1. German Ambassador to China Calls for Release of Bishop

The Associated Press, June 20, 2017

The German ambassador to China on Tuesday called on authorities to end the apparent confinement of a Catholic bishop and said he is concerned by proposed changes to the country’s rules governing religion.

Ambassador Michael Clauss said in a statement posted on the embassy’s website that Shao Zhumin appears to have been forced by authorities to move to unknown locations four times over the past year. Shao, who was recognized as a bishop by the pope but not by Beijing, now appears to be confined to his home.

“His full freedom of movement should be restored,” Clauss said in the statement.

Shao was appointed in September by the Vatican as bishop in the eastern city of Wenzhou, which has a large Christian community. Ever since the officially atheistic communist state cut relations with the Holy See in the 1950s, the Vatican and Beijing have been at loggerheads over who has the right to name bishops in China and other issues governing the church.


2. Pope Francis to Visit Peru and Chile in January 2018

Reuters, June 19, 2017, 11:42 A.M.

Pope Francis will visit Chile and Peru in January, the Vatican said on Monday, the latest in a series of trips to his home continent.

Starting in Chile on Jan. 15, the Argentine pontiff will go to the cities of Santiago, Temuco and Iquique, before heading to Peru, where he will stop in Lima, Puerto Maldonado and Trujillo.
The Vatican said in a statement Francis had accepted invitations from the heads of state and bishops of the two countries. The trip will wrap up on Jan. 21.

Since his election to lead the world’s 2 billion Catholics in 2013, Francis has visited Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Cuba and Mexico, but has not made a pastoral trip to Argentina.


3. Bishops’ concerns for religious liberty, health care echo at assembly

By Sean Gallagher, Natalie Hoefer and John Shaughnessy, Crux, June 20, 2017

Reflecting their concern that religious liberty at home and abroad remains a top priority, the U.S. bishops during their spring general assembly in Indianapolis voted to make permanent their Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty.

The bishops also reiterated that their efforts are focused on “ensuring the fundamental right of medical care” for all people as the U.S. Senate worked in mid-June on a plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act after the U.S. House of Representatives had passed its own measure, the American Health Care Act.

Meanwhile, the bishops’ working group on migrants and refugees was set to complete its work by the spring assembly, but Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, USCCB president, announced June 15 he was extending the group “recognizing the continued urgency” so many migration and refugee issues present.


4. Going the Added Mile and Beyond, Homily on Monday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time

By Fr. Roger J. Landry, June 19, 2017
Fr. Roger J. Landry is the National Chaplain of Catholic Voices USA.

Today we’re one week into our annual 17 day meditation on Jesus’ words to us in the Sermon on the Mount, in which Jesus gives us an image of how he lives and how we’re supposed to live as his disciples. He explicitly calls us to live not by the standards of the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, not by the standards of the pagans who love those who love them, but by Jesus’ own standards, encouraging us to make his words and his standards the rock on which we build our life.

Today we enter into the heart of the contrast between Jesus’ standards and those of the pagans, the Scribes and the Pharisees. Jesus talks about the Law of Talion, which antedates the Old Testament, but was included in the law of Moses, which sought to limit vengeance by saying, “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” But merely limiting retaliation wasn’t enough for Jesus and his commandment and practice of life. He wanted us to stand up for our dignity while, as he would say later, loving even those who are making themselves our enemies. To turn the other cheek as someone was seeking to backhand us was not principally to be beaten on the other cheek with a forehand but to stand for one’s dignity not to be slapped by preventing one from backhanding us again.