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Vatican issues document on water (Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development)

Mon, 03/30/2020 - 10:03 AM
“At the end of the month in which the World Water Day 2020 has been celebrated, the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development is pleased to release ‘Aqua fons vitae [Water, the Font of Life]: Orientations on water, symbol of the cry of the poor and the cry of the Earth,’ the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development announced on March 30.

Angelus: Pope appeals for global ceasefire amid Covid pandemic (Vatican News)

Mon, 03/30/2020 - 9:03 AM
Pope Francis issued his appeal at the conclusion of his March 29 Angelus address, in which he reflected on the raising of Lazarus (John 11:1-45), the Gospel of the day.

England rededicated as Mary's dowry (Vatican News)

Mon, 03/30/2020 - 9:03 AM
“This Rededication on March 29th is a both a personal promise of the people of our country, and a renewal of the entrustment vows made by King Richard II in 1381,” the Catholic National Shrine & Basilica of Our Lady Walsingham stated on the rededication website.

'Refrain from visiting churches,' Russian Orthodox patriarch tells faithful (Reuters)

Mon, 03/30/2020 - 9:03 AM
“The most intransigent Orthodox see the Patriarch’s change of stance as a surrender to the ‘phobias of the godless,’” AsiaNews reported.

Theme of Vatican Lenten sermon: Mary at the foot of the cross, model of hope (Vatican Press Office)

Mon, 03/30/2020 - 9:03 AM
Capuchin Franciscan Father Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher of the papal household since 1980, recorded a Friday Lenten sermon on March 27.

6 Vatican employees, citizens have tested positive for CO19; Pope tests negative (Vatican Press Office)

Mon, 03/30/2020 - 9:03 AM
“There are therefore currently six employees of the Holy See and citizens of Vatican City State affected by Covid-19,” Matteo Bruni, director of the Holy See Press Office, said in a March 28 statement. “I can confirm that neither the Holy Father nor his closest collaborators are involved.”

Cologne cardinal opens seminary to the homeless (Erzbischof Koeln)

Mon, 03/30/2020 - 9:03 AM
“I have decided to open up our seminary for the homeless while our seminarians are gone due to the Corona restrictions,” said Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki. “We want to offer warm meals and access to restrooms and showers to those who have nobody to turn to these days in Cologne.”

In Kerala, 7 priests, nuns, seminarians arrested for seminary Mass during lockdown (UCANews)

Mon, 03/30/2020 - 9:03 AM
The southwestern Indian state of Kerala (map) is 55% Hindu, 27% Muslim, and 18% Christian. Two Eastern Catholic churches (the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church and the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church) have their headquarters there, as do two Oriental Orthodox churches (the Jacobite Syrian Christian Church and the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church).

Venezuela's bishops encourage journalists to bear witness to the truth despite censorship (Fides)

Mon, 03/30/2020 - 8:03 AM
Venezuela saw “more violations to freedom of expression in 2019 than in the last eight years,” the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas recently reported.

Philippine bishop alarmed over handling of CO19 cases (CBCP News)

Mon, 03/30/2020 - 8:03 AM
“Will we wait until the entire province of Albay is infected with the virus before the national government acts?” asked Bishop Joel Baylon of Legazpi, who “lamented that at least three Covid-19 patients were placed under home quarantine instead of being in strict isolation.”

Pope, at Mass, prays for those who are hungry because they have lost work (Vatican News)

Mon, 03/30/2020 - 8:03 AM
At a Mass celebrated in the chapel of Domus Sanctae Marthae on March 28 (video), Pope Francis exhorted priests not to be an elite spiritual class separated from the people. The Pope invited those watching the Mass to pray Cardinal Rafael Merry del Val’s act of spiritual communion. The Mass concluded with adoration and Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament and the chanting of the Ave Regina Caelorum.

Cardinal Tagle calls on wealthy nations to forgive interest on international debt (CBCP News)

Mon, 03/30/2020 - 8:03 AM
Calling for a CO19 “jubilee,” the prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples added, “Now we realize that we don’t have enough masks but there are more than enough bullets. We don’t have enough supplies of ventilators but we have millions of pesos, dollars, or euros spent on one plane that could attack people.”

In some parts of Africa's most populous nation, streets deserted and Masses broadcast on TV (Fides)

Mon, 03/30/2020 - 8:03 AM
“The situation [in Nigeria], however, varies between different states,” said Archbishop Alfred Martins of Lagos. “Here, gatherings of more than 20 people are banned and, consequently, Masses with people have been suspended.” However, another prelate, Archbishop John Obinna of Owerri, said, “We will continue to observe the traditional handshake of peace during Masses and continue giving Holy Communion to worshippers on their tongues.”

'By His cross we have been healed and embraced': Pope imparts extraordinary Urbi et Orbi blessing (Vatican Press Office)

Mon, 03/30/2020 - 7:03 AM
On March 27, Pope Francis presided over “an extraordinary moment of prayer in the time of pandemic, with the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament” (video).

Economic concerns must not stop CO19 measures, Pope says (Crux)

Mon, 03/30/2020 - 2:03 AM
In a letter to an Argentine judge, Pope Francis has insisted that strict measures to control the CO19 epidemic must continue, even at the risk of economic disaster. “It would be said if the opposite was chosen,” he said, charging that this course would amount to “genocide.” He said that government efforts to control the disease are “always for the common good.”

Italy: police cite Christians for prayer service during quarantine (Crux)

Mon, 03/30/2020 - 2:03 AM
In Nocera Inferiore, Italy, police have charged several residents with breaking emergency regulations by holding a prayer service in church. Neighbors reportedly called the police to intervene.

Texas bishop dissents from colleagues' statement on health-care resources (CWN)

Mon, 03/30/2020 - 2:03 AM

In a rare public disagreement, Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas has dissented from a statement signed by all other Catholic bishops in Texas, supporting Governor Greg Abbott’s plan for setting health-care priorities during the CO19 epidemic.

In Tamil Nadu, Hindu nationalists disrupt prayer meeting (Christian Solidarity Worldwide)

Fri, 03/27/2020 - 10:03 AM
The southern Indian state (map) is nearly 88% Hindu, 6% Christian, and 6% Muslim.

Churches exempt from Ohio's stay-at-home order (State of Ohio)

Fri, 03/27/2020 - 10:03 AM
Ohio’s March 22 stay-at-home order, in effect from March 23 to April 6, lists “religious entities” among the exempt essential businesses and operations: “religious facilities, entities and groups and religious gatherings, including weddings and funerals” (p. 5). Earlier, on March 16, the bishops of Ohio had decided “to suspend temporarily all publicly celebrated Masses/liturgies, at least through the celebrations of Holy Week and Easter.”

Catholic agencies: Move refugees from Greek camps to other EU nations to avoid pandemic disaster (CNS)

Fri, 03/27/2020 - 10:03 AM
“Solidarity must be seen above all in dramatic moments—it must be shown there’s a European identity, and moreover a Christian European identity,” said Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, SJ, president of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union.