German diocese prepares for same-sex blessings (CNA) The Diocese of Essen, Germany has hosted an online forum on blessings for same-sex couples, looking forward to a May 10 event at which Catholic priests plan to defy the Vatican’s warning against such blessings. Bishop Franz-Josef Overbeck has said that he will not take disciplinary action against priests who disregard the Vatican’s ruling. Several leading prelates have warned that the May 10 event, which will include many German dioceses, could lead to an outright schism.
Vatican cardinal: each bishop--not conference--decides on denial of Communion (RNS) The US bishops’ conference is expected to vote in June on a statement regarding the reception of Communion by prominent Catholics who reject Church teachings on the dignity of human life. But Cardinal Michael Czerny, the undersecretary of the Dicastery for Integral Human Development, remarked that as a matter of canon law, each diocesan bishop has the authority to make his own determination on that question. “It’s not up to the bishops in general to make these decisions; it’s up to the bishop of the person,” he said. While several American prelates have debated the issue in public this year, Cardinal Czerny is the only senior Vatican official who has addressed the question directly.
Bishop Olmsted backs Archbishop Cordileone on withholding Communion (Phoenix diocese) Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix has welcomed a statement by Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco—and an earlier statement by Denver’s Archbishop Samuel Aquila—saying that Catholic politicians who support abortion should not receive Communion. Bishop Olmsted lamented “a false patience and pastoral concern that, year after year, stays silent or speaks in abstractions while the slaughter continues...”
Palestinian foreign minister: 'you cannot talk about the Holy Land without Christians' (Fides) Christians are an “integral, essential, and solid part of the Palestinian people,” says Riyad al Maliki, the foreign minister of the Palestinian Authority. In Rome on May 6 for a meeting with his Vatican counterpart, Archbishop Paul Gallagher, he listed his government’s efforts to help Palestinian Christians, and said that “you cannot talk about the Holy Land without Christians.”
Fauci headlines Vatican conference on health (AP) Dr. Anthony Fauci gave a keynote address to a Vatican conference on holistic health that opened May 6. Although the conference had been planned before the outbreak of the Covid epidemic, Fauci used the occasion to encourage religious institutions to promote vaccination, and the heads of two major vaccine manufacturers, Moderna and Pfizer, also spoke. An AP report noted the odd selection of speakers for a Vatican conference, which including rock stars and New Age theorists. The AP report noted: “Supermodel Cindy Crawford has a slot to talk about ‘beauty from the inside out,’ and Chelsea Clinton is teaming up with an Italian public health official to promote equal access to health care.”
Papal message for World Day of Migrants: all in the same boat (Vatican News) In his message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, Pope Francis says that as the Covid epidemic passes, the world should “think no longer in terms of ‘them’ and ‘those’ but only ‘us.’” The papal message, entitled “Toward An Ever Wider ‘We,’ insists that “we are all in the same boat and called to work together so that there will be no more walls that separate us.”