Vatican newspaper: Pachamama is not a god, but mother earth (L'Osservatore Romano) Pachamama is not a divinity or idol that is worshiped, but is mother earth, honored as the “creation and manifestation of the love of God,” writes retired Mexican Bishop Felipe Arizmendi Esquivel. He recalls that years ago, while in Bolivia for a meeting, he asked a member of the indigenous Aymara people whether his people consider Pachamama and Inti to be gods. The man replied, “Those who have not received evangelization consider them gods; for those of us who have been evangelized, they are not gods, but God’s best gifts.” Bishop Arizmendi commented, “Wonderful response! … They are manifestations of God’s love, not gods.” (For background on the deities, see the Encyclopedia Britannica articles on Inti and Pachamama.)
Chinese bishop pressured to endorse Party platform (AsiaNews) A Chinese bishop who accepted demotion when the Vatican struck a bargain with Beijing is now being harassed by public officials who demand that he endorse an “independent” Chinese Church. Bishop Vincenzo Guo Xijin, who is now an auxiliary of the Mindong diocese—having been replaced by a government-approved prelate—has resisted demands that he sign a statement of support for Communist Party policies.
US bishops affirm abortion as "preeminent" public issue (CNA) After a spirited debate, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops defeated a move to delete language from an election-year statement that described abortion as the “preeminent priority because it directly attacks life itself.” Cardinal Blase Cupich offered an amendment that would have softened that language, calling for equal consideration of other issues. Bishop Robert McElroy, supporting the proposed amendment, said flatly: “It is not Catholic teaching that abortion is the preeminent issue that we face.” But the USCCB membership rejected that argument, and voted against the Cupich amendment.
Bishops urge people to 'build a Bolivia in peace' (Fides) The Catholic bishops of Bolivia have issued a call for the country’s people to “build a Bolivia in peace,” following the resignation of President Evo Morales. The bishops urged public officials to “act conscientiously and seek the common good,” building a society with “respect, tolerance, freedom, justice, and authentic progress for all.”
US bishops approve new hymn translations for the Liturgy of the Hours (CNS) “By preserving the original meters of the Latin hymns, without the extraneous addition of rhyme,” ICEL [the International Commission on English in the Liturgy] in its new translations “has preserved the poetic nature of the hymns, without distorting the texts or losing theological content,” according to the report.
Bethlehem seeing more pilgrims this year (Fides) The number of pilgrims visiting Bethlehem has increased by about 17% this year, prompting officials to extend visiting hours at the Nativity basilica for an extra three hours, to alleviate long waiting lines. Palestinian authorities report that more than 1.7 million people have visited thus far in 2019.
USCCB committee chairman weighs in as Supreme Court hears DACA cases (USCCB) “DACA [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals] youth are leaders in our parishes and significant contributors to our economy and communities,” said Bishop Joe Vásquez of Austin, chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on Migration. “Not allowing these young people to continue to utilize DACA to reach their God-given potential is against the common good and our nation’s history of welcoming the immigrant.”
Pope Francis sees 'an inclusive capitalism that leaves no one behind' as a 'worthy goal' (Vatican Press Office) “Those who engage in business and economic life are in fact possessed, as bears repeating, of a noble vocation, one that serves the common good by striving to increase the goods of this world and make them more accessible to all,” Pope Francis said on November 11. “In the end, it is not simply a matter of ‘having more,’ but ‘being more.’ What is needed is a fundamental renewal of hearts and minds so that the human person may always be placed at the center of social, cultural and economic life.”
US bishops vote to revise strategic priorities for 2021-2024 (CNS) The revised priorities are (1) “Evangelization: Form a joyful band of missionary disciples of Jesus Christ,” (2) “Life and dignity of the human person: Serve the common good as the leaven in a free society,” (3) “Protect and heal God’s children: Restore integrity, foster virtue,” and (4) “Vocations: Equip all Christ’s disciples for mission.”