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Nation and world briefs


Federal judge orders Title 42 measure must remain in place at border

WASHINGTON — The much- anticipated May 23 deadline on Title 42 came and went at the U.S.-Mexico border without any changes allowing migrants in, including asylum-seekers, after a federal judge blocked the government from lifting the health measure instituted during the pandemic. Biden administration officials had announced the government would do away with Title 42. The Trump-era restriction kept migrants from entering, citing health concerns at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. But just as it was about to be lifted, Judge Robert R. Summerhays of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana said May 20 that “the court concludes that the public interest would be served by a preliminary injunction preventing the termination of the CDC’s Title 42 orders.”

Pope accepts resignation of St. Augustine, Fla., bishop, appoints successor

WASHINGTON — Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Felipe J. Estévez of St. Augustine, Florida, and named as his successor Father Erik T. Pohlmeier, a pastor and director of Continuing Education of the Clergy in the Diocese of Little Rock, Arkansas. Bishop Estevez is 76, one year past the age at which canon law requires bishops to submit their resignation. He was installed as the 10th bishop of St. Augustine in 2011. Bishop-designate Pohlmeier, who turns 51 July 20, is a native of Colorado who was ordained for the Little Rock Diocese in 1998. The changes were announced in Washington May 24 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the U.S.

Pope Francis appoints auxiliary bishop of Detroit

WASHINGTON — Pope Francis has appointed Archbishop Paul F. Russell, currently apostolic nuncio to Turkey and Turkmenistan, to be an auxiliary bishop of Detroit. A native of Massachusetts who was raised in Michigan, he was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Boston in 1987 and entered the diplomatic service of the Vatican in 1997. After several assignments to the apostolic nunciatures in a number of countries, he was named charge d’affairs in Taiwan in 2008 by Pope Benedict XVI. In 2016, Pope Francis appointed then-Msgr. Russell to his current post and named him an archbishop the same year. His appointment was announced in Washington May 23 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the U.S.


Pope to set date for canonizations at consistory

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has cleared the way for the canonization of Blessed Giovanni Battista Scalabrini, founder of the Scalabrinian missionaries, dispensing the requirement of a miracle attributed to his intercession, the Vatican announced. The pope will convene a consistory — a meeting of cardinals resident in Rome and the official promoters of the causes — to set a date for the canonizations of Blessed Scalabrini and Blessed Artémides Zatti, a Salesian brother who was a pharmacist in Argentina and known for his care for the sick, the Vatican announced May 21. The Vatican did not immediately announce the date for the consistory, which formally ends the sainthood process. Proclaimed as the “father of migrants” by St. John Paul II in 1998, Blessed Scalabrini founded the Missionaries of St. Charles Borromeo, commonly known as the Scalabrinian Fathers, and the Missionary Sisters of St. Charles in the late 19th century to minister to countless Europeans who migrated to North and South America.

Cardinal Zen charged with improperly registering fund, pleads not guilty

HONG KONG — Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun and several others pleaded not guilty in a Hong Kong court to charges of failing to properly register a now-defunct fund to help anti-government protesters. The 90-year-old cardinal was detained May 11 under China’s national security law for “conspiracy to collude with foreign forces,” but he has not been charged with that. Instead, he and the four others were charged with failing to properly register the 612 Humanitarian Relief Fund, set up to offer financial assistance to those involved in anti-government protests in 2019. It was disbanded last year after coming under scrutiny by authorities. The May 24 court hearing coincided with the feasts of Our Lady of Sheshan and Mary Help of Christians, a date marked by Catholics to pray for the Church in China. All five defendants pleaded not guilty. If convicted of the improper registration, each defendant could incur a fine of about US$1,300. Their trial will begin Sept. 19.

Pope calls for united efforts in care for creation during Laudato Si’ Week

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis encouraged Catholics to work together in taking care of creation. After he led the recitation of the “Regina Coeli” prayer with visitors in St. Peter’s Square May 22, the pope invited everyone to take part in “Laudato Si’ Week,” which runs May 22-29. The special week is an opportunity “to listen ever more attentively to the cry of the earth, which urges us to act together in taking care of our common home,” he said. Laudato Si’ Week is a yearly event marking the anniversary of Pope Francis’ encyclical, “Laudato Si’: on Care for Our Common Home.” — Catholic News Service

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