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Nation and world briefs


Retired Bp. Kicanas named administrator of Las Cruces

TUCSON, Ariz. — Retired Bishop Gerald F. Kicanas of Tucson has been named apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Las Cruces, New Mexico. The Las Cruces Diocese announced Sept. 28 that Pope Francis appointed Bishop Kicanas to the post. On July 11, Pope Francis named Bishop Oscar Cantu of Las Cruces to be coadjutor bishop of the Diocese of San Jose, California. He remained head of the New Mexico Diocese until Sept. 28 when he was welcomed to the San Jose Diocese with a special Mass. As apostolic administrator, Bishop Kicanas will have oversight powers of a local bishop until a new bishop is named.

Bill to make Calif. public universities offer abortion pill won’t be law

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California Gov. Jerry Brown said Sept. 30 he would not sign a measure passed by the state Senate that would have required student health centers at public universities to offer abortion-inducing drugs. By not signing the bill, known as S.B. 320, he essentially vetoed it. “According to a study sponsored by supporters of this legislation, the average distance to abortion providers in campus communities varies from five to seven miles, not an unreasonable distance. Because the services required by this bill are widely available off campus, this bill is not necessary,” added Brown. Under the measure, every student health center at the University of California and California State University campuses would have had to offer abortion-inducing drugs, including the “abortion pill,” as RU-486 is known, by Jan. 1, 2022.

Lay-led investigation begins into claims bishop sexually harassed adults

WHEELING, W.Va. — The investigation into allegations of sexual harassment of adults by Bishop Michael J. Bransfield, former bishop of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, is being led by a five-member team of laity. The team is comprised of three men and two women, including one non-Catholic, empaneled by Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, who is apostolic administrator of the diocese. In a letter to clergy of Wheeling-Charleston, the archbishop said the team members “bring a breadth of investigative expertise and experience to their work.” Bryan Minor, who was recently appointed by Archbishop Lori as delegate for administrative affairs for the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, said that the five-member investigative team will remain anonymous, and emphasized the significance of the investigation being conducted by the laity.

Archbishop McCarrick now living in rural Kansas friary

WASHINGTON — The Archdiocese of Washington announced Sept. 28 that former Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, who was removed from ministry earlier this year after abuse allegations came to light, is now living in Kansas in a friary for Capuchin Franciscan friars. Archbishop McCarrick resides at St. Fidelis Friary in the city of Victoria, the archdiocese wrote in a statement, adding that “respect for the privacy of this arrangement is requested” out of consideration for the peace of the community of the friars who live there. Victoria is in a rural area of Kansas and has a population of about 1,200.


Catholic agencies respond after disasters in Indonesia

JAKARTA, Indonesia — Catholic aid agencies were among those working to assess the needs and get relief to the island of Sulawesi after an earthquake and tsunami left more than 1,200 people dead. Indonesia’s disaster agency said Oct. 2 the death toll from the magnitude 7.5 earthquake and tsunami was expected to rise as rescuers pulled bodies from the rubble. It said nearly 800 people were severely injured and nearly 50,000 people had been displaced by the disaster. Yenni Suryani, country manager for Catholic Relief Services, the U.S. Church’s international relief and development agency, said humanitarian groups were struggling to get aid to people in the hard-hit cities of Palu and Donggala.

Pope laicizes Karadima, notorious Chilean abuser, from priesthood

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis laicized a Chilean who gained notoriety for sexually abusing young men in his parish. In a statement released Sept. 28, the Vatican said that Fernando Karadima was dismissed from the clerical state by the pope, who “made this exceptional decision in conscience and for the good of the Church.” Citing canon law, the Vatican said the pope “exercised his ‘supreme, full, immediate, and universal ordinary power in the Church’ aware of his service to the people of God as successor of St. Peter.” Pope Francis signed the decree Sept. 27 and Karadima was informed of the decision the next day, the statement said. Vatican spokesman Greg Burke said it is a sign of the pope’s “hard line against abuses.”

— Catholic News Service

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