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Nation and world briefs


Buffalo bishop says he welcomes visitation

WASHINGTON — Bishop Richard J. Malone of Buffalo, New York, said late Oct. 3 he welcomes an apostolic visitation by Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn, New York. News of the visitation, which will include “a review of the Diocese of Buffalo,” came via a communique released earlier by the apostolic nunciature in Washington, which is coordinating it. “Bishop Malone has committed to cooperate fully and stated that this visitation is for the good of the Church in Buffalo,” said a statement issued by the Diocese of Buffalo. “The purpose of an apostolic visitation is to assist the diocese and improve the local Church’s ability to minister to the people it serves.” For more than a year, the Buffalo bishop has faced questions about how he has handled allegations of abuse against diocesan priests.

Catholics more motivated to donate if ethical investing is assured

WASHINGTON — Nearly nine in 10 Catholics surveyed said they want their donations to Church institutions to be ethically invested and a majority of those responding voiced particular opposition to investments in companies that produce pornography, tobacco products and e-cigarettes, according to a new survey. The survey for Boston-based Catholic Investment Services found that about 87% of respondents would be more likely to donate to Catholic institutions if they knew the money would be invested in ways consistent with Church teaching and values. In contrast, about 14% of respondents said ethical investing was not a consideration when donating to Catholic institutions. The results parallel those of a CIS survey released in April.

Pope appoints priest to head Diocese of Helena

WASHINGTON — Pope Francis has appointed Father Austin A. Vetter, a priest of the Diocese of Bismarck, North Dakota, to be the bishop of the Diocese of Helena, Montana. The appointment was announced in Washington Oct. 8 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States. Bishop-designate Vetter succeeds Bishop George L. Thomas, who was named in February 2018 to head the Diocese of Las Vegas, after 14 years as Helena’s bishop. Msgr. Kevin O’Neill was elected Helena’s diocesan administrator by the College of Consultors May 17, 2018, two days after Bishop Thomas was installed in Las Vegas. Bishop-designate Vetter, 52, has been rector-pastor of the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit in Bismarck since 2018. From 2012 to 2018, he was director of spiritual formation at the Pontifical North American College in Rome.


Pope signs decrees in causes for St. John Paul’s mentor, two martyrs

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis recognized the miracle needed for the beatification of Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski, a mentor and friend of St. John Paul II. The pope also signed decrees recognizing the miracles needed for the future beatifications of Father Francesco Mottola, an Italian priest who founded the Secular Institute of the Oblates of the Sacred Heart, and Alessandra Sabattini, an Italian laywoman who volunteered helping people with drug addictions and those with disabilities through the Pope John XXIII community, run by the late Father Oreste Benzi. She died in 1984 at the age of 22 after being struck by a car. The pope signed the decrees after a meeting Oct. 2 with Cardinal Angelo Becciu, prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes

Pope accepts New Zealand bishop’s resignation

AUCKLAND, New Zealand — Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Charles Drennan of Palmerston North. Bishop Drennan tendered his resignation following an investigation into a complaint of unacceptable behavior of a sexual nature. The complaint was made by a young woman. Upon receiving the complaint, the New Zealand Church’s independent investigation body, the National Office of Professional Standards, contracted an independent, licensed investigator to undertake an investigation under the oversight of Cardinal John Dew of Wellington. Bishop Drennan stood aside from his duties. Cardinal Dew said the woman had requested that details of the complaint remain private.

Pope names new apostolic nuncio to Chile

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis named Spanish Archbishop Alberto Ortega Martin as the new apostolic nuncio to Chile, the Vatican announced. Archbishop Ortega, 56, served as nuncio to Jordan and Iraq prior to his appointment to the South American country, the Vatican said Oct. 7. Ordained to the priesthood in 1990, Archbishop Ortega entered the Vatican diplomatic service in 1997, serving in posts in Nicaragua, South Africa and Lebanon. He was ordained a bishop in 2015. His appointment comes at a time when the Catholic Church in Chile is under continuous scrutiny. Archbishop Ortega’s predecessor, Italian Archbishop Ivo Scapolo, whom Pope Francis transferred to Portugal in late August, often was criticized by survivors for his alleged inaction and complicity in covering up cases of abuse.

— Catholic News Service

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