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Nation and world briefs


Brooklyn bishop blesses church after desecration, tabernacle theft

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — The loss of St. Augustine Church’s tabernacle in a burglary is a “saddening” material loss, but what brings Catholics together “is our faith in the presence of Jesus Christ among us in the Blessed Sacrament,” Brooklyn Bishop Robert J. Brennan said June 4. The bishop made the comments in his homily during an evening Mass that included the blessing and purification of the altar and the church following the burglary a week earlier. The brazen theft was discovered in the afternoon of May 28. The burglar cut through a metal protective casing and made off with the tabernacle, which dates back to when the church was built in the late 1800s. This holy sacramental receptacle is irreplaceable due to its historical and artistic value, according to the diocese. The angels flanking the tabernacle were decapitated and destroyed, and consecrated hosts from inside the tabernacle were thrown all over the altar.

Bishops urge Congress to address gun violence

WASHINGTON — In response to the multiple mass shootings in recent weeks, the chairmen of four U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ committees sent a letter to Congress urging lawmakers to “stop the massacres of innocent lives. We urge all members of Congress to reflect on the compassion all of you undoubtedly feel in light of these tragic events and be moved to action because of it,” the bishops wrote in a June 3 letter. They said finding a way to stop ongoing acts violence as demonstrated in Ulvade, Texas, and Buffalo, New York, to name just a few examples, requires a broad response that examines “mental health, the state of families, the valuation of life, the influence of entertainment and gaming industries, bullying and the availability of firearms.” The letter was signed by Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development; Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco, chairman of the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth; Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities; and Bishop Thomas A. Daly of Spokane, Washington, chairman of the Committee on Catholic Education. “

Winona-Rochester, Minn., bishop retires; Bishop Barron is named successor

WASHINGTON — Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop John M. Quinn of Winona-Rochester, Minnesota, and named as his successor Auxiliary Bishop Robert E. Barron of Los Angeles. Bishop Quinn, who has headed the Diocese of Winona-Rochester for 13 years, is 76. Canon law requires bishops to turn their resignation in to the pope when they turn 75. Bishop Barron, 62, is a Chicago native who has been a Los Angeles auxiliary bishop since 2015. He is the episcopal vicar of the Santa Barbara pastoral region, one of the Los Angeles Archdiocese’s five pastoral regions. He also is the founder of Word on Fire Catholic Ministries. The changes were announced in Washington June 2 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the U.S.


Cdl. Farrell to lead Vatican’s Investment Committee

VATICAN CITY — U.S. Cardinal Kevin J. Farrell, prefect of the Dicastery for Laity, the Family and Life, will chair the Vatican’s new Investment Committee, the Vatican press office announced. The committee, which was established by Pope Francis in his apostolic constitution reforming the Roman Curia, will be comprised of four experts in the field of financial investments from around the world, the June 7 announcement said. The members include: Jean Pierre Casey, founder of RegHedge in the United Kingdom; Giovanni Christian Michael Gay, director of Union Investment Privatfonds in Germany; David Harris, portfolio manager of Skagen Funds in Norway; and John J. Zona, chief investment officer at Jesuit-run Boston College in the United States.

Beatifications of martyred priests lift Lebanese mired in poverty

BEIRUT — Like a light piercing through the darkness of despair in beleaguered Lebanon, two martyred Lebanese Capuchin priests were beatified on the eve of Pentecost. The beatification comes as Lebanon is drowning in a catastrophic economic meltdown in which poverty is now a reality for nearly 90% of the population. The new blessed martyrs — Capuchin Fathers Leonard Melki and Thomas Saleh — were persecuted and killed in Turkey under the Ottoman Empire, in 1915 and 1917, respectively.

Catholic News Service

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