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Nation and world briefs

U.S.

Domestic violence called ‘pandemic within a pandemic’

PHILADELPHIA — Amid global coronavirus lockdowns, domestic violence has emerged as “a pandemic within a pandemic,” said Catholic clinical psychologist Christauria Welland. “Our rates in the U.S. for physical and sexual violence against women were already at one in three,” she said. Based in California, Welland has counseled both those who are abused and their abusers for decades. During periods of economic crisis and natural disasters, such rates tend to rise, said Welland, adding that the coronavirus has aggravated conditions for domestic abuse, also known as “intimate partner violence. We’re seeing huge increases in anxiety, uncertainty and feelings of powerlessness,” she said. Unemployment, food and financial instability, confinement and substance abuse have increased the risk of abuse.

Ohio bishop resumes treatment for leukemia, sends resignation to pope

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — The Diocese of Youngstown announced May 26 that Bishop George V. Murry has submitted his resignation to Pope Francis for reasons of ill health. Diagnosed with a form of acute leukemia, in April 2018, Bishop Murry underwent intensive chemotherapy. In July 2019, he reentered the Cleveland Clinic for a reoccurrence of leukemia. At that time tests confirmed that he was in remission and that doctors were not recommending a bone marrow transplant. “This past April, his leukemia returned and he resumed treatment,” the diocesan statement said. “With this third bout of leukemia, his present state of health leaves him less able to fulfill the tasks entrusted to him as bishop of the Diocese of Youngstown.” Bishop Murray, 71, has headed the Diocese of Youngstown since 2007.

WORLD

Pope to lead world shrines in Rosary prayer for pandemic May 30

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis will lead the major shrines around the world in praying the Rosary to implore Mary’s intercession and protection amid the coronavirus pandemic. The pope will pray at the replica of the Lourdes Grotto in the Vatican Gardens May 30, the eve of Pentecost, and will also be joined by several “men and women representing various categories of people particularly affected by the virus,” the Vatican said May 26. The service will be at 5:30 p.m. in Rome (10:30 a.m. St. Louis time). “At the feet of Mary, the Holy Father will place the many troubles and sorrows of humanity, further worsened by the spread of COVID-19,” according to a statement released by the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization.

Encyclical calls all to work toward Christian unity, says bishop

WASHINGTON — The 25th anniversary of St. John Paul II’s encyclical “Ut Unum Sint” should remind Catholics “the way of ecumenism is the way of the Church” and they are “called to espouse a strong commitment to building Christian unity,” Bishop Joseph C. Bambera of Scranton, Pennsylvania, said May 25. “Pope St. John Paul II, who worked tirelessly to build ecumenical relationships, described the impulse of working for unity between Christians as ‘a duty of Christian conscience enlightened by faith and guided by love,’” said the bishop, who is chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs. In the encyclical, issued May 25, 1995, St. John Paul reaffirmed the Catholic Church’s “irrevocable” commitment to working and praying for Christian unity and highlighted how Christians of all denominations already are united in the experience of martyrdom. “Ut Unum Sint” is Latin for “that they may be one.”

Pope marks anniversary of ‘Laudato Si” with call to prayer, action

VATICAN CITY — Commemorating the fifth anniversary of his encyclical on the environment, Pope Francis called on Christians to join in prayer and acts of care for the Earth and for the poor. After reciting the “Regina Coeli” prayer May 24, the pope encouraged Catholics to participate in the celebration of the “Special Laudato Si’ Anniversary Year,” a yearlong series of initiatives dedicated to putting the encyclical’s teaching into action. “I invite all people of goodwill to join, to take care of our common home and of our most fragile brothers and sisters,” he said. According to the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, the yearlong celebration from May 24, 2020, to May 24, 2021, will emphasize “ecological conversion in action” through a series of events dedicated to environmental care, education and the economy.

— Catholic News Service

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