Equality Act will discriminate against people of faith, US bishops warn (USCCB) “Rather than affirm human dignity in ways that meaningfully exceed existing practical protections, the Equality Act would discriminate against people of faith,” five bishops who chair USCCB committees warned in a February 23 letter. “It would also inflict numerous legal and social harms on Americans of any faith or none.” The Act (H.R. 5), sponsored by Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI), has 224 cosponsors in the House of Representatives.
Embattled German bishops pick woman theologian as top administrator (Deutsche Welle) Beate Gilles has been named the general secretary of the German bishops’ conference. “Between the reality of life and conviction of many Catholics and the teachings of the Church there is a tension,” she wrote in 2019. “We want to hear people who ask the Church for a blessing for their partnership. . . . The blessing celebration asks for God’s blessing for a successful future of something that already exists. The blessing does not constitute a sacramental bond between the two persons.”
Twitter restores Irish bishop's post on assisted suicide (CNA) Twitter temporarily banned Bishop Kevin Doran of Elphin from posting after he tweeted the following: “There is dignity in dying. As a priest, I am privileged to witness it often. Assisted suicide, where it is practiced, is not an expression of freedom or dignity, but of the failure of a society to accompany people on their ‘way of the cross.’”
Persecuted Christians are among the victims of xenophobia, Vatican diplomat says at UN (Holy See Mission) “Xenophobia also causes much of the intolerance, violence, and persecution suffered by an increasing number of people on the basis of their religion or belief,” Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, apostolic nuncio and Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, said at a recent UN meeting. “Some religious minorities are even in danger of being entirely extinguished in certain regions, including Christians who represent the most persecuted group globally.”
Cardinal Cupich reflects on 500,000 US Covid deaths (Chicago Catholic) “We need to complete our prayer with bold action,” the Archbishop of Chicago said in his February 22 statement. “Wear a mask, keep your distance and avoid gatherings. That is the least we can do. And, for God’s sake and our own take the COVID vaccine to protect your and everyone’s life.”
Pope chooses new personal physician (Vatican Press Office) Pope Francis has chosen a new personal physician: Dr. Roberto Bernabei, a professor of internal medicine at Rome’s Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, a former president of the Italian Society of Gerontology and Geriatrics. He replaces Dr. Fabrizio Soccorsi, who died in January of Covid complications.
Human rights must have objective basis, Vatican official tells UN (CNS) The UN needs to “rediscover the foundation of human rights,” the Vatican’s top foreign-policy official said in a video message to the UN Human Rights Council. Archbishop Paul Gallagher remarked that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is based on a shared recognition of inherent human dignity. Without that basic understanding, he said, countries are apt to recognize “rights devoid of values,” or “to create so-called ‘new’ rights that lack an objective foundation.”
Pope asks new Swiss bishop to serve until 2026 (CNA) Bishop-designate Joseph Bonnemain has been asked by Pope Francis to head the troubled Chur diocese at least until 2026, even though he will reach normal retirement age in 2023. The Vatican has disclosed that Pope Francis made the unusual request in light of the divisions within the Swiss diocese.