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Transcript of EWTN News Nightly interview with President Donald Trump

August 4, 2020 CNA Daily News 0

Washington D.C., Aug 4, 2020 / 04:15 pm (CNA).- EWTN News Nightly’s lead anchor Tracy Sabol conducted a White House interview with President Donald Trump Aug. 4. Below is a transcript of that interview provided by EWTN News Nightly.

EWTN News Nightly said it has also reached out for an interview to Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president.

Catholic News Agency is a service of EWTN News.

 

Tracy Sabol: Thank you so much, Mr. President, for speaking with us today. We appreciate it.

President Trump: Thank you.

Tracy Sabol: We have a lot to get to. But I first want to talk about the economy. Where we are right now, of course, we’re starting with another round of stimulus. Can you talk about that and what’s needed for Republicans and Democrats to meet in the middle?

President Trump: So we had the greatest economy in the history of the world, not only in our country, in every country. We were beating China, beating everybody. They were having the worst economy they’ve had in over 67 years. So we were doing with the tariffs and all the things that I was doing. And then we had to close it up. It came from China. They should have stopped it. They could have stopped it, but they didn’t. They stopped it from going into their country, but they didn’t stop it from here, Europe, or the rest of the world. And we had to close it up and we did that. And now we’re coming back and we’re doing stimulus. We’ve already done it, as you know, very successfully. And we’ll probably have something worked out. We’ll see what happens. The problem with the Democrats, as you know, they want bailout money for their states and cities that have done so poorly under Democrat leadership. And I’m not happy with that. It’s not appropriate. This is having to do with the corona, I call it the “China-virus.” And so I think we’re doing very well. We had the best job numbers we’ve ever had, percentage-wise. You take a look at what happened, [indiscernible] close to seven million jobs over the last two months. New numbers are going to be coming out very soon. We’re back. We’re doing very well. I think next year is going to be one of the best years we’ve ever had. And it looks very, very strong.

Tracy Sabol: Looking forward to the third quarter: How do you anticipate that looking?

President Trump: I think the third quarter is going to be good. I think it’s going to be good. I think the fourth quarter is going to be very, very good. But we’re just coming out of something that we had no choice. We saved millions of lives by closing. If we didn’t close it up, you would have lost millions of lives. And by closing it, I mean, we’ve done a really good job. The ban on China was very important. We banned people coming in, highly infected, and we banned people from coming in from China and then from Europe. We did the ban on Europe, very important. It really, I think, is going to be, I think we’re going to have a very special economy in about…for next year. But I think third quarter actually is going to be very good.

Tracy Sabol: A lot of things shut down, including churches. Let’s talk about that and the importance of reopening churches. I know you’ve talked about that.

President Trump: I think they should open the churches. It’s up to the governors. But, I think, and I’m recommending it, you open the churches. They’ll spread, they’ll be socially spread, they’ll have masks and they’ll do what they have to do, you know, the hygiene and everything else that we know. It’s a very simple list, but I think it’s very unfair that they have– I saw Jim Jordan the other day talking about it very well, that they have 50,000 people protesting and they’re standing on top of each other practically, and yet you’re not allowed to go to church. You don’t go to schools. We want to open our churches. We want to open our schools. And everybody wants to be safe. They know what to do. They’ll stay away. And, you know, we’ll be the same way. Maybe you’ll have an extra service or two or three. But they have to let the churches open. They want to put, the Democrats want to put them out of business. They want to put the churches out of business. And it’s very unfair. So they don’t complain about the protests, which are horrible in many cases. You look at Portland, it’s a disaster, but they don’t want the churches open, they don’t want the schools open, they don’t want offices open. So it’s a very, very unfair situation to a lot of people.

Tracy Sabol: Mr. President, is there a way to deem churches as essential businesses? How can we do that?

President Trump: I am looking at that because I think it’s enough already. You have some states, I think they never want them open. They don’t want churches open. Look, the Democrats, frankly, if you look at the radical left, Democrats, which are radical left now, they’ve gone radical left. Whether you’re talking about life or whether you’re talking about almost anything, they’re not liking it. They’re not liking it.

Tracy Sabol: I know that you’ve heard about the vandalism, the horrific vandalism. Many, many churches have been vandalized over the past recent weeks. When you heard about that, what did you think?

President Trump: I think it’s a disgrace. And I think it’s partially because they’re not allowed to function, they’re not allowed to really function. And I think it’s disgraceful that it can happen. And, you know, they want to defund the police. They want to stop the police. They want to have them at least to a minimum. And we’re just the opposite. I just got endorsed by Texas law enforcement, by Florida, all of the sheriffs and the law enforcement. I think, I can’t imagine them ever, I can’t imagine law enforcement ever endorsing Biden. He’s got a hard time in a lot of ways, let’s face it, but I can’t imagine that ever happening. So we just about have everybody endorsing us in terms of law enforcement. And, you know, with the churches, you need some law enforcement to help you out also. But it’s the fact that they’re closed and they you know, bad things happen when they’re closed. It’s a very terrible situation, what they’re doing to churches and these are governors that are radical left or Democrat, it’s almost becoming the same thing. And I don’t think they want churches open.

Tracy Sabol: What can be done to stop this vandalism? What do you think?

President Trump: Well, what you need is you need the law enforcement. It’s areas usually run by radical left Democrats. I mean, where you have Republican leadership, where you have Republican governors and mayors, you don’t have this problem. You have this problem where you have radical left Democrats in virtually every instance. So what you have to do is elect Republicans. And if you had a Republican, as an example, if Biden got in, you’d have Portland all over our country. It would be like Portland. These people are agitators. They’re anarchists. You’d have that all over our country. You know, we stopped it, we stepped in and a lot of people said we were early. Well, let us let us be early. Better early than late. But we did a good job there. We did a great job in Seattle that would have been burned to the ground, frankly. But with Portland, and we didn’t do our big job, we did a much smaller job. We had to protect our building, and our buildings, actually, a number of buildings. But the courthouse would have been burned down. The courthouse would have been destroyed if we didn’t step in. People said, “Oh, we went early.” Well, if we didn’t go then, the courthouse would have been destroyed because Seattle was not protecting it. So you would have that situation all over the United States. And that’s unacceptable.

Tracy Sabol: And, Mr. President, on top of mind for a lot of parents, including myself: the reopening of schools. I know you just tweeted about that. Can you talk about that?

President Trump: I want the schools open. First of all, children are unbelievably strong, right? Their immune system. Something’s going on because out of thousands of deaths in New Jersey, thousands, because I just saw the statistics, many thousands of people died, one person under the age of 18. And that was a person I believe had diabetes on top of everything. So children just are, I guess I heard one doctor say, virtually they’re immune from it. They have a strong, they have a very strong something, and they are not affected. And we have to open our schools. You know, there’s a big danger to keeping people locked in. And they’re also finding it’s wonderful to use computers, but it’s not a great way of learning. They now know that it’s much better to be with a teacher on campus or in a school, that’s much better than looking at a computer all day long. So we have to get our schools open. We have to get them open soon.

Tracy Sabol: And if there was one message you wanted to say to our viewers, what would it be right now?

President Trump: Well, I think anybody having to do with, frankly, religion, but certainly the Catholic Church, you have to be with President Trump when it comes to pro-life, when it comes to all of the things, these people are going to take all of your rights away, including Second Amendment, because, you know, Catholics like their Second Amendment. So I saved the Second Amendment. If I wasn’t here, you wouldn’t have a Second Amendment. And pro-life is your big thing and you won’t be on that side of the issue, I guarantee, if the radical left, because they’re going to take over, they’re going to push him around like he was nothing.

Tracy Sabol: Well, thank you so much, Mr. President, for the time today.

 

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Maronite Catholic priest concerned by potential shortages after Beirut blast

August 4, 2020 CNA Daily News 0

CNA Staff, Aug 4, 2020 / 04:01 pm (CNA).- A Maronite priest from Lebanon has expressed concern that the country may face food shortages in the wake of Tuesday’s explosion at Beirut’s port.

The explosion “happened at the biggest docks in Lebanon and they also have big reservoirs of wheat, the central reservoirs are there, and these have gone, have gone to ashes. That’s another tragedy in the making because they will have shortages,” Fr. Maxim Baz, who is serving in Rome, told CNA Aug. 4.

The blast killed at least 50, and injured thousands more. Officials have not yet determined the cause of the explosions, but investigators believe they may have started with a fire in a warehouse that stored explosive materials. Lebanon’s security service warned against speculations of terrorism before investigators could assess the situation.

Fr. Baz said that “the most important thing is for people to pray for everybody who has been hurt in Lebanon.”

He said his country “has been undergoing for the past decades one tragedy after another, really suffering in silence,” citing a financial crisis, the coronavirus, and the civil war of 1975-90.

“It seems that this country is just trying to come out of the darkness and every time it does it receives another blow,” he lamented.

“A Catholic is always close to those who suffer. That’s the distinctive trait of a Catholic and that is a distinctive trait of the Church,” Fr. Baz noted. “Wherever there is suffering, or wherever there is extreme, extreme vulnerability, there the Church is because there God is, actually. So a Catholic can not not be there, at least with their hearts, with their prayers, with their moral support.”

The explosion ignited fires and destroyed buildings in the city’s port area, caused damage across the city, and has flooded hospitals with casualties.

The Custody of the Holy Land tweeted showing damage to its monastery in Beirut, adding that none of its friars were injured and urging prayer for Lebanon.

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Footage from our monastery in <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/Beirut?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#Beirut</a>, <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/Lebanon?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#Lebanon</a> after the explosion occurred in that area. <br><br>No one of the <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/Franciscans?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#Franciscans</a> living there were injured. <br><br>Let us pray for Lebanon. <a href=”https://t.co/GpFZgM5mUA”>pic.twitter.com/GpFZgM5mUA</a></p>&mdash; Custodia Terrae Sanctae (@custodiaTS) <a href=”https://twitter.com/custodiaTS/status/1290716481014112264?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>August 4, 2020</a></blockquote> <script async src=”https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>

Raymond Nader, a Maronite in Lebanon, told CNA: “I just ask for prayers now from everyone around the world. We badly need prayers.”

 

Hannah Brockhaus contributed to this report.

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Chinese bishop denies government has plans to demolish cathedral

August 4, 2020 CNA Daily News 1

CNA Staff, Aug 4, 2020 / 02:10 pm (CNA).- A Catholic bishop in China has denied that the government plans to tear down his cathedral, after local Catholics expressed concern at Communist authorities taking over land belonging to the diocese.

Bishop Anthony Dang Minyan of the Diocese of Xi’an, which is located in the province of Shaanxi, reassured local Catholics this week that there are no plans to demolish St. Francis Cathedral, and that the building is in fact a “provincial heritage.”

The cathedral dates back to the early 18th century, when it was constructed by Italian missionaries. 

Reports of plans to destroy the historic church circulated on Chinese social media after it emerged that local government officials intend to seize Church lands on either side of the cathedral. Houses rented on the land, purchased by the previous bishop, Anthony Li Du’an, are key source of income for the local Church. The houses are set to be demolished to create a public park.

UCA News reported August 4 that Bishop Dang issued the clarification to stop Catholics protesting against a non-existent plan to demolish the cathedral.

“We are in contact with the government. They want to beautify the streets to upgrade the city’s image. We are negotiating with the government to see how we can cooperate with the move,” the bishop told UCA.

In response to the rumors, some Catholics had gathered to protest in front of the cathedral with signs begging the government not tear the building down. 

Bishop Dang has led the Diocese of Xi’an since 2006. He previously served as auxiliary bishop in the diocese, having been consecrated a bishop in 2005 with both Communist and Vatican approval.

Throughout China, churches have been instructed to remove crosses and other religious symbols from both the inside and outside of the buildings. Other churches have been seized by the government and transformed into secular community centers. 

The expected seizure of Church lands in Xi’an come as the Holy See continues talks with the Chinese government to renew the controversial 2018 provisional agreement on the appointment of bishops in China. More than 50 mainland dioceses are currently without a leader.

Last week, a congressional hearing in Washington highlighted the unknown fate of another Catholic bishop in China: Bishop James Su Zhimin of the Diocese of Baoding, in China’s Hebei province, who was arrested by Chinese authorities in 1997. He was last seen by family at a hospital in 2003 while he was in government custody.

According to Bishop Su’s nephew, Chinese officials have reportedly asked the Vatican to appoint a new bishop of Baoding, fueling fears that Su may have died in government custody. 

The government’s preferred candidate is the diocesan coadjutor Bishop Francis An Shuxi, a member of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, the state-sanctioned church.

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Lebanese priest: ‘We need your prayers’ after Beirut explosions

August 4, 2020 CNA Daily News 0

CNA Staff, Aug 4, 2020 / 01:15 pm (CNA).-  

A Lebanese Catholic priest has asked believers around the world to pray for the people of his country, after two explosions in Beirut injured hundreds of people and are reported to have left at least 10 people dead.

“We ask your nation to carry Lebanon in its hearts at this difficult stage and we place great trust in you and in your prayers, and that the Lord will protect Lebanon from evil through your prayers,” Fr. Miled el-Skayyem of the Chapel of St. John Paul II in Keserwan, Lebanon, said in a statement to EWTN News Aug. 4.
 
“We are currently going through a difficult phase in Lebanon, as you can see on TV and on the news,” the priest added.

Raymond Nader, a Maronite Catholic living in Lebanon, echoed the priest’s call.

“I just ask for prayers now from everyone around the world. We badly need prayers,” Nader told CNA Tuesday.

Explosions in the port area of Lebanon’s capital overturned cars, shattered windows, set fires, and damaged buildings across Beirut, a city of more than 350,000, with a metro area of more than 2 million people.

“It was a huge disaster over here and the whole city was almost ruined because of this explosion and they’re saying it’s kind of a combination of elements that made this explosion,” Antoine Tannous, a Lebanese journalist, told CNA Tuesday.

Officials have not yet determined the cause of the explosions, but investigators believe they may have started with a fire in a warehouse that stored explosive materials. Lebanon’s security service warned against speculations of terrorism before investigators could assess the situation.

According to Lebanon’s state-run media, hundreds of injured people have flooded hospital emergency rooms in the city.

Lebanon’s Prime Minister Hassan Diab has declared that Wednesday will be a national day of mourning. The country is almost evenly divided between Sunni Muslims, Shia Muslims, and Chrsitians, most of whom are Maronite Catholics. Lebanon also has a small Jewish population, as well as Druze and other religious communities.

 

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Knights of Columbus prepare for first-ever virtual annual convention

August 4, 2020 CNA Daily News 1

CNA Staff, Aug 4, 2020 / 12:11 pm (CNA).- The 138th annual convention of the Knights of Columbus begins today— the first in the  organization’s history to not be held in-person.

The New Haven, Connecticut-based fraternal and charitable organization is encouraging its members to tune in to the convention online. Due to coronavirus restrictions, the gathering is being held virtually. Last year’s convention took place in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The convention comes a few months after the Vatican announced that Fr. Michael McGivney, founder of the Knights of Columbus, will be beatified following Pope Francis’ approval of a miracle attributed to his intercession.

Founded in New Haven in 1882, the Knights of Columbus was originally intended to assist widows and their families upon the deaths of their husbands. It has grown into a worldwide Catholic fraternal order, with more than 2 million members carrying out works of charity and evangelization across the globe. The Knights also offer life insurance policies to their members.

Fr. McGivney, the Knights’ founder, will be beatified on October 31, the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints announced in late July.

During the past year, Knights around the world donated more than 77 million service hours and $187 million for worthy causes in their communities, including millions of dollars for persecuted Christians around the world, the organization says.

The 2020 convention will begin with an opening Mass at 6:30 p.m. Eastern, celebrated by Archbishop Leonard Blair of the Archdiocese of Hartford. This will be followed by Supreme Knight Carl Anderson’s annual report, highlighting the group’s achievements and announcing new initiatives, at 8 p.m. Eastern.

The Mass is set to feature a message from Pope Francis, which the Vatican Secretariat of State delivered to the Knights in mid-July.

“His Holiness is grateful for these and for the many other countless ways in which the Knights of Columbus continue to bear prophetic witness to God’s dream for a more fraternal, just and equitable world in which all are recognized as neighbors and no one is left behind,” the letter reads in part.

An annual memorial Mass will be offered for all deceased Knights of Columbus and their families on August 5 at 2 p.m. Eastern.

Among the Knights who died in the past year was former Supreme Knight Virgil Dechant, who passed away on Feb. 15, 2020, and was the Order’s longest-serving supreme knight, holding office from 1977 to 2000, the organization said.

After the memorial Mass, the Knights will hold an awards ceremony to honor the members’ service. This will take place at 3:30 p.m. Eastern on August 5.

 

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Cardinal Parolin in Ars for feast of St John Vianney

August 4, 2020 CNA Daily News 1

Rome Newsroom, Aug 4, 2020 / 11:58 am (CNA).- Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, was in Ars Tuesday for the feast of St. John Vianney, the patron of priests.

Parolin offered Mass at the Ars shrine, where St. John Vianney is buried, Aug. 4. He later gave a speech on the saint.

The Curé of Ars, as St. John Vianney was known, is “very relevant,” Parolin said in his homily. “In these difficult times, he teaches us to transmit joy and hope through the witness of our personal life.”

The cardinal also called the saint an example of holiness for all Catholics, because he “teaches us that intimate personal union with Christ helps to conform our desires to the will of God, fills us with joy and happiness, helps us to be salt and light of the world.”

St. John Vianney, Parolin said, is an example of a priest “who comes close to all with tenderness and does not reject those who are wounded in their existence and sinners in their spiritual life.”

Vianney warned people away from the “traps and stratagems of the demon,” including acedia, “that sweet sadness which paralyzes the mind and prevents it from persevering in prayer and in the mission,” Parolin stated.

In his homily, he recalled Benedict XVI’s characterization of St. John Vianney in 2010 as “a model of priestly ministry in our world.”

Parolin pointed out that though there are priests who have been led astray, the examples of good priests “who, in a constant and transparent manner, devote themselves entirely to the good of others” outnumber them.

The cardinal urged people to pray for priests and for priestly vocations “as our first intention of prayer, which we all entrust to the particular intercession of the Holy Curé of Ars.”

Later, in his address titled “Pope Francis and priests on the way with the people of God,” Parolin gave a reflection on St. John Vianney and the “principles which can guide pastoral ministry in our 21st century.”

According to Parolin, the Curé of Ars was a priest who “went out” in search of lost sheep to rebuild the flock, despite the challenges of a post-revolution, de-Christianized France.

“It is not the first time that the Church is forced to renew her missionary commitment,” Parolin said.

“Faced with the novelty of the situations we are facing, the Holy Spirit stimulates creativity to find the best way to approach others,” he continued. “The Holy Father asks that creativity in the Spirit is also empathy in the same Spirit.”

The cardinal also stressed the intense prayer life of Vianney, his dedication to preparing his homilies well, and his charity to the poor.

The saint is best known for his giftedness as a confessor: “His art of listening, of advising, his mercy attracted more and more penitents,” Parolin noted.

Pope Francis “is inexhaustible on the theme of confession because it is the sacrament of mercy,” he added.

“You know that nowadays many faithful no longer go to confession or go very little,” requiring priests to have patience and to constantly teach about mercy and the essential nature of the sacrament, he said.

Parolin concluded his address with a prayer from Pope Francis: “Remember, Lord, your covenant of mercy with your children, the priests of your people. May we be, with Mary, the sign and sacrament of your mercy.”

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