Pope Francis amends canon law so women can be installed as lectors, acolytes

VATICAN CITY -- Recognizing "the gifts of each baptized person" -- women and men -- Pope Francis ordered a change to canon law and liturgical norms so that women could be formally installed as lectors and acolytes.

    God's Word on Sunday: When the Lord speaks, are we listening?

    Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Jan. 17 (Year B) 1 Samuel 3:3b-10, 19; Psalm 40; 1 Corinthians 6:13c-15a, 17-20; John 1:35-42

    We hear many voices calling us each day — some of them important and true, but most consist of noise, disinformation and outright dishonesty. But a communication from God has some distinct characteristics that make us stop and listen.

      Pope Francis will not baptize infants on feast day this year

      VATICAN CITY -- The choral cries of newborn babies will not fill the Sistine Chapel in 2021 because the COVID-19 pandemic has forced Pope Francis to cancel his annual celebration of infant baptisms on the feast of the Baptism of the Lord.

        Vatican set to launch COVID-19 vaccinations for workers, residents

        VATICAN CITY -- The Vatican will begin offering COVID-19 vaccinations in mid-January, giving priority to its health care workers, security personnel, employees who deal with the public and older residents, employees and retirees.

          God's Word on Sunday: The Lord’s word is always at work

          Baptism of the Lord (Year B) Jan. 10 (Isaiah 55:1-11; 1 John 5:1-9; Mark 1:7-11)

          Without food and water, all life withers and dies. What a fitting biblical metaphor for God! We are invited to come to the waters and to receive wine and milk — all for free. No preconditions or charges and all are included. The prophet exults in God’s generosity. The food is not only abundant, but also the best. At the same time, he is puzzled: why, in the face of such generosity, are so many people uninterested? Why do they fling away their money and their energy on things that are worthless and do not satisfy? 

            New law brings needed transparency to finances, Vatican official says

            A new law that removes financial assets from the control of the Vatican Secretariat of State is a step forward on the path of financial reform, said Bishop Nunzio Galantino, president of Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See.

              Pope Francis prays for victims of earthquake in Croatia

              Pope Francis offered condolences and prayers for the victims of an earthquake that rocked central Croatia.

                God's Word on Sunday: God’s mercy shines, even in tough times

                Epiphany of the Lord (Year B) Jan. 3 (Isaiah 60:1-6; Psalm 72; Ephesians 3:2-3a, 5-6; Matthew 2:1-12)

                Most people will be more than happy to see 2020 growing smaller in the rearview mirror. It has been long, hard and painful and brought disease, death, financial hardship and loss of human community. It seemed at times that it would never end, and in fact, it has not. We have a long road ahead of us.

                  Pope Francis on Christmas: Share hope, promote peace, give vaccine to all

                  VATICAN CITY -- On a Christmas like no other, Pope Francis prayed for people who could not be with their families because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but he urged everyone to recognize and help those who are suffering even more.

                    Mary Marrocco: Christian unity urgent for suffering world

                    A spiritual director once surprised me by asking: “What does your little voice have to say?” 

                      CDF: current COVID-19 vaccines morally acceptable without alternatives

                      VATICAN CITY -- The Vatican's doctrinal office said that when alternative vaccines are not available, it is morally acceptable to receive COVID-19 vaccines developed or tested using cell lines originating from aborted fetuses.