Myanmar's military strikes 2 churches (AsiaNews) According to the report, Myanmar’s military destroyed a Baptist church in Chin State (map) and shelled a Catholic church in Kayah State (map).Buddhism is the official religion of the Southeast Asian nation of 56.6 million (map); the nation is 77% Buddhist, 8% ethnic religionist, 8% Christian, and 4% Muslim.
Private papal visit to Assisi announced (Vatican News) The Pontiff’s fifth visit to Assisi will take place next month. During the private visit, Pope Francis “will share moments of listening and prayer with about 500 people from all over Europe in preparation for the World Day of the Poor on 14 November,” Vatican News reported. (The Pope established the World Day of the Poor in 2016.)
127 martyrs beatified in Córdoba (YouTube (Mezquita-Catedral de Córdoba)) Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, was the principal celebrant of the Mass of beatification on October 16.“The priest, Juan Elías Medina, and 126 companion martyrs – priests, religious, seminarians and lay people – were killed in hatred of the faith during the violent religious persecution of the 1930s in Spain,” Pope Francis said the following day. “May their fidelity grant us all strength, especially persecuted Christians in various parts of the world, the strength to witness to the Gospel courageously.”
Sicilian archdiocese imposes moratorium on godparents (New York Times) The Archdiocese of Moratorium has imposed a three-year moratorium because “the once-sacred role has become secularized and merely a way for parents to network and secure connections with local power brokers, including the mafia,” according to a summary of the report.The Code of Canon Law addresses baptismal sponsors in Canons 872-874.
Los Angeles removes St. Junípero Serra's name from park (Fox News) Father Serra Park is temporarily being renamed La Plaza Park until a new name is decided on. Mayor Eric Garcetti said that an “indigenous cultural easement” would be created “to give local indigenous communities priority access to the park for practice of traditional ceremonies.”
100 incidents of vandalism reported at Catholic sites in US since May 2020 (USCCB) “These incidents of vandalism have ranged from the tragic to the obscene, from the transparent to the inexplicable,” said Cardinal Timothy Dolan, chairman of the bishops’ Committee for Religious Liberty, and Archbishop Paul Coakley , chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development. “We call on our elected officials to step forward and condemn these attacks. We thank our law enforcement for investigating these incidents and taking appropriate steps to prevent further harm.”“In all cases, we must reach out to the perpetrators with prayer and forgiveness,” they added. “True, where the motive was retribution for some past fault of ours, we must reconcile; where misunderstanding of our teachings has caused anger toward us, we must offer clarity; but this destruction must stop.”
Cardinal Gregory pours praise on America's embattled press (Get Religion) “You are the professionals with just the right words, who immerse yourselves in a community, a situation or even a crisis – to bring us the facts, the people and the takeaways that can help us work toward living in true peace and equality for all, without the threat of violence or harm,” Cardinal Wilton Gregory of Washington said recently at the National Press Club. “It is you, the modern-day American journalist who amplifies community voices speaking out against injustice and inequality who are asking for needed change in our systems and long-held prejudices. It is the powerful impact of your multimedia images and carefully written words that help us connect with the world’s citizens fighting for the exact same hopes and dignities.”
Do not be accomplices to abortion, Pope tells Italian pharmacists (Vatican Press Office) “I have had occasion to return to the subject of abortion recently,” Pope Francis said in an October 14 address to participants in a conference organized by the Italian Society of Hospital Pharmacy. “You know that I am very clear about this: it is a homicide and it is not licit to become an accomplice.”“Having said that, our duty is to be close to people, our positive duty: to be close to situations, especially women, so that they do not come to think of the abortion solution, because in reality it is not the solution,” the Pope continued. “Then after ten, twenty, thirty years, life sends you the bill. And you have to be in a confessional to understand the price of this, which is so hard.”
Pope lauds 'ambitious goal' of eliminating hunger (Vatican Press Office) In a message to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), for the annual observance of World Food Day, Pope Francis observed that “overcoming hunger once and for all is an ambitious goal.” He remarked on the paradox that “more than 3 billion people do not have access to a nutritious diet, while on the other hand, almost2 billion people are overweight or obese.” The Covid epidemic, he said, has presented the world with an opportunity to change, “to make ethical and sustainable choices,” to address the problem of hunger.
English bishops call for 9 days of prayer to defeat attempt to legalize assisted suicide (CBCEW) “The novena, asking the intercession of Pope Saint John Paul II, who spoke courageously about the infinite worth of each human person and witnessed to the cross in his final illness, calls upon Catholics and all who share our view that assisted suicide is wrong, to pray with perseverance that this Bill will be defeated,” said Bishop John Sherrington, Lead Bishop for Life Issues for the English and Welsh bishops.
Pope Francis: 'I will never tire of upholding the dignity of work' (Vatican News) “Work expresses and nourishes the dignity of the human being, it allows the individual to develop the capacities that God has given him or her, it helps weave relationships of exchange and mutual aid, it allows one to feel that he or she is collaborating with God in taking care of this world and developing it, it makes the person feel useful to society and in solidarity with his or her loved ones,” the Pope said in a video message to a colloquium organized by Argentina’s 400 largest companies.
Children have suffered most from lockdowns, Vatican diplomat says (Vatican News) Archbishop Janusz Urbanczyk, the representative of the Holy See to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, told participants in a conference that children “are some of the most vulnerable of our population and have suffered most from the lockdown and closure of schools due to the pandemic.”“Schools represent the possibility of a better life than the one they are currently living,” he added.
Biden to meet Pope October 29: confirmed (Reuters) Pope Francis will meet with US President Joe Biden at the Vatican on October 29, the White House has confirmed.
Biden will be in Rome for a G20 meeting. He is also scheduled to attend the UN’s climate-change meeting in Glasgow, Scotland, after his visit to Rome. Pope Francis had been hoping to attend that meeting if his health allowed it, but apparently will not make the trip.
Most US churches not pushing vaccines, poll finds (Pew Forum) Most American churchgoers report that their pastors have not spoken about the Covid vaccines, according to a new Pew survey. Among those who have spoken about the issue, however, the vast majority have encouraged vaccination.
Among Catholic respondents, 52% said that they had heard “not much” from their pastors about vaccination; 43% had been encouraged to take the vaccine, and only 3% had been discouraged.
Questioned as to whether Pope Francis was a reliable guide on the question, Catholics were almost equally divided, with a slim majority (52%) saying they had little or no confidence in the Pope’s advice.