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'We proclaim Jesus through witness of brotherly love,' Pope tells pilgrims (Vatican News)

In his July 3 Angelus address, Pope Francis reflected on the Gospel reading of the day (Luke 10:1-12, 17-20).

“The evangelizing mission is not based on personal activism, that is, on ‘doing,’ but on the witness of brotherly love, even amid the difficulties that living together entails,” the Pope said. “May the Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, teach us how to prepare the way for the Lord with the witness of fraternity.”

University of Idaho violated Christian students' free-speech rights, federal court rules (Religion Clause)

The University of Idaho’s Office of Civil Rights and Investigations disciplined three Christian law school students after they discussed the biblical view of human sexuality with a lesbian classmate.

Siding with the Christian students, a federal district found a “clear distinction between the right to attempt to persuade others to change their views and offensive speech that is so intrusive that the unwilling audience cannot avoid it. The right to free speech cannot be curtailed simply because the speaker’s message may be offensive to his audience.”

Only 44% of Australians identify as Christian (Australian Bureau of Statistics)

The percentage of Australians who describe themselves as Christians fell from 86.2% in 1971 to 43.9% in 2021, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on July 4.

There are 604,900 fewer Anglicans, and 215,900 fewer Catholics, than in 2016.

In India, more than 200 cases of violence against Christians in 5 months (Fides)

“In 2022, the most violent state so far has been Uttar Pradesh (map), with 48 reported incidents,” according to the report. “Incidents include sexual violence, intimidation and threats, social ostracism, vandalism and desecration of religious sites, and disruption of prayer services.”

Ukraine renews its invitation for Pope Francis to visit (Reuters)

“We renew the invitation to Pope Francis to visit our country and urge you to continue praying for the Ukrainian people,” said Oleg Nikolenko, spokesman for the Ukrainian foreign ministry, following the publication of an interview in which Pope Francis said he hoped to visit Russia and Ukraine.

'Peace begins with each of us,' Pope preaches to Rome's Congolese community (Vatican News)

On July 3, Pope Francis celebrated the Mass of the 14th Sunday in Ordinary Time in St. Peter’s Basilica for Rome’s Congolese community.

The Mass was scheduled after the announcement of the postponement of his apostolic journey to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan.

In his homily, the Pope discussed “three missionary surprises that Jesus reserves for the disciples and reserves to every one of us, if we listen to him”: “equipment,” “the message,” and “our style.” He concluded, “May the Lord help us to be missionaries today, going in the company of our brother and our sister, with peace and God’s closeness on our lips; bearing in our heart the gentleness and goodness of Jesus, the Lamb who takes away the sins of the world.”

Bishop given new mission to Ukrainian refugees in Ireland (Pillar)

Pope Francis has appointed Ukrainian Catholic Bishop Kenneth Nowakowski of London as apostolic visitator for Ukrainian Catholics in Ireland and in Northern Ireland.

Nearly 40,000 Ukrainian refugees have arrived in Ireland since the war began.

“In the Latin Church, a visitator (or visitor) is an official who performs an often delicate short-term mission on the Pope’s behalf,” the Pillar explained. In the Eastern Catholic churches, “a visitator has a more long-term role in overseeing communities that do not have their own bishop.”

Bishop Nowakowski said that “the big thing —and I emphasize that time and again —is to keep us in prayer, to remember Ukraine, don’t let it slip off the horizon because it’s become, perhaps, old news. It’s very important.”

Pope Francis: 'Sports are a sign of hope amidst war' (Vatican News)

“I am sure that you, like myself, are saddened because the war in Ukraine casts its shadow on this celebration,” Pope Francis told members of the European Swimming League on July 4, a month before the European Aquatics Championships.

“At the same time, I would hope that this will make us all the more committed to showing our desire for a world of peace, a world without wars, without hatred between peoples, without nuclear threats,” he added.

In Sri Lanka, Church takes legal recourse for Easter attack victims (UCANews)

The 2019 Sri Lanka Easter bombings killed 269 people and injured over 500. Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith of Colombo, the nation’s largest city, is pressing for legal consequences for officials who did not act to avert the attacks.

Two more Nigerian priests kidnapped (Fides)

Two more Catholic priests were kidnapped in Nigeria over the weekend, although one was quickly freed by a police raid.

Father Luigi Brena was seized by armed men in the southern Edo state on July 3. Police tracked the kidnappers to a forest camp, and freed the priest after a gun battle. Police in Edo are still searching for the kidnappers who abducted to other priests last week.

Meanwhile in the northeastern Kaduna state, Father Emmanuel Silas as kidnapped on July 4.