Pope Francis laments children’s deaths in Israel-Gaza conflict (CNA) Pope Francis made an impassioned appeal Sunday for an end to surging violence in the Holy Land. Speaking after the recitation of the Regina Coeli May 16, the pope expressed alarm at the Israel-Gaza conflict which has left more than 100 people dead, many of them children. He said: “In these days, violent armed clashes between the Gaza Strip and Israel have taken hold, and risk degenerating into a spiral of death and destruction. Numerous people have been injured, and many innocents have died. Among them there are also children, and this is terrible and unacceptable…”

Pope Francis, John Kerry meet at Vatican (CNA) Pope Francis met with U.S. President Joe Biden’s climate envoy John Kerry on Saturday. Kerry is in Europe to meet with government officials and business leaders ahead of the Nov. 1-12 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, the State Department said

Catholics urge Biden to push for nuclear disarmament (CNS) Catholic proponents of nuclear disarmament have joined scientists in calling on US President Joe Biden to pursue an ambitious plan to end the threat nuclear weapons pose to the planet. In a statement to the White House on May 12, a group of 14 disarmament advocates — seven Catholics, including three bishops, and seven scientists — urged Biden to seek a new agreement with Russia to continue reducing nuclear weapon stockpiles and work worldwide to achieve their abolition…

Historic basilica prepares for perpetual adoration (CNS) The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary will begin offering perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament May 31, the same day it celebrates its 200th anniversary. Immediately following an afternoon anniversary Mass of the nation’s first cathedral, Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori will dedicate a recently upgraded eucharistic adoration chapel in the basilica’s undercroft named in honor of St. John Paul II. The name recognizes the Polish pontiff’s historic 1995 visit to the Archdiocese of Baltimore, when he prayed inside the basilica. “The Eucharist is Jesus,” said Father James Boric, the basilica’s rector. “In making the Eucharist available to the people of Baltimore 24/7, we’re making Jesus available 24/7…”

Perfect pilgrimage locations for the Year of St. Joseph (OSV) Pope Francis wrote in Patris Corde, “I consider St. Joseph the special patron of all those forced to leave their native lands because of war, hatred, persecution and poverty” (No. 5). In its own way, the history of the United States includes aspects of this harsh and sobering reality. Therefore, inspired by the words of Pope Francis, I have gathered the multifold cathedral churches, west to east, of which are consecrated to the care, intercession and memory of the worker, the husband of Mary, St. Joseph…

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