French bishops condemn violent protests (Conférence des évêques de France (French)) The “yellow vest” movement originally protested fuel tax increases but has grown into a more amorphous mass movement whose members have burned down a public building in Puy-en-Velay and have threatened to kill government employees. The president of the Bishops’ Conference of France said that the crisis manifests a “lack of listening and dialogue in our country”; he condemned the violence and called for prayer and dialogue.
Lebanese bishops: country cannot support Syrian refugees (Fides) The Maronite Catholic bishops of Lebanon have said that their county “can no longer carry the weight” of supporting Syrian refugees. An estimated 1.5 million Syrians have fled to Lebanon—a figure equivalent to nearly one-third of the country’s native population. The Maronite bishops said that displaced Syrians should return home, even if the conflict in their country remains unresolved.
Moscow patriarch honors Russian Muslim leader (Moscow Patriarchate) Patriarch Kirill of Moscow honored Talgat Tadzhuddin, Russia’s grand mufti from 1992 to 2015, with an ecclesiastical award typically conferred on prominent public figures. “The history of relationships between believers in our country is unique,” the Russian Orthodox leader said, “for it includes not only glorious pages of mutual help and solidarity in the face of a common enemy, but also the tragic experience of persecutions under the atheistic regime.”
Milan's archbishop warns of Italian demographic crisis (Chiesa di Milano (Italian)) Each year, the archbishop of Milan delivers an address to the city on the feast of St. Ambrose. Archbishop Mario Delpini called on citizens to live reasonably, rather than cave in to emotions and slogans. He also spoke about “the demographic crisis that seems to condemn the Italian population to an inexorable and unsustainable aging,” bleak employment prospects for youth, and loneliness among the elderly.
Nuns reportedly misappropriated $500,000 to feed gambling habit (CBS) After the Los Angeles archdiocese announced that it would not press legal charges against two women religious who had diverted a “substantial” sum of money from a local Catholic school, a CBS report alleges that the two sisters took about $500,000, which they used for gambling.