Vatican newspaper headline: 'Washington: Democracy Wounded' (L'Osservatore Romano) “Politics cannot ignore individual responsibility, especially on the part of the person who is in power and is able—through a polarizing narrative—to mobilize thousands of people,” the Vatican newspaper’s assistant director, Giuseppe Fiorentino, wrote in an op-ed. “He who sows the wind reaps the whirlwind, and at this point it is easy to tie the events in Washington to the accusations of fraud launched by Trump after the voting Nov. 3, accusations that never found objective confirmation.”
Cardinal Dolan: The radicals who defaced St. Patrick's Cathedral are pure bigots (New York Post) New York’s cathedral has “been defaced with vile graffiti attacking both the Catholic faith and the men and women of the New York Police Department,” Cardinal Timothy Dolan said. “A similar outrage occurred last summer amid the sad violence afflicting American cities. At that time, I let it go, figuring I needn’t stoke the embers of anger that were burning throughout our country. Not this time.”
Pope offers sympathy for Venezuelan suffering (Vatican News) Pope Francis has sent a message to Cardinal Baltazar Porras Cardozo of Merida, expressing his sympathy for the people of Venezuela, who are suffering through a lengthy economic and social crisis as well as the Covid epidemic. The Pope has faced criticism for his reluctance to criticize the policies of the country’s authoritarian government, which has clashed repeatedly with Venezuela’s bishops.
Pelosi cites Epiphany, St. Francis as House confirms Biden win (Catholic San Francisco) “Today, January 6, is the feast of the Epiphany,” the Speaker of the House said on the evening following the violence at the US Capitol. “On this day of revelation, let us pray that this instigation to violence will provide an epiphany for our country to heal. In that spirit of healing, I evoke the song of Saint Francis . .. St. Francis is the patron saint of my city of San Francisco, and song of St. Francis is our anthem.”
Coptic leader: Christians not persecuted in Egypt (Fides) Coptic Ortodox Patriarch Tawadros II rejects the notion that Egypt’s Christians face persecution, despite occasional bouts of violence against Copts. To speak of persecution, he said, is to give “a distorted image of the situation in Egypt.” He explained that sometimes “there is a problem between the different communities in a village,” but “there is no persecution.”
Retirement of Mexican bishop seen as 'end of an era' (CNS) The recent retirement of Bishop Raúl Vera López, once forbidden by a neighboring bishop from celebrating Mass in his diocese, “marks the end of an era in Mexico,” according to the report. “He was the last in a line of socially minded bishops, including Bishops Samuel Ruiz Garcia and Arturo Lona.” The Dominican prelate was bishop of Ciudad Altamirano (1988-95), Coadjutor Bishop of San Cristóbal de Las Casas (1995-99), and Bishop of Saltillo (1999-2020).
Pakistani pastor arrested on blasphemy charges (Fides) A Protestant pastor in Pakistan has been charged with blasphemy for a Facebook message that offended his Muslim neighbors. Raja Warris was arrested after a Muslim mob threatened to burn down the homes of Christians in the neighborhood; he faces a potential 10-year prison sentence. There are now 24 Christians in Pakistani jails on blasphemy charges.
Swiss Cardinal Schwery dead at 88 (Vatican Press Office) Cardinal Henri Schwery, the former Bishop of Sion, Switzerland, died at home on January 7 at the age of 88. Ordained a priest in the Sion diocese in 1957, he was named Bishop of Sion in 1977 and remained in that post until his resignation in 1995. He received his red hat from Pope John Paul II in 1991.
With the Swiss prelate’s death the College of Cardinals now has a total of 228 members, of whom 128 are under the age of 80 and eligible to take part in a papal conclave.
Leading Australian prelate 'shaken and disbelieving' (@ArchbishopMark) “I didn’t realize just how much the integrity of and respect for the democratic institutions of the US matter to the rest of the world until this pandemonium erupted in DC,” said Archbishop Mark Coleridge, president of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference. “From the other side of the world, I find myself shaken and disbelieving.”