Friday, January 29, 2021

Holy Mass Online - Readings and Video : Saturday, January 30, 2021 - #Eucharist in Your Virtual Church

 Saturday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 322
Reading I
Heb 11:1-2, 8-19
Brothers and sisters:
Faith is the realization of what is hoped for 
and evidence of things not seen.
Because of it the ancients were well attested. 
By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place
that he was to receive as an inheritance; 
he went out, not knowing where he was to go.
By faith he sojourned in the promised land as in a foreign country,
dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs of the same promise; 
for he was looking forward to the city with foundations, 
whose architect and maker is God.
By faith he received power to generate, 
even though he was past the normal age
and Sarah herself was sterile 
for he thought that the one who had made the promise was trustworthy.

 So it was that there came forth from one man,
himself as good as dead, 
descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky 
and as countless as the sands on the seashore.
All these died in faith.
They did not receive what had been promised 
but saw it and greeted it from afar 
and acknowledged themselves to be strangers and aliens on earth, 
for those who speak thus show that they are seeking a homeland.
If they had been thinking of the land from which they had come, 
they would have had opportunity to return.
But now they desire a better homeland, a heavenly one.
Therefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God, 
for he has prepared a city for them.
By faith Abraham, when put to the test, offered up Isaac, 
and he who had received the promises was ready to offer his only son, 
of whom it was said,
Through Isaac descendants shall bear your name.
He reasoned that God was able to raise even from the dead, 
and he received Isaac back as a symbol. 
Responsorial Psalm
Luke 1:69-70, 71-72, 73-75
R. (see 68) Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel; he has come to his people.
He has raised up for us a mighty savior,
born of the house of his servant David.
R. Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel; he has come to his people.
Through his holy prophets he promised of old.
that he would save us from our sins
from the hands of all who hate us.
He promised to show mercy to our fathers
and to remember his holy covenant.
R. Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel; he has come to his people.
This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham:
to set us free from the bonds of our enemies,
free to worship him without fear,
holy and righteous in his sight
all the days of our life.
R. Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel; he has come to his people.
Jn 3:16
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might have eternal life.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Mk 4:35-41
On that day, as evening drew on, Jesus said to his disciples:
“Let us cross to the other side.”
Leaving the crowd, they took Jesus with them in the boat just as he was.
And other boats were with him.
A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat,
so that it was already filling up.
Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion.
They woke him and said to him,
“Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”
He woke up,
rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Quiet! Be still!”
The wind ceased and there was great calm.
Then he asked them, “Why are you terrified?
Do you not yet have faith?”
They were filled with great awe and said to one another,
“Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?”
 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 January 30 : St. Hyacintha of Mariscotti a Virgin Devoted to the Mother of God - 3rd Order Franciscan and Foundress of the Sacconi

1585, Vignanello, Italy

30 January 1640, Viterbo
1807 by Pope Pius VII

A religious of the Third Order of St. Francis and foundress of the Sacconi; born 1585 of a noble family at Vignanello, near Viterbo in Italy; died 30 January, 1640, at Viterbo; feast, 30 January; in Rome, 6 February (Diarium Romanum). Her parents were Marc' Antonio Mariscotti (Marius Scotus) and Ottavia Orsini. At Baptism she received the name Clarice and in early youth was remarkable for piety, but, as she grew older, she became frivolous, and showed a worldly disposition, which not even the almost miraculous saving of her life at the age of seventeen could change; neither was her frivolity checked by her education at the Convent of St. Bernardine at Viterbo, where an older sister had taken the veil. At the age of twenty she set her heart upon marriage with the Marquess Cassizucchi, but was passed by in favour of a younger sister. She was sadly disappointed, became morose, and at last joined the community at St. Bernardine, receiving the name Hyacintha. 
But, as she told her father, she did this only to hide her chagrin and not to give up the luxuries of the world; and she asked him to furnish her apartments with every comfort. She kept her own kitchen, wore a habit of the finest material, received and paid visits at pleasure.
For ten years she continued this kind of life, so contrary to the spirit of her vows and such a source of scandal to the community. By the special protection of God, she retained a lively faith, was regular in her devotions, remained pure, always showed a great respect for the mysteries of religion, and had a tender devotion to the Blessed Virgin. At length she was touched by God's grace, and the earnest exhortations of her confessor at the time of serious illness made her see the folly of the past and brought about a complete change in her life. She made a public confession of her faults in the refectory, discarded her costly garments, wore an old habit, went barefoot, frequently fasted on bread and water, chastised her body by vigils and severe scourging, and practised mortifications to such an extent that the decree of canonization considers the preservation of her life a continued miracle. She increased her devotion to the Mother of God, to the Holy Infant Jesus, to the Blessed Eucharist, and to the sufferings of Christ. She worked numerous miracles, had the gifts of prophecy and of discerning the secret thoughts of others. She was also favoured by heavenly ecstacies and raptures. During an epidemic that raged in Viterbo she showed heroic charity in nursing the sick. She established two confraternities, whose members were called Oblates of Mary or Sacconi. One of these, similar to our Society of St. Vincent de Paul, gathered alms for the convalescent, for the poor who were ashamed to beg, and for the care of prisoners; the other procured homes for the aged. Though now leading a life so pure and holy, Hyacintha always conceived the greatest contempt for herself. At her death great sorrow was felt at Viterbo and crowds flocked to her funeral. She was beatified by Pope Benedict XIII in 1726, and canonized 14 May, 1807, by Pius VII.

(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)

March for Life Closing Mass Homily by Archbishop Lori “The Eucharist unites and strengthens us in our efforts to secure justice for the unborn..." + FULL Video

Homily during the closing Mass of the National Prayer Vigil for Life at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC Jan. 29, 2021. 

Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore; the chairman-elect of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities.

“The Eucharist unites and strengthens us in our efforts to secure justice for the unborn, and to create a culture wherein every human life is cherished, nurtured and protected from the moment of conception until natural death,” said Archbishop Lori.

(Watch the FULL Mass below - starts at 17:30 mark)


 “All these extraordinary efforts, in the midst of this pandemic, testify to the importance of anchoring our pro-life mission in the Eucharist.” 

“Eucharistic adoration followed by the celebration of Holy Mass is like a school that forms and equips us to place our humanity at the service of the least of these, the tiniest of human beings and the most vulnerable of all,” the archbishop said.

“We might be tempted to say, ‘St. Paul, are you kidding? Have you seen the executive order rescinding the Mexico City policy? Do you know that the cancel culture portrays pro-life advocacy as hate speech?'” he said.

“Friends, I’d suggest that we give St. Paul more credit than that,” Archbishop Lori added. “His encouragement should be ringing in our ears as we march for life — if only virtually.”

Anxiety, he said, “betokens a lack of trust in the Lord and his providential love. It suggests that we are in charge, more like independent contractors than disciples. Anxiety frays our relationships with others, including our pro-life partners, and corrodes that unity so necessary if the pro-life cause is to succeed.

“Anxiety incites us to engage in behaviors counterproductive to the cause of life, and, worst of all, it hinders us from discerning the Lord’s will amid the challenges we face.”

God has not abandoned anyone, Archbishop Lori said, but “remains with us, most especially in the Eucharist, and he continues to exercise the power of his love in our midst to this very day. That very fact should not only console us but also embolden us to pray and work for the cause of life perhaps as never before.”

The Roman Empire of Paul’ s time was “right in the midst of a culture filled with idols and decadent living” but contained “signs and indicators of God’s own truth and love,” Archbishop Lori said. “Similar signs and indicators of God’s truth and love exist in our culture.”

He added, “Our culture gives a lot of credibility to science. Well, science attests to the humanity of the unborn child, psychology attests to the interior pain often associated with procured abortions, while almost everyone has a soft spot in their hearts for a newborn child.”

“Make no mistake: We do not manufacture the peace of Christ. … The peace of Christ is not a mere good feeling, but is rather the amazing experience of a love that is stronger than sin and death.”

“Our mission,” he said, “is not to preach to ourselves but to connect with and speak persuasively to those who have not yet understood the truth, justice, and love of our cause,” he continued. “Our mission is to reach those who are searching, because at some level, they understand the stunningly beautiful truth about the inviolable dignity of each human being.”

Image Source: Screen shot from Youtube channel of the National Shrine

Quotes from homily from CNS

US Bishops Statement “It is grievous that one of President Biden’s first official acts actively promotes the destruction of human lives..." on Promotion of Abortion - FULL TEXT

 Bishops Decry Executive Order that Promotes Abortion Overseas

JANUARY 28, 2021

WASHINGTON – Today, President Joe Biden signed an executive order allowing U.S. taxpayer funds to be sent to organizations that both promote and provide abortions in developing countries. The policy which he overturned, known as both the Mexico City and the Promoting Life in Global Health policy, had separated abortion from family planning activities and ensured U.S. taxpayer dollars only went to organizations that agreed to provide health services in a way that respected the dignity of all persons.

Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas, and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities and Bishop David J. Malloy of Rockford, and chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace, responded:

“It is grievous that one of President Biden’s first official acts actively promotes the destruction of human lives in developing nations. This Executive Order is antithetical to reason, violates human dignity, and is incompatible with Catholic teaching. We and our brother bishops strongly oppose this action. We urge the President to use his office for good, prioritizing the most vulnerable, including unborn children. As the largest non-government health care provider in the world, the Catholic Church stands ready to work with him and his administration to promote global women’s health in a manner that furthers integral human development, safeguarding innate human rights and the dignity of every human life, beginning in the womb. To serve our brothers and sisters with respect, it is imperative that care begin with ensuring that the unborn are free from violence, recognizing every person as a child of God. We hope the new administration will work with us to meet these significant needs.”

Source: FULL TEXT Official Release USCCB

Free Christian Movie : St. Paul the Apostle

Paul persecutes Christians before being converted and assuming leadership of the Church and struggle against violent opposition to the teachings of Christ and their own personal conflicts. (Video from Gloria Tv below)

200 US House Republicans Write Letter that they Oppose Plans to Force Taxpayers to Fund Abortions

200 House Republicans in Congress told House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday, January 26, 2021 that they oppose her plans to force taxpayers to fund abortions.
The Republican lawmakers are calling for the continuation of the Hyde Amendment in a letter to Pelosi and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer.
The US Bishops' Conference released a statement saying that a removal of the Hyde Amendment would be "a move which is immoral, impractical, and may also be unlawful.” (
“We pledge to vote against any government funding bill that eliminates or weakens the Hyde Amendment or other current-law, pro-life appropriations provisions,” they wrote.
According to Life News, The Hyde Amendment, which has been in place since 1976, prohibits taxpayer funding for abortions in Medicaid and other federal programs. It has saved an estimated 2.4 million babies from abortions, including about 60,000 each year, according to the Charlotte Lozier Institute.
“Repealing these pro-life provisions would destroy nearly half a century of bipartisan consensus,” the Republicans’ letter continues. “Each year since 1976, Congress has included Hyde protections in annually enacted appropriations. No president in American history has ever vetoed an appropriations bill due to its inclusion of the Hyde Amendment.”
For decades, the Hyde Amendment had strong bipartisan support. 
“Millions of Americans do not want their hard-earned money used to pay for abortions,” Banks said in a statement. “My colleagues and I demand congressional leaders protect the ban on taxpayer-funded abortions and save the Hyde Amendment.”
If Democrats end the Hyde Amendment, Americans could be forced to pay for thousands of elective abortions annually through Medicaid as well as through insurance to Peace Corps volunteers, federal workers and military members. Currently, the amendment prohibits taxpayer funding for abortions except in cases of rape, incest or risks to the mother’s life. (Edited from LifeNews, USCCB and Twitter)


Pope Francis says "Today too Jesus needs hearts capable of experiencing vocation as a true love story that urges them to go forth to the peripheries of our world..." FULL TEXT for World Mission Day

“We cannot but speak about what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20)

 Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Once we experience the power of God’s love, and recognize his fatherly presence in our personal and community life, we cannot help but proclaim and share what we have seen and heard. Jesus’ relationship with his disciples and his humanity, as revealed to us in the mystery of his Incarnation, Gospel and Paschal Mystery, shows us the extent to which God loves our humanity and makes his own our joys and sufferings, our hopes and our concerns (cf. Gaudium et Spes, 22). Everything about Christ reminds us that he knows well our world and its need for redemption, and calls us to become actively engaged in this mission: “Go therefore to the highways and byways, and invite everyone you find” (Mt 22:9). No one is excluded, no one need feel distant or removed from this compassionate love.

The experience of the Apostles

The history of evangelization began with the Lord’s own passionate desire to call and enter into friendly dialogue with everyone, just as they are (cf. Jn 15:12-17). The Apostles are the first to tell us this; they remembered even the day and the hour when they first met him: “It was about four o’clock in the afternoon” (Jn 1:39). Experiencing the Lord’s friendship, watching him cure the sick, dine with sinners, feed the hungry, draw near to the outcast, touch the unclean, identify with the needy, propose the Beatitudes and teach in a new and authoritative way, left an indelible mark on them, awakening amazement, expansive joy and a profound sense of gratitude. The prophet Jeremiah describes this experience as one of a consuming awareness of the Lord’s active presence in our heart, impelling us to mission, regardless of the sacrifices and misunderstandings it may entail (cf. 20:7-9). Love is always on the move, and inspires us to share a wonderful and hope-filled message: “We have found the Messiah” (Jn 1:41).

With Jesus, we too have seen, heard and experienced that things can be different. Even now, he has inaugurated future times, reminding us of an often forgotten dimension of our humanity, namely, that “we were created for a fulfilment that can only be found in love” (Fratelli Tutti, 68). A future that awakens a faith capable of inspiring new initiatives and shaping communities of men and women who, by learning to accept their own frailty and that of others, promote fraternity and social friendship (cf. ibid., 67). The ecclesial community reveals its splendour whenever it recalls with gratitude that the Lord loved us first (cf. 1 Jn 4:19). “The loving predilection of the Lord surprises us, and surprise by its very nature cannot be owned or imposed by us… Only in this way can the miracle of gratuitousness, the gratuitous gift of self, blossom. Nor can missionary fervour ever be obtained as a result of reasoning or calculation. To be ‘in a state of mission’ is a reflection of gratitude” (Message to the Pontifical Mission Societies, 21 May 2020).

Even so, things were not always easy. The first Christians began the life of faith amid hostility and hardship. Experiences of marginalization and imprisonment combined with internal and external struggles that seemed to contradict and even negate what they had seen and heard. Yet, rather than a difficulty or an obstacle leading them to step back or close in on themselves, those experiences impelled them to turn problems, conflicts and difficulties into opportunities for mission. Limitations and obstacles became a privileged occasion for anointing everything and everyone with the Spirit of the Lord.  Nothing and no one was to be excluded from the message of liberation.

We have a vivid testimony to all this in the Acts of the Apostles, a book which missionary disciples always have within easy reach. There we read how the fragrance of the Gospel spread as it was preached, awakening the joy that the Spirit alone can bestow. The Book of Acts teaches us to endure hardship by clinging firmly to Christ, in order to grow in the “conviction that God is able to act in any circumstance, even amid apparent setbacks” and in the certainty that “all those who entrust themselves to God will bear good fruit” (Evangelii Gaudium, 279).

The same holds true for us: our own times are not easy. The pandemic has brought to the fore and amplified the pain, the solitude, the poverty and the injustices experienced by so many people. It has unmasked our false sense of security and revealed the brokenness and polarization quietly growing in our midst. Those who are most frail and vulnerable have come to feel even more so. We have experienced discouragement, disillusionment and fatigue; nor have we been immune from a growing negativity that stifles hope. For our part, however, “we do not proclaim ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake” (2 Cor 4:5). As a result, in our communities and in our families, we can hear the powerful message of life that echoes in our hearts and proclaims: “He is not here, but has risen (Lk 24:6)! This message of hope shatters every form of determinism and, to those who let themselves be touched by it, bestows the freedom and boldness needed to rise up and seek with creativity every possible way to show compassion, the “sacramental” of God’s closeness to us, a closeness that abandons no one along the side of the road.

In these days of pandemic, when there is a temptation to disguise and justify indifference and apathy in the name of healthy social distancing, there is urgent need for the mission of compassion, which can make that necessary distancing an opportunity for encounter, care and promotion. “What we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20), the mercy we have experienced, can thus become a point of reference and a source of credibility, enabling us to recover a shared passion for building “a community of belonging and solidarity worthy of our time, our energy and our resources (Fratelli Tutti, 36). The Lord’s word daily rescues and saves us from the excuses that can plunge us into the worst kind of skepticism: “Nothing changes, everything stays the same”. To those who wonder why they should give up their security, comforts and pleasures if they can see no important result, our answer will always remain the same: “Jesus Christ has triumphed over sin and death and is now almighty. Jesus Christ is truly alive” (Evangelii Gaudium, 275) and wants us to be alive, fraternal, and capable of cherishing and sharing this message of hope. In our present circumstances, there is an urgent need for missionaries of hope who, anointed by the Lord, can provide a prophetic reminder that no one is saved by himself.

Like the Apostles and the first Christians, we too can say with complete conviction: “We cannot but speak about what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20). Everything we have received from the Lord is meant to be put to good use and freely shared with others. Just as the Apostles saw, heard and touched the saving power of Jesus (cf. 1 Jn 1:1-4), we too can daily touch the sorrowful and glorious flesh of Christ. There we can find the courage to share with everyone we meet a destiny of hope, the sure knowledge that the Lord is ever at our side. As Christians, we cannot keep the Lord to ourselves: the Church’s evangelizing mission finds outward fulfilment in the transformation of our world and in the care of creation.

An invitation to each of us

The theme of this year’s World Mission Day – “We cannot but speak about what we have seen and heard” (Acts 4:20), is a summons to each of us to “own” and to bring to others what we bear in our hearts. This mission has always been the hallmark of the Church, for “she exists to evangelize” (SAINT PAUL VI, Evangelii Nuntiandi, 14). Our life of faith grows weak, loses its prophetic power and its ability to awaken amazement and gratitude when we become isolated and withdraw into little groups. By its very nature, the life of faith calls for a growing openness to embracing everyone, everywhere. The first Christians, far from yielding to the temptation to become an elite group, were inspired by the Lord and his offer of new life to go out among the nations and to bear witness to what they had seen and heard: the good news that the Kingdom of God is at hand. They did so with the generosity, gratitude and nobility typical of those who sow seeds in the knowledge that others will enjoy the fruit of their efforts and sacrifice. I like to think that “even those who are most frail, limited and troubled can be missionaries in their own way, for goodness can always be shared, even if it exists alongside many limitations” (Christus Vivit, 239).

On World Mission Day, which we celebrate each year on the penultimate Sunday of October, we recall with gratitude all those men and women who by their testimony of life help us to renew our baptismal commitment to be generous and joyful apostles of the Gospel. Let us remember especially all those who resolutely set out, leaving home and family behind, to bring the Gospel to all those places and people athirst for its saving message.

Contemplating their missionary witness, we are inspired to be courageous ourselves and to beg “the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest” (Lk 10:2). We know that the call to mission is not a thing of the past, or a romantic leftover from earlier times. Today too Jesus needs hearts capable of experiencing vocation as a true love story that urges them to go forth to the peripheries of our world as messengers and agents of compassion. He addresses this call to everyone, and in different ways. We can think of the peripheries all around us, in the heart of our cities or our own families. Universal openness to love has a dimension that is not geographical but existential. Always, but especially in these times of pandemic, it is important to grow in our daily ability to widen our circle, to reach out to others who, albeit physically close to us, are not immediately part of our “circle of interests” (cf. Fratelli Tutti, 97). To be on mission is to be willing to think as Christ does, to believe with him that those around us are also my brothers and sisters. May his compassionate love touch our hearts and make us all true missionary disciples.

May Mary, the first missionary disciple, increase in all the baptized the desire to be salt and light in our lands (cf. Mt 5:13-14).

Rome, Saint John Lateran, 6 January 2021, Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord.



FULL TEXT Official Translation Source:

Pro-Life Victory as Poland's Abortion Ban of Disabled Unborn Babies to Come into Effect

 Pro-life “victory” as Poland implements abortion ban to “protect vulnerable disabled babies”

Poland’s abortion ban which “protects vulnerable disabled babies” is expected to come into effect imminently. 

Three months ago, in October, Poland’s top court ruled that abortion in the case of disability is unconstitutional and that unborn children with a foetal anomaly must be protected.

The Polish Government has now announced that “the ruling will be published in the journal of laws” and that decision to protect disabled babies will come into effect imminently.

Once the ruling comes into effect, almost all abortion in Poland will be banned. Abortion will only be permissible in cases of rape or if the mother’s life is thought to be at risk.

It is reported that these circumstances will make up only 2% of abortions.

The country will have some of the most pro-life laws in Europe.

SPUC stood in solidarity with Poland last October after its pro-life court ruling sparked pro-abortion protests.

In a huge outpouring of support for Poland’s unborn babies, over 2,500 SPUC supporters from throughout the UK added their names to a message calling on the Polish Government to stand firm in upholding the right to life of unborn disabled babies.

Michael Robinson, SPUC Director of Communications said: 

“Poland stands alone in the western world as a country prepared to uphold the right to life of unborn disabled babies.

“Poland is a world leader in human rights for the unborn, and we look to them to give a lead to the rest of the world in opposing abortion for the weakest and the most vulnerable human beings, unborn disabled babies.”

Edited from Source: SPUC - Society for the Protection of Unborn Children UK

Image Source: 

Pope Francis says "We all have the same goal: to build a fairer and more fraternal world." to Associations for Help and Fraternity - FULL TEXT



In 1961, the bishops of Belgium took the initiative to launch a “Share Lent” campaign and invited Catholics to share their resources in favor of the Congo, which had become independent. They founded your association for this purpose and called it Entraide et Fraternit√© . You have been preparing and organizing Share Lent in Belgium for sixty years; since then you have extended your field of action to countries all over the world. In 1971, the bishops launched the Action Vivre ensemble , to organize the Advent campaign and come to the aid of associations which fight against poverty in Belgium itself. Your associations have as a priority field of action the support of the social activity of partners both from the South of the world and from Belgium.

I congratulate your two organizations for their fidelity in the accomplishment of their mission and I thank from the bottom of my heart all those who commit themselves as volunteers, as professionals or as benefactors.

The challenges that lie ahead are compounded by the COVID-19 crisis that is affecting the whole world but more terribly the poorest and most left behind. It is therefore, more than ever, a question of continuing the action undertaken and of developing it. I therefore wholeheartedly encourage your teams of Mutual Aid and Fraternity and of the Living Together Action , as well as the many volunteers who support your action in parishes and within civil society; I encourage your partners who fight day by day against unacceptable poverty, as well as the donors who support you through financial sharing. We all have the same goal: to build a fairer and more fraternal world.

I cordially send you the Apostolic Blessing and my encouragement to tirelessly pursue your commitment on the path of social friendship and fraternity, with the grace of Christ, the Good Samaritan par excellence! And don't forget to pray for me and for the Church all over the world.

From the Vatican, January 8, 2021


 Source: - Unofficial Translation from French

Pope Francis Tells Judges "May the Holy Spirit, whom you invoke before any decision to be made on the truth of marriage...judges must pray a lot!"



Sala Clementina
Friday, January 29, 2021

Dear brothers and sisters!

I should speak on my feet but you know sciatica is a bit of a nuisance guest. I apologize and I will talk to you seated.

I am pleased to meet you on the occasion of the inauguration of the judicial year. I greet you all cordially: the Dean, Mons. Pio Vito Pinto, whom I thank for his words, the Prelate Auditors, the Officials and Collaborators of the Tribunal of the Roman Rota .

I would like to connect to last year's speech , in particular to the theme that touches a large part of the Rota's decisions in recent times: on the one hand, a lack of faith, which does not illuminate the conjugal union as it should - he had already denounced this for three times publicly my predecessor Benedict XVI -; on the other, the fundamental aspects of this union which, in addition to the union between man and woman, include the birth and gift of children and their growth.

We know that the jurisprudence of the Roman Rota, in harmony with the papal magisterium, illustrated the hierarchy of the goods of marriage by clarifying that the figure of the bonum familiae goes far beyond the reference to the heads of nullity; despite the fact that in the past a certain opening had opened to a hypothetical head of nullity connected to the bonum familiae . This possibility was appropriately closed, thus strengthening the theological figure of the family, as an effect of marriage as prefigured by the Creator. For my part, I have not failed to recommend that the bonum familiae is not seen in a negative way, as if it can be considered as one of the leaders of nullity. Indeed, it is always and in any case the blessed fruit of the conjugal pact; it cannot be extinguishedin full with the declaration of nullity, because it is not possible to consider being a family as a suspended asset, as it is the fruit of the divine plan, at least for the generated offspring. Spouses with God-given children are that new reality we call family.

Faced with a marriage that is legally declared null and void, the party who is not willing to accept this provision is in any case a unum idem with the children Therefore, it is necessary to take into account the relevant question: what will become of the children and the party who does not accept the declaration of invalidity? So far everything seemed obvious, but sadly it isn't. Therefore, it is necessary that the affirmations of principle be followed by adequate purposes of fact, always remembering that "the family is the basis of society and continues to be the most adequate structure to ensure people the integral good necessary for their permanent development" ( Speech to the European Federation of Catholic Family Associations, 1 June 2017). Consequently, we are called to identify the way that leads to choices that are congruent with the established principles. We are all aware of how difficult it is to move from principles to facts. When we talk about the integral good of people it is necessary to ask ourselves how this can come about in the many situations in which children find themselves.

The new sacramental union, which follows the declaration of nullity, will certainly be a source of peace for the spouse who has requested it. However, how to explain to the children that - for example - their mother, abandoned by their father and often unwilling to establish another marriage bond, receives the Sunday Eucharist with them, while the father, living together or awaiting the declaration of nullity of marriage, cannot participate in the Eucharistic table? On the occasion of the Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in 2014 and the Ordinary Assembly in 2015, the Synod Fathers, reflecting on the theme of the family, asked these questions, also becoming aware that it is difficult, sometimes impossible, to offer answers. However, Amoris laetitia . In this document clear indications are given so that no one, especially the children and the suffering, is left alone or treated as a means of blackmail between divided parents (cf. Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia , 241). As you know, the “Year of the Amoris Laetitia Family” will begin next March 19thYou too, with your work, make a precious contribution to this ecclesial journey with families for the family.

Dear Judges, in your judgments you do not fail to bear witness to this apostolic anxiety of the Church, considering that the integral good of people requires not remaining inert in the face of the disastrous effects that a decision on matrimonial nullity can entail. Your Apostolic Tribunal, as well as the other Courts of the Church, is asked that "the procedures for the recognition of cases of nullity be made more accessible and agile, possibly completely free of charge" ( ibid ., 244). The Church is a mother and you, who have an ecclesial ministry in such a vital sector as judicial activity, are called to open yourselves to the horizons of this difficult but not impossible pastoral care, which concerns concern for children as innocent victims. of many situations of rupture, divorce or new civil unions ( cf.ibid . , 245). It is a question of exercising your mission as judges as a service charged with pastoral sense, which can never be lacking in the delicate decision on the nullity or otherwise of the conjugal union. The declaration of nullity of marriage is often thought of as a cold act of mere "legal decision". But it is not and cannot be like this. The sentences of the ecclesiastical judge cannot ignore the memory, made up of lights and shadows, which have marked a life, not only of the two spouses but also of the children. Spouses and children constitute a community of persons, which is always and certainly identified with the good of the family, even when it has crumbled.

We must not tire of giving all attention and care to the family and to Christian marriage: here you invest a great part of your concern for the good of the particular Churches. May the Holy Spirit, whom you invoke before any decision to be made on the truth of marriage, enlighten you and help you not to forget the effects of such acts: first of all the good of the children, their peace or, on the contrary, the loss of joy in front of them. to separation. May prayer - judges must pray a lot! - and the common commitment to highlight this human reality, often suffering: a family that is divided and another that, consequently, is constituted, compromising that unity which made the children happy in the previous union.

I take this opportunity to urge every Bishop - made up of Christ the Father, Shepherd and Judge in his own Church - to open up ever more to the challenge linked to this issue. It is a question of continuing with tenacity and completing a necessary ecclesiological and pastoral journey, aimed at not leaving the faithful suffering from unaccepted and suffered judgments to the intervention of the civil authorities alone. The fantasy of charity will foster evangelical sensitivity in the face of family tragedies whose protagonists cannot be forgotten. It is very urgent that the Bishop's collaborators, in particular the judicial vicar, the operators of the family pastoral care and above all the parish priests, strive to exercise that diakonia of protection, care and accompaniment of the abandoned spouse and possibly of the children,

Dear sisters and brothers, these are the considerations that I wanted to bring to your attention, in the certainty of finding in you people ready to share them and make them their own. I express my appreciation to each in particular, in the confidence that the Tribunal of the Roman Rota, an authoritative manifestation of the juridical wisdom of the Church, will continue to consistently carry out its not easy munus at the service of the divine plan for marriage and the family. Invoking the gifts of the Holy Spirit upon you and your work, I will cordially impart the Apostolic Blessing. And I ask you too, please, to pray for me.

And I would not like to end today without a more familiar comment between us, because our dear Dean will have, in a few months, the youth of 80 years, and will have to leave us. I would like to thank him for the work he has done, which is not always understood. Above all, I would like to thank Archbishop Pinto for the tenacity he had to carry out the reform of marriage processes: a single sentence, then the short trial, which was like a novelty, but it was natural because the bishop is the judge.

I remember that, shortly after the promulgation of the short process, a bishop called me and told me: “I have this problem: a girl wants to get married in church; she already got married a few years ago in the Church, but she was forced to marry because she was pregnant ... I did everything, I asked a priest to act as judicial vicar, another to act as defender of the bond ... And the witnesses, the parents say that yes, it was forced, that that marriage was null. Tell me, Your Holiness, what should I do? ”, The bishop asked me. And I asked, "Tell me, do you have a pen handy?" - “Yes” - “Signature. You are the judge, without fuss ”.

But this reform, especially the short process, has had and still has a lot of resistance. I confess to you: after this promulgation I received letters, many, I don't know how many but many. Almost all of them lawyers losing clients. And there is the problem of money. In Spain it is said: “ Por la plata baila el mono ”: for the money the monkey dances. It is a saying that is clear. And this too with pain: I saw in some dioceses the resistance of some judicial vicar who, with this reform, lost, I don't know, a certain power, because he realized that the judge was not himself, but the bishop.

I thank Archbishop Pinto for the courage he had and also for the strategy of pursuing this way of thinking, of judging, up to the unanimous vote, which gave me the opportunity to sign [the Document ].

The double sentence. You have appointed Pope Lambertini , a great of the liturgy, of canon law, of common sense, even of a sense of humor, but unfortunately he had to make the double sentence for economic problems in some diocese. But let's get back to the truth: the judge is the bishop. He must be helped by the judicial vicar, he must be helped by the promoter of justice, he must be helped, but he is the judge, he cannot wash his hands of it. Return to what the gospel truth is.

And then I also thank Archbishop Pinto for his enthusiasm in teaching catechesis on this theme. He travels the world teaching this: he is an enthusiastic man, but enthusiastic in all tones, because he too has a temper of those! It is a negative way - so to speak - of enthusiasm. But he will have time to correct himself…, we all have them! I would like to thank him! I interpret the applause as applause to the temper. [laughs]

Thank you very much, Archbishop Pinto! Thank you! [applause]

Source: - Unofficial Translation

U.S. Bishop Chairman Grateful for Administration’s Actions on Food and Housing Needs - FULL TEXT Release USCCB

U.S. Bishop Chairman Grateful for Administration’s Early Actions to Address Urgent Food and Housing Needs 

JANUARY 27, 2021
WASHINGTON – In response to recent announcements from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) of increased protections and aid for those facing food and housing insecurity, Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, issued the following statement:

“We are grateful for the Biden Administration’s early actions to address urgent food and housing needs for those experiencing hardship during the COVID pandemic. The extension of the CDC’s eviction moratorium is a positive step towards ensuring housing stability and keeping our communities safe. Tens of millions are behind on rent payments and would be vulnerable to losing their homes without this protection. It would be detrimental to the wellbeing of all if more people became homeless in the midst of this public health crisis. Additionally, the USDA’s efforts to expand nutrition assistance at a time when people have experienced dramatic income reductions or job loss will help address the unprecedented levels of hunger among children and will ensure emergency Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits reach those most at risk of food insecurity. These actions demonstrate a strong commitment to those in need.

“In our ongoing advocacy with Congress on COVID-19 relief, we have consistently emphasized that adequate nutrition and decent housing are basic rights under Catholic Social Teaching. These rights require action. We continue to call on our government to pursue the common good and prioritize the poor and vulnerable during this challenging time.” 

FULL TEXT Release: Source: USCCB