The Pope commemorates the 60th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council
POPE FRANCIS has described “progressivism” and “traditionalism” in the Church as “forms of Pelagian egoism that puts our own tastes and plans above the love of God,” Vatican News reports. The pope was preaching a homily during a mass marking the 60th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council. Instead, he said, “let us rediscover the Council to restore primacy to God, to what is essential: to a Church madly in love with his Lord and with all the men and women he loves.” He concluded with a prayer that God might “deliver us from self-sufficiency and the spirit of worldly criticism. . . to get us out of the shadows of self-absorption. . . [and] save us from forms of polarization that are the work of the devil.”
Funerals held for the dead of Creeslough
THE people of Creeslough, Co. Donegal, are “living through a nightmare of shock and horror”, the RC Bishop of Raphoe, Rt Revd Alan McGuckian, said in a homily on Sunday. Ten residents were killed in last Friday’s gas station explosion in the town. “There is something deeply shocking and disturbing about what life can throw at you. We ask: why did it have to happen to this person or that person? Why did they have to be there at this horrible time? Bishop McGuckian said. “It is fundamentally a terrible realization that we are not masters of our own destiny; we are very fragile and vulnerable,” he said, but “at this time, when life can seem ‘random,’ unreliable and threatening, we are invited to trust in the presence of Jesus coming toward us.” The blast destroyed a petrol station and a shop, and damaged surrounding buildings in the town, which is in the northwest of the Republic of Ireland. Funeral services for two of the victims, Jessica Galgher and Martin McGill, were held on Tuesday. Irish President Michael D. Higgins was expected to attend two more funeral services at Creeslough on Wednesday.
Pain after preschool massacre in Thailand
Bishop CR of Nakhon Ratchasima, in Thailand, Rt Revd. Joseph Chusak Sirisut expressed his regret over the massacre of 36 people, including 22 children, at a kindergarten in Uthai City, Sawan, on Thursday last week. A former police officer opened fire as the children slept, most of whom were stabbed to death. The 34-year-old attacker, Panya Khamrab, who had been fired from the force last year for possession of methamphetamine, appeared in court on Thursday on a drug charge. He later shot his wife and son, before shooting himself. “We are sorry for this tragic incident, especially with young children who have no opportunity to defend themselves and no way to fight back,” the bishop said.
Texas parish hosts High Holy Days services
ST MATTHEW’s, an Episcopal church in Austin, Texas, hosted High Holy Days services for Congregation Beth Israel last month, because the synagogue was damaged in an arson fire a year ago and repair work continues, ENS reports. An 18-year-old Texas State Guardsman who set the building on fire is facing federal arson and hate crime charges. The Beth Israel congregation had previously used another church, but that church did not share their values of LGBTQ+ inclusion; and St Matthew’s was following the scripture inscribed on the building: “A house of prayer for all people,” said the rector, the Reverend Katie Wright.
Episcopal Church welcomes marijuana forgiveness
THE pardon issued by the White House for all previous federal crimes of simple possession of marijuana has been well received by the Episcopal Church in the United States. The pardons are expected to affect some 6,500 people. “We also welcome the request that state governors take similar steps, as the majority of the prison population is housed at the state level,” a church statement said. In 1973, the General Convention recommended treating the possession or personal use of marijuana as a misdemeanor. “Since then, we have continued to advocate for an end to mass incarceration, an end to racial disparities in sentencing, and alternatives to incarceration for those struggling with addiction or mental illness.”
St Philip’s, Uvalde to open grief counseling center
The Episcopal Church in Uvalde, Texas, the town where 19 children and two adults were killed in a shooting at Robb Elementary School on May 24, is offering part of its property to be converted into a grief counseling center for children, reports ENS. A building on the campus of St Philip’s Episcopal Church and School will become a permanent branch of the Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas, a charity that has been temporarily working out of a room at the church since the shooting.
AlamyAlamyLeft stage: Dame Angela Lansbury died at her home in Los Angeles on Tuesday, five days shy of her 97th birthday. Dame Angela, who was born in London but immigrated to the United States at the start of the Blitz, quickly moved to Hollywood, becoming a prolific actress in film and television roles, as well as sustaining a successful stage career. The granddaughter of George Lansbury, Dame Angela was raised in the Church of England and, more recently, she attended St David’s Anglican Church in North Hollywood. She occasionally made appearances at fundraising events at other churches in the United States. In 2014, she was appointed a DBE for services to acting and philanthropy.