Apt Bible passage at Catholic Mass coincides with earthquake

As the 11:15 a.m. Mass was ending and Catron offered a final blessing, there was a 1.8 magnitude aftershock. He said, “The ceiling creaked for like three seconds, and everybody kind of looked up and immediately we knew what it was.”

Pope Francis urges US Catholic media to work to overcome 'disease' of racism

ROME -- Pope Francis is urging Catholic media in the U.S. to work to overcome the “diseases of racism and injustice" in his latest comments about George Floyd's death in the U.S. and the anti-racism protests that followed.In a message to a virtual conference of Catholic journalists of North America on Tuesday, Francis said Catholic media must build bridges and dialogue, as well as defend life.He prayed for journalists to be enlightened by wisdom and understanding and guided by the Holy Spirit to “effectively work to overcome the diseases of racism, injustice and indifference that disfigure the face of our common family."Francis has spoken out previously about Floyd’s death on May 25 in Minneapolis and the “sin of racism.” He decried the violent protests that erupted as self-defeating but also asserted that “We cannot close our eyes to any form of racism or exclusion, while pretending to defend the sacredness of every human life.”Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, died May 25 after a white police officer put his knee on Floyd’s neck for several minutes as he lay handcuffed on the pavement, gasping that he couldn’t breathe.

Pope Francis compares priests who defied pandemic safety measures to 'adolescents'

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis praised the “heroic service” of health care workers during the coronavirus pandemic, but also took a dig at some conservative priests who defied safety measures — calling their complaints over church closures “adolescent.”The pope made his comments June 20 at the Vatican while thanking doctors and nurses from the northern Italian region of Lombardy, which was the hardest-hit region in the one-time European epicenter of the pandemic.Lombardy has counted more than 92,000 of Italy’s 238,000 COVID-19 infections, and half of the country’s 34,600 death toll.The pope noted that most priests were “obedient and creative” in remaining close to their congregations in the difficult months of the pandemic, even when they couldn’t be physically near them.“The pastoral zeal and creative concern of priests has helped people in their faith journeys and given them companionship in the presence of pain or fear," Francis said, according to Religion News Service. “They were fathers, not adolescents.”Francis also criticized the complaints of some priests who spoke out against lockdown measures, calling it “adolescent resistance."

Papal ping-pong? Vatican opens summer camp amid virus

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican is getting into the summer camp business, with ping pong tables taking over the Vatican auditorium, a giant pool in the Vatican Gardens and team sports on the Vatican helipad.The Holy See is offering a month of tennis, swimming, games and sports for the children of Vatican employees to help compensate for the lack of normal camp and travel options as a result of the coronavirus.The Salesian religious order is teaming up with an outfit that runs other day camps in Rome to turn the Vatican Gardens over to about 100 kids in July.The Vatican said all the social-distancing and other hygiene measures required for COVID-19 protection will be implemented, and that the projected numbers of campers had been reduced to prevent crowding.The Vatican News online portal said Pope Francis himself had “thought about the mothers who work, about the families of Holy See employees," and authorized the Vatican City State administration to organize a camp for staffers' kids.Most Vatican employees are priests, but laymen and women also work in the walled city-state in the center of Rome.Italian schools closed in early March as a result of the virus lockdown and will not reopen until September.