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Nation and world briefs


Bishops’ migration chairman welcomes ruling restoring DACA

WASHINGTON — The chairman of the U.S. bishops’ migration committee Dec. 8 welcomed the court ruling fully restoring the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, but said only Congress can “take up and pass legislation granting Dreamers a path to citizenship.” The bishops “are particularly pleased that with this ruling,” handed down late Dec. 4 by Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis of the U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, New York, “youth who are first-time applicants are allowed to apply for the program for the first time since 2017,” said Washington Auxiliary Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Migration. DACA was suspended this summer by Chad Wolf, acting Homeland Security secretary. In his ruling, Garaufis said in fully restoring DACA, the Trump administration must reopen the program for first-time applicants and reinstate the period of protection for DACA recipients to its initial two-year extension.

Project underway in Michigan to replicate Padre Pio’s famed hospital

DETROIT — On a 40-acre plot of land in Howell, in the Diocese of Lansing, Michigan, stands the humble foundation for the establishment of a worldwide network of health care facilities that St. Pio of Pietrelcina set in motion nearly 70 years ago. In 1956, Padre Pio, as he is best known, founded Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza, or Home for the Relief of Suffering, in San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy. The world-renowned Catholic international research hospital serves the poor and destitute, and today houses up to 1,000 patients. Padre Pio once said this was the most important thing he did. His dream was the project would one day expand to other parts of the world. The Howell project, known as “Casa USA,” seeks to duplicate St. Pio’s hospital complex for the first time outside of Italy.

Report names more priests accused of abusing minors decades ago in Colorado

WASHINGTON — New findings in an investigation into clergy sex abuse in Colorado’s Catholic dioceses show substantiated claims that an additional nine Catholic priests abused minors decades ago. Released Dec. 1, the findings are in a supplemental report from the lead investigator, former U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer, who continued to look into cases as more survivors came forward after the release of his initial report in October 2019. Denver Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila said in a statement about Troyer’s new report, “There are also no substantiated allegations against any current priest in active ministry,” he emphasized.


Pope approves changes for Vatican’s financial watchdog agency

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis approved new changes to the Vatican’s financial watchdog agency concerning its internal governance, hiring procedures and its role as a “supervisory” body. Established in 2010 and charged with preventing and countering suspected money laundering and the financing of terrorism, the Vatican Financial Intelligence Authority is now called the Supervisory and Financial Information Authority, according to a new statute approved by the pope. The statute was published by the Vatican Dec. 5 and the changes went into effect the same day. The new statute is part of making the authority’s administration and internal governance be more transparent and in line with international standards, said the authority’s president, Carmelo Barbagallo, in an interview with Vatican News Dec. 5. The authority is charged with “prudential” regulatory and supervisory functions on institutions providing financial services, such as the Vatican bank, he said.

Pope: Make your heart accessible to people with disabilities

VATICAN CITY — Marking the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Pope Francis again insisted that all Catholics with disabilities have a right to receive the sacraments, and he suggested that Catholic parishes make real efforts to welcome and train persons with disabilities to serve as catechists. “Creating a fully accessible parish requires not only the removal of architectural barriers, but above all, helping parishioners to develop attitudes and acts of solidarity and service toward persons with disabilities and their families,” the pope said in his message, published Dec. 3. For the Church, he said, “our aim should be to speak no longer about ‘them,’ but rather about ‘us.’”

— Catholic News Service

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