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Browsing News Entries

Browsing News Entries

Pope Francis Greets French Abuse Victims at Vatican


New Catholic PR Agency Looks to Help Catholics Become ‘Strengthened in the Faith’


Pope Francis Says He is ‘Still Not Well,’ Has Aide Read General Audience Speech


Nicaragua says jailed bishop treated well in prison (AFP)

Responding to a call by UN officials to release Bishop Rolando Álvarez from prison, the Nicaraguan government said that he is being treated well.

“The conditions of imprisonment are preferential, and the regime of medical consultations, family visits and reception of packages is strictly complied with, contrary to what slanderous campaigns pretend to make believe,” the nation’s interior ministry said in a statement.

Detained since 2022, Bishop Álvarez has been sentenced to 26 years in prison for treason without a trial, and has been stripped of his nationality and citizenship rights.

Today is a favorable time for evangelization, Pope says at general audience (CWN)

Continuing his series of Wednesday catecheses on the theme of “the passion for evangelization: the apostolic zeal of the believer,” Pope Francis devoted his November 29 general audience to the theme of “proclamation is for today.”

Vatican appoints replacement at Swiss abbey tainted by abuse allegations (Swissinfo)

Pope Francis has appointed Father Jean-Michel Girard, CRB, as the apostolic administrator of the territorial Abbey of Saint Maurice, Switzerland.

Abbot Jean César Scarcella, CRA, had governed the historic abbey from 2015 until September 2023, when he resigned after being accused of sexually harassing a teenager. His interim successor, Father Roland Jacquenoud, was then accused of having sexually abused an adult novice.

Established in 515, the abbey is associated with the Canons Regular of St. Augustine. As a territorial abbey, it is akin in some ways to a small diocese, with five parishes entrusted to its care, as well as a secondary school.

In appointing Father Girard as the abbey’s apostolic administrator, Pope Francis took the extraordinary step of appointing a member of a different religious institute to govern the abbey. The 75-year-old retired abbot was, from 2014 until April 2023, the Superior General of the Canons Regular of the Hospitaller Congregation of Great Saint Bernard.

Father Girard, however, is not entirely unfamiliar with the Abbey of Saint Maurice: he was also Abbot Primate of Confederation of Canons Regular of St. Augustine from 2016 to 2022. Established in 1959, the confederation comprises various institutes of canons regular, including the institute that governs the Abbey of Saint Maurice, as well as his own institute.

Citing 'quality of life,' USCCB expresses concern about NIH's proposed mission statement (USCCB)

The Office of General Counsel of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has expressed concern about a proposal by the NIH (National Institutes of Health) to revise its mission statement.

The agency’s current mission statement is “to seek fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and the application of that knowledge to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce illness and disability.” The proposed mission statement is “to seek fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and to apply that knowledge to optimize health and prevent or reduce illness for all people.”

The proposed deletion of the words “lengthen life” and “disability” may “risk giving the public the incorrect impression that NIH works to preserve the ‘quality of life’ but not also life itself, a situation in which the lives of some individuals would ‘count’ more than those of others, based on the determination of some authority,” the USCCB warned.

Pope meets with Spain's bishops, summoned to Rome to discuss seminaries (Exaudi)

Having been summoned to Rome, Spain’s bishops met with Pope Francis and officials of the Dicastery for the Clergy on November 28.

The meeting followed an apostolic visitation of the nation’s seminaries, conducted earlier this year by two bishops from Uruguay.

Denying that the Pontiff was “chewing them out or condemning anyone,” Cardinal Juan José Omella of Barcelona, president of the Spanish Episcopal Conference, said during a subsequent press conference that the extraordinary meeting’s purpose “was to see how we can improve. We are in a change of eras, and in some way we have to prepare.”

Papal message stresses importance of rule of law, discusses climate justice (Vatican Press Office)

As the International Development Law Organization’s Assembly of Parties met in Rome, Pope Francis praised the organization for “promoting the rule of law in order to advance peace and sustainable development.”

In his message, dated November 28, the Pope repeatedly stressed the importance of the rule of law. He also discussed corruption, the importance of reaching out to the poorest, and climate change, which he described as “an issue of intergenerational justice,” and welcomed the organization’s “commitment to advancing climate justice and improving land governance and the sustainable use of natural resources.”

“Justice, human rights, equity and equality are fundamentally intertwined with the causes and effects of climate change,” the Pope continued. “By applying a justice-based approach to climate action, we can provide holistic, inclusive and equitable responses.”

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