Saturday, September 26, 2020

Sunday Mass Online - Readings and Video : Sunday, September 27, 2020 - Your Virtual Church


Twenty-sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 136

Reading 1
EZ 18:25-28
Thus says the LORD:
You say, "The LORD's way is not fair!"
Hear now, house of Israel:
Is it my way that is unfair, or rather, are not your ways unfair?
When someone virtuous turns away from virtue to commit iniquity, and dies,
it is because of the iniquity he committed that he must die.
But if he turns from the wickedness he has committed,
he does what is right and just,
he shall preserve his life;
since he has turned away from all the sins that he has committed,
he shall surely live, he shall not die.

Responsorial Psalm
PS 25:4-5, 6-7, 8-9
R. (6a) Remember your mercies, O Lord.
Your ways, O LORD, make known to me;
teach me your paths,
guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my savior.
R. Remember your mercies, O Lord.
Remember that your compassion, O LORD,
and your love are from of old.
The sins of my youth and my frailties remember not;
in your kindness remember me,
because of your goodness, O LORD.
R. Remember your mercies, O Lord.
Good and upright is the LORD;
thus he shows sinners the way.
He guides the humble to justice,
and teaches the humble his way.
R. Remember your mercies, O Lord.

Reading 2
PHIL 2:1-11 OR 2:1-5
Brothers and sisters:
If there is any encouragement in Christ,
any solace in love,
any participation in the Spirit,
any compassion and mercy,
complete my joy by being of the same mind, with the same love,
united in heart, thinking one thing.
Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory;
rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves,
each looking out not for his own interests,
but also for those of others.

Have in you the same attitude
that is also in Christ Jesus,
Who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
something to be grasped.
Rather, he emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
coming in human likeness;
and found human in appearance,
he humbled himself,
becoming obedient to the point of death,
even death on a cross.
Because of this, God greatly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name
which is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that
Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

or

Brothers and sisters:
If there is any encouragement in Christ,
any solace in love,
any participation in the Spirit,
any compassion and mercy,
complete my joy by being of the same mind, with the same love,
united in heart, thinking one thing.
Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory;
rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves,
each looking out not for his own interests,
but also for those of others.

Have in you the same attitude
that is also in Christ Jesus.

Alleluia
JN 10:27
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord;
I know them, and they follow me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel
MT 21:28-32
Jesus said to the chief priests and elders of the people:
"What is your opinion?
A man had two sons.
He came to the first and said,
'Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.'
He said in reply, 'I will not, '
but afterwards changed his mind and went.
The man came to the other son and gave the same order.
He said in reply, 'Yes, sir, ‘but did not go.
Which of the two did his father's will?"
They answered, "The first."
Jesus said to them, "Amen, I say to you,
tax collectors and prostitutes
are entering the kingdom of God before you.
When John came to you in the way of righteousness,
you did not believe him;
but tax collectors and prostitutes did.
Yet even when you saw that,
you did not later change your minds and believe him."
Prayer to Make a 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 may 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 September 27 : St. Vincent de Paul the Patron of Charities; Horses; Hospitals; Leprosy; Prisoners; Spiritual help; Volunteers


Born at Pouy, Gascony, France, in 1580, though some authorities have said 1576; died at Paris, 27 September, 1660.

Canonized:
16 June 1737, Rome by Pope Clement XII
Major Shrine:
St Vincent de Paul chapel, Rue de Sèvres, Paris, France
Patron of:
charities; horses; hospitals; leprosy; lost articles; prisoners; spiritual help; Saint Vincent de Paul Societies; Vincentian Service Corps; volunteers

Born of a peasant family, he made his humanities studies at Dax with the Cordeliers, and his theological studies, interrupted by a short stay at Saragossa, were made at Toulouse where he graduated in theology. Ordained in 1600 he remained at Toulouse or in its vicinity acting as tutor while continuing his own studies. Brought to Marseilles for an inheritance, he was returning by sea in 1605 when Turkish pirates captured him and took him to Tunis. He was sold as a slave, but escaped in 1607 with his master, a renegade whom he converted. On returning to France he went to Avignon to the papal vice-legate, whom he followed to Rome to continue his studies. He was sent back to France in 1609, on a secret mission to Henry IV; he became almoner to the Queen Marguerite of Valois, and was provided with the little Abbey of Saint-Léonard-de-Chaume. At the request of M. de Berulle, founder of the Oratory, he took charge of the parish of Clichy near Paris, but several months later (1612) he entered the services of the Gondi, an illustrious French family, to educate the children of Philippe-Emmanuel de Gondi. He became the spiritual director of Mme de Gondi. With her assistance he began giving missions on her estates; but to escape the esteem of which he was the object he left the Gondi and with the approval of M. de Berulle had himself appointed curé of Chatillon-les-Dombes (Bresse), where he converted several Protestants and founded the first conference of charity for the assistance of the poor. He was recalled by the Gondi and returned to them (1617) five months later, resuming the peasant missions. Several learned Paris priests, won by his example, joined him. Nearly everywhere after each of these missions, a conference of charity was founded for the relief of the poor, notably at Joigny, Châlons, Mâcon, Trévoux, where they lasted until the Revolution.
After the poor of the country, Vincent's solicitude was directed towards the convicts in the galleys, who were subject to M. de Gondi as general of the galleys of France. Before being convoyed aboard the galleys or when illness compelled them to disembark, the condemned convicts were crowded with chains on their legs onto damp dungeons, their only food being black bread and water, while they were covered with vermin and ulcers. Their moral state was still more frightful than their physical misery. Vincent wished to ameliorate both. Assisted by a priest, he began visiting the galley convicts of Paris, speaking kind words to them, doing them every manner of service however repulsive. He thus won their hearts, converted many of them, and interested in their behalf several persons who came to visit them. A house was purchased where Vincent established a hospital. Soon appointed by Louis XIII royal almoner of the galleys, Vincent profited by this title to visit the galleys of Marseilles where the convicts were as unfortunate as at Paris; he lavished his care on them and also planned to build them a hospital; but this he could only do ten years later. Meanwhile, he gave on the galley of Bordeaux, as on those of Marseilles, a mission which was crowned with success (1625).
Congregation of the Mission
The good wrought everywhere by these missions together with the urging of Mme de Gondi decided Vincent to found his religious institute of priests vowed to the evangelization of country people--the Congregation of Priests of the Mission.
Experience had quickly revealed to St. Vincent that the good done by the missions in country places could not last unless there were priests to maintain it and these were lacking at that time in France. Since the Council of Trent the bishops had been endeavoring to found seminaries to form them, but these seminaries encountered many obstacles, the chief of which were the wars of religion. Of twenty founded not ten had survived till 1625. The general assembly of the French clergy expressed the wish that candidates for Holy Orders should only be admitted after some days of recollection and retreat. At the request of the Bishop of Beauvais, Potierdes Gesvres, Vincent undertook to attempt at Beauvais (September, 1628) the first of these retreats. According to his plan they comprised ascetic conferences and instructions on the knowledge of things most indispensable to priests. Their chief service was that they gave rise to the seminaries as these prevailed later in France. At first they lasted only ten days, but in extending them by degrees to fifteen or twenty days, then to one, two, or three months before each order, the bishops eventually prolonged the stay of their clerics to two or three years between philosophy and the priesthood and there were what were called seminaries d'ordinands and later grands seminaries, when lesser ones were founded. No one did more than Vincent towards this double creation. As early as 1635 he had establish a seminary at the Collége des Bons-Enfants. Assisted by Richelieu, who gave him 1000 crowns, he kept at Bons-Enfants only ecclesiastics studying theology (grand seminarie) and he founded besides Saint-Lazare for young clerics studying the humanities a lesser seminary called the Seminary of St. Charles (1642). He had sent some of his priests to the Bishop of Annecy (1641) to direct his seminary, and assisted the bishops to establish others in their dioceses by furnishing priests to direct them. At his death he had thus accepted the direction of eleven seminaries. Prior to the Revolution his congregation was directing in France fifty-three upper and nine lesser seminaries, that is a third of all in France.
The ecclesiastical conference completed the work of the seminaries. Since 1633 St. Vincent held one every Tuesday at Saint-Lazare at which assembled all the priests desirous of conferring in common concerning the virtues and the functions of their state. Among others Bossuet and Tronson took part. With the conferences, St. Vincent instituted at St-Lazare open retreats for laymen as well as priests. It is estimated that in the last twenty-five years of St. Vincent's life there came regularly more than 800 persons yearly, or more than 20,000 in all. these retreats contributed powerfully to infuse a Christian spirit among the masses, but they imposed heavy sacrifices on the house of St-Lazare. Nothing was demanded of the retreatants; when there was question of the good of souls Vincent thought little of expense. At the complaints of his brethren who desired that the admission of the retreatants should be made more difficult he consented one day to keep the door. Towards evening there had never been so many accepted and when the embarrassed brother came to inform him that there was no more room he merely replied "well, give mine".
Work for the poor
Vincent de Paul had established the Daughters of Charity almost at the same time as the exercises des ordinands. At first they were intended to assist the conferences of charity. When these conferences were established at Paris (1629) the ladies who joined them readily brought their alms and were willing to visit the poor, but it often happened that they did not know how to give them care which their conditions demanded and they sent their servants to do what was needful in their stead. Vincent conceived the idea of enlisting good young women for this service of the poor. They were first distributed singly in the various parishes where the conferences were established and they visited the poor with these ladies of the conferences or when necessary cared for them during their absence. In recruiting, forming, and directing these servants of the poor, Vincent found able assistance in Mlle Legras. When their number increased he grouped then into a community under her direction, coming himself every week to hold a conference suitable to their condition. (For further details see Sisters of Charity.) Besides the Daughters of Charity Vincent de Paul secured for the poor the services of the Ladies of Charity, at the request of the Archbishop of Paris. He grouped (1634) under this name some pious women who were determined to nurse the sick poor entering the Hotel-Dieu to the number of 20,000 or 25,000 annually; they also visited the prisons. Among them were as many as 200 ladies of the highest rank. After having drawn up their rule St. Vincent upheld and stimulated their charitable zeal. It was due to them that he was able to collect the enormous sums which he distributed in aid of all the unfortunates. Among the works, which their co-operation enabled him to undertake, that of the care of foundlings was one of the most important. Some of the foundlings at this period were deliberately deformed by miscreants anxious to exploit public pity. Others were received into a municipal asylum called "la couche", but often they were ill-treated or allowed to die of hunger. The Ladies of Charity began by purchasing twelve children drawn by lot. who were installed in a special house confided to the Daughters of Charity and four nurses. Thus years later the number of children reached 4000; their support cost 30,000 livres; soon with the increase in the number of children this reached 40,000 livres. With the assistance of a generous unknown who placed at his disposal the sum of 10,000 livres, Vincent founded the Hospice of the Name of Jesus, where forty old people of both sexes found a shelter and work suited to their condition. This is the present hospital of the uncurables. The same beneficence was extended to all the poor of Paris but the creation of the general hospital which was first thought of by several Ladies of Charity, such as the Duchesse d'Aiguillon. Vincent adopted the idea and did more than anyone for the realization of what has been called one of the greatest works of charity of the seventeenth century, the sheltering of 40,000 poor in an asylum where they would be given a useful work. In answer St. Vincent's appeal the gifts poured in. The king granted the lands of the Salpétriere for the erection of the hospital, with a capital of 50,000 liveres and an endowment of 3000; Cardinal Mazarin sent 100,000 livres as first gift, Président de Lamoignon 20,000 crowns, a lady of the Bullion family 60,000 livres. St. Vincent attached the Daughters of Charity to the work and supported it with all his strength.
St. Vincent's charity was not restricted to Paris, but reached to all the provinces desolated by misery. In that period of the Thirty Years War known as the French period, Lorraine, Trois-Evechés, Franche-Comté, and Champagne underwent for nearly a quarter of a century all the horrors and scourges which then more than ever war drew in its train. Vincent made urgent appeals to the Ladies of Charity; it has been estimated that at his reiterated requests he secured 12,000 livres equivalent to $60,000 in our time (1913). When the treasury was empty he again sought alms which he dispatched at once to the stricken districts. When contributions began to fail Vincent decided to print and sell the accounts sent him from those desolated districts; this met with great success, even developing a periodical newspaper called "Le magasin charitable". Vincent took advantage of it to fund in the ruined provinces the work of the potages économiques, the tradition of which still subsists in our modern economic kitchens. He himself compiled with minute care instructions concerning the manner of preparing these potages and the quantity of fat, butter, vegetables, and bread which should be used. He encouraged the foundation of societies undertaking to bury the dead and to clean away the dirt which was a permanent cause of plague. They were often headed by the missionaries and the Sisters of Charity. Through them also Vincent distributed to their land. At the same time, in order to remove them from the brutality of the soldiers, he brought to Paris 200 young women whom he endeavored to shelter in various convents. and numerous children whom he received at St-Lazare. He even founded a special organization for the relief of the nobility of Lorraine who had sought refuge in Paris. After the general peace he directed his solicitude and his alms to the Irish and English Catholics who had been driven from their country. All these benefits had rendered the name of Vincent de Paul popular in Paris and even at the Court. Richelieu sometimes received him and listened favorably to his requests; he assisted him in his first seminary foundations and established a house for his missionaries in the village of Richelieu. On his deathbed Louis XIII desired to be assisted by him: "Oh, Monsieur Vincent", said he, "if I am restored to health I shall appoint no bishops unless they have spent three years with you." His widow, Ann of Austria, made Vincent a member of the council of conscience charged with nominations to benefices. These honors did not alter Vincent's modesty and simplicity. He went to the Court only through necessity, in fitting but simple garb. He made no use of his influence save for the welfare of the poor and in the interest of the Church. Under Mazarin, when Paris rose at the time of the Fronde (1649) against the Regent, Anne of Austria, who was compelled to withdraw to St-Fermain-en-Laye, Vincent braved all dangers to go and implore her clemency in behalf of the people of Paris and boldly advised her to sacrifice at least for a time the cardinal minister in order to avoid the evils which the war threatened to bring on the people. He also remonstrated with Mazarin himself. His advice was not listened to. St. Vincent only redoubled his efforts to lessen the evils of the war in Paris. Through his care soup was distributed daily to 15,000 or 16,000 refugees or worthy and poor; 800 to 900 young women were sheltered; in the single parish of St. Paul the Sisters of Charity made and distributed soup every day to 500 poor, besides which they had to care for 60 to 80 sick. During this time Vincent, indifferent to dangers which he ran, multiplied letters and visits to the Court at St-Denis to win minds to peace and clemency; he even wrote a letter to the pope asking him to intervene and to interpose his mediation to hasten peace between the two parties. Jansenism also made evident his attachment to the Faith and the use to which he put his influences in its defense. When Duvergier de Hauranne, later celebrated as the Abbé de St-Cyran, came to Paris (about 1621), Vincent de Paul showed some interest in him as in a fellow countryman and a priest in whom he discerned learning and piety. But when he became better acquainted with the basis of his ideas concerning grace, far from being misled by them, he endeavored to arrest him in the path of error. When the "Augustinus" of Jansenius and "Frequent Communion" of Arnauld revealed the true ideas and opinions of the sect, Vincent set about combating; he persuaded the Bishop of Lavaur, Abra de Raconis, to write against them. In the Council of Conscience he opposed the admission to benefices of anyone who shared them, and joined the chancellor and the nuncio in seeking means to stay their progress. Stimulated by him some bishops at St-Lazare took the initiative in relating these errors to the pope. St. Vincent induced 85 bishops to request the condemnation of the five famous propositions, and persuaded Anne of Austria to write to the pope to hasten his decision. When the five propositions had been condemned by Innocent X (1655) and Alexander VII (1656), Vincent sought to have this sentence accepted by all. His zeal for the Faith, however, did not suffer him to forget his charity; he gave evidence in behalf of St-Cyran, whom Richelieu had imprisoned (1638), and is said to have assisted at his funeral. When Innocent X had announced his decision he went to the solitaries of Port-Royal to congratulate them on the intention they had previously manifested of submitting fully; he even begged preachers renowned for their anti-Jansenist zeal to avoid in their sermons all that might embitter their adversaries. The religious orders also benefited by the great influence of Vincent. Not only did he long act as director to the Sisters of the Visitation, founded by Francis de Sales, but he received at Paris the Religious of the Blessed Sacrament, supported the existence of the Daughters of the Cross (whose object was to teach girls in the country), and encouraged the reform of the Benedictines, Cistercians, Antonines, Augustinians, Premonstratensians, and the Congregation of Grandmont; and Cardinal de Rochefoucault, who was entrusted with the reform of the religious orders in France, called Vincent his right hand and obliged him to remain in the Council of Conscience.
Vincent's zeal and charity went beyond the boundaries of France. As early as 1638 he commissioned his priests to preach to the shepherds of the Roman Campagna; he had them give at Rome and Genoa the exercices des ordinands and preach missions on Savoy and Piedmont. He sent others to Ireland, Scotland, the Hebrides, Poland, and Madagascar (1648-60). Of all the works carried on abroad none perhaps interested him so much as the poor slaves of Barbary, whose lot he had once shared. These were from 25,000 to 30,000 of these unfortunates divided chiefly between Tunis, Algiers, and Bizaerta. Christians for the most part, they had been carried off from their families by the Turkish corsairs. They were treated as veritable beasts of burden, condemned to frightful labour, without any corporal or spiritual care. Vincent left nothing undone to send them aid as early as 1645 he sent among them a priest and a brother, who were followed by others. Vincent even had one of these invested with the dignity of consul in order that he might work more efficaciously for the slaves. They gave frequent missions to them, and assured them the services of religion. At the same time they acted as agents with their families, and were able to free some of them. Up to the time of St. Vincent's death these missionaries had ransomed 1200 slaves, and they had expended 1,200,000 liveres in behalf of the slaves of Barbary, not to mention the affronts and persecutions of all kinds which they themselves had endured from the Turks. This exterior life so fruitful in works had its source in a profound spirit of religion and in an interior life of wonderful intensity. He was singularly faithful to the duties of his state, careful to obey the suggestions of faith and piety, devoted to prayer, meditation, and all religious and ascetic exercises. Of practical and prudent mind, he left nothing to chance; his distrust of himself was equalled only by his trust in Providence; when he founded the Congregation of the Mission and the Sisters of Charity he refrained from giving them fixed constitutions beforehand; it was only after tentatives, trials, and long experience that he resolved in the last years of his life to give them definitive rules. His zeal for souls knew no limit; all occasions were to him opportunities to exercise it. When he died the poor of Paris lost their best friend and humanity a benefactor unsurpassed in modern times.
Forty years later (1705) the Superior-General of the Lazarists requested that the process of his canonization might be instituted. Many bishops, among them Bossuet, Fénelon, Fléchier, and Cardinal de Noailles, supported the request. On 13 August, 1729, Vincent was declared Blessed by Benedict XIII, and canonized by Clement XII on 16 June, 1737. In 1885 Leo XIII gave him as patron to the sisters of Charity. In the course of his long and busy life Vincent de Paul wrote a large number of letters, estimated at not less than 30,000. After his death the task of collecting them was begun; in the eighteenth century nearly 7000 had been gathered; many have since been lost. Those which remained were published rather incorrectly as "Lettres et conferérences de s. Vincent de Paul" (supplement, Paris, 1888); "Lettres inédites de saint Vincent de Paul" (Coste in"Revuede Gascogne", 1909, 1911); Lettres choisies de saint Vincent de Paul" (Paris, 1911); the total of letters thus published amounts to about 3200. There have also been collected and published the saint's "Conférences aux missionaires" (Paris, 1882) and "Conférences aux Filles de la Charite" (Paris, 1882). Text Source: The Catholic Encyclopedia - Image Source: Google Images

#BreakingNews US President Trump Officially Nominates Catholic Judge Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court - Full Text + Video


Remarks by President Trump Announcing His Nominee for Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
 LAW & JUSTICE

  Issued on: September 26, 2020


THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.  Thank you.  Thank you.  I stand before you today to fulfill one of my highest and most important duties under the United States Constitution: the nomination of a Supreme Court Justice.  (Applause.)  This is my third such nomination after Justice Gorsuch and Justice Kavanaugh.  And it is a very proud moment indeed.

Over the past week, our nation has mourned the loss of a true American legend.  Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a legal giant and a pioneer for women.  Her extraordinary life and legacy will inspire Americans for generations to come.

Now we gather in the Rose Garden to continue our never-ending task of ensuring equal justice and preserving the impartial rule of law.

Today, it is my honor to nominate one of our nation’s most brilliant and gifted legal minds to the Supreme Court.  She is a woman of unparalleled achievement, towering intellect, sterling credentials, and unyielding loyalty to the Constitution: Judge Amy Coney Barrett.  (Applause.)
(Video Below Starts at 4:50)

We’re also joined by Amy’s husband, Jesse — thank you, Jesse, very much — and their seven beautiful children.  Congratulations to you all.  A very special day.

With us as well are the First Lady — thank you, First Lady — (applause) — along with Vice President Mike Pence and his amazing wife, Karen.  Thank you very much, Mike.  (Applause.)

Judge Barrett is a graduate of Rhodes College and the University of Notre Dame Law School.  At Notre Dame, she earned a full academic scholarship, served as the Executive Editor of the Law Review, graduated first in her class, and received the law school’s award for the best record of scholarship and achievement.

Upon graduation, she became a clerk for Judge Laurence Silberman on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.  Amy then received one of the highest honors a young lawyer could have, serving as a clerk on the Supreme Court for Justice Antonin Scalia.  A highly — (applause) — a very highly respected law professor at Notre Dame wrote to Justice Scalia with a one-sentence recommendation: “Amy Coney is the best student I ever had.”  That’s pretty good.  (Laughter.)  Justice Scalia hired her shortly thereafter.

And we are honored to have his wonderful wife, Maureen — where is Maureen?  Maureen Scalia — with us today.  (Applause.)  Thank you.  And our great Secretary of Labor, thank you very much.  Thank you, Mr. Secretary.  (Applause.)  Very good genes in that family, I will say.  Very good genes.

Before joining the bench, Judge Barrett spent 15 years as a Professor at the University of Notre Dame Law School.  She was renowned for her scholarship, celebrated by her colleagues, and beloved by her students.  Three times, she was selected at Notre Dame, Distinguished Professor of the Year.

When I nominated Judge Barrett to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in 2017, every law clerk from her time at the Supreme Court endorsed her and endorsed her nomination, writing, quote, “We are Democrats, Republicans, and independents…yet we write to support the nomination of Professor Barrett to be a Circuit Judge…Professor Barrett is a woman of remarkable intellect and character.  She is eminently qualified for the job.”

And I can tell you, I did that too.  I looked and I studied, and you are very eminently qualified for this job.  You are going to be fantastic.  Thank you.  (Applause.)  Really fantastic.

The entire Notre Dame Law facility and faculty, everybody — everybody at that school also — we got so many letters — also wrote letters of support of Amy’s nomination to the Seventh Circuit.  They wrote, in effect: “Despite our differences, we unanimously agree that our constitutional system depends upon an independent judiciary staffed by talented people devoted to the fair and impartial administration of the rule of law.  And we unanimously agree that Amy is such a person.”

For the last three years, Judge Barrett has served with immense distinction on the federal bench.  Amy is more than a stellar scholar and judge; she is also a profoundly devoted mother.  Her family is a core part of who Amy is.  She opened her home and her heart, and adopted two beautiful children from Haiti.  Her incredible bond with her youngest child, a son with Down Syndrome, is a true inspiration.

If confirmed, Justice Barrett will make history as the first mother of school-aged children ever to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.  That’s good.  (Applause.)

To her children Emma, Vivian, Tess, John Peter, Liam, Juliet, and Benjamin, thank you for sharing your incredible mom with our country.  Thank you very much.  (Applause.)

Amy Coney Barrett will decide cases based on the text of the Constitution as written.  As Amy has said, “Being a judge takes courage.  You are not there to decide cases as you may prefer.  You are there to do your duty and to follow the law wherever it may take you.”  That is exactly what Judge Barrett will do on the U.S. Supreme Court.

I want to thank the members of the Senate.  We have so many of them here today.  Thank you very much.  I see you in the audience, and you’re so proud.  But I want to thank you for your commitment and to providing a fair and timely hearing.  I know it will be that.

Judge Barrett was confirmed to the Circuit Court three years ago by a bipartisan vote.  Her qualifications are unsurpassed — unsurpassed — and her record is beyond reproach.  This should be a straightforward and prompt confirmation.  It should be very easy.  Good luck.  (Laughter.)  It’s going to be very quick.  I’m sure it’ll be extremely non-controversial.  We said that the last time, didn’t we?  Well, thank you all very much, and thank you for being here.  That’s really great.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

I further urge all members of the other side of the aisle to provide Judge Barrett with the respectful and dignified hearing that she deserves and, frankly, that our country deserves.  I urge lawmakers and members of the media to refrain from personal or partisan attacks.

And the stakes for our country are incredibly high.  Rulings that the Supreme Court will issue in the coming years will decide the survival of our Second Amendment, our religious liberty, our public safety, and so much more.

To maintain security, liberty, and prosperity, we must preserve our priceless heritage of a nation of laws, and there is no one better to do that than Amy Coney Barrett.

Law and order is the foundation of the American system of justice.  No matter the issue, no matter the case before her, I am supremely confident that Judge Barrett will issue rulings based solely upon a fair reading of the law.  She will defend the sacred principle of equal justice for citizens of every race, color, religion, and creed.

Congratulations again to Judge Barrett.  I know that you will make our country very, very proud.
Please, Amy, say a few words.  Thank you very much.  Congratulations.  Congratulations.  (Applause.)

JUDGE BARRETT:  Thank you very much, Mr. President.  I am deeply honored by the confidence that you have placed in me.  And I am so grateful to you and the First Lady, to the Vice President and the Second Lady, and to so many others here for your kindness on this rather overwhelming occasion.

I fully understand that this is a momentous decision for a President.  And if the Senate does me the honor of confirming me, I pledge to discharge the responsibilities of this job to the very best of my ability.  I love the United States, and I love the United States Constitution.  I am truly — (applause) — I am truly humbled by the prospect of serving on the Supreme Court.

Should I be confirmed, I will be mindful of who came before me.  The flag of the United States is still flying at half-staff in memory of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to mark the end of a great American life.  Justice Ginsburg began her career at a time when women were not welcome in the legal profession.  But she not only broke glass ceilings, she smashed them.  For that, she has won the admiration of women across the country and, indeed, all over the world.  (Applause.)

She was a woman of enormous talent and consequence, and her life of public service serves as an example to us all.  Particularly poignant to me was her long and deep friendship with Justice Antonin Scalia, my own mentor.

Justices Scalia and Ginsburg disagreed fiercely in print without rancor in person.  Their ability to maintain a warm and rich friendship, despite their differences, even inspired an opera.  These two great Americans demonstrated that arguments, even about matters of great consequence, need not destroy affection.  In both my personal and professional relationships, I strive to meet that standard.

I was lucky enough to clerk for Justice Scalia, and given his incalculable influence on my life, I am very moved to have members of the Scalia family here today, including his dear wife, Maureen.

I clerked for Justice Scalia more than 20 years ago, but the lessons I learned still resonate.  His judicial philosophy is mine too: A judge must apply the law as written.  Judges are not policymakers, and they must be resolute in setting aside any policy views they might hold.  The President has asked me to become the ninth justice, and as it happens, I’m used to being in a group of nine: my family.  (Laughter.)

Our family includes me, my husband Jesse, Emma, Vivian, Tess, John Peter, Liam, Juliet, and Benjamin.  Vivian and John Peter, as the President said, were born in Haiti and they came to us, five years apart, when they were very young.  And the most revealing fact about Benjamin, our youngest, is that his brothers and sisters unreservedly identify him as their favorite sibling.

Our children obviously make our life very full.  While I am a judge, I’m better known back home as a room parent, carpool driver, and birthday party planner.  When schools went remote last spring, I tried on another hat.  Jesse and I became co-principals of the Barrett e-learning academy.  (Laughter.)  And, yes, the list of enrolled students was a very long one.

Our children are my greatest joy, even though they deprive me of any reasonable amount of sleep.  I couldn’t manage this very full life without the unwavering support of my husband, Jesse.  At the start of our marriage, I imagined that we would run our household as partners.  As it has turned out, Jesse does far more than his share of the work.  To my chagrin, I learned at dinner recently that my children consider him to be the better cook.  (Laughter.)

For 21 years, Jesse has asked me, every single morning, what he can do for me that day.  And though I almost always say “nothing,” he still finds ways to take things off my plate.  And that’s not because he has a lot of free time — he has a busy law practice — it’s because he is a superb and generous husband, and I am very fortunate.

Jesse and I — (applause) — Jesse and I have a life full of relationships, not only with our children, but with siblings, friends, and fearless babysitters, one of whom is with us today.  I am particularly grateful to my parents, Mike and Linda Coney.  I spent the bulk of — I have spent the bulk of my adulthood as a Midwesterner, but I grew up in their New Orleans home.  And as my brother and sisters can also attest, Mom and Dad’s generosity extends not only to us, but to more people than any of us could count.  They are an inspiration.

It is important at a moment like this to acknowledge family and friends.  But this evening, I also want to acknowledge you, my fellow Americans.  The President has nominated me to serve on the United States Supreme Court, and that institution belongs to all of us.

If confirmed, I would not assume that role for the sake of those in my own circle, and certainly not for my own sake.  I would assume this role to serve you.  I would discharge the judicial oath, which requires me to administer justice without respect to persons, do equal right to the poor and rich, and faithfully and impartially discharge my duties under the United States Constitution.

I have no illusions that the road ahead of me will be easy, either for the short term or the long haul.  I never imagined that I would find myself in this position.  But now that I am, I assure you that I will meet the challenge with both humility and courage.

Members of the United States Senate, I look forward to working with you during the confirmation process, and I will do my very best to demonstrate that I am worthy of your support.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Come on up, family.  Come on up, family.  I want to acknowledge Attorney General Bill Barr.  Bill, thank you very much for being here.  Chief of Staff — thank you very much, Chief.  You’re doing a great job.  And all of the senators — please, we really appreciate it.  And I know you’re going to have a busy couple of weeks, but I think it’s going to be easier than you might think.

So, thank you very much for being here.  Thank you all.  Thank you all very much.  Thank you.  Congratulations, Amy.
Source: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/remarks-president-trump-announcing-nominee-associate-justice-supreme-court-united-states/

Pope Francis Message to the UN "...our strife-ridden world needs the United Nations to become an ever more effective international workshop for peace." FULL TEXT


Address of His Holiness Pope Francis
to the Seventy-fifth Meeting of the General Assembly
of the United Nations
25 September 2020

“The Future We Want, the United Nations We Need:
Reaffirming our Joint Commitment through Multilateralism”

Mr. President,
Peace be with all of you!
I offer cordial greetings to you, Mr President, and to all the Delegations taking part in this significant Seventy-fifth Session of the United Nations’ General Assembly. In particular, I greet the Secretary General, Mr António Guterres, the participating Heads of State and Government, and all those who are following the General Debate.
The seventy-fifth anniversary of the United Nations offers me a fitting occasion to express once again the Holy See’s desire that this Organization increasingly serve as a sign of unity between States and an instrument of service to the entire human family.[1]
In these days, our world continues to be impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has led to the loss of so many lives. This crisis is changing our way of life, calling into question our economic, health and social systems, and exposing our human fragility.
The pandemic, indeed, calls us “to seize this time of trial as a time of choosing, a time to choose what matters and what passes away, a time to separate what is necessary from what is not”.[2] It can represent a concrete opportunity for conversion, for transformation, for rethinking our way of life and our economic and social systems, which are widening the gap between rich and poor based on an unjust distribution of resources. On the other hand, the pandemic can be the occasion for a “defensive retreat” into greater individualism and elitism.
We are faced, then, with a choice between two possible paths. One path leads to the consolidation of multilateralism as the expression of a renewed sense of global co-responsibility, a solidarity grounded in justice and the attainment of peace and unity within the human family, which is God’s plan for our world. The other path emphasizes self-sufficiency, nationalism, protectionism, individualism and isolation; it excludes the poor, the vulnerable and those dwelling on the peripheries of life. That path would certainly be detrimental to the whole community, causing self-inflicted wounds on everyone. It must not prevail.
The pandemic has highlighted the urgent need to promote public health and to make every person’s right to basic medical care a reality.[3] For this reason, I renew my appeal to political leaders and the private sector to spare no effort to ensure access to Covid-19 vaccines and to the essential technologies needed to care for the sick. If anyone should be given preference, let it be the poorest, the most vulnerable, those who so often experience discrimination because they have neither power nor economic resources.
The current crisis has also demonstrated that solidarity must not be an empty word or promise. It has also shown us the importance of avoiding every temptation to exceed our natural limits. “We have the freedom needed to limit and direct technology; we can put it at the service of another type of progress, one which is healthier, more human, more social, more integral”.[4] This also needs to be taken into careful consideration in discussions on the complex issue of artificial intelligence (AI).
Along these same lines, I think of the effects of the pandemic on employment, a sector already destabilized by a labour market driven by increasing uncertainty and widespread robotization. There is an urgent need to find new forms of work truly capable of fulfilling our human potential and affirming our dignity. In order to ensure dignified employment, there must be a change in the prevailing economic paradigm, which seeks only to expand companies’ profits. Offering jobs to more people should be one of the main objectives of every business, one of the criteria for the success of productive activity. Technological progress is valuable and necessary, provided that it serves to make people’s work more dignified and safe, less burdensome and stressful.
All this calls for a change of direction. To achieve this, we already possess the necessary cultural and technological resources, and social awareness. This change of direction will require, however, a more robust ethical framework capable of overcoming “today’s widespread and quietly growing culture of waste”.[5]
At the origin of this “throwaway culture” is a gross lack of respect for human dignity, the promotion of ideologies with reductive understandings of the human person, a denial of the universality of fundamental human rights, and a craving for absolute power and control that is widespread in today’s society. Let us name this for what it is: an attack against humanity itself.
It is in fact painful to see the number of fundamental human rights that in our day continue to be violated with impunity. The list of such violations is indeed lengthy, and offers us a frightening picture of a humanity abused, wounded, deprived of dignity, freedom and hope for the future. As part of this picture, religious believers continue to endure every kind of persecution, including genocide, because of their beliefs. We Christians too are victims of this: how many of our brothers and sisters throughout the world are suffering, forced at times to flee from their ancestral lands, cut off from their rich history and culture.
We should also admit that humanitarian crises have become the status quo, in which people’s right to life, liberty and personal security are not protected. Indeed, as shown by conflicts worldwide, the use of explosive weapons, especially in populated areas, is having a dramatic long-term humanitarian impact. Conventional weapons are becoming less and less “conventional” and more and more “weapons of mass destruction”, wreaking havoc on cities, schools, hospitals, religious sites, infrastructures and basic services needed by the population.
What is more, great numbers of people are being forced to leave their homes. Refugees, migrants and the internally displaced frequently find themselves abandoned in their countries of origin, transit and destination, deprived of any chance to better their situation in life and that of their families. Worse still, thousands are intercepted at sea and forcibly returned to detention camps, where they meet with torture and abuse. Many of these become victims of human trafficking, sexual slavery or forced labour, exploited in degrading jobs and denied a just wage. This is intolerable, yet intentionally ignored by many!
The numerous and significant international efforts to respond to these crises begin with great promise – here I think of the two Global Compacts on Refugees and on Migration – yet many lack the necessary political support to prove successful. Others fail because individual states shirk their responsibilities and commitments. All the same, the current crisis offers an opportunity for the United Nations to help build a more fraternal and compassionate society.
This includes reconsidering the role of economic and financial institutions, like that of Bretton-Woods, which must respond to the rapidly growing inequality between the super-rich and the permanently poor. An economic model that encourages subsidiarity, supports economic development at the local level and invests in education and infrastructure benefiting local communities, will lay the foundation not only for economic success but also for the renewal of the larger community and nation. Here I would renew my appeal that “in light of the present circumstances… all nations be enabled to meet the greatest needs of the moment through the reduction, if not the forgiveness, of the debt burdening the balance sheets of the poorest nations”.[6]
The international community ought to make every effort to put an end to economic injustices. “When multilateral credit organizations provide advice to various nations, it is important to keep in mind the lofty concepts of fiscal justice, the public budgets responsible for their indebtedness and, above all, an effective promotion of the poorest, which makes them protagonists in the social network”.[7] We have a responsibility to offer development assistance to poor nations and debt relief to highly indebted nations.[8]
“A new ethics presupposes being aware of the need for everyone to work together to close tax shelters, avoid evasions and money laundering that rob society, as well as to speak to nations about the importance of defending justice and the common good over the interests of the most powerful companies and multinationals”.[9] Now is a fitting time to renew the architecture of international finance.[10]
Mr. President,
Five years ago, I had the opportunity to address the General Assembly in person on its seventieth anniversary. My visit took place at a time marked by truly dynamic multilateralism. It was a moment of great hope and promise for the international community, on the eve of the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Some months later, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change was also adopted.
Yet we must honestly admit that, even though some progress has been made, the international community has shown itself largely incapable of honouring the promises made five years ago. I can only reiterate that “we must avoid every temptation to fall into a declarationist nominalism which would assuage our consciences. We need to ensure that our institutions are truly effective in the struggle against all these scourges”.[11]
I think of the alarming situation in the Amazon and its indigenous peoples. Here we see that the environmental crisis is inseparably linked to a social crisis, and that caring for the environment calls for an integrated approach to combatting poverty and exclusion.[12]
To be sure, the growth of an integral ecological sensitivity and the desire for action is a positive step. “We must not place the burden on the next generations to take on the problems caused by the previous ones… We must seriously ask ourselves if there is the political will to allocate with honesty, responsibility and courage, more human, financial and technological resources to mitigate the negative effects of climate change, as well as to help the poorest and most vulnerable populations who suffer from them the most”.[13]
The Holy See will continue to play its part. As a concrete sign of the Holy See’s commitment to care for our common home, I recently ratified the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol.[14]
Mr. President,
We cannot fail to acknowledge the devastating effects of the Covid-19 crisis on children, including unaccompanied young migrants and refugees. Violence against children, including the horrible scourge of child abuse and pornography, has also dramatically increased.
Millions of children are presently unable to return to school. In many parts of the world, this situation risks leading to an increase in child labour, exploitation, abuse and malnutrition. Sad to say, some countries and international institutions are also promoting abortion as one of the so-called “essential services” provided in the humanitarian response to the pandemic. It is troubling to see how simple and convenient it has become for some to deny the existence of a human life as a solution to problems that can and must be solved for both the mother and her unborn child.
I urge civil authorities to be especially attentive to children who are denied their fundamental rights and dignity, particularly their right to life and to schooling. I cannot help but think of the appeal of that courageous young woman, Malala Yousafzai, who speaking five years ago in the General Assembly, reminded us that “one child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world”.
The first teachers of every child are his or her mother and father, the family, which the Universal Declaration of Human Rights describes as the “natural and fundamental group unit of society”.[15] All too often, the family is the victim of forms of ideological colonialism that weaken it and end up producing in many of its members, especially the most vulnerable, the young and the elderly, a feeling of being orphaned and lacking roots. The breakdown of the family is reflected in the social fragmentation that hinders our efforts to confront common enemies. It is time that we reassess and recommit ourselves to achieving our goals.
One such goal is the advancement of women. This year marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Beijing Conference on Women. At every level of society, women now play an important role, offering their singular contribution and courageously promoting the common good. Many women, however, continue to be left behind: victims of slavery, trafficking, violence, exploitation and degrading treatment. To them, and to those who forced to live apart from their families, I express my fraternal closeness. At the same time, I appeal once more for greater determination and commitment in the fight against those heinous practices that debase not only women, but all humanity, which by its silence and lack of effective action becomes an accomplice in them.
Mr. President,
We must ask ourselves if the principal threats to peace and security – poverty, epidemics, terrorism and so many others – can be effectively be countered when the arms race, including nuclear weapons, continues to squander precious resources that could better be used to benefit the integral development of peoples and protect the natural environment.
We need to break with the present climate of distrust. At present, we are witnessing an erosion of multilateralism, which is all the more serious in light of the development of new forms of military technology,[16] such as lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS) which irreversibly alter the nature of warfare, detaching it further from human agency.
We need to dismantle the perverse logic that links personal and national security to the possession of weaponry. This logic serves only to increase the profits of the arms industry, while fostering a climate of distrust and fear between persons and peoples.
Nuclear deterrence, in particular, creates an ethos of fear based on the threat of mutual annihilation; in this way, it ends up poisoning relationships between peoples and obstructing dialogue.[17] That is why it is so important to support the principal international legal instruments on nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation and prohibition. The Holy See trusts that the forthcoming Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) will result in concrete action in accordance with our joint intention “to achieve at the earliest possible date the cessation of the nuclear arms race and to undertake effective measures in the direction of nuclear disarmament”.[18]
In addition, our strife-ridden world needs the United Nations to become an ever more effective international workshop for peace. This means that the members of the Security Council, especially the Permanent Members, must act with greater unity and determination. In this regard, the recent adoption of a global cease-fire during the present crisis is a very noble step, one that demands good will on the part of all for its continued implementation. Here I would also reiterate the importance of relaxing international sanctions that make it difficult for states to provide adequate support for their citizens.
Mr. President,
We never emerge from a crisis just as we were. We come out either better or worse. This is why, at this critical juncture, it is our duty to rethink the future of our common home and our common project. A complex task lies before us, one that requires a frank and coherent dialogue aimed at strengthening multilateralism and cooperation between states. The present crisis has further demonstrated the limits of our self-sufficiency as well as our common vulnerability. It has forced us to think clearly about how we want to emerge from this: either better or worse.
The pandemic has shown us that we cannot live without one another, or worse still, pitted against one another. The United Nations was established to bring nations together, to be a bridge between peoples. Let us make good use of this institution in order to transform the challenge that lies before us into an opportunity to build together, once more, the future we all desire.
God bless you all!
Thank you, Mr. President.

[3] Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 25.1.
[4] Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’, 112.
[6] Urbi et Orbi Message, 12 April 2020.
[7] Address to the Participants in the Seminar “New Forms of Solidarity”, 5 February 2020.
[8] Ibid.
[9] Ibid.
[10] Cf. ibid.
[12] Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’, 139.
[15] Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 16.3.
[16] Address on Nuclear Weapons, Atomic Bomb Hypocenter Park, Nagasaki, 24 November 2019.
[17] Ibid.
[18] Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, Preamble.

Canadian Bishops Conclude Online Plenary Assembly Discussing Aboriginal Issues, Protection of Minors from Abuse and Government Laws on Euthanasia


CCCB Virtual Plenary Assembly Draws to a Close
Friday, September 25 2020
Ottawa – The final day of the virtual Plenary Assembly of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) concluded with an update for Bishops on key initiatives for the Conference.

Bishops received an update on the activities of the four working committees established to implement the recommendations accepted by the Bishops of Canada and the National Council of Development and Peace – Caritas Canada (CCODP) following an organizational review of the latter conducted by Deloitte. Each working committee has established a work plan and objectives to be realized by the end of the year. To date, the activities of the committees involving four Bishops and staff from the CCCB, as well as members of the CCODP National Council and staff, has been marked by collaboration, authenticity and a joint commitment to achieve a stronger alignment between the Bishops of Canada and CCODP.

Bishops likewise received the conclusions of the final report of the CCODP-CCCB joint international partnership review. The next step is to present the conclusions of the final report to the CCODP National Council at their meeting in November 2020 with any further communication to follow when opportune.

The meeting concluded with a discussion on the status of two pieces of federal legislation tabled in the House of Commons prior to the prorogation of Parliament, notably former Bill C-7 An Act to amend the Criminal Code (medical assistance in dying) and former Bill C-8 An Act to amend the Criminal Code (conversion therapy). The Bishops will continue to monitor the status of these former Bills following the recent resumption of Parliament.

**********Day 4 Summary

 The Most Reverend Richard Gagnon, Archbishop of Winnipeg and President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) reconvened the fourth day of the week-long virtual Plenary Assembly.

The Conference’s ongoing commitment to the national pastoral priority to renew, strengthen and reconcile the relationship between the Church in Canada and First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples, was an important topic of discussion for the day’s gathering. Despite the delay in progress on some initiatives due to the health and safety restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Bishops continued to build upon a new momentum for open and ongoing dialogue, as well as pastoral outreach to Indigenous Peoples on many levels.

A portion of the agenda was likewise set aside to elect the leadership on the national and sectoral Commissions, Standing Committees, and the Canadian Catholic Indigenous Council.

********Day 3 Summary
On this third day of the virtual Plenary Assembly of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), the agenda was dedicated to the meetings of English Sector and French Sector Bishops allowing for discussion on liturgical, catechetical and other pastoral matters which are closely tied to language and culture.
The Most Reverend Raymond Poisson, Bishop of Saint-Jérôme and Mont-Laurier and CCCB Vice President, chaired the meeting of the French Sector Bishops while the Most Reverend Richard Gagnon, Archbishop of Winnipeg and CCCB President, chaired the meeting of the English Sector Bishops. Members of both Sectors received updates from the Chairs or members of various Commissions, committees, and Catholic organizations to which the CCCB is a member or is represented by a delegate.
********Day 2 Summary
The second day of the virtual Plenary Assembly of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB). Bishops from across the country gathered to discuss the most essential ecclesial and administrative matters for the Conference.
The discussions for the day focused on two priority matters, namely family and life as well as responsible ministry. Recognizing a growing pastoral need to accompany and work with diocesan/eparchial life and family networks in response to the changing realities of Canadian society, the Bishops had a constructive discussion about possible initiatives, resources and opportunities for collaboration in this important area of Church life. This is a major pastoral priority of the Bishops and which includes the institution of holy matrimony, youth and elderly, a culture of life, and a civilization of love.
Following the unanimous adoption by the Bishops of Canada in 2018 of  the CCCB guidelines Protecting Minors from Sexual Abuse: A Call to the Catholic Faithful for Healing, Reconciliation, and Transformationthe Bishops of Canada had agreed to establish a permanent Standing Committee for Responsible Ministry and the Protection of Minors and Vulnerable Adults to provide information, insights and recommendations to the CCCB regarding clergy sexual abuse, healing, and prevention. In 2020, the Standing Committee began its mandate to discern matters in support of the guidelines as well as to assist  the work of diocesan/eparchial advisory committees in fulfilling their responsibility to maintain safe pastoral environments and to promote healing for victims-survivors. During their 2020 Plenary Assembly, the Bishops discussed the work of the Standing Committee and its sub-committees. The Bishops continue to be very much engaged on this issue at various levels of the Church and are evermore committed to the protection of minors and vulnerable adults and the prevention of abuse.

A discussion of particular relevance to both Sectors focused on the adaptation of the 2016 document published by the Congregation for the Clergy entitled The Gift of the Priestly Vocation – Ratio Fundamentalis Insititutionis Sacerdotalis. The Ratio outlines the central elements and approach for the formation of future priests, with the understanding that Episcopal Conferences will make the necessary modifications to respond to the local context. Led by two ad hoc committees, the adaption of the document for Canada’s French and English seminaries continues to progress in a collaborative manner leading toward an eventual submission for recognition by the Congregation.
**********Day 1 Summary
Ottawa –The Most Reverend Richard Gagnon, Archbishop of Winnipeg and President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), opened the first ever virtual Plenary Assembly of the Bishops of Canada earlier today, welcoming more than 80 Bishops logging in from dioceses and eparchies across Canada. The Bishops, who are meeting by videoconference in light of the existing health and safety restrictions regarding COVID-19, are following a streamlined agenda to focus on the most essential ecclesial and administrative matters for the Conference.
As is the custom of each annual gathering, the assembly began with a message to the Holy Father and the Bishops were likewise joined by the Most Reverend Luigi Bonazzi, Apostolic Nuncio to Canada, who delivered greetings to all Bishops on behalf of Pope Francis.
The main topic of discussion for the day focused on the impacts of the Coronavirus in various regions across the country. Common to all of the interventions delivered was the recognition of the far-reaching effects of the pandemic on many aspects of Church life such as: suspending liturgical celebrations; caring for the elderly and vulnerable within parish communities; finding new ways to evangelize and gather in a digital environment; and addressing the financial challenges while mitigating the loss of diocesan/parish services to the communities served. As a result of some of the challenges faced, new forms of creativity have flourished. Many dioceses and parishes embraced a greater online presence to reach the faithful of their communities. This adaptation likewise prompted an examination of how the Church in Canada can benefit from technology but ensure it is not seen as a replacement for the life-giving community experience of the liturgy and the sacraments in person. The pandemic has also served as an opportunity to discuss the role of faith in society and how the Bishops of Canada, along with other religious leaders, can work together with local and provincial officials to show its importance as an essential component of society at all times, but especially in moments of crisis.
Text Releases from the CCCB on the Plenary Assembly

Cardinal Angelo Becciu Resigns, by Request of the Pope, after Implication in Financial Scandal but He Maintains Innocence


The Vatican reported that on Thursday 24 September,  2020, the Holy Father accepted the resignation from the office of Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints and from the rights connected to the Cardinalate, presented by His Eminence Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu.

However, according to Rome Reports, Card. Angelo Becciu denies having committed any crime and denies having attempted to increase his family's wealth.

The Cardinal said, “Yesterday until 6:02 p.m., I felt like a friend of the pope, a loyal person who carried out the pope's orders. However, he spoke to me and said he no longer trusts me. He no longer trusts me because the magistrates told him I committed the crime of embezzlement.”

During a meeting, Pope Francis explained the accusations against him and asked the cardinal to resign.

Becciu explained, “He said that when I was Substitute at the Secretariat of State, I authorized a donation of about $116,000 to Caritas at the diocese of Ozieri, and that supposedly, those $116,000 were transferred to an association my brother runs. In other words, he said I used those funds for a different end that favored my brother.”

This was for a project to create jobs in one of Italy's poorest areas.

He denies that the money went toward his brother and explains that the diocese hasn't used it yet.

“I don't know if it's a conflict of interests. Yes, of course it would have been better if I hadn't donated the money, but I did it to help the diocese, not my brother. Those $116,000 belonged to the diocese. I will let the Holy Father be the judge of all this. I hope that sooner or later he will realize that there's been a huge mistake”, said Becciu.

Technically, Angelo Becciu is still a cardinal, but he's lost certain rights and responsibilities.


Quote to SHARE by St. Francis de Sales - "Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset."

"Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset."
 by Saint Francis de Sales