Vatican Roundup

Vatican Roundup
Pope Francis calls Joe Biden to congratulate him on election success

Pope Francis called President-elect Joe Biden early November 12 to congratulate him on winning the U.S. presidential election.

“The president-elect thanked His Holiness for extending blessings and congratulations and noted his appreciation for His Holiness’s leadership in promoting peace, reconciliation and the common bonds of humanity around the world,” said a readout on the call released by Mr Biden’s transition team in Wilmington.

It also was all over Twitter. Mr Biden, it said, “expressed his desire to work together on the basis of a shared belief in the dignity and equality of all humankind on issues such as caring for the marginalised and the poor, addressing the crisis of climate change, and welcoming and integrating immigrants and refugees into our communities.”

Mr Biden will be the nation’s second Catholic president, after John F. Kennedy, who was elected to the nation’s highest office 60 years ago, on November 8, 1960. On November 7, the media declared Mr Biden the winner of the November 3 election, but President Donald Trump has not conceded, and he and his campaign have filed several lawsuits in key battleground states, like Pennsylvania, disputing the election outcome, claiming voter fraud and irregularities in ballot counting.


Holy See: certain anti-Covid-19 measures limit religious freedom

According to the Holy See, the different measures imposed by OSCE-participating states to combat the Covid-19 pandemic have had profound consequences on the freedom to manifest one’s religion or belief, and have limited the religious, educational and charitable activities of religious communities.

In particular, Monsignor JanuszUrbańczyk warned legislators of OSCE states about the serious consequences that restrictive measures such as those applied due to the pandemic can create in religious communities.

“States must respect the autonomy of religious communities, guaranteeing them the freedom to choose, appoint and replace their leaders or decide – on the basis of their internal norms – the content of their beliefs, their structure or their name,” MsgrUrbańczyk urged.

Noting that the exercise of religious freedom leads to personal fulfilment and helps contribute to the good of society, the Holy See official lamented that, in certain societies, religions continue to be perceived as a source of intolerance and a threat to peace. He deplored attempts to limit religions or creeds to the private sphere, relegating them to temples and places of worship and depriving them of their legitimate role in the public arena.


Vatican seeks to replace its service vehicles with all-electric fleet

As part of its long-running efforts to respect the environment and reduce its use of resources, the Vatican said it was gradually trying to replace all its service vehicles with an all-electric fleet.

“Soon we will start collaborating with automobile manufacturers who are able to provide electrical vehicles for evaluation,” said Roberto Mignucci, director of workshops and equipment for the office governing Vatican City State.

He told L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, November 10 that an electric fleet was perfect since the average annual mileage for each of their many service and support vehicles is less than 4,000 miles (6,000 km) given the small size of the 109-acre city state and the close proximity of its extraterritorial properties, such as the papal villa and farm at Castel Gandolfo, 13 miles south of Rome.