Dublin archbishop says he won't stand in the way of First Communion, Confirmation ceremonies (Irish Catholic) “Current [government] guidelines restrict celebrations of the sacraments on the apparent grounds that they may lead to family gatherings, which may breach public health guidelines on household mixing,” said Archbishop Dermot Farrell. “This is perplexing, as no such prohibitions are applied to other events. . . . Many have concluded that, in the absence of appropriate justification, these guidelines are discriminatory.”Some priests have spoken out in favor of the Irish government’s guidelines. Accusing bishops of endangering children, the co-founders of the Association of Catholic Priests strongly criticized prelates who are permitting First Communion and Confirmation ceremonies. (Founded in 2010, the organization supports women’s ordination and the “re-evaluation of Catholic sexual teaching.”)
US bishops respond to House vote?to force taxpayers to fund?abortion?overseas? (USCCB) “While this legislation contains many positive provisions that provide assistance to the poor and vulnerable worldwide, including protection of refugees, increases to humanitarian assistance, and protection of the environment, nothing can justify subsidizing the taking of innocent human life,” said three bishops who chair committees of the bishops’ conference, in reference to HR 4373 (the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act), which passed in a 217-212 vote.
Evangelization, not proselytism: video released for August papal prayer intention (Vatican News) Commenting on his August prayer intention (the reform of the Church), Pope Francis began, “The specific vocation of the Church is evangelization, which isn’t proselytism, no. Her vocation is evangelization; even more, the Church’s identity is evangelization.”He also emphasized that the reform of the Church begins with the reform of ourselves, and that the Church “always has difficulties, always is in crisis, because she’s alive.”
New Jersey diocese sets up line to gather tips about suspected theft, fraud (NJ Advance Media) “Through the diocese’s contracting with NAVEX Global’s EthicsPoint, a confidential reporting structure used throughout the world in private sector organizations and in dioceses across the country, people of the diocese can file a report of a suspected ethics violation in the Diocese of Metuchen or in any of its parishes, schools or cemeteries, allowing their concerns to be addressed fairly and without fear of retaliation,” the Diocese of Metuchen said in a statement.In May, a priest of the diocese admitted to stealing $516,000 from his parish.
Pope to resume weekly public audiences (Vatican News) Pope Francis will resume his weekly public audiences on Wednesday, August 4, after a summer hiatus. Papal audiences have usually been suspended during the month of July, and this year that suspension coincided with the Pope’s colon surgery and recovery. During the month of August, the Wednesday audiences will be held in the Paul VI auditorium, rather than in St. Peter’s Square, because of the summer heat.
US bishops' chairmen respond to House vote to force taxpayers to fund elective abortions (USCCB) In a 219-208 party-line vote, the US House of Representatives approved a package of appropriations bills. The legislation, the bishops’ conference notes, “would force taxpayers to pay for elective abortions and would have the effect of forcing health care providers and professionals to perform and refer for abortion against their deeply-held beliefs, as well as forcing employers and insurers to cover and pay for abortion.”
Twitter, AP, Reuters join forces to promote 'trusted' news stories (AP) Twitter has announced an agreement with the Associated Press and Reuters to promote news stories that the services consider reliable, “to show information and news from trusted resources and to debunk misinformation.” Twitter promised to “contextualize developing discourse,” in a bid to keep control over public discussions.
'Proactive approach' developed to rooting out harassment in US seminaries (Our Sunday Visitor) John Cavadini, a Notre Dame theology professor (and former member of the International Theological Commission), describes the development of “benchmarks” for US seminaries in addressing sexual harassment.“Less than half of those claiming they had experienced sexual harassment had reported their experience, and of those, less than half were confident their report had been taken fully seriously or that the policies had worked efficaciously,” he writes.