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Did the Vatican really issue a vaccine mandate? Did a Canadian archdiocese?

Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, president of the governorate of Vatican City, instituted on Monday a new set of public health regulations for the city-state, in response to the coronavirus. The announcement has been widely pitched as a vaccine “mandate” in media reports, especially since it comes amid public debate about similar measures adopted by Catholic dioceses in North America, and about the freedom of conscience for Catholics who want to refuse vaccination. But does the Vatican order require vaccines for everyone? What are the exemptions, and what is the context? The Pillar explains: Swiss Guards at the Vatican. Credit: Bob Hall (CC BY-SA 2.0) Share What does the Vatican require? The order requires that anyone entering Vatican City or its “extraterritorial properties” will be required t...

The Tuesday Pillar Post: In the news, Canada, and St. Matthew’s genealogy…

Hey everybody, Today is the Feast of St. Matthew, the apostle and evangelist, and this is The Tuesday Pillar Post. In the news Meet Juliana Taimoorazy When Juliana Taimoorazy was smuggled out of Iran as a teenager, she probably didn’t expect to spend her adult life advocating for the religious freedom of women in neighboring Iraq. But — thanks to the invitation of Cardinal Francis George — that’s what she’s done. And now she’s nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. The Pillar’s Michelle La Rosa talked with Taimoorazy about her extraordinary life story, her work with women in Iraq, and what she’s now asking of the Biden administration. A bit about her life: My classmates or the principals would tell me that I would burn in hell for my Christian name. My friends would corner me from time to ti...

In meeting with Jesuits, Pope pillories ‘large Catholic TV channel,’ says ‘some people wanted me to die’ amid health problems…

Pope Francis answered questions from fellow Jesuits in a closed-door meeting in Slovakia’s capital city, Bratislava, during his Sept. 12-15 visit to the country. VATICAN CITY — In a private meeting with Jesuits in Slovakia on Sept. 12, Pope Francis said that there were people who wanted him to die after he underwent colon surgery in July. During the encounter, a Jesuit priest asked the pope how he was doing, to which he replied: “Still alive, even though some people wanted me to die.” “I know there were even meetings between prelates who thought the pope’s condition was more serious than the official version. They were preparing for the conclave,” he added. “Patience! Thank God, I’m all right.” Pope Francis answered questions from fellow Jesuits in a closed-door meeting in Slovakia’s capit...

Karma may be trendy, but it’s also a lot darker and less hopeful than people realize…

Karma is trendy, but it’s also a lot darker and less hopeful than people realize. This video originally appeared at Real Life Catholic and is used with permission. Sign up for Chris Stefanick’s email list here. You know, it’s really common among young people — if you hadn’t noticed — to rebel against their parents. As part of that, they adopt phrases or images from other religions, as if they’re kind of cool. But Christian phrases and images aren’t. You go to the typical teenage store, and despite the fact that there are almost no young people in America who are really sincere Buddhists, you’ll find Buddha statues — you won’t find crosses. Or if you’re listening to conversations between young people or kids in college, you might hear them drop phrases like “karma.” But if they talk a...

175 years ago, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared at La Salette, and wept…

What were the reasons for her tears? Our Lady said it was two great causes that estrange people from her son — blasphemy and the neglect of the Lord’s day. Tears are mysterious. While they “rise in the heart and gather in the eyes,” their purpose and cause remain subjects of curiosity and scientific study.  Marian apparitions too, are soaked in mystery. Why do a select few experience inexplicable phenomena where others see nothing.  This week marks the 175th anniversary of a mysterious rendezvous between two French peasant children and a woman in tears. On Sept. 19, 1846, Mélanie Mathieu and Maximin Giraud reported having encountered a lady seated along the hillside outside a small hamlet in the French Alps with her face buried in her hands. The “beautiful lady,” as the children ...

Canadian Archbishop: Only Fully Vaccinated Can Attend Mass…

The New Brunswick rules apply to those 12 and older seeking to attend “indoor organized gatherings,” including weddings, funerals, conferences, workshops and parties, excepting parties at a private dwelling. MONCTON, N.B. — Anyone age 12 or over attending a gathering at Catholic churches, rectories or community centers under the responsibility of the Archdiocese of Moncton must present proof that they are fully vaccinated, the archdiocese announced Friday. The new policy applies to all religious celebrations, Sunday and weekday Masses, baptisms, wedding and funerals, parish and pastoral meetings, catechesis, and social meetings. The archdiocese’s announcement comes in the wake of new provincial government rules set to take effect Tuesday requiring proof of vaccination to access certa...

Benedict XVI warns: Legalization of same-sex marriage is a ‘distortion of conscience’…

The question of same-sex marriage, Pope emeritus Benedict XVI continued, is not a question of being “a little more broadminded and open. Rather, the basic question arises: who is man? And with it also the question of whether there is a Creator or if we are not all just manufactured products.” VATICAN CITY — Pope emeritus Benedict XVI has said that the legalization of same-sex marriage in many countries is “a distortion of conscience” which has also entered some Catholic circles. In an introduction to a new anthology of his writings on Europe, Benedict XVI said that “with the legalization of ‘same-sex marriage’ in 16 European countries, the issue of marriage and family has taken on a new dimension that cannot be ignored.” “We are witnessing a distortion of conscience which has evidently pen...

Sept. 17 is the feast day of St. Hildegard of Bingen…

St. Hildegard (1098-1179) was born into a noble family and who, because of her visionary gift, was given as a child to be raised by the Church and eventually became an abbess. She is not only a confirmed saint but a Doctor of the Church. Her writing is prolific, covering her extraordinary visions of salvation history, medicine, and even music composition. We also have hundreds of her letters; she corresponded with kings, queens, popes, abbots, nuns, etc. Hildegard was left out of the history books and it is not clear why. She fell into obscurity shortly after her death. She was rediscovered in the late twentieth century by Latin scholars looking for new material for their students; her Latin works were first translated into English in the late 1980s. This led to he...

Francis knows the Church is in a rut. But does he know why?

By Dr. Jeff Mirus ( bio – articles – email ) | Sep 16, 2021 I haven’t written much about Pope Francis’ bizarre pontificate for a long time, but I am moved to do so now by the decision to focus the next General Synod of the Church on synodality (see Synodality and the evasion of responsibility). In this, clearly, Pope Francis hopes for a vibrant response which will pry the Church out of what we might call the “same old rut” (however defined) so that it becomes more actively evangelical (however defined). There is much confusion about the problem the Church finds herself in today, but there is no question that she has a problem. My resolve to address the pontificate again was strengthened by the Pope’s recent comments on withholding the Eucharist from Catholic politicians who sup...

All the major languages of the world, in one stunning visualization…

For Americans and people watching around the world, September 11, 2001, is a day that will never be forgotten. Within three hours, New York’s tallest buildings were reduced to rubble, and the Pentagon—the nerve center of the American armed forces—was burning and partially collapsed. Thousands of civilians had lost their lives and were seriously injured, and the entire country was in collective shock, still trying to make sense of how a coordinated act of terrorism of that magnitude was allowed to take place on American soil. In the 20 years since 9/11, the events that occurred that morning have been analyzed in-depth from a thousand different angles. Even though the attacks took place in the era just before mobile phones had viable cameras, there are countless images and videos of the even...

Did a religious search help shape Norm Macdonald’s haunting humor?

While it may sound strange, I would argue that there are theological “ghosts” hiding inside the great comic Norm Macdonald’s most famous joke. This was the “moth” story, of course. Right. This joke wasn’t a Saturday Night Live shot at O.J. Simpson or Bill Clinton. It was a long, twisting, bizarre story about a nihilistic moth who was afraid of eternity. It was the kind of joke that fit with the summary of Macdonald’s life and work that opened this Ricochet tribute by Jon Gabriel: “Norm Macdonald — Dostoyevsky in Front of a Red Brick Wall.” The smartest comedians portray themselves as the dumbest; Norm Macdonald was the best at this sleight of hand. He graduated high school at 14, read Russian literature in his downtime, and had long philosophical discussions with clergy. … Macdonald was a ...

St. Januarius’ Blood Liquefies for the Second Time in 2021…

The bones and blood of St. Januarius — San Gennaro in Italian — are preserved as relics in Naples Cathedral. NAPLES, Italy — The blood of St. Januarius, patron of the Italian city of Naples, liquefied on Sunday. The miraculous event took place in the city’s Cathedral of the Assumption of Mary during morning Mass on Sept. 19, the saint’s feast day. Before the Mass, Naples Archbishop Domenico Battaglia went to the Royal Chapel of the Treasure of St. Januarius with Msgr. Vincenzo de Gregorio, the chapel’s abbot, and city mayor Luigi De Magistris.  Archbishop Battaglia opened the safe containing a reliquary with a circular sealed vial filled with the third-century bishop’s blood.  The 58-year-old archbishop brought the reliquary to the cathedral’s high altar. During the miracle, the ...