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Nation and world briefs


Cdl. Cupich praises anti-gun protest on local highway

CHICAGO — Hundreds of protesters led by Chicago priest Father Michael Pfleger and anti-gun activists filled a major Chicago highway for about an hour July 7 demanding that city officials do something to stop gun violence in the city. The march was preceded by a lot of discussion on how much street space the protesters could take. Initially, they were given half of the northbound lanes of the Dan Ryan Expressway, separated by a barrier made up of trucks, emergency vehicles and uniformed officers, but after negotiations at the scene between Father Pfleger, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and police officials, the marchers were given full use of the northbound lanes. In a statement, Chicago Cardinal Blase J. Cupich wrote he was thankful that city and state law enforcement officials cooperated to allow the protest to take place.

In Chicago, three auxiliary bishops named; two retire

WASHINGTON — Pope Francis has named three new auxiliary bishops for the Chicago archdiocese, Fathers Ronald A. Hicks, Robert G. Casey and Mark Bartosic, and he has accepted the resignations of Auxiliary Bishops George J. Rassas and Francis J. Kane of Chicago. Bishops Rassas and Kane are 75, the age at which canon law requires bishops to submit their resignation to the pope. Bishop-designate Hicks serves as vicar general of the Chicago Archdiocese. Bishop-designate Casey is currently pastor of St. Bede the Venerable Church in Chicago. Bishop-designate Bartosic is currently pastor of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Chicago and director/chaplain of Kolbe House near Cook County Jail. The changes were announced in Washington July 3 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Bishop Cantu named coadjutor for San Jose

WASHINGTON — Pope Francis has appointed Bishop Oscar Cantu of Las Cruces, New Mexico, to be coadjutor bishop of San Jose, California. Bishop Cantu, 51, has headed the Diocese of Las Cruces since February 2013. Bishop Patrick J. McGrath, who turned 73 June 11, has headed the Diocese of San Jose since 1999. The appointment was announced July 11 in Washington by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Boston, New York auxiliary bishops offer resignations

WASHINGTON — Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Auxiliary Bishop John A. Dooher of Boston, who is 75, the age at which canon law requires bishops to turn in their resignation. His retirement was announced in Washington June 30 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States. Named an auxiliary for Boston by Pope Benedict XVI in 2006, Bishop Dooher has been vicar general and regional bishop for the archdiocese’s south region. Pope Francis also accepted the resignation of Auxiliary Bishop Dominick J. Lagonegro of New York. Bishop Lagonegro, who has been a New York auxiliary since 2001, is also 75, the age at which canon law requires bishops to turn in their resignation to the pope. His retirement was announced in Washington July 2 by Archbishop Pierre. He was named an auxiliary in 2001 by St. John Paul II.

Wyoming bishop orders new investigation into claims against Bishop Hart

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Bishop Steven R. Biegler of Cheyenne said July 2 that he will continue restrictions placed on the public ministry of retired Bishop Joseph H. Hart of Cheyenne because of the results of new investigation into previous abuse allegations made against the prelate, now 86. The accusation is that Bishop Hart allegedly sexually abused two boys from Wyoming after he became Cheyenne’s bishop in 1978. A diocesan statement said Bishop Biegler had ordered “a fresh, thorough investigation” into allegations that Bishop Hart had sexually abused a minor in Wyoming more than two decades ago. Recently, the diocese said, a second Wyoming man alleged that Bishop Hart also had abused him.Police and prosecutors in Cheyenne in 2002 cleared Bishop Hart of any wrongdoing because they found “no evidence to support the allegations.” The Cheyenne Diocese said it “now questions that conclusion based upon a recently completed exhaustive investigation.”


Document on vocation of consecrated virgins issued

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican has released a document that establishes norms and principles for women who dedicate their lives as consecrated virgins and their place in the life of the Church. Presenting the new document at the Vatican press office July 4, Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz, prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, said it is the “first document of the Holy See that delves into the character and discipline of this way of life. The instruction on the ‘Ordo virginum’ (‘Order of Virgins’) intends to respond to the requests that numerous bishops and consecrated virgins in these years have presented to the congregation for consecrated life regarding the vocation and witness of the order of virgins, its presence in the universal Church and, particularly, its formation and vocational discernment,” Cardinal Braz de Aviz said. Consecrated by her local bishop, a member of the order of virgins makes a promise of perpetual virginity, prayer and service to the Church while living independently in society.

Pope names lay Italian journalist to head Vatican communications

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has named a lay Italian journalist with decades of experience in print, radio and television broadcasting to head the Vatican’s Secretariat for Communication. Paolo Ruffini, 61, who headed the Italian conference of Catholic bishops’ TV and radio network, was named prefect of the dicastery July 5, making him the first layperson to head such a high-level Vatican dicastery. He succeeds Italian Msgr. Dario Vigano, who resigned as prefect in March after a controversy involving the use and photographing of a letter from retired Pope Benedict XVI. Ruffini worked for a number of major Italian newspapers, radio news programs and television news.

Pope accepts resignations of two more bishops in Chile

VATICAN CITY — In the wake of a papal investigation into abuse of power, negligence and the cover-up of sexual abuse in the church in Chile, Pope Francis has accepted the resignations of two more of the country’s bishops: Bishops Alejandro Goic Karmelic of Rancagua, 78, and Horacio del Carmen Valenzuela Abarca, 64, of Talca. Pope Francis named two apostolic administrators — two auxiliary bishops from the Archdiocese of Santiago — to govern the now “vacant” dioceses: Bishop Luis Fernando Ramos Perez, 59, for Rancagua, and Bishop Galo Fernandez Villaseca, 57, for Talca. The Vatican made the announcement June 28. Almost every bishop in Chile had offered his resignation to Pope Francis in mid-May after a three-day meeting at the Vatican to discuss the clerical sexual abuse scandal.

— Catholic News Service

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