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Nation and world briefs


Following unrest in Haiti, CRS weighs how best to ramp up services

WASHINGTON — Catholic Relief Services operations began returning to normal following more than a week of unrest by Haitians frustrated by government corruption and high inflation. “Today we started on time,” Christopher Bessey, CRS country representative in Haiti, told Catholic News Service Feb. 19 from his office in the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince. All but four of the agency’s non-Haitian staff left the Caribbean nation following onset of violent protests Feb. 7, Bessey said. He was unsure when they would be able to return. CRS also employs about 250 Haitians in three offices throughout the country. They were assessing the situation in various locales to determine how soon they could resume full operations.

Paris-based Ukrainian Catholic bishop to head U.S. archeparchy

WASHINGTON — Pope Francis has appointed Bishop Borys Gudziak of the Paris-based Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of St. Volodymyr the Great, to be the seventh metropolitan-archbishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia. Bishop Andriy Rabiy, an auxiliary bishop of the archeparchy, has been apostolic administrator since April 16, 2018. The pope named him to the post following the resignation of Archbishop Stefan Soroka, now 67, for medical reasons. Archbishop Gudziak, 58, is a native of Syracuse, N.Y., and was ordained a bishop in France on Aug. 26, 2012. His appointment was announced Feb. 18 in Washington by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.


Pope names Cdl. Farrell to serve as chamberlain

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has named Cardinal Kevin J. Farrell, 71, the prefect of the Dicastery for Laity, the Family and Life, to serve as the camerlengo or chamberlain of the Holy Roman Church. Cardinal Farrell, born in Ireland, was incardinated in the Archdiocese of Washington and served as bishop of Dallas from 2007 to 2016; as camerlengo, he fills the post left vacant by the death in July of French Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran. While the pope is alive, the job is basically just a title. But when a pope dies or resigns, the chamberlain is charged with sealing the papal apartments, chairing consultations about the papal funeral, making the practical preparations for the conclave to elect the next pope, and chairing a committee of cardinals taking care of the ordinary affairs of the Church until a new pope is elected. The Vatican announced the appointment Feb. 14 along with the appointment of Cardinal Luis Ladaria Ferrer, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, as a member of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

Philippine bishop: Drug war is ‘illegal, immoral and anti-poor’

KALOOKAN, Philippines — A Catholic bishop in the Philippines said his government’s controversial war on drugs is really a war against the country’s poor. “There is no war against illegal drugs, because the supply is not being stopped. If they are really after illegal drugs, they would go after the big people, the manufacturers, the smugglers, the suppliers. But instead, they go after the victims of these people. So, I have come to the conclusion that this war on illegal drugs is illegal, immoral and anti-poor,” said Bishop Pablo Virgilio David of Kalookan. President Rodrigo Duterte ran for office promising a crackdown on drug use, and since he took office in 2016, rights groups say more than 20,000 people have been killed in extrajudicial killings, mostly carried out by the country’s police. Church leaders have grown increasingly critical of the violence.

Religious superiors admit denial, slowness to act against abuse

VATICAN CITY — Twisted ideas of power and authority in the Catholic Church have contributed to the clerical sexual abuse crisis, leaders of religious orders said, but sometimes the positive “sense of family” in their own communities also made them slow to act. “Pope Francis rightly attacks the culture of clericalism which has hindered our fight against abuse and indeed is one of the root causes,” according to a statement Feb. 19 from the women’s International Union of Superiors General and the men’s Union of Superiors General. But, they said, “the strong sense of family in our orders and congregations ... can make it harder to condemn and expose abuse. It resulted in a misplaced loyalty, errors in judgment, slowness to act, denial and at times, cover-up.” The superiors, who represent a combined total of almost 850,000 women and men religious, stated, “We still need conversion and we want to change.”

— Catholic News Service

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