Benedict XVI seriously ill (CNA) Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI is seriously ill, according to his biographer. Peter Seewald, who has collaborated with the retired Pope on several books, reported after a visit that Benedict is “very frail,” his voice barely audible, and is suffering from shingles. He reportedly has been growing weaker since a trip to Germany in late June to visit his brother, Msgr. Georg Ratzinger, who died July 1.
Scalfari again interviews Pope Francis (America) Eugenio Scalfari of La Repubblica has published another article based on a personal interview with Pope Francis. The friendly conversation, centering on environmental concerns, did not include any shocking statements attributed to the Pontiff. After past interviews Scalfari— who is 96 years old, and relies solely on his memory to reconstruct quotations— had claimed that Pope Francis denied the existence of hell and said that Jesus is “not an incarnate god.”
Papal nuncio in France to meet with women who 'applied' for priestly roles (Crux) Archbishop Celestino Migliore, the apostolic nuncio in France, has contacted several women who “applied” for positions in the Church, to arrange private meetings. The women, who call for equality in the Church, had organized around Anne Soupa, a theologian who announced in June that she was “applying” to be named Archbishop of Lyon.
US ambassador for religious liberty warns Vatican: China can't be trusted (Crux) “If I were a Vatican official and seeing this is who I am dealing with, and this is how they are going to deal with me, it would cause me great pause to think about how can I trust and work with these other individuals that are spying on me,” Ambassador Sam Brownback said following a report that China hacked into Vatican computer systems.
Liberian bishop laments attacks on political group (Front Page Africa) The West African nation of 4.9 million (map) is 43% Christian, 39% ethnic religionist, and 16% Muslim. Bishop Andrew Karnley warned that “silence, including from the Church or state, offers the wrong signal to the perpetrators that their actions are acceptable, and makes us collectively complicit.”
Washington retreat center to serve as Covid quarantine site (Diocese of Spokane) “The new resource at Immaculate Heart Retreat Center is for people diagnosed with the virus who don’t have a place to isolate or need to be away from the people they live with to protect them from exposure,” KXLY-TV reported. “Catered meals and a room will come at no charge to the sick people at the center ... money from the CARES Act will cover the bills.”
China hacked Vatican computer system before accord talks (The Hill) Chinese hackers have accessed the Vatican’s computer network, an independent cybersecurity firm has revealed. The Chinese hackers were apparently looking for information about the Holy See’s negotiating stance in talks with Beijing about an accord on the appointment of bishops. The hackers also systematically penetrated the computer systems of the Hong Kong diocese and other Catholic organizations.
English bishops issue statement on vaccination (CBCEW) “The Catholic Church strongly supports vaccination and regards Catholics as having a prima facie duty to be vaccinated, not only for the sake of their own health but also out of
solidarity with others, especially the most vulnerable,” the bishops said in their statement. “The Church is opposed to the production of vaccines using tissue derived from aborted foetuses ... Nevertheless, the Church teaches that the paramount importance of the health of a child and other vulnerable persons could permit parents to use a vaccine which was in the past developed using these diploid cell lines.”
San Francisco archbishop calls for prayer, fasting for restoration of unhindered public worship (Catholic San Francisco) “I have been working very hard over these past several months to try to convince our local authorities in the City and County of San Francisco (which still allows only outdoor gatherings with a limit of 12) that we can resume in-person worship services in a safe and responsible way,” said Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone. “Let us storm heaven with prayer and fasting for a restoration of public worship unhindered, for a swift end to this pandemic, for health care workers and researchers, and for government officials who must make very complicated decisions for the overall well-being of our communities.”