Change to public charge rule seen to have chilling effect on immigrants
NEW YORK — Widespread confusion about a recent change to the so-called “public charge” law that limits immigrants’ use of government benefit programs will have a chilling effect on people, including those who are not covered by the ruling, according to staff at Cabrini Immigrant Services of NYC. It’s “like a bad immigrant version of the old telephone game,” Oscar Montes said. “Information filters down and people are getting scared about things that don’t affect them.” Montes is immigration staff attorney for Cabrini Immigrant Services. He led a Feb. 13 workshop about the change at the organization’s basement headquarters in a building behind St. Teresa’s Church on New York’s Lower East Side. The public charge test has been a feature of U.S. immigration law since 1882, when it was first used to deny admission to the country to people who might depend on the government as their main source of support. The new regulation promulgated by the Department of Homeland Security redefines public charge more broadly than in the past. Starting Feb. 24, it will assess whether a noncitizen receives or is likely to receive one or more certain public benefits for more than 12 months in a 36-month period. Receipt of two benefits in one month, such as food stamps and government-subsidized housing, counts as two months.
Bill is about providing
care for abortion survivors, say supporters
WASHINGTON — Former nurse Jill Stanek recalls 20 years ago holding “a precious child who had been abandoned to die alone in the hospital’s soiled utility room after surviving an abortion.” Today “we are still fighting for the basic care these little ones deserve,” she said. Stanek, who is national campaign chair for the Susan B. Anthony List pro-life organization, made the comments ahead of her testimony at a Feb. 11 hearing on Capitol Hill sponsored by the Senate Committee on the Judiciary on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act. U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., is the lead co-sponsor of the measure, which he reintroduced in mid-January. The bill would protect newborns who survive abortions by requiring appropriate care and admission to a hospital.
Remains of aborted babies now in final resting place in Indiana cemetery
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — A cold, gray, wintry day in South Bend seemed like an appropriate setting for the burial of 2,411 aborted babies, whose remains were interred in Southlawn Cemetery in the city Feb. 12. The babies had been aborted between 2000 and 2003 by the late Dr. Ulrich “George” Klopfer, who operated abortion clinics in Indiana since the 1970s and performed an estimated 30,000 abortions before having his license revoked in 2016. The medically preserved remains of those fetuses had been transported across state lines and stored for years on Klopfer’s Illinois property, in his garage and in the trunk of a car. The grisly discovery of the remains was made after his death Sept. 3 last year. Neither his family nor authorities have been able to determine why Klopfer kept the remains instead of properly disposing of them.
Conference helps Catholic men be better husbands, fathers, ‘men of Christ’
PHOENIX — The crisis in the Church today is one of evangelization, or rather, one of a failure to evangelize, especially to and within the Catholic family, said Carl Anderson, supreme knight of the Knights of Columbus. He made the comments in Phoenix at the 2020 Catholic Men’s Conference, which drew 1,100 men from throughout the Diocese of Phoenix and beyond to at Xavier College Preparatory. The aim of the conference was to better equip them to be stronger husbands, fathers and men of Christ. The supreme knight offered several statistics saying that in the past 50 years, more than 26 million Americans have left the Catholic faith, Baptisms have fallen by more than 40 percent, sacramental marriages have plummeted by two-thirds, and the number of Catholics who attend Mass every week has fallen by more than half. “We cannot expect someone else to come in and make everything right. The challenges we face are too great. All of us have a responsibility,” Anderson said. “As Catholic men we must step up. We must act now.”
Pope adds year of
missionary service to
Vatican diplomats’ training
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis, adopting a suggestion made at the Synod of Bishops for the Amazon, has decided that every priest preparing for service in the Vatican diplomatic corps must spend a year in ministry as a missionary. In a letter to U.S. Archbishop Joseph S. Marino, president of the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy, which trains Vatican diplomats, Pope Francis said the year of missionary service should be added to the academy’s curriculum beginning with students entering in the 2020-2021 academic year. “I am convinced that such an experience could be helpful to all young men who are preparing for or beginning their priestly service,” Pope Francis wrote in the letter released Feb. 17. In a special way, he continued, mission experience would be helpful “for those who in the future will be called to collaborate with the pontifical representatives and, later, could become envoys of the Holy See to nations and particular churches.” Currently students — all already ordained priests — usually spend four years at the academy in central Rome. In addition to their university courses, the students study diplomacy, Vatican diplomatic relations, languages, international law, papal documents and current affairs.
Cdl. Pell’s appeal to be heard March 11-12
YANGON, Myanmar — Cardinal George Pell will have his last chance to have his conviction for sexually abusing two 13-year old choirboys overturned when his lawyers plead his case to the High Court of Australia March 11-12. But the full bench of Australia’s highest court will take several months, at least, to determine the fate of the former senior adviser to Pope Francis. In the meantime, Australia’s most senior Catholic will remain, as he has since March 2019, in virtual solitary confinement in a provincial prison. If the High Court fails to overturn the verdict, Pell, 78, will spend at least 32 more months in prison.
— Catholic News Service