Report blames leading Canadian Church officials for ignoring warning signs about abusive priest (CBC) Pepita Capriolo, a retired Québec Superior Court Justice, issued a report, commissioned by the Archdiocese of Montreal, on “who knew what when” about Brian Boucher, a now-laicized and imprisoned priest who was ordained in 1996. Capriolo decries a culture of secrecy, shredded documents, and stolen documents in the Archdiocese of Montreal. Cardinal Marc Ouellet, named prefect of the Congregation for Bishops in 2010, was rector of the Major Seminary of Montreal from 1990 to 1994.
Top French court blocks government restrictions on religious worship (AP) The French Council of State, the country’s highest court, has ordered the government to reconsider its tight restrictions on religious worship. The restrictions, which limited attendance at any service to 30 people, had drawn loud public protests. Some Church leaders had said they would defy the government orders.
Supreme Court blocks New York restrictions on worship (US Supreme Court) The US Supreme Court, in a key decision released late on the eve of the Thanksgiving holiday, blocked enforcement of New York regulations that restricted attendance at religious services. The Court’s sided with the Brooklyn Catholic diocese and two Orthodox synagogues, saying the restrictions appeared to discriminate against religion.
Pope reaffirms ecumenical commitment in message to Orthodox Patriarch (Vatican Press Office) In a message to Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, Pope Francis has voiced his confidence in the future of ecumenical ties. In his message the Pontiff credits the Ecumenical Patriarchate with advancing ecumenism “before the Catholic Church and other churches engaged themselves in dialogue.” The papal message was delivered to Patriarch Bartholomew on November 30, the feast of St. Andrew, the patron of the Constantinople patriarchate.
Pope will forego December 8 tradition, substitute private devotion (Vatican News) Pope Francis will not make a traditional visit to the Spanish Steps, to honor a statue of the Virgin Mary on the feast of her Immaculate Conception, the Vatican has announced. Since 1857, the Pontiff has traveled across Rome for the holy day, usually attracting a large crowd. This year the event will be cancelled “to avoid all risk of contagion,” the Vatican said. Instead the Pope will make a private act of devotion, entrusting Rome and the world to the care of the Blessed Mother.
European Parliament denounces pro-life ruling by Poland's Supreme Court (Reuters) In a 455-145 vote, the European Parliament denounced a Polish high court ruling that protects disabled unborn children from abortion—a ruling that has sparked protests in Poland. The European Parliament expressed “its support and solidarity for thousands of Polish citizens, in particular for Polish women and LGBTI+ persons, who, despite the sanitary risks, took to the streets to protest against grave restrictions on their fundamental freedoms and rights.”
Cardinal-designate Gregory: dialogue, not confrontation, with Biden (CNS) “The kind of relationship that I hope we will have is a conversational relationship where we can discover areas where we can cooperate that reflect the social teachings of the Church, knowing full well that there are some areas where we won’t agree,” Archbishop Wilton Gregory said in an interview. He added that he would not “veer from” the practice of permitting Biden to receive Holy Communion.
European bishops discuss interreligious dialogue, religious education, and fraternity (CCEE) “While not renouncing our identity in anything or resorting to simple irenicism, with strength and courage, we must affirm the need for human fraternity and social friendship as necessary conditions for achieving the peace for which the whole world yearns,” Cardinal Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue,” said at the conclusion of his address to the Interreligious Dialogue Section of the Council of the Bishops’ Conferences of Europe.
Philippine bishops encourage faithful to become Jesus' missionary disciples (CBCP News) “The Philippine Church rejoices as it enters a national celebration of the 500 Years of Christianity in our treasured homeland,” the bishops said in a pastoral letter issued on the First Sunday of Advent. “We pray for a missionary renewal of our Church—both at home (ad intra) and beyond our borders (ad extra) during our celebration of the 500 years—and into the future!”
New translation of Roman Missal implemented in Italy (CNA) The 3rd edition of the postconciliar Roman Missal was published in Latin in 2002; the English translation was introduced in American parishes in 2011. The Italian translation of the 3rd edition includes altered versions of the Gloria (“pace in terra agli uomini, amati dal Signore”: peace on earth to men, loved by the Lord) and the Our Father (“non abbandonarci alla tentazione”: do not abandon us to temptation).
Christians killed in troubled Indonesian island province (AsiaNews) Four Christians were murdered and dismembered last week on Sulawesi, the Indonesian island province that has seen repeated acts of violence by Islamic militants against Christians. The victims were all members of the same family, active in the Salvation Army. Christians in Sulawesi charge that several chapels were torched there recently—a charge that local police deny.
Pittsburgh diocese to merge 40 parishes into 14 (Catholic Herald) The Diocese of Pittsburgh has announced plans to merge 40 parishes into 14, reducing the total number of parishes in the Pennsylvania diocese to 81. The mergers will take place on January 4, with another two rounds of mergers anticipated for July 2021 and January 2022.
Pope backs Covid restrictions in NY Times op-ed (New York Times) In a New York Times op-ed piece adapted from a new book, Pope Francis pays homage to health-care workers who care for Covid patients, describing them as “antibodies to the virus of indifference.” He decries protests against government restrictions, saying that the measures serve the common good. And he looks to the future: “We cannot return to the false securities of the political and economic systems we had before the crisis.”