Father James Martin connects Catholic leaders to Capitol riots; Bishop Stika unimpressed

CNA Staff, Jan 14, 2021 / 08:42 pm (CNA).- Bishop Richard Stika of Nashville voiced skepticism of Father James Martin’s recent essay claiming that Catholic leaders’ criticism of President-elect Joe Biden’s stance on abortion helped contribute to the conditions for the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Martin’s essay, “How Catholic Leaders Helped Give Rise to Violence at the U.S. Capitol,” ran Jan. 12 at the website of the U.S. Jesuits’ America magazine, where Martin is editor-at-large.

Martin collected various bishops’ and priests’ comments critical of Biden’s stand on abortion and questioning whether a Catholic could vote for him. Though these criticisms ranged from respectful to inflammatory, Martin argued that their criticism “does not adequately reflect church teaching” and sent the message that the election was “an almost apocalyptic battle between good and evil.”

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Vatican diplomat highlights growing religious intolerance

Rome Newsroom, Jan 14, 2021 / 07:20 pm (CNA).- A Vatican diplomat highlighted Thursday the “ever-growing intolerance and discrimination against Christians, Jews, Muslims and members of other religions.”

Addressing the permanent council of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in Vienna Jan. 14, Fr. Janusz S. Urbańczyk said he hopes the council will devote close attention to the problem.

“In so doing, we recommend that the Swedish Chairmanship should adopt an approach that, while being comprehensive and addressing cross-cutting issues, acknowledges the specificity of such forms of intolerance and discrimination and addresses the specific needs of targeted communities without showing bias or preferential selectivity among them,” the Catholic priest and permanent representative of the Holy See said.

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US bishops disagree with designation of Cuba as terrorism sponsor

CNA Staff, Jan 14, 2021 / 06:29 pm (CNA).- The US bishops’ chair for international justice and peace has expressed his disagreement with the State Department’s return of Cuba to a list of state sponsors of terrorism.

The decision was based in part on Cuba’s provision of haven to Colombian rebel leaders and fugitives from US justice, as well as Cuba’s support of Nicolas Maduro, the disputed president of Venezuela, who is not recognized by the US.

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