In Spain and elsewhere across the European Union, there have been complaints that coronavirus restrictions are being used to push through measures that could compromise religious rights.
"It often seems politicians no longer understand the importance of religion," said Antoine Renard, international administrator of France’s Association of Catholic Families. "Against this, Catholics will have to be very clear about their rights and use all legal possibilities to defend [themselves]."
Some EU nations, including Poland, Germany and Romania, have been careful not to interfere with religious freedom, allowing church services to continue, with number limits and sanitary precautions.
Elsewhere, church-state tensions have surfaced.
It has taken more than 40 years, but on March 4, Catalina Ramirez finally was given what remaining members of her family consider a proper goodbye. In 1979, Ramirez was targeted for being an active member of an illegal workers union. Along with her father, she was killed by the Salvadoran government’s armed forces.
This spring, Fr. Manuel Acosta, a Catholic priest and head of the Commission to Search for Persons Disappeared in the Context of the Armed Conflict, known by the acronym in Spanish CONABÚSQUEDA, and Bishop Oswaldo Escobar of Chalatenango presided over an outdoor Mass for the repose of Ramirez's soul.
Such events of historic memory have become more commonplace and important in healing families as well as communities of faith battered during El Salvador's civil conflict, Escobar said in an interview with Catholic News Service.
The Mass remembering Catalina Ramirez was not about holding on to hate or feelings of vengeance, but about recognizing what happened during a dark period for the country, he said.
- Boston College's theology department chairman, Professor Richard Gaillardetz, has been cleared of allegations of sexual assault against a former classmate from over three decades ago, following an independent investigation.
- In his links for today, Michael Sean Winters encourages readers to revisit Pope Francis’ homily at the chrism Mass on Holy Thursday.
- Massimo Faggioli writes in La Croix International that conservative bishops and their allies, especially in the United States, continue to overshadow their more progressive counterparts in putting forth a vision for the Catholic Church.
- Bangladesh has very few Christians, but Sr. Mary Mitali is part of a commission that encourages them to be more active in liturgical and sacramental life as well as in works of mercy, charity and social development.