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Nation and world briefs


Hundreds comfort one another, grieve together at Mass after shooting

HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. — Hundreds of people gathered the evening of July 5 at Immaculate Conception Church in Highland Park to offer one another comfort and grieve together in the wake of the mass shooting that killed seven people and injured dozens more at the community’s Independence Day parade. Immaculate Conception-St. James Parish, which counts two of its members among the dead, is headquartered at the church near the shooting site. Chicago Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, who celebrated the Mass, said the Gospel reading from Matthew about Jesus healing the woman with the hemorrhage and raising a little girl from the dead highlights the healing power of grace. It was the same Gospel reading that was proclaimed on July 4, when the shooting shattered the peace of the suburban community. “It is striking how the healings come in such simple, uncomplicated ways,” Cardinal Cupich said.

Sister Campbell, Trumka, 15 others receive Presidential Medal of Freedom

WASHINGTON — Sister Simone Campbell, a longtime advocate for economic justice and health care policy, and late labor leader Richard Trumka received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, in a White House ceremony. President Joe Biden presented the award to 15 others as well July 7. “For so many people and for the nation, Sister Simone Campbell is a gift from God. For the past 50 years she has embodied the belief in our Church that faith without works is dead,” Biden said of the woman religious, whose career has focused on advocating for poor and voiceless people. Sister Campbell, a California native and a member of the Sisters of Social Service, stepped down as executive director of Network, a Catholic social justice lobbying organization, in March 2021 after serving for 17 years. Trumka was president of the AFL-CIO from 2009 until his death in August 2021. The faith of Trumka, a Catholic born to a Polish father and an Italian mother, helped shape a lifelong career in the labor movement.

Pope names Fairbanks, Alaska, bishop to head Diocese of New Ulm, Minn.

WASHINGTON — Pope Francis has named Bishop Chad W. Zielinski of Fairbanks, Alaska, to head the Diocese of New Ulm, Minnesota. Since 2014, the 57-year-old prelate has served as the fifth bishop of Fairbanks. The diocese covers over 409,000 square miles of Alaska’s northern region, or about two-thirds of the entire state. It is the largest U.S. diocese geographically. In New Ulm, he succeeds Bishop John M. LeVoir, who resigned Aug. 6, 2020, after heading the diocese for 12 years. He was 74 and just a few months shy of 75, the age when bishops are required by canon law to turn in their resignation to the pope. Bishop Zielinski’s appointment was announced July 12 in Washington by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the U.S.

New bishop named for U.S. Syro-Malabar Catholic Diocese

WASHINGTON — Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Jacob Angadiath, who has headed the St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Diocese of Chicago for 21 years, and has named Auxiliary Bishop Joy Alappatt of the diocese as his successor. Bishop Angadiath is 76 years old. Canon law requires bishops to submit their resignation to the pope when they turn 75. He was appointed the first bishop of the diocese by St. John Paul II, who established the diocese March 13, 2001. Bishop Alappatt, 65, has been auxiliary bishop of the diocese since 2014. The changes were announced July 3 in Washington by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the U.S. Bishop Alappatt was born Sept. 27, 1956, in Parappukara, India, in the Diocese of Irinjalakuda, which is in the state of Kerala.


Pope confirms plans to meet Russian patriarch in Kazakhstan

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis said he plans to meet with Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill in September at an interreligious meeting in Kazakhstan. The pope confirmed the meeting in an interview that aired in the United States July 11 on Univision, the Spanish-language network. “We are going to meet in Kazakhstan in September because there is a religious meeting” there that both have promised to attend, he said. Although the Vatican has not officially announced the visit, Kazakh authorities said the pope confirmed his participation at the Congress of World and Traditional Religions during a Zoom meeting in April with President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. The interreligious meeting will take place in the capital city, Nur-Sultan, Sept. 14-15. Despite their opposing views on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the pope told Univision that he has “a good relationship” with the Russian patriarch. In the interview with Univision, the pope also spoke about U.S. gun violence, the abortion debate and retirement rumors. U.S. President Joe Biden should consult with his bishop or parish priest about his stance on abortion, Pope Francis said, adding that the primary concern of bishops should be pastoral care. “I leave it to his conscience and that he speaks to his bishop, his pastor, his parish priest about that inconsistency,” he said. However, repeating what he has said before about bishops declaring a politician unfit to receive Communion, Pope Francis said bishops must focus on the pastoral care of their people rather than on public condemnation. Pope Francis also spoke about gun violence and the growing trend of mass shootings in the United States, particularly the most recent shootings in Uvalde, Texas, and Highland Park, Illinois. The phenomenon of mass shootings “is a grave social problem,” he said.

Pope says he’ll add women to Dicastery for Bishops

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis said he plans to name two women to the committee that helps him choose bishops for the world’s Latin-rite dioceses. In an interview July 2 with the Reuters news agency, the pope seemed to indicate the women would be members, not consultants or staff members, of the Dicastery for Bishops, which currently has only cardinals and bishops as members and five bishops and two priests as consultants. Preparing nominations for the office of bishops is a long, multistep process. For most Latin-rite dioceses that are not in mission territories, the process begins with bishops submitting to their local archbishop the names of priests they think would be good bishops; once a year the bishops of the province discuss the names submitted and forward recommendations to the nuncio. The nuncio studies the lists, investigates further, solicits feedback from people who know the candidate and forwards his recommendations to the Dicastery for Bishops. The prefect of the dicastery, currently Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet, can make recommendations directly to the pope about transferring a bishop from one diocese to another or to an archdiocese. Although many of the members do not live in Rome, they usually meet twice a month on Thursdays to deliberate. The prefect presents the nominations to the pope, who makes the final decision.

— Catholic News Service

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