Saturday, April 18, 2020

Divine Mercy Explained with Free Resources and Indulgence Rules to Know and Share! #DivineMercy


Divine Mercy Sunday is a Feast celebrated the Sunday after Easter (2020 on April 19). It comes from the visions of a Polish Nun, Sister Maria Faustina Kowalska, that began on February 21, 1931. In 2000, Pope John Paul II canonized St. Faustina and, during the ceremony, he declared:

It is important then that we accept the whole message that comes to us from the word of God on this Second Sunday of Easter, which from now on throughout the Church will be called “Divine Mercy Sunday”.
She saw a vision of Jesus standing and was told to have the image made with the prayer : JESUS I TRUST IN YOU. The visions that speak of Jesus' great mercy for sinners if they come to him lasted from 1931-1938.

SEE ALSO: 
PLENARY INDULGENCE
Pope John Paul II established that this Sunday have a plenary indulgence, 
In this way, they can foster a growing love for God and for their neighbour, and after they have obtained God’s pardon, they in turn might be persuaded to show a prompt pardon to their brothers and sisters. . . .
a plenary indulgence, granted under the usual conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion and prayer for the intentions of Supreme Pontiff) to the faithful who, on the Second Sunday of Easter or Divine Mercy Sunday, in any church or chapel, in a spirit that is completely detached from the affection for a sin, even a venial sin, take part in the prayers and devotions held in honour of Divine Mercy, or who, in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament exposed or reserved in the tabernacle, recite the Our Father and the Creed, adding a devout prayer to the merciful Lord Jesus (e.g. Merciful Jesus, I trust in you!”).

Sister Faustina was declared a Saint by Pope John Paul II on in 2000. Divine Mercy Sunday was instituted at the same time.
It is a universal Feast for the entire Church. The promise of Jesus to St. Faustina was: "I want to grant a complete pardon to the souls that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion... on the Feast of My mercy. Whoever approaches the Fountain of Life on this day will be granted complete forgiveness of sins and punishment."
Our Lord also asked…"I demand from you deeds of mercy, which are to arise out of love for Me. You are to show mercy to your neighbors always and everywhere.
Here are the DIRECTIONS for fulfillment of Divine Mercy promise for the Sunday:
The Divine Mercy Message and Devotion

1. Celebrate the Feast of the Divine Mercy Sunday
 2. Sincerely repent of all our sins
3. Place our complete trust in Jesus
4. Go to Confession, preferably before that Sunday (or within a week) (during the Pandemic it is sometimes impossible to go to Confession - thus a perfect Act of Contrition and promise to go to Confession is possible) O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of hell, but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, Who art all good and deserving of all my love. i firmly resolve, with the help of they grace to confess my sins, do penance, and ammend my life. Amen.
5. Receive Holy Communion on the day of the Feast  (during the Pandemic make a Spiritual Communion)
6. Venerate the Image of The Divine Mercy
7. Be merciful to others, through our actions, words, and prayers on their behalf.    
8. Say the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy (Instructions below)

1. Begin with the Sign of the Cross, 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary and The Apostles Creed.
2. Then on the Our Father Beads say the following:
Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.

3. On the 10 Hail Mary Beads say the following:
For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

(Repeat step 2 and 3 for all five decades).

4. Conclude with (three times):
Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

Then say: (optional)
O Blood and Water that gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fountain of mercy for us, I trust in You.

Eternal God, in whom mercy is endless and the treasury
of compassion --- inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us, that in difficult moments we might not despair nor become despondent, but with
great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will,
which is Love and Mercy itself.
Sister Faustina who gave us the Chaplet from God acknowledges the following:

"I saw an Angel, the executor of God's wrath... about to strike
the earth...I began to beg God earnestly for the world with words
which I heard interiorly. As I prayed in this way, I saw the
Angel's helplessness, and he could not carry out the just
punishment...."

"Say unceasingly this chaplet that I have taught you. Anyone who
says it will receive great Mercy at the hour of death. Priests
will recommend it to sinners as the last hope. Even the most
hardened sinner, if he recites this Chaplet even once, will
receive grace from My Infinite Mercy. I want the whole world to
know My Infinite Mercy. I want to give unimaginable graces to
those who trust in My Mercy...."

"....When they say this Chaplet in the presence of the dying, I
will stand between My Father and the dying person not as the just
judge but as the Merciful Savior".

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FOR MORE INFORMATION:
http://www.thedivinemercy.org/

Divine Mercy Sunday Mass Online : 2nd Easter Sun. April 19, 2020 - #Eucharist - Readings + Video in Your Virtual Church


Second Sunday of Easter (or Sunday of Divine Mercy)




Lectionary: 43
Reading 1ACTS 2:42-47
They devoted themselves
to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life,
to the breaking of bread and to the prayers.
Awe came upon everyone,
and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.
All who believed were together and had all things in common;
they would sell their property and possessions
and divide them among all according to each one’s need.
Every day they devoted themselves
to meeting together in the temple area
and to breaking bread in their homes.
They ate their meals with exultation and sincerity of heart,
praising God and enjoying favor with all the people.
And every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.

Responsorial Psalm PS 118:2-4, 13-15, 22-24

R. (1) Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, his love is everlasting.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Let the house of Israel say,
“His mercy endures forever.”
Let the house of Aaron say,
“His mercy endures forever.”
Let those who fear the LORD say,
“His mercy endures forever.”
R. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, his love is everlasting.
or:
R. Alleluia.
I was hard pressed and was falling,
but the LORD helped me.
My strength and my courage is the LORD,
and he has been my savior.
The joyful shout of victory
in the tents of the just:
R. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, his love is everlasting.
or:
R. Alleluia.
The stone which the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone.
By the LORD has this been done;
it is wonderful in our eyes.
This is the day the LORD has made;
let us be glad and rejoice in it.
R. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, his love is everlasting.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Reading 2   1 PT 1:3-9

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who in his great mercy gave us a new birth to a living hope
through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading,
kept in heaven for you
who by the power of God are safeguarded through faith,
to a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the final time.
In this you rejoice, although now for a little while
you may have to suffer through various trials,
so that the genuineness of your faith,
more precious than gold that is perishable even though tested by fire,
may prove to be for praise, glory, and honor
at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Although you have not seen him you love him;
even though you do not see him now yet believe in him,
you rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy,
as you attain the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Alleluia JN 20:29

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
You believe in me, Thomas, because you have seen me, says the Lord;
blessed are they who have not seen me, but still believe!
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel  JN 20:19-31

On the evening of that first day of the week,
when the doors were locked, where the disciples were,
for fear of the Jews,
Jesus came and stood in their midst
and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.
The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you.
As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”
And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them,
“Receive the Holy Spirit.
Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them,
and whose sins you retain are retained.”
Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve,
was not with them when Jesus came.
So the other disciples said to him, “We have seen the Lord.”
But he said to them,
“Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands
and put my finger into the nailmarks
and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
Now a week later his disciples were again inside
and Thomas was with them.
Jesus came, although the doors were locked,
and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.”
Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands,
and bring your hand and put it into my side,
and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”
Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me?
Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”
Now, Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples
that are not written in this book.
But these are written that you may come to believe
that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God,
and that through this belief you may have life in his name.
Prayer to make spiritual communion:

People who cannot communicate now make spiritual communion.

At your feet, O my Jesus I bow down and offer you the repentance of my contrite heart, which abysses itself into its nothingness and Your holy presence. I adore you in the Sacrament of Your love, the ineffable Eucharist. I wish to receive you in the poor home that my heart offers you. In anticipation of the happiness of sacramental communion, I want to possess you in spirit. Come to me, oh my Jesus, that I come to you. May Your love inflame my whole being, for life and death. I believe in you, I hope in you, I love you. So be it. Amen

Saint April 19 : St. Leo IX : Pope who established Peace and Died 1054


Feast Day:
April 19
Born:
21 June 1002 at Egisheim, Alsace
Died:
19 April 1054 in Saint Peter's Basilica, Rome, Italy
Canonized:
1082
(1049-54), b. at Egisheim, near Colmar, on the borders of Alsace, 21 June, 1002; d. 19 April, 1054. He belonged to a noble family which had given or was to give saints to the Church and rulers to the Empire. He was named Bruno. His father Hugh was first cousin to Emperor Conrad, and both Hugh and his wife Heilewide were remarkable for their piety and learning. As a sign of the tender conscience which soon began to manifest itself in the saintly child, we are told that, though he had given abundant proofs of a bright mind, on one occasion he could not study out of an exceptionally beautiful book which his mother had bought and given to him. At length it transpired that the book had been stolen from the Abbey of St. Hubert in the Ardennes. When Heilewide had restored the volume to its rightful owners, the little Bruno's studies proceeded unchecked. When five years of age, he was committed to the care of the energetic Berthold, Bishop of Toul, who had a school for the sons of the nobility. Intelligent, graceful in body, and gracious in disposition, Bruno was a favourite with his schoolfellows. Whilst still a youth and at home for his holidays, he was attacked when asleep by some animal, and so much injured that for some time he lay between life and death. In that condition he saw, as he used afterwards to tell his friends, a vision of St. Benedict, who cured him by touching his wounds with a cross. This we are told by Leo's principal biographer, Wibert, who was his intimate friend when the saint was Bishop of Toul.
Bruno became a canon of St. Stephen's at Toul (1017), and though still quite young exerted a soothing influence on Herimann, the choleric successor of Bishop Berthold. When, in 1024, Conrad, Bruno's cousin, succeeded the Emperor Henry I, the saint's relatives sent him to the new king's court "to serve in his chapel". His virtue soon made itself felt, and his companions, to distinguish him from others who bore the same name, always spoke of him as "the good Bruno". In 1026 Conrad set out for Italy to make his authority respected in that portion of his dominions, and as Herimann, Bishop of Toul, was too old to lead his contingent into the peninsula, he entrusted the command of it to Bruno, then a deacon. There is reason to believe that this novel occupation was not altogether uncongenial to him, for soldiers seem always to have had an attraction for him. While he was thus in the midst of arms, Bishop Herimann died and Bruno was at once elected to succeed him. Conrad, who destined him for  higher things, was loath to allow him to accept that insignificant see. But Bruno, who was wholly disinclined for the higher things, and wished to live in as much obscurity as possible, induced his sovereign to permit him to take the see. Consecrated in 1027, Bruno administered the Diocese of Toul for over twenty years, in a season of stress and trouble of all kinds. He had to contend not merely with famine, but also with war, to which as a frontier town Toul was much exposed. Bruno, however, was equal to his position. He knew how to make peace, and, if necessary, to wield the sword in self-defence. Sent by Conrad to Robert the Pious, he established so firm a peace between France and the empire that it was not again broken even during the reigns of the sons of both Conrad and Robert. On the other hand, he held his episcopal city against Eudes, Count of Blois, a rebel against Conrad, and "by his wisdom and exertions" added Burgundy to the empire. It was whilst he was bishop that he was saddened by the death not merely of his father and mother, but also of two of his brothers. Amid his trials Bruno found some consolation in music, in which he proved himself very efficient.
The German Pope Damasus II died in 1048, and the Romans sent to ask Henry III, Conrad's successor, to let them have as the new pope either Halinard, Archbishop of Lyons, or Bruno. Both of them were favourably known to the Romans by what they had seen of them when they came to Rome on pilgrimage. Henry at once fixed upon Bruno, who did all he could to avoid the honour which his sovereign wished to impose upon him. When at length he was overcome by the combined importunities of the emperor, the Germans, and the Romans, he agreed to go to Rome, and to accept the papacy if freely elected thereto by the Roman people. He wished, at least, to rescue the See of Peter from its servitude to the German emperors. When, in company with Hildebrand he reached Rome, and presented himself to its people clad in pilgrim's guise and barefooted, but still tall, and fair to look upon, they cried out with one voice that him and no other would they have as pope. Assuming the name of Leo, he was solemnly enthroned 12 February, 1049. Before Leo could do anything in the matter of the reform of the Church on which his heart was set, he had first to put down another attempt on the part of the ex-Pope Benedict IX to seize the papal throne. He had then to attent to money matters, as the papal finances were in a deplorable condition. To better them he put them in the hands of Hildebrand, a man capable of improving anything.
He then began the work of reform which was to give the next  hundred years a character of their own, and which his great successor Gregory VII was to carry so far forward. In April, 1049, he held a synod at which he condemned the two notorious evils of the day, simony and clerical incontinence. Then he commenced those journeys throughout Europe in the cause of a reformation of manners which gave him a pre- eminent right to be styled Peregrinus Apostolicus. Leaving Rome in May, he held a council of reform at Pavia, and pushed on through Germany to Cologne, where he joined the Emperor Henry III. In union with him he brought about peace in Lorraine by excommunicating the rebel Godfrey the Bearded. Despite the jealous efforts of King Henry I to prevent him from coming to France, Leo next proceeded to Reims, where he held an important synod, at which both bishops and abbots from England assisted. There also assembled in the city to see the famous pope an enormous number of enthusiastic people, "Spaniards, Bretons, Franks, Irish, and English". Besides excommunicating the Archbishop of Compostela (because he had ventured to assume the title of Apostolicus, reserved to the pope alone), and forbidding marriage between William (afterwards called the Conqueror) and Matilda of Flanders, the assembly issued many decrees of reform. On his way back to Rome Leo held another synod at Mainz, everywhere rousing public opinion against the great evils of the time as he went along, and everywhere being received with unbounded enthusiasm. It is apparently in connexion with this return journey that we have the first mention of the Golden Rose. The Abbess of Woffenheim, in return for certain privileges bestowed by the pope, had to send to Rome "a golden rose" before Lætare Sunday, on which day, says Leo, the popes are wont to carry it. Also before he returned to Rome, he discussed with Adalbert, Archbishop of Bremen, the formation of all the Scandinavian countries, including Iceland and Greenland, into a patriarchate, of which the see was to be Bremen. The scheme was never accomplished, but meanwhile Leo authorized the consecration by Adalbert of the first native bishop for Iceland.
In January, 1050, Leo returned to Rome, only to leave it again almost immediately for Southern Italy, whither the sufferings of its people called him. They were being heavily oppressed by the Normans. To the expostulations of Leo the wily Normans replied with promises, and when the pope, after holding a council at Spoleto, returned to Rome, they continued their oppressions as before. At the usual paschal synod which Leo was in the habit of holding at Rome, the heresy of Berengarius of Tours was condemned&#mdash;a condemnation repeated by the pope a few months later at Vercelli. Before the year 1050 had come to a close, Leo had begun his second transalpine journey. He went first to Toul, in order solemnly to translate the relics of Gerard, bishop of that city, whom he had just canonized, and then to Germany to interview the Emperor Henry the Black. One of the results of this meeting was that Hunfrid, Archbishop of Ravenna, was compelled by the emperor to cease acting as though he were the independent ruler of Ravenna and its district, and to submit to the pope. Returning to Rome, Leo held another of his paschal synods in April, 1051, and in July went to take possession of Benevento. Harassed by their enemies, the Beneventans concluded that their only hope of peace was to submit themselves to the authority of the pope. This they did, and received Leo into their city with the greatest honour. While in this vicinity, Leo again made further efforts to lessen the excesses of the Normans, but they were crippled by the native Lombards, who with as much folly as wickedness massacred a number of the Normans in Apulia. Realizing that nothing could then be done with the irate Norman survivors, Leo retraced his steps to Rome (1051).
The Norman question was henceforth ever present to the pope's mind. Constantly oppressed by the Normans, the people of Southern Italy ceased not to implore the pope to come and help them. The Greeks, fearful of being expelled from the peninsula altogether, begged Leo to co-operate with them against the common foe. Thus urged, Leo sought assistance on all sides. Failing to obtain it, he again tried the effect of personal mediation (1052). But again failure attended his efforts. He began to be convinced that appeal would have to be made to the sword. At this juncture an embassy arrived from the Hungarians, entreating him to come and make peace between them and the emperor. Again Leo crossed the Alps, but, thinking he was sure of success, Henry would not accept the terms proposed by the pope, with the result that his expedition against the Hungarians proved a failure. And though he at first undertook to let Leo have a German force to act against the Normans, he afterwards withdrew his promise, and the pope had to return to Italy with only a few German troops raised by his relatives (1053). In March, 1053, Leo was back in Rome. Finding the state of affairs in Southern Italy worse than ever, he raised what forces he could among the Italian princes, and, declaring war on the Normans, tried to effect a junction with the Greek general. But the Normans defeated first the Greeks and then the pope at Civitella (June, 1053). After the battle Leo gave himself up to his conquerors, who treated him with the utmost respect and consideration, and professed themselves his soldiers.
Though he gained more by defeat than he could have gained by victory, Leo betook himself to Benevento, a broken-hearted man. The slain at Civitella were ever before him, and he was profoundly troubled by the attitude of Michael Cærularius, Patriarch of Constantinople. That ambitious prelate was determined, if possible, to have no superior in either Church or State. As early as 1042, he had struck the pope's name off the sacred diptychs, and soon proceeded, first in private and then in public, to attack the Latin Church because it used unfermented bread (azymes) in the Sacrifice of the Mass. At length, and that, too, in a most barbarous manner, he closed the Latin churches in Constantinople. In reply to this violence, Leo addressed a strong letter to Michael (Sept., 1053), and began to study Greek in order the better to understand the matters in dispute. However, if Michael had taken advantage of the pope's difficulties with the Normans to push his plans, the Greek Emperor, seeing that his hold on Southern Italy was endangered by the Norman success, put pressure on the patriarch to make him more respectful to the pope. To the conciliatory letters which Constantine and Cærularius now dispatched to Rome,  Leo sent suitable replies (Jan., 1054), blaming the arrogance of the patriarch. His letters were conveyed by two distinguished cardinals, Humbert and Frederick, but he had departed this life before the momentous issue of his embassy was known in Rome. On 16 July, 1054, the two cardinals excommunicated Cærularius, and the East was finally cut off from the body of the Church.
The annals of England show that Leo had many relations with that country, and its saintly King Edward. He dispensed the king from a vow which he had taken to make a pilgrimage to Rome, on condition that he give alms to the poor, and endow a monastery in honour of St. Peter. Leo also authorized the translation of the See of Crediton to Exeter, and forbade the consecration of the unworthy Abbot of Abingdon (Spearhafor) as Bishop of London. Throughout the troubles which Robert of Jumièges, Archbishop of Canterbury, had with the family of Earl Godwin, he received the support of the pope, who sent him the pallium and condemned Stigand, the usurper of his see (1053?). King Macbeth, the supposed murderer of Duncan, whom Shakespeare has immortalized, is believed to have visited Rome during Leo's pontificate, and may be thought to have exposed the needs of his soul to that tender father. After the battle of Civitella Leo never recovered his spirits. Seized at length with a mortal illness, he caused himself to be carried to Rome (March, 1054), where he died a most edifying death. He was buried in St. Peter's, was a worker of miracles both in life and in death, and found a place in the Roman Martyrology.
(Taken From Catholic Encyclopedia)

Free Catholic Movie : St. Peter - Stars Omar Sharif - #StPeter


Saint Peter (2005) "San Pietro" (original title) TV Movie | PG-13 | Drama | 24 October 2005 (Italy) Saint Peter, a reluctant but passionate leader, from the crucifixion of Jesus to his own. The film's first half dramatizes the New Testament's "Acts": early fear, the renewal of Pentecost... Director: Giulio Base Writers: Francesco Arlanch, Salvatore Basile, 1 more credit » Stars: Omar Sharif, Daniele Pecci, Flavio Insinna | 

Catholic Diocese in New Mexico is First to Resume Public Mass with Precautions and Parking Lot Mass


The Roman Catholic Diocese of Las Cruces is re-opening for public mass, under strict precautions.
In the image above from the Diocese, Bishop Peter Baldacchino distributes Holy Communion during a parking lot Holy Mass service.
“We are maintaining all current health precautions set forth by the state and federal government,” Christopher Velasquez, the communication director for the diocese said.

Velasquez in an interview, said this decision mostly stemmed from them hearing about pandemic induced anxiety, increase in divorces, drug use and alcohol abuse.


“These type of things create a lot of anxiety and we wanted to make sure that we were still able to offer the essential hope,” Velasquez said.


The diocese said they will be sure to abide by the governors social distancing orders.

“This is for those that feel an inherent spiritual need to go to the mass and that are not showing any symptoms and that are not in the at risk category,” Velasquez said.
Here’s how it will work:

The opportunity to attend mass will be on a first come first serve basis.
If you want to attend, you must contact your church beforehand to be put on a list.
Only five people, who will be placed 6 feet apart, will be allowed inside the church at a time, including the priest.
“If you call and your like the 20th person in line, they would fit you in to the rotation but going based on how you called in,” Velasquez said. “You’ll be contacted when you have the ability to attend in person.”

When the celebration is over, Velasquez says the entire church will be deeply cleaned and sanitized.

Churches will still be live streaming mass for you to watch from home.

Another option churches have is to do mass outside, with people staying in their cars. Velasquez says all vehicles will have a parking space between them and there will be security to make sure it doesn’t get over crowded.

Edited from Fox14

Cardinal Woelki and German Bishops Conference call on Government to Allow Public Religious Services as Part of Religious Freedom


Cologne's Archbishop Rainer Maria Cardinal Woelki hopes that church services will be celebrated again soon.

On his Twitter channel he wrote today: "I very much hope that we will soon be able to celebrate services again with prudence and care. I do not mean a headless return to normality, but services where we strictly adhere to the rules we use have learned in the past few weeks. "
Source: https://www.erzbistum-koeln.de/news/Kardinal-Woelki-Ich-hoffe-sehr-dass-wir-mit-Augenmass-und-Sorgfalt-schon-bald-wieder-Gottesdienste-feiern-koennen/

The Head of the German Bishops' Conference writes:
Bishop Dr. Georg Bätzing on the federal government's corona measures
On the occasion of today's (April 15, 2020) Conference of the Federal Government and the Prime Ministers to Combat the Corona Pandemic, the Chairman of the German Bishops' Conference, Bishop Dr. Georg Bätzing:

"We have taken note of today's decisions by the Federal Government and the Prime Ministers to take further action against the corona pandemic. We are grateful to the politically responsible for their commitment.

The Easter Days have shown that church services give many millions of people orientation and support under the difficult living conditions of the crisis. 
However, I am disappointed to note that the ban on public worship services of all religious communities is currently to be maintained. In view of the initial easing measures in other areas of public life, I cannot understand that, especially not after the very clear decision of the Federal Constitutional Court last week on the serious interference with religious freedom. 
As the Catholic Church, we will come up with a solution to the discussion planned for next Friday in the Federal Ministry of the Interior on how we can guarantee religious practice and protection against infection in equal measure. For the Catholic Church, I can say that we are of course bound to the criteria and provisions that apply to all meetings in closed rooms and that we will monitor compliance with distance requirements.

We have so far accepted the ban on religious gatherings because we temporarily considered this ban appropriate and wanted to make our possible contribution to containing the corona virus pandemic. However, the prohibition of joint public worship services deeply interferes with the right to practice one's religion and was particularly difficult for many believers to bear, especially during Holy and Easter services. ”
Source: https://www.dbk.de/nc/presse/aktuelles/meldung/bischof-dr-georg-baetzing-zu-den-corona-massnahmen-der-bundesregierung/detail/

US Bishops' Pro-Life Chairman and Healthcare Leaders Sign Letter Urging Government to Develop Ethical COVID-19 Vaccine


Bishop Chairmen Urge FDA to Develop Ethical Vaccine for COVID-19

April 17, 2020
WASHINGTON – Four bishop chairmen of committees for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) have urged Dr. Stephen M. Hahn, Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), to ensure that vaccines for the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) are developed ethically and are free from any connection to the exploitation of abortion.
Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas and chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities; Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City and chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development; Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend and chairman of the Committee on Doctrine; and Bishop John F. Doerfler of Marquette and chairman of the Subcommittee on Healthcare Issues, signed the letter to the FDA Commissioner. They were joined by the leaders of many healthcare, bioethics, and pro-life organizations.
The letter expressed strong support for efforts to develop an effective, safe, and widely available vaccine as quickly as possible, but also strongly urged that the federal government “ensure that fundamental moral principles are followed in the development of such vaccines, most importantly, the principle that human life is sacred and should never be exploited.”
The letter noted that “among the dozens of vaccines currently in development, some are being produced using old cell lines that were created from the cells of aborted babies.” Furthermore, “there is no need to use ethically problematic cell lines to produce a COVID vaccine, or any vaccine, as other cell lines or processes that do not involve cells from abortions are available and are regularly being used,” the signers stated. “It is critically important that Americans have access to a vaccine that is produced ethically: no American should be forced to choose between being vaccinated against this potentially deadly virus and violating his or her conscience.”
To view all of the signatories and to read the full text of the letter (below), click here.
Friday, April 17, 2020 
The Honorable Stephen M. Hahn, M.D. 
Commissioner U.S. Food and Drug Administration 
10903 New Hampshire Avenue Silver Spring, 
MD 20993-0002 
Dear Commissioner Hahn, 
As our nation works to defend itself from the deadly Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), we write to express our gratitude to you and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for all of its efforts to combat the virus and to ask for your help to ensure that Americans will have access to vaccines that are free from any connection to abortion. 
To be clear, we strongly support efforts to develop an effective, safe, and widely available vaccine as quickly as possible. However, we also strongly urge our federal government to ensure that fundamental moral principles are followed in the development of such vaccines, most importantly, the principle that human life is sacred and should never be exploited. We are aware that, among the dozens of vaccines currently in development, some are being produced using old cell lines that were created from the cells of aborted babies. For example, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. has a substantial contract from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and is working on a vaccine that is being produced using one of these ethically problematic cell lines. 
Thankfully, other vaccines such as those being developed by Sanofi Pasteur, Inovio, and the John Paul II Medical Research Institute utilize cell lines not connected to unethical procedures and methods. It is critically important that Americans have access to a vaccine that is produced ethically: no American should be forced to choose between being vaccinated against this potentially deadly virus and violating his or her conscience. Fortunately, there is no need to use ethically problematic cell lines to produce a COVID vaccine, or any vaccine, as other cell lines or processes that do not involve cells from abortions are available and are regularly being used to produce other vaccines. Commissioner Hahn, we urgently and respectfully implore you to not only ensure that Americans will have access to a COVID vaccine that is free of ethical concerns, but to encourage and incentivize pharmaceutical companies to use only ethical cell lines or processes for producing vaccines. Sincerely,

At Mass, Pope Francis Prays for those Working with the Disabled and says ".. the true Christian: is courageous, and tells the whole truth..."


MORNING CELEBRATION BROADCAST LIVE
FROM THE CHAPEL OF CASA SANTA MARTA

HOMILY OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS

"The gift of the Holy Spirit: frankness, courage, parrhesia"

Saturday, April 18, 2020


Introduction

Yesterday I received a letter from a nun, who works as a sign language translator for deaf and dumb people, and told me about the difficult work that health workers, nurses, doctors have, with disabled patients who have Covid- 19. We pray for them that they are always at the service of these people with different skills, but they don't have the skills we have.

Homily

The leaders, the elders, the scribes, seeing these men and the frankness with which they spoke, and knowing that they were people without education, perhaps they could not write, were amazed. They did not understand: "But it is something we cannot understand, how courageous these people are, this frankness" (cf. Acts 4:13). This word is a very important word which becomes the style proper to Christian preachers, also in the Book of Acts of the Apostles: frankness. Courage. It means all that. Say it clearly. It comes from the Greek root of saying everything, and we too use this word many times, just the Greek word, to indicate this: parrhesia, frankness, courage. And they saw this frankness, this courage, this parrhesia in them and they didn't understand.

Openness. The courage and frankness with which the first apostles preached ... For example, the Book of Acts is full of this: it says that Paul and Barnabas tried to explain to the Jews frankly the mystery of Jesus and preached the Gospel with frankness (cf. 13,46).

But there is a verse that I like so much in the Letter to the Hebrews, when the author of the Letter to the Hebrews realizes that there is something in the community that is going down, that you are missing that thing, that there is a certain warmth, that these Christians are becoming lukewarm. And he says this - I don't remember the quote well ... - he says this: "Called back to the first days, you have endured a great and hard struggle: don't throw away your frankness now" (cf Heb 10: 32-35). "Take back", take back the frankness, the Christian courage to move forward. One cannot be a Christian without this frankness coming: if he does not come, you are not a good Christian. If you don't have the courage, if to explain your position you slip on ideologies or case explanations, you lack that frankness, you lack that Christian style, the freedom to speak, to say everything. The bravery.

And then, we see that the leaders, the elderly and the scribes are victims, they are victims of this frankness, because it puts them on the corner: they don't know what to do. Realizing "that they were simple and uneducated people, they were amazed and recognized them as those who had been with Jesus. Then seeing the man who had been healed standing next to them, they did not know what to reply" (Acts 4:13). -14). Instead of accepting the truth as we saw, their hearts were so closed that they sought the path of diplomacy, the path of compromise: "Let's frighten them a bit, tell them that they will be punished and see if they keep silent" (cf. Acts 4:16 -17). Really, they are cornered just by frankness: they didn't know how to get out of it. But it didn't occur to them to say, "But isn't this true?" The heart was already closed, it was hard: the heart was corrupt. This is one of the tragedies: the power of the Holy Spirit that is manifested in this frankness of preaching, in this madness of preaching, cannot enter into corrupt hearts. For this, we are careful: yes sinners, never corrupt. And don't get to this corruption that has so many ways to manifest itself ...

But, they were on the corner and didn't know what to say. And in the end, they found a compromise: "Threaten them a little, frighten them a little", and invite them, they called them back and ordered them, they invite them not to speak at any time or to teach in the name of Jesus. peace: you go in peace, but do not speak in the name of Jesus, do not teach "(cf. Acts 4:18). We knew Peter: he was not a brave born. He was a coward, he denied Jesus. But what has happened now? They reply: “If it is right before God to obey you instead of God, judge him; we cannot keep silent what we have seen and heard "(Acts 4,19-20). But where does this courage come from, to this coward who denied the Lord? What happened to this man's heart? The gift of the Holy Spirit: frankness, courage, parrhesia is a gift, a grace that the Holy Spirit gives on the day of Pentecost. Just after receiving the Holy Spirit, they went to preach: a little brave, something new for them. This is coherence, the signal of the Christian, of the true Christian: is courageous, and tells the whole truth because it is coherent.
And to this coherence call the Lord in sending. After this synthesis made by Mark in the Gospel: «Risen in the morning ...» (16,9) - a synthesis of the resurrection -, «he reproached them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who had him risen visa "(v. 14). But with the power of the Holy Spirit - it is Jesus' greeting: "Receive the Holy Spirit" (Jn 20:22) - and he said to them: "Go into all the world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature" (Mk 16:15) ). Go boldly, go frankly, don't be afraid. Do not - I repeat the verse of the Letter to the Hebrews - "do not throw away your frankness, do not throw away this gift of the Holy Spirit" (cf. Heb 10.35). The mission is born from here, from this gift that makes us brave, frank in the announcement of the word.

May the Lord always help us to be like this: courageous. This does not mean imprudent: no, no. Courageous. Christian courage is always prudent, but it is courage.

Prayer for spiritual communion

People who cannot make communion now make spiritual communion:

At Your feet, O my Jesus, I bow down and offer You the repentance of my contrite heart that abysses itself in its nothingness and in Your holy presence. I adore you in the Sacrament of Your love, the Eucharist. I wish to receive you in the poor home that my heart offers you. In anticipation of the happiness of sacramental communion, I want to possess you in spirit. Come to me, oh my Jesus, that I come to you. May Your love inflame my whole being for life and death. I believe in you, I hope in you, I love you.

At the end of the Mass

Tomorrow the Holy Mass will be celebrated in the parish of Santo Spirito in Sassia, at 11. And Monday we will resume here, at 7. The Mass is over, let's go in peace: Alleluja, alleluja.
Full Text Source: Vatican.va Unofficial Translation -