Pope defends words on abuse, in-flight wedding (CWN) Pope Francis defended his support for a Chilean bishop accused of ignoring clerical abuse, as well as his decision to preside at the impromptu wedding of two flight attendants, during an exchange with reporters who accompanied him on his return flight to Rome on January 22 at the conclusion of a visit to Chile and Peru.
Cardinal O'Malley: Pope's words were 'source of great pain' to abuse victims (Archdiocese of Boston) In a remarkable statement, Cardinal Seán O’Malley of Boston said that the Pope’s remarks about a Chilean bishop and sexual abuse “were a source of great pain for survivors of sexual abuse by clergy or any other perpetrator. Words that convey the message ‘if you cannot prove your claims then you will not be believed’ abandon those who have suffered reprehensible criminal violations of their human dignity and relegate survivors to discredited exile.”
Vatican reportedly asking 'underground' Chinese bishops to yield to government-supported prelates (AsiaNews) Vatican representatives have asked at least two bishops of China’s “underground” Catholic Church to resign, allowing for bishops supported by the government to take their places, the AsiaNews service reports.
AsiaNews discloses that Bishop Peter Zhuang Jianjian of Shantou, who is recognized by the Holy See, was asked to step aside. He would be replaced by Bishop Huang Bingzhang, who was ordained without Vatican approval—thus incurring the penalty of excommunication—according to the report.
Venezuela's bishops denounce massacre of regime opponents (Fides) The bishops decried the recent “horrible massacre with extrajudicial executions and the death of civilians in actions perpetrated by military forces” (Amnesty International reported on the incident). The government and the opposition failed to come to an agreement at recent talks, and the EU prepared sanctions amid growing unrest.
Trip ended, Pope prays at St. Mary Major (Vatican News) Pope Francis returned to Rome on January 22, ending his week-long trip to South America. Following his usual practice, the Holy Father immediately visited the basilica of St. Mary Major to pray in gratitude for the the success of the apostolic voyage.