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Nation and world briefs

U.S.

Advocates decry plan to cut refugee cap

WASHINGTON — Refugee advocates are opposed to the decision announced by the Trump administration Sept. 26 that it plans to admit no more than 18,000 refugees in the next fiscal year, the lowest number since the resettlement program was created in 1980. “The U.S. must remain the beacon of hope to people who feel forgotten and abandoned by the world and maintain its status as a leader of refugee policy for all nations to follow,” according to Dominican Sister Donna Markham, president and CEO of Catholic Charities USA. A Sept. 27 statement by the organization said it “strongly opposes” the administration’s plans to “historically reduce the number of refugees welcomed into the United States” and urged it to “consider the refugee resettlement program’s mission to provide protection to those in need for humanitarian reasons. The program should return to consistent refugee numbers rather than focus primarily on its use for partisan-based purposes,” the statement added. The State Department released the refugee cap proposal and the White House issued a separate order saying states and localities must approve refugee resettlement in their regions before refugees can be sent to them. A final decision on the number of refugees the U.S. will admit will be made after consultation with Congress.

Reviewer says N.Y. Archdiocese complying with charter in ‘all respects’

NEW YORK — Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York said Sept. 30 he was “grateful and relieved” by the report of a comprehensive independent review of archdiocesan compliance with the U.S. bishops’ “Charter for the Protection of Child and Young People.” At a Sept. 30 news conference at the chancery in New York, former federal Judge Barbara S. Jones said, “Overall, I have found that the archdiocese has complied with the charter in all material respects. It has faithfully followed its policies and procedures and responded appropriately to abuse complaints, and is committed to supporting victim-survivors of abuse.” A year ago, on Sept. 20, 2018, Cardinal Dolan introduced Judge Jones as his first special counsel and independent reviewer. He tasked her to study archdiocesan policies and procedures with respect to sexual abuse by clergy and recommend enhancements directly to him. Jones said she had complete access to archdiocesan records and conducted dozens of interviews, an exhaustive review of documents and an assessment of the practices of the archdiocese. She and her team at Bracewell, an international law firm, reviewed “easily a couple of thousand” personnel files for every priest and deacon in the archdiocese and are confident that no archdiocesan priest or deacon with a substantiated allegation of abuse remains in ministry, she said.

WORLD

Pope names Archbishop Auza, Vatican rep at U.N., as nuncio to Spain

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis named Archbishop Bernardito Auza, who has represented the Vatican at the United Nations since 2014, to be nuncio to Spain and Andorra. The Vatican made the announcement Oct. 1. It did not name a replacement as permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations. A statement on the site of the Holy See Mission said the archbishop would take up his post in Madrid Dec. 1. Archbishop Auza, 60, also served as permanent observer of the Holy See to the Organization of American States in Washington from July 2014 until Sept.3, when the Vatican appointed Msgr. Mark Miles as the first permanent observer in residence in Washington. Archbishop Auza served at the Holy See Mission 2006-2008, before being named nuncio to Haiti, where he helped lead and rebuild after the January 2010 earthquake that killed at least 316,000 people. In a statement, the Filipino archbishop described his time at the United Nations as “intense years of learning and understanding more deeply the great international questions of our time.”

Three new dioceses carved out of Archdiocese of Mexico City

MEXICO CITY — Three new dioceses have been carved out of the Archdiocese of Mexico, a move Cardinal Carlos Aguiar Retes of Mexico City said will bring pastors “closer to all the inhabitants.” The decision, announced Sept. 27, creates the dioceses of Azcapotzalco in northwest Mexico City; Iztapalapa, the Mexican capital’s largest borough; and Xochimilco, in the far south of the city. All were carved out of what had been one of the world’s largest archdioceses. What remains of the old Archdiocese of Mexico City will contain the metropolitan cathedral and Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The population it serves will shrink from roughly to 8.8 million people to 5.28 million, according to archdiocesan publication Desde la Fe. The three new dioceses will be suffragan dioceses in the Mexico City ecclesiastical province. The Sept. 27 decision also created the Archdiocese of Toluca — to the west of Mexico City — out of the previous Diocese of Toluca, with the Dioceses of Atlacomulco, Tenancingo and Cuernavaca as its suffragan dioceses.

— Catholic News Service

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