Papal message for World Day of Migrants: all in the same boat (Vatican News) In his message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, Pope Francis says that as the Covid epidemic passes, the world should “think no longer in terms of ‘them’ and ‘those’ but only ‘us.’” The papal message, entitled “Toward An Ever Wider ‘We,’ insists that “we are all in the same boat and called to work together so that there will be no more walls that separate us.”
Fauci headlines Vatican conference on health (AP) Dr. Anthony Fauci gave a keynote address to a Vatican conference on holistic health that opened May 6. Although the conference had been planned before the outbreak of the Covid epidemic, Fauci used the occasion to encourage religious institutions to promote vaccination, and the heads of two major vaccine manufacturers, Moderna and Pfizer, also spoke. An AP report noted the odd selection of speakers for a Vatican conference, which including rock stars and New Age theorists. The AP report noted: “Supermodel Cindy Crawford has a slot to talk about ‘beauty from the inside out,’ and Chelsea Clinton is teaming up with an Italian public health official to promote equal access to health care.”
Vatican 'security expert' says she compiled damaging files on prelates (CNA) A “security expert” who has been charged by Vatican prosecutors with embezzlement now says that she was asked by Cardinal Angelo Becciu to compile damaging information about other Vatican officials. Cecilia Marogna told an Italian news broadcast that her files were to document “immoral conduct of some prelates.” Although Marogna’s background raises questions about her credibility—she is reportedly being investigated in Slovenia for money-laundering—this is the second recent allegation of attempts at blackmail by officials of the Secretariat of State.
Bishop McElroy opposes call to deny Communion to Biden (Catholic Vote) Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego has rejected arguments that Catholic politicians who support abortion (including President Biden) should not receive Communion. Bishop McElroy said the denial of Communion would be “the wrong step” because a politician’s failure to abide by Church teaching “cannot be the measure of Eucharistic worthiness in a church of sinners and questioners.” He added that while abortion is a serious matter, racism is also a grave offense. (He did not, however, identify any American Catholic politicians who endorse—much less seek taxpayer funding for—racism.)
Investigations of bishops rise as McCarrick scandal reforms kick in (National Catholic Register) In the two years since Pope Francis issued Vos estis lux mundi [You Are the Light of the World], his motu proprio addressing sexual abuse, “investigations have been opened to address claims against Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn, NY; Bishop Oscar Cantu of San Jose, CA; Bishop John Brungardt of Dodge City, KS; and former Bishop Howard Hubbard of Albany, NY.” In addition, Bishop Michael Hoeppner of Crookston, Minnesota, recently resigned following an investigation into his handling of an abuse allegation.
US fertility reaches all-time low (CNA) The US fertility rate reached an all-time low in 2020. Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control indicate that the average woman now bears 1.6375 children in her lifetime: far below the “replacement level” figure of 2.1 children. The fertility rate for 2020 was down 4% from 2019—which in turn was down 4% from the previous year.
Religious groups differ widely in poll on Biden's performance (Pew Forum) A new Pew Research survey finds a sharp divergence of opinions among religious groups in their appraisal of President Biden’s job performance. Not surprisingly, the religious groups that approved of President Trump now disapprove of President Biden, while those that criticized Trump welcome Biden’s leadership.
Papal message to Argentina for Marian feast (Vatican Press Office) Pope Francis has sent a video message to the faithful of Argentina as they prepare to celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Lujan, the country’s patron, on May 8. He said that he would join in spirit as Argentine Catholics pray the Rosary for an end to the Covid pandemic. “May memory be your guide in this encounter,” he said, “because strong memory guarantees a sure future.”
Blood of St. Januarius liquefies in Naples (CNA) “The liquefaction traditionally happens at least three times a year: Sept. 19, the saint’s feast day; the first Saturday of May; and Dec. 16, the anniversary of the 1631 eruption of the nearby Mount Vesuvius,” the report notes.
President Biden pays tribute to prayer (White House) “Today, we remember and celebrate the role that the healing balm of prayer can play in our lives and in the life of our Nation,” he wrote in his proclamation for the National Day of Prayer. Although the presidential statement did not mention God, it did say that prayer “has nourished countless souls and powered moral movements”—mentioning “fights against racial injustice, child labor, and infringement on the rights of disabled Americans.”
Pope sends sympathies to India during Covid crisis (Vatican Press Office) Pope Francis has sent a message to Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Mumbai, offering his sympathies for the people of India during a new wave of Covid deaths. “My thoughts go above all to the sick and their families, to those who care for them, and in particular to those who are mourning the loss of their loved ones,” he wrote.