- Jun 17, 2021
As COVID-19 restrictions continue to ease in Italy, the country’s bishops are hoping a new tourism initiative will attract would-be pilgrims.
On Wednesday well-known Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, known for its support of persecuted Christians, confirmed reports that the organization’s founder has been credibly accused of sexual assault.
Even though the world is facing a pandemic that may limit many people’s ability to celebrate the sacraments, particularly those people who are in isolation, quarantining or hospitalized with COVID-19, confession by phone is still most likely invalid, said Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, head of the Apostolic Penitentiary.
Plenary or full indulgences traditionally obtained during the first week of November for the souls of the faithful in purgatory can now be gained throughout the entire month of November, the Vatican said.
Since many of the celebrations of the Our Lady of Loreto jubilee year were grounded because of the coronavirus pandemic, Pope Francis has extended the celebration to December 2021.
As California is currently embroiled in a battle over whether to punish priests for not breaking the seal of confession in cases when child abuse is revealed, the Vatican has issued a statement reaffirming the “inviolability” of the confidentiality of confession, and saying political pressure in this regard is a breach of religious liberty.
Pope Francis was the first benefactor of a campaign called “Be God’s Mercy,” launched on Friday by the pontifical charity Aid to the Church in Need. His donation will go to St. Joseph’s Clinic in Erbil, part of Iraq’s Kurdistan region, which is currently home for hundreds of thousands of Christian refugees who have had to flee their homes running from the terrorist Islamic group ISIS.