US bishops' doctrine, pro-life chairmen address use of Johnson & Johnson Covid vaccine (USCCB) “Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines raised concerns because an abortion-derived cell line was used for testing them, but not in their production,” the prelates said. “The Johnson & Johnson vaccine, however, was developed, tested and is produced with abortion-derived cell lines raising additional moral concerns. . . . If one has the ability to choose a vaccine, Pfizer or Moderna’s vaccines should be chosen over Johnson & Johnson’s.”
US bishops' working group on President Biden recommends document on 'Eucharistic coherence' (CNS) In a March 1 memo, Archbishop José H. Gomez , the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ president, said that the working group recommended that the body of bishops develop a document on “Eucharistic coherence”—a recommendation t has been “forwarded to the Committee on Doctrine in the hope that it will strengthen an understanding and deepen a common faith in the gift that has been given to us in the Sacrament of the Altar.”
'Merciful priests and not torturers': video released for March papal prayer intention (The Pope Video) The Pope’s March prayer intention is “that we may experience the Sacrament of Reconciliation with renewed depth, to taste the infinite mercy of God.” In the video, Pope Francis comments, “When I go to confession, it is in order to be healed, to heal my soul. To leave with greater spiritual health. To pass from misery to mercy. The center of Confession is not the sins we declare, but the divine love we receive, of which we are always in need. The center of Confession is Jesus who waits for us, who listens to us and forgives us. . . . And let us pray that God may give his Church merciful priests and not torturers.”
Baton Rouge bishop weighs in on Johnson & Johnson vaccine (WGMB-TV) “My guidance to the faithful of the Diocese of Baton Rouge is to accept as your first choices the vaccines created by Pfizer and Moderna, but if for any reasonable circumstance you are only able to receive the vaccine from Johnson & Johnson, you should feel free to do so for your safety and for the common good,” said Bishop Michael Duca.
Vatican encourages '24 Hours for the Lord' Confession initiative (PCPNE) “On Friday evening March 12th and during the entire day of Saturday March 13th, it would be good to have the church open, offering the opportunity for Confessions, preferably in the context of guided Eucharistic Adoration,” according to the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization, which has overseen the annual international initiative since 2014.
279 kidnapped schoolgirls released in Nigeria (Fides) Kidnappers—described by government officials as “bandits”—have released 279 girls who had been abducted from a secondary school in Zamfara, in northwest Nigeria. The girls had been taken from their dormitory at the government school on February 25; they were set free on March 2. (Early reports, which said that 317 girls had been kidnapped, were inaccurate.) Pope Francis had made a plea for the students’ release at this Sunday public audience.