1. Campus Censorship Hits Pro-Lifers Hard, When antifa issued threats to my student group, Cal State Fullerton did nothing. 

By Kristan Hawkins, Ms. Hawkins is president of Students for Life of America, which has more than 1,200 chapters on college and high school campuses, The Wall Street Journal, May 22, 2018, Pg. A13

Free speech is out of fashion on college, university and even high school campuses, and pro-life students are hit especially hard. Putting aside any feelings about the issue of abortion, consider that pro-life students increasingly find their ability to make their case suppressed by fellow students and administrators. With more than 1,200 college and high school chapters, Students for Life of America works daily addressing obstacles to student speech. 

The silver lining in all this for pro-life advocates is the resolve of courageous students who refuse to be silenced and who are learning how to engage effectively and lovingly even in hostile environments. Far from being snowflakes, this generation is more pro-life than their parents, and they are willing to do the hard work of defending women and their preborn children no matter the obstacles.


2. Pope laments vocations ‘hemorrhage,’ wants ‘clear rules’ on money. 

By John L. Allen Jr., Crux, May 22, 2018

Speaking to the powerful Italian bishops’ conference Monday, Pope Francis tagged three “preoccupations” in the only country in the world where he rules as Primate: a “hemorrhage” of vocations, “evangelical poverty and transparency,” and the need for a “consolidation” of Italy’s sprawling number of dioceses.

Francis told the bishops he wasn’t sharing these concerns to “beat you up,” but rather as points for further “dialogue and reflection.” He also said he wanted to hear their questions, even their criticisms, because “it’s not bad to criticize the pope, it’s useful.”

On vocations, the pontiff didn’t mince words.

“How many churches and convents have been closed in recent years for a lack of vocations, only God knows,” he said.

Francis blamed the crisis in vocations on many factors, including “a culture of the provisional,” a “culture of relativism,” the “dictatorship of money”, a “demographic inversion” in which families are having fewer children, the impact of Church scandals, and the “tepid witness” given by some priests and bishops.

In any event, the pontiff said frankly, “we’re not succeeding” at generating a sufficient number of new vocations.

In response, Francis suggested one “practical” step, which is a “more generous sharing” among Italian dioceses.

“What we need is a fidei donum [system] from one diocese to the other,” he said.

The term fidei donum comes from a 1957 encyclical of Pope Pius XII, which encouraged dioceses with substantial numbers of priests to release some of them for service in mission countries which didn’t have enough priests. Today, it’s most often employed in a reverse sense, as countries in the developing world are sending some of their priests to the West to compensate for priest shortages.

On poverty, Francis quoted to the Italian prelates an idea he said he picked up in his Jesuit formation: Poverty is the “mother” and the “wall” of the apostolic life, because it “helps us grow” and it “protects” us.


3. Pope laments ‘hemorrhaging’ of priests and nuns in Europe. 

By Associated Press, May 21, 2018, 5:11 PM

Pope Francis voiced alarm Monday at the “hemorrhaging” of nuns and priests in Italy and Europe, saying God only knows how many seminaries, monasteries, convents and churches will close because fewer people are being called to lives of religious service.

Francis told Italy’s bishops he was concerned about the “crisis of vocations” in a region of the world that once was one of the biggest sources of Catholic missionaries. He said Italy and Europe were entering a period of “vocational sterility” to which he wasn’t sure a solution exists.

The number of Catholic priests worldwide declined by 136 to 415,656 in 2015, the last year for which data is available. But according to Vatican statistics, the decrease was greatest in Europe, where there were 2,502 fewer priests compared to 2014. The number was offset by increases in priestly vocations in Africa and Asia, where the church as a whole is growing.

During the same period, the number of baptized Catholics rose globally from 1.27 million to nearly 1.29 million, meaning the ratio of Catholics to the priests available to minister to them is growing.

In a speech to an annual assembly of the Italian bishops conference Monday, Francis blamed the priest shortage on such factors as demographic changes, scandals in the church and cultural trends that dissuade young people from making lifelong commitments and make them value instead the “dictatorship of money


4. Pope moves 12 sainthood causes ahead, including U.S. missionary’s. 

By Cindy Wooden, Crux, May 21, 2018

Pope Francis issued decrees recognizing that 12 candidates for sainthood, including U.S. Sacred Heart Brother Norbert McAuliffe, lived the Christian virtues in a heroic way.

The decrees promulgated by the pope May 19 are the first major step in the sainthood process. A miracle attributed to the candidate’s intercession would be needed before beatification and another miracle would be needed for the person’s canonization.

McAuliffe was born Sept. 30, 1886, in New York. After joining the missionary Brothers of the Sacred Heart, he was sent to Uganda where he founded the order’s first mission in Gulu, in the north of the country. He died there July 3, 1959.

Among the other decrees was one recognizing the “heroic virtues” of Polish Cardinal August Hlond, archbishop of Gniezno and Warsaw during World War II. He died in 1948.

A Colombian bishop, Bishop Miguel Angel Builes Gomez of Santa Rosa de Osos, who died in 1971, also was among the candidates whose causes advanced.

The others were five priests and four religious women including one known as the “Angel of Auschwitz,” Trinitarian Sister Angela Maria Autsch. Born in Germany, she entered a novitiate in Austria. Turned into the Gestapo by a Nazi informant who had heard she criticized Hitler, she was held in the Innsbruck jail before being sent to the Ravensbruck concentration camp and, eventually, to Auschwitz-Birkenau where she died Dec. 23, 1944, just a month before the Allies liberated the camp.