Catholic schools should not be Christian in name only, Pope tells Christian Brothers (CNA) On May 21, Pope Francis received participants in the 46th general chapterof the
Brothers of the Christian Schools. The religious institute was founded by St. Jean-Baptiste de La Salle; the chapter’s theme is “Building new paths to transform lives.”
“We are aware that the world is experiencing an educational emergency,” the Pope said in his address. “The two great challenges of our time, the challenge of fraternity and the challenge of caring for the common home, cannot be answered except through education.”
“The Christian educator, in the school of Christ, is first of all a witness, and he is a teacher to the extent that he is a witness,” the Pope added. “And above all I pray for you, that you may be brothers not only in name but in fact. And for your schools to be Christian not in name but in fact.”
Ukrainians expect 'proper assessment' of war from Holy See, Major Archbishop tells Vatican foreign minister (Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church) During his three-day visit to Ukraine, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, the Holy See’s Secretary for Relations with States, met with Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.
Major Archbishop Shevchuk welcomed the visit as “a very powerful diplomatic sign of support of Ukraine and the Ukrainian people from the Apostolic See.” At the same time, the prelate conveyed “the expectations of Ukrainians regarding the role of the Apostolic See in the current situation of Russia’s war against Ukraine.”
Major Archbishop Shevchuk told Archbishop Gallagher that Ukrainians expect the Vatican “to give a proper assessment of this war in terms of both international law and Christian morality” and to “play its role in stopping aggression.”
Pope calls for fraternity 'among ourselves and with creation' (Vatican News) On May 21, Pope Francis received participants in Nature in Mind, an international conference on the protection of biodiversity. The conference was organized by the Command of the Carabinieri Corps (Italian police).
The “dynamic bond between Creator, human and other creatures is an alliance that cannot be broken without irreparable damage,” the Pope said in his address. “The culture of care is a culture of harmony, it is to preserve harmony, and not a culture of details that breaks harmony.”
'Going backwards' is 'not Christian,' Pope tells readers of Italian Catholic magazine (Vatican News) Blessed James Alberione, SSP (1884-1971) started Famiglia Cristiana, now the Italian Catholic magazine with the highest circulation.
“Today two roads open up before us in particular: the road of fraternity and the road of integral ecology,” Pope Francis said in a May 21 address to a representation of the magazine’s readers as it marked its 90th anniversary. “We must travel these roads, but the method remains the same: dialogue and listening, which enable relationships to be cultivated.”
“Always going to the Gospel, always going to the roots,” the Pope continued. “And from there, taking strength for newness, the roots will give you the sap to grow, the Gospel will give you the mission and it will give you the message that constitutes you. But beware of a danger today: unfortunately, people confuse going deeper with going backwards ... And be careful to see if there is any movement ‘backwards,’ to denounce it and say: this is not Christian.”
Conserve the gift of Confirmation, Pope tells Confirmation candidates from Genoa (Vatican Press Office) “Confirmation is a gift, and we must conserve this gift, take care of the gift,” Pope Francis said in his May 21 address. “And how is it conserved? First of all with prayer, asking the Lord to give us the strength to go forward, that this strength of the Holy Spirit that we have all received may be conserved.”
“And the second thing is friendship among you, because in the Church we are not ‘me alone,’ me and God, no, we are all of us, in community,” the Pope added.
The Pontiff also referred to his own family’s roots as he spoke to the Confirmation candidates about generosity. “They say that generosity is not a Genoese virtue, I don’t know. But this is the generosity of money: the Genoese are stingy, they say; I too have Genoese blood on my mother’s side, I understand well. But generous, always generous.”
Pope Francis approves canonization of two Blesseds; 8 other causes advance (Vatican News) Pope Francis has approved the canonization of Blessed Giovanni Battista Scalabrini (1839-1905), the founder of the Missionaries of St. Charles Borromeo (Scalabrinians), and Blessed Artémides Zatti, SDB (1880-1951).
In advancing eight other causes, Pope Francis approved a miracle for the beatification of Ven. María de la Concepción (Conchita) Barrecheguren García (1905-1927). The Pontiff also approved decrees recognizing the heroic virtue of seven Servants of God, who may now be honored as venerable.
Orthodox churches trade accusations as war continues in Ukraine (Church Times) The Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) said that the formation of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) helped provoke the Russian invasion—prompting strong criticism from the OCU’s13-member Synod.
The OCU, which was granted canonical recognition by the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople in 2019, was formed from the 2018 union of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Kiev Patriarchate) and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, neither of which had received canonical recognition.
“One of the main creators, inspirers, and propagandists of this fascist ideology, now dominant in Russia, is the head of the Moscow Patriarchate; it was and remains the basis for the occupation of our land, murder of our citizens, and destruction of our cities and villages, as well as for attempts to destroy our statehood and very identity,” the OCU said in its response. “Yet these hierarchs cannot find courage in their public statements to condemn the ideology, or the actions of their Patriarch.”
In Mexico, priest murdered, 3-year-old killed inside church (Fides) The bishops of Mexico decried the murder of Father José Guadalupe Rivas near Tecate (along the US border) and the killing of a three-year-old as gunmen chased and fired at a man who entered a church in Zacatecas State (in north-central Mexico).
“All the limits of violence and human respect are overcome when a man of God is attacked and another is attacked within the house of the Lord,” the bishops said. “We ask everyone once again to lay down their arms and put an end to all forms of violence, so that we can all be peacemakers.”
Canada's indigenous leaders ask for royal apology (BBC) RoseAnne Archibald, the national chief of the Assembly of First Nations in Canada, met with Prince Charles and asked “for an apology from his mother the Queen, the head of the Anglican church, for whatever happened in the institutions of assimilation and genocide.
“I also asked for an apology for the failures of the Crown in that relationship that we have with them, in our treaty relationship with them,” she added.
Pope Francis, who recently apologized for the “deplorable conduct” of members of the Church in the Canadian Indian residential school system, is scheduled to visit Canada in July.
Washington archdiocese will not enforce ban on Communion for Pelosi (Washington Examiner) The Archdiocese of Washington, DC, will not enforce the directive from Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, barring Speaker Nancy Pelosi from receiving Communion.
Patricia Zapor, a spokeswoman for the Washington archdiocese, told the Washington Examiner: “The actions of Archbishop Cordileone are his decision to make in the Archdiocese of San Francisco. Cardinal Gregory has not instructed the priests of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington to refuse Communion to anyone.”
Cardinal Wilton Gregory has indicated in the past that he would not withhold the Eucharist from Catholic politicians who support abortion. “Cardinal Gregory’s position has not changed,” Zapor said. The situation has changed, however, since Speaker Pelosi has been barred from Communion by her own bishop.
Holy Spirit brings peace, Pope tells Sunday audience (Vatican Press Office) At his Regina Caeli audience on Sunday, May 22, Pope Francis reflected on the day’s Gospel reading, in which Jesus told his disciples, “Peace I leave with you.”
At the time He said those words, the Pope reminded his audience, Jesus was looking toward his betrayal, suffering and death. Still “He is at peace,” the Pope continued, because inner peace is a characteristic of “his meek heart accustomed to trust.”
The faithful should pray for that same peace, the Pope said, as they look forward to the celebration of Pentecost, asking the Holy Spirit to bring his gift of peace.
Berlin archbishop asks forgiveness for discrimination because of sexual orientation (CNS) During an ecumenical prayer service, Archbishop Heiner Koch of Berlin “asked forgiveness for the Church’s discrimination against people because of their sexual orientation” and described it as an “unholy line of tradition.”
“The archbishop said each parish would have commissioners to counter such discrimination,” the report continued. “He pledged to intervene personally if employees of the archdiocese were threatened with consequences under Church labor law on the grounds of their sexual orientation.”
Vatican foreign minister prays at Bucha (Vatican News) During a three-day visit to Ukraine, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, the Holy See’s Secretary for Relations with States, said that the Holy See is “completely committed’ to Ukraine’s territorial integrity” and visited the site of the Bucha massacre.
“You see the place where the bodies were buried,” he said. “You see the great atrocities that people are capable of imposing upon others.”
“You can see the determination of the people to rebuild and to make a success of their country as it was before, and even better than it was before this tragic war started,” he added.
Pope launches Scholas International, says girls must be educated (Vatican News) Joined by the Irish singer Bono, Pope Francis launched the papal educational foundation Scholas Occurrentes as an international movement and emphasized girls’ education and the implementation of Laudato si’, his 2015 encyclical on care for our common home.
During the meeting with young people who are developing “projects with socio-environmental impact in their communities,” Pope Francis said that “women know more about harmony than we men do. And Scholas, organized in this way, with this fraternity between you, has the capacity to create poetry and to bring about change.”
“We usually speak of ‘Mother Earth,’ not ‘Father Earth,’” the Pope added. “From the moment of the apple [in the Garden of Eden], they [women] are in charge.”
International Catholic-Orthodox dialogue resumes in Crete (Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity) Following a two-year hiatus because of Covid, the Coordinating Committee of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church held a five-day meeting in Crete.
The Committee is co-chaired by Cardinal Kurt Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, and Archbishop Job of Telmessos, of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.
The Committee approved a revised draft of a new document, “Primacy and Synodality in the Second Millennium and Today.” The dialogue’s previous document, devoted to synodality and primacy in the first millennium, was published in 2016.
Nicaraguan bishop goes on hunger strike to protest police harassment (Crux) “Today I have been persecuted all day long by the Sandinista police, from the morning until this hour of the night and at all times, in all my movements during the day,” Bishop Rolando Álvarez of Matagalpa said on May 19.
Daniel Ortega, a leader of the Marxist Sandinistas who overthrew the authoritarian regime of Gen. Anastasio Somoza Debayle, ruled Nicaragua from the 1979 Sandinista takeover until his loss in the 1990 presidential election. He returned to power in 2007.