Some populist leaders' speeches are reminiscent of 1930s, Pope tells Mediterranean bishops (Vatican Press Office) During his apostolic journey to the southern Italian city of Bari, Pope Francis met with Mediterranean bishops (video) and emphasized conviviality in the sense of different cultures living together. He warned, “I grow fearful when I hear certain speeches by some leaders of the new forms of populism; it reminds me of speeches that disseminated fear and hatred back in the thirties of the last century. As I said, it is unthinkable that this process of acceptance and dignified integration can be accomplished by building walls.”
Jean Vanier initiated relations with 6 non-disabled women, investigators report (L'Arche International) “Six adult women without disabilities” said that Vanier, who died in 2019 at the age of 90, “initiated sexual relations with them, usually in the context of spiritual accompaniment. Although they had no prior knowledge of each other’s experiences, these women reported similar facts associated with highly unusual spiritual or mystical explanations used to justify these behaviors. The relationships were found to be manipulative and emotionally abusive.” Vanier founded L’Arche, which offers a way of life that welcomes and incorporates persons with disabilities.
Christ calls us to the 'extremism of charity': papal homily in Bari (Vatican Press Office) During his apostolic journey to the southern Italian city of Bari, Pope Francis celebrated Mass in the city’s principal street (video). He preached, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. This is the Christian innovation. It is the Christian difference. Pray and love: this is what we must do … The Lord demands of us the courage to have a love that does not count the cost.”
Papal appeal for peace in Syria (Zenit) “While we are gathered here to pray and to reflect on peace and on the fate of peoples bordering on the Mediterranean, on the other shore of this sea, in particular in the northwest of Syria, a huge tragedy is unfolding,” Pope Francis said during his Angelus address in Bari. “From our pastors’ heart, a strong appeal is raised to the actors involved and to the international community, to silence the sound of arms and to hear the cry of the little ones and the defenseless.”
Mexican bishops decry femicide (CEM (Spanish)) “The cry of pain of the victims of violence cries out to heaven for justice,” the bishops said in a statement. “Christians cannot remain indifferent.” (According to the Mexican government, 1,006 women were murdered in 2019 because of their sex.)
8 sainthood, beatification causes advance (Vatican News) Pope Francis approved decrees recognizing miracles attributed to the intercession of Blessed Devasahayam Pillai (1712-52) and Blessed Anna Maria Rubatto (1844-1904), paving the way for their canonization. The Pontiff also cleared the way for the beatification of Venerable Carlo Acutis and Father Rutilio Grande, SJ, and 2 lay companions, who were martyred in El Salvador in 1977.
Respond to challenges posed by artificial intelligence, Archbishop Paglia urges (OFCS.Report) “I am convinced that, as with nuclear and climate threats, if we do not meet the challenges of artificial intelligence head on, we will not really understand them,” the president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, said in an interview with an Italian publication. “It is true that attention is increasing, but we need to take a combined ethical, legal and academic leap forward.”
As coronavirus speads, Philippine bishops advise sprinkling ashes on Ash Wednesday (Archdiocese of Manila) “On Ash Wednesday, during the Imposition of Ashes, ashes can be imposed on the faithful by dropping or sprinkling a small portion of blessed ash on the crown of the head of the faithful with the prescribed formula,” the president of the bishops’ conference advised. “On Good Friday, during the Celebration of the Passion of the Lord, at the part of the Veneration of the Cross, we strongly recommend also that the faithful refrain from kissing or touching the cross for veneration. Instead, the faithful are requested to genuflect or make a profound bow as they venerate the Cross.”
Pope advanced cause of married priests, Argentine archbishop claims (LifeSite News) An Argentine prelate has argued that Pope Francis advanced the campaign for married priests in Querida Amazonia, even though the topic was not mentioned in the papal document. Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernandez explained that the Pope wants the faithful in the Amazon region to set their own standards. While the archbishop’s interpretation clashes with most readings of the apostolic exhortation, it is significant because Archbishop Fernandez is a close ally of Pope Francis, and because his essay appeared in the official Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.
Portuguese lawmakers approve assisted suicide (AP) Portuguese legislators have approved a bill that would allow physician-assisted suicide. With the vote, Portugal will join Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and some US states in providing for legal euthanasia. The bill stipulates that assisted suicide will be legally available only to Portuguese citizens.