High court decision in Pell case due next week (Lawyers Weekly) Australia’s High Court will release a decision on the appeal by Cardinal George Pell next Tuesday, April 7. The cardinal has appealed his conviction of sexual abuse, with his lawyers arguing that the original jury decision was unreasonable and an appeals court wrongly placed the burden of proof on the defendant rather than the prosecution. The High Court could affirm the jury verdict, or order a new trial, or order the cardinal’s acquittal.
'Remain in the Lord,' Pope preaches at weekday Mass (Zenit) During Mass celebrated in the chapel of Domus Sanctae Marthae on April 1 (video), Pope Francis preached on John 8:31: “If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciple.” The Pontiff also prayed for those “who work in the media, who work to communicate. They are working so that people are not so isolated; for the education of children, to help us to bear this time of isolation.”
Kenya's bishops denounce police brutality in enforcing anti-virus measures (Fides) “Police across Kenya reportedly [used] excessive force, beating and tear gassing crowds of people on their way home from work,” Human Rights Watch reported. “In Mombasa, police forced crowds of people to lie down together, in some cases on top of each other, as they beat, kicked, and slapped them for allegedly violating curfew. The crowds of tear gassed travelers, who did not have protective gear, coughed and yelled hysterically as police descended on them with batons, kicks, and blows.”
Florida governor allows religious assemblies, Miami archbishop does not (Miami Herald) Although Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has made churches exempt from a statewide stay-at-home order, Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami has instructed his priests “not to offer ‘drive-through’ palms, confessions, or Holy Communion or any similar type of activity” during Holy Week and Easter. The archbishop said: “It is not prudent for parishes to plan any activity that would encourage people to leave their homes.”
Cellphones not permitted in Confession, archbishop advises (CNS) Archbishop Leonard Blair of Hartford, the chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on Divine Worship, said that “he was informed by Archbishop Arthur Roche, Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship at the Vatican, that using a cellphone for the sacrament poses a threat against the seal of confession. Even the use of a cellphone to help amplify the voices of a confessor and penitent who can see each other is not allowed.”
Recommit to the European project and shun nationalism, leading EU cardinal says in CO19 statement (COMECE) “This is the time for all of us to demonstrate our joint commitment to the European project and to common European values of solidarity and unity, instead of capitulating to fear and nationalism,” Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, SJ, president of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the EU, said in a statement issued April 2. The president of the Conference of European Churches (a fellowship of over 100 Orthodox and Protestant communities) also signed the statement.
Pope at audience: Christ offers 'comfort in the midst of life's tribulations' (Vatican Press Office) In his regular weekly public audience on April 1, Pope Francis assured the faithful that the Lord offers “support and comfort in the midst of life’s tribulations.” Continuing his meditations on the Beatitudes, the Pontiff spoke on purity of heart, which he said is “the result of a process that implies a liberation and a renunciation.” He delivered his remarks by livestream from the library of the apostolic palace, since St. Peter’s Square is closed.
Compassion, fraternity are keys in annual Vatican greeting to Buddhists (Vatican Press Office) In an annual message to the world’s Buddhists, the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue compared Prince Siddhartha (the Buddha) with St. Francis of Assisi, noting that both men renounced their noble status. The Vatican message, timed for the Buddhist feast of Vesakh, noted: “Everything is related. Interdependence brings us back to the theme of compassion and fraternity.”