USCCB letter campaign urges abortion-free vaccines (CNS) The US bishops’ conference has launched a letter-writing campaign, asking Catholics to write to pharmaceutical companies and urge the development of Covid vaccines that do not involve the use of fetal tissues from abortions. The bishops’ pro-life office provides draft letters to the different manufacturers, thanking them for providing the vaccines but encouraging them “to stop the use of abortion-derived cell lines.”
German legislators consider ending state payments to churches (CNS) “The Catholic and Protestant churches received combined state benefits of more than $650 million in 2020,” according to the report. “Most of the state payments date back to 1803, when German imperial princes received expropriated church property as compensation for a loss of territory. In return, the princes paid the churches money on a regular basis.”
Scientists create embryos mixing human, monkey cells (NPR) Scientists have produced embryos that have both human and monkey cells. The process is seen as a step toward the production of organs that could be used for transplantation. In response to obvious ethical concerns, the scientists involved in the work say that they have no intention of allowing the embryos to come to term.
Irish Church leaders meet with premier: ban on Mass not discussed (Irish bishops' conference) The leaders of Ireland’s largest Christian groups met on April 15 with Taoiseach (prime minister) Micheal Martin. A statement issued after the meeting indicated that the discussion had centered on violence, the situation in Northern Ireland, and the National Economic Recovery Plan. No mention was made of the ban on the public celebration of Mass in Ireland, aside from a vague reference to “the importance of faith to the spiritual and mental well-being of many people.”
The Chinese government is 'relentlessly suppressing' the Church, priest warns (AsiaNews) “Although China is the most important missionary zone for the Church in Asia, Church affairs in China are no longer handled by the Congregation of Evangelization of Peoples, which is responsible for missionary work, but are now in the hands of the Secretariat of State, the political arm of the Holy See,” said a priest in northern China. “The actions of the Church have become political in order to serve political ends.”
Accountability, transparency, due process still needed, abuse experts say (CNS) Archbishop Charles Scicluna, adjunct secretary of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, called for a universal application of the principle that “the victim has a right to be advised of the outcome of the investigation”; the principle was established in the Pope’s apostolic letter Vos estis lux mundi [You Are the Light of the World] in certain cases.
Vatican statement for Muslims at Ramadan: focus on hope (Vatican Press Office) “We, Christians and Muslims, are called to be bearers of hope,” the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialog says in a message to the Islamic world for the season of Ramadan. The message emphasizes the virtue of hope, which “has its basis on something religious: God loves us, and therefore cares for us through his providence.”