Catholic sisters make Advent plea to Biden: End ‘immoral’ immigration rule
WASHINGTON — They sang Advent hymns in front of the White House Dec. 3, hoping to get the ear of President Biden so he could consider lifting what they see as a health rule that hurts people trying to find refuge at the southern border. Along with a large group of supporters and associates, about 80 women religious from 24 congregations around the country marched and circled an area in front of the White House singing and carrying signs: “Catholic Sisters say: End the Immoral Use of Title 42.” They were referring to Title 42 of the Public Health Safety Act, a policy the Trump administration began using in March 2020 as knowledge of rising infections of the coronavirus began to surge in the U.S. — and around the world. The Biden administration has kept it in place. Immigration advocates say the rule is just another pretext to keep migrants out. “We gather this morning as one family in you, in solidarity with everyone who you guided to flee their homes and journey to this land in search of a safe and fruitful life,” Mary J. Novak, executive director of Network, said in an opening prayer.
Faith leaders urge
changes in bill’s provisions for funding child care
WASHINGTON — The Build Back Better Act’s plan to expand affordable child care and ensure that quality prekindergarten is available to all families “is a worthy goal,” but as written these provisions “will suppress, if not exclude” many faith-based providers from participating, according to Catholic and other religious leaders. “We are writing to express our urgent concerns regarding the child care and universal prekindergarten provisions in the House-passed Build Back Better Act,” according to a Dec. 1 letter the faith leaders sent to U.S. Sens. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Richard Burr, R-N.C., the chairwoman and ranking member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. The signers represent religious denominations, schools and charities “that comprise and serve millions of Americans,” the letter said. The measure changes standing policy to consider all providers of child care and prekindergarten programs “recipients of federal financial assistance,” subjecting them to nondiscrimination provisions that currently do not apply to them.
Pope accepts resignation of Paris archbishop, who denies accusations
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Archbishop Michel Aupetit of Paris, who had offered to step down to avoid “becoming a source of divisions,” after an article in the Le Point weekly claimed he mismanaged his archdiocese and had an affair with a woman while he was vicar general. The pope named retired Archbishop Georges Pontier as apostolic administrator. The Vatican made the announcement Dec. 2. Archbishop Aupetit, 70, had told France’s Catholic La Croix daily Nov. 26 he had submitted his resignation to the pope and awaited his answer, adding that his behavior toward the unnamed woman “may have been ambiguous,” but had not extended to “an intimate relationship and sexual relations.” “I’ve put my position in the Holy Father’s hands to preserve the diocese, since I should serve unity as a bishop,” the archbishop had told La Croix. Pope Francis told reporters he accepted the resignation of Archbishop Michel Aupetit of Paris because the archbishop’s reputation had been destroyed, making it impossible for him to continue leading the French archdiocese. “There was a failure on his part, a violation of the Sixth Commandment, but not a complete violation, because it involved little caresses and massages that he gave his secretary. That’s the accusation,” the pope responded Dec. 6 when asked by a French reporter.
Pope approves updates to norms for dealing
with grave crimes
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has given formal approval to a series of updates and modifications that have been made over the years to the norms regarding clerical sexual abuse and other crimes reserved to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The newest version of the so-called “Norms on the delicts reserved to the Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith” does not introduce any new crimes, but it does seek to improve the procedural norms regarding the penal process and to update those canons connected with the recently revised “Book VI: Penal Sanctions in the Church” that was to go into effect Dec. 8. The document, published by the Vatican Dec. 7, changes and updates modifications St. John Paul II in 2001 and Pope Benedict XVI in 2010 made to the list of canonical delicts or crimes reserved to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the procedures for handling such cases. Since then, many new measures have been established. The new version of the “Norms on the delicts reserved to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith” includes all those additions.
— Catholic News Service