At weekday Mass, Pope prays for conversion of those who exploit the needy during pandemic (AsiaNews) At a Mass celebrated in the chapel of Domus Sanctae Marthae on April 8 (video), Pope Francis preached on Matthew 26:14-25, the Gospel reading of the day. As he did in 2016, the Pope referred to Don Primo Mazzolari’s 1958 homily on Judas and to the depiction of Judas at the basilica in Vèzelay, France. The Pope invited those watching the Mass to pray the act of spiritual communion by Cardinal Rafael Merry del Val (1865-1930). The Mass concluded with adoration and Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament and the chanting of the Ave Regina Caelorum.
English bishops: priests must obey restrictions on visiting hospital patients (LifeSite News) The Catholic bishops of England and Wales have advised priests not to challenge hospital officials who deny them access to patients. “Priests and chaplains must follow the visiting instructions from Hospital and Trust authorities,” read the statement from the episcopal conference, signed by Bishop Paul Mason. “Whilst this runs counter to our instinct to provide end-of-life sacramental and pastoral care...minimising the spread of the virus must be the priority of all.”
Church shutdowns no threat to religious liberty, says Archbishop Lori (Crux) Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore has rejected complaints that restrictions on church services are an offense against religious liberty. “We do not feel as though we have been forced into doing this by the government,” he told Crux. “We feel like we’re doing the right thing.” The archbishop strongly criticized Catholics who have attended Mass in defiance of diocesan bans. “It puts people’s lives at risk, and I believe it also defies reason,” he said.
Priests kidnapped, tortured in Cameroon (L'Osservatore Romano (Italian)) The Anglophone crisis in Cameroon (map) has displaced over 500,000 people. “Life has not been easy for bishops, priests, religious, Christians,” according to the report. “Some priests have been kidnapped, several priests have even been tortured … Constant threats [come] especially from the separatists.”
Chicago archdiocese recruits young priests to anoint CO19 victims (CNA) The Archdiocese of Chicago has enlisted 24 priests—all volunteers who are under 60 and in good health—to anoint victims of the CO19 epidemic. Other priests have been instructed to call in one of these volunteers when asked to the bedside of a CO19 patient. The volunteer priests will observe a series of safeguards to avoid contracting the virus.
US bishops cancel June meeting in Detroit (USCCB) “Even if the numerous temporary restrictions on public gatherings resulting from conditions associated with COVID-19 are lessened by June, the priority for the physical and pastoral presence of the bishop in his See will be acute to tend to the faithful,” said Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Kansas legislators overrule governor on order limiting Easter services (Kansas.com) Legislators in Kansas, voting along party lines, have revoked an order by Governor Laura Kelly that would have limited all Easter church services to a maximum of 10 people. Governor Kelly denounced the initiative as “irresponsible,” saying that the Republicans who advanced the measure would be responsible for deaths. About 0.03% of the Kansas population has been infected with CO19, but that number is growing.
Vatican issues CO19 message to Catholic schools (Zenit) “We have the duty to return to consider more deeply the meaning of life, to finding ways to begin again to live once more, beginning from new foundations, knowing well it will never be the same as before,” the Congregation for Catholic Education said in its message. “Our Easter wish for everyone is for the renewal of faith in the mystery and reality of the resurrection of the Son of God, who gives meaning to and illuminates all of reality.”
Vatican thanks China for donation of health supplies (Vatican Press Office) The Vatican press office has released a statement of gratitude to China for the donation of supplies needed to fight the CO19 epidemic. “The Holy See appreciates the generous gesture and expresses gratitude to the bishops, the Catholic faithful, the institutions and all the other Chinese citizens for this humanitarian initiative,” said Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni.
At least 96 priests have died in pandemic (Avvenire (Italian)) According to the report, which was published on Palm Sunday, 12 priests have died in Milan, and 24 in Bergamo. Bishop Francesco Beschi of Bergamo has decided to celebrate Holy Thursday Mass in a hospital chapel, rather than in his cathedral (Italian-language link).
Cardinal Cupich organizes online ecumenical Good Friday service (Chicago archdiocese ) While churches in Chicago will be closed on Good Friday, Cardinal Blase Cupich has organized an ecumenical prayer service, to be conducted online. Mayor Lori Lightfoot will participate in the “experience of worship,” along with other public officials and community leaders. Religious leaders will include representatives of local Armenian Orthodox, Greek Orthodox, Methodist, Episcopal, and Presbyterian bodies.
Pope creates another commission to study female diaconate (Vatican Press Office) Pope Francis has formed a new commission to study the female diaconate. The 12-member commission will be chaired by Cardinal Giuseppe Petrocchi of L’Aquila, Italy, with Father Denis Dupont-Fauville, an official of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), serving as secretary.
This is the second time Pope Francis has formed such a commission. In November 2016 a panel chaired by then-Archbishop Luis Ladaria Ferrer (who is now prefect of the CDF) met for the first time. By May 2019, the Pope reported that this commission had been unable to reach any consensus.
Nigerian cardinal rips corruption, lawmakers' salaries (Fides) “By the time low-grade leadership combines with big government and the seemingly irresistible tendency to steal and or waste Nigeria’s money, you find a country whose hospitals are reduced to mere consultation rooms,” said Cardinal Anthony Okogie, 83. “The humongous basic salaries and allowances of our political office holders should become a thing of the past. The money should be used to establish a regime of high-quality medical service delivery.”
Pope, at weekday Mass, prays for those serving unjust sentences (Zenit) At a Mass celebrated in the chapel of Domus Sanctae Marthae on April 7 (video), Pope Francis preached on the firs reading of the day. The Pope invited those watching the Mass to pray the act of spiritual communion by Cardinal Rafael Merry del Val (1865-1930). The Mass concluded with adoration and Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament and the chanting of the Ave Regina Caelorum.
Ukrainian Catholic leader issues Holy Thursday letter to priests (Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church) “From the start, we ourselves must travel the spiritual path of conversion to the fullness of Christ,” said Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, an Eastern Catholic church in full communion with the Holy See. “Only a converted priest, who unceasingly recognizes, in the light of Christ’s Gospel, the truth about himself, overcomes his own sin and grows in holiness, can help other people convert and rediscover the road to God.”