- Penitential rite held at St. Peter's Basilica following desecration of Altar of Confession (CWN)
Two days after a naked man jumped on the main altar of St. Peter’s Basilica, Cardinal Mauro Gambetti, OFM Conv, led a penitential rite in reparation for the act of desecration.
- Cardinal Zuppi, papal envoy, in Kyiv for peace talks (Vatican Press Office)
Cardinal Matteo Zuppi is making a two-day visit to Kyiv, June 4-5, as the personal representative of Pope Francis, hoping to lay the groundwork for a ceasefire in Ukraine. The Vatican press office said that the purpose of his visit is “to listen in depth to the Ukrainian authorities about possible ways to achieve a just peace and to support gestures of humanity that will help ease tensions.” Cardinal Zuppi is expected next to travel to Moscow for similar talks with Russian officials.
- Pope warns Pontifical Mission Societies of 'alleged corruption' (CWN)
In an address to participants in the general assembly of the Pontifical Mission Societies, Pope Francis spoke of “alleged corruption having occurred in the name of the Church’s missionary work.”
- 'God is a communion of love,' Pope tells pilgrims on Trinity Sunday (Vatican Press Office)
During his Angelus address on Trinity Sunday, Pope Francis reflected on John 3:16-18, the Gospel reading of the day. “Do we bear witness to God-as-love?” the Pope asked pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square. “If God is love, do our communities bear witness to this? ... Do we keep the door open always, do we know how to welcome everyone – and I emphasize, everyone – to welcome them as brothers and sisters?” “God is love, God is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and he gave his life for us, for this cross,” the Pope concluded. “And may Mary help us to live the Church as that home where one loves in a familiar way, to the glory of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.”
- Moscow: no plans yet for papal envoy's visit (Tass)
While Cardinal Matteo Zuppi is in Kyiv this week for peace talks, a Russian government spokesman says that the papal envoy has not yet scheduled a visit to Moscow. The spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin told reporters that the Russian leader expected to hear from Cardinal Zuppi after the prelate’s visit to Kyiv. As for a subsequent trip to Moscow, he said: “We will inform you if it is penciled in.”
- Confirmed: Pope Francis to make apostolic journey to Mongolia (Vatican Press Office)
Matteo Bruni, the director of the Holy See Press Office, announced on June 3 that Pope Francis will make an apostolic journey to Mongolia from August 31 to September 4. The nation is home to only 1,300 Catholics, but is strategically important, as it is surrounded by Russia and China. The Pontiff discussed the possibility of a trip to Mongolia at a February in-flight press conference, and more recently, during a similar press conference at the end of April.
- Climate-change action 'cannot be postponed,' Pope says (Vatican News)
On June 5, Pope Francis met in a private audience with the promoters of the Green and Blue Festival, a celebration of World Environment Day. In his remarks the Pope remarked that “the first great United Nations Conference on the Human Environment” took place more than 50 years ago: in Stockholm on June 5, 1972. He went on to say that action to stop climate change “is urgent; it cannot be postponed.” The Stockholm conference and its successors, the Pope said, have “increased our sense of responsibility before God, who entrusted the care of creation to us, before our neighbor and before future generations.”
- 'Love your roots,' Pope tells pilgrims from hometowns of Saints John XXIII, Paul VI (Vatican Press Office)
Pope Francis received pilgrims from Sotto il Monte and Concesio, the small northern Italian towns in which Pope St. John XXIII (1881-1963) and Pope St. Paul VI (1897-1978) were born. Pope Francis addressed the pilgrims on June 3, the 60th anniversary of the death of Pope John XXIII. “Let us give thanks to the Lord that he gave them, in your towns, a land that is fertile and rich in holiness in which to set down their roots and grow, and because he made you too, as he did your parents, your grandparents, and the many who lived, loved, worked, sowed and harvested, rejoiced and cried in your towns and in your countryside before you, a good and generous soil in which small seeds of goodness can germinate and grow for the future,” the Pope said. “Love your roots, do not detach the tree from its roots: it will not bear fruit,” the Pope added. “Always try to progress in harmony with your roots, in tune with your roots.”
- Mexican bishops, Pope discuss migration, sociopolitical challenges (Vatican News)
On June 2, Pope Francis received a group of bishops from central Mexico, who were in Rome for their ad limina visit.
- Carmelites amend lawsuit against Fort Worth's Bishop Olson (WFAA)
A Carmelite monastery in Texas has filed an amended lawsuit against the Diocese of Fort Worth and Bishop Michael Olson, after the bishop dismissed the community’s superior from religious life. A lawyer for the Most Holy Trinity Discalced Carmelite Nuns said the dismissal of Mother Teresa Agnes Gerlach was “absolutely unjust and unconscionable in the light of moral, canonical, and natural law.” While a canonical appeal is anticipated, the attorney said that a civil suit, charging the bishop with defamation and theft, will go ahead. The Carmelites charge that Bishop Olson wrongfully seized the mother superior’s computer, and while the computer was eventually returned, the diocese copied and retained “private correspondence, private documents, extensive medical records,” and other information that are the private property of the monastery.
- Opus Dei leader meets with Pope (CWN)
Pope Francis received Msgr. Fernando Ocáriz, the Prelate of Opus Dei since 2017, on June 3.
- Amazonia leaders grateful for papal encouragement (Vatican News)
On June 1, Pope Francis received indigenous representatives of the Amazon Ecclesial Conference (CEAMA) and of REPAM, the Pan-Amazonian Ecclesial Network.
- Judge rules against protective order for documents in bishop's defamation case (WBIR)
A Tennessee judge has rejected a request by the Knoxville diocese for a protective order curbing the release of sensitive internal documents, in a lawsuit against Bishop Richard Stika. A former church musician has charged that the bishop failed to respond when he (the musician) was raped by a seminarian, and then defamed him by saying that the rape charge was a fraud. Lawyers for the diocese had sought a protective order for diocesan records related to the case. The judge ruled that the diocese had not presented a compelling case to keep the documents private.
- Scientists from 3 continents named to pontifical academy (CWN)
Pope Francis named three new members of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences on June 3.
- Vatican conference marks CAPP Foundation's 30th anniversary (Centesimus Annus Pro-Pontifice Foundation)
The Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice (CAPP) Foundation, named after Pope St. John Paul II’s 1991 social encyclical, promotes the study and diffusion of Catholic social doctrine.
- Pope Francis denounces 'lawfare,' but does he practice it? (Crux)
John Allen of Crux notes that Pope Francis has decried “lawfare”—the use of the judiciary to prosecute political opponents—particularly in Brazil. “Yet Pope Francis is vulnerable to the charge of not practicing what he preaches when it comes to lawfare, because he has his own criminal justice system.” The Pontiff is the final authority on all matters at the Vatican, Allen points out; there is no separation of powers. Thus for instance in the current landmark financial trial, “the judges who made this ruling are paid, hired and fired by the same guy who controls the police and prosecutors.”
- Archbishop Gänswein ordered to leave Rome? (CNA)
Pope Francis has told Archbishop Georg Gänswein that he must leave Rome, according to a German newspaper report. The former secretary to the late Pope Benedict XVI has not been given a new pastoral assignment, but has been instructed to return to the Freiburg diocese, where he was ordained, according to the report. Neither the Vatican nor the German archbishop has commented on the report. Archbishop Gänswein met with Pope Francis in a private audience on May 19. Although the Vatican did not disclose the topics discussed at that meeting, it was generally understood that the Pope spoke with the German archbishop about a new assignment. The two had met earlier, in January, shortly after the death of Pope Benedict. In April, an Argentine journalist who had interviewed the Pontiff reported: “Francis reminded Gänswein that all the private secretaries of the popes had returned to their dioceses when the Pope died.” On paper, Archbishop Gänswein still has a Vatican assignment, as Prefect of the Pontifical Household. But in 2020, after a brief uproar over a book in which the Pope-emeritus and Cardinal Robert Sarah defended clerical celibacy, Pope Francis instructed Gänswein to devote all his energy to the care of Pope Benedict—effectively dismissing him from the Pontifical Household. So he is, at the comparatively young age of 66, effectively a prelate without portfolio.
- Pope Francis, in message, invokes Mary as Mediatrix of all graces, warns against 'sterile traditionalism' (CWN)
Thousands of people took part in a Marian procession in the Sardinian city of Sassari on May 28 to mark the 80th anniversary of the sparing of their city from Allied bombing during World War II.
- New Vatican statistics note 'downward trend' in Catholic baptisms worldwide (CNS)
The number of seminarians around the world has also declined. After surging from 63,882 in 1978 to 120,616 in 2011, the number of seminarians has steadily fallen over the last decade and now stands at 109,895 (the lowest figure since 1999).
- Fort Worth bishop dismisses Carmelite superior (OSVNews)
Bishop Michael Olson of Fort Worth, Texas, has dismissed the superior of a Carmelite monastery from religious life, in the latest move in a public dispute with the religious community. Bishop Olson took action immediately after the Vatican Dicastery for Religious appointed him as “commissary” for the Carmelite monastery in Arlington, Texas. A commissary is ordinarily named when the Vatican concludes that a religious community is unable to govern itself. The dispute began in April, when the bishop opened an investigation of Mother Teresa Agnes, the superior of the monastery, charging that she had violated the Sixth Commandment with a visiting priest. The Carmelite community denies that charge, saying that the Mother Teresa Agnes admitted only to unspecified misconduct that took place while she was under the influence of medications after surgery. As the conflict escalated, Bishop Olson seized control of the monastery’s communications. Mother Teresa Agnes and her community filed a lawsuit in civil court, saying that the bishop had no authority to take such actions. The bishop fired back by ordering a halt to the daily Mass celebrated at the monastery. With his order dismissing Mother Teresa Agnes from religious life, Bishop Olson said that he would restore the daily Mass, as well as confessions, to the Carmelite community.