A sensational case in Ireland: a valuable piece of land donated to the state by the Sisters of Charity in 2012 to construct a maternity hospital, has become a pretext for a vicious anti-Catholic campaign after abortion was introduced.
The Vatican’s strong reaction against Israel regarding the incidents during the funeral of the Palestinian journalist are in stark contrast with the Holy See’s approach towards China, after the arrest of Cardinal Joseph Zen in Hong Kong. Their feeble statements betray a conception of diplomacy which is prepared to sacrifice the dignity of individuals on the altar of political objectives. Prominent Hong Kong figures are welcoming the Vatican’s abandonment of Cardinal Zen and all those who share his positions.
The President of the Federation of Asian Bishops Conferences, cardinal Charles Maung Bo, speaks out following the arrest of cardinal Joseph Zen: «I express my profound concern about the threats to religious freedom in Hong Kong». «For the people of Hong Kong it is now increasingly difficult to speak out freely, so those of us outside Hong Kong who have a voice must use it on their behalf». «I call on Catholics and the wider Christian community around the world to pray for Hong Kong, especially for Cardinal Zen, on 24 May»
Since the beginning of the year, a long list of churches have been destroyed, statues of Our Lady decapitated, and hosts desecrated. Yet, the crimes are shrouded in the silence of the media and the connivance of the authorities. In France there is a case every day, in Latin America even the cases of murdered priests go unpunished.
A public hospital nurse is finally free to wear her crucifix to work. Pastry chefs have won the right not to be forced to make cakes with phrases that praise gay weddings. This is the outcome of two British court cases, one by the Labor Court in London and the other by the European Court of Human Rights, which ruled Christians were discriminated against.
Sir David Amess, the British MP killed by an Islamic terrorist, was a practicing Catholic and defender of non-negotiable principles. He was denied the last rites, when a local priest was barred by the police from entering the crime scene. But, the proposal of an amendment to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill would allow the last sacrament to be administered also in these cases. If the proposal becomes law, then even after his death, David will have achieved something good for British Catholics. Msgr. Kevin Hale, his friend and pastor shares his memories and concerns for the Catholic community.
The French Episcopal Conference is backtracking on its initial reactions to the violation of the sacramental seal, but it is the head of the Vatican’s Apostolic Penitentiary, Cardinal Piacenza, who has reaffirmed to ACI Stampa: “The secret cannot be touched”.
The Pew Research Center has released its report on religious freedom in the world. The data refer to 2019 and is similar to that recorded in 2018. As many as 57 countries impose "high" or "very high" restrictions on religious practice. But that was before the fateful 2020 arrived with its national lockdowns, providing opportunities for religious persecution also in the West.
Europe, invaded by the overwhelming power of the Big Tech lobbies, knowingly winks at all lobbies opposed to the Christian vision. Alarm bells have been sounded by intellectuals, legal experts, and heads of NGOs who have drawn up a number of defensive measures to overcome Big Tech censorship.
It will be another Holy Week with strictures placed on worship. The Vatican Easter Vigil Mass will take place earlier at 7.30 pm. In Germany, protesting bishops are pushing Merkel to reverse her government’s measures. Meanwhile, in Ireland, threats are mounting to arrest 'disobedient' priests and in Belgium a 15-person limit remains in effect for all religious services other than funerals. COMECE bishops denounced using Covid as a pretext to restrict religious freedom.
2021 is not only the centenary of the Italian Communist Party, but also of the much more powerful Communist Party in China which still wields (absolute) power over the most populous nation on earth. Regarding this occasion, celebrated next 23 July (date of the Party's founding in Shanghai), Chinese Catholics have received precise directives from their government. The Communist regime is promoting a "pastoral" programme that is actually political and aims to transform the Church into a mouthpiece for Party propaganda.
Nadia Geerts, a Brussels-based philosophy teacher, militant atheist and radical secularist, wrote an article for Marianne magazine, expressing intellectual solidarity with Samuel Paty, a history professor beheaded by Islamists in France for having shown cartoon drawings of Mohammed in his classroom. Now, she is the one under threat. Who will the left stand with? Will a multicultural Belgium come to her defence?