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Nation and world briefs


Pro-life advocates hope new flag becomes unifying symbol of movement

BALTIMORE — Leaders in the pro-life community hope a new flag featuring baby’s feet held in a mother’s hands will serve as the universal symbol for protecting the lives of the unborn. The new flag was selected in an online vote organized by the Pro-Life Flag Project, a grassroots effort involving over 70 partners including the March for Life Education and Defense Fund, Students for Life of America, New Wave Feminists, Democrats for Life, Save the Storks, Maryland Right to Life and Focus on the Family. James Chapman, spokesman for the Pro-Life Flag Project, said Will McFadden conceived the idea in 2017 while attending the March for Life in Washington, where he observed no unifying symbol. The flag was designed by Nanda Gasperini, a pro-life graphic artist in São Paulo, Brazil. Visit www.prolifeflag.com for more information.

South Korea honors Father Kapaun with country’s highest military honor

WICHITA, Kan. — Father Emil Kapaun, a priest of the Wichita Diocese who laid down his life as a military chaplain during the Korean War, received South Korea’s highest military decoration posthumously in Seoul July 27. Ray Kapaun, Father Kapaun’s nephew, accepted the Order of Military Merit on behalf his uncle, a candidate for sainthood, from President Moon Jae-in. The award, South Korea’s highest decoration for outstanding military service, was given to the “Jesus of the Korean War,” as Father Kapaun is known, for his dedication to peace and freedom on the battlefields of Korea. Father Kapaun, who has the title “Servant of God,” was ordained a priest for Wichita June 9, 1940. He studied at Kenrick Seminary in St. Louis. He served as a U.S. Army chaplain in World War II and the Korean War. He died in 1951 in a North Korean POW camp after heroically serving his fellow prisoners. His cause for canonization is now under consideration by the Vatican Congregation for Saints’ Causes. More information about Father Kapaun’s life, ministry and sainthood cause can be found at www.frkapaun.org.

MRS among U.S. agencies helping resettle Afghan translators, interpreters

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and its Migration and Refugee Services “are proud to have the opportunity to welcome and assist those who have kept Americans safe in Afghanistan,” said the USCCB president and the chairman of the bishops’ migration committee July 30. Other agencies resettling these newcomers include Catholic Charities USA and other nongovernmental organizations. “By working with the United States, each of these individuals has put their lives and those of their family and friends at risk. As they now leave everything behind to begin new lives here, the many sacrifices they’ve made should not go unacknowledged,” the two prelates said. The statement was issued by Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, USCCB president, and Auxiliary Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville of Washington, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Migration.

McCarrick charged with assault in case from 1970s

BOSTON — The Boston Globe reported July 29 that police in the Boston suburb of Wellesley have charged former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick with three counts of indecent assault and battery on a person over 14 in a criminal complaint filed by Wellesley Police in a district court in nearby Dedham, Massachusetts. A summons has been issued ordering McCarrick, now 91, to appear at the court for arraignment Aug. 26. The crimes for which McCarrick is charged allegedly took place in 1976, when he was a New York archdiocesan priest and secretary to Cardinal Terence Cooke of New York. According to the Globe, the man told investigators that McCarrick was a family friend who began molesting him when he was a youth.


Japan’s bishops call for prohibition of nukes

TOKYO — Catholic bishops in Japan called for the prohibition of nuclear weapons as they announced a 10-day prayer program marking the anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings. “Protecting all life makes peace,” said the message from Archbishop Mitsuaki Takami of Nagasaki, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan, announcing the prayer program that will run Aug. 6-15. Ucanews.com reported that each year from the date of the Hiroshima bombing, Aug. 6, to Aug. 15, when Japan surrendered in World War II, the Church marks Ten Days of Prayer for Peace with special prayers, workshops and other activities directed toward peace. “As we once again this year mark the Ten Days of Prayer for Peace by reflecting about peace, praying for peace and acting for peace, I want to share with you my conviction that protecting all life is the way to peace,” said Archbishop Takami’s message, published on the bishops’ conference website. The message called for more nations to ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which entered into force Jan. 22.

Pope names new members to Academy of Sciences

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has appointed to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences an epidemiologist credited with handling Taiwan’s response to COVID-19, a global expert in atmospheric chemistry credited with helping to explain the cause of the “hole” in the ozone layer over Antarctica in the 1980s and a Canadian Nobel laureate in physics who works with lasers. Chen Chien-jen, the epidemiologist, was vice president of Taiwan from May 2016 to May 2020. Susan Solomon is a chemist and professor of environmental studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Donna Strickland is an optics physicist and professor at Ontario’s University of Waterloo; in 2018 she and Gérard Mourou won the Nobel Prize in physics for their development of chirped pulse amplification, a process for creating the intense laser pulses now used in industry and medicine, including for laser eye surgery. Ewine Fleur van Dishoeck is a Dutch professor of molecular astrophysics, who studies the clouds of gas found between stars.

Latin-rite bishop says separatists bar priests from eastern Ukraine

KHARKIV, Ukraine — A bishop in eastern Ukraine accused Russian-backed separatists of barring Latin-rite Catholic clergy from their territory and urged Western Church leaders to speak out amid new fears of violence. “These so-called bandit republics haven’t allowed any Catholic priests in or even reacted to our requests,” said Auxiliary Bishop Jan Sobilo of the Latin-rite Diocese of Kharkiv-Zaporizhia. “The Western Church should say more about the current situation, since its silence merely plays into the separatist hands. It suits them very well if the Vatican and Catholic Church just keep quiet.” The bishop spoke amid fears of new violence over plans by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople to visit Ukraine for the 30th anniversary of its post-Soviet independence Aug. 24, despite fierce opposition from Church and government leaders in neighboring Russia.

— Catholic News Service

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