Pope Francis: Everyone Must Take the Vaccine

Photo by Hakan Nural on Unsplash

via Vatican News:

Responding to a question from Canale 5 journalist Fabio Marchese Ragona regarding vaccinating against the coronavirus, the Pope says, “I believe that ethically everyone must take the vaccine.” “It is not an option; it is an ethical action, because you are playing with your health, you are playing with your life, but you are also playing with the lives of others.”

He explains that, in the next few days, vaccinations will begin in the Vatican and he has booked himself for it. “Yes, it must be done,” he stresses, adding, if the doctors say the vaccine is safe and does not present “special dangers” to someone, then they should take it.

“There exists a suicidal denialism in this which I cannot explain,” the Pope said. He added that it is time to “think about the ‘we’ and erase for a period of time the ‘I’, putting it within brackets.” “Either we are all saved together or no one is saved.”

Pope Calls for Safeguarding Democratic Values in Wake of Capitol Attack

via the AP:

“Nothing is gained with violence and so much is lost,” he said.

“I exhort the authorities of the state and the entire population to maintain a high sense of responsibility with the aim of calming souls, promoting national reconciliation and safeguarding the democratic values rooted in American society,” Francis said.

He then prayed to the Virgin Mary, the church’s patron in the United States, to “help keep alive the the culture of encounter, the culture of caring, as the superior way to build together the common good” with “all those who live in that land.”

In separate comments to a private Italian TV network that are to be broadcast Sunday evening, Francis expressed his astonishment about the mob’s attack. In that interview with Mediaset’s Channel 5, he said “in the most mature reality, there is always something that doesn’t work, people who take a path against the community, against democracy and against the common good.”

Insurrectionist Mob Invades the Capitol as Trump Lies About Election Results

the Washington Post reports:

A day that began with thousands of President Trump’s supporters in Washington for demonstrations turned violent as many in attendance saw Wednesday as a last stand for Trump because Congress was set to confirm that President-elect Joe Biden won the election.

Trump — who lost the popular and electoral college vote — continues to dispute the election results, without evidence, and has encouraged his supporters to attend the rallies. He took the stage about noon to roaring crowds, falsely claiming he had won the election.

Later at the U.S. Capitol, throngs of people pushed past police who were trying to block them from entering the building as lawmakers inside debated counting electoral college votes confirming Biden’s victory. A mob was able to breach security and successfully enter the building, where one person was shot and later died.

Millennial writer Marcus Mescher responded:

What’s happening in the US Capitol is an act of terror. These people are interfering with a peaceful transition of power because they don’t like the result & have been fed a steady diet of lies & fear. This is the consequence of a president only interested in loyalty to himself.

Russell Moore added:

This mob attack on our Capitol and our Constitution is immoral, unjust, dangerous, and inexcusable. What has happened to our country is tragic, and could have been avoided.

Former Millennial of the Year Michael Wear stated:

Donald Trump’s video statement should have provoked mass resignations from White House staff, and his Cabinet should have told him they’d support invoking the 25th if he couldn’t deliver an unequivocal message.

Cardinal Cupich of Chicago responded:

What has been unfolding at the Capitol today should shock the conscience of any patriotic American and any faithful Catholic. The eyes of the world look on in horror as we suffer this national disgrace. For many months we have witnessed the deliberate erosion of the norms of our system of government. Peaceful protest is a sacred right. It has been an essential component of much social progress over the course of human history. But violence is its opposite. Violence in the service of a falsehood is worse. Please join me in praying for the woman who was shot during the rioting, and who has died and for law enforcement who protect us against mob rule. We pray for peace at this bracing moment in U.S. history, a history that has been marked by one of democracy’s greatest virtues—the peaceful and orderly transition of power. May our elected officials heed the counsel of their better angels to stand up for the Constitution they swore to defend, to speak the truth, and to recognize threats to democracy, no matter their source. May God’s love suffuse our political life together, reminding all Americans that politics is the peaceful resolution of conflicting points of view. This is our tradition as a democratic nation—and we undermine it at our own peril.

Julia Ioffe added:

This is why the “calm down and let the process play out,” “this is not who we are,” “the institutions will save us,” is so dangerous, arrogant, and stupid. It is a position born of ignorance and privilege. It is a willful blindness to human history and human nature, a condescending belief that Americans are somehow constitutionally different—and superior to—the other 7 billion people on this planet, that our nature is one of calm deliberation, not violence—like those people. It is a willful disregard for evidence screaming you in the face and therefore an inability to understand why things play out the way they do, leading to surprised and naive declarations of “this is not who we are.” It’s not who we are until it is. It can’t happen here until it does. The system works until it doesn’t. The institutions hold until they don’t. We’re different than those other countries until we’re not. Americans are not ubermenschen. We are people. We are subject to the same forces of history and politics as the citizens of every other country on earth. We are not immune. We are not different. We are not superior. It is time to stop lying to ourselves. It is time to listen to the voices—many of them black and brown as well as those who know and understand authoritarianism—who have been predicting every step of this fiasco for years. This is who we are.

What Is Going On At EWTN?

Christopher White reports:

The Eternal Word Television Network, one of the Catholic Church’s largest media enterprises, is entering 2021 under a cloud of uncertainty with a slate of departures, some forced and others voluntary, among its radio and television hosts and news editors. The changes at EWTN come at a time when the company is also under scrutiny for its often-uncritical embrace of the Trump administration, regular opposition to Pope Francis and questionable adherence to journalistic standards.

On Dec. 30, EWTN announced the cancellation of radio host Gloria Purvis’ morning show, “Morning Glory,” which regularly featured her pro-life commentary alongside calls for Catholics to become more vocal in opposing racism. In June, the Texas-based Guadalupe Radio Network — the largest EWTN radio affiliate in the U.S — pulled her show soon after she consistently expressed dismay over the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer. Despite initially insisting the program was “going strong,” the network cancelled her show without warning.

EWTN also cancelled the “Open Line” radio show with Fr. Larry Richards. While he did not provide a reason for the cancellation, Richards, who is known as a regular defender of Pope Francis on his program, announced his firing on social media. “We will see where the Lord leads me next! His will be done!,” he wrote.

Mike Lewis provides additional context:

Perhaps last week’s news that EWTN had reshuffled its radio lineup, dismissing several longtime on-air voices including Gloria Purvis (who was outspoken this year about the US Church’s failure to address racism) and Fr. Larry Richards (who has been a staunch defender of Pope Francis), shouldn’t be surprising. After all, in recent months, the network’s political sycophancy and journalistic malpractice—which had already been quite egregious—only increased in the weeks following the presidential election. Still, for those of us who held out hope that there would be an intervention to bring the network more closely in line with the Magisterium and less blatant in its opposition to Pope Francis, this is a discouraging sign….

In his book The Outsider: Pope Francis and His Battle to Reform the Church, Vatican journalist Christopher Lamb wrote about the growing concern in the Vatican about the increasing dissent at the network…

Although there certainly are other forces besides rich benefactors at work behind EWTN’s radical turn and the network’s disloyalty to the Roman Pontiff, it seems probable that the influence of figures like Hanna and Busch won’t make it any easier for EWTN to embrace an authentically Catholic approach.

Listen as Donald Trump Attempts to Steal the Election and Destroy American Democracy

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

The Washington Post reports:

President Trump urged fellow Republican Brad Raffensperger, the Georgia secretary of state, to “find” enough votes to overturn his defeat in an extraordinary one-hour phone call Saturday that election experts said raised legal questions.

The Washington Post obtained a recording of the conversation in which Trump alternately berated Raffensperger, tried to flatter him, begged him to act and threatened him with vague criminal consequences if the secretary of state refused to pursue his false claims, at one point warning that Raffensperger was taking “a big risk.”

Throughout the call, Raffensperger and his office’s general counsel rejected Trump’s assertions, explaining that the president is relying on debunked conspiracy theories and that President-elect Joe Biden’s 11,779-vote victory in Georgia was fair and accurate.

You can listen to the full call here.


Pope Praises Those Who Have Sacrificed For Others in 2020

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

via Vatican News:

Pope Francis praised the “many people who, without making noise, have tried to make the weight of the trial more bearable.” He singled out not only healthcare workers, and priests and religious on the front lines, but also “all those who strive every day in the best way possible to carry on their service to their families and to those who are committed in their service to the common good.” He singled out especially teachers and school administrators, as well as civic leaders who put the good of others, especially the most disadvantaged, ahead of their own private interests.

“All this cannot happen without the grace, without the mercy of God,” Pope Francis said. “How is it possible… that so many people, without any other reward than of doing good, found the strength to be concerned about others?” he asked. “In the end, even if they themselves are not aware of it, what fortifies them is God’s strength which is more powerful than our selfishness.” And so, the Pope said, “For this reason, this evening we give praise to Him, because we believe and we know that all the good that is accomplished day after day on earth, in the end, comes from Him, comes from God.”