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Nation and world briefs


Abp. Lori issues letter on Bp. Bransfield findings

BALTIMORE — Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore released additional details June 5 about the investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct and financial improprieties against Bishop Michael J. Bransfield, former bishop of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, W. Va. In a letter to the faithful, Archbishop Lori, who was appointed apostolic administrator of the diocese last September, said that he wanted to more fully share information about the investigation the Vatican asked him to conduct into Bishop Bransfield’s activities, the report of which was sent to the Vatican in March. Archbishop Lori wrote in the letter, “The team uncovered a consistent pattern of sexual innuendo, and overt suggestive comments and actions toward those over whom the former bishop exercised authority.” He noted that the investigation did not uncover sexual abuse of minors by the bishop. His letter also noted that the investigation revealed “a pattern of excessive and inappropriate spending.”

Court orders Abp. Sheen’s remains transferred to Peoria

PEORIA, Ill.— The Peoria Diocese stated Bishop Daniel R. Jenky “is overjoyed and elated” that the remains of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen will be coming home to the diocese following a ruling by the state of New York’s highest court. The New York Court of Appeals June 7 rejected a final appeal from the Archdiocese of New York and the trustees of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, who sought to keep the remains of the famed orator and media pioneer interred at St. Patrick’s, where they have rested since after his death Dec. 9, 1979. According to published reports in The New York Times and other media outlets, the archdiocese said it will now work with Joan Sheen Cunningham — Archbishop Sheen’s niece and closest living relative — and the Diocese of Peoria to arrange for a respectful transfer of the remains to St. Mary’s Cathedral in Peoria, a factor the Diocese of Peoria has maintained is critical for a hoped-for future beatification.

Bishop bars from Communion lawmakers who back abortion

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Springfield Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki issued a decree June 6 stating that Catholic lawmakers in the Illinois Legislature “who promoted or voted for extreme abortion legislation” cannot receive Communion in churches in his diocese. He specifically named House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton, “due to their leadership roles in promoting the evil of abortion by facilitating the passage of Senate Bill 25 this legislative session and House Bill 40 in 2017.” Other Illinois Catholic lawmakers who voted for either of these abortion bills, he said, also are not to “present themselves to receive holy Communion.” The decree comes as the legislative leaders “have shown obstinate and persistent support of extreme abortion legislation,” said a news release about Bishop Paprocki’s decree.

NIH banned from using fetal tissue from elective abortions in research

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services banned the National Institutes of Health from using human fetal stem cells from electively aborted babies for government funded research June 5. The department also issued a $20 million grant for research to develop models that do not rely on human fetal tissue. HHS released a statement saying that “promoting the dignity of human life from conception to natural death is one of the very top priorities of President (Donald) Trump’s administration.” Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, Kan., chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, issued a statement on this decision.


Pope joins leaders in recalling D-Day sacrifices of thousands

VATICAN CITY —Pope Francis praised Allied troops who took part in critical D-Day landings in France 75 years ago, while also remembering German soldiers who died fighting under Nazi orders. “We know the landings on June 6, 1944, here in Normandy were decisive in the struggle against Nazi barbarism, allowing a path to open towards ending a war which had so profoundly battered Europe and the world,” Pope Francis stated in a message to Bishop Jean-Claude Boulanger of Bayeux, France. “I recall with recognition all those soldiers from France and other countries who had the courage to engage and give their lives for freedom and peace,” he wrote in the message posted on the diocesan website June 6.

— Catholic News Service

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