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Nation and world briefs


Texas bishop calls reported Marian apparitions a ‘fabrication’

FORT WORTH, Texas — In a letter Aug. 26 to local Catholics, Bishop Michael F. Olson of Fort Worth said recent “purported apparitions, messages and miracles” of Mary that he had cautioned Catholics about weeks before “are, in fact, a fabrication.” The bishop said the diocese had received “irrefutable evidence” showing that reported Marian appearances and messages from St. Mark Church in Argyle under the title “Mystical Rose — Our Lady of Argyle” are not true. He said diocesan officials examined security camera footage that shows “the alleged visionary surreptitiously dropping a rose on the floor of a room” but later claiming the rose was a “miraculous gift of the Virgin Mary.” The footage was provided by Loreto House, a pro-life assistance center in Denton, where the alleged mystic and others who are part of a self-described “Dry Bones Ministry” had attended eucharistic adoration July 27 and claimed to experience another apparition.

Abp. Etienne succeeds Abp. Sartain in Seattle

WASHINGTON — Pope Francis has appointed Seattle Coadjutor Archbishop Paul D. Etienne as the archbishop of Seattle and accepted the resignation of Seattle Archbishop J. Peter Sartain. The appointment and resignation were announced Sept. 3 in Washington by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States. In April, Pope Francis named Archbishop Etienne, former archbishop of Anchorage, Alaska, to the role of coadjutor archbishop of the Archdiocese of Seattle. He was officially welcomed by the archdiocese during a Mass of reception June 7 at St. James Cathedral in Seattle. Archbishop Sartain had asked Pope Francis to appoint a coadjutor because of spinal problems he suffered that required several surgeries.


Marking start of WWII, Polish, German bishops urge new peace efforts

WARSAW, Poland — Catholic bishops from Poland and Germany have warned that peace and unity are still needed in Europe, 80 years after the start of World War II. “Poland was the first victim, suffering six years’ occupation, accompanied by untold cruelty and a destructive policy for exterminating the Polish nation, especially its Jewish population,” said the joint statement, signed by Polish Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki and German Cardinal Reinhard Marx, the two bishops’ conference presidents. “Eighty years after the war’s outbreak, today’s generations in Poland, Germany and Europe are experiencing many changes for the better. But the fruits of reconciliation must be handled responsibly and not superficially imperiled for political interests,” they said. The statement was published as state and government leaders gathered Sept. 1 to commemorate the Nazi attack on Poland, which was followed by a Soviet invasion from the east Sept. 17 under a secret pact between Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin.

Irish bishops confirms 1989 miraculous cure of woman at Knock shrine

DUBLIN — The Catholic Church in Ireland has confirmed that a woman who was seriously ill with multiple sclerosis experienced a complete healing of all her symptoms at Knock shrine in September 1989. The cure of Marion Carroll 30 years ago is the first officially recognized healing associated with Ireland’s national Marian shrine since an apparition witnessed by 15 people occurred there in August 1879. On Sept. 1, Bishop Francis Duffy of Ardagh announced to a packed basilica that the Church had officially recognized 68-year-old Carroll’s healing. “Without doubt, there was a healing, a cure of the illness that beset Marion for several years,” Bishop Duffy told the congregation.

Pope appoints aide, former communications prefect to new posts

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis appointed an aide who served as his English interpreter and the former prefect of the Vatican Dicastery for Communication to new posts. The Vatican announced Aug. 31 that the pope named Msgr. Mark Miles, a native of Gibraltar who worked in the Secretariat of State, as the Holy See’s permanent observer to the Washington-based Organization of American States, also known as OAS. According to its website, the OAS is “a multilateral regional organization focused on human rights, electoral oversight, social and economic development, and security in the Western Hemisphere.” Fluent in English, Italian, Spanish and French, Msgr. Miles served at Vatican embassies in Ecuador and Hungary before working at the Secretariat of State. He is better known, however, as one of the pope’s English translators. The Vatican said Pope Francis also named Msgr. Dario Vigano as vice chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences with responsibility for the academy’s communications sector.

— Catholic News Service

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