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Cardinal O’Malley urges Italian Catholic bishops to ‘make things right’ for abuse survivors

Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston. / Daniel Ibanez/CNA

Rome, Italy, May 26, 2022 / 10:54 am (CNA).

Cardinal Seán O’Malley urged Italian Catholic bishops on Wednesday to work for a “pastoral conversion” in their approach to survivors of sexual abuse by clergy.

The head of the Vatican’s abuse commission made the appeal in a video message played on the third day of the bishops’ plenary assembly in Rome, taking place on May 23-27.

“We have nothing to fear by telling the truth. The truth will set us free. Acknowledging people’s stories of abuse, listening to survivors, and committing to working together is not easy, but I can tell you after 40 years that it is the only way,” the archbishop of Boston said.

He went on: “Sometimes, and perhaps rightly so, it seems there are no adequate steps we can take to make things right for those who have been abused.”

“It is perhaps the most difficult part of being a pastor: knowing that our listening and our efforts at healing and justice will likely fall short of what survivors are looking for. It’s a sober reminder that ultimately only God’s grace can make whole what sin has broken.”

O’Malley’s message came as the Italian bishops discussed whether to hold a national inquiry into abuse.

Italian associations joined together in February to coordinate a movement against abuse in the Catholic Church in Italy. The network, which calls itself #ItalyChurchToo, is pushing the bishops to carry out an independent investigation into clerical sexual abuse in Italy over the last 70 years.

The consortium sent a letter to the Italian bishops’ conference on May 23 at the start of its general assembly.

“We demand truth, justice, and prevention,” it said, calling for an investigation into abuse, the opening of Church archives, compensation for victims, and a strict application of Pope Francis’ norms on the handling of abuse cases by bishops.

In his message, Cardinal O’Malley said that “the reality is that we will be judged on our response to the abuse.”

He proposed seven areas where pastoral conversion was needed: “1. An effective pastoral care of victims; 2. Clear guidance (and vigilance) on training courses for staff in the diocese; 3. Adequate and accurate screening; 4. Removal of perpetrators of abuse; 5. Cooperation with civil authorities; 6. Careful assessment of the risks existing for priests guilty of abuse (for themselves and the community) once they have been reduced to the lay state; 7. Public verification of the protocols in place so that people know the policies are working. An audit and report on the implementation of the policies is very useful.”

“The good news,” he said, “is that where effective policies are adopted and effectively implemented, the number of cases is dramatically reduced.”

“Sexual abuse has always been wrong, for sure,” O’Malley continued. “But the response of leaders in the Church and in civil society has also been wrong. We have learned a great deal over these past 40 years. We have come to see and understand how it has ruined lives, led to substance addictions, and even the tragedy of known and hidden suicides.”

“There is a sea of suffering that we are called to face up to,” he said.

The cardinal told bishops that the “work of listening, healing, and justice is being asked of us since it belongs to the fundamental ministry of a priest and pastor: to welcome people and to be instruments of God’s grace for those who have been hurt by life, even when that hurt comes from within our own ranks.”

“One of the strongest desires of the human heart is to feel safe. Our people want to feel safe in our Church and that means they want to be strengthened in their faith by their pastors,” he said.

Cardinal Tagle: Missionary dioceses need support with abuse prevention protocols

Cardinal Tagle at the beatification of Pauline Jaricot in Lyon, France, on May 22, 2022. / In Your Name/Diocèse de Lyon Flickr photostream.

Rome Newsroom, May 26, 2022 / 09:40 am (CNA).

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle has said that the Church needs to support missionary dioceses with expertise to implement the sex abuse prevention protocols mandated by the pope.

The prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples said in an interview with a French television station that his dicastery was working to “follow up” with Catholic bishops’ conferences on their abuse prevention measures.

“Maybe in established churches, it is easier for them to form the committees, the commissions, because then you have trained people,” Tagle said.

“And this is where we need to assist the young churches because some of them are just developing … They need psychologists. They need canon lawyers.”

He added: “And this is where also the universal Church would help each other. Those with expertise can help form the human resources in other parts of the world.”

Tagle said that he had seen the need to support developing dioceses without as many resources after his dicastery followed up and asked bishops’ conferences to submit what they had prepared in response to Pope Francis’ mandate to start writing protocols in line with what was required by the motu proprio Vos estis lux mundi.

Last month, Pope Francis also asked the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors to produce an annual report on what the Catholic Church is doing around the world to prevent the abuse of minors and vulnerable adults.

Cardinal Tagle spoke during a 30-minute sit-down interview with the television station KTO published on YouTube on May 25.

In the interview, the cardinal also addressed the issues of poverty, the Ukraine war, and the beatification of Blessed Pauline Jaricot, which he presided over on May 22.

When the Filipino cardinal was asked about his tendency to get emotional and shed tears during his speeches, Tagle replied: “Well, I guess you know, shedding tears is part of human experience.”

“When people are in love, they shed tears. When they are happy, they shed tears. When they suffer, they shed tears. So tears is one of the languages that can speak of many human situations, you know?”

The 64-year-old former Manila archbishop added: “I don’t know if I am just emotional, but I guess when I am in a situation, I allow myself to be affected … But I’m not always crying ... Sometimes I laugh too.”

St. Philip Neri’s 7 Churches Pilgrimage returns after pandemic break

Pilgrims pray in front of St. Peter's Basilica / Hannah Brockhaus/CNA

Rome, Italy, May 26, 2022 / 08:37 am (CNA).

When St. Philip Neri came to Rome from Florence in 1533, he encountered a city in upheaval. The Sack of Rome six years prior had left famine and plague in its wake. The Protestant Reformation was in full swing and the Church was rife with corruption.

The young Philip, who would spend around 16 years in Rome as a layman before becoming a priest, soon dedicated himself to caring for the city’s sick and poor.

The saint, whose feast day falls on May 26, also realized that Rome’s people were suffering from a spiritual sickness and tiredness as well, and so he set out to reinvigorate Catholics with the joy of the faith through song and dance — and jokes.

A historic illustration of the seven churches. Hannah Brockhaus/CNA
A historic illustration of the seven churches. Hannah Brockhaus/CNA

Part of St. Philip’s outreach was the revival of the Seven Churches visit. He may not be the originator of the idea of the pilgrimage to some of Rome’s most important churches, but he is credited with renewing its popularity.

After it fell out of use once again, St. Philip’s congregation of secular priests, the Oratory, revived it in the 1960s, including holding the walk one night each year, as close as possible to the way the saint would have done it.

Fr. Maurizio Botta, who led the pilgrimage, speaks at the start in front of Chiesa Nuova. Hannah Brockhaus/CNA
Fr. Maurizio Botta, who led the pilgrimage, speaks at the start in front of Chiesa Nuova. Hannah Brockhaus/CNA

After a two-year pause, on the evening of May 13 into the morning of May 14, around 800 people walked 15 and a half miles in the footsteps of the saint and his followers.

Police officers in cruisers drove ahead of the urban pilgrimage to block traffic as a sea of Catholics from around Italy crossed busy intersections and passed Friday night diners while praying the rosary in unison and singing the Taizé chant “Laudate Dominum,” whose words say in Latin, “Praise the Lord, all people, Alleluia.”

Pilgrims, including scouts, walk through Rome's Ostiense neighborhood. Hannah Brockhaus/CNA
Pilgrims, including scouts, walk through Rome's Ostiense neighborhood. Hannah Brockhaus/CNA

The rosary was prayed four times during the pilgrimage, which took almost 10 hours to complete, including stops for a sack dinner at midnight and short lessons on the virtues led by priests of the Oratory.

Pilgrims, including scouts, walk through Rome's Ostiense neighborhood. Hannah Brockhaus
Pilgrims, including scouts, walk through Rome's Ostiense neighborhood. Hannah Brockhaus

The seven basilicas were chosen by the saint for their importance to Christianity, and the walk on May 13-14 followed the path laid out in a 16th-century document almost certainly seen and used by St. Philip — and likely even written by him.

This document, recreated and printed into a booklet for use on the annual pilgrimage today, gives St. Philip’s guidance for those making the Seven Churches visit.

Eating a sack dinner in the courtyard of a church. Hannah Brockhaus/CNA
Eating a sack dinner in the courtyard of a church. Hannah Brockhaus/CNA

“Before setting out to make this holy Pilgrimage, each of the Brethren must lift up his mind to God, offering him the sincerity of his heart, with the purpose of desiring the sole glory of his divine Majesty in all actions, and especially in this one,” it says.

Those participating can also earn an indulgence under the usual conditions, and are asked to pray for specific intentions. These include praying for the penance of sins, the amendment of lukewarmness and negligence in the service of God, in thanksgiving for the forgiveness of sins, for the pope and the Church, for sinners still in the darkness of an evil life, for the conversion of heretics, schismatics, and infidels, and for the holy souls in purgatory.

Pilgrims stop to pray on the way to St. Peter's Basilica. Hannah Brockhaus/CNA
Pilgrims stop to pray on the way to St. Peter's Basilica. Hannah Brockhaus/CNA

The pilgrimage began at Chiesa Nuova, the church built by St. Philip for the Oratory, and proceeded to St. Peter’s Basilica, reaching the site of St. Peter’s martyrdom at sunset.

From there, the group of 800 people followed a path along the Tiber River to stop at the Basilica of St. Bartholomew on the Island (not one of the official seven churches) on the way to the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls.

Pilgrims walk on a path next to the Tiber River. Hannah Brockhaus/CNA
Pilgrims walk on a path next to the Tiber River. Hannah Brockhaus/CNA

Each of the seven churches is associated with a moment of Christ’s Passion and Crucifixion. At each stop, an Oratory priest preached on a virtue and its opposing vice, before everyone joined in a prayer for an increase in that virtue and for the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

The virtues and vices were abstinence against gluttony, patience against ire, chastity against lust, generosity against avarice, fervor of spirit against acedia, charity against envy, and humility against pride.

A street sign marking Seven Churches Way. Hannah Brockhaus/CNA
A street sign marking Seven Churches Way. Hannah Brockhaus/CNA

After the Basilica of St. Paul, the pilgrimage followed an ancient street still called Seven Churches Way to arrive at the catacombs and the Basilica of St. Sebastian, a third-century Christian martyr.

As a layman in Rome, St. Philip Neri used to visit the catacombs of St. Sebastian to pray. One night in the catacombs, about 10 years after moving to Rome, as he prayed, a mystical ball of fire entered his mouth and went down into his chest, exploding his ribs and doubling the size of his heart with love of God.

St. Philip was changed, both physically and spiritually, by this event, which he only revealed shortly before his death.

Pilgrims outside the catacombs of St. Sebastian. Hannah Brockhaus/CNA
Pilgrims outside the catacombs of St. Sebastian. Hannah Brockhaus/CNA

Pilgrims next arrived at the Domine Quo Vadis Church after a silent, moonlit walk through the ancient Appian Way Park, flanked by the silhouettes of Italian cypress trees.

The small church of medieval origin marks the spot where, according to tradition, Jesus appeared to St. Peter as he was fleeing Rome to avoid martyrdom.

Peter asked Jesus, “Domine quo vadis?” (“Lord, where are you going?”), to which Christ said, “Venio Romam iterum crucifigi,” (“I am coming to Rome to be crucified again.”) This rebuke caused Peter to turn around and face his own martyrdom.

Pilgrims walk along the ancient Aurelian Wall on their way to the Basilica of St. John Lateran. Hannah Brockhaus/CNA
Pilgrims walk along the ancient Aurelian Wall on their way to the Basilica of St. John Lateran. Hannah Brockhaus/CNA

The next official pilgrimage church was the Basilica of St. John Lateran, followed by a 10-minute walk to the Basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem.

The Basilica of St. Lawrence Outside the Walls was the penultimate stop. The church, which has the tomb of St. Lawrence, is located next to Rome’s Verano Monumental Cemetery, and was included among the Seven Churches by St. Philip Neri, Father Botta said, as a reminder of mortality.

The final stretch of the walk passed through Rome’s main train station, Termini, where pilgrims sang the Marian antiphon “Salve Regina.”

Pilgrims walk through Termini train station singing the "Salve Regina". Hannah Brockhaus/CNA
Pilgrims walk through Termini train station singing the "Salve Regina". Hannah Brockhaus/CNA

The pilgrimage finished shortly before 6:00 a.m. at the Basilica of St. Mary Major, the traditional end of the walk, where the “Salve Regina” hymn was sung again in honor of the Virgin Mary.

Pilgrims sing the "Salve Regina" outside the Basilica of St. Mary Major. Hannah Brockhaus/CNA
Pilgrims sing the "Salve Regina" outside the Basilica of St. Mary Major. Hannah Brockhaus/CNA
A baby and his mom enjoy a moment with a new friend at the end of the pilgrimage. Hannah Brockhaus/CNA
A baby and his mom enjoy a moment with a new friend at the end of the pilgrimage. Hannah Brockhaus/CNA
A statue of Mary on a column outside the Basilica of St. Mary Major. Hannah Brockhaus
A statue of Mary on a column outside the Basilica of St. Mary Major. Hannah Brockhaus

Ukraine war: Catholics invited to join Pope Francis in praying rosary for peace

Pope Francis prays before Our Lady of Fatima May 13, 2015. / Daniel Ibanez/CNA.

Vatican City, May 26, 2022 / 06:42 am (CNA).

The Vatican is inviting Catholics to join Pope Francis in praying the rosary for peace in Ukraine and around the world at the end of the Marian month of May.

The pope will pray the rosary before the statue of Mary Regina Pacis (Queen of Peace) at Rome’s Basilica of St. Mary Major at 6 p.m. local time on May 31.

“At the conclusion of the Marian month, Pope Francis wishes to offer a sign of hope to the world, suffering from the conflict in Ukraine and deeply wounded by the violence of the many wars still active,” the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization said on May 26.

It added: “All the faithful in every part of the world are invited to support Pope Francis in his prayer to the Queen of Peace.”

The pope will pray the rosary in union with Marian shrines around the world, including the Shrine of the Mother of God in Zarvanytsia, western Ukraine. They will be connected via video link to the live broadcast from Rome.

Pope Francis is expected to lay flowers at the foot of the Marian statue before reciting the rosary. The statue of Mary Regina Pacis, in the basilica’s left aisle, was commissioned by Pope Benedict XV to ask for the Virgin Mary’s intercession to end the First World War.

The sculptor Guido Galli depicted Mary with her left arm raised, commanding the war to end. In her right arm, she holds the Child Jesus, who is poised to drop an olive branch symbolizing peace.

Visitors often leave handwritten notes with prayers intentions at the base of the statue.

The statue of Mary Regina Pacis at Rome’s Basilica of St. Mary Major. Fczarnowski via Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 3.0).
The statue of Mary Regina Pacis at Rome’s Basilica of St. Mary Major. Fczarnowski via Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 3.0).

The Pontifical Council said that the pope will be accompanied at the basilica by children who have recently made their First Communions or received the Sacrament of Confirmation, as well as families from Rome’s Ukrainian community.

A Ukrainian family is expected to pray one of the decades of the rosary.

Pope Francis consecrated Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on March 25.

Gunmen kidnap 2 Catholic priests in Nigeria

Father Stephen Ojapah and Father Oliver Okpara, who were abducted in Nigeria’s Sokoto diocese on May 25, 2022. / Father Chris Omotosho.

Rome Newsroom, May 26, 2022 / 06:00 am (CNA).

Gunmen attacked a Catholic rectory and kidnapped two priests in northwest Nigeria on Wednesday.

Father Stephen Ojapah and Father Oliver Okpara were abducted after gunmen broke into the rectory of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Gidan Maikambo, in the middle of the night on May 25, according to a statement from the Diocese of Sokoto.

Two boys were also kidnapped along with the priests, according to Father Chris Omotosho, a spokesman for the diocese, reported ACI Africa, CNA’s African news partner.

Omotosho, a member of the Missionary Society of St. Paul of Nigeria, of which one of the abducted priests is also a member, appealed for prayers “for their safety and release.”

The kidnapping is the latest incident in a series of attacks that have reportedly targeted Church institutions in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country.

ACI Africa reported on May 14 that Muslim youths vandalized multiple Catholic churches in the area, including the Sokoto diocese’s Holy Family Catholic Cathedral, St. Kevin’s Catholic Church, and the St. Bakhita Center.

The young people vandalized the churches in protest at the arrest of suspects in the stoning to death of Deborah Yakubu on May 12.

Yakubu, a young Christian woman who was studying economics at a college in Sokoto, was stoned to death and then burned by male students at the college who accused her of blasphemy.

She had reportedly testified that Jesus Christ helped her pass exams, and was then accused of making blasphemous statements about the Prophet Muhammad.

Bishop Wilfred Chikpa Anagbe of Makurdi, Benue State, issued a statement on May 20 questioning why the Nigerian government continued to remain silent amid persistent attacks in the West African nation.

Anagbe said that widespread terrorism by Islamist Fulani herdsmen in Benue State had made it nearly impossible to conduct pastoral visits in the area.

The bishop decried the silence of the international community amid the suffering of Christians in Nigeria.

“Sadly, we continue to draw the attention of the outside world to the plan by Islamists to Islamize Christian territories countless times with little or no attention paid to our cry and call for help,” he said.

“Sometimes it appears we have been abandoned to the mercy of the jihadists.”

A version of this story was first published by ACI Africa, CNA’s African news partner. It has been adapted by CNA.

Catholic pro-life student attacked at public school, school criticized for lack of protection

Sisters Vanessa Pagano (left) and Nichole Pagano, who are both students at Hunterdon Central Regional High School and attended an unsanctioned pro-abortion rally at the school in order to stand up for the unborn with a pro-life sign. / Vanessa Pagano.

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, May 26, 2022 / 03:05 am (CNA).

Seven students have been suspended from Hunterdon Central Regional High School in New Jersey — and seven “extended detentions” given, with more disciplinary measures possibly to come — after a rowdy pro-abortion protest by students resulted in the physical and verbal assault of a sophomore holding a pro-life sign.

Jeffrey Moore, the school’s superintendent, acknowledged the “distressing” behavior of the pro-abortion students toward 16-year-old Nichole Pagano at a live-streamed school board meeting on May 23. But he was still severely criticized at the meeting for the way the situation was handled.

At the meeting, Moore gave a presentation about the unsanctioned protest, which took place on May 16.

“I want to reiterate, certainly the most distressing moments of this incident were in the behavior that was shown to counter-protesters who had arrived and those involved,” he said.

“Shoving, expletive-laden verbal aggression, vandalism to signs, signs were knocked over, thrown, kicked, all of those things that made this a most distressing and disrespectful scene and example of student behavior against a student there who showed up with another viewpoint.”

Nichole speaks out

Nichole told CNA on May 24 that when she and her senior sister Vanessa, both Catholics, saw around 200 students forming a pro-abortion protest in the middle of the school’s campus during class hours, they immediately felt a call to action: they needed to stand up for the unborn. And they did.

As Nichole walked around the protest holding a pro-life sign that said “Equal Rights For Babies in the Womb,” she was physically attacked and screamed at by students.

Nichole, of Readington Township, recalled: “There’s like 200 kids there and then all of a sudden they come surrounding us — mostly trying to come at me and attack me because I had the sign — and then they came at me all up in my face, verbally screaming at me, and physically even grabbed me and ripped me down.”

Nichole Pagano, 16, stands holding a pro-life sign at an unsanctioned pro-abortion rally that occurred at Hunterdon Central Regional High School May 16, where she was verbally and physically harassed while having her sign vandalized. Vanessa Pagano.
Nichole Pagano, 16, stands holding a pro-life sign at an unsanctioned pro-abortion rally that occurred at Hunterdon Central Regional High School May 16, where she was verbally and physically harassed while having her sign vandalized. Vanessa Pagano.

Nichole said that her 18-year-old sister was the only person protecting her, “trying to get these kids away from me and almost pushing them off of me, off my arm, and blocking them so they wouldn’t get my sign.”

Nichole said that after the protest she had scratches on her arm and legs, and her shoulder hurt. Her father, Michael Pagano, described the shoulder injury as being a “sore shoulder.”

Superintendent Moore said at the board meeting that some school and town police officers “were attached near that student so that she would have that presence nearby as we continue to work to dissipate the crowd.”

After he said this, someone could be heard yelling from the crowd: “That’s a lie!”

Nichole told CNA that the school’s principal Edward Brandt apologized to her at a school board meeting on the day of the protest. Moore also publicly apologized to her.

Referring to Brandt’s apology, she said that “it didn’t seem like too big of an apology, though. It kind of seemed like a quick, short, little apology. It didn’t seem very long and even that concerning.”

She added that after the apology, she “didn’t hear anything from anyone,” adding that the school didn’t contact her parents. Her father confirmed that no one had contacted him or his wife, Jennifer, as of May 25.

Nichole spoke publicly at the May 16 board meeting about the “hurtful” events that occurred that day.

She told CNA that when she saw the protest, she was baffled that students thought it was acceptable to protest in favor of abortion, especially in school.

“Like, do they really know what that is? I don’t think enough of them even know exactly what it is and how it works,” she said.

Nichole said that if she were to give other high school students advice on how to deal with similar situations, she would say: “You’ve got to just do what your heart says and what you believe in. You’ve got to do what’s right.”

“Even if it’s sometimes hard to do, you go to do it to make a stand and make a point.”

School board members scolded by the public

At the most recent school board meeting, the school’s handling of the situation was criticized multiple times, with one man even calling for Moore’s job termination.

The critical comments included a statement from New Jersey state assemblyman Erik Peterson, who represents the 23rd Legislative District, including parts of Hunterdon.

Explaining that he was present at the meeting “in solidarity with the parents,” Peterson said that Nichole “is the victim, not the ‘counter-protester.’ She was assaulted. It’s on video.”

“The problem, from my perspective, is the leadership,” he said. “These kids didn’t learn this on their own, they learned it here. And it starts with this board and the superintendent.”

Peterson called Moore’s presentation “disrespectful to everybody in this room and to this board, to everybody, and to the victim.”

Asked if the school had checked in with Nichole to ensure her future safety and well-being, a school spokesperson said in a statement: “We are deeply distressed by the behavior between students who engaged in verbal and, in a very small number of instances, physical aggression during this gathering.”

“Youth demonstrations have a long history of educating students toward civic-mindedness; however, the behavior in this demonstration was disrespectful and distressing enough to be an affront to that tradition of peaceful assembly and protest. We are investigating thoroughly and taking all appropriate disciplinary actions.”

The statement went on: “This demonstration brings us to serious reflection on the procedures we have for managing such events and, most especially, on the examples that we, as adults, are setting for our children.”

“The actions that they see taken by adults impact the actions that they believe to be appropriate and acceptable.”

“As we move to correct their behavior, we must work together to offer better object lessons. We must provide outlets for expression, but these need to be exercised with care, respect, and dignity for ourselves and one another. We need to teach these lessons of civil discourse to our children in much more deliberate ways, especially in these times.”

The statement concluded: “At Central, we will continue to insist on respect in all civic and political processes and hope that this contributes to a future in which there is better and more constructive civic participation. We are thankful for the partnership with our community in that effort.”

Thursday of the Sixth Week of Easter

Ascension

Weekday (Saint Philip Neri)

- - -

Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

The Ascension of the Lord

Reading I Acts 1:1-11

In the first book, Theophilus,
I dealt with all that Jesus did and taught
until the day he was taken up,
after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit
to the apostles whom he had chosen.
He presented himself alive to them
by many proofs after he had suffered,
appearing to them during forty days
and speaking about the kingdom of God.
While meeting with them,
he enjoined them not to depart from Jerusalem,
but to wait for “the promise of the Father
about which you have heard me speak;
for John baptized with water,
but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

When they had gathered together they asked him,
“Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
He answered them, “It is not for you to know the times or seasons
that the Father has established by his own authority.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you,
and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem,
throughout Judea and Samaria,
and to the ends of the earth.”
When he had said this, as they were looking on,
he was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight.
While they were looking intently at the sky as he was going,
suddenly two men dressed in white garments stood beside them.
They said, “Men of Galilee,
why are you standing there looking at the sky?
This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven
will return in the same way as you have seen him going into heaven.”

Responsorial Psalm Ps 47:2-3, 6-7, 8-9

R (6) God mounts his throne to shouts of joy: a blare of trumpets for the Lord.
or:
R Alleluia.
All you peoples, clap your hands,
            shout to God with cries of gladness,
For the LORD, the Most High, the awesome,
            is the great king over all the earth.
R God mounts his throne to shouts of joy:  a blare of trumpets for the Lord.
or:
R Alleluia.
God mounts his throne amid shouts of joy;
            the LORD, amid trumpet blasts.
Sing praise to God, sing praise;
            sing praise to our king, sing praise.
R God mounts his throne to shouts of joy:  a blare of trumpets for the Lord.
or:
R Alleluia.
For king of all the earth is God;
            sing hymns of praise.
God reigns over the nations,
            God sits upon his holy throne.
R God mounts his throne to shouts of joy:  a blare of trumpets for the Lord.
or:
R Alleluia.

Reading II Eph 1:17-23

Brothers and sisters:
May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory,
give you a Spirit of wisdom and revelation
resulting in knowledge of him.
May the eyes of your hearts be enlightened,
that you may know what is the hope that belongs to his call,
what are the riches of glory
in his inheritance among the holy ones,
and what is the surpassing greatness of his power
for us who believe,
in accord with the exercise of his great might:
which he worked in Christ,
raising him from the dead
and seating him at his right hand in the heavens,
far above every principality, authority, power, and dominion,
and every name that is named
not only in this age but also in the one to come.
And he put all things beneath his feet
and gave him as head over all things to the church,
which is his body,
the fullness of the one who fills all things in every way.

OR:

Heb 9:24-28; 10:19-23

Christ did not enter into a sanctuary made by hands,
a copy of the true one, but heaven itself,
that he might now appear before God on our behalf.
Not that he might offer himself repeatedly,
as the high priest enters each year into the sanctuary
with blood that is not his own;
if that were so, he would have had to suffer repeatedly
from the foundation of the world.
But now once for all he has appeared at the end of the ages
to take away sin by his sacrifice.
Just as it is appointed that men and women die once,
and after this the judgment, so also Christ,
offered once to take away the sins of many,
will appear a second time, not to take away sin
but to bring salvation to those who eagerly await him.

Therefore, brothers and sisters, since through the blood of Jesus
we have confidence of entrance into the sanctuary
by the new and living way he opened for us through the veil,
that is, his flesh,
and since we have
"a great priest over the house of God,"
let us approach with a sincere heart and in absolute trust,
with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience
and our bodies washed in pure water.
Let us hold unwaveringly to our confession that gives us hope,
for he who made the promise is trustworthy.

Alleluia Mt 28:19a, 20b

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Go and teach all nations, says the Lord;
I am with you always, until the end of the world.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Lk 24:46-53

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Thus it is written that the Christ would suffer
and rise from the dead on the third day
and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins,
would be preached in his name
to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
You are witnesses of these things.
And behold I am sending the promise of my Father upon you;
but stay in the city
until you are clothed with power from on high.”

Then he led them out as far as Bethany,
raised his hands, and blessed them.
As he blessed them he parted from them
and was taken up to heaven.
They did him homage
and then returned to Jerusalem with great joy,
and they were continually in the temple praising God.

- - -

Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Memorial of Saint Philip Neri, Priest

Reading I Acts 18:1-8

Paul left Athens and went to Corinth.
There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus,
who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla
because Claudius had ordered all the Jews to leave Rome.
He went to visit them and, because he practiced the same trade,
stayed with them and worked, for they were tentmakers by trade.
Every sabbath, he entered into discussions in the synagogue,
attempting to convince both Jews and Greeks.

When Silas and Timothy came down from Macedonia,
Paul began to occupy himself totally with preaching the word,
testifying to the Jews that the Christ was Jesus.
When they opposed him and reviled him,
he shook out his garments and said to them,
“Your blood be on your heads!
I am clear of responsibility.
From now on I will go to the Gentiles.”
So he left there and went to a house
belonging to a man named Titus Justus, a worshiper of God;
his house was next to a synagogue.
Crispus, the synagogue official, came to believe in the Lord
along with his entire household, and many of the Corinthians
who heard believed and were baptized.

Responsorial Psalm 98:1, 2-3ab, 3cd-4

R.        (see 2b)  The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.
or:       
R.        Alleluia.
Sing to the LORD a new song,
            for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him,
            his holy arm.
R.        The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
The LORD has made his salvation known:
            in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.
He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness
            toward the house of Israel.
R.        The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.
or:
R.        Alleluia.
All the ends of the earth have seen
            the salvation by our God.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
            break into song; sing praise.
R.        The Lord has revealed to the nations his saving power.
or:
R.        Alleluia.

Alleluia See Jn 14:18

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I will not leave you orphans, says the Lord;
I will come back to you, and your hearts will rejoice.

R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Jn 16:16-20

Jesus said to his disciples:
“A little while and you will no longer see me,
and again a little while later and you will see me.”
So some of his disciples said to one another,
“What does this mean that he is saying to us,
‘A little while and you will not see me,
and again a little while and you will see me,’
and ‘Because I am going to the Father’?”
So they said, “What is this ‘little while’ of which he speaks?
We do not know what he means.”
Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them,
“Are you discussing with one another what I said,
‘A little while and you will not see me,
and again a little while and you will see me’?
Amen, amen, I say to you,
you will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices;
you will grieve, but your grief will become joy.”

- - -

Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Nancy Pelosi's Communion ban will apply in Diocese of Arlington, bishop says

Bishop Michael Burbidge of Arlington. / CNA

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, May 25, 2022 / 21:21 pm (CNA).

The Communion ban in place within House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's home diocese in California now extends to the Diocese of Arlington, located just outside Washington, D.C.

Bishop Michael F. Burbidge said Wednesday that he would respect the ban imposed by San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone last week because of Pelosi's staunch advocacy for legalized abortion.

“He is her bishop and as that bishop the direction and guidance he provides is not limited to just a geographical area,” Burbidge said on his diocese's "The Walk Humbly Podcast." His comments were first reported Wednesday by the Arlington Catholic Herald, the diocese's newspaper.

Burbidge is the second U.S. bishop to announce that he will apply San Francisco Archdiocese ban in his own diocese. Bishop Robert Vasa said on May 20 that he would do so in the Diocese of Santa Rosa, where Pelosi reportedly attends Mass occasionally. At least a dozen U.S. bishops have publicly come out in support of Cordileone's action.

Bishop Joseph Strickland said on May 25 that Pelosi would be barred from receiving Communion in the Diocese of Tyler in eastern Texas.

He wrote on Twitter: "The concern for Mrs Pelosi’s eternal salvation extends to the Diocese of Tyler. She is barred from Communion here until she repents & stops advocating the murder of children. Pray for her heart to be turned to God & away from the power of this world."

Cordileone has stressed that his decision was "pastoral, not political." Burbidge said on the podcast that he views the issue the same way.

“I can’t say it enough, (these) decisions are made for the good of individuals to guard the faithful from scandal," which is caused when Catholics in public office take positions at odds with Church teaching," the bishop said, according to the newspaper's report. "That confuses people and a bishop has to guard against that."

Burbidge revealed that while he has not publicly announced that someone should not receive Communion in his diocese, "I have privately shared that directive with individuals who have continuously scandalized the Church by holding a personal Catholic identity while also publicly advocating for abortion or other inherent moral evils," the newspaper reported.

“All people, including those who are not public individuals, have to approach the sacraments truly in communion with the Church and Our Lord,” Burbidge said.

This report was updated at 05:32 MDT on May 26 with Bishop Strickland's comments