Pope sketches vision for Europe's future (Vatican News) Pope Francis writes of his hope for an “inclusive and generous” Europe, in a letter marking the 50th anniversary of Vatican diplomatic relations with the European Union. In the letter the Pontiff says that Europe a “family of peoples,” respectful of human dignity, open to international cooperation, and marked by a healthy secularity in which “God and Caesar remain distinct but not opposed.”
Pope announces creation of 13 new cardinals, including Archbishop Gregory of Washington (Vatican News) Pope Francis has announced a consistory for the creation of 13 new cardinals, including the new Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops (Bishop Mario Grech) and the new Prefect for the Congregation of the Causes of Saints (Bishop Marcello Semeraro). Four of the 13 are over 80 and thus ineligible to take part in a papal election; among the four are Capuchin Franciscan Father Raniero Cantalamessa, since 1980 the preacher of the papal household.
Police in Gabon prevent churches from holding Mass (La Croix) “Bishops in the Central African nation had announced Oct. 25 resumption of public worship after six months of lockdown, but security forces intervened,” the report begins. The nation of 2.2 million (map) is 57% Catholic, 29% Protestant, and 10% Muslim, with 3% adhering to ethnic religions.
Benin's bishops, in election statement, decry 'insidious promotion' of homosexuality (Fides) Benin, a West African nation of 11.3 million (map), is 28% Muslim, 26% Catholic, and 14% Protestant, with 12% adhering to the traditional regional Vodun religion. Benin’s bishops lamented “the insidious promotion and gradual introduction of homosexuality and sexual orientation as human rights in the legislation of the countries of the Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OEACP) in exchange for the renewal of bilateral and multilateral agreements on international aid.”
China continued religious crackdown during renewal of Vatican deal (CNA) Chinese government officials continued to tighten restrictions on religious institutions, even while negotiating the renewal of a secret agreement with the Holy See, the Italian magazine Bitter Winter reports. The crackdown included new bans on unauthorized religious texts and the destruction of tombstones of Christian missionaries.
Texas diocese shuts down churches again (El Paso Times) The Diocese of El Paso, Texas, has suspended public celebration of Mass once again because of a reported spike in the number of people testing positive for Covid. Bishop Mark Seitz said that the shutdown—which will include a ban on church baptisms, weddings, and funerals—shows that the diocese “will do our part to ensure the safety of nor only our Catholic faithful, but all members of our El Paso community.”
Treaties do not apply to nations that have not ratified them, Vatican diplomat emphasizes at UN (Holy See Mission) “Any effort to extend a treaty obligation upon a State that has not ratified the relevant instrument would both undermine the sovereignty of each State,” Archbishop Gabriele Giordano Caccia, apostolic nuncio and Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, said at an October 22 UN meeting. “Imprecise or overly broad language that suggests universal applicability of treaty provisions per se is unhelpful and blurs the line between what is binding on States as a matter of treaty law and what is not.”
Love of God and neighbor are inseparable, Pope tells pilgrims (Vatican Press Office) “Adoring God is precisely the heart of prayer, Pope Francis said during his October 25 Sunday Angelus address (video) as he reflected on Matthew 22:34-40, the Gospel of the day. “And love for neighbor, which is also called fraternal charity, consists in closeness, listening, sharing, caring for others. And so often we neglect to listen to others because it is boring or because it takes up our time.”