Archbishop Gregory decries Trump's visit to Catholic shrine (Washington archdiocese) “I find it baffling and reprehensible that any Catholic facility would allow itself to be so egregiously misused and manipulated in a fashion that violates our religious principles, which call us to defend the rights of all people even those with whom we might disagree,” said Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Washington, DC. He was responding to a visit by President Trump to the St. John Paul II National Shrine, where he signed an executive order promoting international religious freedom.
Leading Orthodox Patriarch: state cannot make rules of Eucharist (Fides) The Orthodox churches cannot submit “to the authorities of this world when the Divine Eucharist is called into question,” Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople said in a letter to other Orthodox leaders. The Ecumenical Patriarch—recognized as “first among equals” of Orthodox prelates, said that churches had accepted the leadership of civil officials during the CO19 epidemic, but could not accept control by politicians over the administration of the sacraments.
Cardinal Turkson links Laudato Si', protests over George Floyd's death (Our Sunday Visitor) Pope Francis devoted his second encyclical, Laudato si’, to care for our common home. The prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development sees protests following the death of George Floyd as “a cry for people to recognize that every human being requires a certain minimum of social conditions to enable him to live and live successfully. That’s what social ecology is all about.”
Milwaukee archdiocese reopens churches despite city order (AP) The Archdiocese of Milwaukee has opened churches. Although a city order limits all gatherings to 10 people, the archdiocese has announced that churches may admit up to 25% of their capacity. The archdiocese contends that the city order does not apply to religious gatherings.
New attacks on Christians in Pakistan (Fides) Islam is the official religion of the South Asian nation of 211 million (map), the fifth most populous in the world. 96% of Pakistan’s people are Muslim, 2% are Christian, and 1% are Hindu.
Pope returns to St. Peter's Square for Regina Caeli address (Vatican Press Office) “By forgiving and gathering His disciples around Him, Jesus makes them a Church, His Church, which is a community reconciled and ready for mission,” Pope Francis said on Pentecost Sunday (video). In March, because of the pandemic, the Pope began delivering his Sunday Angelus (or Regina Caeli) address from the library of the Apostolic Palace.
Political group challenges church openings during epidemic (CNA) The Center for American Progress, a group founded by the campaign manager for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential drive, is pushing for stricter limits on church gathering during the CO19 epidemic, charging that religious groups are “distorting religious freedom into a license to spread the coronavirus.”
Bosnian Church leaders defend Mass for victims of Communist massacre (CNS) A spokesman for the Catholic bishops of Bosnia-Herzegovina has responded to criticism of a Mass celebrated by Cardinal Vinko Puljic to mark the anniversary of a massacre of Croatian nationalists. Critics had pointed to allegations that the nationalists were tied with fascist groups. Msgr. Ivo Tomasevic, the secretary-general of the episcopal conference, replied that the Mass was celebrated “for people killed without trial and sentence.”