Pope, in general audience, reflects on hospitality and Christian unity (Vatican News) “They showed us unusual kindness“ (cf. Acts 28:2) is the theme of the 2020 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. “Hospitality is an important ecumenical virtue, which is open to listening to the experience that other Christians have of God,” in the words of the Vatican summary of the Pope’s January 22 remarks. “When we welcome Christians of a different tradition we reveal God’s love to them and receive the gifts that the Holy Spirit has sown in them.”
Spanish bishops adopt 3-year marriage-prep program (CNS) The Catholic bishops of Spain have adopted a new 3-year program of preparation for marriage, replacing the current norm that provides for just five hours of preparation. The new program is a response to the country’s soaring divorce rate; almost 60% of married couples divorce within 15 years.
Bishop Strickland says he asked Pope about McCarrick report (CNS) On January 20, Pope Francis received the bishops of Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. Recounting that the Pope said the report would be published, the bishop of Tyler (Texas) added, “It’s about the victims. It’s about the children of God who have suffered through the negligence and bad acting of bishops, priests, and other members of the Church.”
Ecumenical Patriarch at Davos: ecology is most urgent challenge (AsiaNews) Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople said that today’s world leaders will be judged on their response to the challenge of preserving the environment. He said that “we know what needs to be done and we know how it must be done,” but lamented that it is not being done.
Serve mothers in need, USCCB committee chairman says in Roe anniversary statement (USCCB) “As the Church and growing numbers of pro-life Americans continue to advocate for women and children in courthouses and legislatures, the Church’s pastoral response is focused on the needs of women facing pregnancies in challenging circumstances,” said Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City (KS), chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities. “While this has long been the case, the pastoral response will soon intensify.”
Planned Parenthood lost 400,000 individual donors last year (Live Action) “Between 2000 and 2010, individual contributors dropped nearly 26% before beginning a climb upward,” according to the report. “Now, it appears that the organization’s donors are again tracking downward, showing a loss of nearly 27% from just the previous year.” However, “taxpayer dollars to Planned Parenthood increased nearly 70% from $363.2 million in 2008 to $616.8 million in 2018.”
Irish bishop offers to mediate among violent gangs (CNS) A gruesome killing in Drogheda, a city of 40,000 on Ireland’s eastern coast, has shocked the nation. “All human life is sacred, and an attack of this nature on someone who is still a child is disgusting and beyond belief,” said Auxiliary Bishop Michael Router of Armagh. “This desecration of life has diminished our common humanity and our sense of ourselves as a civilized people.”
Pope names Harvard economist to pontifical academy (Vatican Press Office) Professor Dani Rodrik (@rodrikdani), who hails from Turkey, has devoted his research to “globalization, economic growth and development, and political economy,” according to his website. The goal of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences is “promoting the study and progress of the social, economic, political and juridical sciences, offering the Church the elements which she can use in the study and development of her social doctrine.”
Missing Venezuelan priest found dead (Fides) The body of a Catholic priest who had been missing for several days was discovered in the San Cristobal diocese in Venezuela on January 22. Father José Manuel Rondón Molina had not been seen since January 16; his partially decomposed body was found in a wooded area. The cause of his death has not been established.
Pope Francis decries 'resurgent, barbaric' anti-Semitism (Simon Wiesenthal Center) “May the anniversary of the unspeakable cruelty that humanity learned of 75 years ago serve as a summons to pause, to be still, and to remember,” Pope Francis said to a delegation from the Simon Wiesenthal Center on January 20. “An increase in selfishness and indifference … creates a fertile ground for the forms of factionalism and populism we see around us, where hatred quickly springs up.”
'Defy the Apocalypse': Influential Jesuit journal examines Pope's view of global politics (La Civiltà Cattolica) “Defy the Apocalypse,” an article written by Father Antonio Spadaro, SJ, includes sections entitled “Hold back the end: the Empire or the Church?”; “The task of the Church in the face of the apocalypse”; “The global role of Catholicism in today’s context”; “Against the temptation of tribal Catholicism”; “Saint Francis on the throne of Saint Peter”; “The primacy of spiritual authority and the end of ‘Christianity’”; and “The challenge to the apocalypse after the Bomb and the Wall: human fraternity.”