Reflecting on crèche and Christmas tree, Pope calls for 'effective decisions' to protect our common home (Vatican Press Office) “Today’s meeting offers me the opportunity to renew my encouragement to your people, who last year suffered a devastating natural disaster, with the destruction of entire wooded areas,” the Pope said to members of delegations from Trentino and Veneto, who donated the Christmas tree and the Nativity display in St. Peter’s Square (video). “These are events that alarm us, they are warning signs that creation sends us, and that ask us to take effective decisions immediately for the protection of our common home.”
'Welcome the stranger,' bishops exhort Irish Catholics (Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference) The bishops called on “all Catholic parishes and communities to welcome and assist refugees in their local areas in light of the Gospel message.” Lamenting “the use of intolerant language in public and political discourse as well as the growing hostility towards migrants and refugees coming to Ireland,” the bishops added that “Christians, in their language and actions, are asked to lead by example and to welcome the stranger.”
Video released for Pope's monthly prayer intention (YouTube (Vatican News)) The Pope’s December prayer intention is “that every country may determine to take the necessary measures to make the future of children, especially those who suffer, a priority.” In the video, Pope Francis comments, “Every child who is marginalized, abused, abandoned, without schooling, or without medical care, is a cry that rises up to God. In each of them is Christ, who came to our world as a defenseless child; it is Christ who looks at us through the eyes of each of these children.”
Vatican Secetary of State opens academic year at John Paul II Institute (Zenit) “The constitution of the new Theological Institute for the Sciences of Marriage and the Family, decided by the Holy Father Francis, re-launches the timeliness of that inspiration and invites to elaborate and update its identity to correspond to the new exigencies of the theological culture and of the ecclesial mission,” Cardinal Pietro Parolin said. In 2017, Pope Francis gave the Institute a new name and focus.
New potential abuse payouts could surpass $4 billion (AP) The brief report notes that “New York state opened its one-year window allowing sex abuse claims no matter how old, and already hundreds of lawsuits have been filed. A two-year window in New Jersey opens this week, then a three-year window in California opens in the new year that allows triple damages if the Church tried to cover up the abuse.”