations of President Obama in 2009 and President Trump in 2017.
At inaugural prayer service, faith leaders pray for nation, its leaders (CNS) As is customary, the Washington National Cathedral (Episcopal Church) hosted the post-inaugural National Prayer Service. Catholics who offered prayers at the service (video) included Sister Carol Keehan, former president and CEO of the Catholic Health Association, and Sister Norma Pimentel, executive director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley.
Priest lauds Biden at Mass before Inauguration (Religion News) At a special Mass celebrated before the inauguration of President Joe Biden, Father Kevin O’Brien, the Jesuit president of Santa Clara University, said in his homily that Biden’s “public service is animated by the same conviction to help and protect people and to advance justice and reconciliation, especially for those who are too often looked over and left behind.” Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi also attended the morning Mass at St. Matthew’s cathedral, which was not open to the public.
Bishops call on EU to help make the Mediterranean 'a place of peaceful encounters' (COMECE) A delegation of bishops from the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the EU (COMECE) met with Olivér Várhelyi, EU Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement. Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich SJ, president of COMECE, called for “EU policy responses rooted in the Union’s fundamental values and fully respectful of the human dignity and rights of every person, including migrants and refugees.”
Papal appeal to nations to work toward elimination of nuclear weapons (Vatican News) 86 states have signed, and 51 have ratified, the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which enters into force on January 22. “This is the first legally binding international instrument explicitly prohibiting these weapons, whose indiscriminate use would impact a huge number of people in a short time and would cause long-lasting damage to the environment,” the Pope said following his January 20 general audience. “I strongly encourage all States and all people to work decisively toward promoting conditions necessary for a world without nuclear weapons.”
Archbishop rebukes Pelosi for attack on pro-life voters (San Francisco archdiocese) Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone has rebuked Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi for her comments accusing pro-lifers of “being willing to sell the whole democracy down the river for that one issue.” The archbishop said that Pelosi “speaks in direct contradiction to a fundamental human right that Catholic teaching has consistently championed for 2,000 years.” He charged that Pelosi had “chosen this week to impugn the motives of millions of Catholics and others,” and “owes these voters an apology.”
Central American bishops: Respect the human rights of the thousands fleeing Honduras (Vatican News) “We recognize and respect the legitimate right to sovereignty of the countries involved in the transit of these migrants,” the Episcopal Secretariat for Central America (SEDAC) said in its Spanish-language statement. “In the name of political charity promoted by Pope Francis, we ask that their human rights not be violated and that there be a deeply humanitarian attitude toward them regardless of their migratory status.”