Japanese dioceses suspend Masses amid coronavirus epidemic

Tokyo, Japan, Mar 4, 2020 / 07:00 pm (CNA).- Some Japanese dioceses have suspended Masses for several weeks due to the ongoing coronavirus epidemic across the country.

Last week, the Archdiocese of Tokyo cancelled all public Masses for more than two weeks in order to prevent the spread of the virus — a policy in line with secular precautions being taken by the Japanese government.

Masses will be suspended until March 14th in the Tokyo area.

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For Atlanta, “Habemus Friar” – In US Docket’s “Crown,” Pope Sends Franciscan To Atlanta

Just a couple years ago, upon inheriting one of the great estates of American literature, the leadership of a booming Atlanta church aimed to build its Archbishop a mansion commensurate with Catholicism’s newfound status in the Capital of the South….

Not long after it emerged, a public outcry nipped the Smyrna Chancery’s designs of grandeur in the bud. Only now, however, is the Pope set to finish the job, placing “Tara” – the crown jewel of the current US docket – into the keep of a Conventual Franciscan more used to sleeping at a Hampton Inn.

At Roman Noon Thursday, Whispers ops indicate that Francis will name Bishop Gregory Hartmayer OFM Conv., the 68 year-old head of Georgia’s southern diocese at Savannah, as the Seventh Archbishop of Atlanta, his adopted home – a 69-county fold now comprising to 1.2 million Catholics – where the Buffalo-born friar led parishes for a decade and a half until being given the hat in 2011. (Above, Hartmayer is seen with his Savannah predecessor, Bishop Kevin Boland, checking phone-shots after the Pope left his speech to the US bishops at Washington’s St Matthew’s Cathedral in 2015.)

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Casimir, Strikes and Deficits

Saint Casimir died young – as the good are wont to do – entering eternity, after a battle with tuberculosis, on this day, March 4th, 1484, at the tender age of 25. He was a Polish prince and heir apparent, but forewent the glories of the world, devoting his life more to God and His poor, preferring a life of celibacy and chastity. Casimir’s reputation for holiness quickly spread, and he may well have been canonized soon after his death, in 1521, by Leo XIII, but such records were lost in the horrific sack of Rome in 1527. We know for certain that Pope Clement VIII enrolled him in the calendar of saints in 1602, and he is now the patron of Poland and Lithuania.

A deal has apparently been reached with the Wet’suwet’en nation, but they have to decide whether to accept whatever that deal implies over a two-week long ‘feast’. Why Canada should be subject to a separate law system is a mystery to this writer, , especially since a deal had already been reached with all of the band councils involved, and one wonders what businesses will ever do put stakes down in a nation prey to such capriciousness, the very opposite of the rule of law.

And, while on that, the teachers in Ontario are staging another strike tomorrow, and this after the Ford government backed down on its demands on class size (limited to 23 instead of 28) and mandatory on-line courses.

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Bishop encourages peace zones amid Filipino communist rebellion

Manila, Philippines, Mar 4, 2020 / 06:18 pm (CNA).- After a recent military attack in the southern Philippines, a bishop has called on the government and rebel forces to withdraw soldiers from tribal communities.

Bishop Valentin Dimoc, Vicar Apostolic of Bontoc-Lagawe and the Filipino bishops’ chair for indigenous peoples, has asked both state and non-state military to leave tribal lands alone following reports on displaced communities and civilian violence.

Nearly 100 families were reportedly forced to flee from Diatagon, a village in the Surigao del Sur province, Feb. 29. Government troops had swept through the area looking for communist rebels, the human rights group Karapatan said, according to UCA News.

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Moral Meltdown: A Magisterial View of the Morality of Embryo Adoption

Perusing the website of Snowflakes, an American adoption agency, the viewer is presented with myriad photos of respectable, young-to-middle-aged couples radiantly embracing beautiful, healthy, beaming infants and young children.  Beneath a prominent quote from Sacred Scripture,[1] the agency displays glowing reviews from its adoptive families, emphasizing the care taken to place children in families deemed suitable by biological parents and to keep genetic siblings together.  Further, Snowflakes details its “open adoption” policy, listing the methods it offers to facilitate communication between biological and adoptive families.[2]

Snowflakes is a subdivision of Nightlight Christian Adoptions, an American pro-life organization based in California.[3]  It is unique among adoption agencies because it offers embryo adoptions.  The first licensed embryo adoption agency in the United States, Snowflakes supplies couples struggling with infertility with donated, frozen, surplus embryos from couples who have undergone “in vitro” fertilization (IVF) procedures.[4]

The service that Snowflakes provides is at the heart of the controversy over the fate of frozen, surplus embryos produced through IVF procedures.  Snowflakes’ clientele is largely comprised of Evangelical Christians, and its work is proposed as a pro-life ministry and a “rescue operation.”[5]  However, critics of embryo adoption focus on the dubious morality of implanting a frozen embryo into an adoptive mother’s uterus, and the issue remains contentious.  To properly navigate the moral quandary of embryo adoption, it is critical to understand the procedures involved and how the teaching of the Church’s Magisterium applies to the issue.

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