Indianapolis Jesuit school appeals archbishop’s decree
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A Jesuit high school that the Indianapolis Archdiocese no longer recognizes as Catholic because it refused to fire a teacher in a same-sex marriage says it’s appealing that decision to the Vatican. Brebeuf Preparatory School President the Jesuit Father Bill Verbryke sent a letter to the school community Sunday saying the head of the Jesuits’ Midwest Province has asked the Congregation for Catholic Education in Rome to overrule a decree issued by Archbishop Charles Thompson in June saying the school “will no longer be identified or recognized” as Catholic. Father Verbryke also says Bishop Thompson will allow two priests to celebrate daily Mass in the school chapel before classes start but won’t permit other Masses during the upcoming school year. Archdiocesan spokesman Greg Otolski confirmed the decision on Brebeuf’s Masses.
Conception Abbey releases list of clergy with credible accusations of abuse
CONCEPTION, Mo. (AP) — A Benedictine monastery in northwestern Missouri has released the names of eight priests or brothers who it says face credible allegations of having sexually abused children during the last seven decades. The Conception Abbey, about 95 miles north of Kansas City, said on its website Monday that seven of the priests are dead and the eighth had been removed from the ministry. “On behalf of the monks of Conception Abbey, I offer my unconditional apology to all victims and their families affected by the evil of clergy sexual abuse,” the Father Benedict Neenan, the abbot, said in a statement on its website. “It is my prayer and hope that publishing this list will aid in the healing of victims and will serve as a lasting reminder of our responsibility to do everything in our power to protect all minors and vulnerable adults from abuse.” FBI agents reviewed personnel files of priests and brothers who served at the abbey in the past 70 years to compile the list. The abbey said that in 2011, it implemented policies designed to protect guests, children and other visitors. It also hired a victim advocate and has a board comprised of lay people that investigates all allegations of abuse.
Pope urges families build a better future through stronger prayer life
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis has asked families to set aside time to pray both individually and together as a family. His prayer intention for the month of August invites people to pray that “families, through their life of prayer and love, become ever more clearly schools of true human development.” At the start of each month, the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network releases a short video of the pope offering his specific prayer intention at www.thepopevideo.org. Focusing on the Church’s mission of evangelization, the pope asked in the short video, “What kind of world do we want to leave for the future?” The answer is a “world with families,” he said, because families are “true schools for the future, spaces of freedom, and centers of humanity. Let us care for our families” he said, because of this important role they play. And let us reserve a special place in our families for individual and communal prayer.”
Chaldean archbishop: Iraqi Christians face ‘extinction’ unless world acts
WASHINGTON (CNS) — Iraqi Christians face “extinction” unless Islam recognizes the fundamental equality of all people and takes steps to overcome violent factions that seek to force religious minorities from the country, said Chaldean Archbishop Bashar Warda of Irbil. “The truth is that there is a foundational crisis within Islam itself, and if this crisis is not acknowledged, addressed and fixed, then there can be no future for civil society in the Middle East or indeed anywhere Islam brings itself to bear upon a host nation,” Archbishop Warda told Aid to the Church in Need. The Islamic State group’s violence “shocked the conscience of the world” as well as Islamic majority nations, Archbishop Warda said. “The question now,” he said, “is whether or not Islam will continue on a political trajectory, in which sharia is the basis for civil law and nearly every aspect of life is circumscribed by religion, or whether a more tolerant movement will develop.” The archbishop also expressed concern that while the Islamic State group has been defeated in Iraq, the “idea of the re-establishment of the Caliphate” has not subsided.
Dioceses in Congo step up efforts against Ebola
WARSAW, Poland (CNS) — A Catholic diocese in Congo has boosted measures to protect its congregations against Ebola, after the latest outbreak was declared an international emergency by the World Health Organization. “The Goma Diocese is joining the general preoccupation with preventive precautions,” said a statement issued by Msgr. Jacques Letakamba, diocesan chancellor. “Washing will now be obligatory for all faithful before Mass, and basins must be prepared for this purpose with chlorinated water. The call to Christ’s peace by the priest during Mass will not be accompanied by the extending of hands,” according to the statement. More than 1,800 people have died in the latest outbreak, with a dozen new cases reported daily mostly in North Kivu province, according to WHO.