News Daily for Catholics

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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 Titular Bishop of Tabuda and Auxiliary Bishop of Newark (USA)

Abbot Elias Richard Lorenzo, O.S.B. (59), was consecrated as Titular Bishop of Tabuda and Auxiliary Bishop of Newark (USA). [Read More]

Consecration of Titular Bishop of Luperciana and Auxiliary Bishop of Newark (USA)

Fr. Michael Arsenio Saporito (57) was consecrated as Titular Bishop of Luperciana and Auxiliary Bishop of Newark (USA). [Read More]

Consecration of Titular Bishop of Tarasa in Byzacena and Auxiliary Bishop of Newark (USA)

Msgr. Gregory J. Studerus (71) was consecrated as Titular Bishop of Tarasa in Byzacena and Auxiliary Bishop of Newark (USA). [Read More]


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Trump signs historic coronavirus rescue bill

It’s finally done.   President Trump just signed the historic coronavirus rescue bill.   Under normal circumstances, a debt-financed $2 trillion spending bill would give us pause. But […] [Read More]

A message from CV’s president on the coronavirus

In his first address after becoming pope in 1978, St. John Paul II said this:  “One expression only, among so many others, comes immediately to our […] [Read More]

LOOP: Crisis could last until August, says Trump

TUESDAY, MARCH 17 – ST. PATRICK’S DAY NEW GUIDELINES President Trump urged Americans to avoid traveling for the next 15 days, and to avoid gatherings of more […] [Read More]

 


Vatican New Feed from EWTN
 

 

Vatican extends lockdown measures through Easter Monday

Vatican City, Apr 3, 2020 / 09:00 am (CNA).- The Holy See has extended its lockdown measures through April 13, the Monday of the Octave of Easter, in accordance with Italy’s recently extended national lockdown, the Vatican announced Friday.

St. Peter’s Basilica and square, the Vatican Museums, and several other public offices in the Vatican City State have been closed for more than three weeks. Originally scheduled to last through April 3, these measures have now been extended an additional nine days.

A total of seven confirmed cases of the coronavirus have been diagnosed among Vatican employees to date. 

According to a statement from Matteo Bruni, the director of the Holy See press office, departments of the Roman Curia and of the Vatican City State have continued working only “in essential, obligatory activities which cannot be deferred.”

The Vatican City State has its own legal order that is autonomous and separate from the Italian legal system, but the Holy See press office director has repeatedly said that Vatican City is implementing measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus in coordination with the Italian authorities.

During the Vatican lockdown, which went into effect March 10, the city state’s pharmacy and supermarket remain open. Instead the mobile post office in St. Peter’s Square, the photo service office, and bookstores are closed.

The Vatican continues “to ensure essential services to the Universal Church,” according to a March 24 statement.

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Cardinal Parolin says he hopes closed churches will reopen soon

Vatican City, Apr 3, 2020 / 07:00 am (CNA).- The Vatican Secretary of State said Friday that he hoped churches closed because of the coronavirus crisis would be reopened “as soon as possible.”

In an interview published on the Vatican News website April 3, Cardinal Pietro Parolin also said he was disturbed by reports of Catholics dying without the Sacrament of the Sick and expressed concern about the disease’s impact on impoverished countries. 

The cardinal said: “The suspension of celebrating the liturgy was necessary to avoid large gatherings. However, in almost every city, churches remain open. I hope those that may have been closed will reopen as soon as possible. Jesus is present there in the Eucharist; priests continue to pray and celebrate Holy Mass for the faithful who cannot participate there. It is nice to think that the doors to God’s house remain open, just as the doors of our houses remain open, even though we are strongly encouraged not to go out except for essential reasons.” 

Parolin acknowledged the suffering of Catholics who are currently deprived of the Sacraments because they are living under lockdown.

“I would like to say that I share their sorrow,” he said. “But I would like to recall the possibility of making a spiritual communion, for example.” 

“Moreover, Pope Francis, through the Apostolic Penitentiary, granted the gift of special indulgences to the faithful, not only to those affected by COVID-19, but also to healthcare providers, family members and all those who care for them in various ways, including through prayer.” 

“In a vigil like this one, there is also another aspect that must be highlighted and reinforced. This is possible for everyone: to pray with the Word of God; to read, to contemplate, to welcome the Word who is coming. With His Word, God has filled the void that frightens us in these hours. God communicated Himself in Jesus, the complete and definitive Word. We must not simply fill time, but fill ourselves with the Word.”

The cardinal said he was troubled by stories of Catholics dying alone without the consolation of the Sacraments. 

“This is one of the consequences of the epidemic that, in a certain sense, upsets me,” he said. “I have read and heard dramatic and moving stories. When, unfortunately, a priest cannot be present at the bedside of a person who is dying, every baptized person can pray and bring comfort by virtue of the common priesthood received with the Sacrament of Baptism.”  

“It is beautiful and evangelical to think that at this difficult time, in some way, even the hands of doctors, nurses, healthcare providers, who every day comfort, heal or accompany the sick in their last moments, become the hands and words of all of us, of the Church, of the family that blesses, says goodbye, forgives and comforts. It is God's caress that heals and gives life, even eternal life.”

Parolin said that he was especially worried about how coronavirus would affect developing countries. 

He said: “Unfortunately, we are facing a pandemic and the virus is spreading like wildfire. On the one hand, we see how many extraordinary efforts are being made by developed countries. Many sacrifices have been made by ordinary individuals, families and national economies, to effectively tackle the health crisis and combat the spread of the virus.” 

“On the other hand, however, I must confess that I am even more concerned about the situation in the less developed countries. There, healthcare facilities are not able to ensure necessary and adequate care for the population in the event of a more widespread diffusion of the COVID-19 virus.”  

“The Holy See’s vocation is to consider the entire world. It seeks not to forget those who are farthest away, those who suffer the most, those who perhaps struggle to gain the attention of the international media.”

He continued: “There is a real need to pray and to commit ourselves, all of us, so that international solidarity never fails. Despite the emergency, despite the fear, now is not the time to shut ourselves off from others.”

Parolin confirmed that there were currently seven coronavirus cases among Vatican employees. All of them had passed the critical phase and were now improving, he said.

The cardinal, who works closely with Pope Francis, said that the pope was searching for new ways to reach out to people suffering around the world. 

“Pope Francis is seeking every way possible to be close to people throughout the world,” he said. “Contact with people has always been fundamental for him, and he intends to maintain this, even if in a new and unprecedented way.” 

“The daily live broadcast of the Holy Mass from Santa Marta is a concrete example. The constant prayer for the victims, their families, healthcare personnel, volunteers, priests, workers, families is another. All of us collaborators are trying to help him maintain contact with the Churches in all the countries of the world.”

He explained that Vatican officials were seeking to ensure that as many people as possible could follow the liturgies of the Easter Triduum while confined to their homes.

“We have studied different options than the traditional ones,” he said. “In fact, it will not be possible to welcome pilgrims, as has always been the case. In full respect of the regulations to avoid infection, we will try to celebrate the great Rites of the Easter Triduum in order to accompany all those who, unfortunately, will not be able to go to church.”

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Pope Francis names new bishop of Belleville, Illinois

Vatican City, Apr 3, 2020 / 06:00 am (CNA).- Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Edward K. Braxton of Belleville, Illinois, and named his successor.

Bishop Braxton submitted his resignation when he turned 75 in June 2019. His successor is Fr. Michael G. McGovern, a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago. 

Bishop Braxton was appointed as the eighth Bishop of Belleville in 2005, replacing Bishop Wilton D. Gregory, who is now Archbishop of Washington. 

Bishop Braxton’s tenure at times has been marked by controversy. In 2008, he issued a public apology for spending restricted mission funds on liturgical vestments, altar linens, and office furniture. He said he had mistakenly believed he had discretionary power over the money he used. He has also been criticized over his handling of clerical abuse, but has defended his record. 

Considered one of the leading voices in the United States Church on racial issues, the bishop has written many articles on African American Catholics, which have been translated and published abroad. 

According to a biography on Belleville diocese’s website, his hobbies included whale watching, inline skating and white water rafting.

Fr. McGovern, 55, has served as pastor of St. Raphael the Archangel parish in Old Mill Creek, Illinois, since 2016. In February this year, he was named interim episcopal vicar of Vicariate I of the Chicago archdiocese, which comprises 51 parishes. 

According to a biography on the website of Vicariate I, he grew up in a large Catholic family in Chicago’s Beverly neighborhood. After graduating from St. Ignatius College Prep and Loyola University, he entered Mundelein seminary in 1990. He was ordained by Cardinal Joseph Bernardin in 1994. He has served as a member of the presbyteral council and college of consultors of the Chicago archdiocese.

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Pope Francis: Reflect on the seven sorrows of Mary, our Mother

Vatican City, Apr 3, 2020 / 02:45 am (CNA).- It is good to think about the seven sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who freely accepted her calling to be the Mother of God and our mother, Pope Francis said during his daily Mass on Friday.

Offering Mass in the chapel of the Casa Santa Marta April 3, he said: “Today it will do us good to stop a little and think about the pain and sorrows of Our Lady. She is our mother.”

The Friday before Palm Sunday is sometimes called the Friday of Sorrows in remembrance of the seven sorrows of the Virgin Mary.

“And how she bore [the sorrows], how she bore them well, with strength, with tears: it was not a false distress, it was just the heart destroyed by grief,” Francis explained.

He spoke about the veneration of Our Lady of Sorrows, listing her “seven sorrows.”

“The first, just 40 days after the birth of Jesus, is the prophecy of Simeon, who speaks of a sword that will pierce her heart,” he explained.

The second sorrow of Mary is the flight into Egypt; the third is the “three days of anguish” when the child Jesus was in the temple, lost to her and St. Joseph.

Meeting Jesus on his way to Calvary is the fourth sorrow. “The fifth sorrow of Our Lady is the death of Jesus, to see her Son there, crucified, naked, who dies,” the pope said.

The sixth sorrow is the removal of Jesus’ dead body from the cross, “and she takes him in her hands as she had taken him in her hands more than 30 years earlier in Bethlehem,” Francis reflected.

The seventh sorrow is Jesus’ burial. “And so, Christian piety follows this path of the Madonna who accompanies Jesus,” he said.

“It will do us good to stop a little and say to Our Lady: ‘Thank you for accepting to be Mother when the angel told you and thank you for accepting to be Mother when Jesus told you.’”

He encouraged Catholics to honor the Virgin Mary as their mother, noting that Jesus himself gave her that role.

Jesus “did not make her prime minister or give her titles of ‘function,’” he said. “Only ‘Mother.’”

According to Francis, Mary accepted the title and duties of being our mother but did not take any titles for herself.

“She did not ask herself to be a quasi-redeemer or a co-redeemer: no. The Redeemer is one and this title does not double,” he said.

The pope added that “in the motherhood of Our Lady we see the motherhood of the Church which receives everyone, good and bad: everyone.”

During the coronavirus pandemic, Pope Francis is offering his daily Mass for the victims and their families.

He noted at the start of Mass April 3 that people are now beginning to think about the “aftermath of the pandemic, to all the problems that will come: problems of poverty, work, hunger...”

Pope Francis invited everyone to pray “for all the people who help today, but who also think about tomorrow, in order to help us all.”

[Read More]

John Paul II embraced his suffering with love: Cardinal reflects 15 years after saint’s death

Vatican City, Apr 2, 2020 / 11:00 am (CNA).- Pope St. John Paul II embraced suffering with love, even during his illness, a cardinal and the archpriest of St. Peter’s Basilica said on the 15th anniversary of the saint’s death.

The spread of the coronavirus pandemic, and the growing number of infected and dying people “has fallen on an unprepared society, highlighting the spiritual emptiness of many people,” Cardinal Angelo Comastri told Vatican News April 1.

“Pain undoubtedly frightens everyone,” he stated. “But when it is enlightened by faith it becomes a way to cut back selfishness, banalities and frivolities.”

Pope St. John Paul II died at the Vatican on April 2, 2005, 15 years ago, after months of illness and a years-long battle with Parkinson’s disease.

Comastri recalled one of the pope’s final “appearances” before his death, when, unable to attend, he watched the Good Friday Stations of the Cross at the Colosseum via video from his private chapel.

“The image we saw on television is unforgettable,” Comastri said. “The pope, who had lost all his physical strength, holding the Crucifix in his hands, gazing at it with pure love. One could sense he was saying: ‘Jesus, I too am on the Cross like you. But together with you I await the Resurrection.’”

According to Comastri, “John Paul II was a true master of pain redeemed by love and transformed into an antidote to selfishness: a redemption of human selfishness. This is possible only by opening one’s heart to Jesus: only with Him can one understand and give value to pain.”

“John Paul II,” he said, “knew that life is a race towards God’s Banquet: the Feast of God’s embrace, His infinite glory and happiness.”

“John Paul II lived his suffering with this spirit: even in the hardest moments,” he noted, adding that “he never lost his serenity. Why? Because before him he always had the purpose of life.”

According to Comastri, “today many people no longer believe in that purpose. That’s why they live pain with despair: because they can’t see beyond the pain.”

“We Christians live pain in communion with the Crucified Jesus: clinging to Him, we fill our pain with love and transform it into a force that challenges and overcomes the selfishness that is still present in the world.”

The cardinal recalled an interaction he had with Pope St. John Paul II in March 2003. The pope had asked Comastri to be the preacher for his Lenten spiritual exercises with the Roman Curia that year.

“Afterwards, he received me with great kindness and said: ‘I thought of giving you a cross like mine.’ I reflected on the double meaning of the word, and replied: ‘Holy Father, it would be difficult for you to give me a cross like yours.’”

“John Paul II smiled and said: ‘No, this cross,’ and he pointed to a pectoral cross he wanted to give me. Then he added: ‘You too will have your cross: transform it into love. This is the wisdom that illuminates life.’”

Comastri said “I have never forgotten this wonderful advice given to me by a saint.”

 

[Read More]

Good Friday Holy Land collection moved to September due to coronavirus

Vatican City, Apr 2, 2020 / 06:40 am (CNA).- The Lenten Holy Land collection will be moved to September this year because of the suspension of public Masses in many places in the world due to the coronavirus, the Vatican stated Thursday.

The collection is usually taken up in churches during Good Friday services. Good Friday falls this year on April 10.

According to a press release from the Congregation for Eastern Churches April 2, for the year 2020, Pope Francis approved moving the collection to Sunday, Sept. 13, since many countries will not be holding public Good Friday services this year.

The Holy See has overseen the Church's annual collection for the Holy Land since 1974, when St. Pope Paul VI established Good Friday as the ordinary day for it to be taken up by parishes and bishops around the world.

The collection goes toward the maintenance and upkeep of the holy sites as well as supporting the lives of Christians in the Holy Land.  

"Christian communities in the Holy Land, also exposed to the risk of contagion and living in contexts that are often already very tested, benefit every year from the generous solidarity of the faithful from all over the world," the April 2 release stated.

The Holy Land collection, it continued, helps the Franciscans of the Custody of the Holy Land and other jurisdictions to be "able to continue their evangelical presence, in addition to maintaining schools and the welfare structures open to all citizens for human education, peaceful coexistence, and care above all for the youngest and poorest."

The date of Sept. 13, 2020 was chosen for the collection because it is near the Sept. 14 feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, the release said. The Exaltation of the Cross commemorates the discovery of the relic of the cross by St. Helen and "the beginning of public worship in Jerusalem with the construction of the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre."

This will make the collection "a sign of hope and salvation rediscovered after the Passion," the statement said, adding that it is a sign of "solidarity with those who continue to live the Gospel of Jesus in the land where 'it all began.'"

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre was closed in late March with no definite timeline for reopening. This is the first time in nearly 700 years the holy site, which houses the tomb of Christ and the site of the crucifixion, has closed for an extended time.

Authorities in Bethlehem, in the West Bank, closed the Church of the Nativity in early March after four cases of COVID-19 were diagnosed in the town. The Church of the Nativity was built over the birthplace of Jesus Christ. All tourists were subsequently banned from entering Bethlehem.

According to The Times of Israel, as of April 1, the number of COVID-19 deaths in Israel was 26, with 6,092 confirmed cases.

 

[Read More]

Be like Mother Teresa during the coronavirus crisis, urges Pope Francis

Vatican City, Apr 2, 2020 / 03:45 am (CNA).- Mother Teresa's example should inspire us to seek out those whose suffering is hidden during the coronavirus crisis, Pope Francis said at his daily Mass on Thursday.

At the start of the Mass April 2, Pope Francis said he had seen a photograph in the newspaper of homeless people sleeping in a parking lot. He may have been referring to a widely circulated image of the homeless lying six feet apart at Cashman Center in Las Vegas March 29.

"These days of pain and sadness underline many hidden problems," he said. "In the newspaper today there is a photo which moves the heart: many homeless people from a city lying in a parking lot, under observation... There are many homeless people today."

"We ask St. Teresa of Calcutta to reawaken in us the sense of closeness to so many people who, in society, in normal life, are hidden but, like the homeless, in a moment of crisis, are pointed out in this way."

In his homily via livestream from Casa Santa Marta, the chapel in his Vatican City residence, Pope Francis reflected on God's covenant with Abraham in the Book of Genesis.

"The Lord has always remembered his covenant," he said. "The Lord never forgets. Yes, he forgets only in one case, when he forgives sins. After he has forgiven he loses the memory, he does not remember the sins. In other cases, God does not forget."

The pope highlighted three aspects of God's relationship with Abraham. First, God had chosen Abraham. Second, he had promised him an inheritance. Third, he had established a covenant with him.

"The election, the promise and the covenant are the three dimensions of the life of faith, the three dimensions of the Christian life," the pope said. "Each of us is an elect. No one chooses to be a Christian among all the possibilities that the religious 'market’ offers him, he is an elect."

"We are Christians because we have been elected. In this election there is a promise, there is a promise of hope, the sign is fruitfulness: 'Abraham will be father of a multitude of nations and ... you will be fruitful in faith. Your faith will flourish in works, in good works, in works of fruitfulness too, a fruitful faith. But you must – the third step – observe the covenant with me.' And the covenant is faithfulness, to be faithful. We have been elected. The Lord has given us a promise. Now he is asking us for a covenant, a covenant of faithfulness."

The pope then turned to the Gospel reading, John 8:51-59, in which Jesus says that Abraham rejoiced to think that he would see Jesus’ day.

"The Christian is a Christian not because he can show the faith of baptism: the baptismal faith is a certificate," the pope said. "You are a Christian if you say yes to the election that God has made of you, if you follow the promises that the Lord has made to you and if you live a covenant with the Lord: this is Christian life."

"The sins of the journey are always against these three dimensions: to not accept the election – and we 'elect' so many idols, so many things that are not of God; to not accept hope in the promise, to go, to look at the promises from afar, even many times, as the Letter to the Hebrews says, greeting them from afar and making the promises today with the little idols that we make; and forgetting the covenant, living without the covenant, as if we were without the covenant."

He concluded: "Fruitfulness is joy, that joy of Abraham who saw the day of Jesus and was full of joy. This is the revelation that the word of God gives us today about our Christian existence. That it is like that of our father: conscious of being elected, joyful of going towards a promise and faithful in fulfilling the covenant."

[Read More]

 

 
 

 

 

 
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