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Nation and world briefs

U.S.

Pope meets Pelosi; both speak at legislators’ pre-COP26 meeting

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis met privately at the Vatican Oct. 9 with U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who was in Rome to speak at a meeting of legislators from around the world in preparation for the U.N. climate summit. The Vatican released photos of Pelosi’s meeting with the pope, but provided no details of the encounter, which took place before Pope Francis addressed the Pre-COP26 Parliamentary Meeting. Pelosi, a Catholic, said in a statement that “His Holiness’ leadership is a source of joy and hope for Catholics and for all people, challenging each of us to be good stewards of God’s creation, to act on climate, to embrace the refugee, the immigrant and the poor and to recognize the dignity and divinity in everyone.” In her keynote address to fellow legislators from around the world, Pelosi said world governments must take bold action in their own countries and when they meet for COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, in November.

Indiana Catholic, a former U.S. senator, is Vatican ambassador nominee

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden will nominate Catholic lawyer Joseph Donnelly of Indiana, a former member of the U.S. House and Senate, to be the next U.S. ambassador to the Vatican. The White House announced Biden’s pick for the ambassador post Oct. 8. The nomination must be confirmed by the Senate. Donnelly, 66, served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2007 to 2013, representing Indiana’s 2nd Congressional District, and was a U.S. senator from 2013 to 2019. He is currently a partner at Akin Gump, a Washington firm specializing in public law and policy law.

Eucharistic revival is key to Church’s future, says USCCB president

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ planned multiyear eucharistic revival project will help the Church address several of the challenges facing it, Los Angeles Archbishop José H. Gomez said in an Oct. 5 address to the Diocesan Fiscal Management Conference’s annual meeting. “We’re all coming to the realization it’s all about Jesus Christ,” Archbishop Gomez, president of the USCCB, said in his livestreamed address to the meeting, held Oct. 3-6 in Nashville. About 500 people, including finance personnel from dioceses across the United States and several other countries, attended the meeting. The Diocesan Fiscal Management Conference is an integrated auxiliary organization of the USCCB.

U.S. nuncio says he’ll stay, helps prepare for synod, Biden-pope meeting

WASHINGTON — Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the 75-year-old apostolic nuncio to the United States, said when he met Pope Francis at the Vatican Sept. 6, the pope asked him to remain in his post instead of retiring. “He asked me to stay, so I stay as long as he wants. And I am happy to do so,” the archbishop told Catholic News Service. At the top of the nuncio’s to-do list is helping the Holy See prepare for Joe Biden’s first presidential visit to the Vatican, while the president is in Rome for an Oct. 30-31 summit of leading rich and developed nations. The archbishop confirmed the Biden-pope meeting indirectly: “It would be an anomaly if he did not meet the pope while in Rome,” especially since Biden is the first Catholic president in 58 years. Despite a “tense situation because of the agenda of the Democratic Party on abortion,” Archbishop Pierre said he believes it will be a good meeting.

WORLD

Pope, religious leaders plead for peace, care for the earth

ROME — Standing in front of Rome’s Colosseum, Pope Francis called on members of all the world’s religions to be courageous enough to set aside self-centeredness and instead live with true and active compassion for the victims of war and poverty and for the earth. The pope and Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Anglican and Protestant representatives gathered for a brief Christian prayer service Oct. 7 before joining Muslim, Jewish, Hindu and Buddhist leaders in making an appeal for peace. Andrea Riccardi, founder of the Community of Sant’Egidio, which organized the meeting, said the need to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, conflicts and the climate crisis have drawn religious believers together like never before. The pope urged religious believers to remember a key lesson of the pandemic, “namely, that we cannot remain healthy in a world that is sick.”

Pilgrims flock to beatified teen’s tomb in Assisi ahead of feast day

ROME — Thousands of pilgrims have flocked to the tomb of Blessed Carlo Acutis, the 15-year-old Italian teenager whose use of technology to spread devotion to the Eucharist prompted Pope Francis to hail him as a role model for young people today. In a statement released Oct. 11, the Diocese of Assisi said that since his beatification one year ago, an estimated 117,000 pilgrims visited the teen’s tomb in the Shrine of the Renunciation at the Church of St. Mary Major in Assisi. The diocese also said that in the lead up to Blessed Acutis’ Oct. 12 feast day, hundreds of pilgrimage groups have registered to receive a catechesis on the beatified teen’s life. Capuchin Father Carlos Acácio Gonçalves Ferreira, rector of the Shrine of the Renunciation, said, “Carlo is a phenomenon of holiness that touches everyone, that pushes young people to approach the Church, who helps those who are far from the faith.”

Pope appoints new master of papal liturgical ceremonies

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis named Msgr. Diego Giovanni Ravelli, who has served as an official of the papal almoner’s office since 2013, as the new master of papal liturgical ceremonies, the Vatican said. Msgr. Ravelli will succeed Bishop-designate Guido Marini who, after serving as papal master of ceremonies since 2007, was appointed bishop of the northern Italian diocese of Tortona. The Vatican announced the appointment Oct. 11. Born in Lazzate in the Italian region of Lombardy, Msgr. Ravelli was ordained a priest in 1991. According to the Vatican, he has served as a collaborator of the office of papal liturgical celebrations and as a liturgical assistant at papal Masses since 2006.

Pope to name St. Irenaeus of Lyon a doctor of the Church

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis said he intends to declare as a doctor of the Church St. Irenaeus of Lyon, the second-century theologian known for his defense of orthodoxy amid the rise of gnostic sects. During a meeting Oct. 7 with members of the St. Irenaeus Joint Orthodox-Catholic Working Group, the pope praised the group’s efforts in creating a space for dialogue between Catholics and Orthodox Christians, much like their namesake. “Your patron, St. Irenaeus of Lyon –- whom I will soon declare a doctor of the Church with the title, ‘doctor unitatis’ (‘doctor of unity’) — came from the East, exercised his episcopal ministry in the West, and was a great spiritual and theological bridge between Eastern and Western Christians,” he said. St. Irenaeus, the working group’s website said, “is revered as a patristic father in both the Eastern and Western Churches” and “thus represents an example of the spiritual connection between the Churches in East and West, which the working group seeks to promote through its discussions.”

— Catholic News Service

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