CWN closed for Ascension Thursday (CWN) The offices of Catholic World News will be closed on Thursday, May 26, so that our staff may celebrate the feast of the Ascension. Barring unexpected developments, no headline stories will be posted today. Regular coverage will resume on Friday, May 27.
Pope Francis assures Russian Orthodox leader of his prayers (ANSA) On May 24—the day on which many Orthodox Christians commemorate Saints Cyril and Methodius according to the Julian calendar—Pope Francis sent name-day greetings to Patriarch Kirill of Moscow.
“The feast of Saint Cyril, the great apostle of the Slavs, gives me the opportunity to send you my best wishes and to assure you of prayers for Your Holiness and for the Church entrusted to your pastoral care,” Pope Francis said.
“In these days I pray to our heavenly Father that the Holy Spirit will renew us and strengthen us in the ministry of the Gospel, especially in our efforts to protect the value and dignity of every human life,” the Pope added.
Cardinal Zen says Vatican's China policy is 'unwise' (La Prensa Latina) Cardinal Joseph Zen said that Vatican policy toward China is “unwise,” as he celebrated Mass in Hong Kong on May 24, the day set aside for prayer for the Church in China.
Cardinal Zen said that Vatican officials had “good intentions” in their dealings with the Beijing regime, as they seek to ensure the freedom of the Church. But he said the secret deal with China was not producing that effect.
Earlier the same day, the cardinal had appeared in court to answer criminal charges, having been arrested for his role in a foundation that provided legal support for democracy activists. The Vatican has not commented on the arrest, beyond a mild statement that the Holy See was following the story with interest.
Resist cynicism in old age, Pope recommends (Vatican News) At his weekly public audience on May 25, Pope Francis spoke about the Book of Wisdom, continuing his series of talks on old age with a meditation on the temptation toward cynicism.
As elderly people wonder whether their lives were well spent, the Pope remarked, “old age makes the appointment with disenchantment almost inevitable.” But he said that “the resistance of old age to the demoralizing effects of this disenchantment is decisive.”
The disenchantment, the Pope continued, stems from a “fatal temptation of an omnipotence of knowledge” and “the mind devoid of affection for justice.” The balanced wisdom of old age, he said, should counteract the arrogance of those who claim knowledge—especially in an “age of fake news, collective superstitions, and pseudo-scientific truths.”
Pope calls for gun control after Texas school shooting (NPR) At the conclusion of his regular public audience on May 25, Pope Francis said that he was praying for the young victims of a mass shooting in Texas, and for their families.
“It is time to say enough to the indiscriminate trafficking in arms,” the Pope said.
Vatican newspaper sounds alarm about 'specter of a disastrous global food crisis' (L'Osservatore Romano (Italian)) L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, devoted the most prominent coverage in its May 24 edition to the “specter of a disastrous global food crisis,” especially in the nations of the Middle East, North Africa, and Southeast Asia that rely on Ukrainian grain exports.
The Vatican newspaper article (“Grain: A War in the War”) cited remarks made by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, statistics from the Italian agricultural agency Coldiretti, and reports from CNN, The Guardian, and The Times on the grain shortage and a possible military response to the Russian blockade of Ukrainian grain exports.
Pelosi rejects archbishop's order (USA Today) Speaker Nancy Pelosi has indicated that she will not respect Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone’s order that bars her from Communion.
In an MSNBC television appearance on May 25, the Speaker said that she respected pro-life views, but not “foisting it onto others.” She criticized Church leaders for failing to take disciplinary action against politicians who support the death penalty.
During the interview, Pelosi referred to the Catholic Church as “they” and “them.”
'God have mercy': bishops respond to Texas school shooting (USCCB) The US Conference of Catholic Bishops and Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller of San Antonio have issued statements following the Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde, Texas.
“There have been too many school shootings, too much killing of the innocent,” said USCCB spokeswoman Chieko Noguchi. “Our Catholic faith calls us to pray for those who have died and to bind the wounds of others, and we join our prayers along with the community in Uvalde and [San Antonio] Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller.”
“As we do so, each of us also needs to search our souls for ways that we can do more to understand this epidemic of evil and violence and implore our elected officials to help us take action,” she added.
“God have mercy on our children, their families, their communities,” said Archbishop García-Siller. “Darkness is dense with one more shooting in our country. Let us help one another to spark light and warmth. May we keep each other in company. Prayers are needed.”
Life 'is always sacred and inviolable,' Pope Francis says (CNA) “I thank you for your dedication in promoting life and defending conscientious objection, which there are often attempts to limit,” Pope Francis said to participants in Italy’s national Scegliamo la vita [Let’s Choose Life] event.
“Sadly, in these last years, there has been a change in the common mentality, and today we are more and more led to think that life is a good at our complete disposal, that we can choose to manipulate, to give birth or take life as we please, as if it were the exclusive consequence of individual choice,” the Pope added. “Let us remember that life is a gift from God! It is always sacred and inviolable, and we cannot silence the voice of conscience.”
Almost 12,000 people attend the beatification of Pauline Jaricot (CNA) Blessed Pauline Jaricot (1799-1862), a laywoman from Lyon, France, founded the Society of the Propagation of the Faith and the Association of the Living Rosary.
“She was a courageous woman, attentive to the changes taking place at the time, and had a universal vision regarding the Church’s mission,” Pope Francis said on the day of her beatification. “May her example enkindle in everyone the desire to participate through prayer and charity in the spread of the Gospel throughout the world.”
Prior to her beatification, the Pontiff encourage the Pontifical Mission Societies to follow her example.
Gunmen invade Nigerian church, kidnap priests, others (Punch (Nigeria)) The abductions took place in Katsina State (map), in the Diocese of Sokoto.
Recently, in the words of the report, “rampaging hoodlums torched and vandalized some parishes” there after Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah condemned the gruesome murder of a student who was accused of blasphemy against Muhammad.
USCCB action alert: Ask Congress to strengthen the Child Tax Credit (USCCB) “Last year, more than 36 million families received a monthly payment through the expanded Child Tax Credit program,” the US Conference of Catholic Bishops stated in its action alert. “The expanded credit proved to be extremely effective at reducing child poverty, lifting 3.7 million children above the poverty line. Unfortunately, the expansions expired at the end of the year.”
Pope jokes about America's Irish, Italian immigrants (Crux) Pope Francis joked about Irish and Italian immigrants to the US during a May 25 talk. He said: “The Irish brought you whiskey and the Italians brought you the Mafia.”
The Pope was speaking to members of the International Solidarity Fund, encouraging support for immigration. He said that he had heard the joke from “someone from the United States.”
Archbishop named Detroit auxiliary bishop (USCCB) In an unusual move, Pope Francis has appointed an American archbishop as an Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit.
Archbishop Paul Russell, 63, was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Boston in 1987 and ordained to the episcopate in 2016. From 2016 to 2021, he was Apostolic Nuncio to Turkey and Turkmenistan, and from 2018, concurrently Apostolic Nuncio to Azerbaijan. He was previously the Vatican’s leading diplomat in Taiwan.
North Macedonian leader meets with Pope (Vatican News) Prime Minister Dimitar Kovacevski of North Macedonia met privately with Pope Francis for 15 minutes on May 23. North Macedonia, a nation of 2.1 million (map), is 64% Christian (62% Orthodox) and 31% Muslim; the Pope made an apostolic journey there in 2019.
Holy See is 'completely committed' to Ukraine's territorial integrity, Vatican foreign minister says (Vatican News) Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, the Holy See’s Secretary for Relations with States, visited Ukraine and blessed the Ukrainian people on behalf of Pope Francis.
“I can assure you that [the Pope’s] pronouncements about atrocities, about the suffering that he has been aware of in the country, are most sincere,” Archbishop Gallagher said. “He’s trying to be as forceful as he can to defend the Ukrainian people, to point out the fact that they have their freedom, that the integrity of this country has been transgressed.”
“In our contacts with others, we have always said the Holy See remains completely committed to the territorial integrity of Ukraine,” he added. “That is our bottom line.”