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Nation and world briefs


Appointments made for Ukranian archeparchy, new Syro-Malankara eparchy

WASHINGTON — Pope Francis has named Father Andriy Rabiy as auxiliary bishop of the Ukrainian Archeparchy of Philadelphia. Bishop-designate Rabiy, 41, currently serves as vicar general of the archeparchy and as pastor of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Ukrainian Catholic Parish in Reading, Pennsylvania. Born Oct. 1, 1975, in Lviv, Ukraine, Bishop-designate Rabiy studied at St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Seminary in Washington and was ordained to the priesthood in 2001.

The synod of bishops of the Syro-Malankara Church has erected the Eparchy of Parassala, India, and with the assent of Pope Francis, has elected as the first bishop of the eparchy Bishop Thomas Eusebius Naickamparampil, who is currently serving Syro-Malankara Catholics in the U.S. and Canada. Bishop Naickamparampil, 56, heads the Syro-Malankara Eparchy of St. Mary Queen of Peace of the U.S. and Canada, which is based in Elmont, N.Y. Pope Francis also has given his assent to the nomination of Auxiliary Bishop Philipose Stephanos Thattahil of Tiruvalla, India, who is 65, to succeed Bishop Naickamparampil.

Retired bishop 'categorically denies' abuse claim

PHOENIX — The Diocese of Phoenix said retired Bishop Thomas J. O'Brien, who headed the diocese from 1982 to 2003, "categorically denies" an allegation that he sexually abused a young boy while the youngster was in grade school in the late 1970s and early 1980s. A civil lawsuit has been filed against the diocese, several parishes and Bishop O'Brien, now 81. According to its records, the diocese stated Aug. 3, Bishop O'Brien "was never assigned to any of the parishes or schools identified in the lawsuit, and no specific information has been presented which connects Bishop O'Brien to the plaintiff." The diocese said it immediately contacted the Maricopa County Attorney's Office "upon learning of these allegations in September of 2016, and has offered its assistance and cooperation with any law enforcement investigation into the matter."


Pope tells Belgian religious order no more euthanasia

MANCHESTER, England — Pope Francis has given a Belgian religious order until the end of August to stop offering euthanasia to psychiatric patients. Brother Rene Stockman, superior general of the order, told Catholic News Service the pope gave his personal approval to a Vatican demand that the Brothers of Charity, which runs 15 centers for psychiatric patients across Belgium, must reverse its policy by the end of August. Brothers who serve on the board of the Brothers of Charity Group, the organization that runs the centers, also must each sign a joint letter to their superior general declaring that they "fully support the vision of the magisterium of the Catholic Church." Brothers who refuse to sign will face sanctions under canon law, while the group can expect to face legal action and even expulsion from the Church if it fails to change its policy. The group, he added, must no longer consider euthanasia as a solution to human suffering under any circumstances.

Pope names Academy for Life governing council

VATICAN CITY — Completing the reorganization of the Pontifical Academy for Life, Pope Francis named four scholars to serve on the academy's governing council. The Vatican announced Aug. 5 the scholars who would comprise the council: Etsuko Akiba, a professor of law in the faculty of economics at the University of Toyama, Japan, and a specialist in Catholic bioethics and bioethics law; Monica Lopez Barahona, general director of the Spain's Biosanitary Studies Center and president of the Spanish delegation of the Jerome Lejeune Foundation; Auxiliary Bishop Alberto German Bochatey of La Plata, Argentina, professor of bioethics and vice chancellor of the Catholic University of La Plata; and Adriano Pessina, professor of moral philosophy and director of the Center for Bioethics at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan. Msgr. Carlos Simon Vazquez, delegate for the Family and Life Section of the Dicastery for Laity, the Family and Life, and Msgr. Pierangelo Sequeri, head of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for the Study of Marriage and Family in Rome, also serve on the council by virtue of their positions.

— Catholic News Service 

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