Category: National and International

Ex-Chilean seminarian: meeting with Vatican abuse investigator ‘intense’

NEW YORK | A former Chilean seminarian who accused a current bishop of abuse cover-up met with a Vatican investigator and said he finally felt he had been heard. Juan Carlos Cruz met for nearly four hours Feb. 17 with Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta, a longtime expert on clergy sex abuse. Cruz, who currently… Read more »

Catholic leaders caution that federal budget must reflect common good

WASHINGTON | Catholic leaders cautioned that federal spending must safeguard the common good after the White House released its fiscal year 2019 spending plan that boosts military spending and cuts human services, environmental protection, diplomacy and international humanitarian assistance while assuring that the budget deficit will grow over the next decade. The chairmen of two… Read more »

‘Dreamers’ say they’re not asking for handouts, just chance to stay

HOUSTON | Angelica Velazquez came to the United States at age 3 when her parents brought her from Mexico to the United States. They came on tourist visas that they then overstayed. Now 20, Velazquez applied for, paid her fees and was accepted as part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA…. Read more »

Catholics urged to appeal to lawmakers in Congress to pass DACA bill now

WASHINGTON | By day’s end Feb. 15, members of the U.S. Senate had rejected four immigration proposals, leaving it unclear how lawmakers will address overall immigration reform and keep the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in place. Late that afternoon, Archbishop John C. Wester of Santa Fe, New Mexico, issued an urgent alert to… Read more »

Ashes, daily fasting: Eastern Catholics focus on God during Lent

BEIRUT | At the Monastery of St. Francis of Assisi in Bayada, north of Beirut, faithful gathered for Ash Monday Mass in the chapel Feb. 12. In the Maronite Catholic Church, ashes are distributed on Monday, two days ahead of the Latin rite’s traditional Ash Wednesday distribution. This allows Catholics to observe 40 days of… Read more »

Lent is time to notice God’s work, receive God’s mercy, pope says

ROME | Lent is a time for Christians to get their hearts in sync with the heart of Jesus, Pope Francis said. “Let the Lord heal the wounds of sin and fulfill the prophecy made to our fathers: ‘A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and… Read more »

Case on transfer of archbishop’s body is returned to original N.Y. court

NEW YORK | The case involving the transfer of the remains of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen from New York to Peoria, Illinois, has been sent back to the original court by the New York Court of Appeals for an evidentiary hearing. Archbishop Sheen, a Peoria diocesan priest, gained fame in the 1950s with a prime-time… Read more »

U.S. Olympic women’s hockey team includes five Boston College players

WASHINGTON | Boston College is paying close attention to women’s ice hockey at the Olympic Games. That’s because five players on the team’s roster of 23 are from the Jesuit-run school — two are recent graduates and three are current students taking a leave of absence for the Pyeongchang Games. “We’re extremely proud of our… Read more »

4.5 million displaced in Congo ‘struggling to survive,’ says aid worker

WASHINGTON | Just as people are “struggling to survive” in Congo, aid agencies are struggling to meet their needs, said one aid worker. Political unrest in and around the capital, Kinshasa, is just the latest malady to afflict the Congolese citizens, said Chiara Nava, an adviser to the AVSI Foundation, an aid agency focusing on… Read more »

Catholics gather on Hill to pray lawmakers will protect the Dreamers

WASHINGTON | A group of priests, religious, young immigrants and their supporters gathered outside of the U.S. Capitol Feb. 6 to pray for the Dreamers, whose lives are in limbo, and for the legislators who have the power to change their situation. “We’ve done everything else … now we pray,” said Sister Mary Ellen Lacy,… Read more »