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Nation and world briefs


Judge blocks rule that would have kept legal status from some immigrants

WASHINGTON — A federal judge Oct. 11 blocked an attempt by the Trump administration to deny legal status to some immigrants who applied for social safety-net programs from the government. Judge George B. Daniels of the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York said the rule, set to go into effect Oct. 15, would have caused “irreparable harm.” Some Catholic groups, including the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, had launched a legal fight against its implementation, and they lauded the action. The rule would have placed a roadblock on the path to legal immigration for immigrants who are poor and would have had to choose between facing hardship or obtaining a green card or other legal documents to stay in the country. The USCCB had long argued against what came to be known as the “public charge rule.”

L.A. Archdiocese expands fund for Southern California wildfire victims

LOS ANGELES — The Archdiocese of Los Angeles is expanding a fund established last year for victims of wildfires in California to victims of the current wildfires burning in Los Angeles and Ventura counties. The fund was created in the wake of the Thomas Fire that struck Ventura and Santa Barbara counties in 2017-18, killing two people directly and another 21 indirectly from debris and mudflows, scorching more than 280,000 acres. The Saddleridge Fire, which started Oct. 10 in the Los Angeles suburb of Sylmar, has claimed two lives, both from heart attacks. It has burned 8,400 acres in the hills of the San Fernando Valley, destroying 17 structures and damaging another 77. The archdiocese is providing support to communities affected by the fires through its local parishes and schools.

More fetal remains found in cars owned by late abortion doctor

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill released new details Oct. 9 about the discovery of additional fetal remains in Illinois that are believed to be linked with abortions performed in Indiana. According to a news release from Hill’s office, the latest remains were found in several vehicles within the confines of additional properties associated with the late Dr. Ulrich “George” Klopfer, who performed abortions at three Indiana clinics. The latest news about remains comes about a month after civil authorities found the preserved remains of 2,246 aborted babies in Klopfer’s home in Will County in Illinois. Local authorities said Oct. 11 they have determined the newly found remains are of 165 aborted babies, bringing the total number now to 2,411.

U.S. archbishop named to head Vatican academy for diplomats

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis named a U.S. archbishop serving as a nuncio to head the Vatican diplomatic academy. Archbishop Joseph S. Marino, a native of Birmingham, Alabama, 66, was named president of the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy, the Vatican announced Oct. 11. He will be only the second U.S. prelate to head the Rome-based school, which was founded more than 300 years ago; U.S. Cardinal Justin Rigali was president of the academy from 1985 to 1989. In early 2013, Pope Benedict XVI had named Archbishop Marino to be the Vatican’s first nuncio to Malaysia; the Vatican and Malaysia announced the establishment of full diplomatic relations in 2011.

Two N.Y. auxiliary bishops named; pope accepts auxiliary’s resignation

WASHINGTON — Pope Francis has appointed Msgr. Edmund J. Whalen, vicar for clergy for the Archdiocese of New York, and Msgr. Gerardo J. Colacicco, a parish pastor in Millbrook, New York, as auxiliary bishops for the New York Archdiocese. He also accepted the resignation of Auxiliary Bishop John J. Jenik, who is 75, the age at which canon law requires bishops turn in their resignation to the pope. The changes were announced in Washington Oct. 10 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States. In October 2018, Bishop Jenik was removed from public ministry pending a Vatican review of a decades-old accusation of sexual abuse made against him, a claim he denies. He stepped down as pastor of Our Lady of Refuge Parish in the Bronx. He has been an auxiliary bishop since 2014.


Resident says Dorian’s devastation teaches lesson: ‘God is in control’

FREEPORT, Grand Bahama — “After the storm” — a phrase undoubtedly used for generations in the “Hurricane Alley” of the warm-water Atlantic — carries added meaning following Hurricane Dorian’s historic landfall more than a month ago. “We’ve been through a horrific hurricane and I don’t think we will ever forget this one. I have not experienced anything like this in my lifetime, and I have been around for a little while,” said Patrick Ferguson, a retired national radio broadcaster in the Bahamas and a longtime member of Mary, Star of the Sea. At the start of what was the first week with restored electrical power, Ferguson, along with a core staff and volunteer team, reflected on how Hurricane Dorian has transformed the parish and its Society of St. Vincent de Paul outreach into a de facto emergency food and supplies outpost for the wider neighborhood. Hurricane Dorian claimed homes, lives and livelihoods, impacting an estimated 75,000 and leaving some 600 still on the government’s official list of missing persons.

— Catholic News Service

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