USCCB president announces legislative priorities (USCCB) In a letter to all members of Congress, Archbishop Timothy Broglio, the president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, outlined the USCCB’s legislative priorities, under the headings “Strengthen support for women, children, and families,” “Address the needs of the poor and marginalized at home and abroad,” and “A humane response to newcomers and a commitment to fixing our broken immigration system.”
Under the first heading, he discussed abortion, gender ideology, pornography, parental choice in education, human trafficking, and drug abuse, as well as “a strengthened child tax credit, paid family leave, and stronger maternal and child healthcare.”
Over Catholic protests, Minnesota lawmakers enact extreme abortion law (Our Sunday Visitor) The new law “is part of the most extreme abortion legislative agenda in Minnesota history, allowing for abortion for any reason and at any time without regulation,” said Archbishop Bernard Hebda of St. Paul and Minneapolis. “How disturbing that a pre-born child whose heart is beating, who can feel pain and who may even be viable outside the womb is treated with such disdain.”
Pope pleads for peace at Mass in Congo (Vatican News) Celebrating Mass for an estimated 1 million people in Kinshasa on the 2nd day of his visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Pope Francis made a plea for peace in the war-torn country.
In his homily the Pope encouraged the country’s people to maintain their hope for peace, assuring them that “evil never wins; evil never has the last word.” He reminded them of the bitter sorrow that Christ’s followers felt as they saw Him crucified. Their greatest joy came, he said, after “everything seemed to be over for them, without even a glimmer of peace.”
The Pope made a special appeal to “all of you in this country who call yourselves Christians but engage in violence.” To them, he said: “The Lord is telling you: ‘Lay down your arms; embrace mercy.’”
Cardinal George Pell's funeral, in 6 magnificent dimensions (National Catholic Register) “In its 150-plus years, St. Mary’s [Cathedral in Sydney] has never been witness to an event quite like the funeral of the late Cardinal George Pell, a great drama in its own right,” writes Father Raymond de Souza. “It was a sacred pageant which unfolded in six magnificent dimensions — liturgical, musical, spiritual, historical, hagiographical and memorial.”
Pope urges youth in Congo toward prayer, peace (Vatican Press Office) “Life is more than just tapping a screen with a finger,” Pope Francis told an audience of young people in the Democratic Republic of Congo on February 2.
The Pope told the youngsters that “we need prayer, a living prayer.”
Pope Francis opened his talk by inviting the members of the young audience to “look at your hands.” He told them that in their hands, God has placed the future of their nation. But in an obvious reference to the civil war still plaguing the Congo, he reminded them that Cain “raised his hand against his brother.” He implored them to be instruments of peace.
Archbishop Aquila responds to Cardinal McElroy's article on 'radical inclusion' (Catholic World Report) Responding to an article by Cardinal Robert McElroy of San Diego, Archbishop Samuel of Aquila of Denver writes that “Cardinal McElroy’s reflection paints the Church as an institution that harms due to its incapacity to welcome everyone into full participation in the life of the Church.”
“According to His Eminence, the Church categorically discriminates, but did not Jesus himself put demands on his disciples which distinguished them from those who did not respond to the radical and costly call of the Gospel?”
USCCB president: bishops are united against evil of abortion (USCCB) Responding to President Biden’s suggestion that Pope Francis and some US bishops support federal funding of abortion, Archbishop Timothy Broglio, the president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, said that “the Catholic bishops of the United States are united in our commitment to life and will continue to work as one body in Christ to make abortion unthinkable.”
He added, “As the Holy Father, Pope Francis, has said, ‘It is not right to ‘do away with’ a human being, however small, in order to solve a problem. It is like hiring a hitman.’”
+Metropolitan John Zizioulas, 92 (Orthodox Times) Metropolitan John Zizioulas of Pergamon, a leading Greek Orthodox theologian, died at the age of 92.
In 2015, he spoke at the Vatican press conference for the presentation of Pope Francis’s encyclical Laudato si’. The following year, he retired as co-president of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue Between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church.
Victims of violence in Congo share their grief with Pope (CNS) On February 1, the second day of his apostolic journey to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Pope Francis met with victims of violence from the eastern part of the nation (map), the site of the Kivu conflict. The meeting took place in the apostolic nunciature in Kinshasa, the nation’s capital.