Browsing News Entries

Browsing News Entries

Nancy Pelosi reportedly receives Communion at papal Mass

Pope Francis greets House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Paul Pelosi in St. Peter's Basilica after Mass on June 29, 2022. / Vatican Media

Vatican City, Jun 29, 2022 / 05:00 am (CNA).

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reportedly received Holy Communion at a Mass with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Wednesday.

Pelosi took Communion, according to sources present at the Mass, Crux reported on June 29.

The Associated Press, citing two witnesses, reported that Pelosi was seated in the section reserved for diplomats, and received Communion with the other attendees.

Pelosi was banned from receiving Holy Communion in her home diocese, the Archdiocese of San Francisco, in May.

A screen capture of the Vatican Media livestream showing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at a Mass in St. Peter's Basilica on June 29, 2022.
A screen capture of the Vatican Media livestream showing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at a Mass in St. Peter's Basilica on June 29, 2022.

San Francisco’s Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone said Pelosi should not be admitted to Communion, nor should she present herself to receive the Eucharist, until she publicly repudiates her support for abortion.

Pelosi, who is in Rome on a family vacation, attended Pope Francis' Mass for the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul in St. Peter's Basilica.

Pope Francis speaks to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Paul Pelosi after Mass in St. Peter's Basilica on June 29, 2022. Vatican Media
Pope Francis speaks to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Paul Pelosi after Mass in St. Peter's Basilica on June 29, 2022. Vatican Media

Cordileone said on May 20 that the step to bar Pelosi from Communion was “purely pastoral, not political” and came after Pelosi, D-Calif., who has described herself as a “devout Catholic,” repeatedly rebuffed his efforts to reach out to her to discuss her abortion advocacy.

Pope Francis met with Pelosi at the Vatican in October last year.

This story was updated with information from the AP report.

Pope Francis pens letter on liturgy after Traditionis custodes

Canonization Mass on May 15, 2022 / Daniel Ibanez/CNA

Vatican City, Jun 29, 2022 / 04:05 am (CNA).

Pope Francis published a letter on the liturgy Wednesday, nearly one year after he issued the motu proprio Traditionis custodes, restricting the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass.

In the 15-page apostolic letter, Desiderio Desideravi, the pope said he wanted “to invite the whole Church to rediscover, to safeguard, and to live the truth and power of the Christian celebration.”

“I want the beauty of the Christian celebration and its necessary consequences for the life of the Church not to be spoiled by a superficial and foreshortened understanding of its value or, worse yet, by its being exploited in service of some ideological vision, no matter what the hue,” he said in the document, published on June 29, the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul.

The title of the letter is taken from the Latin text of Luke 22:15: “Desiderio desideravi hoc Pascha manducare vobiscum, antequam patiar” — In English, “I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.”

Pope Francis said, after writing a letter to bishops to accompany Traditionis custodes, he wished to address all Catholics with some reflections on liturgical formation, the theological importance of the Mass, and acceptance of the liturgical documents of the Second Vatican Council.

“We owe to the Council — and to the liturgical movement that preceded it — the rediscovery of a theological understanding of the Liturgy and of its importance in the life of the Church,” Francis said.

“Let us abandon our polemics to listen together to what the Spirit is saying to the Church. Let us safeguard our communion. Let us continue to be astonished at the beauty of the Liturgy,” he urged.

He said the principles stated in Sacrosanctum Concilium, Vatican II’s constitution on the sacred liturgy, have been fundamental for the reform of the liturgy and continue to be fundamental for the promotion of its “full, conscious, active, and fruitful celebration.”

“The non-acceptance of the liturgical reform, as also a superficial understanding of it, distracts us from the obligation of finding responses to the question that I come back to repeating: how can we grow in our capacity to live in full the liturgical action? How do we continue to let ourselves be amazed at what happens in the celebration under our very eyes?” he said.

“We are in need of a serious and dynamic liturgical formation,” he underlined, noting that “it would be trivial to read the tensions, unfortunately present around the celebration, as a simple divergence between different tastes concerning a particular ritual form.”

The problem, the pope said, is primarily ecclesiological: “I do not see how it is possible to say that one recognizes the validity of the Council — though it amazes me that a Catholic might presume not to do so — and at the same time not accept the liturgical reform born out of Sacrosanctum Concilium.”

This is why he felt the need to issue Traditionis custodes, to affirm the liturgical books promulgated by popes Paul VI and John Paul II after the Second Vatican Council as “the unique expression of the lex orandi [the law of prayer] of the Roman Rite,” he said.

In the letter, Pope Francis called for liturgical formation beyond the academic environment to be accessible to all Catholics, in order to revive a sense of wonder at the mystery of the sacrifice of the Mass.

“The full extent of our formation is our conformation to Christ,” he explained. “I repeat: it does not have to do with an abstract mental process, but with becoming Him. This is the purpose for which the Spirit is given, whose action is always and only to confect the Body of Christ.”

The pope also spoke about the importance of an ars celebrandi, the “art of celebrating” the Mass.

“Let us be clear here: every aspect of the celebration must be carefully tended to (space, time,

gestures, words, objects, vestments, song, music…) and every rubric must be observed,” he said. “Such attention would be enough to prevent robbing from the assembly what is owed to it; namely, the paschal mystery celebrated according to the ritual that the Church sets down.”

“But,” he continued, “even if the quality and the proper action of the celebration were guaranteed, that would not be enough to make our participation full.”

Liturgical formation must teach people how to read and understand symbols, he said, referencing the writing of Romano Guardini, a 20th century German Catholic priest and intellectual.

“The task is not easy because modern man has become illiterate, no longer able to read symbols; it is almost as if their existence is not even suspected,” Francis said.

Francis said he has noticed that a Catholic community’s manner of living the celebration of the Mass is conditioned by the way the pastor celebrates it, and when the manner of celebration is inadequate, the “common root” is “a heightened personalism of the celebrating style which at times expresses a poorly concealed mania to be the center of attention.”

“Often this becomes more evident when our celebrations are transmitted over the air or online, something not always opportune and that needs further reflection,” he noted. “Be sure you understand me: these are not the most widespread behaviors, but still, not infrequently assemblies suffer from being thus abused.”

“The action of the celebration” of the Mass, he said, “is the place in which, by means of memorial, the Paschal Mystery is made present so that the baptized, through their participation, can experience it in their own lives.”

“Without this understanding, the celebration easily falls into a preoccupation with the exterior (more or less refined) or into a concern only for rubrics (more or less rigid),” he said.

“Christian faith is either an encounter with Him alive, or it does not exist,” he said. “Liturgy guarantees for us the possibility of such an encounter. For us a vague memory of the Last Supper would do no good. We need to be present at that Supper, to be able to hear his voice, to eat his Body and to drink his Blood. We need Him.”

More Catholic churches, pregnancy centers, and a pro-life memorial vandalized

LifeChoice Pregnancy Center in Winter Haven, Florida was defaced with pro-abortion graffiti June 25, 2022. / LifeChoice Pregnancy Center

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Jun 28, 2022 / 19:20 pm (CNA).

More vandalism of Catholic churches, pro-life pregnancy centers, and a pro-life memorial have been reported since Roe v. Wade was overturned on Friday. 

LifeChoice pregnancy center in Winter Haven, Florida was defaced with pro-abortion graffiti June 25.

Director of Development for LifeChoices Lyndsy Flanagan told CNA Tuesday that the clinic was alerted by a local pastor who saw the damage on Sunday morning. A local church community, Winter Haven Worship Center, volunteered to repaint the whole building on Monday, Flanagan said.

The vandals also painted over security cameras and the clinic’s sign, she said. A pressure washer could not clean it and the clinic now needs a new sign, she said. 

Photos of the graffiti show the words “Janes revenge,” “Jane was here” “Abortion 4 all,” “Your time is up,” “We’re coming for you,” “We are everywhere,” some flowers, and anarchist symbols.

Being in a smaller community, Flanagan said she was surprised at the vandalism, despite the heated political climate.

The damage is estimated between $3,000 and $4,000 she said. The vandals were caught on video.

When CNA asked how many perpetrators were in the video, Flanagan said the FBI told her not to give any details until they finish the investigation. "They asked us not to speak on any of the details involved in the video footage until the investigation is complete, " she said.

"Because it's a national group that they believe could be involved in this, they are asking us to tread very lightly with all details concerning what we have knowledge of based on the video footage so that we can continue the investigation," she said.

Pro-abortion graffiti was discovered June 27 on the doors of the The Church of the Ascension in Manhattan. 

A purported photo of the vandalism on the church doors shows the words “If abortion isn’t safe, neither are you!” 

Joseph Zwilling, director of communications for the Archdiocese of New York, said that “Any act of vandalism or violence against any house of worship should be condemned, particularly when such vandalism is a result of hatred of that religion.”

“Fortunately, thanks to the good work of the NYPD and local police departments, and the security measures the archdiocese encouraged the parishes to take, it appears that this is the only act of vandalism against a church in the archdiocese in the aftermath of the Dobbs decision,” he said.

St. Anthony Catholic Church in Renton, Washington had its windows smashed and was defaced with pro-abortion slogans in the early hours of June 25.

Dean Savelli, the church’s facilities manager, told CNA that three vandals defaced the front of the church with graffiti that said “Abortions save lives,” in two places. He said the vandals destroyed three of the five locks in the church.

The vandals smashed seven stained glass windows, Savelli said. The vandals, who were caught on camera, also broke some of the tops to collection boxes. The damage will amount to between $25,000 and $30,000 he said. 

Richard Garnett of South Bend, Indiana, told CNA that he drives by a memorial cross for aborted unborn babies almost every day and noticed June 25 that it was vandalized with pro-abortion graffiti. 

The white cross which says “In memory of aborted children” with a red heart, had yellow graffiti that crossed out the pro-life message and wrote pro-choice down the horizontal stretch of the cross, a photo of the vandalism shows.

According to a Saint Joseph County Police Department incident summary, an employee of St. Therese Little Flower Catholic Church reported to the police June 27 that the sign was vandalized.

Karissa Lundstrom, who leads the Heart to Heart Pregnancy Center in Cortez, Colorado told CNA that her clinic was defaced with pro-abortion graffiti sometime between Saturday night and Sunday evening. 

She would not share a photo of the vandalism nor say what the graffiti said, because she does not want the vandalism to be the center of attention. The graffiti was partly on the sidewalk and partly on the building, she said, and it was cleaned up easily.

Judges temporarily block abortion bans in Louisiana, Utah, Texas

The scene outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., after the court released its decision in the Dobbs abortion case, June 24, 2022. / Katie Yoder/CNA

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Jun 28, 2022 / 18:00 pm (CNA).

Judges in Louisiana, Utah, and Texas have temporarily blocked the enforcement of those states’ laws banning abortion, after the Supreme Court returned the regulation of abortion to the states.

On June 24, the court voted 6-3 in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization to uphold a Mississippi law restricting most abortions after 15 weeks. At the same time, justices voted 5-4, to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Orleans Parish Civil District Court Judge Robin Giarrusso issued a temporary block June 27 on a 2006 Louisiana law banning abortion in the state in the case of Roe’s overturn, in response to a lawsuit filed by abortion providers. 

“Abortion groups, represented by the Center for Reproductive Rights, argue the abortion restrictions violate providers' due process rights and ‘lack constitutionally required safeguards to prevent arbitrary enforcement,’” Fox News reported about Louisiana.

In the coming weeks Giarrusso will rule whether the law may be enforced on a permanent basis. A hearing is set for July 8.

The Democratic Governor of Louisiana, John Bel Edwards, even said that he is "unabashedly pro-life and opposed to abortion,” yet he is aware that not everyone feels the same, according to the BBC.

In Utah, Third District Judge Andrew Stone issued a 14-day block June 27 on the state’s trigger law in response to a lawsuit brought by the Planned Parenthood Association of Utah. NBC says that Stone claims women are “deprived of safe, local medical treatments to terminate pregnancies."

Utah State Senator Daniel McCay, sponsor of the state’s trigger law, said, “I'm confident that Utah’s abortion ban will be upheld, and we can work to support life." 

A hearing in the matter will be held July 11.

In Texas, Judge Christine Weems in Harris County granted a temporary restraining order June 28 against the enforcement of a 1925 law banning abortion.

Marc Hearron, a lawyer for the abortion providers in the Texas lawsuit, said, according to Reuters, "Every hour that abortion is accessible in Texas is a victory." 

The state’s law banning abortion from about six weeks into pregnancy is still being enforced.

The Texas attorney general has said he will appeal Weems’ decision; a hearing is scheduled July 12.

Challenges to abortion bans in several other states are focused on state constitutions in which rights to privacy are included. These include Alaska, Arizona, California, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Montana, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Washington. 

Reuters reported that abortion providers in Kentucky, Idaho, and Mississippi are suing to block enforcement of trigger laws in those states.

Hundreds of men gather to pray the rosary in Mexico City

Hundreds of men pray in Santo Domingo Plaza on June 25 at the first-ever Men's Rosary in Mexico City. / Photo courtesy of Martín Orive

Mexico City, Mexico, Jun 28, 2022 / 17:39 pm (CNA).

On the feast day of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, June 25, hundreds of men took part in the first-ever Men’s Rosary in Mexico City, loudly proclaiming “Long live Christ the King!” 

The men first attended Mass at the Metropolitan Cathedral and then headed out in procession to the atrium of Santo Domingo church, located in the central district of the Mexican capital.

Speaking to ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language sister news agency, Leonardo Brown, the coordinator of the event, said “it was a unique, and I would say historical, experience.”

“The contingent set out singing songs to Christ the King and to the Virgin” and processed to Santo Domingo Plaza for the prayers “with everyone facing the images of the Virgin and the patron St. Joseph,” he said.

About 700 or 800 men prayed the rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet, Brown added.

For Brown, “the most exciting experience was that many people spontaneously joined the procession, as well as witnessing so many men on their knees in front of the Virgin of Guadalupe.”

In addition, Brown said one could see “not a few who were shaken with emotion by the songs to Christ the King to the point of shedding tears.”

Among the testimonies shared at the event was that of a man who went to Confession after 13 years of being away from the sacrament.

The Men’s Rosary is an international prayer movement that began in Poland. The movement has especially taken off in Latin America, with Men’s Rosary events in Peru, Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Colombia, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, and Paraguay. Other countries where Men’s Rosary events have taken place include Germany, Ukraine, the Netherlands, England, the United States, Lithuania, and Spain.

On their website, the initiators of the Men’s Rosary in Poland explain that their goal is to fulfill the desire of the Virgin Mary, which is to do the will of her Son, Jesus Christ.

They also note that “the role of men in God’s plan is to protect all those whom God has given us here on earth, for eternal life.”

“Just as St. Joseph was the earthly protector of the Holy Family, we also have the task of defending the sanctity of our families and loved ones,” they say on the website. “We want to do it together, in a community of men. In this unity, we strengthen our masculine identity and masculine virtues.”

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

Cardinal reveals he was detained by drug traffickers in Mexico

Cardinal Francisco Robles Ortega / Credit: Archbishopric of Guadalajara Press

Guadalajara, Mexico, Jun 28, 2022 / 16:25 pm (CNA).

Cardinal Francisco Robles Ortega, the archbishop of Guadalajara, revealed that last week he was stopped and questioned at a checkpoint manned by drug traffickers during a visit to the northern part of Mexico's Jalisco state.

ArquiMedios, a weekly publication of the Archdiocese of Guadalajara, reported the cardinal made the statement at a June 26 press conference.

The cardinal lamented the current climate of violence in Mexico, including the recent killing of two Jesuit priests and another man in a church in the state of Chihuahua. 

The priests were trying to protect the man, who had fled inside the church as he was being pursued by an armed assailant who then shot him and the two priests, killing all three.

At the press conference, the archbishop explained that he was “stopped at two checkpoints, obviously belonging to organized crime, and they demand that you tell them where you’re coming from, what’s your purpose, what you’re doing there.”

“I mean, that’s like the most normal, the most natural thing, but why?” the cardinal asked during the press conference.

“This is due to the deterioration of values, respect for life, respect for institutions,” so it is important to assume an attitude of individual responsibility in the current situation, he said.

The cardinal said that “we must all be aware that, if we do not propose each one in his field, in his place, in his relationships, to be builders of peace, of understanding, of reconciliation, we will end up destroying each other.”

The archbishop of Guadalajara asked the authorities to do their job and guarantee security for all citizens.

“We’re not asking that someone be shot to death, we’re just asking that they enforce the law,” he said.

In other recent incidents of violence in the country, 13 people, including four police officers, were killed in El Salto, Jalisco state, in a shootout between law enforcement and drug traffickers, and the Bishop of Zacatecas, Sigifredo Noriega Barceló, was stopped and questioned by organized crime members.

Mexico is experiencing a dramatic escalation in violence. Between 2018 and 2021, the country recorded the highest number of homicides in its history. The period includes the last year of President Enrique Peña Nieto’s term and the first three years of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Mexican presidents hold office for six years.

From Jan. 1 to June 26 of this year, according to official figures, more than 12,847 homicides have occurred in Mexico.

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

Latin American pro-life leaders celebrate overturning of Roe v. Wade

null / Rena Schild via Shutterstock.

Lima, Peru, Jun 28, 2022 / 15:30 pm (CNA).

Pro-life leaders from all over Latin America expressed their joy as they celebrated the June 24 decision of the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion throughout the United States 49 years ago.

Latin American leaders described the ruling as “historic,” “momentous,” “a new legal precedent,” “similar to the end of slavery,” a “light in the midst of darkness,” and a “miracle” that took place on the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

El Salvador

Sara Larín, president of the VIDA SV Foundation in El Salvador, shared her feelings with ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language sister news agency: “We’re super happy! It’s the beginning of the end of abortion in the world,” she said. “This is the ruling that officially abolished the practice of abortion as a supposed constitutional right: it’s historic, just as much as the abolition of slavery.”

“Now each state will have the freedom to decide whether to prohibit or restrict abortion,” she continued. “In addition, that would impact federal policy decisions to prevent abortion from being financed as part of U.S. cooperative aid to other countries in the region. The decision of the Supreme Court will undoubtedly have a positive impact on Latin America.”

Larín said that the ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization “will mark a legal precedent that will be a point of reference for all experts in constitutional law around the world and will serve as a tool for justice for the protection of children's rights from the moment of conception.”

Ecuador

“We have seen light in the midst of darkness! We have seen a great defeat of a giant,” said Martha Villafuerte, the national director of Familia Ecuador, in an interview with ACI Prensa.

“This couldn’t be a more perfect moment … that strengthens the entire pro-life community in the world, where many countries have recently had unconstitutional attacks, unjust laws, and despite everything, today the United States gives us a wake-up call that rouses our convictions more than ever,” she said.

Villafuerte said that in Ecuador, “we couldn’t be happier.”

“We have a recent abortion law that’s a knife in the heart, but today we have received the perfect cure, the hope to rise up, fight harder, and achieve the victory of life,” she said.

Mexico

Speaking with ACI Prensa, Marcial Padilla, the director of ConParticipación, described the ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court as a “historic event” that will have a great “cultural” impact.

“This gives a clear and firm signal that the correct path based on science and ethics is to recognize and protect with equal dignity the mother and her unborn child. Thus, it’s a reminder that there’s a right to life, not the right to take life,” he said.

To Padilla, this ruling sends a clear signal to Latin America: “It’s possible to reverse the trend toward abortion in the laws and courts” and so “we must participate in the elections for government officials and the appointment of judges who respect human life at all times.” 

The president of the National Front for the Family, Rodrigo Iván Cortés, also shared his joy with ACI Prensa and noted that now various U.S. states “will be able to protect life and limit abortion.”

“Today is a day of profound joy, proof that human life can be defended in the law,” he said.

Pilar Rebollo, director of Steps for Life in Mexico, said her organization is “full of hope” to see “how persevering work bears fruit.”

“It’s possible to overturn what seems written in stone,” she said. “The truth came down on it with its own weight and in Mexico we can’t give up, because no effort is in vain, especially since we are on the side of life and truth.”

Colombia

Jesús Magaña, president of United for Life, told ACI Prensa that the news was received in Colombia “with great joy.”

“We salute the Supreme Court of the United States with great admiration, respect, and affection. We wholeheartedly support these six brave judges who made it possible to win this nearly 50-year fight to restore the right to life of unborn babies,” he commented.

Magaña believes the ruling will have a “convincing effect on the entire region and especially in Colombia, because the decisions on abortion — C-355 in 2006 and C-051 by our Constitutional Court — have a substantial foundation in Roe v. Wade.”

“Now it will be possible to call into question this jurisprudence that has become a sort of ‘copy and paste’ of the 1973 pro-death ruling in the U.S.,” he said.

Peru

The director of the Origin Association, Giuliana Caccia, told ACI Prensa that with the overturning of Roe v. Wade, “human rights will really begin to be defended” and, therefore, “it’s a day that’s a cause for pride and that’s worth celebrating.”

She also said the decision is like “pulling the rug out from under” all those bills that “base their arguments on this ruling.”

“What has happened today is the beginning of the end of abortion in the United States and in the world,” she said.

Bolivia

Elisa Lanza Sevilla, president of the Bolivian Platform for Life and Family and a director of Project Rachel, said that “there are no words to express so much emotion, so much joy, so much gratitude.”

“As a person working to defend life, I am thrilled to know that all over the world in pro-life groups, right now they are celebrating that a ruling that led to the death of millions of innocent children for 49 long years has come to an end,” she told ACI Prensa.

Lanza affirmed that “the expansion of the legalization of abortion in the world will be stopped” and this “silent holocaust” will end.

Finally, she thanked the “brave justices of the Supreme Court who brought the truth to light and fought for life to the end, regardless of putting their own lives at risk.”

Argentina

The director of CitizenGO campaigns in Argentina, Silvina Spataro, told ACI Prensa that “for those of us who defend life and family, this is the most important news in recent times.”

“It’s a historic ruling, and as such I believe that at this time we cannot fully assess the great importance it has and the scope that this measure will have,” she said.

Spataro recognized the “important role of Donald Trump” as president of the United States from 2017–2021, “since the votes of the three judges he appointed were essential.”

“I also want to highlight the strength of the civic-social participation of the pro-life movement in the United States, which remains strong, and the pressure from citizens that can be applied when we work in an organized manner,” she added.

Spataro said that “celebrating this great achievement has to strengthen us in standing firm in the defense of life from conception.”

“Just as slavery was reversed when it seemed impossible, it has to happen the same way to abortion; we have to continue working until it’s unthinkable for a mother to kill her child in her womb,” she concluded.

Dr. María José Mancino, founder and president of Doctors for Life in Argentina, also shared with ACI Prensa her happiness and said her organization is “united, happy, encouraged, and strengthened.”

“It is a victory, totally! Everyone from their place in life, we all gave everything, the call, our time, our resources, our sorrows and joys for this day,” she said. “It’s not just another day for any of the pro-life movements.”

Mancino said this “is the best news of the year and the best gift we can receive on the feast days of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and St. John the Baptist.”

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

Biden official promises 5 actions to protect abortion after Roe

Xavier Becerra, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services. / vasilis asvestas/Shutterstock

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Jun 28, 2022 / 14:25 pm (CNA).

The Biden administration is taking five steps to protect access to abortion, according to Xavier Becerra, the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Those steps, Becerra said on Tuesday, include increasing access to medication abortion and training health workers following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion nationwide in 1973.

Becerra condemned what he called the court’s “despicable” decision that leaves abortion policy up to each individual state.

“There is no magic bullet. But if there is something we can do, we will find it and we will do it at HHS,” Becerra said June 28, referring to instructions that he received from President Joe Biden.

Becerra stressed that HHS would support Biden as he works to make available abortion pills and to enable women to travel for out-of-state abortions.

Both Biden and Becerra, who are Catholic, support abortion, in contrast with the Catholic Church’s teaching that “Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception.”

Following the overturning of Roe, Becerra would not say Monday if he thought fewer abortions would be a good thing in America.

“I think if we leave things in the hands of a woman to make decisions for her own body, we’re going to have the best decisions made,” Becerra told EWTN correspondent Owen Jensen.

At the Tuesday news conference, Becerra outlined the HHS’ five steps to protect abortion. He began with abortion pills, which allow women to perform early abortions without leaving their homes.

The HHS, Becerra said, “will take steps to increase access” by ensuring that federally-supported programs and services provide these pills in cases of rape, incest, or to save the woman’s life, in compliance with federal law.

The department is also looking into protecting patient and provider privacy, supporting doctors’ “clinical judgment” when treating pregnant women in emergencies, and training providers on family planning and “helping patients navigate this new reality,” he continued.

Becerra added that he is directing the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to also protect “family planning care,” including contraception.

When asked about the possibility of placing abortion clinics on federal land to bypass state laws or helping women travel to different states to obtain abortion, Becerra responded that “every option is on the table.”

Of all the steps, Becerra emphasized increasing access to abortion pills, calling it a “national imperative.” That included, he said, working “to ensure that states may not ban medication abortion, based on a disagreement with the FDA’s expert judgment about the drug’s safety and efficacy.”

Pro-life research organizations, such as the Charlotte Lozier Institute, have expressed concern about the safety of this type of abortion for women.

“How we respond will speak to how we view the rights, the dignity and the wellbeing of women everywhere,” Becerra said. “All options are on the table. We will do everything within our legal limit of the law to reach patients and support providers.”

Immediately before his remarks, HHS launched a website claiming to inform Americans about their “rights” to “reproductive health care,” including abortion. Among other things, it recommends abortion funds “if you need help paying for an abortion.”

Following Becerra’s remarks, Senator Steve Daines, founder and chair of the Senate Pro-Life Caucus, issued a statement responding to the Biden administration’s plans regarding abortion. 

“The Biden administration will stop at nothing, not even a Supreme Court ruling, to force their radical, pro-abortion agenda on all Americans,” the Republican from Montana said. “Instead of allowing Americans’ voices to be heard when it comes to abortion, President Biden wants to force states to allow dangerous DIY abortion pills and is considering plans to use taxpayer dollars to fund abortion tourism across state lines and even set up abortion clinics in our national parks.”

He added: “This is outrageous. Our fight is long from over—I will continue to stand up for all life, no matter how small.”

These U.S. companies will pay staff abortion travel expenses

Starbucks coffee shop. / AKS.9955/wikimedia. CC BY SA 4.0

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Jun 28, 2022 / 13:54 pm (CNA).

As some states ban or regulate abortion following the Dobbs decision, numerous companies have announced they will provide financial assistance to employees traveling for abortions.

In Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Supreme Court ruled June 24 that the right to an abortion is not protected under the U.S. Constitution; states are thus now able to ban abortion.  

Many states already have enacted trigger laws to ban abortion immediately, while the practice remains legal in others. 

Some prominent corporations have announced they will support employees in states where they cannot procure abortion by covering travel costs associated with the procedure through their health insurance.

Dick’s Sporting Goods announced June 24 that it will provide up to $4,000 in travel reimbursements to any employee, spouse, or dependent enrolled in its medical plan seeking an abortion in states where it is illegal. 

“We recognize people feel passionately about this topic– and that there are teammates and athletes who will not agree with this decision,” the company said. The statement also noted that it believes these decisions are “deeply personal.”

Some companies, including Starbucks and Levi Strauss and Co., will fully reimburse expenses for women seeking legal access to abortion. A Starbucks statement says, “We will provide partners enrolled in Starbucks healthcare plan a medical travel reimbursement benefit to access an abortion.”

Other companies making similar offers, The Hill reported, include Amazon, Yelp, Microsoft, Apple, Netflix, Tesla, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Mastercard, Lyft, Disney, Meta, Comcast, Airbnb, Patagonia, DoorDash, PayPal, Reddit, Meta, Zillow, and Uber.

Some of the firms had announced travel assistance for abortion before the Dobbs ruling was released, in reaction either to the May 2 leak of a draft of the decision, or the Texas law banning abortion after a fetal heartbeat can be detected.

Winning 2025 Jubilee Year logo unveiled after global competition

Archbishop Rino Fisichella, pro-prefect of the Dicastery for Evangelization, presents the logo for the 2025 Jubilee Year, June 28, 2022. / Daniel Ibanez/CNA

Vatican City, Jun 28, 2022 / 10:40 am (CNA).

The Vatican evangelization chief unveiled on Tuesday the winning logo of the 2025 Jubilee Year, chosen after a worldwide competition.

Archbishop Rino Fisichella, pro-prefect of the Dicastery for Evangelization, presented the logo and the preparations for the Catholic Church’s next holy year at a June 28 press conference.

A jubilee is a Holy Year of grace and pilgrimage in the Catholic Church, which typically takes place every 25 years. The motto of the 2025 Jubilee is “Pilgrims of Hope” — “Peregrinantes in Spem” in Latin.

The logo of the 2025 Jubilee Year, with the motto in English. Courtesy of the Dicastery for Evangelization
The logo of the 2025 Jubilee Year, with the motto in English. Courtesy of the Dicastery for Evangelization

Fisichella said there were 294 entries from 48 countries entered in the logo competition. Participants ranged in age from six to 83 years old.

“In fact, many were hand-made drawings by children from all over the world, and it was truly moving to review these drawings that were the fruit of imagination and simple faith,” the archbishop said.

A panel narrowed the selection to three projects, which were presented to Pope Francis, who chose the logo designed by Italian Giacomo Travisani.

A Vatican press release described the logo as “four stylized figures to indicate all of humanity from the four corners of the earth.”

“They are each embracing another, indicating the solidarity and brotherhood that must unite peoples,” it continued. “It should be noted that the first figure is clinging to the cross. The underlying waves are choppy to indicate that the pilgrimage of life is not always on calm waters.”

“Oftentimes personal circumstances and world events call for a greater sense of hope. This is why the lower part of the cross is elongated, turning into an anchor, which dominates the movement of the waves. As is well known, the anchor has often been used as a metaphor for hope,” it said.

The logo may be freely used by bishops’ conferences and Catholic communities for pastoral reasons, Fisichella said, while noting that commercial use is prohibited by a copyright maintained and managed by the Dicastery for Evangelization.

Fisichella said the official website of the 2025 Jubilee Year will launch after the summer.

The Catholic Church’s last Great Jubilee was held in 2000 with the motto “Christ Yesterday, Today, Forever.”

In 2015, Pope Francis called for an extraordinary Jubilee, a Holy Year of Mercy.

Archbishop Fisichella said the year before the Jubilee, 2024, will be dedicated to prayer in preparation of the Holy Year, while 2023 will be focused on promoting the major documents of the Second Vatican Council.

“The year 2023 will be devoted to revisiting the fundamental topics of the four Council Constitutions so that the Church can breathe anew the profound and timely teaching produced by Vatican II, whose 60th anniversary will be celebrated on October 11,” the evangelization chief said.

“For this reason,” he added, “a series of user-friendly resources, written in appealing language, are being produced to arouse curiosity in those who have no memory of the event and to help them enter into the essence of the Council in order to discover the innovative longing that enabled the Church to consciously enter the third millennium of its history.”