Category: National and International

Idea of having women deacons ‘about ministry,’ not ‘power,’ says speaker

NEW YORK | Ordaining women to the permanent diaconate now, when the church is “crying for ministry,” is a logical way to fulfill its obligation to bring the Gospel to all people, according to panelists at a Jan 15 event at Jesuit-run Fordham University in New York. There is incontrovertible evidence that women served as… Read more »

English bishop: Britain in ‘amazing political mess’ over Brexit

MANCHESTER, England | Britain is in an “amazing political mess” over Brexit, an English bishop said. Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth voiced his opinion on Twitter Jan. 16, a day after the House of Commons overwhelmingly rejected the withdrawal agreement struck between Prime Minister Theresa May and the European Union. The agreement sought to set… Read more »

Cardinal Wuerl acknowledges he knew of one accusation against predecessor

WASHINGTON | In a second letter issued in mid-January about what he knew and didn’t regarding abuse allegations involving his predecessor, Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl, Washington’s retired archbishop, apologized Jan. 15 for what he called a “lapse of memory,” clarifying that he knew of at least one abuse allegation against former U.S. Cardinal Theodore E…. Read more »

Parish of teen who escaped abduction credits power of prayer

WASHINGTON | For nearly three months, parishioners at St. Peter Catholic Church in Cameron, Wisconsin, were praying for the safe return of one of their own — 13-year-old Jayme Closs. When parishioners heard the news that she had escaped her abductor Jan. 10 and was safe, their prayers switched to gratitude. The parish sign said,… Read more »

Abuse report’s claim of cover-up, mishandling of cases called ‘misleading’

WASHINGTON | The conclusion reached by a Pennsylvania grand jury that six of the state’s Catholic dioceses acted “in virtual lockstep” to cover up abuse allegations and dismiss alleged victims over a 70-year period starting in 1947 is “inaccurate,” “unfair” and “misleading,” said a veteran journalist in an in-depth article for Commonweal magazine. The grand… Read more »

Christians concerned about religious freedom if Turkey enters Syria

AMMAN, Jordan | Growing numbers of Christians in North America and Europe are joining Christians in Syria’s northeast in expressing concern for the future of religious minorities and Kurds in that region should the U.S. give Turkey the “green light” to take over the fight against Islamic State. “News of any Turkish military involvement in… Read more »

Catholic advocates outline legislative goals for a new Congress

WASHINGTON | Did you get everything you wanted for Christmas? Thought not. Neither did several Catholic organizations, despite the last-minute flurry of legislation typical of a lame-duck Congress. Even though there’s still 300-plus days until Christmas comes around again, those groups have recalibrated their priorities in light of a new, divided Congress, with Democrats taking… Read more »

As U.S. bishops meet, Vatican may be deciding fate of former cardinal

WASHINGTON | As U.S. bishops gathered in early January at a seminary in Illinois to pray and reflect about the American church’s sex abuse crisis, reports trickled out about the possible fate of one their own being decided overseas. The Wall Street Journal newspaper reported Jan. 5 that a decision on whether to laicize former… Read more »

Sister Pimentel disappointed about not being able to address president

MCALLEN, Texas | Sister Norma Pimentel was “truly disappointed” after not being given an opportunity to speak during a roundtable discussion with President Donald Trump during his Jan. 10 visit to McAllen. The president traveled to the Rio Grande Valley to make his case for a southern border wall and other security measures amid a… Read more »

Details published on Vatican delaying USCCB vote on abuse provisions

VATICAN CITY | The surprising news in November that the Vatican had asked U.S. bishops not to vote on several proposals for responding to the sexual abuse crisis was motivated by a lack of time given the Vatican to study the proposals and potential conflicts with church law, according to a letter obtained by the… Read more »