Vatican security chief resigns following leak of internal document

Pope Francis talks with Domenico Giani, his lead bodyguard and head of the Vatican police force, at the conclusion of a canonization Mass in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican Oct. 13, 2019. The pope accepted Giani’s resignation Oct. 14, nearly two weeks after an internal security notice was leaked to the Italian press. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

By Junno Arocho Esteves 
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Domenico Giani, head of the Vatican police, nearly two weeks after an internal security notice was leaked to the Italian press.

The Vatican announced Oct. 14 that the pope accepted the resignation of the 57-year-old Vatican police chief who, although “bears no personal responsibility” for the leak, “tendered his resignation to the Holy Father out of love for the church and faithfulness to Peter’s successor.”

The pope accepted Giani’s resignation, and in a conversation with him, “expressed his appreciation to the commander for his gesture.”

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Posted in Vatican

Divine intervention: Papal tweet of support for ‘Saints’ goes viral

Pope Francis, tweeting about the new saints he recognized Oct. 13, inadvertently used a hashtag connected to the New Orleans Saints football team. But fans appreciated it, as did the team. (CNS photo)

By Junno Arocho Esteves
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — A hashtag mix-up caused a papal tweet meant to give thanks for the Catholic Church’s newest saints to be read as Pope Francis showing support for the New Orleans Saints’ football team.

After the Oct. 13 canonization of five new saints, the pope’s official Twitter account, @Pontifex, tweeted: “Today we give thanks to the Lord for our new #Saints. They walked by faith and now we invoke their intercession.”

However, the Twitter hashtag automatically uploaded a fleur-de-lis, the official logo of the National Football League team. Needless to say, the tweet caught the attention of many Saints’ fans, who interpreted the tweet as invoking divine intervention for their team’s game that day against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

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Posted in U.S., Vatican

Kindly lights in gloomy world: Pope declares five new saints

Pope Francis accepts offertory gifts from Melissa Villalobos of Chicago and her family during the canonization Mass for five new saints in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican Oct. 13, 2019. Villalobos’ healing through the intercession of St. John Henry Newman was accepted as the miracle needed for the British cardinal’s canonization. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

By Cindy Wooden 
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Saints are people who recognized their need for God’s help, who took risks to discover God’s will and to help others and who nurtured a habit of thanksgiving, Pope Francis said.

“The culmination of the journey of faith is to live a life of continual thanksgiving. Let us ask ourselves: Do we, as people of faith, live each day as a burden, or as an act of praise?” the pope said in his homily Oct. 13 after formally declaring five new saints for the Catholic Church.

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Posted in Vatican

Immigrant domestic abuse victims fear reporting abuse

Millet Vargas, a member of Holy Trinity Parish in Beaverton, Ore., is pictured Feb. 3, 2019, in her backyard with two of her daughters, Esmeralda, 20, and Estephanie, 18. “What I received from Catholic Charities was priceless,” said Vargas, who left an abusive man and became a U.S. citizen with the nonprofit’s help. Vargas said she’s concerned that fear within the immigrant community means more women will remain in abusive relationships. (CNS photo/Catholic Charities)

By Katie Scott 
Catholic News Service

PORTLAND, Ore. (CNS) — Amid changing immigration laws and deportation threats, advocates and lawyers have seen a decrease in immigrants who are victims of domestic violence seeking help and reporting abuse to law enforcement.

Staff and partner agencies of Catholic Charities of Oregon — the largest nonprofit immigration legal services provider in the state — have particularly witnessed this fallout.

“People are worried about calling the police because they believe they will turn them over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement,” said Manuel Gutierrez, a victim advocate with a Catholic Charities partner agency in Umatilla.

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Posted in U.S.

Women religious should have vote at synod, theologian says

Medical Mission Sister Birgit Weiler attends a news conference after a session of the Synod of Bishops for the Amazon at the Vatican Oct. 11, 2019. Sister Weiler said women should be included among synod voting members and in church leadership positions. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

By Junno Arocho Esteves 
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — While the Catholic Church has made strides to include the voice of women, especially in the Synod of Bishops for the Amazon, women should be included among synod voting members and in church leadership positions, a German theologian said.

Medical Mission Sister Birgit Weiler, a member of the Peruvian bishops’ pastoral ministry for the care of creation, told journalists at a Vatican news briefing Oct. 11 that such changes would allow the church to become “a community of sisters and brothers, sharing faith, discerning together.”

“When you have participated fully in the whole process of sharing faith, of discerning together,” then the vote is a natural expression of wanting to participate fully in the decision-making phase of the synod, she said.

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Posted in Vatican

Sunday Scripture readings, Oct. 13, 2019: ‘This Foreigner’!

The Catholic News Service column, “Speak to Me Lord,” offers reflections on the Sunday Scripture readings. (CNS/Nancy Wiechec)

Oct. 13, Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Cycle C
1) 2 Kgs 5:14-17
Psalm 98:1-4
2) 2 Tm 2:8-13
Gospel: Lk 17:11-19

By Kevin Perrotta
Catholic News Service

In our society, “good Samaritan” is a familiar phrase. There are “Good Samaritan” laws and Good Samaritan hospitals. Continue reading

Posted in "Speak to Me Lord", CNS columns

Banners unfurled as faithful share stories of five saints

A banner of Blessed Maria Rita Lopes Pontes, known to Catholics around Brazil as Sister Dulce, hangs on the facade of St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican Oct. 10, 2019. She is among five people to be canonized by Pope Francis Oct. 13. (CNS photo/Junno Arocho Esteves)

By Cindy Wooden 
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Vatican hung banners of the Catholic Church’s newly canonized saints four days before the Mass that would officially recognize that they are in heaven with God.

While the hanging of the banners Oct. 10 did not coincide with the Mass, it did coincide with the kickoff of exhibits, conferences, prayer vigils and other celebrations focused on the new saints from Brazil, England, India, Italy and Switzerland.

For the dozens of Brazilians at the Synod of Bishops for the Amazon, most of the attention was on Blessed Maria Rita Lopes Pontes, popularly known as Sister Dulce.

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Posted in Vatican, World