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Nation and world briefs

U.S.

Catholic immigration advocates push for reform

WASHINGTON — Leaders in Hispanic Catholic ministry who gathered in Washington April 26-30 for a national meeting used the occasion to head to the halls of Congress in between meetings to push lawmakers on some form of relief on immigration. “Citizens and noncitizens alike, we are brothers and sisters in the eyes of Jesus Christ, and our current immigration system is burdensome, expensive, inefficient and far too often creates human suffering,” said Auxiliary Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville of Washington April 27 on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol. Along with other bishops and leaders in ministry gathered for the sixth Raices y Alas (Roots and Wings) national congress in Washington, Bishop Dorsonville asked lawmakers to use their political power and responsibility to “address these issues” that force millions to live in hiding except when it comes to contributing with their work to the welfare of the nation. Bishops and other people of goodwill in the United States have been advocating for a just and comprehensive immigration reform but to no avail, he said. “Immigration reform cannot wait any longer.”

Vatican removes Ohio priest from ministry after abuse allegations

TOLEDO, Ohio — The Vatican permanently removed from priestly ministry a retired priest of the Diocese of Toledo who was accused of multiple allegations of sexually abusing a minor. Officials at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith determined that the former priest, Nelson Beaver, was guilty of the allegations, the diocese said April 30. “The Holy See has imposed the penalty of perpetual prohibition from public ministry (‘prayer and penance’),” the diocese said. “Prayer and penance” is the Church’s terminology for the permanent removal of someone from priestly ministry. Beaver was placed on administrative leave in October 2018 and retired the next year after the diocese received an abuse allegation dating back more than 25 years, the diocese said. Three other allegations of abuse were later made against Beaver by people in other communities. Per diocesan policy, the allegations were reported to county prosecutors in Huron, Lucas and Williams counties in Northwest Ohio where the alleged abuse occurred.

WORLD

Pope clearly states victim care centers must be set up, cardinal says

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has given his safeguarding commission a “very clear” mandate to encourage and supervise the world’s bishops’ conferences in establishing survivor support centers and services, said Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley of Boston, president of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors. “The Holy Father wants us to ensure that survivors receive a welcome and an open door when they appeal to the local Church in their country. Outreach to survivors needs to be a priority for every part of our Church,” he said April 29. He said, “We will be working on establishing survivor support services at the level of each national Church according to the instructions found in ‘Vos Estis Lux Mundi,’” the 2019 papal document which established procedures for reporting allegations of sexual abuse and for holding accountable bishops and religious superiors who protect abusers. The commission was holding its plenary assembly in Rome. Cardinal O’Malley said the pope “stressed that he wants us to have that responsibility to supervise, promote, encourage and report back to him on the progress ,” he said.

Canadian panel recommends not hiring military chaplains of some religions

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — An advisory panel to the Canadian Department of National Defence wants to rid the Canadian Armed Forces of military chaplains whose religious faiths do not openly promote diversity. The advisory panel on systemic racism and discrimination made more than 40 recommendations, among them to consider not hiring “chaplaincy applicants affiliated with religious groups whose values are not aligned with those of the Defence Team.” As examples of such values in its April 25 report, the advisory panel cites “some churches’ exclusion of women from their priesthoods” and “sexist notions embedded in their religious dogmas.” Bishop Scott McCaig, the Catholic military ordinary for Canada, called the section on redefining the chaplaincy “deeply problematic and regrettable.” In a six-page response prepared for chaplains and members of the archdiocese for Catholics who serve in the Canadian Armed Forces, Bishop McCaig stressed that all chaplains are committed to “inclusive, nonjudgmental and universal care of service members, regardless of their religious or ethical convictions.”

Central Asian bishops’ conference elects first president

NUR-SULTAN, Kazakhstan — The newly created Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Central Asia elected Spanish-born Bishop José Luis Mumbiela Sierra of the Diocese of the Holy Trinity in Almaty, Kazakhstan, as its first president. Bishops and church delegates from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, Mongolia and Afghanistan attended the meeting, joined by Church leaders from the Vatican and South Korea. Ucanews.com reported the group met April 27-29. Members discussed and set pastoral priorities for Churches in the region and held talks over Pope Francis’ planned visit to Kazakhstan in September, reported ucanews.com. The bishops also elected Msgr. Jerzy Maculewicz, apostolic administrator of Uzbekistan, and Auxiliary Bishop Yevgeniy Zinkovskiy of Karaganda, Kazakhstan, as vice president and general secretary respectively for four-year terms. Bishop Sierra, 52, is the first bishop of Almaty, a diocese created in 2003. The Vatican Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples established the new regional bishops’ conference in September to help bishops throughout Central Asia respond to common challenges and to ensure mutual support.

Pope to treat painful knee with therapeutic injections

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis will have therapeutic injections to try to alleviate the pain in his right knee, he told an Italian newspaper. “I have a torn ligament; I will have a procedure with injections and we will see,” he said in an interview published May 3 in Corriere della Sera. “I’ve been like this for a while now, I can’t walk,” he said. “Once upon a time, popes would go around on the ‘sedia gestatoria,’” a ceremonial throne with long handles carried on aides’ shoulders that was used until 1978. “You also need a bit of suffering, of humiliation …” he said. The 85-year-old pope apologized to the two reporters for not being able to stand to greet them, “the doctors told me I have to stay seated because of my knee.”

— Catholic News Service

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