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Nation and world briefs


Pope, U.S. Secretary of State Blinken meet at Vatican

VATICAN CITY — Climate change, migration and geopolitical hot spots were on the agenda as Pope Francis met with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken June 28. Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said that during the 40-minute meeting, which “took place in a cordial climate,” the pope recalled his 2015 visit to the U.S. and expressed “his affection and concern for the people of the United States of America.” While the Vatican provided scarce detail of the meeting, U.S. Secretary of State spokesman Ned Price said that during his meeting with the pope, Blinken reiterated the “United States’ commitment to working closely with the Holy See to address global challenges and the needs of the world’s least fortunate and most vulnerable, including refugees and migrants.”

Poll: Most oppose unrestricted access to abortion late in pregnancy

WASHINGTON — Just a third of Americans overall say abortion should be legal in most or all cases in the second trimester of a woman’s pregnancy and just 19% overall say this should be the case in the third trimester. Sixty-one percent say abortion should be legal in all or most cases during the first trimester of a women’s pregnancy while 38% say it should not be. These were among results released recently from a nationwide poll on attitudes on abortion conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research at the University of Chicago.

Bishops support investigation of former U.S. residential schools

WASHINGTON — In response to a late June announcement the United States will be conducting an investigation of former federally funded boarding schools to search for graves of Native American children, a spokesperson for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said June 28 the bishops will “look for ways to be of assistance. It is important to understand what might have occurred here in the United States,” said the statement from Chieko Noguchi, who added the bishops will be “following closely” the investigation announced June 22 by Interior Secretary Deb Haaland. Haaland, who is a member of the Laguna Pueblo in New Mexico and is Catholic, announced this upcoming review, called the Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative, during her remarks at the virtual conference of the National Congress of American Indians. The U.S. Interior Department’s initiative was prompted by the recent discovery of 215 unmarked graves at the Kamloops Indian Residential School in British Columbia. Just two days after the U.S. initiative was announced, 751 unmarked graves were discovered at a second site, a former Catholic residential school in Saskatchewan.

Pope Francis accepts resignation of Auxiliary Bishop Manz of Chicago

WASHINGTON — Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Auxiliary Bishop John R. Manz of Chicago, who is 75, the age at which canon law requires bishops to turn in their resignation to the pope. A native of Chicago who was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Chicago in 1971, he was named a Chicago auxiliary in 1996 by St. John Paul II. He turned 75 Nov. 14. Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio, announced his resignation July 1 in Washington.

Sex abuse claims against late Fargo bishop dating to ’60s found credible

FARGO, N.D. — The Diocese of Fargo said July 2 it has added the late Bishop James S. Sullivan, sixth bishop of Fargo, to its list of clergy with credible accusations of sexual misconduct with a minor. The diocese said it took this action after it was informed by the Diocese of Lansing, Michigan, that an investigation of accusations of sexual misconduct with a minor from decades ago made against the late bishop were deemed credible. Bishop Sullivan was ordained as a priest for the Lansing Diocese in 1955. “The accusations allege the incidents took place several decades ago when Bishop Sullivan was a priest in the Lansing Diocese,” the Fargo statement said. “There have been no allegations made against Bishop Sullivan during his time as bishop of Fargo or after his retirement. Bishop Sullivan passed away June 12, 2006, in Fargo, and cannot respond to the allegations.” Both accusations stem from the mid-1960s when then-Father Sullivan was living in residence at a parish in Lansing.


On First Nations Sunday, Quebec cardinal speaks of hope for healing

STE.-ANNE-DE-BEAUPRÉ, Quebec — At the annual First Nations Sunday Mass, Cardinal Gérald Lacroix acknowledged that the revelations and realizations surrounding unmarked graves at former residential schools run by Catholic communities “have brought to light a very dark page in the history of our country. Decisions and behaviors, both by the government and the churches,” have contributed to the suffering “of our “brothers and sisters. God did not fail. We have failed,” he said in his homily June 27 at the Shrine of Ste.-Anne-de-Beaupré. However, he added, choosing paths of life “is within our reach. We cannot change this sad chapter in our history,” he continued about the suffering of Canada’s native peoples.

Vatican indicts Cardinal Becciu, former officials involved in London deal

VATICAN CITY — In an unprecedented move, Vatican prosecutors have indicted 10 individuals and entities, including Cardinal Angelo Becciu, former prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes, on charges ranging from embezzlement to money laundering and abuse of office. The indictment included charges against “ecclesiastical and lay personnel of the Secretariat of State and senior figures of the former Financial Information Authority, as well as external figures active in the world of international finance,” the Vatican said July 3. Their trial at the Vatican was set to begin July 27. The charges stem from a Vatican investigation into how the Secretariat of State used $200 million to finance a property development project in London’s posh Chelsea district and incurred millions of dollars in debt.

Pope out of bed, walking after surgery

VATICAN CITY — The second morning after undergoing colon surgery, Pope Francis was continuing to recover well and, after a restful night, he had breakfast, read the newspapers and got out of bed to walk, the Vatican press office said July 6. His post-operative recovery is proceeding normally, the press office said, and his “routine follow-up exams are good.” The pope was expected to stay in the hospital for a week after the surgery, barring complications.

Pope announces visit to Hungary, Slovakia

VATICAN CITY — On July 4, Pope Francis told a crowd in St. Peter’s Square that he would be visiting Hungary and Slovakia Sept. 12-15. With pilgrims from Slovakia holding their country’s flag aloft in St. Peter’s Square, the pope told the crowd, “I am happy to announce that from Sept. 12 to 15, God willing, I will travel to Slovakia to make a pastoral visit.” But, first, he said, the morning of Sept. 12 “I will celebrate the concluding Mass of the International Eucharistic Congress in Budapest,” Hungary.

— Catholic News Service

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