By Kurt Jensen WASHINGTON (CNS) – Father Michael McGivney, the founder of the Knights of Columbus, may be an ideal prospective saint for the current age, said Carl A. Anderson, supreme knight of the international fraternal order. “We’ve been praying for years for this to occur, and finally this day has arrived,” he told Catholic News Service May 27. First, he’s a pro-life hero. The miracle recognized by the Vatican paving the way for his beatification occurred in 2015 and involved an U.S. baby, still in utero, with a life-threatening condition that, under most circumstances, could have led to an abortion. He was found to be healed after his family prayed to Father McGivney. “The Vatican likes to be the one to discuss more details than that,” Anderson said. The Vatican announced early May 27 that Pope Francis, who met with the board of directors of the Knights of Columbus in February, had signed the decree recognizing the miracle through the intercession of Father McGivney. Once he is beatified, he will be given the title “Blessed.” Father McGivney (1852-1890), ordained a priest for what is now the Archdiocese of Hartford, Connecticut, founded the Knights of Columbus at St. Mary’s Church in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1882. The fraternal order for Catholic men has become the largest lay Catholic organization in the world with 2 million members and sponsors a wide range of educational, charitable and religious activities.
The initial work on his sainthood cause began in 1982 on the Knights’ centenary. His cause was formally opened in Hartford in 1997, and he was given the title “servant of God.” In March 2008, the Catholic Church recognized the priest heroically lived the Christian virtues, so he was given the title “venerable.” His beatification ceremony will be held in Connecticut sometime this fall – like all other events, scheduling is uncertain because of the COVID-19 pandemic – “and sometime after that, we’ll be looking for another miracle,” Anderson said. Generally, two miracles attributed to the candidate’s intercession are required for sainthood – one for beatification and the second for canonization. Father McGivney, who will be the first American parish priest to be beatified and has long been a hero of working-class Catholics, can be viewed as a martyr of a pandemic. When he died from pneumonia complications at age 38 in 1890, it was during an outbreak of influenza known as the Russian flu in Thomaston, Connecticut. Some recent evidence, according to the Knights, indicates the outbreak may have been the result of a coronavirus. Anderson praised Father McGivney’s modesty and “dedication to charity and unity and the way he embodied the good Samaritan” after founding the Knights of Columbus, originally a service organization to help widows and orphans, in New Haven. At the time, Father McGivney, the son of Irish immigrants, who was born in Waterbury, Connecticut, was an assistant pastor at St. Mary’s Parish. He is buried in New Haven. “Father McGivney did not want to be the leader of the Knights of Columbus,” Anderson observed. “He was at first the group’s secretary and then the chaplain.” Further, Father McGivney’s legacy also includes “the empowerment of the laity” through service projects, Anderson said. “His work anticipated the Second Vatican Council. He created a universal call to holiness that gave the laity a way to be more faithful Catholics. He provided a mechanism for them to go into society and make a difference.”
(Editor’s Note: The Knights have set up a new website for Father McGivney’s sainthood cause: https://www.fathermcgivney.org.)
By Julie Asher WASHINGTON (CNS) – The U.S. Catholic bishops said May 29 they “are broken-hearted, sickened and outraged to watch another video of an African American man being killed before our very eyes.” “What’s more astounding is that this is happening within mere weeks of several other such occurrences. This is the latest wake-up call that needs to be answered by each of us in a spirit of determined conversion,” they said in a statement about the May 25 death of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis. In recent weeks, Ahmaud Arbery, an unarmed 25-year-old African American man in Georgia, was fatally shot ,and three white men were arrested and are facing murder charges in his death. In March, Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old African American woman, died at the hands of white police officers when they entered her apartment in Louisville, Kentucky. “Racism is not a thing of the past or simply a throwaway political issue to be bandied about when convenient,” the bishops said. “It is a real and present danger that must be met head on.” “As members of the church, we must stand for the more difficult right and just actions instead of the easy wrongs of indifference,” they said. “We cannot turn a blind eye to these atrocities and yet still try to profess to respect every human life. We serve a God of love, mercy and justice.” “Indifference is not an option,” they emphasized and stated “unequivocally” that “racism is a life issue.” The statement was issued by the chairmen of seven committees of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops: Bishop Shelton J. Fabre of Houma-Thibodaux, Louisiana, Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism; Archbishop Nelson J. Perez of Philadelphia, Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church; Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development; Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, Committee on Pro-Life Activities; Bishop Joseph C. Bambera of Scranton, Pennsylvania, Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs; Auxiliary Bishop David G. O’Connell of Los Angeles, Subcommittee on the Catholic Campaign for Human Development; and Auxiliary Bishop Joseph N. Perry of Chicago, Subcommittee on African American Affairs. Floyd, 46, was arrested by police on suspicion of forgery. Once he was handcuffed, a white officer pinned him down on the street, putting his knee on Floyd’s neck for eight minutes. A now widely circulated video shows Floyd repeatedly saying, “I can’t breathe.” He appears to lose consciousness or die and was later declared dead at the hospital. The next day, hundreds of people protested at the intersection where police officers subdued Floyd, demanding justice for him and the arrest of the four officers involved. The officers were fired May 26 and as of midday May 29, local prosecutors filed criminal charges against at least one of the now former officers: The one seen putting his knee on Floyd’s neck, identified as Derek Chauvin, was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. The federal Justice Department promised a “robust” investigation into the circumstances surrounding Floyd’s death. Protests in Minneapolis have turned to violent demonstrations and lasted several days, prompting Gov. Tim Walz to bring in the National Guard May 29. The protests sparked similar rioting in at least a dozen U.S. cities, including Los Angeles, Phoenix, Denver, New York, Louisville, and Columbus, Ohio. The bishops in their statement pointed to their “Open Wide Our Hearts” pastoral against racism approved by the body of bishops in 2018. In it, they said: “For people of color some interactions with police can be fraught with fear and even danger. People of good conscience must never turn a blind eye when citizens are being deprived of their human dignity and even their lives.” In their May 29 statement, the committee chairmen called for an end to the violence taking place in the wake of the tragedy in Minneapolis but also said they “stand in passionate support of communities that are understandably outraged.” They joined with Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda of St. Paul and Minneapolis in praying for the repose of the soul of Floyd “and all others who have lost their lives in a similar manner.” In anticipation of the feast of Pentecost, May 31, they called on all Catholics “to pray and work toward a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit” and pray to “to rid ourselves of the harm that bias and prejudice cause.” “We call upon Catholics to pray to the Holy Spirit for the spirit of truth to touch the hearts of all in the United States and to come down upon our criminal justice and law enforcement systems,” the bishops said urged every Catholic, regardless of ethnicity, to “beg God to heal our deeply broken view of each other, as well as our deeply broken society.” Here is the full text of their statement: We are broken-hearted, sickened and outraged to watch another video of an African American man being killed before our very eyes. What’s more astounding is that this is happening within mere weeks of several other such occurrences. This is the latest wake-up call that needs to be answered by each of us in a spirit of determined conversion. Racism is not a thing of the past or simply a throwaway political issue to be bandied about when convenient. It is a real and present danger that must be met head on. As members of the Church, we must stand for the more difficult right and just actions instead of the easy wrongs of indifference. We cannot turn a blind eye to these atrocities and yet still try to profess to respect every human life. We serve a God of love, mercy, and justice. While it is expected that we will plead for peaceful nonviolent protests, and we certainly do, we also stand in passionate support of communities that are understandably outraged. Too many communities around this country feel their voices are not being heard, their complaints about racist treatment are unheeded, and we are not doing enough to point out that this deadly treatment is antithetical to the Gospel of Life. As we said eighteen months ago in our most recent pastoral letter against racism, “Open Wide Our Hearts,” for people of color some interactions with police can be fraught with fear and even danger. People of good conscience must never turn a blind eye when citizens are being deprived of their human dignity and even their lives. Indifference is not an option. As bishops, we unequivocally state that racism is a life issue.”
We join Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda of St. Paul and Minneapolis in praying for the repose of the soul of Mr. George Floyd and all others who have lost their lives in a similar manner. We plead for an end to the violence in the wake of this tragedy and for the victims of the rioting. We pray for comfort for grieving families and friends. We pray for peace across the United States, particularly in Minnesota, while the legal process moves forward. We also anticipate a full investigation that results in rightful accountability and actual justice. We join our brother bishops to challenge everyone to come together, particularly with those who are from different cultural backgrounds. In this encounter, let us all seek greater understanding amongst God’s people. So many people who historically have been disenfranchised continue to experience sadness and pain, yet they endeavor to persevere and remain people of great faith. We encourage our pastors to encounter and more authentically accompany them, listen to their stories, and learn from them, finding substantive ways to enact systemic change. Such encounters will start to bring about the needed transformation of our understanding of true life, charity, and justice in the United States. Hopefully, then there will be many voices speaking out and seeking healing against the evil of racism in our land. As we anticipate the Solemnity of Pentecost this weekend, we call upon all Catholics to pray and work toward a new outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Let us pray for a supernatural desire to rid ourselves of the harm that bias and prejudice cause. We call upon Catholics to pray to the Holy Spirit for the spirit of truth to touch the hearts of all in the United States and to come down upon our criminal justice and law enforcement systems. Finally, let each and every Catholic, regardless of their ethnicity, beg God to heal our deeply broken view of each other, as well as our deeply broken society.
Editor’s Note: The full text of the bishops’ 2108 pastoral against racism, “Open Wide Our Hearts,” can be found online athttps://bit.ly/2XLbpYv.
NACIÓN WASHINGTON (CNS) – Dos encuestas separadas muestran que los estadounidenses confían más en su fe para ayudar a perseverar durante la pandemia de coronavirus. El Centro de Investigación Pew, en una encuesta publicada el 30 de abril, mostró que casi un cuarto de todos los estadounidenses dice que su fe se ha fortalecido durante la pandemia, mientras que solo el 2% dijo que se había debilitado. NUEVA ORLEANS (CNS) – Citando las crecientes preocupaciones sobre el impacto financiero de resoluciones extrajudiciales por abuso sexual del clero y la pandemia de coronavirus, la Arquidiócesis de Nueva Orleans solicitó el Capítulo 11 la reorganización de las finanzas de sus oficinas administrativas el 1 de mayo en el Tribunal de Bancarrota de los Estados Unidos para el Distrito Este de Luisiana. WASHINGTON (CNS) – Con las colecciones del ofertorio de la misa dominical prácticamente inexistentes durante la pandemia de coronavirus, las diócesis ayudan a las parroquias a encontrar ingresos, incluidos los fondos PPP, en fuentes de ingresos para ayudar a evitar que una crisis se convierta en una segunda crisis, en medio de la pandemia. La última indicación es que alrededor de 8,000 de las 17,000 parroquias de los Estados Unidos han solicitado préstamos con éxito.
VATICANO CIUDAD DEL VATICANO (CNS) – El Papa Francisco en sus misas matutinas ha estado rezando por: • Periodistas y miembros de los medios de comunicación que, a pesar de los riesgos, trabajan incansablemente para informar al público de la pandemia en curso. • Los sacerdotes y los médicos que dieron su vida cuidando el bienestar espiritual y físico de los demás durante la pandemia de coronavirus son como Jesús, el buen pastor, que dio su vida por su rebaño. • Familias de todo el mundo que han sido restringidas a sus hogares debido a la pandemia de COVID-19, el Papa Francisco incluyó la mención de víctimas de violencia doméstica. • Los trabajadores, especialmente a aquellos pagados injusta o virtualmente esclavizados en la fiesta de San José el Trabajador, celebrada también como el Día Internacional de los Trabajadores y como el Día del Trabajo en muchos países. MUNDO CIUDAD DE MÉXICO (CNS) – Caritas Honduras ha pedido transparencia en la distribución de la asistencia COVID-19, que, de acuerdo con un creciente aumento de las acusaciones, se ha utilizado con fines políticos en el país empobrecido y plagado de corrupción. El padre German Calix, director de Caritas Honduras, dijo a Catholic News Service que el brazo caritativo de la iglesia quería una investigación para “probar o refutar” las acusaciones de suministros médicos que se compran a precios inflados y de funcionarios locales, responsables de proporcionar alimentos a las personas en cuarentena, que solo ofrecen asistencia a los afiliados al partido político en el poder.
SAO PAULO (CNS) – La conferencia de los obispos brasileños elogió un fallo de la Corte Suprema de que las mujeres infectadas con el virus Zika no podían abortar. “No corresponde a ninguna autoridad pública reconocer selectivamente el derecho a la vida, asegurándolo a algunos y negándolo a otros”, dijeron los obispos. LIMA, Perú (CNS) – Los líderes católicos advierten que a medida que la pandemia de coronavirus se extienda a la cuenca del Amazonas, la región podría enfrentar una “tragedia humanitaria y ambiental”. Las personas indígenas que sufren violencia por sus esfuerzos para defender sus tierras contra mineros, madereros y acaparadores de tierras también corren un gran riesgo debido a COVID-19, según un comunicado de la Red de Iglesias Pan-Amazonas, REPAM. “El dolor y el lamento de la gente y la tierra se unen en un solo grito”, escribieron en la declaración, fechada el 18 de mayo.
Por Mark Pattison WASHINGTON (CNS) – El huracán María fue un duro golpe para Puerto Rico en 2017. Luego vino la serie de terremotos y réplicas que comenzaron el 29 de diciembre, con uno de magnitud 6.4 el 11 de enero, que ha resultado en dos muertes y pérdidas incalculables en daños a la propiedad. El arzobispo Roberto González Nieves, de San Juan dijo “Vi a varias personas en Ponce ahora con sus maletas y buscando un lugar para encontrar refugio”. El arzobispo González agregó que la gente duerme en tiendas de campaña y pasa la mayor parte de sus horas de vigilia al aire libre, notó, temiendo que una réplica pueda causar que más casas se derrumben. Otro temor es la gente que no sabe de dónde vendrá su próxima comida.
By Junno Arocho Esteves VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Pope Francis led pilgrims in prayers for peace as tensions between the United States and Iran escalated following the assassination of a top Iranian general. Several days after Ayatollah Ali Hosseini Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, warned of “harsh retaliation” for the Jan. 3 U.S. drone attack that killed Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the pope said that “a terrible air of tension is felt in many parts of the world.” “War only brings death and destruction. I call on all parties to keep alive the flame of dialogue and self-control and avoid the shadow of enmity,” the pope said after praying the Angelus prayer with pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square Jan. 5. He then led the pilgrims in a moment of silent prayer so “that the Lord may give us the grace” of peace. The drone strike, which killed Soleimani and six other people, including an Iraqi militia commander, caused a sharp escalation in already tense relations after President Donald Trump pulled out of nuclear deal with Iran last year. In an interview with CNN, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo defended Trump’s decision and said that Soleimani “was actively plotting in the region to take actions, the big action as he described it, that would have put dozens if not hundreds of American lives at risk. We know it was imminent.”
Shortly after the Iranian general’s death, the United States deployed an additional 3,000 troops to the Middle East to stave off any retaliatory attacks against forces in the region. However, the attack was seen by world leaders as an unnecessary provocation that could further destabilize the Middle East. Speaking to Vatican News Jan. 3, Archbishop Leo Boccardi, apostolic nuncio to Iran, said the assassination “creates apprehension and shows us how difficult it is to build and believe in peace.” “The appeal is to lower tension, to call everyone to negotiation and to believe in dialogue knowing that, has history has always shown us, that war and weapons aren’t the solution to the problems afflicting the world today,” Archbishop Boccardi said. Follow Arocho on Twitter: @arochoju
By Catholic News Service CANBERRA, Australia – Saying that “there is no end in sight to the horror which confronts us,” Archbishop Mark Coleridge, president of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, said the bishops have implemented a national response to months of wildfires. The bishops have set up a national network, connecting people affected by the fires with “people who can help with tasks such as preparing meals, clearing properties, rebuilding communities, as well as pastoral and counseling support.” They are collaborating with other religious agencies and their institutes and will take up a special collection the last weekend in January, when Australia Day is celebrated.
Archbishop Coleridge said people who do not want to wait to donate to their parish collections can donate to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, known in Australia as Vinnies. “We have all seen the apocalyptic images, even if we are not in the areas most affected,” the archbishop said. “Lives have been lost, homes and towns have been destroyed, smoke has shrouded large swathes of our country. “The efforts of firefighters have been heroic. The resilience of the communities affected has been extraordinary.” At least 24 people have died in the fires, which began in August and now are in four states. CNN reported Jan. 7 that more than 2,000 homes in the state of New South Wales alone have been destroyed. Archbishop Coleridge said the bishops were aware of “the huge amount being done” by governments and first responders and noted that local faith communities also were responding. “This has been Australia at its best, and we all stand with those who have been most stricken and with those who are putting their lives on the line to fight the fires,” he said. He also renewed his call for “insistent prayer for those stricken by drought and fire, for those who have lost their lives in the fires and their families, for rain to quench the parched land and extinguish the fires, and for urgent action to care for our common home in order to prevent such calamities in the future.”
By Catholic News Service WASHINGTON – A host of voices from throughout the religious spectrum condemned the Dec. 28 knife attack at the suburban New York City home of a Hasidic rabbi that wounded five, one of them critically. The suspected attacker was later arrested and held in lieu of $5 million bond. “Such acts must be condemned completely and without reservation as totally contrary to everything that people of faith stand for,” said a Dec. 29 statement from Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, archbishop of New York. “An attack on any individual or group because of his or her religious beliefs is an attack on us all. This hatred has no place in our city, state, or nation, or anywhere else on our planet.” Cardinal Dolan added that during Mass Dec. 29, he “prayed in a special way in solidarity with the victims of these heinous acts of violence” and urged all people “to come together in a spirit of unity to reject such hatred and bigotry wherever it occurs.” Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron of Detroit, vice president of the U.S. bishops, in a Dec. 29 statement, voiced his “outrage in learning of the violent attack on a Jewish household in New York during their celebration of Hanukkah.” He added: “We are particularly disturbed that this crime comes as only the latest of such vile acts of anti-Semitism in our nation.” The archbishop asked pastors in the archdiocese to offer special prayers on Jan. 1, the liturgical feast of Mary, Mother of God, for “the protection of our Jewish brothers and sisters and the eradication of anti-Semitism from our society” and to “reaffirm … that all forms of anti-Semitism are evil and have no place in our community.”
“This past week, which should have been a holy celebration of lights, has been marked with tragedy and violence against our Jewish brothers and sisters,” said a Dec. 29 statement by Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn, New York. “We also remember the recent attacks at a Jersey City kosher market that left three dead.” Bishop DiMarzio added, “Hate like this has no place in a civil society. Today we are reminded it is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness. Let us be that light as we pray for peace and practice tolerance today and always.” “This is yet one more reminder to us how important it is to promote a culture of life everywhere,” said
Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger of Albany, New York, in a Dec. 29 statement. My own faith is one of many that teaches that every human person is to be respected and loved as a child of God, a human being of ultimate moral worth.”
Citing nine anti-Semitic attacks in New York in a nine-day span, Bishop Scharfenberger said, “Such acts must be condemned in the name of God who loves all of humanity and, indeed, humanity itself.”
In a Dec. 30 statement, the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago called the attack in Monsey, New York, “an unspeakable act of depravity. This violent act exhibits a level of depravity that many of us believed to be unimaginable.”
The council added, “This creeping religious intolerance gripping our nation can no longer be ignored. … Members of the diverse faiths in the United States must renounce any ideology that seeks to justify violence against any group of people based upon their faith. Fear-mongering must be challenged, and civility must dominate our social interactions.”
“Even as we witness a rising tide of religious hatred and terrorist extremism in our country, we must – with more urgency and vigor – support and defend all people of faith from those who worship nothing but death and destruction,” said a Dec. 30 statement by Archbishop Elpidophoros of the New York-based Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
“Such hateful acts of violence damage us all, and we all have a duty – both civic and religious – to respond with love and compassion for all those afflicted,” Archbishop Elpidophoros added.
The Rev. Jennifer Butler, a Presbyterian minister who is CEO of Faith in Public Life, a national network of clergy and faith leaders, took note of both the stabbing attack and the Dec. 29 shooting at a Texas church near Fort Worth that killed two congregants and the gunman.
“All people of faith must unite to defeat anti-Semitism and end gun violence targeting religious communities. Everyone must be free and safe to celebrate and live out their faith,” Rev. Butler said in a Dec. 30 statement. ” I pray that we build a society where every person can attend a holiday party or a worship service without fear. My faith demands we not rest until that hope is a reality.”
In mid-December, Bishop Joseph C. Bambera of Scranton, Pennsylvania, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, issued a statement about the Dec. 10 attack at a kosher deli in Jersey City, saying it and other such attacks highlight the need to publicly condemn “any and all forms of anti-Semitism whether in thought, word or action.”
The bishop said the Catholic Church “has an irrevocable commitment to the Jewish community” and acknowledges that “anti-Semitism is anti-Christian and should not be tolerated in any form.”
By Cindy Wooden
VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Members of the Synod of Bishops for the Amazon asked that women be given leadership roles in the Catholic Church, although they stopped short of calling for women deacons.
In the Amazon, like in the rest of the world, the essential roles women play within the family, the community and the church should be valued and recognized officially, members of the synod said in their final document. The document, which synod members voted on Oct. 26, included a call for the creation of “the instituted ministry of ‘woman community leader,'” something they said would help meet “the changing demands of evangelization and community care.”
Speaking after the vote on the document, Pope Francis said the synod’s discussion on women “falls short” of explaining who women are in the church, particularly “in the transmission of faith, in the preservation of culture. I would just like to underline this: that we have not yet realized what women mean in the church,” but instead “we focus on the functional aspect, which is important,” but is not everything.
Synod members also asked Pope Francis to revise St. Paul VI’s 1972 document on ministries, “Ministeria Quaedam” (“Some Ministries”), so that women could be installed formally as lectors and acolytes and in any new ministries to be developed.
The final document also asked that “the voice of women be heard, that they be consulted and participate decision making” in the church. “It is necessary for the church to assume with greater strength their leadership within the church and for the church to recognize and promote it by strengthening their participation in the pastoral councils of parishes and dioceses, or even in instances of government,” the document said.
While noting that a “large number” of participants in the pre-synod consultations asked for women deacons and that several members of the synod itself made such a call, the final document did not include an explicit request for such a move.
In his post-vote talk to synod members, the pope gave the same explanation, but promised that he would have the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith “reconvene the commission or perhaps open it with new members.”
Quoting a speech from Pope Paul in 1965, the final document said, “The hour is coming, in fact has come, when the vocation of woman is being achieved in its fullness.”
When many women are “victims of physical, moral and religious violence, including femicide, the church commits to defense of their rights and recognizes them a protagonists and guardians of creation,” synod members said. Without specifying further, the document said that “it is urgent for the church in the Amazon to promote and confer ministries for men and women in an equitable manner.”
By Junno Arocho Esteves VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Addressing concerns about a proposed Amazonian rite in the Catholic Church, an indigenous participant at the Synod of Bishops for the Amazon called on Catholics to soften their hearts and understand the needs of Catholics in the region. At a synod briefing Oct. 24, Delio Siticonatzi Camaiteri, a member of the Ashaninka people and a professor from Peru, said that fears about the proposal are unwarranted because indigenous people seek unity and not division.
“Do we (want to) have our own rites? Yes, we do! But those rites must be incorporated with what is central, which is Jesus Christ. There is nothing else to argue about on this issue! The center that is uniting us in this synod is Jesus Christ,” he said. Throughout the synod, members discussed the possibility of incorporating local traditions and cultural elements in the liturgy. While there are nearly two dozen different rites in the Catholic Church, those critical of the proposal fear that it would introduce so-called pagan elements into the liturgy. Speaking to journalists at the briefing, Siticonatzi said that he noticed those present seemed “a bit uncomfortable” and did not “understand what the Amazon truly needs” when it comes to establishing a new rite. Nevertheless, he added, there are many who are “doubtful of this reality that we are looking for as indigenous people. Do not harden your hearts! Soften your hearts; that is what Jesus invites us to do,” he said. “We live together. We all believe in one God! “ Mexican Father Eleazar Lopez Hernandez, a member of the Zapotec community and an expert on indigenous theology, told journalists that the churches in Latin America also “need to be able to express our faith within our own framework.”
“This is what the Amazonian rite is based on,” Father Lopez said. “We can no longer continue living within frameworks that are foreign to our people. This is alienation.” When it comes to the liturgy, he continued, Christians have a responsibility to know the difference between “what is substantial in the Christian perspective and what is secondary, what is cultural.”
By Junno Arocho Esteves VATICAN CITY (CNS) – A hashtag mix-up caused a papal tweet meant to give thanks for the Catholic Church’s newest saints to be read as Pope Francis showing support for the New Orleans Saints’ football team. After the Oct. 13 canonization of five new saints, the pope’s official Twitter account, @Pontifex, tweeted: “Today we give thanks to the Lord for our new #Saints. They walked by faith and now we invoke their intercession.” However, the Twitter hashtag automatically uploaded a fleur-de-lis, the official logo of the National Football League team. Needless to say, the tweet caught the attention of many Saints’ fans, who interpreted the tweet as invoking divine intervention for their team’s game that day against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
“Big Guy telling you something for this afternoon,” a Twitter user said, sharing the pope’s tweet. “Adjust your bets accordingly, Vegas.” Other fans were elated that Christ’s vicar on earth was in their corner. “Pope Francis told 18 million followers that he was #WhoDatNation. I love it,” another Twitter follower wrote, referring to the New Orleans football team’s “Who Dat” chant. But the reaction of the day came from the New Orleans Saints’ own Twitter account after their 13-6 victory over the Jaguars. “Couldn’t lose after this,” the Saints’ account tweeted after sharing the papal tweet. “#Blessed and highly favored.” A Vatican official confirmed Oct. 14 that use of the hashtag to trigger the “hashflag” – the fleur-de-lis – was a case of “accidental evangelization,” but hoped that “maybe someone who didn’t know will become aware that there are other ‘saints’ to pay attention to.”