Church must be prudent judging Medjugorje apparitions, Vatican official says (CNS) “I think that for the moment it is necessary to evaluate the richness of the work in Medjugorje,” said Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization. “We need to understand all of this together: why there is such a huge number of pilgrims, of prayers and to understand also how the possible apparitions in Medjugorje (relate) to the life of the Church. For that we should await the judgment the Holy Father will give. To rush this delicate matter is a mistake.”
Court temporarily enjoins New Jersey's assisted suicide law (Religion Clause) An Orthodox Jewish physician filed suit to block enforcement of the law, which took effect on August 1. Bishop James Checchio of Trenton said that the law “points to the utter failure of government, and indeed all society, to care truly, authentically and humanely for the suffering and vulnerable in our midst.”
Analyst sees population bust, demographic decline (Foreign Affairs) “The potential consequences of plateauing and then shrinking populations in the decades ahead are almost wholly ignored,” writes Zachary Karabell, former head of global strategies at Envestnet,. “The mismatch between expectations of a rapidly growing global population (and all the attendant effects on climate, capitalism, and geopolitics) and the reality of both slowing growth rates and absolute contraction is so great that it will pose a considerable threat in the decades ahead.”
Illinois bishop issues pastoral reflection on gun violence (Diocese of Belleville) “Many Catholics have told me that they truly want to do something,” said Bishop Edward Braxton of Belleville. “They can see that there are no easy answers or solutions. As your Bishop and pastoral leader of a community of people who proclaim publicly that we are the disciples of the Prince of Peace, I share this uncertainty and frustration. I am convinced that we must do something as difficult and seemingly ineffective as our modest efforts might be.”
Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church officially ceases to exist (Kyiv Post) Until recently, Ukraine’s Orthodox faithful were divided into the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate), the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Kiev Patriarchate), and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, with only the first canonically recognized by other Orthodox churches. In December 2018, the latter two bodies united to form the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU). The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, who holds a primacy of honor among the Orthodox churches, granted canonical recognition to the OCU in January—a decision condemned by the Russian Orthodox Church.