- New Vatican document offers guidance for use of social media [News Analysis] (CWN)
News analysis by Phil Lawler
- Pope, in interview, describes unborn child as 'a living being, I'm not saying a person' (CWN)
In a brief but wide-ranging interview with Julio Vaqueiro of Telemundo, Pope Francis discussed migration, reflected on ecclesial reform, recalled his recent meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and spoke about the prevalence of abuse in families when he was asked whether there is a link between celibacy and sexual abuse.
- The Holy Spirit acts in creation, in the Church, and in our hearts, Pope preaches at Pentecost Mass (Vatican Press Office)
Pope Francis presided at the Pentecost Sunday Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica on May 28. Cardinal João Braz de Aviz, prefect of the Dicastery for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, was the principal celebrant. During his homily, Pope Francis described the Synod on synodality as “a journey in accordance with the Spirit, not a Parliament for demanding rights and claiming needs in accordance with the agenda of the world, nor an occasion for following wherever the wind is blowing, but the opportunity to be docile to the breath of the Spirit.” Without the Holy Spirit, the Pope continued, “the Church is lifeless, faith is mere doctrine, morality mere duty, pastoral work mere toil ... With the Spirit, on the other hand, faith is life, the love of the Lord convinces us, and hope is reborn.” “Holy Spirit, Spirit of Jesus and of the Father, inexhaustible wellspring of harmony, to you we entrust the world; to you we consecrate the Church and our hearts,” the Pope concluded. “Come, Creator Spirit, harmony of humanity, renew the face of the earth. Come, Gift of gifts, harmony of the Church, make us one in you. Come, Spirit of forgiveness and harmony of the heart, transform us as only you can, through the intercession of Mary.”
- Pope again condemns proselytism (Vatican Press Office)
Pope Francis renewed his denunciation of “proselytism,” and repeated a story about his rebuke to a woman for converting children, during a May 29 audience with members of the Barnabite order. “Be careful to distinguish apostolic action from proselytism; we do not proselytize,” the Pope said. The Pope recounted a story that he has told in the past, about a woman who introduced him to two young people who had entered the Catholic faith. He said: “I was angry, you know, and I said, ‘You haven’t converted anyone, you lack respect for these people: you have not accompanied them, you have proselytized, and this is not evangelizing.’”
- The Holy Spirit frees us from fear, Pope tells pilgrims (Vatican Press Office)
During his Regina Caeli address on Pentecost Sunday, Pope Francis reflected on John 20:19-23, the Gospel reading at the Mass of the day. “When they receive the Spirit, the apostles – we celebrate this today – come out of the upper room and go out into the world to forgive sins and to proclaim the good news,” the Pope told pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square. “Thanks to him, fears are overcome and doors open.” “Because this is what the Spirit does: he makes us feel God’s proximity, and so thus his love casts out fear, illuminates the way, consoles, sustains in adversity,” he continued. “Faced with fears and closure, then, let us invoke the Holy Spirit for us, for the Church and for the whole world: let a new Pentecost cast out the fears that assail us and revive the flame of God’s love. May Mary Most Holy, the first to be filled with the Holy Spirit, intercede for us.”
- Pope encourages African youth to conquer continent's problems (Vatican News)
In a private audience with young people from Africa, who were in Rome for the celebration of Africa Day, Pope Francis said: “Never give up on your dreams, never completely bury a calling, and never accept defeat.” The Pontiff acknowledged that young people in Africa face serious difficulties, but encouraged them to have confidence and persever to overcome those problems. He said: Your beloved African continent is facing enormous challenges such as terrorism, bad governance, corruption, massive youth unemployment, migration, conflicts between communities and the climate and food crisis, among others. In this context, you may feel helpless and discouraged, and think that your future is bleak and without prospects. Yet you are young and richly talented, you have lofty ambitions and great dreams: pursue them!
- Enormous Chartres pilgrimage captures French media attention (National Catholic Register)
An annual pilgrimage of traditionalist Catholics to Chartres has captured the attention of the media in France, with a record-breaking number of participants joining in the three-day procession. Organizers of the event cut off registration for the weekend pilgrimage more than a week before it took place, as the number of registrations exceeded the maximum (16,000) that they could accommodate. But considerably more “unofficial” participants joined in the 60-mile hike from Paris to Chartres. Bishop Philippe Maurice Christory of Chartres joined in the march as the pilgrimage crossed into his diocese. The Chartres pilgrimage has taken place each year since 1983, attracting Catholics who are drawn to the traditional Latin liturgy.
- Pope reflects on the Catholic imagination (Vatican Press Office)
On May 27, Pope Francis received participants in a conference organized by La Civiltà Cattolica and by Georgetown University. The conference’s theme was “The Global Aesthetics of the Catholic Imagination.” The Pope told the assembled artists, “This, then, is the challenge facing the Catholic imagination in our time; it is a challenge entrusted to you: not to ‘explain’ the mystery of Christ, which is ultimately unfathomable, but to enable us to touch him, to feel his closeness, to let us see him as alive and to open our eyes to the beauty of his promises. “
- 'Bullying destroys life,' Pope tells Scholas Occurrentes (Vatican News)
Pope Franics addressed the conclusion of the first World Congress of Eco-Educational Cities, organized by Scholas Occurrentes. Founded in Buenos Aires by the future Pope Francis and now a pontifical foundation, Scholas Occurrentes seeks “to promote a new education, and its mission is to create a culture of encounter bringing young people closer to a meaningful education,” according to its website.
- 'Bishop of the peripheries' named Archbishop of Buenos Aires (CNA)
On May 26, Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Cardinal Mario Aurelio Poli, 75, as Archbishop of Buenos Aires (Argentina) and has named Bishop Jorge Ignacio García Cuerva, 55, of Río Gallegos as the new archbishop. In March 2013, the Pontiff, formerly Archbishop of Buenos Aires, had appointed Poli as his successor.
- St. Louis archdiocese, Columbus diocese closing parishes (Post-Dispatch)
The Archdiocese of St. Louis will close 35 parishes of its 178 parishes in a major reorganization, giving new assignments to 155 priests. The reorganization plan was introduced by Archbishop Mitchell Rozanski in a restructuring program entitled “All Things New.” In Columbus, Ohio, Bishop Earl Fernandes announced plans to close 15 parishes, out of 104 currently in the diocese.
- Italian president awarded Paul VI prize (Vatican News)
Pope Francis has awarded the Paul VI prize, given to individuals who “have contributed to the growth of the religious meaning in the world,” to Italy’s President Sergio Mattarella. In presenting the award— on May 29, the feast of St. Paul VI— the Pope spoke about the message of Vatican II, encouraging lay activity to transform the secular world with the message of the Gospel.
- EU bishops, other Christian leaders issue Pentecost message (COMECE)
The Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union (COMECE) and the Conference of European Churches (CEC) issued a joint Pentecost message. The latter group is a fellowship of over 100 Orthodox and Protestant communities. “Just as the early Christian community struggled to come up with answers to the problems it faced, so Christians today struggle with the challenges of a world deeply wounded by violence, inequality and division,” the message stated. “As we prepare to celebrate Pentecost this year, let us be open to receiving the Holy Spirit, whose power can heal and reconcile humanity and transform society.”
- Pope accepts Strasbourg archbishop's resignation (Vatican Press Office)
Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Archbishop Luc Ravel, 66, of Strasbourg. The French archbishop, accused of having an autocratic management style, had tendered his resignation at the Vatican’s request following an apostolic visitation, but defended his tenure.
- Pope demands end to 'senseless war against Creation' (CWN)
Pope Francis called upon world leaders and Christians to “put an end to the senseless war against creation,” in his message for the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation.
- Belgian bishop claims papal approval to bless same-sex unions (National Catholic Register)
Bishop Johan Bonny of Antwerp has said that Pope Francis does not oppose the decision of the Flemish Catholic bishops to offer church blessings for same-sex unions. Bishop Bonny said that he had twice discussed the Flemish bishops’ policy with the Pontiff, and— although he did not reveal the content of those conversations— noted that the Pope has not spoken publicly against that policy. Taking the Pope’s public silence as an indication of tacit approval, the Belgian bishop said that the Pope’s response was “very important for me and for the other bishops of Flanders.” Questioned about the March 2021 statement from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which said that the Church could not offer a blessing to a same-sex union, Bishop Bonny dismissed the authority of that statement, saying: “Not every man in Rome is Pope.”