Vatican Roundup

Vatican Roundup Father Roberto Malgesini
Pope prays for slain Italian priest remembered as a ‘martyr of charity’

Pope Francis expressed his sorrow after the murder of an Italian priest who was remembered for his care and concern for migrants and refugees.

Before concluding his weekly general audience on September 16, the Pope led the Faithful in silent prayer for Father Roberto Malgesini, a priest from the Diocese of Como, who was killed on September 15.

According to Avvenire, the daily newspaper of the Italian bishops’ conference, Fr Malgesini, 51, was stabbed to death by a mentally ill homeless man he was helping.

Shortly after the priest’s body was found, Bishop Oscar Cantoni arrived at the scene and blessed the deceased priest’s body before it was taken by authorities. In a statement released later that day, Bishop Cantoni said Fr Malgesini was a “martyr of charity”.

Echoing Bishop Cantoni’s sentiments, the Pope said he was united “in sorrow and prayer with Fr Malgesini’s family and the community of Como”.

In a statement published on September 15, the Italian bishops’ conference offered its condolences to the Como diocese.


Vatican laments inclusion of ‘reproductive rights’ in UN resolution on coronavirus

A Vatican representative has said that the inclusion of a reference to “reproductive rights” in a United Nations resolution on combating the coronavirus is “deeply concerning and divisive”. Archbishop Gabriele Caccia made the remark after the UN General Assembly in New York endorsed the resolution, entitled ‘Comprehensive and coordinated response to the Covid-19 pandemic’.

The resolution appealed to states “to take all measures necessary to ensure the right of women and girls to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health, including sexual and reproductive health, and reproductive rights”.

Archbishop Caccia, the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, said that “the Holy See considers it most unfortunate that the adopted resolution includes the deeply concerning and divisive reference to sexual and reproductive health, and reproductive rights…the Holy See reiterates that it considers the phrase ‘reproductive health’ as applying to a holistic concept of health, which embraces the person in the entirety of his or her personality, mind and body.”

Holy See says no one must be left behind after the pandemic

The Holy See, Archbishop Ivan Jurkovič said on Wednesday, recognises the profound impact that the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic has had on society and on world economies and he urged UN member States to “leave no one behind” in the various responses they will give to the current emergency.

Archbishop Jurkovič, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations and other international organisations in Geneva, was addressing the 45th session of the Human Rights Council, focused on the Right to Development.

Referring to the concern expressed by the Rapporteur on the Right to Development for “the declining levels of assistance”, as well as preoccupation for “the trend of privatisation that in the context of public-private partnerships could turn social services into profit-generating opportunities”, Archbishop Jurkovič highlighted the importance of surveillance measures to prevent and address possible abuses in this area.