THE PERSECUTION OF CARDINAL ZEN: Cardinal Joseph Zen of Hong Kong is being tried by the Chinese Communist government for allegedly failing to register a non-profit that provided financial and legal support to protesters arrested during the 2019–20 Hong Kong demonstrations. Prosecutors made their case last week, and the trial will resume on October 26. The ninety-year-old Zen has become an international figure of resistance to the totalitarianism of the Chinese Communist Party, and a champion for democracy and religious freedom. This trial and a concurrent investigation are meant to silence him while the CCP negotiates with the Vatican over the second renewal of a secret 2018 agreement that gave the CCP control over the proposal of new bishops and legitimized seven regime-loyal bishops who had been ordained without Vatican approval. The Persecution of Cardinal Zen | Sean Nelson | First Things

VATICAN TO RE-SIGN CONTROVERSIAL AGREEMENT WITH CHINA OCTOBER 22: Amid increased controversy as a trial against a prominent Chinese cardinal continues to move forward in Hong Kong, the Vatican and China will for the second time renew their provisional agreement on the appointment of bishops. Speaking to Crux, a high-ranking Vatican official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the renewal publicly, said “the agreement with China is scheduled to be renewed on (the) 22nd of October 2022, with no changes to the terms.” The official stressed that this was not an official statement, and that a formal announcement would be made “in due time” by the Holy See Press Office. Though the terms of the agreement have never been made public, the deal, brokered in September 2018, is believed to be modeled after the Holy See’s agreement with Vietnam, allowing the Holy See to pick bishops from a selection of candidates proposed by the government. Vatican-China deal to be renewed, with no changes to terms | Crux (

PONTIFICAL ACADEMY FOR LIFE APPOINTS PRO-ABORTION ATHEIST MEMBER: Mariana Mazzucato joins a growing list of members who hold views antithetical to the Catholic Church. The Pontifical Academy for Life has appointed to its list of full members a highly influential atheist economist who supports legalized abortion and whose views on the economy have in part been praised by Pope Francis.  Mariana Mazzucato, who teaches the Economics of Innovation and Public Value at University College London and is closely linked to the World Economic Forum, was appointed on Saturday by Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the academy, and Msgr. Renzo Pegoraro, its chancellor.  A married mother of four, Mazzucato is one of 14 new ordinary members appointed to the academy. Pontifical Academy for Life Appoints Pro-Abortion Atheist Member| National Catholic Register (

VATICAN BASILICA TO SHOWCASE KOREAN PRIEST-MARTYR: A statue of Saint Andrew Kim Tae-gon, Korea’s first priest-martyr, will be installed in a niche outside Saint Peter’s Basilica commemorating the 200th birth year of the saint, said Korean Church officials. The preparation of the statue has been underway since Pope Francis accepted the proposal from Archbishop Lazzaro Heung-sik You of Daejeon, who is also the prefect of the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Clergy. “The production cost is borne jointly by the Korean diocese, and it is in progress. It is a great honor for our Korean church,” said Bishop Mathias Lee Yong-hoon, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Korea. Prominent Korean sculptor Han Jin-seop will lead the production of the statue in Carrara marble. The statue is estimated to weigh around 40 tonnes post-production, the Catholic Peace Broadcasting Corporation reported on Oct. 13. Vatican to install first statue of Korean saint Andrew Kim – UCA News

10,000 PRIESTS PARTICIPATE IN STUDY OF PRIESTHOOD: WASHINGTON (CNS) — A study of U.S. priests released Oct. 19 details clerics’ “crisis of trust” toward their bishops as well as fear that if they were falsely accused of abuse, prelates would immediately throw them “under the bus” and not help them clear their name. The study “Well-being, Trust and Policy in a Time of Crisis” by The Catholic Project, written by Brandon Vaidyanathan, Christopher Jacobi and Chelsea Rae Kelly, of The Catholic University of America, paints a portrait of a majority of priests who feel abandoned by the men they are supposed to trust at the helm of their dioceses. And while the study says priests overwhelmingly support measures to combat sex abuse and enhance child safety, the majority, 82%, also said they regularly fear being falsely accused. Were that to happen, they feel they would face a “de facto policy” of guilty until proven innocent.. Study of priests shows distrust of bishops, fear of false abuse accusations. Published Oct. 19 2022. Nation. (

VATICAN NEWS TO FEATURE REPORTS FROM MEDIA STUDENTS IN PHILIPPINES AND INDIA. Vatican News, together with the Dicastery for Culture and Education’s Gravissimum Educationis Foundation, will feature special reports prepared by media students at Catholic universities in the Philippines and India. The project aims to allow students to share inspirational stories on their faith, the Church, and communion with the universal Church globally, while providing local news under the banner: “Good Makes Headlines!” The Dicastery for Communication and the Gravissimum Educationis Foundation, under the auspices of the Dicastery for Culture and Education, have joined together for an educational project giving a voice to Catholic university students specializing in media and communication. Vatican News to feature reports from media students in Philippines and India – Vatican News



I had dinner Saturday night at one of my new favorite places in Rome, “Terrazza Borromini” (entrance Via Santa Maria dell’Anima, 30). The chef is Francesco Grasso whom many of you met on visits to Rome when he was the chef at La Scaletta, right across the street from the entrance to Terrazza Borromini (he is the Bill Murray lookalike – when Murray was about 45). He was hired away from La Scaletta about a year ago and now works his kitchen magic at the Borromini.

I walked through Piazza Navona after dinner on my way to Corso Vittorio Emanuele to get a bus home. And this is what greeted me on the east side of the square as soon as I entered –

The ad says: LET’S BRING FRANCESCO TO THE WORLD – So Many Languages – Every Day – Just One Story

This Vatican News ad is on a canvas that covers Our Lady of Sacred Heart church as its façade is being restored. Many buildings that undergo cleaning and/or restoration are covered by similar canvases, and often the facade of the building or church is painted on the canvas.

Also quite often, as you can see here, publicity adorns the canvas. The usual practice is for the company that is advertising to pay a fee to the owners of the building (in this case, a church). Over time, I have seen buildings covered by canvas ads for as long as a couple of years! Samsung is quite big on doing this and its canvas publicity covers some Vatican buildings at the end of Via della Conciliazione and on Pza. Pio.

I was curious about this ad – and doubly so when I saw the identical ad Sunday from a bus as I was retuning home from Mass at St. Patrick’s. It covered a huge canvas on the building known as the Palazzo della Cancelleria, a Vatican building on Corso Vittorio Emanuele that houses the tribunals of the Vatican. The basilica of San Lorenzo in Damaso is also encompassed by this building.

I’ve now seen this ad two times, and both times on a church or church-owned building so I am guessing (hoping) there is no revenue involved.

In any case, I find it fascinating that the Vatican has chosen this method to advertise (in Italian) its (beta version) news site.

Makes me think of the EWTN publicity, “EWTN is everywhere!”