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'Everything is grace': Pope reflects on God's call and recompense (Vatican Press Office)

During his September 20 Angelus address (video), Pope Francis discussed Matthew 20:1-16, the Gospel reading of the day.

Why priests don't endorse candidates: experts respond to FEC chairman (National Catholic Register)

Trey Trainor, chairman of the Federal Election Commission, said in an interview, “I don’t think a bishop has the right to tell a priest that he can’t come out and speak [in endorsing candidates]. When the priest takes the vow of obedience to the bishop, it is in the area of faith and morals, but they have a higher duty to our Lord, and if the bishop is putting something out there that is not right then the priest has an obligation to the faithful to correct it.”

Medicines, vaccines should be available to world's poorest, Pope says to pharmacists (Vatican Press Office)

“I repeat that it would be sad if, in providing the [Covid] vaccine, priority were given to the wealthiest, or if this vaccine became the property of this or that country, and was no longer for everyone,” Pope Francis said in a September 19 audience with Banco Farmaceutico (Italian website). “It must be universal, for all.”

US Secretary of State prods Vatican on accord with Beijing (First Things)

“Two years on, it’s clear that the Sino-Vatican agreement has not shielded Catholics from the Party’s depredations,” writes US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, in a column appearing on the First Things web site. Pompeo argues that the Holy See should show moral leadership by pressing Beijing to recognize religious liberty and other fundamental human rights.

'Lives will be upended': US bishops decry federal court decision on TPS (USCCB)

TPS (temporary protected status) allows migrants from some countries to live and work in the US, and a federal appellate court has ruled that President Trump has the authority to end TPS for migrants from El Salvador, Nicaragua, Haiti, and Sudan. Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, joined the chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Migration and the president of Catholic Relief Services in lamenting the decision.

Oklahoma City priest 're-ordained' after learning of invalid baptism (Archdiocese of Oklahoma City)

In a case similar to that of a Detroit priest, Father Zachary Boazman “reviewed a family recording of his infant baptism in 1992” and saw that the deacon of the Diocese of Fort Worth used an invalid baptismal formula. He immediately contacted Archbishop Paul Coakley and was baptized, confirmed, and ordained. In addition, the archbishop “sanated (validated) the marriages celebrated by Father Boazman in the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City ... Baptisms he performed were not affected, since anyone can baptize as long as they use the required wording with the proper intention.”

Pope expresses closeness to sick, elderly priests (Vatican Press Office)

In a message to the sick and elderly priests of Lombardy (map), Pope Francis said, “In reality, you are priests who, in prayer, in listening, in the offering of suffering, carry out a ministry that is not of secondary importance in your churches ... Fragility can be ‘like a refiner’s fire, like fuller’s lye’ (Malachi 3:2), which, lifting us up towards God, refines us and sanctifies us. Let us not be afraid of suffering: may the Lord bear the cross with us!”

Cologne cardinal warns German 'synodal path' could cause schism (CNS)

It would “be the worst thing if something like a German national church were to be created here,” said Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki, who expressed hope that the synodal path would initiate “a true reform, which is definitely needed in the Church.” He added that many German Catholics do not know “who Christ is, what the Church is, they no longer know what a sacrament is, what the sacramental structure of the Church is.”

Top Vatican officials vow to cooperate against corruption (CNA)

Two ranking Vatican officials have signed a public statement pledging cooperation in the battle to eliminate corruption. The Vatican cited the accord between Father Juan Antonio Guerrero, who heads the Secretariat for the Economy, and Alessandro Cassinis Righini, the acting auditor general, as “a further concrete act that demonstrates the desire of the Holy See to prevent and combat the phenomenon of corruption inside and outside the Vatican City State.” Father Guerrero, a Jesuit priest, occupies the office once held by Cardinal George Pell. Righini is the interim auditor general. Libero Milone, the last auditor general, was forced to resign in June 2017; a permanent replacement has not yet been named.

Chinese priest released, but bishop in custody (AsiaNews)

Father Liu Maochun, a priest of the “underground” Catholic Church who had been held for 17 days by government officials, has been released. But Catholics of the Zhengding diocese in Hebei province report that Bishop Julius Jia Zhiguo has been held by officials of the government’s religious-affairs bureau for over a month. Bishop Jia is not recognized by the government.