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Nation and world briefs


New head of CLINIC is experienced litigator, expert on immigration law

SILVER SPRING, Md. — Anna Marie Gallagher, an experienced litigator and immigration law expert, has been named the news executive director of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network Inc., effective Feb. 1. Gallagher will succeed Jeanne Atkinson, who has headed CLINIC since March 2013. Atkinson previously announced her plans to move to Italy to accompany her husband to his new position there. She will remain with CLINIC through the transition. Bishop Kevin J. Vann of Orange, Calif., who is chairman of CLINIC’s board of directors, announced Gallagher’s appointment Nov. 27.

Michigan sisters sing at National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony

WASHINGTON — Highlights from the Dominican Sisters of Mary Mother of the Eucharist performance at the White House National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony on the Ellipse outside the White House will be shown Dec. 2 on both the Ovation and Reelz cable channels at 9 p.m. CST. The 14 sisters assembled in Washington were to sing two songs at the Nov. 28 ceremony. The identity of those songs was to be kept a secret until the day of the ceremony, publicist Monica Fitzgibbons said Nov. 27.

Austin, Texas, auxiliary bishop named to head Diocese of Monterey

WASHINGTON — Pope Francis has appointed Auxiliary Bishop Daniel E. Garcia of Austin, Texas, as the new bishop of Monterey, Calif. The 58-year-old bishop succeeds the late Bishop Richard J. Garcia, who died July 11 of complications from Alzheimer’s disease. He was 71 and had headed the diocese since 2007. The appointment was announced Nov. 27 in Washington by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States. Bishop Daniel Garcia, who is a native of Texas, has been an auxiliary bishop for Austin since 2015. He was ordained a priest for the diocese May 28, 1988. He is bilingual in Spanish and English. He will be installed as the fifth bishop of Monterey Jan. 30.


Report: Saudi textbooks promote ‘intolerance’ against non-Muslims

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom said in a new report it finds there is “a troubling rise in intolerant content” in Saudi textbooks that promote “hatred and violence” against non-Muslims. “Despite a commitment by Saudi officials to address this problem, these passages teaching hate and violence have reappeared in Saudi textbooks,” said Tenzin Dorjee, chairman of the commission. He made the comments Nov. 26 in a statement accompanying the release of the commission’s report on the textbooks. For more than 15 years, the commission said, it has monitored and reported on the content of Saudi textbooks. Titled “A Survey of 2017-2018 Saudi Middle and High School Textbooks,” the report stated, “Unlike past revisions to textbooks where progress had been made, these most recent texts contained several intolerant and inflammatory passages.”

In dispute with Catholic leaders, Duterte tells Filipinos to quit church

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte renewed his attacks on Catholic leaders and urged Filipinos to stop going to church altogether. The president, who earlier this year called God “stupid,” suggested in a Nov. 26 speech that people should instead build their own chapels where they can pray, ucanews.com reported. “You don’t have to go to church to pay for these idiots,” said Duterte referring to bishops who have condemned the wave of drug-related killings in the country. Duterte’s tirade against Church leaders came days after he accused Bishop Pablo Virgilio David of Kalookan of giving donations to his family. He offered no supporting evidence for his accusation. In his speech Nov. 26, Duterte lambasted the bishops for believing in an “archaic” Church that is only good at making money. “The Catholic Church and Bishop David are clinging to a belief 3,000 years ago,” he said. “How can people 3,000 years ago predict what is happening today?”

Bishop: Kenyan priest killed in Cameroon was shot by government soldiers

NAIROBI, Kenya — Although official reports say Mill Hill Father Cosmas Omboto Ondari was caught in the crossfire of government and opposition forces, the local bishop says Father Ondari was killed by government soldiers. Bishop Andrew Nkea Fuanya of Mamfe, Cameroon, said the 33-year-old Kenyan priest was shot Nov. 21 outside St. Martin of Tours Parish, Kembong. In a statement issued Nov. 22, the bishop wrote he visited the parish, “and I personally counted 21 bullet holes made on the church building of Kembong where, at time, the priest, the catechist and many Christians were carrying out various activities in the mission compound. … Eyewitness accounts say that he was killed by government soldiers, who were shooting at random from their passing vehicle,” the bishop said. Another man also was shot.

— Catholic News Service

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