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Belarus: Archbishop Kondrusiewicz urges dialogue and prayers

As clashes continue in Belarus following a disputed presidential election, the Archbishop of Minsk, Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz urges prayers and dialogue.

National Women’s Board releases domestic abuse resource for UK

The National Board of Catholic Women releases a booklet addressing domestic abuse, which Bishops Conference calls “an excellent resource” for the Church in England and Wales.

WCC celebrates Ecumenical International Youth Day 2020

The World Council of Churches this Wednesday celebrates the contributions of young people to the ecumenical movement.

Pope asks for Mary’s intercession to overcome pandemic

Pope Francis asks the Blessed Virgin Mary to intercede so that humanity might overcome the novel coronavirus, as the Church prepares to celebrate the feast of her Assumption.

Pope at Audience: Recognize human dignity in every person

Pope Francis at his General Audience says in responding to the Coronavirus pandemic Christians are called to combat all violations of human dignity as contrary to the Gospel, and to work for the wellbeing of the whole human family and our common home.

Archbishop Gänswein: Benedict XVI’s 'illness is subsiding'

Rome Newsroom, Aug 11, 2020 / 03:30 am (CNA).- Benedict XVI’s personal secretary Archbishop Georg Gänswein has said that the pope emeritus’ illness is “subsiding.”

In an interview with the German newspaper Südkurier, Archbishop Gänswein is reported to have said that Benedict XVI’s “illness is subsiding” and that his medication has been reduced.

Benedict XVI has been suffering from facial shingles, a bacterial infection of the skin which causes a painful, red rash. "The pain started after the death of his brother,” Gänswein told Südkurier.

"Whilst very unpleasant and painful, the illness was not life-threatening,” the archbishop said in the article published Aug. 9.

“This is pain that I do not wish for my worst enemy,” Gänswein said.

The pope’s personal secretary gave the interview with German media while visiting his hometown of Riedern am Wald in the Black Forest.

After papal biographer Peter Seewald reported last week that the former pope has been “very frail” since his return from visiting his dying brother in Bavaria in June, the Vatican clarified on Aug. 3 that Benedict XVI’s health problems were “not serious.”

The Holy See press office said  "the health conditions of the pope emeritus are not of particular concern, except for those of a 93 year old who is going through the most acute phase of a painful, but not serious, disease."

Benedict XVI resigned from the papacy in 2013, citing advanced age and declining strength that made it difficult to carry out his ministry. He was the first pope to resign in nearly 600 years.

Seewald made the comments about Benedict XVI’s health after seeing him at his Vatican home in the Mater Ecclesia monastery on Aug. 1 where he presented a copy of his latest biography of the retired pope.  

The journalist said despite his illness, Benedict was optimistic and stated he might take up writing again if his strength returns. Seewald also said the former pope’s voice is now “barely audible.”

German media also reported Aug. 3 that Benedict has chosen to be buried in the former tomb of St. John Paul II in the crypt of St. Peter’s Basilica. The body of the Polish pope was moved into the upper part of the basilica when he was canonized in 2014.

Like John Paul II, Benedict XVI has written a spiritual testament which can be published after his death.

Malawians encouraged to be evangelizers to the ends of the earth

The Malawian Pontifical Missionary Society launches preparations three months ahead of World Mission Sunday celebrated annually in October.

Lebanon’s government quits over deadly explosion

Lebanon’s prime minister and cabinet resign in response to outrage over last week’s massive explosion in Beirut.

Belarus opposition leader flees to Lithuania amid crackdown

The primary political opponent of the longtime president of Belarus has reportedly fled the nation amid a massive police crackdown on protests. Lithuania says it provides shelter to Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, who earlier brought her young children outside the country.

Lebanon: ‘message of fraternity – east and west’

The Eparch of the Eparchy of St Maron of Brooklyn expresses “great hope” that Lebanon will once again flourish and “make her way back to being that ‘Switzerland’ of the Middle East.”