Caritas Stresses Feeding of Poor in Lebanon During Pandemic

“Our first concern is that nobody must feel hungry, so we will provide the poor with food and medicines; families without any monthly income will come first”, says the director of Caritas Lebanon, Carmelite Fr. Michel Abboud, reporting on the situation in Lebanon at the time of Covid-19. The religious has officially been director since March 31 but has been at work since November 2019, when he was elected during the 53rd assembly of Catholic patriarchs and bishops in Lebanon. According to data provided to Fides by Caritas, there are over 12,500 families who need support and assistance to survive. Currently, 1,200 volunteers together with 750 Caritas operators have distributed more than 2,000 food portions, traveling between the different regions of Lebanon.

“Since the beginning of the crisis linked to the coronavirus emergency, Caritas has launched an appeal for solidarity, making available a special telephone line to collect donations: the number of calls has exceeded 33,000 in two weeks”, notes Fr. Abboud. Lebanon has managed to contain the devastating effect of Covid-19 by imposing the isolation of the country for over a month; however, the political and socio-economic emergency that has gripped the country for months has only increased the number of extremely poor families.

“Even the health care centers, located in the poorest areas of the country, continue to operate with reduced hours to guarantee support not only to the Lebanese but also to Syrian refugees and anyone in need. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic and, subsequently, to the restrictive measures imposed by the State, mobile clinics only provide drugs to those who book them in advance, waiting to provide emergency free medical services in the future, interrupted by the emergency”, explains the director to Agenzia Fides.

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Kalamazoo bishop urges prayers, support for parishes during coronavirus

CNA Staff, May 5, 2020 / 05:01 pm (CNA).- Bishop Paul Bradley of Kalamazoo released a pastoral letter Friday encouraging support for parishes during the pandemic, and announcing the diocesan-wide bishop’s appeal would be rescheduled for later in the year.

“As I have said many times before, strong Parishes make a strong Diocese and we are working to ensure our Parishes are financially secure,” Bishop Bradley wrote May 1.

Many parishes are experiencing budget shortfalls due to decreased in-person donations. Data from the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate suggests that throughout the US, collections may only be about 42% of what they would have been without the pandemic.

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USCCB: Call with Trump was about schools, not campaign

Denver Newsroom, May 5, 2020 / 04:41 pm (CNA).- The U.S. bishops’ conference has responded to charges that it might have knowingly facilitated illegal campaigning by the White House and the campaign of President Donald Trump when it notified Catholic leaders of an impending phone call with the president.

A spokesperson for the bishops’ conference told CNA May 5 that when it notified Catholic leaders about an April phone call with the president, its goal was to promote advocacy for Catholic education, and that the call had no connection to the president’s reelection campaign.

On April 24, White House officials invited “Catholic Leaders and Educators” to participate in an April 25 call with Trump about the needs of Catholic schools during the coronavirus pandemic. More than 600 people participated in the call, including USCCB president Archbishop Jose Gomez and Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York.

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Mother Mary Is the Refuge for Weary Souls

For readers of One Peter Five, the crisis in the Church is no secret, but an open wound fifty years old and more. And after the summer of shame and the continuing saga of Viganò, speculation was raised at the onset of January 2020 as to what could possibly go still worse in the Church.

In February and March, we saw the burgeoning Coronavirus Crisis provide occasion for some bishops to impose Communion in the hand. As a result, some faithful voluntarily abstained from the Blessed Sacrament already rather than cause particles of our Lord to fall to the ground and be trampled by men.

Meanwhile, at the end of February, ashes were imposed on us, and we heard the words:

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Bishops urge DOJ to confront the porn industry, protect porn’s victims

CNA Staff, May 5, 2020 / 04:14 pm (CNA).- With pornographic website traffic spiking while countries remain on lockdown, the bishops of the United States are urging the Justice Department to protect victims of human trafficking and exploitation by enforcing obscenity laws and prosecuting producers of violent pornography.

“We write to you today to urge you to confront the ongoing harms wrought by the pornography industry and to protect its victims,” the U.S. bishops wrote in an April 30 letter to the Department of Justice (DOJ).

“This should include enforcement of obscenity laws, investigation of pornography producers and website owners for criminality, national leadership in encouraging states and localities to develop rigorous policies against the industry and in the service of survivors, and more.”

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Despite coronavirus, virtual town hall to bring L.A. Catholics together

CNA Staff, May 5, 2020 / 04:11 pm (CNA).- A Wednesday live stream “virtual town hall” with Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles and several Catholic experts aims to hear how Catholics and their families have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic and to discuss ways to respond.

“This town hall will give us a chance to come together to pray, to share our experiences, and to talk about how we can strengthen our faith and families as we move forward in these difficult days,” Archbishop Gomez said, according to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles’ news website Angelus News.

The theme of the event is “Better Together”. The May 6 internet live stream will take place at 12 p.m. Pacific Time.

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