Catholics lead Rosary
on way to DACA rally
outside Supreme Court
WASHINGTON — As the U.S. Supreme Court justices prepared to hear oral arguments in a case on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program the morning of Nov. 12, Catholics met at Columbus Circle in Washington to pray the Rosary for the intention of all DACA recipients, their families and all immigrants in the United States. “We’re not just praying for the justices to be on the right side today, we’re praying for elected officials to wake up and to finally give a solution for the 700,000 DACA recipients living in this country,” said Jose Arnulfo Cabrera, a DACA recipient and the director of education and advocacy for migration for the Ignatian Solidarity Network. The prayer gathering — which was followed by a walk to the steps of the Supreme Court, joining others participating in the national Home is Here campaign rally — was co-sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Justice for Immigrants, the Ignatian Solidarity Network, the Catholic social justice lobby Network and others.
Federal judge halts Trump administration conscience protection rule
NEW YORK — A U.S. District Court judge’s Nov. 6 ruling that halts a Trump administration conscience protection rule for health care professionals leaves them “vulnerable to being forced to perform, facilitate or refer for procedures that violate their conscience,” said the senior counsel for the First Liberty Institute. These protections “would ensure that health care professionals are free to work consistent with their religious beliefs while providing the best care to their patients,” said Stephanie Taub. The Texas-based institute focuses on religious freedom cases. In his 147-page opinion, Judge Paul A. Engelmayer, of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, ordered HHS to vacate the rule, “Protecting Statutory Conscience Rights in Health Care,” in its entirety. He said it exceeded the statutory authority of HHS, was “arbitrary and capricious” and was adopted “in breach” of the procedural requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act. But Engelmayer also acknowledged that “conscience provisions recognize and protect undeniably important rights.”
Hong Kong bishop urges independent inquiry into student’s death
HONG KONG — A bishop is calling on the Hong Kong government to set up an independent inquiry into the death of a student during the latest pro-democracy riots. Ucanews.org reported Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Ha Chi-shing of Hong Kong made his call during a prayer meeting to mourn Chow Tsz-lok, who died Nov. 8 after a suspicious fall at a protest venue. Chow, 22, a student at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, was found injured in a parking lot Nov. 4 as police clashed with protesters. He fell into a coma while being treated at the hospital and died four days later. “This is something that no civilized society should accept, and anyone with conscience would not accept,” Bishop Ha said at a Nov. 10 prayer service organized by various Christian groups, including the Justice and Peace Commission of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Federation of Catholic Students and the Diocesan Youth Commission. Chow’s cause of death remains unclear and an investigation should be held to find out the truth, Bishop Ha told the Nov. 10 prayer meeting attended by more than 1,000 citizens at Chater Garden in central Hong Kong.
Concern for inmates, prison reform is obligatory act of mercy, pope says
VATICAN CITY — Visiting the imprisoned is an act of mercy that has implications for all Christians and not just those involved in prison ministry, Pope Francis said. Speaking Nov. 8 to participants at an international meeting of national and regional directors of Catholic prison ministries, Pope Francis urged greater efforts to reform prison systems, address the root causes of crime and ensure acceptance and reintegration once a person completes his or her sentence. “The whole Church in fidelity to the mission received from Christ” is called to show the most vulnerable people the mercy of God, the pope said. “We will be judged on this.” While not arguing against all prison sentences, Pope Francis urged Catholics to reflect on sentencing guidelines and the motivations behind them to ensure they do not promote “a throwaway culture. Many times,” he said, societies “in a supposed search for good and for security, seek the isolation and imprisonment of those who act against social norms,” believing that locking them up is “the ultimate solution to the problems of community life.”
Don’t join devil’s game
of jealously, pope says
VATICAN CITY — The devil is real and is so jealous of Jesus and the salvation Jesus offers that he tries everything he can to divide people and make them attack each other, Pope Francis said. Celebrating Mass in the chapel of his residence Nov. 12, the pope preached about the day’s first reading from the Book of Wisdom, which says: “God formed us to be imperishable; the image of His own nature He made us. But by the envy of the devil, death entered the world....Some people say, ‘But, Father, the devil doesn’t exist,’” the pope told the small congregation in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae. “But the word of God is clear.” The devil’s envy, which the Book of Wisdom cites, is the root of all his efforts to get people to hate and kill one another. But his first steps, the pope said, are to sow “jealously, envy and competition” instead of allow people to enjoy brotherhood and peace. Some people will say, “‘But, Father, I don’t destroy anyone.’ No? And your gossiping? When you speak ill of another? You destroy that person,” the pope said.
— Catholic News Service