USCCB president condemns threat of widespread immigration enforcement actions, new rule drastically limiting asylum (USCCB) On July 14, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) launched a nationwide deportation sweep that President Donald Trump had announced, delayed, and re-announced. On July 16, an interim final rule on asylum, announced the previous day, went into effect; under the rule, “asylum-seeking immigrants who pass through a third country en route to the US must first apply for refugee status in that country rather than at the US border,” NPR reported. Cardinal Daniel DiNardo commented, “It is contrary to American and Christian values to attempt to prevent people from migrating here when they are fleeing to save their lives and to find safety for their families.”
Russian Orthodox Church considers ban on blessing weapons of mass destruction (RNS) The report comes as the United States and Russia discuss nuclear arms limits. Comparing nuclear weapons to guardian angels, Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, chairman of the Synodal Department for the Cooperation of Church and Society of the Moscow Patriarchate from 2009 to 2015, said, “Only nuclear weapons protect Russia from enslavement by the West.”
Abbey Psalms and Canticles will gradually be incorporated into Lectionary, Liturgy of the Hours (USCCB) The translation, prepared by the Benedictine monks of Conception Abbey, will be “more accurate and more conducive to singing and recitation,” according to US Conference of Catholic Bishops. The Holy See approved the translation of the Psalms in 2010 and the translation of the canticles in 2016; the US Conference of Catholic Bishops has purchased the copyrights; the Abbey Psalms were formerly called the Revised Grail Psalter.
Leading Venezuelan prelate renews criticism of Maduro regime (Vatican News) The president of the bishop’s conference, Archbishop Jose Luis Azuaje Ayala of Maracaibo, told Vatican News that Nicolás Maduro rules Venezuela illegitimately because the 2018 presidential election was “full of irregularities.” The prelate added, “In Maracaibo [the second-largest city], the lights go out every 5 or 6 hours. There is no water ... We continue to insist on the need for political change in the country, because without it there will be no change in the economic or social system.”
Secretary Pompeo convenes 2nd Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom (US Department of State) The 2nd Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom brings together 1,000 foreign ministers, religious leaders, and others from 115 nations. “77% of world’s population, 5.5 billion, live in 83 countries with high or very high restrictions on the practice of religion,” said Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the Military Services, who chairs the US bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace. “I am pleased to participate in this Ministerial, and support our government’s efforts to promote freedom of conscience and religion for all.”
Vatican spokesman discusses Teutonic Cemetery investigation (Vatican News) 36 years after the disappearance of Emanuela Orlandi, the Vatican’s decision to open two tombs is “a sign of particular attention and human and Christian closeness to the Orlandi family,” said Andrea Tornielli, editorial director of the Dicastery for Communication. “It is certainly not—as has been said—an admission by the Vatican of a possible involvement in the concealment of a corpse.”
Catholic Charities USA 'strongly opposes' ICE deportation raids (Catholic Charities USA) “The threats of deportation and family separation are causing anxiety and fear within the vulnerable communities our agencies serve, endangering immigrant rights and safety,” said Sister Donna Markham. “Most significant is the lasting psychological damage family separation inflicts upon children. Such cruel behavior will impact children for the rest of their lives.”
Vincent Lambert dies of starvation (Vatican Press Office) Vincent Lambert died early on July 11 in a hospital in Reims, France, nine days after he was deprived of food and water as the result of a French court order. The Vatican released a statement promising prayers for the deceased and “those who, up to the end, were committed to assisting him with love and devotion.”