- Charles Collins
- Jun 29, 2020
Visiting northern Iraq recently, the Syriac Catholic patriarch was horrified by the destruction and the empty villages. What was once a thriving community of 100,000 Christians on the Ninevah Plains has been all but eradicated by Islamic State — along with churches and community centers.
In a wide-ranging off-the-cuff question-and-answer session with Jesuit delegates in Rome, Pope Francis had two big topics on his mind: the decline of politics, and the rise of rigidity in seminaries.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols has suggested that some media were guilty of fostering a climate of fear of refugees ahead of the June 23 referendum that resulted in a surprise vote for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union. Attitudes have hardened, he said, making it harder for humane solutions.
“I’m a traditional priest and bishop, and I have great regard and respect for Pope Francis. If they want to construe this as somehow I’m not with Pope Francis, that’s crazy. I enjoy Pope Francis; I think he’s doing some marvelous things for the church.”
In the wake of one of the most violent and painful summers in recent memory, much of it stoked by perceptions of racism, Catholic leaders across America are mobilizing to promote healing and reconciliation, including a new task force of the U.S. bishops.
Bishop Kevin Farrell of Dallas, who was born in Ireland and who spent much of his priestly career in Washington, D.C., has been named by Pope Francis to take over the Vatican’s newly created mega-department on laity, family and life issues.