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Nation and world briefs


Officials condemn violence, threats after high court leak on abortion case

WASHINGTON — Biden administration officials issued a statement against violence May 9 following protests outside the homes of two Supreme Court justices in the Washington area as well as a spate of vandalism and disruptions targeting locales of groups that oppose abortion. Some of them include Catholic churches. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that the president “strongly believes in the Constitutional right to protest.” “But that should never include violence, threats or vandalism. Judges perform an incredibly important function in our society, and they must be able to do their jobs without concern for their personal safety,” she tweeted. The statement came after news agencies reported protests outside the home of Justice Brett Kavanaugh in Chevy Chase, Maryland, and the nearby home of Chief Justice John Roberts. Others said another justice and his family had to be taken to an undisclosed location because of threats, but it turned out to be unfounded.

Pope names auxiliary bishop for Cleveland

WASHINGTON — Pope Francis has named Father Michael G. Woost, an assistant professor of sacramental and liturgical theology, to be an auxiliary bishop of Cleveland. Bishop-designate Woost, 63, teaches at St. Mary Seminary and Graduate School of Theology in Wickliffe, Ohio, and also serves as interim director of the Cleveland diocesan Office of Worship. His appointment was announced in Washington May 9 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio. A Cleveland native, Bishop-designate Woost was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Cleveland June 9, 1984. The diocese did not immediately plan a news conference to introduce Bishop-designate Woost after the announcement because he was attending a funeral.


Beatification near for founder of Society for the Propagation of the Faith

WASHINGTON — In 1822, a young and rich French woman, Pauline Jaricot, founded the Society for the Propagation of the Faith. In 2022, this international association that coordinates assistance for Catholic missionary priests, brothers, and nuns in mission areas, is still going strong and renewed attention has been given to its founder, who will be beatified May 22. Born in Lyon, France, in 1799, Jaricot was the youngest of seven children. Jaricot led a life of intense prayer, and on Christmas 1816, took a vow of perpetual virginity. Jaricot first founded an association for pious servant girls, the Repairers of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ. While her brother, Phileas, was studying to be a missionary priest, she felt an urge to help the missionary cause. So, in 1822, with the help of workers at the family’s silk factory, she established the Society for the Propagation of the Faith. She encouraged each participant to invite 10 other people to pray and make contributions which was dubbed the “circle of 10.”

Curia reform puts emphasis on role of bishops’ conferences, bishop says

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis’ reform of the Roman Curia underlines the importance of bishops’ conferences, particularly in fostering communion among the bishops themselves and with the pope, a bishop said. The missionary nature and mandate of the Church “is the backbone” of the apostolic constitution, “Praedicate Evangelium” (“Preach the Gospel”), Bishop Marco Mellino, secretary of Pope Francis’ Council of Cardinals, told the heads of Curia offices at a meeting May 9. The lengthy text of the bishop’s speech to the group was published in the Vatican newspaper the same day. With mission at the heart of its work, the newly organized Roman Curia is positioned to contribute to “the work of evangelization of the Church in the way that is proper to it,” he said. Bishop Mellino highlighted what he called the “guiding principles” in the new constitution, such as: the Curia as a body of service; the use of synodality within the Curia and throughout the entire Church; co-responsibility and collegiality; spirituality and professionalism; and the role of the laity and bishops’ conferences.

Sri Lankan cardinal calls for peace as violence escalates

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith appealed for peace as clashes broke out in the island nation after the prime minister quit amid a worsening economic crisis, reported ucanews.com. “We urge the people to respond peacefully on our religious principles and without resorting to violence,” said Cardinal Ranjith. “We must act nonviolently and not attack people. We strongly condemn the barbaric acts, which are totally unacceptable in a civilized and democratic country.” He said pro-government mobs were being transported in buses from various parts of Sri Lanka to attack peaceful protesters. Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa announced his resignation May 9, but protesters persisted with the demand that his elder brother, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, must quit immediately.

Jesuits suspend prominent Chilean priest pending abuse investigation

MEXICO CITY — The Society of Jesus has suspended a prominent Chilean priest as it investigates accusations with a “sexual connotation,” according to the Jesuits. In a statement May 3, the Jesuit province in Chile said a complaint was received April 28 “from an adult woman against Jesuit Father Felipe Berríos for acts of sexual connotation. Such events would have occurred when the complainant was a minor.” The accusations against Father Berríos shocked Chile, where the Jesuit has become a voice for the poor and excluded, including many migrants suffering discrimination. Father Berríos lived in a migrant camp in the northern Chilean city of Antofagasta since 2015, after returning from missionary work in Africa with Jesuit Refugee Service. The statement said the provincial in Chile, Jesuit Father Gabriel Roblero, ordered the opening of a preliminary canonical investigation May 2 and named a lay lawyer to lead the investigation.

— Catholic News Service

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