You will really want to read this excellent piece by Bishop Robert Barron. You’ll probably end up wondering why we have not been inundated with similar cogent statements from more bishops. Our Catholic President and the Most Pressing Moral Issue of Our Time – Word on Fire


CARDINAL JOZEF TOMKO DIES AT 98 – Cardinal Jozef Tomko, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, died in Rome at 5 a.m. on Monday, 8 August, aged 98. The Slovak-born Cardinal was the oldest member of the College of Cardinals. He was created a Cardinal in 1985 by Pope John Paul II. Cardinal Tomko died in his apartment in Rome, where he was cared for by the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul. He had been admitted to Rome’s Gemelli hospital on June 25 due to an injury to his cervical spine, and he had returned home on Saturday, August 6, to continue his in-home care, with a dedicated nurse. CONTINUE: Cardinal Jozef Tomko dies at 98 – Vatican News

POPE PRAYS FOR VICTIMS OF MASSIVE BLAZE AT CUBAN FUEL DEPOT – In a telegram, Pope Francis conveys his closeness and prays for those affected by a huge fire, caused by lightning strikes on the Matanzas Supertanker Base in Cuba. Pope Francis has expressed his closeness to the Cuban people and the loved ones of those affected by the massive oil-fed fire at Cuba’s Supertanker port in Matanzas over the weekend. The blaze began on Friday night after lightning struck a fuel storage tank at a depot in Matanzas. The fire spread to a second storage tank on Saturday morning, triggering further explosions. As of Sunday, Cuba appeared to have made some progress in bringing the fire under control, with the help of special teams sent by other countries. According to news reports, at least one person died, 17 firefighters are missing and 121 people have been hurt in the fire. CONTINUE: Pope prays for victims of massive blaze at Cuban fuel depot – Vatican News

POPE PRAYS FOR VICTIMS OF BUS CRASH IN CROATIA – Pope Francis offers prayers for Polish travelers who died in a bus crash on Saturday in Croatia, as they were headed on pilgrimage to Medjugorje. Praying that Our Lady intercede for the victims and their families, Pope Francis remembered the Polish pilgrims who perished in a bus crash in Croatia on Saturday morning. The bus was taking them on pilgrimage to Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina. At least 12 people were killed, and another 32 were injured. Speaking after the recitation of the Sunday Angelus, the Pope expressed his condolences over the incident, offering prayers for all those who died, the injuried and their families. “I learned with sorrow the news of the bus crash yesterday morning in Croatia. Several Polish pilgrims on their way to Medjugorje lost their lives and others were injured. May Our Lady intercede for them and their families.” CONTINUE: Pope prays for victims of bus crash in Croatia – Vatican News

BISHOPS IN NICARAGUA ‘CLOSE’ TO BISHOP ALVAREZ UNDER HOUSE ARREST- In a statement released on Sunday, the Nicaragua’s Catholic Bishops express their fraternal closeness to the Bishop of northern Nicaraguan Diocese of Matagalpa, who has been stuck in his residence since Thursday under the accusation of allegedly inciting acts of violence. As he continues to be held under house arrest, the Bishops’ Conference of Nicaragua (CEN) have expressed their “fraternal” closeness, “amity and episcopal communion” with Bishop Rolando José Álvarez of Matagalpa. The outspoken bishop has been prevented from leaving his home since August 4, when the police stopped him from going to the local Cathedral to celebrate Mass after he voiced criticism over the government’s closing of five Catholic radio stations earlier last week. CONTINUE: Bishops in Nicaragua ‘close’ to Bishop Alvarez under house arrest – Vatican News

GALANTINO ON APSA FINANCIAL STATEMENT: CREDIBILITY IN SERVICE OF CHURCH’S MISSION – The president of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA) explains the 2021 Financial Statement in an interview with Vatican Media, noting a surplus of 8.11 million Euro and highlighting that the main objective remains evangelizing and providing aid to tenants in need. For the second consecutive year, APSA publishes its financial statement under the banner of total transparency. Bishop Nunzio Galantino, APSA president discusses the key figures of the 2021 Financial Statement, recalling that, as Pope Francis says in Praedicate evangelium, evangelization is a central priority of all Holy See entities. For this, credibility and earning the trust of those who use their talents and resources for the Church’s mission are crucial. Of the 38.11 million Euro operational income and the 30 million Euro allocated to the Curia, there is a surplus of 8.11 million Euro…. Q: Bishop Galantino, this is the second time the APSA financial statement has been published. Why has this not been done in previous years? CONTINUE: Galantino on APSA financial statement: Credibility in service of Church’s mission – Vatican News




POPE RECEIVES CROATIAN PRESIDENT ZORAN MILANOVIĆ: Pope Francis on Monday received Zoran Milanović, president of the Republic of Croatia, who also met Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin and Archbishop Paul Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States. A Vatican statement said, “ During the cordial discussions, the parties expressed their appreciation for the good existing bilateral relations, and the intention to further develop collaboration. They also discussed several international and regional issues, including the situation of the Croatian people in Bosnia and Herzegovina.” (source: vaticannews)

POPE CALLS SECULAR FRANCISCANS TO CLOSENESS, COMPASSION, TENDERNESS: Pope Francis addressed the Secular Franciscan Order in Rome for their General Chapter, expressing his hope that they might fight for justice, work for an integral ecology, collaborate in missionary projects, and become artisans of peace and witnesses of the Beatitudes. He also “recalled some elements proper to your vocation and mission” such as “the universal call to holiness.” Francis noted that secular Franciscans are “men and women committed to living in the world according to the Franciscan charism,” and expressed his hope that “your secularity be full of closeness, compassion, and tenderness,” and they be “men and women of hope,” committed to “living” their secularity, but also ”organising it, translating it into the concrete situations of every day, into human relationships, into social and political commitment; nourishing hope in tomorrow by alleviating the pain of today.”

ITINERARY RELEASED FOR PAPAL TRIP TO CYPRUS, GREECE: Pope Francis will be travelling to Cyprus and Greece from December 2 to 6, embarking on his next international apostolic journey to the two nations. The Holy See Press Office released his planned schedule over the five days that includes a busy schedule of meetings with local authorities, Church leaders, liturgical celebrations and ecumenical encounters. The Pope will also return to Greece’s Lesbos island to visit with migrants. For full vaticannews story: Itinerary released for Pope’s journey to Cyprus and Greece – Vatican News

POPE TO VISIT FLORENCE TO MEET BISHOPS AND MAYORS OF THE MEDITERRANEAN: The Vatican announced today that Pope Francis will travel to Florence, Italy on February 27, 2022, for a meeting dedicated to issues and dynamics that are particularly relevant and of impact for cities, towns, and communities bordering the Mediterranean Sea. The meeting will include mayors, the highest-ranking officials of Mediterranean cities. Francis will also meet with families of refugees and migrants. Francis previous to Florence was in 2015 when he participated in the V National Convention of the Italian Bishops’ Conference. Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti, President of the Italian Bishops’ Conference, expressed “deep gratitude” to the Pope for “this gesture of attention towards the initiative that involves the ecclesial and civil communities of the Mediterranean.” (source:vaticannews)