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Nation and world briefs

U.S.

Pa. high court says names in redacted grand jury report can’t be released

HARRISBURG, Pa — In a 6-1 decision Dec. 3, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court said the identities of some clergy accused of abuse that were redacted from a grand jury report issued in mid-August must remain permanently blocked from release. “We conclude … we must make permanent the redaction of petitioners’ identifying information … as this is the only viable due process remedy we may now afford to petitioners to protect their constitutional rights to reputation,” Justice Debra Todd said. Lawyers for 24 priests named in the report said their clients fought the release of their identities because they said they “were denied an opportunity to appear before the grand jury to defend themselves, question witnesses, or provide contradictory evidence,” the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

Texas archdiocese ‘fully cooperating’ with search

HOUSTON — The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston said Nov. 28 it “continues to cooperate, as we have since the outset,” with the Office of the District Attorney of Montgomery County in its ongoing investigation into a Catholic priest accused of abusing minors. The archdiocesan statement was issued in response to the execution of a search warrant at its offices that morning. The district attorney is investigating the case of Father Manuel La Rosa-Lopez, a priest of the Galveston-Houston Archdiocese, who has been accused of sexual misconduct by a man and a woman who were minors when the alleged episodes occurred about 20 years ago. The priest, who denies the accusations, was taken into custody by police in September and charged with four counts of indecency with a child.

Ruling ends EWTN fight over HHS mandate

IRONDALE, Ala. — The chairman and CEO of the Eternal Word Television Network said the global Catholic media organization is “grateful that finally” it no longer “has to worry about being forced to choose between massive fines and following our faith. It shouldn’t take years to prove the obvious: You can’t tell a religious media network to say one thing and do another,” Michael P. Warsaw wrote in a statement issued from EWTN’s headquarters in Irondale. Warsaw’s remarks came Nov. 30 about a ruling issued a day earlier by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit that vacated a lower court’s ruling that EWTN had to comply with the Obama administration-era mandate to cover contraceptives and abortifacients for employees or pay huge fines.

WORLD

Cdl. Parolin: Climate needs are ‘challenge of civilization’

KATOWICE, Poland— The Vatican challenged countries gathered for the 24th U.N. Climate Change Conference to focus on the needs of the present and the future as it worked to take swift action. Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, addressed the conference in Katowice, Poland, Dec. 3 and told participants, “We are standing before a challenge of civilization for the benefit of the common good. … The Katowice meeting has the fundamental task of developing the Paris Agreement Work Program. This document should be a solid set of guidelines, rules and institutional mechanisms, aimed at facilitating a fair and efficient implementation of the agreement, particularly at the national level,” the cardinal said, adding that COP24’s guidelines should have “a clear ethical foundation,” including “advancing the dignity of the human person, alleviating poverty and promoting integral human development,” with “transparent, efficient and dynamic” measures.

Bishop: Vatican commission attributes miracle to Blessed Newman

MANCHESTER, England — Catholic bishops have expressed hope that Pope Francis will canonize Blessed John Henry Newman in 2019 after Vatican medics said the inexplicable healing of a U.S. mother was a miracle attributable to Blessed Newman’s intercession. The cardinal was beatified in 2010 by Pope Benedict XVI in Birmingham, England, after the miraculous healing of Boston Deacon Jack Sullivan. Archbishop Bernard Longley of Birmingham said the English and Welsh bishops were informed during their “ad limina” visit to Rome in September that the second miracle needed for the canonization of Blessed Newman had been found. “I understand that the medical board responsible for assessing a second miracle has now delivered a positive assessment to the congregation,” he stated.

— Catholic News Service

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