Pope Francis on Lent: Give Up Useless Words, Chatter, Gossip for Silence

via Vatican News:

He remarked on the fact that, for many of us, it is not easy to be in silence as we live in an environment that is “polluted by too much verbal violence,” by so many “offensive and harmful words” which are amplified by the internet. “Lent is a time to disconnect from cell phones and connect to the Gospel,” he said, recalling that when he was a child there was no television, but his family would make a point of not listening to the radio.

“It is the time to give up useless words, chatter, rumors, gossip, and talk and to speak directly to the Lord,” he said, it is a time in which to dedicated ourselves to an ecology of the heart.

In a world in which we often struggle to distinguish the voice of the Lord, Jesus calls us into the desert and invites us to listen to what matters, Pope Francis explained….

The Pope also noted that the solitude of the desert increases our sensitivity to those who quietly cry out for help.

“Even today, close to us, there are many deserts, many lonely people: they are the lonely and the abandoned. How many poor and old people live near us in silence, marginalized and discarded, “he said.

L’Arche: Internal investigation reveals abuses committed by Jean Vanier

via Vatican News:

In a letter sent on 22 February to the L’Arche Federation, the leaders of the movement made public the conclusions of the investigation which they had entrusted to an external and independent body. The investigation included testimonies implicating its founder, Jean Vanier, and his links to Fr Thomas Philippe, a Dominican priest, whom he considered to be his spiritual father.

Since 2014, several testimonies by women who had been sexually abused by Thomas Philippe had been received by L’Arche officials, which prompted this investigation. This long-term probe also uncovered acts of abuse committed by Jean Vanier. “In the course of this investigation, sincere and consistent testimonies spanning from 1970-2005 were received from six adult women without disabilities indicating that Jean Vanier initiated sexual relations with them, generally as part of spiritual accompaniment. Some of these women have suffered deep wounds,” reads the press release published by L’Arche.

“These actions indicate the psychological and spiritual hold that Jean Vanier had over these women and show his adoption of some of Father Thomas Philippe’s deviant theories and practices,” reads the statement from the movement. The shock wave among the leaders of L’Arche is immense.

Pope Francis: Ensure Everyone Has Access to Healthcare and Discard No One

via the Vatican:

Jesus does not make demands of those who endure situations of frailty, suffering and weakness, but offers his mercy and his comforting presence. He looks upon a wounded humanity with eyes that gaze into the heart of each person. That gaze is not one of indifference; rather, it embraces people in their entirety, each person in his or her health condition, discarding no one, but rather inviting everyone to share in his life and to experience his tender love….

What is needed is a personalized approach to the sick, not just of curing but also of caring, in view of an integral human healing. In experiencing illness, individuals not only feel threatened in their physical integrity, but also in the relational, intellectual, affective and spiritual dimensions of their lives. For this reason, in addition to therapy and support, they expect care and attention. In a word, love. At the side of every sick person, there is also a family, which itself suffers and is in need of support and comfort….

Dear brothers and sisters who are ill, your sickness makes you in a particular way one of those “who labour and are burdened”, and thus attract the eyes and heart of Jesus. In him, you will find light to brighten your darkest moments and hope to soothe your distress….

Life must be welcomed, protected, respected and served from its beginning to its end: both human reason and faith in God, the author of life, require this….

I think of our many brothers and sisters throughout the world who have no access to medical care because they live in poverty. For this reason, I urge healthcare institutions and government leaders throughout the world not to neglect social justice out of a preoccupation for financial concerns. It is my hope that, by joining the principles of solidarity and subsidiarity, efforts will be made to cooperate in ensuring that everyone has access to suitable treatments for preserving and restoring their health.

Amy Backs a Big Tent Strategy, As Bernie and Mayor Pete Shun Pro-Life Democrats and Progressives

via The Hill:

Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) on Tuesday said that the Democratic Party should be a “big tent” for people of different beliefs, including those who oppose abortion rights….

“There are pro-life Democrats, and they are part of our party, and I think we need to build a big tent,” she said.

“I think we need to bring people in instead of shutting them out.”

When Bernie Sanders was asked if there is such a thing as a pro-life Democrat in his vision of the party, he replied, “By this time in history, I think, when we talk about what a Democrat is, I think being pro-choice is an essential part of that.”

When Pete Buttigieg was asked about whether or not he was open to a more inclusive approach toward pro-life Democrats by pro-life Democrat Kristen Day, he refused to directly answer the question, reiterated his support for legal abortion, and declined to say that he valued the over 20 million pro-life Democrats in the party.