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Nation and world briefs


Advocates: Ruling against DACA should push Congress to act

WASHINGTON — Catholic immigration advocates are urging Congress and President Joe Biden to speed up legislation to protect immigrants after a federal judge ruled July 16 to end a program that prevents the deportation of thousands of immigrants brought into the U.S. illegally as children. This was a response to a decision by U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen, who said the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, was illegal. His ruling, which plaintiffs plan to appeal, bars the government from approving any new applications to the program but leaves it open for current participants. The decision means that “tens of thousands of people who applied but had their initial cases stuck in limbo due to crisis-level processing delays … will not receive life-altering protection from deportation or stability, security, opportunity,” tweeted Lisa Parisio, director of advocacy for Catholic Legal Immigration Network, or CLINIC. Hanen ruled in favor of the 2018 suit against DACA on the grounds that former President Barack Obama, who created the program by executive order in 2012, did not have the authority to do so because he bypassed Congress.

USCCB general secretary resigns; reports allege ‘improper behavior’

WASHINGTON — Msgr. Jeffrey D. Burrill, the general secretary of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops since November, has resigned from the post after the USCCB “became aware of impending media reports alleging possible improper behavior by Msgr. Burrill,” said Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, USCCB president. In a July 20 memo to bishops, Archbishop Gomez said he had accepted Msgr. Burrill’s resignation, effective immediately. “What was shared with us did not include allegations of misconduct with minors,” the archbishop said.

Bishop of Reno, Nevada, resigns; pope names Seattle auxiliary successor

WASHINGTON — Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Randolph R. Calvo of Reno, Nevada, and named Auxiliary Bishop Daniel H. Mueggenborg of Seattle as his successor. Bishop Calvo, who turns 70 Aug. 28, has headed the northern Nevada diocese since 2006. Bishop Mueggenborg, 59 has been an auxiliary bishop of Seattle since 2017. The changes were announced July 20 in Washington by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio.


Cardinal implores saint’s intercession to overcome Lebanon’s crisis

BEIRUT — Cardinal Bechara Rai, the Maronite patriarch, pleaded for the intercession of Lebanon’s beloved St. Charbel Makhlouf as the beleaguered country spirals deeper into collapse, further roiled by the resignation of the prime minister-designate. “Today on the feast of St. Charbel, saint of Lebanon, we believe that he will not let Lebanon fall apart,” Cardinal Rai said July 18 in his homily from Diman, the patriarchal summer residence in northern Lebanon. Lebanon is in the throes of an economic upheaval, caused by decades of corruption and mismanagement, that has decimated the once-prevalent middle class. “To you we entrust our homeland,” Cardinal Rai prayed to the saint, asking for the miracle of “salvation from this total collapse.” The cardinal pleaded for the rapid appointment of a new prime minister-designate “capable of facing the challenges” of Lebanon in the midst of the socioeconomic and political crisis. Lebanon has been without an active government since August after the resignation of the previous government in the wake of the deadly explosion in the port of Beirut.

Vatican financial watchdog reports on 2020 activities

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican’s financial watchdog agency said that in 2020 more financial transactions were flagged as suspicious by Vatican offices, but after investigation it did not have to suspend any transactions or freeze any accounts. The 2020 annual report of the Supervisory and Financial Information Authority, published July 15, said it received 89 suspicious activity reports, 85 of which came from the Institute for the Works of Religion, commonly called the Vatican bank. In 2019, 64 suspicious activity reports were filed. After reviewing the documents connected to the 89 transactions, the authority submitted 16 reports to the Office of the Promoter of Justice of Vatican City State for potential criminal investigation, the report said. “Most potential financial crimes involve foreign entities or conduct undertaken in, or in connection with, foreign jurisdictions. The main potential predicate offenses are international fraud and embezzlement,” the annual report said. Pope Benedict XVI established the authority in 2010 to bring the Vatican up to international standards in preventing and countering suspected money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

— Catholic News Service

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