In his Angelus address last Sunday, Pope Francis said: “I can think: How do I look at the crucifix? As a work of art, to see if it’s beautiful or not? Or do I look inside, enter in Jesus’ wounds to his heart? Do I look at the mystery of God annihilated to death, as a slave, as a criminal?

“Don’t forget this: to look at the crucifix, but to look at it inside. There is this beautiful devotion to pray an Our Father for each one of the five wounds: when we pray that Our Father, we seek to enter through Jesus’ wounds inside, inside, right to his heart. And there we will learn the great wisdom of Christ’s mystery, the great wisdom of the cross.

“[Jesus] wants to make it understood that his supreme event – namely the cross, death and resurrection – is an act of fecundity – his wounds have healed us – a fecundity that will bear fruit for many.”

Cardinal O’Brien dies

Last week the death was announced of Cardinal Keith O’Brien, the retired Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, at the age of 80. 

O’Brien was born in Northern Ireland, but his family moved to Scotland when he was a child. Ordained in 1965, the young priest worked in parishes before becoming spiritual director at St Andrews College, Drygrange, and then rector at St Mary’s College, Blairs. Ordained Archbishop of St Andrews in 1985, the cardinal spoke out against abortion, nuclear weapons, poverty and the ban on Catholics becoming monarchs in Britain.

He was then accused of an inappropriate sexual act and the Pope asked Archbishop Charles Scicluna to investigate the report. Following this incident O’Brien resigned as archbishop and lived a low-key life in Northumberland.

Call for law banning Down syndrome abortions

The Catholic Conference of Ohio expressed disappointment at the decision of a US federal judge to block a law banning abortions after a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome.

The bishops noted that “so many Down syndrome children are aborted” and hoped the decision of the judge would be overturned.

The law, which was due to go into effect last Friday, bans abortions solely due to a prenatal Down syndrome diagnosis. It imposes criminal penalties on medical professionals, but women procuring abortions are not penalised.

The law was signed by Governor John Kasich in December 2017.

In a March 15 statement, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said he will appeal the judge’s decision to block the law.

(Compiled by Fr Joe Borg)


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