Left

China criticizes Pope over comment on persecuted Uighur Muslim minority…

BEIJING — China criticized Pope Francis on Tuesday over a passage in his new book in which he mentions suffering by China’s Uighur Muslim minority group. Foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said Francis’ remarks had “no factual basis at all.” “People of all ethnic groups enjoy the full rights of survival, development, and freedom of religious belief,” Zhao said at a daily briefing. Zhao made no mention of the camps in which more than 1 million Uighurs and members of other Chinese Muslim minority groups have been held. The U.S. and other governments, along with human rights groups, say the prison-like facilities are intended to divide Muslims from their religious and cultural heritage, forcing them to declare loyalty to China’s ruling Communist Party and its leader, Xi Jinping. China,...

Catholics can morally take soon-to-be-released COVID-19 vaccines, says U.S. bishops’ internal memo…

Days after some Catholic bishops shared misinformation on social media about Covid-19 vaccines that may soon hit the market, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops distributed a memo to all U.S. bishops stating that at least two of the vaccines are considered ethically sound. The memo also reminded bishops that church teaching allows for even the widespread use of vaccines whose origins are considered ethically unsound when other treatments are unavailable. The Catholic Church teaches that it is unethical to use stem cells derived from aborted fetuses in medical research. Earlier this month, two bishops called into question the moral permissibility of using two vaccines created in the United States by Pfizer and Moderna, both of which appear headed toward regulatory approva...

I recently attended my first Traditional Latin Mass. It didn’t go well. Here’s what happened…..

[embedded content] Matt Archbold: “My first Latin Mass gave me much to think about, and laugh about.” Join Our Telegram Group : Salvation & Prosperity  

Vaccines and doubly remote cooperation in evil…

This month, two vaccines for COVID-19 finished their final tests. They proved to be 90–94 percent effective at preventing COVID, and both vaccines have been ethically produced. This is very good news indeed. Some have raised moral qualms about getting these vaccines, but the moral issues with both are so remote and minor that they should prevent nobody from getting either of them. Pfizer and Moderna Announce Vaccines On November 10, Pfizer announced the results of its final test showing 90 percent effectiveness against COVID. On the 16th, Moderna announced similar results with a 94 percent effectiveness. Both of these vaccines are part of a new set of vaccines using artificial mRNA technology. Earlier vaccines used a dead or attenuated version of the virus that was grown on some form of st...

Jupiter and Saturn are about to appear closer in the sky than they have for 800 years, aligning as a ‘double planet’…

Jupiter and Saturn will align in the night sky on December 21. It’ll be the closest they’ve appeared in 800 years. The two planets move into alignment, or conjunction, every 20 years. But this year, they will be so close that they’ll look like a “double planet.” The last time Saturn and Jupiter were both this close and visible was in 1226. Here are the best ways to see this conjunction. Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories. Jupiter and Saturn are about to line up perfectly in the night sky — the two planets will get so close on December 21 that they seem to touch.  The last time they looked this close from Earth’s vantage point was nearly 800 years ago, on March 4, 1226. An astronomical event in which celestial bodies align is ca...

How Blessed Miguel Pro continued to serve his people during church closures…

Even when public worship in churches was banned, Miguel Pro continued to serve the spiritual needs of his people. In 1926 President Calles of Mexico enacted new laws in his country that specifically targeted priests and religious, as well as Church buildings. Priests were unable to wear their religious garb in public and the government seized control of churches and monasteries. Public worship was soon banned and churches remained closed to the faithful.  Despite all of these difficulties, Bl. Miguel Pro continued to serve his people as a priest, seeking alternative ways to reach his flock. St. John Paul II explained in his homily for Padre Pro’s beatification how he covertly tended to the needs of the faithful. The daily celebration of Holy Mass was the center of his life, as well as...

Newly-discovered sketch of Jesus was drawn by Leonard da Vinci, expert claims…

A drawing that was in a private collection for years has been attributed to Leonardo da Vinci. The Italian-language newspaper La Stampa reports that Annalisa Di Maria, a scholar who has worked with UNESCO’s Florence division, believes an image of Jesus found by a collector in Lecco to be the work of one of the Renaissance’s most high-profile artists. Di Maria told La Stampa that the work “recalls everything in the drawings of Leonardo: it is his language, and speaks loud and clear.” She added that the work is “the true face of Salvator Mundi,” another work attributed to Leonardo—but not by Di Maria, who said she thinks that Salvator Mundi, which sold at Christie’s for a record-setting $450.3 million in 2017, is unlikely to be by the Italian artist because the new Jesus drawing has a much d...

Living the reality of the Kingdom of Christ…

The Solemnity of Christ the King is an occasion for us every year to recalibrate our lives to the reality of Christ’s kingdom and to follow the criteria Christ gives us to enter it, live in it and proclaim it.  The annual feast is much needed to fight against the perennial temptation to view the world through the lens of earthly power and squeeze our understanding of God into that prism. This was happening in 1925, when Pope Pius XI established the solemnity. There was a militant atheism — the most notorious examples were in Russia and Mexico — seeking to repress belief in Christ and suppress Christian presence in the world. There was, moreover, a much larger secularizing trend that was attempting to order life without reference to God and make faith exclusively private. Then there we...

“Have you no such custom at meal?” — Praying before meals in Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings”…

During November in the United States of America, families will celebrate Thanksgiving. It is a national holiday where we reflect upon our state in life and express our gratitude to God for His providential care. It is also a time to be with friends and family and to be thankful for the gift of their presence. In addition, it is a time to be thankful for the gift of our own life, realizing how frail we are as humans. This mortality we have is made even more real when we remember the lives of those who have gone before us in the sleep of death and who no longer can be at our side this Thanksgiving. Typical of a family Thanksgiving Day meal is the recitation of “grace” before the feast begins. This tradition of thanking God for the bounty He has provided has always been a vital part...

Sober but serene themes of judgment in the spirituals…

I’ve often been impressed by the ability of old African-American spirituals to treat serious subjects in a clear, memorable, and almost joyful way. This is true even of weighty matters like sin and judgment. During early November we are focused on the four last things (death, judgment, Heaven, and hell) and November is also Black Catholic History Month. So, this seems like a good time to look at some of the creative lines from different spirituals that articulate these topics. It can be very helpful to the preacher, teacher, and parent in recovering an ethos of coming judgment, but in a way that is almost playfully bright while at the same time deeply soulful. In a certain sense, the spirituals are unimpeachable, even by hypersensitive post-moderns who seek to shame preachers for announcin...

Nobody has admitted to hitting “Like” on racy image from Pope’s account, so the Vatican is asking Instagram to get involved…

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Nov 20, 2020 / 04:00 pm MT (CNA).- The Vatican said that no one in the Holy See “liked” a racy photograph while logged in to Pope Francis’ Instagram account, and has requested that Instagram open an investigation into how or why such a “like” appears to have happened. “We can rule out that the ‘like’ comes from the Holy See, which has turned to Instagram for explanations,” the Holy See Press Office told CNA Nov. 18. On Nov. 13, it was widely reported and observed that Pope Francis’ verified, official Instagram account, “Franciscus,” had “liked” a racy photo of model and streamer Natalia Garibotto. In the picture, Garibotto is wearing a lingerie outfit that resembles a school uniform, and her mostly-uncovered posterior is visible in the picture.   The p...

November, the holy souls, and purgatory…

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY November is the month of the Holy Souls, and so this is an important time to remember our loved ones, and more generally the souls in Purgatory. But our concern for them should not be limited to just one month. We can also, at any time of the year and at any time or place, pray for them, or visit a cemetery and pray for particular souls, either vocally or mentally, so as to gain a partial indulgence on their behalf, using, for example this well-known prayer:“Eternal rest grant to them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.”We can also say the rosary, or do the stations of the cross for the Holy Souls, but as the Catechism of the Catholic Church states, (n. 1032), the bes...