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Nation and world briefs


Prayers, action urged worldwide during Season of Creation Sept. 1-Oct. 4

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Sister Kathleen Storms hopes a calendar of prayers and suggestions for action during the upcoming worldwide Season of Creation will help people “understand that simple options can make an important difference in our care for creation.” Meatless Mondays and shopping at farmer’s markets are among actions proposed by the Care for Creation Team of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis to observe the season. Sister Kathleen, a School Sister of Notre Dame, is a member of the team who wrote the calendar. She said she studied resources on Catholic social teaching and ecology provided through the Catholic Climate Covenant, which was formed in 2006 by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops with partners including Catholic Relief Services, Catholic Charities USA and St. Paul-based Catholic Rural Life. She worked on the calendar for about three weeks. “It was a very prayerful experience,” she said. The internationally recognized Season of Creation was proclaimed in 1989 for Eastern Orthodox Christians by the late Ecumenical Patriarch Dimitrios I of Constantinople.

Catholic nurses draw on faith, fellowship to be ‘hands and feet of Christ’

DOYLESTOWN, Pa. — Catholic nurses are drawing on faith, fellowship and fortitude to navigate an increasingly complex health care environment, said participants at a global conference on nursing held in Doylestown. Members of the National Association of Catholic Nurses USA gathered Aug. 2-4 at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa for a world congress that blended spirituality with specifics on best practices in the field. Tracing its origins to the early 20th century, NACN-USA promotes Catholic moral principles in nursing while fostering professional development through educational programs, spiritual formation, patient advocacy, and the integration of faith and health. The nonprofit organization is part of congress co-sponsor CICIAMS — the French acronym for the International Catholic Committee for Nurses and Medico-Social Assistants — which works closely with the Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. Cardinal Peter Turkson greeted conference attendees on behalf of the Vatican and in particular the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, of which he is chancellor. As “a noble and gracious ministry,” nursing should be “(rooted) in an authentic human ecology,” the cardinal said.


Pope says not enough evidence to try cardinal for sexual assault

VATICAN CITY — A preliminary Vatican investigation into allegations against Cardinal Marc Ouellet concluded there was not sufficient evidence to warrant opening up formal proceedings against the cardinal for sexual assault, a Vatican spokesman said. However, the Jesuit who did the investigation was a long-time associate of the cardinal. Pope Francis has been made aware of these findings and, after further consultation, has declared that “there are insufficient elements to open a canonical investigation for sexual assault by Cardinal Ouellet against person F,” Matteo Bruni, head of the Vatican press office, said in a written statement Aug. 18. Bruni wrote that a preliminary investigation ordered by Pope Francis had been completed and that it concluded there were no facts or “elements to initiate a trial against Cardinal Ouellet for sexual assault.” The Canadian cardinal is prefect of the Vatican Dicastery for Bishops. Bruni confirmed that Belgian Jesuit Father Jacques Servais had been chosen by the pope to conduct the preliminary study after Cardinal Ouellet was accused of actions allegedly committed against a young laywoman, identified as “F” in Canadian court documents in a class action lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Quebec.

Nuns kidnapped in Nigeria released, says order

VATICAN CITY — Four Catholic nuns kidnapped in southeast Nigeria Aug. 21 were released two days later, their order said. “With hearts full of joy, the Sisters of Jesus the Savior wish to announce the unconditional and safe release of four of our sisters,” according to an Aug. 23 statement from Sister Zita Ihedoro, secretary-general. She thanked people for their “prayers and moral support during this difficult moment.” Fides, information service of the Pontifical Mission Societies, identified the four as Sisters Johannes Nwodo, Christabel Echemazu, Liberata Mbamalu and Benita Agu, members of the Sisters of Jesus the Savior. The Nigerian order has more than 160 members, with formation houses in River and Abia states. Kidnappings for ransom have been common in northwestern Nigeria but are starting to spread to other areas of the country.

Cardinal Bo opens FABC jubilee, speaks of Asian Church at crossroads

BANGKOK — The Catholic Church in Asia stands at the crossroads of history amid poverty, climate change, political conflicts, disagreements and economic collapse, said a leading Asian Church leader. Cardinal Charles Bo of Myanmar, president of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences, made the comments during his address at the opening of the federation’s golden jubilee celebrations Aug. 22, reported ucanews.com. The jubilee programs will conclude Oct. 30, with a two-week FABC gathering in Bangkok. “We gather amidst suffocating clouds of conflict and displacements, the collapse of the economy, frightening climate change, pandemic and starvation of millions. Secularism is on the ascendency in the traditionally Christian world,” said Cardinal Bo. Authoritarian leadership is also becoming the norm in too many countries, he added.

Bishops in western Cameroon concerned war will keep kids from school

YAOUNDÉ, Cameroon — Catholic bishops in English-speaking western regions of Cameroon have expressed concern that, with a civil war going on, children might not be able to enjoy their right to education this year. The regions that make up about 20% of Cameroon’s nearly 27 million people have been devastated by nearly six years of war, with separatists fighting to create a new country to be called Ambazonia. The Cameroonian government says at least 4,000 people have been killed and more than a million forced to flee from their homes during the war. Cameroonian Prime Minister Joseph Dion Ngute said there has been a 72% drop in school enrollment in the breakaway region between 2017 and 2022. The United Nations says more than 700,000 children have been forced out of school, and two out of three schools in the breakaway region have been closed as a result of the violence.

Nuns in Philippines call terrorism financing charges ‘preposterous’

MANILA, Philippines — Catholic nuns from a missionary order in the Philippines have denounced a criminal charge accusing them of financing terrorism and violating the country’s anti-terrorism law. Ucanews.com reported the nuns from the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines issued a statement Aug. 18 to denounce the criminal charge filed by the Department of Justice. The nuns termed the allegation of terrorist financing as “preposterous” as they claimed that “all our projects and activities are well-documented, reported and accounted for.” On Aug. 15 the Department of Justice filed a criminal charge against 16 individuals, including five nuns from the congregation, for a non-bailable offense of allegedly donating to and soliciting funds for the Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing, the New People’s Army. The justice department earlier said the sisters failed to refute the allegations and charges against them, which led the prosecutor to believe there was probable cause to indict them of the charge. The Rural Missionaries of the Philippines, however, said their indictment was part of government repression to silence dissenters.

— Catholic News Service

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