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Pope prays for victims of Italian glacier tragedy, appeals for care of environment (Vatican News)

“The tragedies we are living because of climate change must push us to urgently find new paths that are respectful towards people and nature,” Pope Francis said in an Italian-language tweet, after the collapse of an Italian glacier triggered an avalanche that killed seven.

Pope hopes for renewal of secret China accord (Reuters)

Pope Francis says that a secret diplomatic agreement with China, governing the appointment of new bishops, is working well, and he hopes it will be renewed in October.

In an interview with Reuters, the Pope conceded that the appointment of new Chinese bishops is “going slowly.” He suggested this was “the Chinese way,” adding “no one can rush them.”

Since the reached the accord with Beijing in 2018, allowing the Chinese regime to select episcopal candidates for the Pope’s approval, only six new Catholic bishops have been installed; about 40 more appointments are still overdue.

Defending the agreement—which has been criticized for allowing the Chinese government to select Church leaders—Pope Francis said that the Vatican was practicing the “martyrdom of patience.” He likened the situation to the Cold War diplomacy undertaken by Cardinal Agostino Casaroli when he was Vatican Secretary of State, which was also criticized for refusing to confront Communist regimes.

UN missions charged with sex-abuse cover-up (Iona Institute)

Almost 2,000 complaints of sexual abuse have been filed against UN agents, an Associated Press investigation has revealed. More than 300 of the complaints involved children.

One million Muslims join in Hajj as Covid restrictions ease (

Saudi Arabia is allowing one million people to participate in the Hajj this year, lifting restrictions that were imposed during the Covid lockdown.

More than 2.5 million pilgrims participated in the Hajj in 2019. This year about 850,000 are expected from outside Saudi Arabia.

All Muslims who are able to make the pilgrimage to Mecca are expected to do so at least once in their lives.

Pope calls for de-escalation of war in Ukraine (Vatican News)

“Let us continue to pray for peace in Ukraine and in the entire world,” Pope Francis said on July 3. “I appeal to the heads of nations and international organizations to react to the tendency to accentuate conflict and confrontation.”

“The world needs peace,” the Pope continued. “Not a peace based on the balance of weapons, on mutual fear. No, that will not do. This means turning history back 70 years.”

“The Ukrainian crisis should have been, but – if there is the will – can still become a challenge for wise statesmen, capable of building, with dialogue, a better world for the new generations,” the Pope added. “With God’s help, this is always possible! But it is necessary to pass from the strategies of political, economic and military power to a plan for global peace: no to a world divided between conflicting powers; yes to a world united between peoples and civilizations that respect each other.”

Vatican diplomat warns: expect crackdown on Church in Hong Kong (Reuters)

The Vatican’s former top diplomatic representative in Hong Kong has warned missionaries to expect further restrictions on religious freedom.

“Change is coming, and you’d better be prepared,” said Archbishop Javier Herrara-Corona, who was recently named apostolic nuncio to Congo and Gabon.

Vatican confirms discipline of African priest who criticized Pope Francis (LifeSite News)

The Vatican’s Congregation for Clergy has confirmed the disciplinary action against Father Janvier Gbénou for his harsh public criticism of Pope Francis.

Father Gbénou, a native of Ivory Coast and a priest of Opus Dei, was suspended from ministry and from Opus Dei in March. His appeal to the Vatican was declined, in a decision personally approved by the Pontiff.

Informed of the decision, the outspoken priest—who has had an active internet present under the pen name “Father Jesusmary”—responded in an open letter to the Pope: “I take note of your decision, which I do not approve of because it is unjust.” He said that he could not in conscience refrain from criticizing the Pope “because, since 2016, you yourself have seriously lacked ‘respect and obedience to God and the People of God.”

Lay brother becomes superior general of Holy Cross congregation (Pillar)

Brother Paul Bednarcyzk, CSC, has been elected by the Congregation of the Holy Cross to be the superior general of that order, having been vicar general for the past six years.

The election, approved by the Vatican, is the first instance of a lay brother becoming worldwide leader of a religious community: a possibility that was created by Pope Francis in May.

Jul. 5 Tuesday of the Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time; Optional Memorials of St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria, Priest & St. Elizabeth of Portugal (USA), Opt. Mem.

Gospel Verse, John 10:14: I am the good shepherd, says the Lord; I know my sheep, and mine know me.St. Anthony Mary Zaccaria was the founder of the Clerks Regular of St. Paul, later called the Barnabites from the name of their principal church in Rome. He also founded a congregation of nuns which now no longer exists. He was a great admirer of St. Paul and was himself imbued with the teaching of the great Apostle, whom he gave to his followers as a model and a patron. He was a zealous and untiring preacher and completely wore himself out at this work; he died at the age of thirty-six on July 5, 1539.

Cardinal Cupich Prays for Victims of 4th of July Mass Shooting in Chicago Suburb