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DISCLAIMER: This is a very limited selection of news sources. This is shown here to expose more people to the Catholic conversations and help us talk about current issues. It is not an endorsement of any particular position.  Please refer your questions to the true teaching of Sacred Scripture and the Magisterium of the Catholic Church as published in The Catechism of the Catholic Church or other primary source documents.

How to automate your RSS newsfeed
This page will teach you how to set us a newsfeed so that it goes directly into your email. The concept applies to any automated newsfeed that directs the news so that you do not have to check multiple websites to read the news.  Here is an info page from CNA (Catholic News Agency)  READ MORE

Consecration of Bishop of Greensburg (USA)

Msgr. Larry J. Kulick (54) was consecrated as Bishop of Greensburg (USA). [Read More]

Death of Bishop emeritus of Kimbe (Papua New Guinea)

Bishop William Regis Fey, O.F.M. Cap., Bishop emeritus of Kimbe (Papua New Guinea), passed away at 78. [Read More]

Death of Auxiliary Bishop emeritus of Galveston–Houston (USA)

Bishop Vincent Michael Rizzotto, Auxiliary Bishop emeritus of Galveston–Houston (USA), passed away at 89. [Read More]


Blog

 

 

Biden’s “Unity”: A Nice Buzzword

Joe Biden is President…  A Catholic president — who supports killing unborn children.  He’s got big plans, including restarting the attack on the Little Sisters, gutting [Read More]

The Anti-Religious Agenda

“Never let a serious crisis go to waste.”  Remember those words from Obama’s Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel?  The radical Left remembers it well.  And now [Read More]

CV President Reacts to Violence at Capitol

CV President Reacts to Violence at Capitol CV President Brian Burch issued the following statement in response to the violence today at the United States Capitol [Read More]

 

Đình Đúc Đao retired, Đo Văn Ngân named Xuân Lộc Bishop

Bishop Joseph Đình Đúc Đao retired and Bishop John Đo Văn Ngân was named Bishop of Xuân Lộc, Viet Nam.

Bishop Đo Văn Ngân had been serving as Auxiliary Bishop of the same diocese.

[Read More]

Santucci resigned as Massa Carrara-Pontremoli Bishop

Bishop Giovanni Santucci resigned as Bishop of Massa Carrara-Pontremoli, Italy.

[Read More]

d’Aniello named Uzbekistan Nuncio

Archbishop Giovanni d’Aniello was named Apostolic Nuncio to Uzbekistan in addition to his other posts.

[Read More]


Vatican New Feed from EWTN
 

 

Vatican gradually to defund some mission territories

Vatican City, Jan 23, 2021 / 03:01 pm (CNA).- Earlier this month the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples sent a letter to the bishops of some 1,100 Catholic territories and announced the gradual reduction of the financial support they regularly receive from the Vatican.

Since apostolic vicariates and prelatures are regarded by the Vatican as mission territories, they fall under the jurisdiction of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, and the vast majority of them are in the poorest parts of the world.

The Vatican has traditionally supported these jurisdictions via the “Universal Solidarity Fund” of the Pontifical Mission Societies. The main source of income of the fund comes from the collection of World Mission Sunday, celebrated every year on the second to last Sunday of October.  The fund is independent from the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.

But some bishops’ conferences in Latin America contacted by CNA claim that the local nuncios have announced a significant cut in the Vatican financial support and have requested local bishops from non-missionary territories to make up for the difference.

Speaking with CNA on Jan. 20, Archbishop Giampietro Dal Toso, adjunct secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and president of the Pontifical Mission Societies, stressed that “the letter is in no way intended to cut the support we are giving to the diocesan missions. It instead aims at a better distribution of the money, following the criteria of stewardship.”
It means, he explained, that “if there are dioceses or bishops able to carry on with their resources, they could renounce to their share and give the opportunity to other, poorest dioceses to get more.”

Archbishop Dal Toso stressed that “along with Aid to the Church in Need, the Pontifical Mission Societies only support pastoral projects. This is very important for the future of the Church.” By pastoral, the archbishop means funds that go to specific expenses related to the work of evangelization, as opposed to social justice funds, which are usually more readily available.

According to 2016 figures, the Congregation (also known with the Latin name of Propaganda Fide) has jurisdiction over 186 archdioceses, 785 dioceses, 82 apostolic vicariates, 39 apostolic prefectures, 4 apostolic administrations, 6 missiones sui iuris, 1 territorial abbacy, and 6 military ordinariates.

In 2019 the Societies distributed some $130 million, all of it collected during World Mission Sunday. There are no figures regarding the 2020 collection, but Dal Toso said he expects to collect less money than in 2019, because of the economic crisis as a consequence of COVID 19.

The financial support to each diocese varies according to factors such as the poverty of the region, the exchange rate of hard currency and specific needs, but  the average annual support is around $20,000.

According to Archbishop Dal Toso, although the numbers might not seem that big, the money delivered by the Mission Societies is very significant for the missionary territories.

The Vatican, for example, delivers an average of $460 per month to every seminarian on missionary territory.

The Mission Societies also provide financial support to retired bishops, which is very important in poor regions where Catholics are a minority and the local community cannot afford supporting them.

Archbishop Dal Toso said that the letter sent to the missionary territories is asking whether some of these bishops could renounce such financial aid.

“This is not new, since the Congregation delivered a similar request in 2015, and some 30 bishops were able to renounce to the financial support,” Dal Toso said.

[Read More]

Pope Francis forced to miss more events due to recurrent nerve pain

Vatican City, Jan 23, 2021 / 01:00 pm (CNA).- Pope Francis has been forced to cancel three public appearances scheduled for Sunday and Monday due to a recurrence of the nerve pain that struck him at the end of 2020. 

The Holy See press office announced on Jan. 23 that because of sciatica the 84-year-old pope would be unable to celebrate Mass marking the Sunday of the Word of God in St. Peter’s Basilica.

The Mass, on Jan. 24, will be celebrated instead by Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization.

But Pope Francis will still lead the Angelus prayer at noon on Sunday in the library of the Apostolic Palace, where the event has taken place since a resurgence of the coronavirus pandemic in Italy.

The pope’s annual “state of the world” address to the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See, scheduled for Jan. 25, will now take place at a later date.

Francis will no longer preside at vespers for the conclusion of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, also scheduled to take place on Monday. Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, will now lead the event at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, one of the four papal basilicas of Rome.

The pope had a bout of sciatic pain in the final days of 2020 that meant he was unable to preside at the Vatican’s liturgies on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

He had been scheduled to lead vespers on Dec. 31 and offer Mass on Jan. 1 for the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, in St. Peter’s Basilica.

The pope is due to resume his foreign travels in March when he is expected to visit Iraq. But a question mark hangs over the visit because of concerns about large gatherings amid the pandemic and a recent upsurge in violence in the Middle Eastern country.

Sciatica is caused by pressure or rubbing on the sciatic nerve, which starts in the lower back and runs down the back of the thigh and leg to the foot. Common symptoms include shooting pains in the back of the legs.

Pope Francis has suffered from the condition for a number of years. He spoke about it during an in-flight press conference returning from a trip to Brazil in July 2013.

He said that “the worst thing” that had happened in the first four months of his pontificate “was an attack of sciatica -- really! -- that I had the first month, because I was sitting in an armchair to do interviews and it hurt.”

“Sciatica is very painful, very painful! I don’t wish it on anyone!” Francis said.

[Read More]

Pope Francis: Witness to the truth by exposing ‘fake news’

Vatican City, Jan 23, 2021 / 04:15 am (CNA).- Pope Francis issued a new warning about misinformation on Saturday, weeks after he was the subject of a viral “fake news” story. 

Writing in his World Communications Day message, released on Jan. 23, the pope said that “the risk of misinformation being spread on social media” was now widely recognized.

“We have known for some time that news and even images can be easily manipulated, for any number of reasons, at times simply for sheer narcissism,” he wrote. 

“Being critical in this regard is not about demonizing the internet, but is rather an incentive to greater discernment and responsibility for contents both sent and received.” 

“All of us are responsible for the communications we make, for the information we share, for the control that we can exert over fake news by exposing it. All of us are to be witnesses of the truth: to go, to see and to share.”

Earlier this month a false report that Italian police had arrested the pope amid a Vatican “blackout” was widely shared on the internet. The report was posted on a Canadian website which had also previously posted a fictitious claim that former U.S. President Barack Obama had been arrested on espionage charges. 

In his message, the pope also stressed the internet’s positive qualities.

“Digital technology gives us the possibility of timely first-hand information that is often quite useful,” he said.

“We can think of certain emergency situations where the internet was the first to report the news and communicate official notices. It is a powerful tool, which demands that all of us be responsible as users and consumers.”

“Potentially we can all become witnesses to events that otherwise would be overlooked by the traditional media, offer a contribution to society and highlight more stories, including positive ones.”

The pope signed the message on Jan. 23, the Vigil of the Memorial of St. Francis de Sales, patron saint of writers and journalists. 

World Communications Day, established by Pope Paul VI in 1967, will be celebrated in many countries this year on Sunday, May 16. The day will be observed as the Solemnity of the Ascension of the Lord in places where it is transferred from Thursday, May 13 to Sunday.

In his message, Pope Francis issued an impassioned call to journalists to recommit themselves to “original investigative reporting.”

“Insightful voices have long expressed concern about the risk that original investigative reporting in newspapers and television, radio and web newscasts is being replaced by a reportage that adheres to a standard, often tendentious narrative,” he wrote.

“This approach is less and less capable of grasping the truth of things and the concrete lives of people, much less the more serious social phenomena or positive movements at the grassroots level.”

He continued: “The crisis of the publishing industry risks leading to a reportage created in newsrooms, in front of personal or company computers and on social networks, without ever ‘hitting the streets,’ meeting people face to face to research stories or to verify certain situations first-hand.”

“Unless we open ourselves to this kind of encounter, we remain mere spectators, for all the technical innovations that enable us to feel immersed in a larger and more immediate reality.”

“Any instrument proves useful and valuable only to the extent that it motivates us to go out and see things that otherwise we would not know about, to post on the internet news that would not be available elsewhere, to allow for encounters that otherwise would never happen.”

Pope Francis suggested specific topics for journalists to investigate. 

He said: “We can risk reporting the pandemic, and indeed every crisis, only through the lens of the richer nations, of ‘keeping two sets of books.’ For example, there is the question of vaccines, and medical care in general, which risks excluding the poorer peoples.”

“Who would keep us informed about the long wait for treatment in the poverty-stricken villages of Asia, Latin America and Africa? Social and economic differences on the global level risk dictating the order of distribution of anti-COVID vaccines, with the poor always at the end of the line and the right to universal healthcare affirmed in principle, but stripped of real effect.”

“Yet even in the world of the more fortunate, the social tragedy of families rapidly slipping into poverty remains largely hidden; people who are no longer ashamed to wait in line before charitable organizations in order to receive a package of provisions do not tend to make news.”

The pope also praised the “courage and commitment” of journalists, camera operators, editors, and directors who risk their lives to uncover the truth.

“Thanks to their efforts, we now know, for example, about the hardships endured by persecuted minorities in various parts of the world, numerous cases of oppression and injustice inflicted on the poor and on the environment, and many wars that otherwise would be overlooked,” he said.

“It would be a loss not only for news reporting, but for society and for democracy as a whole, were those voices to fade away. Our entire human family would be impoverished.”

The theme of this year’s World Communications Day, the 55th commemoration, is “‘Come and See’ (Jn 1:46) Communicating by Encountering People as They Are.”

The pope quoted approvingly advice that the Spanish Blessed Manuel Lozano Garrido (1920-1971) once gave fellow journalists: “Open your eyes with wonder to what you see, let your hands touch the freshness and vitality of things, so that when others read what you write, they too can touch first-hand the vibrant miracle of life.” 

Francis also cited William Shakespeare as he condemned the “empty rhetoric” that he said abounded in public life. 

Quoting from “The Merchant of Venice,” the pope wrote: “This or that one ‘speaks an infinite deal of nothing... His reasons are as two grains of wheat hid in two bushels of chaff: you shall seek all day ere you find them, and when you have them, they are not worth the search.’”

“The blistering words of the English playwright also apply to us as Christian communicators. The Good News of the Gospel spread throughout the world as a result of person-to-person, heart-to-heart encounters with men and women who accepted the invitation to ‘come and see,’ and were struck by the ‘surplus’ of humanity that shone through the gaze, the speech and the gestures of those who bore witness to Jesus Christ.”

The pope said that all Christians faced a challenge: “to communicate by encountering people, where they are and as they are.”

He concluded with a prayer:

Lord, teach us to move beyond ourselves,
and to set out in search of truth.
Teach us to go out and see,
teach us to listen,
not to entertain prejudices
or draw hasty conclusions.
Teach us to go where no one else will go,
to take the time needed to understand,
to pay attention to the essentials,
not to be distracted by the superfluous,
to distinguish deceptive appearances from the truth.
Grant us the grace to recognize your dwelling places in our world
and the honesty needed to tell others what we have seen.


[Read More]

Pope Francis decries men who sustain ‘reprehensible’ trade in preface to trafficking victim’s biography

Vatican City, Jan 22, 2021 / 04:00 am (CNA).- Pope Francis has written the preface to a biography of a human trafficking victim in which he decries the men who sustain the “reprehensible” trade by their choices.

Human trafficking is estimated to be a $150 billion industry that profits off of 25 million victims worldwide, according to the International Labor Organization. 

A new book, “Io sono Joy” (“I am Joy”), by Mariapia Bonanate, tells the story of one of these victims: a girl from Nigeria who hopes to go to Italy to find a job but ends up being trafficked.

Pope Francis said that he accepted the invitation to write a preface for the book “with the specific intention of delivering Joy’s testimony to readers as a ‘heritage of humanity.’”

“The crossing of the desert, the months spent in the Libyan detention camps, the journey at sea, during which she was saved from the shipwreck … Joy’s is a story that unites many other people, like her, kidnapped in an infernal chain and struck by the tragedy of the invisibility of trafficking. A story as unknown as it is omnipresent in our globalized societies,” Pope Francis wrote in the book’s preface, published by L’Osservatore Romano on Jan. 21.

The pope said that traffickers were “unscrupulous individuals who thrive on the misfortunes of others [and] take advantage of people’s desperation to subjugate them to their power.” But he also had a message for consumers who sustain human trafficking.

Pope Francis wrote: “At this point, I cannot help but ask the reader a question: since there are countless young women, victims of trafficking, who end up on the streets of our cities, how much does this reprehensible reality derive from the fact that many men, here, require these ‘services’ and show themselves willing to buy another person, annihilating her in her inalienable dignity?”

He continued: “In reading this memorial we are led to discover, page after page, how much Joy’s testimony nails us before the prejudices and responsibilities that make us conniving actors in these events.”

“It will do us good to stand beside Joy and stop with her on her ‘places’ of helpless and innocent pain. After stopping there, it will be impossible to remain indifferent when we hear about the boats adrift, ignored and even rejected from our shores. Joy was on one of them.”

The pope thanked “all the people and organizations who, even at the cost of their safety, help the victims of today’s slavery.”

“With their tireless dedication, they restore self-worth to those who have been deprived of personal dignity; they bring back the trust and hope in the life of those who have been deceived and have experienced the imposition of terror by those who, after having presented themselves as savior, have revealed themselves to be executioners,” he said.

The pope also thanked Joy for sharing the testimony of “her via crucis” (way of the cross) and allowing people to share her “experience of absolute courage that allows us to better understand those who suffer from trafficking.”

He wrote: “‘Your name is Joy,’ you have been the joy of your mother since you were in the womb, and so you received from her this beautiful name which is also one of the proper names of God.”

“Io sono Joy” will be published in Italian by Edizioni San Paolo on Jan. 27.

[Read More]

Two 20th century Italians advance on the path to sainthood

Vatican City, Jan 21, 2021 / 04:49 pm (CNA).- Two Italian contemporaries, a young priest who resisted the Nazis and was shot dead, and a seminarian who died at age 15 from tuberculosis, are both closer to being declared saints.

Pope Francis advanced the beatification causes of Fr. Giovanni Fornasini and Pasquale Canzii Jan. 21, together with six other men and women.

Pope Francis declared Giovanni Fornasini, who was assasinated by a Nazi officer at age 29, a martyr killed in hatred of the faith.

Fornasini was born near Bologna, Italy, in 1915, and had one older brother. He is reported to have been a poor student, and after leaving school to have worked for a time as a lift boy at the Grand Hotel, Bologna.

He eventually entered the seminary, and was ordained a priest in 1942, at the age of 27. In his homily at his first Mass, Fornasini said, “The Lord has chosen me, rascal among the rascals.”

Despite beginning his priestly ministry among the difficulties of the Second World War, Fornasini gained a reputation as a go-getter.

He opened a school for boys at his parish outside the city of Bologna in the town of Sperticano, and a fellow seminary classmate, Fr. Lino Cattoi, described the young priest as seeming “always to be running. He was always around trying to free people from their difficulties, and to solve their problems. He had no fear. He was a man of great faith, and was never shaken.”

When the Italian dictator Mussolini was overthrown in July 1943, Fornasini ordered the church bells to be rung.

The Kingdom of Italy signed an armistice with the Allies in September 1943, but north Italy, including Bologna, was still under the control of Nazi Germany. Sources on Fornasini and his activities during this period are incomplete, but he is described as being “everywhere,” and is known to have at least on one occasion provided shelter in his rectory to survivors of one of three bombings of the city by the Allied powers.

Fr. Angelo Serra, another parish priest in Bologna, recalled that “on the sad day of Nov. 27, 1943, when 46 of my parishioners were killed in Lama di Reno by Allied bombs, I remember Fr. Giovanni working as hard in the rubble with his pickaxe as if he had been trying to rescue his own mother.”

Some sources claim the young priest was working with Italian partisans fighting the Nazis, though accounts differ about the degree of his connection to the brigade.

Some sources also report that he intervened on several occasions to save civilians, especially women, from mistreatment or being taken by German soldiers.

Sources also provide different accounts about the last few months of Fornasini’s life and the circumstances of his death. Fr. Amadeo Girotti, a close friend of Fornasini, wrote that the young priest had been given permission to bury the dead at San Martino del Sole, Marzabotto. Between Sept. 29 and Oct. 5, 1944, Nazi troops had carried out a mass killing of at least 770 Italian civilians in the village.

According to Girotti, after giving Fornasini permission to bury the dead, the officer killed the priest at the same site on Oct. 13, 1944. His body, shot in the chest, was identified the next day.

In 1950, the president of Italy posthumously conferred upon Fornasini the country’s Gold Medal of Military Valour. His cause for beatification was opened in 1998.

Just one year before Fornasini, another boy was born several regions to the south. Pasquale Canzii was the first son born to devout parents who had struggled to have children for many years. He was known by the affectionate name of “Pasqualino,” and even from a young age he had a calm temperament and an inclination toward the things of God.

His parents taught him prayers and to think of God as his Father. And when his mother would bring him to church with her, he would listen and take in everything that was happening.

Twice before his sixth birthday, Canzii had accidents with fire which burned his face, and both times, his eyes and sight were miraculously unharmed. Despite sustaining severe injuries, in both cases, his burns eventually completely healed.

Canzii’s parents had a second son, and because he was struggling to financially provide for the family, the boy’s father decided to immigrate to the United States for work. Canzii would exchange letters with his father, though they never met again.

Canzii was a model student and started to serve at the altar at the local parish. He always participated in the religious life of the parish, from Mass to novenas, to the rosary, to the Via Crucis.

Convinced he had a vocation to the priesthood, Canzii entered the diocesan seminary at the age of 12. Once questioned contemptuously about why he was studying for the priesthood, the boy answered, “because, when I am ordained a priest, I will be able to save many souls and I will have saved my own. The Lord wills, and I obey. I bless the Lord a thousand times who called me to know and love him.”

In seminary, as in his early childhood, those around Canzii noticed his uncommon level of holiness and humility. He would often write: “Jesus, I want to become a saint, soon and great.”

One fellow student described him as “always easy to laugh, simple, good, like a child.” The same student said the young seminarian “burned in his heart with lively love for Jesus and also had a tender devotion to Our Lady.”

In his last letter to his father, on Dec. 26, 1929, Canzii wrote, “yes, you do well to submit to the Holy Will of God, who always arranges things for our good. It doesn’t matter if we have to suffer in this life, because if we have offered our pains to God in consideration of our and others sins, we will acquire merit for that Heavenly Fatherland where we all yearn.”

Despite obstacles to his vocation, including his weak health and his father’s desire that he become a lawyer or physician, Canzii did not waver in following what he knew to be God’s will for his life.

At the start of 1930, the young seminarian became ill with tuberculosis, and on Jan. 24 he died at the age of 15.

His cause for beatification was opened in 1999, and on Jan. 21, Pope Francis declared the boy “venerable,” having lived a life of “heroic virtue.”

Canzii’s younger brother, Pietro, moved to the U.S. in 1941 and worked as a tailor. Before his death in 2013 at the age of 90, he spoke in 2012 to the Catholic Review, of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, about his extraordinary older brother.

“He was a good, good boy,” he said. “I know he was a saint. I know his day will come.”

Pietro Canzi, who was 12 when his brother died, said Pasqualino “always gave me good advice.”

[Read More]

Ex-Vatican bank president given 9-year prison sentence for money-laundering

Rome Newsroom, Jan 21, 2021 / 09:47 am (CNA).- The former president of the institute commonly known as the “Vatican bank” has been given a sentence of eight years and 11 months in prison by the Vatican court.

The sentence was handed down at a hearing on Thursday by the president of the Vatican City State tribunal, Giuseppe Pignatone. The conclusion of the trial, which began in 2018, marks the first time that the Vatican has issued a prison sentence for financial crimes.

Angelo Caloia, 81, was president of the Institute for Religious Works -- also known by its Italian initials, IOR -- from 1989 to 2009.

Caloia, and his lawyer, 97-year-old Gabriele Liuzzo, received the prison sentence for the crimes of money-laundering and aggravated embezzlement. They were also ordered to pay a fine of 12,500 euros ($15,204).



Liuzzo’s son, Lamberto Liuzzo, 55, was sentenced to five years and two months in prison and ordered to pay a fine of 8,000 euros ($9,731) for money-laundering. He was acquitted of the charge of self-laundering.

The sentences were given in the first instance, meaning that the defendants, who were not present at the hearing, may appeal. Caloia’s lawyers confirmed on Jan. 21 that they had lodged an appeal.

The Vatican court also ordered the confiscation of the 32 million euros ($39 million) which had already been seized from Caloia and Liuzzo’s IOR accounts and ordered compensation be paid to the IOR and its Italian-registered real estate company, SGIR, to the amount of about 23 million euros ($28 million), as part of a separate civil suit.

The exact amount of the damages to be paid will be determined in the civil court.

The three defendants were also permanently banned from holding public office.

According to a report by the HuffPost in December, the Vatican’s Promoter of Justice, Alessandro Diddi, had requested an eight-year sentence for Caloia and his 96-year-old lawyer at the final two hearings of the trial on Dec. 1-2, 2020.

The Vatican court ordered Caloia and Liuzzo to stand trial in March 2018. It accused them of participating in “unlawful conduct” from 2001 to 2008 during “the disposal of a considerable part of the institute’s real estate assets.”

Caloia and Liuzzo were acquitted on Jan. 21 of charges of embezzlement and aggravated embezzlement related to the sale of 29 of the IOR-owned properties between 2001 and 2008.

The HuffPost said that the two men allegedly sold the IOR’s real estate assets to themselves through offshore companies and firms in Luxembourg via “a complex shielding operation.”



Former IOR director general Lelio Scaletti, who died on Oct. 15, 2015, was part of the original investigation, launched in 2014 after complaints were lodged by the IOR.

In February 2018, the institute announced that it had joined a civil suit, in addition to the criminal proceedings, against Caloia and Liuzzo.

The trial began on May 9, 2018. At the first hearing, the Vatican court announced plans to appoint experts to assess the value of properties that Caloia and Liuzzo were accused of selling at below-market rates, while allegedly making off-paper agreements for higher amounts to pocket the difference.

The Institute for Religious Works was founded in 1942 under Pope Pius XII but can trace its roots back as far as 1887. It aims to hold and administer money designated for “religious works or charity,” according to its website.

It accepts deposits from legal entities or persons of the Holy See and of the Vatican City State. The main function of the bank is to manage bank accounts for religious orders and Catholic associations.

The IOR had 14,996 clients as of December 2019. Nearly half of clients are religious orders. Other clients include Vatican offices, apostolic nunciatures, episcopal conferences, parishes, and clergy.

[Read More]

Pope Francis recognizes heroic virtues of pioneering French geneticist Jerome Lejeune

Vatican City, Jan 21, 2021 / 06:30 am (CNA).- Pope Francis recognized on Thursday the heroic virtues of Jérôme Lejeune, the French geneticist who discovered the extra chromosome that causes Down syndrome.

The step, announced on Jan. 21, means that Lejeune can now be referred to as “Venerable.” 

Heroic virtue is one of the requirements for beatification in the Catholic Church. A verified miracle attributed to the candidate’s intercession is also usually required.

Lejeune was born on June 13, 1926, in Montrouge, in the southern Parisian suburbs. In 1958, he deduced that Down syndrome was caused by an extra copy of chromosome 21.

He dedicated the rest of his life to researching treatments to improve the lives of people with Down syndrome.

He firmly opposed the use of prenatal testing to identify unborn children with Down syndrome and other chromosomal abnormalities for abortion. 

When he received the prestigious William Allan Award for his work in genetics in 1969, he gave an impassioned speech opposing abortion. 

“For millennia, medicine has striven to fight for life and health and against disease and death. Any reversal of the order of these terms of reference would entirely change medicine itself,” he said. 

“It happens that nature does condemn. Our duty has always been not to inflict the sentence but to try to commute the pain. In any foreseeable genetical trial I do not know enough to judge, but I feel enough to advocate.”

After the speech, which received a cool reception, he reportedly told his wife: “Today, I lost my Nobel Prize in medicine.”

In 1994, Pope John Paul II named Lejeune as the first president of the Pontifical Academy for Life. The physician died just 33 days later in Paris, on April 2, 1994, at the age of 67.

The Fondation Jérôme Lejeune in Paris welcomed the progress in Lejeune’s cause, describing it as “an immense joy.”

But it said that the news came at an “alarming” time for respect for life in France, with the advance of a new bioethics bill that would further dehumanize “the embryo, the youngest member of the human species.”

“Jérôme Lejeune had led this fight for the respect of the embryo throughout his life, as a historical opponent of the Veil Law which legalized abortion in France in 1975, and as a researcher and physician, he had seen from the first bioethics law in 1994, just before his death, where in vitro fertilization and research on the embryo would lead us,” the foundation said.

The pope also advanced seven other causes on Thursday.

He recognized the Italian priest Giovanni Fornasini (1915-1944) as a martyr killed in hatred of the faith. Fornasini served in the resistance during the Second World War and was shot dead by a Nazi soldier. 

The pope recognized the heroic virtues of six other candidates. 

They included Elizabeth Prout (1820-1864), founder of the Passionist Sisters, who served impoverished workers in England’s deprived industrial towns. Prout, also known by her religious name Mother Mary Joseph of Jesus, is buried alongside Ignatius Spencer and Dominic Barberi, two other candidates for canonization who played major roles in the revival of English Catholicism in the 19th-century.

The pope also acknowledged the heroic virtues of the Italian priests Fr. Michele Arcangelo Maria Antonio Vinti (1893-1943) and Fr. Ruggero Maria Caputo (1907-1980). 

He also recognized the heroic virtues of Santiago Masarnau Fernández (1805-1882), a pianist and composer who established the St. Vincent de Paul Society in Spain. 

Also recognized was the Italian seminarian Pasquale Canzii (1914-1930), who died at the age of 15 while studying for the priesthood.

The final candidate recognized by Pope Francis was Adelaide Bonolis (1909-1980), an Italian lay woman who founded the Opere di Assistenza e Redenzione Sociale, an organization offering social assistance.

[Read More]

 

 
 

 

 

 
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