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Nation and world briefs


Abp. Gomez: Amid pandemic, Jesus asks us to trust in Sacred Heart

WASHINGTON — Standing at the foot of the cross on Good Friday with Mary, we look upon her crucified Son, asking God, “Why did He have to die? Couldn’t there be some other way?” Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles said in a homily April 10. “Today we are also asking God: Why this coronavirus? Why have you allowed this disease and death to descend on our world?” he continued. “We know that Jesus on the cross is the only answer. In the heart of Christ — wounded by the soldier’s spear, pierced by our sins — we see how much God loves the world. We see how precious we are in our Father’s eyes.” The homily by Archbishop Gomez, who is president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, was part of a national prayer service he led U.S. Catholics in from the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles.

Court to hear Little Sisters, Catholic school cases by teleconference

WASHINGTON — For the first time in its history, the Supreme Court announced April 13 it will conduct 10 oral arguments by teleconference in May. Among the arguments it will hear are cases involving the Little Sisters of the Poor and California Catholic schools. Specific dates have not been announced for these cases, but the court said the arguments will take place between May 4-6 and May 11-13. In announcing the decision to proceed with some of the arguments already postponed due to the stay-at-home guidelines in place with the coronavirus, the court said in a news release that it was “keeping with public health guidance in response to COVID-19” and that “the justices and counsel will all participate remotely.

Paterson bishop retires; pope names Brooklyn priest as successor

WASHINGTON — Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Arthur J. Serratelli of Paterson, New Jersey, and named Father Kevin J. Sweeney, a priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn, New York, as his successor. Bishop Serratelli is 75, the age at which canon requires bishops to turn in their resignation to the pope. Bishop-designate Sweeney, 50, will be the eighth bishop of Paterson. The resignation and appointment were announced in Washington April 15 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States. Bishop-designate Sweeney is expected to begin his ministry in the Diocese of Paterson later this year. The date for his episcopal ordination has not been scheduled due to the pandemic. Until that time, Bishop Serratelli will serve as apostolic administrator. He has headed the diocese since 2004.


Bishops dedicate Americas to Our Lady of Guadalupe during pandemic

MEXICO CITY — Latin American and Caribbean bishops have dedicated the Americas to the care of Our Lady of Guadalupe, praying for her “maternal protection” during the COVID-19 pandemic.In a closed-door Mass celebrated Easter, April 12, at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mexico City Cardinal Carlos Aguiar Retes prayed to the patroness of the Americas, asking her to transform “our fear into joy” and to comfort the afflicted. “In these moments, like (St.) Juan Diego, feeling ‘small’ and fragile in the face of illness and pain, we lift our prayers and dedicate ourselves to you,” Cardinal Aguiar prayed. “We dedicate our peoples to you, especially your most vulnerable children: the elderly, the young, the ill, the indigenous, immigrants, the homeless, inmates. ... And, for all of us, Mother, be present and tender, and in your arms may we all find safety.”

Pandemic is time to consider ‘universal basic wage,’ pope says

VATICAN CITY — Writing to social movements, including organized groups of casual laborers, Pope Francis said the COVID-19 pandemic should give rise to consideration of “a universal basic wage” to guarantee people have the minimum they need to live and support their families. “Street vendors, recyclers, carnies, small farmers, construction workers, dressmakers, the different kinds of caregivers: you who are informal, working on your own or in the grassroots economy, you have no steady income to get you through this hard time,” Pope Francis wrote in an Easter message to organizations that have participated in the World Meeting of Popular Movements. “This may be the time to consider a universal basic wage which would acknowledge and dignify the noble, essential tasks you carry out,” the pope said. “It would ensure and concretely achieve the ideal, at once so human and so Christian, of no worker without rights.”

— Catholic News Service

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