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Vatican releases information about papal meeting with priests, including discussion of homosexuality (L'Osservatore Romano (Italian))

Without offering a transcript, the Vatican has disclosed the topics discussed during the Pope’s June 11 meeting with 160 Roman priests who were ordained between 11 and 39 years ago. During the meeting, the Pontiff renewed his warning against homosexual influence in the clergy.

The topics in the closed-door discussion ranged “from ongoing wars to investments in weapons, contraceptives and cosmetic surgery; from a greater commitment to politics in times ‘of disengagement and abstentionism’ [i.e., not voting], to the welcome in the parishes towards ‘everyone, everyone, everyone’; up to the indication to be cautious when admitting people with homosexual tendencies into seminaries,” L’Osservatore Romano reported.

During the 90-minute meeting, which took place at the Salesian Pontifical University, the Pope also urged priests to accompany the elderly with God’s “closeness, compassion, and tenderness” and to seek out those who suffer from loneliness or drug addiction. Upholding Father Lorenzo Milani (1923-1967) as a model, the Pope said that “the Church is either prophetic or clerical: it is up to us to choose.”

“The Pope spoke of the danger of ideologies in the Church and returned to the theme of the admission of people with homosexual tendencies into seminaries, reiterating the need to welcome and accompany them in the Church and the prudential indication of the Dicastery for the Clergy regarding their entry into seminary,” the Vatican newspaper reported. In a 2016 document, the then-Congregation, citing a 2005 instruction, stated that “the Church, while profoundly respecting the persons in question, cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practice homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called ‘gay culture.’”

The Pontiff also praised Cardinal Angelo De Donatis for his “capacity to understand and forgive.” In a recent shake-up, the Pope ended the cardinal’s seven-year tenure as his Vicar for Rome and named him Major Penitentiary of the Apostolic Penitentiary.

The Pope met on May 14 with Roman priests who had been ordained 40 or more years and on May 29 with priests ordained within the past ten years.

Papal tribute to St. Anthony, renewed papal appeal for peace (Vatican Press Office (Italian))

At the conclusion of his June 12 general audience, Pope Francis paid tribute to St. Anthony of Padua and renewed his appeal for prayer for peace.

“Tomorrow we will celebrate the liturgical memorial of St. Anthony of Padua, priest and doctor of the Church,” the Pope told pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square. “May the example of this illustrious preacher, protector of the poor and the suffering, arouse in everyone the desire to continue the path of faith and imitate his life, thus becoming credible witnesses of the Gospel.”

“And let us not forget tormented Ukraine, let us not forget Palestine, Israel,” the Pope continued. “Let us not forget Myanmar and many countries that are at war. Let us pray for peace, today we need peace. War is always, from the first day, a defeat. We pray for peace. May the Lord give us strength to always fight for peace.”

The Pope’s remarks about St. Anthony and peace were omitted from the Vatican’s official English translation of the Pope’s remarks at the general audience.

Father Martin meets with Pope Francis, who 'showed openness and love for the LGBTQ community' (@JamesMartinSJ)

A day after Pope Francis renewed his warning about homosexual influence in the clergy, the Pontiff met with Father James Martin for an hour, according to the American Jesuit.

“I was honored to meet with Pope Francis for an hour-long conversation today at Casa Santa Marta,” Father Martin tweeted. “With his permission to share this, the Holy Father said he has known many good, holy and celibate seminarians and priests with homosexual tendencies.”

“Once again, he confirmed my ministry with LGBTQ people and showed his openness and love for the LGBTQ community,” Father Martin added. “It was also a great joy to receive his blessing on the 25th anniversary of my ordination to the priesthood.”

Supreme Court rejects pro-life challenge on abortion pill (AP)

The US Supreme Court has tossed out a challenge by pro-life doctors to the Biden administration’s decision to allow easy access to the abortion-inducing drug mifespristone.

The Court’s ruling did not address the question of whether the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) acted properly in allowing the abortion drug to be made available by mail order. (That issue may still be the subject of another court challenge.) Inside the Court said that the plaintiffs had failed to demonstrate that they had been injured by the FDA ruling.

In a unanimous decision, the Court ruled that “the federal courts are the wrong forum for addressing the plaintiffs’ concerns about FDA’s action.”

The Court’s decision, written by Justice Brett Kavanaugh, said that the “sincere legal, moral, ideological, and policy objections to elective abortion and to FDA’s relaxed regulation of mifepristone” could be address in other ways:

The plaintiffs may present their concerns and objections to the president and FDA in the regulatory process or to Congress and the president in the legislative process.

Vatican document suggests new look at papal primacy (CWN)

In an important new “study document” released on June 13 by the Dicastery for Christian Unity, the Vatican has proposed a new consideration of the role of the Roman Pontiff.

Pope issues message for World Day of the Poor (Vatican News)

In his message for the 8th World Day of the Poor, Pope Francis says: “God knows the sufferings of his children because he is an attentive and caring father.”

The Pope writes that the wealthy who “consider themselves to be powerful before men and women” are profoundly mistaken, because “they are poor in the eyes of God.”

The World Day of the Poor will be observed on November 17. The papal message, entitled “The prayer of the poor rises up to God,” was released by the Vatican on June 13.

Synodality should be permanent model for Church, Pope says (Vatican Press Office)

In a June 13 talk to leaders of ecclesial movements, Pope Francis expressed his high hopes for the Synod on Synodality, saying: “My hope is that following this Synod, synodality may endure as a permanent mode of working within the Church, at all levels.”

Telling the movement leaders that their own work should be based on synodality, he said that this would entail three important characteristics: “thinking as God thinks,” “overcoming exclusiveness,” and “cultivating humility.”

80 years after historic meeting with Pope, Irish regiment returns to the Vatican (Vatican News)

Eighty years to the day after Venerable Pius XII received the 38th (Irish) Brigade following liberation from Nazi occupation, members of the regiment met with Pope Francis.

Chris Trott, the UK’s ambassador to the Holy See, helped arrange the meeting and said he was “very moved” after Pope Francis unexpectedly asked members of the regiment’s band to play for him.

Chaldean Patriarch returns to Baghdad, ending dispute with government (Fides)

Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako has returned to Baghdad, ending a self-imposed exile that began when the Iraqi government refused to recognize his status as the head of the Chaldean community.

Cardinal Sako had moved to Erbil in July 2023 after the government repealed a decree that had recognized the Patriarch of Baghdad. He returned after Prime Minister Muhammad Shiaa al-Sudani acknowledged the “appointment” of Cardinal Louis Sako as Patriarch of the Chaldean Church “in Iraq and in the world,” with the authority to control the properties of the Chaldean Church.

Nebraska bishop writes pastoral letter on mental health (Diocese of Lincoln)

Bishop James Conley of Lincoln, Nebraska, has written a pastoral letter on mental health. The letter has two parts: “My Story of Pursuing Mental Health” and “Pursuing Mental Health.”

Bishop Conley discussed his 2019-20 leave of absence after he was “medically diagnosed with PTSD, major depression, anxiety, and tinnitus ... I share my own story in the hopes that it will hasten the demise of the mental health stigma in our culture. I also pray it will inspire others to embrace Jesus as the Divine Physician.”

The second part of the letter has three sections: “seeking wholeness and holiness,” “the Catholic context for mental health,” and “you are not alone.”

“I would like to close with a simple practice, adapted from St. Francis de Sales, a Bishop and Doctor of the Church, as well as a staunch advocate of the universal call to holiness,” he concluded. “Throughout the day, before beginning various tasks, let us do three things: acknowledge, offer, and accept ... Through the intercession of St. Dymphna, patroness of mental health, I pray for your wholeness and holiness.”