A letter from Cardinal Ouellet has shed new light on the events happening before the Vatican block of the US bishops voting on measures against abuse in the American Church. This block has been used by the usual quarters to attack Pope Francis as an enabler of this scourge in the Church. This letter, however, validates the legal concerns the Vatican had with some of the proposals, and how the measures were presented to the Holy See without due time to process them. The letter also undermines Cardinal DiNarro, who at the time expressed “surprise” with the Vatican block, when Ouellet had told him since a week before not to vote on these measures.

In the meantime, the US bishops have gathered in a spiritual retreat mandated by the Pope to prayerfully discern the best course of action to rid the Church of this evil. Pope Francis himself issued a letter to help guide their reflections. Let us pray for them and for the success of this retreat, for the good of the abuse victims and the Church.

Meanwhile, McCarrick’s ecclesiastical trial continues. The Vatican seeks an expedite trial, in time of the international February summit on the sexual abuse crisis.

In other news, Greg Burke and Paloma Ovejero have resigned as Director and Deputy Director of the Vatican’s Press Office. Francis critics have taken the opportunity to whip up new conspiracy theories around this. John Allen at Crux Now has a more somber take on the issue. In the meantime, Alessandro Gissoti, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Radio Vaticana, has been appointed as their interim replacement.

Good news… Catholics obedient to Pope Francis’ Laudato ‘Si have spearheaded efforts to address the climate change crisis this last year. Read more about their initiatives here.

A New Year has arrived. Let us review the best images of Pope Francis from the year 2018


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Pedro Gabriel, MD, is a Catholic layman and physician, born and residing in Portugal. He is a medical oncologist, currently employed in a Portuguese public hospital. A published writer of Catholic novels with a Tolkienite flavor, he is also a parish reader and a former catechist. He seeks to better understand the relationship of God and Man by putting the lens on the frailty of the human condition, be it physical and spiritual. He also wishes to provide a fresh perspective of current Church and World affairs from the point of view of a small western European country, highly secularized but also highly Catholic by tradition.

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