Pope Francis tells journalists he authorized CDF prefect's letter on intercommunion (Vatican Press Office) During a press conference on his return flight from Switzerland, Pope Francis weighed in on ecumenism, migrants and refugees, and peace. He also said that he authorized Cardinal-designate Luis Ladaria Ferrer’s recent letter blocking a proposal by the German bishops’ conference that would have allowed Protestant spouses of Catholics to receive Communion on a regular basis. The crux of the issue, said the Pope, is that canon law permits a diocesan bishop, not a bishops’ conference, to permit non-Catholic Christians to receive Holy Communion in limited circumstances. The Vatican, the Pope added, is preparing a “a guiding document, so that each of the diocesan bishops can manage what canon law already permits.”
Switzerland's president, Pope Francis discuss refugees, peace, human rights (Swiss Federal Council) Pope Francis and Swiss President Alain Berset “underlined the need for a pan-European refugee policy based on solidarity” during their June 21 meeting in Geneva, according to a statement from the Swiss government. “An important topic of the bilateral talks was the search for solutions for peace in conflict areas in the Middle East and the situation of certain religious minorities, including in Myanmar.”
Priests in Philippines seeking gun permits (Fides) More than 200 Catholic priests in the Philippines have applied for permits to carry firearms, despite their bishops’ disapproval. Three priests have been murdered in the Philippines in the past six months.
World Council of Churches marks 70th anniversary (World Council of Churches) Pope Francis’s ecumenical pilgrimage to Geneva was only one facet of the World Council of Churches’ commemoration of its 70th anniversary. Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, who holds a primacy of honor in Eastern Orthodoxy, also spoke at the headquarters of the body, of which 350 Protestant and Orthodox communities are members.
Church in US commemorates Religious Freedom Week (USCCB) “Serving Others in God’s Love” is the theme of Religious Freedom Week 2018 (June 22-29). Between 2012 and 2017, the US bishops commemorated a Fortnight for Freedom (June 22-July 4) to raise awareness of threats to religious liberty.
Ecumenical work brings joy in fellowship, Pope says at WCC anniversary celebration (Vatican Press Office) Speaking on June 21 in Geneva, where he joined in celebrations for the 70th anniversary of the World Council of Churches (video), Pope Francis said that ecumenical work requires “rejecting worldliness.” The Pontiff remarked that from the world’s perspective, ecumenism may be seen as “a great enterprise operating at a loss.” Only the faithful, knowing that the work “requires constant conversion,” recognize its true value.
Pope requests prayers for trip to Switzerland, recalls June is month of the Sacred Heart (Vatican Press Office) Following his June 20 general audience, the Pope requested prayers for his ecumenical pilgrimage to Geneva, blessed papal crowns that that will be placed on the image of Our Lady of Czestochowa in a Polish basilica, and recalled that “in June, popular piety makes us pray more fervently the Sacred Heart of Jesus. May that Merciful Heart teach you to love without asking for anything in return, and support you in the most difficult choices in life.”