Monday, June 05, 2023

CWI : Operation Laonia (10)

Further to our accusation (albeit clearly evidenced and indeed established) that Bishop Fintan Monahan is indeed a liar, we will now go further in relation with our ongoing investigation into the See of Killaloe.

Bullying seems to be as rampant in this Diocese as does Fintans intentions to laicise as many priests as he can, and this is certainly notable in the parish office in Ennis where Fr Tom 'Franny' Ryan seems intent on continuing in his bullying ways towards the staff  in aformentioned parish office. 

Not only is it rampant there, but also within the episcopal walls of Westbourne itself where Fintan holds sway - and his ongoing bullying ways towards clergy needs to be investigated by Rome at the very least.

Again, we offer any and all evidence to the Nuncio if he so decides to carry out an investigation.

If not, then we here in CW will not be found wanting in going public with names, dates etc, and then let it take what course it will thereafter.

Also, to you Fintan - directly - why did you lie in that statement issued to the priests of the diocese (or what is left of them at any rate) - of which we have a copy - and give yet again a false narrative of the matters of laicisation?

It is not the first time you have blatantly lied in respect of one of these priests as we referenced before ( when you hitched up the ould cassock and ran to Ennis Garda Station and bore false witness against a priest....looks like some habits die very hard Fintan.

Indeed, not satisfied with destroying the name, reputation and standing of your priests Fintan, you are now hell-bent on having another 2 of them petition Rome (unbeknownst to them perhaps) and having them laicisied also - or at least bully them into it as per your usual modus operandi.

So, why have you not sought the laicisation of the priest who was criminally convicted for public wanking Fintan...remember him??

Same said priest floating around Ennis, going where he wishes, photocopying above in the parish office, much to the discomfort of those there (already being bullied by Franny Ryan), and God help anyone who raises concern about his presence.

We are of course making reference to the civilly criminally convicted wanker, Jerry Carey.

Will you 'volunteer' him for laicisation or will he continue to be funded by the Diocese, a Diocese you claim is financially strapped, so much so that the sale of the land at Saint Flannans is vital for the future survival of the See of Killaloe?

That sale will come in very handy indeed Fintan, if nothing else to settle the massive legal cases you have brought about for the diocese, and again, we will publish EVERYTHING in that regard Fintan - everything that you chose to ignore to suit your own agenda.

And as for that corrupt entity - Priests Advisory Council -  stuffed with your own 'yes' people - how much truth have you actually given to them Fintan? Or will they only realise how much you have lied to them via Clerical Whispers?

What are you going to do Fintan when the truth, and its accompanying, verifiable, evidence becomes public?  

Have a fainting spell?

You won't be on your own in that regard when it does happen Fintan, and what may not be dropping after that is the money into the collection baskets once the faithful of the Diocese of Killaloe see you for what you really are....a liar and a bully!!

And just to advise you Fintan, for legal purposes, everything and anything published here has been verified, evidenced, notarised and rests very safely and securely with our own solicitors.

So if you wish to consider any possible future legal action - we would indeed welcome it, if nothing else to burst the boil that you have become on the arse of the Diocese of Killaloe.

CWI : Operation Easpag (12)


It has indeed been some time since we posted on this issue, but we will give as short an update as possible, so here goes....

The bishop at the centre of this decided to make a telephone call directly to our legal representative, and in doing so, did admit that it was indeed him to whom we were making reference, and note he did so voluntarily, albeit enraged when so doing.

This call followed on from a call previously received from a probably well-meaning supporter of the aforementioned bishop, but in effect, did same said bishop no favours - hence we believe the bishop dialling in himself.

We again extend our invitation to you to communicate with us as there are over 200 pages relative to your sexual (mis-)behaviour which we would like to discuss with you, going back quite a few years....and upon which we have made commentary previously.

CWI : Operation Ainmhian (10)

It is almost 4 months since we made comment on this investigation, and with very good reason.

And it is this very reason which permits us to make but a fleeting reference to it again....for (free) legal (aid) reasons....

But do not worry loyal followers, this boil, alongside a few others are shortly to be lanced....

German bishops’ leader: Lay homilies still on the agenda

German bishop responds to letter criticizing Synodal Path - Catholic Review

The chairman of Germany’s bishops’ conference insisted Monday that the Vatican’s objection to a “synodal way” resolution calling for lay preaching at Masses is not the final word on the matter.

Bishop Georg Bätzing suggested in a May 22 interview that a letter he received in March from Cardinal Arthur Roche, the prefect of the Dicastery for Divine Worship, did not represent a definitive Vatican rejection of homilies by laymen and women in German dioceses.

He said that the letter reiterated what Roche had told the German bishops during their ad limina visit to the Vatican last November, so the bishops were already aware of “this state of affairs.”

Bätzing said that the resolution approved at the synodal way’s final session in March encouraged Germany’s bishops to ask Rome for an indult — or special dispensation — from canon law, which says that homilies at Mass may only be given by a priest or deacon. 

“That means that universal Church law does not have to be changed, but that the special situation in our country is taken into account,” Bätzing said. “And the prefect writes just at the end of the letter that we must seek further discussion on the matter.”

Bätzing said that in his Diocese of Limburg, “theologically qualified and pastorally competent women and men” had preached at Masses “for a long time.”

“Not only should this practice not be restricted or withdrawn, but I would like these women and men to know that they are doing this with the consent of the bishop: They are doing this ministry with the consent of the bishop and in accordance with applicable law,” he said. 

“They have the consent of the bishop — to arrange the legal framework well, that is the point of the request that Rome may agree to a corresponding particular norm.”

In his March letter, which has not been published in full, Cardinal Roche said that “misunderstandings about the figure and identity of the priest” could “arise in the consciousness of the Christian community” if lay people preached at Mass.

“Word and sacrament are inseparable realities, and inasmuch as they are not merely formal expressions of the exercise of sacra potestas [sacred power], they are neither separable nor can they be separable,” he wrote.

In an extensive interview with Limburg diocese’s spokesman Stephan Schnelle, Bishop Bätzing insisted that other controversial synodal way resolutions would also be implemented in his diocese, arguing that they were supported by the majority of German Catholics.

He confirmed that a text calling for official blessings of same-sex and remarried couples, also approved in March, would go into effect as soon as a manual with various forms of blessing was available.

The synodal way resolution contradicted a 2021 Vatican declaration that “the Church does not have, and cannot have, the power to bless unions of persons of the same sex.” 

Bätzing said: “The task that still needs to be done lies in a good liturgical-pastoral manual for such celebrations that expresses the special nature of this wish [for blessings] and of the Church’s offer, and at the same time makes it clear that a blessing celebration cannot be a marriage ceremony or a sacrament. This is where the boundary lies.” 

He added that the synodal way resolution “makes clear that no pastor can be pressured into celebrating such blessing services.” 

“Conversely, as a bishop, I want to support those couples who ask for such a blessing in also finding the desired service of pastoral caregivers. There are already such blessing ceremonies. And I am grateful for them,” he said.

In the interview, Bätzing confirmed that following the synodal way’s conclusion in March, a “synodal committee” consisting of lay people and bishops will meet in November to discuss the implementation of the initiative’s resolutions in German dioceses. 

After three years, the synodal committee is expected to make way for a permanent “synodal council” in which lay people and bishops exercise governing powers over the Church in Germany, despite a Vatican veto on the creation of the body.

“Once again, Rome has not blocked the work of the synodal committee, but has only made it clear that there can be no synodal council that undermines episcopal authority,” Bätzing commented. “But that is not what we seek either. To that extent, there is no impediment to the synodal committee.” 

But he acknowledged that recent discussions among diocesan bishops showed there were “still open questions to be clarified.”

Although all of Germany’s 27 diocesan bishops are listed as members of the synodal committee, some may not take part after the Vatican clarified in January that they are not obliged to participate. 

“Everyone must decide for himself the question of participation,” said Bätzing. “For me, I have long since done so, because for me there is no alternative to the continuation of genuine, honest, and effective synodality to shape a good future in our Church under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.” 

“That is why I am also very excited about the experiences and the results of the global synod, in which I will be able to participate in the fall,” he said, referring to the synod on synodality’s opening session in Rome in October.

Ireland is diversifying, says Dublin archbishop after census results

We Need Worship - Archbishop of Dublin Dermot Farrell gave a green light to  priests in his diocese to proceed with Sacraments if they deem it's safe to  do so in their

The Archbishop of Dublin said that census results released Tuesday show that Irish society is changing and diversifying. 

But, he told The Pillar, while the proportion of people identifying as Catholic in Ireland fell by 10% between 2016 and 2022, changes to the census question may have helped drive the result.

Archbishop Dermot Farrell said that preliminary census figures released May 30 by the country’s Central Statistics Office (CSO) showed that the Irish population was “changing and becoming more diverse.”

“Part of this reality is the reported change in the religious affiliation of the population, with those identifying as Roman Catholic in the 2022 Census representing 69% of respondents, compared to 79% of respondents in 2016,” he commented May 31 via email.

“However, the CSO has rightly pointed out that the structure of the question has changed radically between the two census forms. As a result, direct comparisons are problematic.”

The 2016 census form asked “What is your religion?” and listed “Roman Catholic” as the first option and “No religion” as the last. 

The 2022 form asked “What is your religion, if any?” and put “No religion” as the first option, followed by “Roman Catholic.”

David Quinn, the director of The Iona Institute, also highlighted the change in the religion question’s wording.

“Ireland is secularizing fast, but at the same time, a lot of non-Catholic migrants have come into the country in recent years which is also changing the picture,” he told The Pillar in a May 30 email.

“In addition, the census office changed the religion question and put ‘No religion’ as the first option. That has to have made a difference, otherwise why do it?”

Stephen Bullivant, a professor of theology and the sociology of religion at St. Mary’s University, Twickenham, London, said that “religious survey questions are curiously sensitive to changes in wording.”

“So depending on question wording, a certain percentage can be nudged to answer, sincerely, one way or another,” he wrote on Twitter.

The number of people selecting the “No religion” box rose from 451,941 in 2016 to 736,210 in 2022, accounting for 14% of Ireland’s population. 

Archbishop Farrell said it was significant “that, in absolute terms, the number of people reported as Roman Catholic has fallen by less than 5%.”

He was referring to the new figure for the total number of Catholics in Ireland. The census said that there were 3,515,861 Catholics in 2022, compared to 3,696,644 in 2016, a fall of 180,783 or 4.9%.

The 10% decline in the percentage of people identifying as Catholics and the 5% drop in the total number of Catholics are partly explained by the increase in the overall Irish population between 2016 and 2022 due to immigration. While Catholic numbers are declining steadily, Catholics now form a smaller proportion of the overall population.

The 2022 census found that Ireland’s population had exceeded five million for the first time since 1851. 

“It is right that we should acknowledge, and indeed celebrate, the cultural benefits of a more diverse population as a result of the striking increase in immigration which has driven the significant increase in total population,” said Archbishop Farrell, who was installed as Archbishop of Dublin in 2021, succeeding Archbishop Diarmuid Martin.

“The Roman Catholic population itself is reflecting and benefiting from a greater diversity of ethnic and national background.”

The proportion of Catholics varied considerably by region, according to the census, with a high of 80% in County Mayo, in the west of Ireland, and a low of 53% in Dublin city.

“As the region experiencing the greatest impact of immigration, it is not surprising that Dublin would report the greatest degree of religious diversity,” Archbishop Farrell noted.

Thirty Nobel winners to gather in St Peter’s Square for Human Fraternity event

 World Meeting on Human Fraternity - Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human  Development

The World Meeting on Human Fraternity, to be held in St Peter’s Square on the 10th June, will bring together artists, young people, charity workers, and Nobel peace prize winners from across the world.

To make the word “fraternity” resound, worldwide, from St Peter's Square.

This, Cardinal Mauro Gambetti explained on Monday morning during a press conference held in the Holy See Press Office, is the objective of 'Not Alone', the World Meeting on Human Fraternity that will be held in the Vatican on the 10th June, and in which Pope Francis will also take part.

Inspired by the Pope’s encyclical letter Fratelli tutti, the event will bring together artists, young people, and Nobel peace prize winners from across the world.

An experience of fraternity

The event – which is conceived of as a process of building fraternity – will be broken up into two sections.

In the morning, five working groups will meet at the Vatican - Nobel Prize winners, environmentalists, schoolchildren, the fragile, and charities - and will address the theme of fraternity.

In the afternoon, at 4 p.m., the Meeting, a moment of celebration and unity, will begin.

Famous singers, including Andrea Bocelli and Mr Rain, will perform, activists and charity workers will share their stories, and those gathered in other squares around the world (in Congo, Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Argentina, Japan, Peru, Jerusalem, and on a rescue ship in the Ionian Sea) will recount their own experiences via live link.

Welcoming the stranger

One of those speaking at the meeting will be Filippo Grandi, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

"We are happy to join the Pope's appeal for human fraternity and peace," said Grandi, who spoke remotely at this morning’s press conference. "In a world so marred by conflict, this message must be welcomed for the good of all humanity".

Grandi added that there are many communities today "that welcome refugees as brothers and sisters and together strive to make our societies grow" and said he hopes that "Not Alone" "represents the beginning of a strengthened solidarity for the more than 103 million displaced persons and refugees still seeking protection".

The Pope's role

Pope Francis will be in St. Peter's Square at 6 p.m., and will greet those present, as well as those joining via videolink from all around the world.

He will listen to what emerged from the morning's working groups, and meet with Muhammad Yunus and Nadia Murad, representatives of the group of Nobel winners. 

They will present the Pontiff with a document on fraternity and together they will launch a campaign to collect one billion signatures on it.

Pope who’s a ‘slow food’ advocate meets with CEO of fast food empire

Cardinal Calls It a 'Disgrace,' but a McDonald's Opens Near the Vatican -  The New York Times

Pope Francis, a staunch critic of food waste who has published an entire interview book dedicated to the so-called “slow food” movement, yet whose Vatican actually owns a McDonald’s restaurant, held a private meeting Monday with the president of the fast-food chain.

When the pope’s list of daily appointments was issued Monday morning, of note was Christopher John Kempczinski, President and Chief Executive Officer of the McDonald’s Corporation, who reportedly grew up Catholic.

Over the years, McDonalds has become an icon of the rapid-paced unhealthy American “fast-food” culture, and is often associated with the epidemic of American obesity. 

It was the at the heart of the 2005 American documentary film “Super-Size Me,” which starred and was directed by Morgan Spurlock, an independent filmmaker who documented his gastro-social experiment of eating only food available on the McDonald’s menu for a month.

As might be expected, Spurlock gained a significant amount of weight, his energy levels plummeted, and he encountered various other side-effects ranging from mood swings to sexual dysfunction to developing a fatty liver and soaring cholesterol.

Though Spurlock was able to lose the weight and eventually get his body back into shape, the film did significant damage to the reputation of the American fast-food industry, though not enough to stop people from eating its products.

Pope Francis’s meeting with Kempczinski came as a surprise to many, given the pontiff’s environmental advocacy and his frequent condemnations of market capitalism.

Established in 1989, the movement is a grassroots initiative that seeks to prevent the disappearance of local food cultures and traditions while counteracting the increased prevalence of the fast-food lifestyle and peoples’ dwindling interest in the food they eat – its quality, where it comes from, and how food choices impact the world.

The book is based on the concept of “integral ecology” touted by Pope Francis in his 2015 eco-encyclical Laudato Si and is based on three casual conversations between Petrini and the pope in which they discuss the need to care for and preserve the planet by fostering greater solidarity and attention to the poor.

Those conversations took place in 2018, following a catastrophic earthquake in central Italy; in 2019 before the opening of the Synod of Bishops on the Amazon that year, and in 2020, amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Organized according to the themes of biodiversity, economy, migration, education and community, the book aims to illustrate the Slow Food movement’s approach to food, which emphasizes the connection between the planet, what gets served on the plate, and the culture of those serving it.

Though he did not speak out directly on food quality in Laudato Si, Pope Francis in the document stressed the importance of eliminating food waste, for which the fast-food industry has become infamous.

At one point Francis said that approximately a third of all food produced is discarded, saying, “Whenever food is thrown out it is as if it were stolen from the table of the poor.”

Advocating for a sustainable development of the earth’s resources, he said that “a technological and economic development which does not leave in its wake a better world and an integrally higher quality of life cannot be considered progress.”

“Frequently, in fact, people’s quality of life actually diminishes – by the deterioration of the environment, the low quality of food or the depletion of resources – in the midst of economic growth. In this context, talk of sustainable growth usually becomes a way of distracting attention and offering excuses,” he said.

Yet in 2016, the Vatican had its own controversy involving McDonald’s when it awarded the company a contract for one of its properties located just around the corner from St. Peter’s Square.

Dubbed “McVatican,” the restaurant is located on the intersection of Rome’s Via del Mascherino and Via Borgo Pio, literally around the corner from the Vatican and St. Peter’s Basilica.

The contract was awarded by the Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See, known as APSA and which oversees the Vatican’s real estate holdings, among other things, for 30,000 euros a month ($32,061).

At the time, APSA received a wave of criticism, including from the late Italian Cardinal Elio Sgreccia, who once ran the Pontifical Academy for Life and who in an interview with Italian newspaper La Reppublica called the decision to award McDonald’s the contract “controversial.”

Not only was the presence of a fast-food chain so close to the Vatican offensive to the “architectural and urban traditions” of the area, but it is a tourist draw that “ignores the culinary traditions of the Roman restaurant” by offering “mega sandwiches” which are a hazard to people’s health, Sgreccia said.

For its official opening in December 2017, that McDonald’s donated dozens of meals to a charity organization that distributed them at a walk-in clinic in Rome and pledged that an additional 1,000 meals would be given to charity over the subsequent 6-month period.

At the time, the poor and needy who received the meals voiced hope that McDonald’s would continue donating food, with one middle-aged man telling Reuters, “It would be good if these multi-national companies gave food at the end of the day to poor people who don’t have any, instead of throwing it away.”

The so-called “McVatican” has since become a neighborhood staple, especially for families with young children, though skeptics have questioned its ongoing engagement with the poor.

Filipinos demand right to divorce

Filipino woman march for DIVORCE |We want to be free #filipino #philippine  #news - YouTube

Philippine mother-of-three Stella Sibonga is desperate to end a marriage she never wanted. 

But divorce in the Catholic-majority country is illegal, and a court annulment takes years.

The Philippines is the only place outside the Vatican where divorce is outlawed.

Pro-divorce advocates argue the ban makes it harder for couples to cut ties and remarry, and escape violent spouses.

People wanting to end their marriage can ask a court for an annulment or a declaration that the nuptials were invalid from the start, but the government can appeal against those decisions.

The legal process is slow and expensive -- cases can cost as much as $10,000 or more in a country plagued by poverty -- with no guarantee of success, and some people seeking a faster result fall for online scams.

"I don't understand why it has to be this difficult," said Sibonga, who has spent 11 years trying to get out of a marriage that her parents forced her into after she became pregnant.

Sibonga's legal battle began in 2012, when she applied to a court to cancel her marriage on the basis of her husband's alleged "psychological incapacity", one of the grounds for terminating a matrimony.

After five years and $3,500 in legal fees, a judge finally agreed. The former domestic worker's relief was, however, short-lived.

The Office of the Solicitor General, which as the government's legal representative is tasked with protecting the institution of marriage, successfully appealed the decision in 2019.

Sibonga said she requested the Court of Appeals to reverse its ruling, but is still waiting for an answer.

"Why are we, the ones who experienced suffering, abandonment and abuse, being punished by the law?" said Sibonga, 45, who lives near Manila.

"All we want is to be free."

'Dysfunctional marriages'

The most powerful opponent to divorce in the Philippines is the Catholic Church, which is also against abortion and contraceptives.

Around 78 percent of the country's 110 million people are Catholic, according to official census data, and many politicians are wary of contradicting the Church on sensitive social issues.

But Congress has scored significant wins in recent years.

A controversial birth control law was passed in 2012, despite strong opposition from the Church.

And in 2018, majority and opposition parties in the House of Representatives approved a divorce bill that later stalled in the Senate. It was the first time such a proposal had got that far.

Surveys conducted by polling company Social Weather Stations show a shift in Philippine attitudes towards divorce.

In 2005, 43 percent of Filipinos supported legalising divorce "for irreconcilably separated couples", while 45 percent disagreed.

The same survey in 2017 showed 53 percent in favour, while only 32 percent disagreed.

A group of lawmakers is now leading a fresh push to legalise divorce, with several bills filed in the House and the Senate.

"We are not destroying any marriage," said Edcel Lagman, a congressman and author of one of the bills.

Lagman said divorce was for "dysfunctional marriages beyond repair" and legalising it would enable women and their children to escape "intolerant and abusive husbands".

The legislation would not allow for a "quickie divorce", he added.

Before he was elected, President Ferdinand Marcos said the country should consider allowing divorce, but insisted it should not be easy.

Annulment scams

The burdensome process for getting a court order to end a marriage has spawned online scams offering to secure a quick ruling without time-consuming court appearances.

AFP fact checkers found numerous Facebook posts spreading false information about the legal process for annulment in order to attract clients, underscoring a growing global trend of fraudsters profiting off disinformation.

AFP has a global team of journalists, including in the Philippines, who debunk misinformation as part of Facebook and WhatsApp owner Meta's third-party fact-checking programme.

One victim told AFP she was charged the equivalent of $2,400 for an annulment service that turned out to be fake.

She is now considering converting to Islam in the hope of securing a divorce under Muslim law.

"I'm really trying every possible option just to be single again," she said on condition of anonymity.

"Annulment takes so long, it's so expensive and it's not guaranteed, so I'm seeking a more convenient way."

Family law specialist Katrina Legarda said the number of people falling for bogus services showed there was a "dire need" for new legislation.

But Father Jerome Secillano, of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines, said the nation should be "proud" to be the only country outside the Vatican "holding on to the traditional concept of marriage".

"There will always be imperfections in a relationship," he said.

Secillano said divorcing an abusive partner would "perpetuate the violence" because the perpetrator would go on to abuse their next partner.

"You are not actually curing the disease itself," he said.

'I'm a sinner'

Sibonga was raised a Catholic, but stopped attending church to avoid accusations of adultery.

She has a long-term boyfriend, but cannot tie the knot with him until her first marriage is legally terminated.

That her case has dragged on for so long is not unusual in the Philippines, where a creaky justice system can take years to resolve even minor issues.

"People think that because I am still technically married, I'm a sinner," she said.

"They really believe that what God has united cannot be separated. Really? Even if your husband is trying to kill you, even after everything he's done, divorce is still not allowed?"

Sibonga said her relationship with her husband had been traumatic and had pushed her to attempt suicide twice.

She does not want her children to marry until divorce is allowed.

"I told them they can cohabitate and have as many children as they want, but I won't ever consent to them getting married," she said.

"I just don't want them to end up like me."

US bishop calls for cancellation of 'Pride Mass'

Pittsburgh Bishop Calls for 'Pride Mass' to Be Canceled

A Pennsylvania bishop has called for the cancellation of a "Pride Mass" reportedly set to take place at a Catholic university in his diocese.

The June 11 liturgy, coinciding with the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi), is scheduled to be celebrated at the Chapel of the Holy Spirit on the campus of Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, according to The Daily Signal, which is a news platform of The Heritage Foundation think tank in Washington.

An event flyer for the Mass obtained by The Daily Signal lists the presider as "Fr. Doug Boud, with Deacons Herb Riley and Keith Kondrich," and "Vicki Sheridan" as "Scripture commentator."

OSV News was unable to verify a priest by the name of Fr. Doug Boud, although Father Douglas A. Boyd is an institutional chaplain in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. 

Deacons Riley and Kondrich are assigned to St. Joseph the Worker Parish in Pittsburgh, and Sheridan is a coordinator of The Welcome Table, an LGBTQ ministry based at St. Mary Magdalene Parish, a merged parish serving several communities in Pittsburgh's East End section. 

St. Mary Magdalene's pastor, Father Thomas Burke, also is a coordinator of the ministry.

Among the groups listed as "co-hosting" or affiliated with the event were Catholics for Change in Our Church, a self-described "independent organization of concerned, committed Catholics ... formed to affirm the laity's rightful role of co-responsibility in the church"; the LGBTQ Outreach Ministry at St. Joseph the Worker Parish in Pittsburgh; Pax Christi; and The Welcome Table.

But the Mass, which prompted several calls and complaints, apparently came as a surprise to both the Diocese of Pittsburgh and Duquesne University, which is a Catholic university founded by members of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit.

In a letter to clergy and to inquiries about the Mass, Pittsburgh Bishop David A. Zubik said: "Neither I, as Bishop of the diocese, nor President Ken Gormley of Duquesne University knew anything about the Mass until calls came into our respective offices over the (Memorial Day) holiday weekend."

"Many of the responses to the flyer jumped to the conclusion that I gave approval to this event. I did not," said Bishop Zubik, noting that "many of the responses also used condemning and threatening, and some might say hateful, language not in keeping with Christian charity."

Bishop Zubik said he had learned that "independent sponsors, without the authorization of the pastors of the parishes listed, promoted the event with a flyer that confused some and enraged others."

"This event was billed as a 'Pride Mass,' organized to coincide with Pride Month, an annual secular observance that supports members of the LGBTQ community on every level, including lifestyle and behavior, which the church cannot endorse," said Bishop Zubik.

"Given all that has transpired surrounding this event, I am asking that this gathering be canceled," he said. "It is my prayer we all, inclusive of the LGBTQ community, gather together on June 11th in our churches and chapels to celebrate the great Solemnity of Corpus Christi, and focus our attention on the Body of Christ in the Sacred Eucharist and the Body of Christ as the Church."

Bishop outlines Christian ‘duty’ to welcome refugees

Bishop Paul McAleenan calls for a 'just approach' to asylum - Diocese of  Westminster

Welcoming refugees and migrants is a duty for Christians, the lead bishop for migrants and refugees of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales has said.

Bishop Paul McAleenan said that for the Christian, supporting refugees and asylum seekers cannot be a “hobby or a niche interest”.

Criticising the government’s Illegal Migration Bill, he added: “The purpose of the law is to uphold justice and mercy, and when the effect of law compounds trauma and increases the suffering, justice and mercy are not being served”.

He called for “an asylum system which is designed for the welfare of refugees and not for their harm”.

He was speaking on 24 May at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Farm Street, London, at an event organised by London Churches’ Refugee Fund. It was attended by the Anglican Bishop of Liverpool, John Perumbalath, who also serves as chair of the Churches’ Refugee Network.

Bishop McAleenan said: “Going to the aid of migrants, refugees, displaced people and asylum seekers is not simply almsgiving or an act of kindness but an act of justice.”

He added, “It is always human dignity that takes priority, not what some choose to call ‘The National Interest’. Irrespective of their legal status, human dignity must be upheld, protected and nurtured.”

Two weeks ago, Bishop McAleenan issued a statement supporting the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, who had called for a more effective and humane asylum system.

“Refugee policy must prioritise the dignity of everyone who is driven from their homeland,” said Bishop McAleenan.

“The current system, under which people risk their lives making dangerous journeys and languish for months or years waiting for their claims to be heard, fails to do this.

“Extending safe routes for people to reach the UK, tackling the backlog of asylum claims so that they receive a fair and timely hearing and cooperating with other nations to collectively fulfil our obligations under the Refugee Convention are all necessary steps towards a more humane and effective system.”

He criticised immigration detention and any return to the routine detention of children.

The Jesuit Refugee Service was among the refugee groups which voiced support for the bishop’s words. On Tuesday it held an information session at Farm Street about the JRS UK’s At Home Hosting Scheme, where hosts welcome refugee guests into their homes.