May 18, 1920 – Karol Wojtyla was born in Wadowice, Poland. Today would be the 103rd birthday of the man who became Pope John Paul II. I have a veritable album of photos with John Paul taken during the years I worked at the Vatican. I miss him every day and pray often to him. And frequently I ask Mary, whom he so loved, for the same favor! This is the first time we met – at Mass in his private chapel in December 1995:

WYD in Denver, Colorado 1993:

The last time we met: December 2004 when he welcomed the entire staff of the Holy See Press Office to his library to mark the 20th anniversary of Joaquin Navarro-Valls as director of that office. I had memorized how to say Merry Christmas and Happy New Year in Polish:


Pope Francis expresses his heartfelt sympathy for the people killed, and thousands forced to evacuate their homes, as exceptional, torrential rains battered northern Italy, causing massive damage, as the climate crisis continues to provoke always more violent storms and severe consequences across the globe.

By Deborah Castellano Lubov (Vaticannews)
Nine people are dead and thousands were evacuated from their homes following exceptional, torrential rains which battered northern Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region, and eastern provinces, triggering floods and landslides. (photos of various media)

Death toll mounts in Italy’s worst flooding for 100 years | Italy | The Guardian  (Video)

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According to Civil Protection Minister, Nello Musumeci, some areas had received half their average annual rainfall in just 36 hours. Rivers burst their banks and water washed through towns, and submerged thousands of acres of farmland, reported Reuters.

This catastrophe marks the latest episode of extreme weather and always-more-violent storms to strike the globe as the climate crisis intensifies.

Pope’s heartfelt sympathy, prayers

Pope Francis expressed his “heartfelt sympathy” to the suffering and affected by the extreme weather in Emilia Romagna, especially the eastern provinces, in a telegram of condolences. It was sent Thursday on his behalf by Archbishop Edgar Peña Parra, the Vatican’s Substitute for General Affairs of the Secretariat of State, to the Archbishop of Bologna and President of the Italian Episcopal Conference, Cardinal Matteo Maria Zuppi.

The Holy Father asked the Cardinal to convey his sentiments of heartfelt sympathy to the relatives and friends of the victims for the disaster which struck the territory.

Comfort following ‘grave calamity’

While assuring fervent prayers of suffrage for the deceased and expressing condolences to their families, the Pope invoked comfort from God for the wounded, and consolation for those who are suffering the consequences “of the grave calamity.”

Pope Francis expressed his gratitude to all those, amid great difficulty, are working to bring relief and alleviate all suffering, and to diocesan communities “for their manifestation of communion and fraternal closeness to the most-tried populations.”

The Holy Father concluded by offering his Apostolic Blessing to all, as a sign of special spiritual closeness. He also relayed the prayers of Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin.


Climate Crisis provoking global tragedy

As the deadly Italian rains wreaked havoc, across the globe, various climate catastrophes are killing many people and causing dramatic damage.


Earlier this week, powerful Cyclone Mocha slammed between Myanmar’s port city of Sittwe and Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh, home to nearly one million mostly Rohingya refugees, killing at least six people, causing hundreds of injuries and provoking a vast communications blackout that has left relief workers struggling to assess the extent of the damage.


Meanwhile, the death toll in Malawi from tropical Cyclone Freddy has surpassed 1000, confirmed Malawi’s President Lazarus Chakwer in April.




Pope Francis sends condolences for the death of the late Bishop David O’Connell of Los Angeles, sending prayers and praising his witness as a priest close to the people.

By Deborah Castellano Lubov                                              Pope Francis has expressed his sorrow for the death of Los Angeles Bishop David O’Connell.

In a telegram sent on the Pope’s behalf by Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, to Archbishop José H. Gómez of Los Angeles, the Holy Father mourned the much-loved bishop known for being close to the people, and praised his witness as a priest.

“Deeply saddened to learn of the untimely and tragic death of Auxiliary Bishop David O’Connell, His Holiness Pope Francis sends heartfelt condolences and the assurance of his spiritual closeness to you, the clergy, religious, and lay faithful of the Archdiocese.”

Gratitude for Bishop O’Connell’s ministry

The Pope said he joined in giving thanks for the Bishop’s years of devoted priestly and episcopal ministry to the Church in Los Angeles, “marked especially by his profound concern for the poor, immigrants and those in need, his efforts to uphold the sanctity and dignity of God’s gift of life and his zeal for fostering solidarity, cooperation and peace within the local community.”

“In commending the late Bishop’s soul to the love and mercy of Christ the Good Shepherd, His Holiness prays that all who honor his memory will be confirmed in the resolve to reject the ways of violence and overcome evil with good.”

The Holy Father concluded by imparting his Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of peace and consolation in the Lord.

The Bishop’s funeral Mass will take place tomorrow, 3 March.

Murder of a loved Bishop

Carlos Medina, the husband of Bishop David O’Connell’s housekeeper, was charged with the murder of the late Irish-born Auxiliary Bishop.

Bishop O’Connell, 69, was found dead on Saturday, 18 Feb., with a gunshot wound to the chest in the bedroom of his home in Hacienda Heights, about 30 kilometers east of downtown Los Angeles.

The late Bishop O’Connell was a native of County Cork, Ireland, and ordained to serve in the Los Angeles Archdiocese in 1979, where for many years he focused on gang intervention, according to Angelus News, a local diocesan news platform.

He later sought to broker peace between residents and law enforcement following the violent 1992 uprising after a jury acquitted four white LA police officers in the brutal beating of Rodney King.

In recent years, he also spearheaded Catholic efforts in the region to work with immigrant children and families from Central America.

Always close to the people

Pope Francis appointed him Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles on 21 June 2015.

His violent death has caused shock and sadness in the Catholic community of Los Angeles, but also in his native Cork.

Los Angeles Archbishop Jose H. Gomez on Monday described him as “a good priest and a good bishop and a man of peace” who showed “compassion to the poor, to the homeless, immigrants, and to all those living on society’s margins.”

“We’re very sad to lose him,” he added, expressing his gratitude to the investigative team “for their hard work in bringing the suspect into custody.”

Bishop Fintan Gavin, of Cork and Ross in Ireland, said in a statement that the late bishop “had always maintained his connection with family and friends in Cork” through frequent visits back to Ireland.


In his monthly video with a prayer intention, we hear the Pope intercede this month for Victims of Abuse.

He says: “Ask for forgiveness. Asking for forgiveness is necessary, but it is not enough. Asking for forgiveness is good for the victims, but they are the ones who have to be ‘at the center’ of everything. Their pain and their psychological wounds can begin to heal if they find answers —if there are concrete actions to repair the horrors they have suffered and to prevent them from happening again.

“The Church cannot try to hide the tragedy of abuse of any kind,” says the Holy Father. “Nor when the abuse takes place in families, in clubs, or in other types of institutions. The Church must serve as a model to help solve the issue and bring it to light in society and in families. The Church must offer safe spaces for victims to be heard, supported psychologically, and protected. Let us pray for those who have suffered because of the wrongs done to them from members of the Church; may they find within the Church herself a concrete response to their pain and suffering.”

To see video: Pope’s March prayer intention: For victims of abuse – Vatican News


On my first trip to Iraq, I visited all 6 dioceses in the northern region of Kurdistan. I spent an afternoon at a parish and the Mar Aoraha Chaldean shrine in the diocese and region of Zakho, the northwestern-most part of Kurdistan. In this photo, the pastor is indicating the shrine and telling me that, beyond the sign we are looking at, is the precise geographical point where Iraq, Turkey and Syria meet. Turkey and Syria, of course, are the two countries most affected by today’s earthquake.

Syria on the far left, Turkey on the right

Some photos of the shrine and adjacent area –

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Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin sent two separate telegrams today in Pope Francis’ name to Abp. Marek Solczyński, apostolic nuncio in Turkey and to Cardinal Mario Zenari apostolic nuncio in Syria, for the devastating earthquakes that have caused great loss of life and untold damage to structures.

The telegram to Abp. Solczyński said the Pope “was deeply saddened to learn of the huge loss of life caused by the earthquake in the area of south-eastern Türkiye, and he sends the assurance of his spiritual closeness to all those affected. Entrusting those who have died to the loving mercy of the Almighty, he sends heartfelt condolences to those who mourn their loss. His Holiness likewise prays that the emergency personnel will be sustained in their care of the injured and in the ongoing relief efforts by the divine gifts of fortitude and perseverance.”

In the separate telegram to Cardinal Zenari in Syria, the Holy Father expressed his sadness at “the significant loss of life caused by the earthquake in the area of north-western Syria,” and offered “heartfelt prayers for the souls of the deceased and for all who mourn them. Entrusting those affected by this disaster to the providence of the Almighty,” he offered prayers “in particular for the emergency personnel involved in the ongoing relief efforts” and he invoked “upon the long-suffering Syrian people the divine blessings of strength and peace.”


Sunday afternoon, February 5, on the flight from South Sudan back to Rome, Pope Francis was joined by Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury and Rev. Iain Greenshields, Moderator of the Church of Scotland for the traditional in-flight press conference with the 70 plus journalists on the papal plane.

The Pope answered questions on the criminalization of homosexual people, the late Pope emeritus Benedict XVI, an agreement signed in 2016 between the Holy See and the DRC on education and health, the United Nations and models of intervention (is a new one needed?), the war in Ukraine (would the Pope meet with Putin?), papal health, his energy, future trips in an era of “globalization of indifference.”

Vatican News carried a lengthy summary of the press conference: Pope: ‘Entire world is at war and in self-destruction’ – Vatican News



Yesterday was Martin Luther King Day in the U.S. and was a holiday for EWTN staff so I had a day off and it was wonderful, as days off should be! The entire Rome EWTN bureau celebrated the exceptional work undertaken in the week of Benedict XVI’s death and funeral and the Epiphany with a wonderful buffet lunch in one of the larger meetings rooms available for such events.

It is always great to spend time with the extremely talented people of the Rome bureau, to catch up on family news, children and new babies, impending weddings, interviews and documentaries planned, and so on. So many of these people are always behind the cameras. They are the people you don’t see but the ones who bring all the great images and stories that you do see on EWTN.

Before I move on, I want to share something with you that is considered an important part of Pope Benedict’s legacy:


Pope Francis is scheduled to leave for Africa on January 31st, visiting the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DCR) and South Sudan. In South Sudan, it will be an ecumenical pilgrimage as he will be joined by the archbishop of Canterbury and by the moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. The trip, originally scheduled for July 2022, had to be postponed on advice of the papal doctors.

Monday, in a telegram, the Pope decried an attack on a Pentecostal church in the DRC that killed at least 14 people and wounded over 40 others. Vatican news reported that the so-called Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, and the Congolese army blamed the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), which is allied to ISIS. The telegram, sent by Cardinal secretary of State Pietro Parolin in the Pope’s name, was addressed to Rev. André Bokundoa-Bo-Likabe, President of the Church of Christ in Congo.

In an interview with Vatican News following the bombing, the Apostolic Nuncio to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Archbishop Ettore Balestrero, said the attack sent a worrying signal, “even more so because it confirms the involution of the situation on the ground.” People of DR Congo await ‘healing’ from Pope’s upcoming visit – Vatican News

(Vatican news also reported that Pope Francis has expressed his condolences for the deaths of at least 70 people who were killed on Sunday in a plane crash in the South Asian nation of Nepal)


UPDATE….I was briefly outside (where it was warmer than my apartment which is 64 degrees) and learned that it was the government that decided that heat could be turned on on November 21st, not the 8th as I wrote below, so the Vatican was merely going along with Italian rules.


Honolulu to Rome – 11 time zones, 4 airports and 9,576 miles! The trip to Hawaii was Rome to Newark, then Newark non-stop to Honolulu (9,249 miles). Thank the Lord I have a great Frequent Flyer program with United!

I am safely back in Rome and I think we all know that, after a wonderful trip, long or short, there is something special about arriving home, with perhaps having our own bed and pillow being the best thing.

However, I arrived back to a Rome that was colder than when I left. The heat has not yet been turned on in my building and I am soooo cold! The temps really drop when the sun goes down! I learned this morning that the Vatican, which owns my building, will only give permission to provide heat on November 21st!!

Turning the heat on in the fall and off in the spring has always been a government decision in Italy. Because of the gas and oil crises this year, the Italian government had given permission to have the heat go on in the region of Lazio on November 8 but privately owned homes and businesses could decide their own time frame for turning on the heat, thus the Vatican decision. Heat can be turned on earlier in the typically colder northern regions and a bit later in the usually warmer southern.

As I write, I am wearing 3 layers of wool and have a warm scarf around my neck. I have a small electric heater that I turned on just outside my bathroom door to make it possible to shower and dress. My AC unit also provides heat so I can turn that on for brief spells in my office, Deo gratias!

This plaque in my office has a new meaning today!

I did see a news story today that reported that Prince Harry was at Pearl Harbor on Friday, Veterans day – and so was I but our paths did not cross, He visited the Arizona monument and at one point I was filming it from the dock of the Missouri but…..the twain did not meet!

And now a few stories from Sunday and Monday….


PAPAL TELEGRAM OF CONDOLENCES FOR VICTIMS OF EXPLOSION IN ISTANBUL – In a telegram signed by Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, and addressed to the Apostolic Nuncio in Türkiye, Archbishop Marek Solczyński, on Tuesday, Pope Francis expressed his deep sadness upon learning of the deaths and injuries caused by the explosion of a bomb in Istanbul on Sunday. Pope Francis “sends condolences to the families and friends of those who have died, assuring the injured and those who mourn their loved ones of his spiritual closeness,” the message reads.  The Pope said he offers his prayers so “that no act of violence will discourage the efforts of the people of Türkiye to build a society based on the values of fraternity, justice and peace.” The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew, also expressed “firm condemnation” of the attack and, according to local media reports, went to the scene of the bombing to remember the victims. Pope sends condolences to victims of Istanbul explosion – Vatican News

IN A LETTER TO ARCHBISHOP OF BARCELONA, POPE FRANCIS DISCUSSES ST IGNATIUS’ CONVERSION, AND SPIRITUAL EXERCISES – Exactly five hundred years ago on Monday, St Ignatius arrived in Barcelona, a city which played an important role in his formation. To mark the occasion, Pope Francis sent a letter to Cardinal Archbishop Juan José Omella Omella of Barcelona, in which he examines the saint’s conversion and his famed Spiritual Exercises. Pope Francis began his letter by vividly evoking the event being commemorated.   Five hundred years ago today, he wrote, “Our protagonist, having served the king and his convictions to the point of shedding his blood, was wounded in body and spirit, had stripped himself of everything, and was determined to follow Christ in poverty and humility.” “It mattered little to him,” the Pope continued, “whether he stayed in houses for the poor, or had to withdraw into a cave to pray, and least of all that this meant being ‘esteemed vain and mad’ (S.E. 167).” Pope: May we turn wars, plagues into opportunities for conversion – Vatican News

POPE ADDRESSES MEMBERS OF DICASTERY FOR COMMUNICATION – Pope Francis spoke with members and employees of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Communication as they meet in plenary session, and urged media professionals to let their heart and Christian values shine through in their work. The Pope gave his prepared remarks to Dr. Paolo Ruffini, the Dicastery’s Prefect, and then spoke off-the-cuff, so that he could offer something “more spontaneous and uncensored, which is more fun!” He offered his reflections on the importance of communication, calling it a “round trip”. “There is no one-way communication: it goes and comes back; it goes and comes back. And in this we too grow.” Pope Francis: ‘Media professionals must engage with audience’ – Vatican News

POPE FRANCIS MET WITH SOCCER PLAYERS AHEAD OF A MATCH IN ROME’S OLYMPIC STADIUM. The third edition of the 2022 Match for Peace, organized by the Pontifical Foundation Scholas Occurrentes, took place on Monday evening at Rome’s Olympic Stadium, with the support and blessing of Pope Francis. Ahead of the match, the Pope greeted the world-renowned soccer players, organizers and their families, in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall. The Holy Father thanked the athletes for sowing seeds of peace in a world marked by war. Peace, the Pope said, is the fruit of gestures like theirs, namely “of closeness, friendship, the outstretched hand,” and “not with the stone in your hand to throw it.” These “seeds of peace,” he said, may be small, but “are capable of changing the world.” “Thank you for this that you do, for today’s game, because you say, ‘We want peace’, in a world that always looks for wars and destruction.” Pope thanks ‘Match for Peace’ players for offering outstretched hand – Vatican News





To all my American family members and friends, have a wonderful, happy and safe Labor Day celebration on Monday!


Here we are, a new month and a new edition of Vatican Insider. But you know my guest in the interview segment, Msgr. Tom Powers, the new rector of the Pontifical North American College because Part I of our conversation aired last week, He told us how he was invited to be rector, stating “My priesthood has been one of saying yes to the Church.” He also explained all the duties of a rector.

This week he talks about the new freshman class of seminarians, highlighting how they all met and exchanged inspirational vocation stories. He spoke of the vocation stories as “moments of God’s grace,”   adding, “my work here, our work here, is to form men to the heart of Christ.”

IN THE UNITED STATES, you can listen to Vatican Insider (VI) on a Catholic radio station near you (stations listed at www.ewtn.com) or on channel 130 Sirius-XM satellite radio, or on http://www.ewtn.com. OUTSIDE THE U.S., you can listen to EWTN radio on our website home page by clicking on the right side where you see “LISTEN TO EWTN.” VI airs at 5am and 9pm ET on Saturdays and 6am ET on Sundays. On the GB-IE feed (which is on SKY in the UK and Ireland), VI airs at 5:30am, 12 noon and 10pm CET on Sundays. Both of these feeds are also available on the EWTN app and on www.ewtnradio.net ALWAYS CHECK YOUR OWN TIME ZONE! For VI archives: go to https://www.ewtn.com/radio/audio-archive and write the name of the guest for whom you are searching in the SEARCH box. Below that, will appear “Vatican Insider” – click on that and the link to that particular episode will appear.


Pope Francis sends a telegram expressing his solidarity to Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, the vice president of Argentina, after she narrowly survived an attempt on her life.

By Benedict Mayaki, SJ (vaticannews)

Pope Francis has sent a message of closeness to Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner of Argentina, following reports of an attack on her on Thursday.

“Having received the disturbing news of the attack that Your Excellency suffered yesterday afternoon, I wish to express my solidarity and closeness in this delicate moment,” the Pope said in a telegram on Friday.

The Pope prayed that, “social harmony and respect for democratic values may prevail in dear Argentina, against all types of violence and aggression.” (APF photo or licensor)

Assassination attempt

The Argentine Vice President narrowly survived an assassination attempt late Thursday, after a gunman’s weapon failed to fire as he aimed at her.

Footage circulating online shows Fernández de Kirchner surrounded by a mob of supporters as a hand appears from the crowd holding a gun pointed at her face at close range. The weapon did not discharge and Fernández can be seen flinching and ducking.

Police said the gunman, identified as a 35-year-old Brazilian, has been taken into custody, according to the BBC.

Authorities are still attempting to establish a motive for the attack on the vice president.




Following is the telegram of condolences that Pope Francis sent to His Holiness Tawadros II, Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church, for the many victims of a fire in a Coptic church in Giza, Egypt. It was sent in the Pope’s name by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin:

His Holiness Tawadros II, Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of Saint Mark,

His Holiness Pope Francis was deeply saddened upon being informed of the recent fire at Abu Sefein church in Giza which caused the deaths of so many, including a number of children and Bishop Abdul Bahkit. In offering heartfelt condolences and the assurance of spiritual closeness to the injured and those affected by this tragedy, His Holiness entrusts the victims and their families to the merciful love of Almighty God and invokes upon all consolation and strength in the Lord.      Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State

A CNA news story reported that 35 children between two and six years of age were among the victims of the blaze that ripped through the Church of Saint Mercurius (known in Arabic as Abu Sefein), reported ACI MENA, CNA’s partner agency for the Middle East and Northern Africa.

In fact, twins and triplets were among the young victims.

The cause of the blaze has so far not been established. Reuters reported that an electrical fire broke out at the church where people gathered during the Divine Liturgy celebration. The blaze reportedly blocked the exit from the church and caused a stampede.



Just in: Following is the papal telegram sent by Pope Francis to Archbishop Bernard Bober of Kosice, Slovakia with a copy to Msgr. Jan Dubina of the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff, Vatican City. Cardinal Tomko will be buried in Kosice.

“In learning the news of the death of Cardinal Jozef Tomko, illustrious of this land, I wish to express to members of his family, to you, to the priests and to all the faithful my closeness and my condolences for the mourning that has struck the ecclesial community and the Slovak nation. In remembering this appreciated and wise brother who, supported by deep faith and a far-sighted gaze, served the Gospel and the Church with humility and self-denial, I think with gratitude of his long and fruitful work in the Holy See as a diligent and prudent collaborator of my predecessors. I also think of his prayerful spirit that saw him, at an advanced age, remain assiduous at the daily evening recitation of the rosary in St. Peter’s Square, giving pilgrims and tourists a beautiful and public testimony of love for the Holy Virgin. I ask the Lord to welcome this faithful servant of his to heavenly Jerusalem, and I cordially impart my blessing to those who mourn his departure, with a thought of gratitude for the Sisters of Mercy of St. Vincent de Paul Satma’rok who took such thoughtful care of him.”



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 Francis decries a shooting in which six people were killed and over 30 injured at a Fourth of July parade in the northern Chicago suburb of Highland Park.

By Deborah Castellano Lubov (vaticannews)

Pope Francis has decried the tragic shootings that killed six and wounded some 30 others during a Fourth of July parade in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park on Monday, appealing for a rejection of all forms of violence, and a respect for life at all its stages.

The Holy Father did so in a telegram sent to the archbishop of Chicago, Cardinal Blase Cupich. In the telegram, sent on the Pope’s behalf by Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, he said he was “deeply saddened” to learn “of the senseless shooting” that took place in the U.S., and asked the cardinal to convey his spiritual closeness to all affected by this attack.

Appeal to reject violence and respect life

The Pope said he “joins the entire community in praying that Almighty God will grant eternal rest to the dead and healing and consolation to the injured and bereaved.”

“With unwavering faith that the grace of God is able to convert even the hardest of hearts, making it possible to depart from evil and do good,” Pope Francis prayed “that every member of society will reject violence in all of its forms and respect life in all of its stages.”

Pope Francis concluded, by sending his Apostolic Blessing “as a pledge of strength and peace in the Lord.”

U.S. Shootings

On Monday, a gunman on a rooftop opened fire on an Independence Day parade in the affluent northern Chicago suburb killing at least six people and wounding at least 30 others.

Police identified Robert E. Crimo III as a person of interest in the shooting and, after an hours-long manhunt, the suspect was taken into police custody.

The July 4 shooting marks the latest tragic shooting in the country, and takes place in the light of hundreds of others during 2022 that have plagued schools, churches, grocery stores and now community parades.