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Pope: Synodality should lead us to live communion more intensely

In a videomessage for the Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, Pope Francis reflects on the meaning of synodality and communion, insisting both are necessary as the Church embarks on the synodal journey.

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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

German Catholic Conventions: 'We want to show our faith'

Marc Frings, Secretary General of the Central Committee of German Catholics, describes the goals of the Catholic Conventions, or 'Katholikentag', in Stuttgart, and how the festival aims to put faith into action.

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Nigeria: Gunmen abduct two priests, others in Katsina

Unidentified gunmen raided a parish in northern Nigeria on Wednesday, kidnapping four people – two priests and two young boys.

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The Mothers of Egyptian monasticism: Sarah, Theodora and Syncletica

As part of our “Sisters Project” series, we explore the immense spiritual heritage of three ancient Desert Mothers who offered spiritual direction to both women and men, including bishops.

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Typhoon Haiyan survivor brings Laudato si' to life

A.G. Saño from the Philippines has seen the worst of the climate crisis. He has lost loved ones and seen his country torn apart. Yet, he still works for climate justice and draws hope from Catholics coming together around the world to bring Laudato si’ to life.

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Pope to lead Rosary for peace in Ukraine & end to wars worldwide

Pope Francis, in connection with international shrines worldwide, will lead a Rosary for peace from the Basilica of St. Mary Major on 31 May for those suffering the ongoing war in Ukraine and other wars around the world.

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Ukraine: Henry Kissinger urges leaders to strive for peace

Former US Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, says it is crucial for international stability that Ukraine negotiate with Russia “before it creates upheavals and tensions that will not be easily overcome.”

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Spanish priest responds to Whoopi Goldberg on Nancy Pelosi and Communion

Nancy Pelosi (L) Whoopi Goldberg (R) / Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0) / David Shankbone (CC BY 3.0)

Lima, Peru, May 25, 2022 / 17:41 pm (CNA).

Actress Whoopi Goldberg defended what she considers the right to Communion of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, in wake of the decision of Archbishop  Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco to deny her Holy Communion for her obstinate and public support for abortion.

“After numerous attempts to speak with her to help her understand the grave evil she is perpetrating, the scandal she is causing, and the danger to her own soul she is risking, I have determined that the point has come in which I must make a public declaration that she is not to be admitted to Holy Communion unless and until she publicly repudiate her support for abortion ‘rights’ and confess and receive absolution for her cooperation in this evil in the sacrament of Penance,” Cordileone wrote in a letter released to the public May 20.

The archbishop explained that for his decision to not take effect, Pelosi must  “publicly repudiate (her)advocacy for the legitimacy of abortion and confess and receive absolution of this grave sin in the sacrament of Penance.”

Goldberg said in a video posted on Twitter that "The abortion rights battle is starting to blur the lines between Church and State."

“The archbishop of San Francisco is calling for Speaker Nancy Pelosi to be denied receiving Communion because of her pro-choice stance,” she said.

Addressing the archbishop, Goldberg exclaimed “This is not your job, dude! That is not up to you to make that decision! It’s kind of amazing. What is the point of Communion? Right? It’s for sinners. It’s the reward of saints but the bread of sinners. How dare you?”

Commenting on Whoopi Goldberg’s remarks, Father Juan Manuel Góngora, a Spanish priest who has more than 50,000 followers on Twitter, said that “this lady is confused. Eucharistic communion is not a ‘right.’”

“Any priest can deny it when there are appropriate circumstances and it’s a gift that must be received in a state of grace. But of course, for the unwary, the story of victimization is more interesting,” said Fr. Góngora.

In Lumen gentium, its 1964 dogmatic constitution on the Church, the Second Vatican Council stated that bishops "govern the particular churches entrusted to them by their counsel, exhortations, example, and even by their authority and sacred power, which indeed they use only for the edification of their flock in truth and holiness, remembering that he who is greater should become as the lesser and he who is the chief become as the servant ... In virtue of this power, bishops have the sacred right and the duty before the Lord to make laws for their subjects, to pass judgment on them and to moderate everything pertaining to the ordering of worship and the apostolate."

Archbishop Cordileone explained that his decision is in accord with Canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law which states that “Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.” 

"Unfortunately, Speaker Pelosi's position on abortion has become only more extreme over the years, especially in the last few months," the archbishop said in his statement.

The Archbishop of San Francisco also recalled that on Sept. 20, 2013, Pope Francis told a group of Catholic doctors that “Each child that is unborn, but is unjustly condemned to be aborted, bears the face of Jesus Christ, bears the face of the Lord, who, even before he was born, and then as soon as he was born, experienced the rejection of the world.”

Pope: Storytelling is 'fabric' that connects everything and everyone

In the Afterword of “The weaving of the world,” Pope Francis highlights the importance of storytelling as the weaving of a fabric with unbreakable threads that links the past and present, everything and everyone. The new book is published on Thursday by the Vatican Publishing House and Salani Publications.

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