Vatican City Will End Sale of Single-Use Plastics

via CNS:

After current supplies run out, Vatican City State will no longer be selling any single-use plastic items on its tiny territory.

While the European Union pledged in May to ban single-use plastic starting in 2021, the Vatican had already begun limiting its use and soon “it will no longer be sold,” said Rafael Ignacio Tornini, head of the department handling Vatican City State’s gardens and waste collection.

“We have been making an effort to sort as much (plastic) as possible, and the state has limited all sales of single-use plastic,” he told the Italian news agency ANSA July 16.

Pope: Let Memory of the Moon Landing Inspire Efforts to Build a More Just World

via Vatican News:

“Fifty years ago, yesterday”, Pope Francis said on Sunday, “Man set foot on the moon, achieving an extraordinary dream.”

Addressing the crowd gathered in St Peter’s Square for the Angelus prayer, the Pope expressed his hope that the memory of “that great step for humanity” might spark the desire to reach even “greater goals”.

Those he named were “more dignity for the weak, more justice among peoples, and more future for our common home.”

Hundreds of Catholics Gather, Dozens Arrested Protesting Trump’s Inhumane Immigration Policies

via the Washington Post:

On a day they dubbed the “Catholic Day of Action,” hundreds of Catholics gathered outside the Capitol to protest the Trump administration’s immigration policies and its treatment of migrants.

“We hope that by being here and putting our bodies on the line, we can give people, members of Congress, courage to do the right thing,” said Sister Marge Clark, from the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. “It’s important to go beyond words, to put your body where your words are, where your beliefs are.”

In their hands and fastened to their bodies, demonstrators carried photographs of migrant children who died in federal custody into the Russell building, where more than 30 senators have offices. As five protesters lay on the floor of the rotunda to make the shape of a cross with their bodies, the group recited the children’s names:

“Darlyn,” protesters chanted in unison. “Jakelin. Felipe. Juan. Wilmer. Carlos.”…

“We are here today because of our faith. The gospel compels us to act,” Sister Ann Scholz, associate director for LCWR’s social mission, told the crowd. “We are outraged at the horrific treatment of families and especially children. The inhumane treatment of children being done in our name must stop.”

Venezuelan Archbishop: Restoring Democracy, Not Outside Force, Is Best Response to Illegitimate Maduro Regime

via Vatican News:

In an interview with Vatican News, Archbishop Jose Luis Azuaje Ayala of Maracaibo said Venezuela’s bishops appreciate the Pope’s words in support of their people….

Archbishop Azuaje said one extreme faction in the country is hoping an outside force will come to resolve the political crisis, whether it be a military intervention led by the United States or some “messiah”.

These unlikely events, he said, are not the real solution. “The path forward is simply that we – as Venezuelans, with the support of the international community – find solutions to this serious problem that we have.”…

Maduro, said Archbishop Azuaje, is an illegitimate president, “because the elections were illegitimate and full of irregularities.”

The Archbishop called for a return to the Constitution to guarantee a democratic process and a way out of Venezuela’s political and economic crisis.

Pope: Mistreated Migrants are Symbols of all Those Rejected by Our Global Society

via Vatican News:

Pope Francis has recalled that visit to Lampedusa every year since then with a special Mass for migrants. Around 250 people attended the Pope’s Mass this year, celebrated at the Altar of the Chair in St Peter’s Basilica. Most of those present were migrants, refugees, and “those who are dedicated to saving their lives”….

“On this sixth anniversary of the visit to Lampedusa, my thoughts go out to those ‘least ones’”, said the Pope, those “who daily cry out to the Lord, asking to be freed from the evils that afflict them”. Pope Francis then gave concrete examples of those he considers the “least ones”: those who are “abandoned and cheated into dying in the desert”; those who are “tortured, abused and violated in detention camps”; or “face the waves of an unforgiving sea”; those who are “left in reception camps too long for them to be called temporary”….

“This is not just about migrants”, affirmed Pope Francis. “Migrants are first of all human persons”, he said, “they are the symbol of all those rejected by today’s globalized society”.

Bishop Stowe Denounces Atrocities Perpetrated by the Trump Administration and ICE

Bishop John Stowe tweets:

It is hard to believe that in recent days we have heard our own federal government argue in court that toothbrushes and soap were not necessary provisions for detained children. How can we allow this to be done by our government, in our name?

We cannot accept that children are left unbathed, without changes of clothing, in unsanitary facilities, sleeping on concrete without beds and sometimes without room to lie down, no diapers for toddlers, and sick children being left to care for other sick children.

We’ve seen one chapter after another of atrocities intentionally perpetrated on vulnerable people: family separation, loss of children in custody, two dozen deaths in ICE custody since 2017, children in cages, living under bridges in extreme temps, brutalized and underfed.

7 Great Fictional Female Role Models for Girls (and Boys!)

Millennial editor Robert Christian writes:

As parents, my wife and I look for role models that reinforce the lessons that we teach our kids and display behavior that corresponds with an approach to life that aligns with our understanding of morality, human flourishing and a life of joy.

Role models show that strength and compassion are not opposites. They prove that women can pursue and achieve excellence, while still valuing relationships and other people. They teach kids that real courage is not bravado or a lust for recklessness, but perseverance and determination in the face of serious obstacles to achieving what is right and just.

Here are seven fictional role models that can inspire kids of all ages.

Wonder Woman

In the DC universe’s most acclaimed film, Wonder Woman declares, “I’m willing to fight for those who cannot fight for themselves.”…


Moana breaks the “curse of the good girl” by breaking from conventions out of love for her people. She loves and respects her parents, but her sense of mission or call leads her to heroically undertake an adventure to save the world….

Katniss Everdeen

In the Hunger Games series, Katniss Everdeen is willing to risk her own life to save her sister in a selfless act of love….