Catholic News

  1. After priest is killed in Congo, clerics say they won't be intimidated (RNS) - “Priests are living in fear, but they cannot leave the villages where they are with the people,” one priest said in a telephone interview. “They are running schools, hospitals and peace programs. They are the only hope.”
  2. Alfie Evans' dad emphasizes Vatican hospital is ready to care for his son (Liverpool Echo) - Thomas Evans spoke with reporters in England following his audience with Pope Francis. The president of the Vatican’s Bambino Gesu pediatric hospital said that the hospital has been in contact since last year with the Liverpool hospital that is seeking to remove the child’s respirator.
  3. Benedictine Confederation celebrates 125th anniversary (Sant'Anselmo all'Aventino ) - In 1893, Pope Leo XIII united the congregations of the Order of St. Benedict.
  4. CDF rejects German bishops' policy on intercommunion (OnePeterFive) - The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) has rejected a policy approved by the German bishops’ conference, which would have allowed Protestant spouses of Catholics to receive Communion in some cases. The CDF decision, which was approved by Pope Francis, was originally reported on the German news site Kathnet.
  5. Caritas Syria's spokeswoman laments recent Western airstrikes (CNS) - “When we heard the bombardment, we felt, please, no, not again,” said Sandra Awad. “Those (strikes) won’t help. It’s the opposite. They are opening the wounds of our hearts. We don’t want to live in war anymore.”
  6. Chilean cardinal: Bishop Barros should resign 'without doubt' (The Tablet) - Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati of Santiago has said that Bishop Juan Barros, the prelate at the center of a sex-abuse scandal in Chile, should resign “without a doubt.” However, the cardinal added that “I am not a judge to say” whether or not Bishop Barros is guilty of covering up abuse. Pope Francis, who had long defended the accused bishop, announced that week that he had made made “serious mistakes in the assessment and perception of the situation.”
  7. China: churches demolished, bishop's tomb desecrated, children forbidden in churches (AsiaNews) - Chinese officials have demolished another church, desecrated the tomb of an ‘underground’ bishop, and forbidden young people from entering church buildings. The AsiaNews service sees the aggressive new actions as the outcome of new Communist Party policies restricting religion.
  8. English bishops applaud hospital care for Alfie Evans, call criticism 'unfounded' (Catholic Herald) - The Catholic bishops’ conference of England and Wales has released a statement praising the hospital where Alfie Evans is a patient for its “professionalism and care for severely ill children.” Affirming that doctors treating the child had acted “with integrity and for Alfie’s good as they see it,” the conference said that “recently reported public criticism of their work is unfounded.”
  9. German bishops devote ecumenical pro-life week to prenatal diagnosis (Servizio Informazione Religiosa) - The initiative’s goal is “to encourage parents to accept their child unreservedly” when faced with a diagnosis of a birth defect. “Diseases and disabilities of the newborn are diagnosed without risks during pregnancy, but no mention is made of related therapeutic treatment,” said Bishop Stephan Ackermann of Trier.
  10. German bishops' spokesman denies report that Vatican has rejected intercommunion policy (Servizio Informazione Religiosa) - Referring to the “pastoral guide on inter-confessional marriage and common participation in the Eucharist,” Matthias Kopp said that “news that the document has been challenged by the Pope or by the Vatican departments is false.” The news site Kathnet had reported that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith had rejected the policy. The president of the German bishops’ conference, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, will reportedly with Pope Francis to discuss the matter.
  11. Gunfire at UN team in Syria stalls chemical weapons inspection (CNN) - L’Osservatore Romano (4/20 Italian edition) devoted prominent front-page coverage to this story. The Vatican newspaper also reported on the Syrian regime’s offensive against an ISIS stronghold and a UN mediator’s attempt to restart negotiations.
  12. Holy See adheres to European agreement on cultural routes (Council of Europe) - Wikipedia offers an overview of the Council of Europe’s cultural routes program and the 2010 Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes.
  13. Leading EU official meets with head of EU bishops' commission (COMECE) - Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, “acknowledged the positive role of the Church in the society,” while Archbishop Jean-Claude Hollerich, SJ, “recalled the need to base the political process on dialogue and harmony between all political, social, cultural and religious actors.”
  14. Macron seeks Merkel's support for EU reform in Berlin talks (France 24) - L’Osservatore Romano (4/20 Italian edition) devoted front-page coverage to this story.
  15. Papal visit to southern Italy, praise for late Bishop Bello (Vatican News) - On April 20, Pope Francis traveled to two southern Italian towns, Alessano and Molfettato, to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the death of the Servant of God Bishop Tonino Bello (1935-1993). Bishop Bello—an advocate for the poor who served as president of Pax Christi—was a “true saint,” the Pontiff said.
  16. Pope Francis pays tribute to Benedictine order's spirituality, legacy (Vatican Press Office) - “If St. Benedict was a luminous star,” said Pope Francis, “this was because he was able to discern between the essential and the secondary in spiritual life, placing the Lord firmly in the center. May you, his children in our time, practice discernment to recognize what comes from the Holy Spirit and what comes from the spirit of the world or the spirit of the devil.”
  17. Pope renews appeal for Alfie Evans and Vincent Lambert, meets with Alfie's father (Vatican News) - Click here for an interview with Thomas Evans and here for an interview with a bishop who present during the 20-minute audience.
  18. Remains of exiled Czech cardinal to be returned, re-buried in Prague (Radio Praha) - The remains of Cardinal Josef Beran of Prague, who died in exile, have been removed from St. Peter’s basilica in Rome and will be reburied in St. Vitus cathedral in Prague, in accordance with the late prelate’s wishes. Cardinal Beran was exiled by the Communist government in 1965, and died in Rome in 1969.
  19. Syria probe mission on hold amid security fears (Agence France-Presse) - Devoting front-page coverage to this story, L’Osservatore Romano (4/19 Italian edition) also reported on a leading EU official’s defense of the recent airstrike on Syria, Angela Merkel’s discussion with Vladimir Putin, the halting of US sanctions against Russia, and the US invitation to Arab nations to send troops to Syria.
  20. Ukraine's government seeks autocephalous status for Orthodox church (Reuters) - Ukraine’s Orthodox faithful are divided into the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate), the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Kyiv Patriarchate), and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church. Only the first is canonically recognized by other Orthodox churches; the second body is the largest of the three. President Petro Poroshenko met with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to seek autocephalous status for the first—in effect, a canonically recognized independence from the Moscow Patriarchate.
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