“In his first encyclical Redemptor Hominis (‘The Redeemer of Man,’ 1979), John Paul II quoted the words of Christ, ‘You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.’ John Paul added: ‘These words contain both a fundamental requirement and a warning: the requirement of an honest relationship with regard to truth as a condition for authentic freedom, and the warning to avoid every kind of illusory freedom, every superficial unilateral freedom, every freedom that fails to enter into the whole truth about man and the world.’… In my free actions I follow what I apprehend as good and worthy of being chosen, but the choice is not forced upon me. I consent to the attraction because my reason approves of it.”—The late Cardinal Avery Dulles, “John Paul II and the Truth about Freedom,” from the August 1995 First Things (link)

Letter #10, May 7, 2020: Appeal for Dignity

Dear Friends,

    Today, a cry of alarm — which we also share — is being launched.

    The text of this cry, entitled Appeal for the Church and for the World, is below. It is dated tomorrow, May 8, 2020, Feast of Our Lady of Pompeii. It was released this evening in Italy at 7:30 p.m. Rome time.

    The cry is essentially for the dignity of free human persons.

    It is a cry to honor and defend that dignity, the dignity of the human person, even in times like now, times of a terrible health challenge caused by the Coronavirus, times of enormous economic and social challenges due to the national lockdowns imposed by many governments to slow down the spread of the virus. Especially in times like these, it seems important to recall the dignity of the person, and the priceless value of individual freedom protected by reasonable laws.

    The cry is against unreasonable measures, measures, for example, that divide families — some are suggesting children be removed from families where a parent test positive for the virus — or close churches, or forbid sacraments to be celebrated, or electronically track and control individuals by the millions.

    Why are these issues of concern? Because fragile human rights, once set aside in a time of emergency “temporarily” may be very difficult to recover again, once the emergency is past. Better to speak out now, while there is yet time, in the hope of sparking a movement of prudence and reason in touch with our tradition of individual freedom, that precious gift which our forefathers fought for.

    Therefore, this appeal is essentially a call for prudence in a time of great pain and sorrow.

    A call for reason and balance, and for remembrance of our traditions of faith and freedom, in a time of great emotion, of great passion and fear.

    Because I thought that this call for prudence, for remembrance of our faith and traditions especially in this time of crisis, was reasonable and something good for society as a whole, I too signed this appeal.

    The appeal is signed by a number of Catholic Church leaders — cardinals, bishops, priests — and is also signed by well-known names from the world of the media and politics, scholars, businessmen, simple faithful.

    Some signatories are people of good will who do not belong to the Catholic Church.

    The appeal is in six languages. (Here is a link to an Italian site with the Italian as well as the English text.)



to Catholics and all people of good will

“Veritas liberabit vos.” (“The truth will set you free.”)

John 8:32

    In this time of great crisis, we Pastors of the Catholic Church, by virtue of our mandate, consider it our sacred duty to make an Appeal to our Brothers in the Episcopate, to the Clergy, to Religious, to the holy People of God and to all men and women of good will. This Appeal has also been undersigned by intellectuals, doctors, lawyers, journalists and professionals who agree with its content, and may be undersigned by those who wish to make it their own.

    The facts have shown that, under the pretext of the Covid-19 epidemic, the inalienable rights of citizens have in many cases been violated and their fundamental freedoms, including the exercise of freedom of worship, expression and movement, have been disproportionately and unjustifiably restricted. Public health must not, and cannot, become an alibi for infringing on the rights of millions of people around the world, let alone for depriving the civil authority of its duty to act wisely for the common good. This is particularly true as growing doubts emerge from several quarters about the actual contagiousness, danger and resistance of the virus. Many authoritative voices in the world of science and medicine confirm that the media’s alarmism about Covid-19 appears to be absolutely unjustified.

    We have reason to believe, on the basis of official data on the incidence of the epidemic as related to the number of deaths, that there are powers interested in creating panic among the world’s population with the sole aim of permanently imposing unacceptable forms of restriction on freedoms, of controlling people and of tracking their movements. The imposition of these illiberal measures is a disturbing prelude to the realization of a world government beyond all control.

    We also believe that in some situations the containment measures that were adopted, including the closure of shops and businesses, have precipitated a crisis that has brought down entire sectors of the economy. This encourages interference by foreign powers and has serious social and political repercussions. Those with governmental responsibility must stop these forms of social engineering, by taking measures to protect their citizens whom they represent, and in whose interests they have a serious obligation to act. Likewise, let them help the family, the cell of society, by not unreasonably penalizing the weak and elderly, forcing them into a painful separation from their loved ones. The criminalization of personal and social relationships must likewise be judged as an unacceptable part of the plan of those who advocate isolating individuals in order to better manipulate and control them.

    We ask the scientific community to be vigilant, so that cures for Covid-19 are offered in honesty for the common good. Every effort must be made to ensure that shady business interests do not influence the choices made by government leaders and international bodies. It is unreasonable to penalize those remedies that have proved to be effective, and are often inexpensive, just because one wishes to give priority to treatments or vaccines that are not as good, but which guarantee pharmaceutical companies far greater profits, and exacerbate public health expenditures. Let us also remember, as Pastors, that for Catholics it is morally unacceptable to develop or use vaccines derived from material from aborted fetuses.

    We also ask government leaders to ensure that forms of control over people, whether through tracking systems or any other form of location-finding, are rigorously avoided. The fight against Covid-19, however serious, must not be the pretext for supporting the hidden intentions of supranational bodies that have very strong commercial and political interests in this plan. In particular, citizens must be given the opportunity to refuse these restrictions on personal freedom, without any penalty whatsoever being imposed on those who do not wish to use vaccines, contact tracking or any other similar tool. Let us also consider the blatant contradiction of those who pursue policies of drastic population control and at the same time present themselves as the savior of humanity, without any political or social legitimacy. Finally, the political responsibility of those who represent the people can in no way be left to “experts” who can indeed claim a kind of immunity from prosecution, which is disturbing to say the least.

    We strongly urge those in the media to commit themselves to providing accurate information and not penalizing dissent by resorting to forms of censorship, as is happening widely on social media, in the press and on television. Providing accurate information requires that room be given to voices that are not aligned with a single way of thinking. This allows citizens to consciously assess the facts, without being heavily influenced by partisan interventions. A democratic and honest debate is the best antidote to the risk of imposing subtle forms of dictatorship, presumably worse than those our society has seen rise and fall in the recent past.

    Finally, as Pastors responsible for the flock of Christ, let us remember that the Church firmly asserts her autonomy to govern, worship, and teach. This autonomy and freedom are an innate right that Our Lord Jesus Christ has given her for the pursuit of her proper ends. For this reason, as Pastors we firmly assert the right to decide autonomously on the celebration of Mass and the Sacraments, just as we claim absolute autonomy in matters falling within our immediate jurisdiction, such as liturgical norms and ways of administering Communion and the Sacraments. The State has no right to interfere, for any reason whatsoever, in the sovereignty of the Church. Ecclesiastical authorities have never refused to collaborate with the State, but such collaboration does not authorize civil authorities to impose any sort of ban or restriction on public worship or the exercise of priestly ministry. The rights of God and of the faithful are the supreme law of the Church, which she neither intends to, nor can, abdicate. We ask that restrictions on the celebration of public ceremonies be removed.

    We should like to invite all people of good will not to shirk their duty to cooperate for the common good, each according to his or her own state and possibilities and in a spirit of fraternal charity. The Church desires such cooperation, but this cannot disregard either a respect for natural law or a guarantee of individual freedoms. The civil duties to which citizens are bound imply the State’s recognition of their rights.

    We are all called to assess the current situation in a way consistent with the teaching of the Gospel. This means taking a stand: either with Christ or against Christ. Let us not be intimidated or frightened by those who would have us believe that we are a minority: Good is much more widespread and powerful than the world would have us believe. We are fighting against an invisible enemy that seeks to divide citizens, to separate children from their parents, grandchildren from their grandparents, the faithful from their pastors, students from teachers, and customers from vendors. Let us not allow centuries of Christian civilization to be erased under the pretext of a virus, and an odious technological tyranny to be established, in which nameless and faceless people can decide the fate of the world by confining us to a virtual reality. If this is the plan to which the powers of this earth intend to make us yield, know that Jesus Christ, King and Lord of History, has promised that “the gates of Hell shall not prevail” (Mt 16:18).

    Let us entrust government leaders and all those who rule over the fate of nations to Almighty God, that He may enlighten and guide them in this time of great crisis. May they remember that, just as the Lord will judge us Pastors for the flock which he has entrusted to us, so will He also judge government leaders for the peoples whom they have the duty to defend and govern.

    With faith, let us beseech the Lord to protect the Church and the world. May the Blessed Virgin, Help of Christians, crush the head of the ancient Serpent and defeat the plans of the children of darkness.

8 May 2020

Our Lady of the Rosary of Pompeii

    To add your signature to this appeal, visit www.veritasliberabitvos.info, which will be available online from 8 May.



Cdl Robert Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship

Cdl Gerhard Ludwig Mueller, Prefect emeritus of Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith

Cdl Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, Bishop emeritus of Hong Kong

Cdl Janis Pujats, Archbishop emeritus of Riga

Mgr. Carlo Maria Viganò, Archbishop, Apostolic Nuncio

Mgr Luigi Negri, Archbishop emeritus of Ferrara-Comacchio

Mgr Joseph Strickland, Bishop of Tyler, Texas

Mgr Thomas Peta, Metropolitan Archbishop of Astana

Mgr Athanasius Schneider, Auxiliary Bishop of Astana

Mgr Jan Pawel Lenga, Archbishop emeritus of Karaganda

Mgr Rene Henry Gracida, Bishop emeritus of Corpus Christi

Mgr Andreas Laun, Auxiliary Bishop of Salzburg

Father Serafino Lanzetta, Theologian

Father Alfredo Maria Morselli, Theologian

Father Curzio Nitoglia, Theologian


Dr Aldo Maria Valli, journalist

Dr Magdi Cristiano Allam, writer

Dr Giulio Meotti, journalist

Dr Marco Tosatti, journalist

Claudio Messora, director Byoblu.com

Dr Robert Moynihan, writer, journalist

Dr Jeanne Smits, journalist

Dr Olivier Figueras, journalist

Dr Cesare Sacchetti, journalist

Prof. Giorgio Nicolini, director of Tele Maria

Michael J. Matt, editor The Remnant

John-Henry Westen, co-founder, editor-in-chief LifeSiteNews.com

Vittoria Alliata di Villafranca, journalist and writer

Maria Guarini, editor

Prof. Francesco Lamendola

António Carlos de Azeredo, editor

José Narciso Pinto Soares, editorial counselor

Dr Massimo Rodolfi

Riccardo Zenobi, writer

Danilo Quinto, writer

Olivier Valette, writer


Dr Stefano Montanari, scientific director Nanodiagnostics laboratory, Modena

Dr Antonietta Gatti, research manager, Nanodiagnostics laboratory, Modena

Prof. Alessandro Meluzzi, psychiatrist

Dr Anna Rita Iannetti, doctor, PNEI and biointegrated medicine

Dr Fabrizio Giudici, orthopedic traumatologist

Dr Rosa Maria Roccaforte, cardiologist

Dr Silvana De Mari, doctor

Dr Maria Grazia Sordi, psychologist

Dr Roberto Marrocchesi, nutritionist

Dr Mario Sinisi

Dr Antonio Marcantonio


Dr Angelo Giorgianni, judge

João Freire de Andrade, jurist

Lawyer Francesco Fontana

Lawyer Luigi Valenzise

Lawyer Fabio Candalino

Lawyer Luca Di Fazioi

Lawyer Massimo Meridio

Dr Lawyer Gianni T. Battisti

Lawyer Piero Peracchio

Lawyer Paola Bragazzi

Lawyer Luís Freire de Andrade

Lawyer Heitor A. Buchaul

Lawyer Maître Olivier Bonnetft


Hon. Prof. Vittorio Sgarbi, art critic, essayist

Prof. Matteo D’Amico

Prof.ssa Mafalda Miranda Barbosa

Prof. Francesca Maimone

Prof. Martino Mora, philosopher

Prof. Massimo Viglione, historian and essayist

Prof. Elisabetta Sala, teacher and writer

Dr Ing. Alessandro Peracchio

Dr Luca Scantamburlo

Prof. Rosa Maria Bellarmino

Steven Mosher, president Population Research Institute

Prof. Emeterio Ferrés Arrospide, Coimbra Universitys

Prof. Ibsen Noronha

Prof. ing. Amadeu Teixeira Fernandes, Georgetown University

Dr José Filipe Sepúlveda da Fonseca

Dr Alfonso Martone, CNR Italy

Dr Luís Ferrand d’Almeida.

Ing. Roberto Imparato


Atman Association – President Manuela Baccin

Riprendiamoci Il Pianeta Association – President Magda Piacentini

Movimento 3V – Vaccini Vogliamo Verità – Secretary Luca Teodori Libera

Scelta Association – President Alessandra Bocchi

Iustitia in Veritate Association – Directors

Una Vox Association – President Calogero Cammarata

Comitato Famiglia e Vita – President Franco Rebecchi

Confederazione dei Triarii

AURET, Autismo, Ricerca e Terapie – President Lawyer Roberto Mastalia Vita al Microscopio Association – President Nino Ferri

Texas Right to Life – Jim Graham

Cleveland Right to Life – Molly Smith

Note to all readers of this Letter

    We invite you to join us on pilgrimage this coming Friday, May 8th… just in case you might wish to see us and hear us as we speak of the faith and the world today. It is free, a gift to you. Click here or see below at the end of this email to register. You will be emailed a link to click on. Then tomorrow, click on the link and you will enter our meeting/pilgrimage to Assisi.

        We will gather at 11:30 a.m. Eastern Standard Time (New York City), and “encounter” St. Francis, together with Assisi’s Bishop Domenico Sorrentino. We will focus on Francis’ call, his “vocation” from Christ, to become a “rebuilder of the Church” in his time.

    This required him to be stripped of everything, to embrace total poverty, so that he took off his clothes in the room of disrobing where the bishop received him and covered him with a simple cloak, which he wore for the rest of his life — the model of the Franciscan habit, a simple robe. We will go to that very room this Friday.

Giving Tuesday Continues…

    We now have a new digital version of the magazine! I would like to offer anyone who supports our work on this Giving Tuesday, a gift, a free digital copy of our May 2020 issue. You can check out the digital newsstand here. As soon as you donate any amount, you will be sent a code via email enabling you to read our May issue for free!    

    We will continue as long as we can on our path, attempting to be witnesses to Christ by being faithful to the teachings handed down from Him by his disciples until the present day.

    But we cannot do this without you. To join us, click on the button below. All donors to Giving Tuesday will be invited to join the Inside the Vatican Family next Wednesday at 1:00 pm, EST to a Zoom meet and greet. We want to thank you and introduce you to the people who are enabled to do their work through your support. You will receive an email next Monday with the instructions to join us in this Zoom meet and greet.    

Nonprofits like our own Urbi et Orbi Communications need help weathering the current storms. A special day, called “Giving Tuesday,” was created to help such initiatives: May 5, 2020. By clicking on the button “Give now”!” you may support us with a gift small or large, as seems right to you.

    We do this work in partnership with you: we want you to be informed, to have a sense of the current climate of the Church, and to know both where there is hope for the future and where there is danger of losing sight of Truth. (continued below)

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We ask you to support Urbi et Orbi Communications with a small or large contribution, at this difficult time, in order…

    (1) to keep Inside the Vatican Magazine (which we have published since its founding in 1993, 27 years ago) independent and comprehensive… a unique lens into the Church and the World. Now available to you digitally as well as in print!

    (2) to ensure that Inside the Vatican Pilgrimages can keep creating encounters for you with the Heart of the Churches, the homes of the Saints, and the Living Stones — the people — of whom the Church is built. Now offering you virtual pilgrimages from your home computer! (see below for more information)

    (3) to helping to bring the Churches closer together by “Building Bridges” to heal the schisms of the Church — East and West — through our Urbi et Orbi Foundation.

    (4) to sustain our occasional news and editorial emails, The Moynihan Letters, bringing the latest valuable information and insight like no other source to thousands of readers around the world.    

Please do not forget about us today.

    Your support is important to us and much needed, especially in these difficult days of lockdown and concern about the Coronavirus.

    Please, do not overlook this opportunity to work with us. We very much appreciate your gift, whether small or large.

    Thank you.

    In Christ,

Dr. Robert Moynihan and the rest of the Urbi et Orbi Team

Pilgrimage with us this Friday, May 8th!

11:30 am EST: Rosary

12:00 noon EST: Pilgrimage

We pilgrimage to Assisi, Italy introducing you to St. Francis and St. Clare in a new and deeper way… The bishop of Assisi will join us!

No cost! Just click Here to sign up.

Click on the white arrow to view our first Virtual Pilgrimage on May 1, 2020.

On this pilgrimage, we visited several important Marian Shrines and had a surprise encounter. Don’t miss this week’s pilgrimage to Assisi on Friday, May 8th.

It is free. If you have already registered you do not need to do so again. You will be sent the Zoom information to join us.

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