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Nation and world briefs


Pope accepts resignation of Auxiliary Bishop Cisneros of Brooklyn, N.Y.

WASHINGTON — Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Auxiliary Bishop Octavio Cisneros of Brooklyn, New York. The Cuban-born prelate is 75, the age at which canon law requires bishops to turn in their resignation to the pope. Ordained a priest of the Brooklyn Diocese, he was named an auxiliary bishop for the diocese in 2006 by Pope Benedict XVI. His resignation was announced in Washington Oct. 30 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Vatican nuncio to the United States. The bishop is pastor of the parishes of Holy Child Jesus and St. Benedict Joseph Labre in Richmond Hill in the New York borough of Queens.

Group organizes eucharistic adoration in almost 700 parishes on Election Day

MILWAUKEE — While the voting polls were open Nov. 3, Unite Our Nation organized adoration of the Blessed Sacrament events at almost 700 parishes nationwide on Election Day. Based in Milwaukee, Unite Our Nation is an apostolate founded by Catholic laity “to help bring peace and prayer to local communities, and healing to our nation,” according to its website. The Election Day events were in addition to over 200 eucharistic processions and Rosary rallies held in cities and parishes and on university campuses across the country under the auspices of the apostolate since Aug. 15, the feast of the Assumption.


Pope not changing Church teaching on gay unions, Secretariat of State says

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican Secretariat of State has sent an explanatory note to nuncios around the world insisting that when Pope Francis spoke about civil unions, he was not changing or challenging “the doctrine of the Church, which he has reaffirmed numerous times over the years.” The note, which was not signed, explained that the pope’s remarks about gay people in the recent film, “Francesco,” come from his responses to two separate questions in a 2019 interview for Mexico’s Televisa network. The pope’s comments were “edited and published as a single answer without the necessary contextualization,” the note said. As Catholic News Service reported Oct. 26, when Pope Francis said gay people have a right to be in a family and that gay couples needed some form of civil law to protect their rights, he was not advocating any form of “marriage” or marriage rights for gay couples. Yet, in his documentary “Francesco,” director Evgeny Afineevsky presented the statements as if Pope Francis had been talking about the right of gay couples to form a family, including with children.

In Turkey, parishioners safe, but iconic cathedral damaged after quake

AMMAN, Jordan — A Catholic priest expressed gratitude that parishioners are safe, but their iconic cathedral sustained damages from a powerful earthquake that struck Turkey’s western city of Izmir Oct. 30. The deadliest tremor to hit Turkey in nearly a decade killed at least 115 people, including two teenagers on the nearby Greek island of Samos. The magnitude 7 quake injured more than 1,000 people in coastal Izmir. Several people have been rescued from the rubble of crushed apartment buildings, including a 70-year-old man and a 3-year-old girl. “Thanks be to God, there were no injuries. We just got so scared,” Father Ugo De Rosa, rector of St. John Cathedral, told the Catholic News Service. St. John Cathedral is dedicated to St. John the Evangelist, who wrote about the seven historic churches mentioned in the last biblical book of Revelations. The Christian community of Smyrna, known today as Izmir, is one of the oldest in the world.

Church responds as Hurricane Eta pounds Central America

MEXICO CITY — Caritas, the Church’s charitable agency, was responding to Hurricane Eta, which hit Nicaragua Nov. 3 and threatened to provoke devastating flooding and destruction as it moved through Central America. Hurricane Eta made landfall on the Mosquito Coast of northeastern Nicaragua near the municipality of Puerto Cabezas, where strong winds ripped the roofs off of buildings. Caritas Nicaragua was working with the support of Trócaire — the overseas development agency of the Irish Catholic Church — and Catholic Relief Services, the U.S. bishops’ international relief and development agency.

‘It is an attack on everyone’: Bishops react to basilica murders in Nice

WASHINGTON — Bishops in the United States and around the world expressed condolences after three people were murdered before Mass Oct. 29 in the basilica in Nice, France. French police have confirmed they are treating the killings as a terrorist incident. The attacks came less than two weeks after a Paris teacher was beheaded Oct. 16 by a Muslim migrant; the teacher had shown satirical cartoons of the prophet Muhammad to school children in a lesson about free speech. Shortly after the attacks, Pope Francis sent a tweet expressing closeness to the people of Nice.

Pope, Austrian Church leaders urge end to hatred after Vienna attacks

VIENNA — Pope Francis and Austrian church leaders expressed dismay and sorrow after terrorist attacks that left at least five dead in central Vienna, and they urged citizens to uphold key values of tolerance and respect. Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, told Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna Nov. 3 that Pope Francis was “deeply shaken” by the news of “the acts of violence in Vienna that caused the death and suffering of innocent people.” In addition to the dead, at least 17 people were injured in Nov. 2 attacks at six locations close to the Austrian capital’s central Jewish synagogue. Cardinal Parolin said Pope Francis asked him to express his closeness to the families of the victims and to all Austrians and to assure those who are injured that he prays for their speedy recovery.

Vatican approval necessary for diocesan religious orders, pope says

VATICAN CITY — Bishops who want to establish a religious order in their dioceses must first obtain the written permission of the Holy See, Pope Francis said. Amending canon law, the pope said it no longer is enough for a bishop to consult the Vatican before approving the creation of a new order in his diocese. “By its nature, every institute of consecrated life or society of apostolic life, even if it arose in the context of a particular church, is — as a gift to the Church — not an isolated or marginal reality, but is deeply part” of the universal Church, the pope said in “Authenticum Charismatis” (“The Authenticity of a Charism”), released Nov. 4 at the Vatican. The document changes canon 579 of the Code of Canon Law to read: “Diocesan bishops, each in his own territory, can erect institutes of consecrated life by formal decree, with prior permission in writing from the Apostolic See.”

— Catholic News Service

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