Christ's Ascension brings us joy, Pope tells pilgrims (Vatican Press Office) “Brothers and sisters, on this Feast of the Ascension, while we contemplate Heaven, where Christ has ascended and sits at the right hand of the Father, let us ask Mary, Queen of Heaven, to help us be courageous witnesses to the Risen One in the world, in the concrete situations of life,” Pope Francis said at the conclusion of his May 16 Regina Caeli address to pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square.
US climate envoy Kerry meets with Pope on climate crisis (AP) “The Pope is one of the great voices of reason and compelling moral authority on the subject of the climate crisis,” the former US Secretary of State said in an interview after the meeting. “He’s been ahead of the curve. He’s been a leader. His encyclical Laudato si’ is really a very, very powerful document, eloquent and morally very persuasive.”
Historic Catholic church in Louisville vandalized (WDRB-TV) “The language that was used — it was inscribed in one of our doors — disturbed, myself, personally, as the manager of the parish under the leadership of our pastor . . . and he’s concerned about my safety,” said Bob Frazier, the administrator, business and rental manager for Christ the King Church.
Papal call for participation in Laudato Si' Week (Vatican Press Office) Pope Francis devoted his 2015 encyclical Laudato si’ to care for our common home. “Today ‘Laudato Si’ Week’ begins, to educate more and more to listen to the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor,” the Pope said on May 16. “I thank the Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development, the Global Catholic Climate Movement, Caritas Internationalis and the numerous member organizations, and I invite everyone to participate.”
Pelosi 'pleased' with Vatican statement on Communion and abortion (CNA) House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters that she is “pleased with what the Vatican put out” on the controversy over the reception of Communion by Catholic politicians who favor legal abortion. Pelosi interpreted a statement by Cardinal Luis Ladaria as saying “don’t be divisive on the subject.” The cardinal actually was clear in saying that pro-abortion politicians should not receive the Eucharist, but Pelosi said she would “use my own judgment on that.”
Pope urges Italians to welcome life, reverse demographic decline (Vatican News) “Children are the hope that makes a people reborn,” Pope Francis said in a May 14 address to a Rome conference on Italy’s demographic crisis. The Pontiff observed that “a society that does not welcome life stops living.” Italy’s declining birth rate—well below the “replacement level”—has commanded the attention of political leaders, and Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi participated in this week’s conference on “the general states of birth.”
Vatican conference features liberal speakers on 'restart' (National Catholic Register) The heads of the World Bank, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the US Treasury Department took part in a Vatican conference May 14 on “Dreaming of a Better Restart.” Population-control advocate Jeffrey Sachs also spoke at the meeting. It was sponsored by the Pontifical Academies of Science, whose chancellor, Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, has frequently invited Sachs to speak, and has himself said that China is the country that best exemplifies Catholic social teaching.
Former US ambassador says Vatican should push China on religious freedom (CNA) Sam Brownback, who was US ambassador for religious freedom during the Trump administration, has argued that the Vatican should press China harder in demands for religious freedom, noting a new State Department report that lists China as a “country of political concern” regarding religious liberty. Brownback said that the US urged the Vatican not to renew a secret agreement with Beijing on the appointment of bishops, because “this is not a regime we should be negotiating with.”