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Nation and world briefs


USCCB’s Labor Day statement touts bills to help women, families

WASHINGTON — This year’s annual Labor Day statement from the U.S. bishops touts two bills awaiting action in Congress as being helpful to children, women and families: the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act and an expansion of the federal child tax credit. “Even before current economic uncertainties, women — especially women of African descent and Latina women — earned less than their male counterparts, including when doing the same work with the same qualifications,” said Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, in the statement. “They filled the majority of direct care jobs, experiencing increased risk of injury, high stress and exposure to illness while earning low wages. They were the majority of caretakers for their loved ones, yet many lacked adequate family and medical leave policies. These and other economic challenges continue to affect working families and children,” Archbishop Coakley said. The statement, “Building a Just Economy for Women and Families,” dated Sept. 5 — Labor Day — was released Aug. 31. Archbishop Coakley said: “This unique moment necessitates a society and an economy that supports marriages, families and women; it demands that all of us reach across political aisles and work diligently to reframe social policies in ways that are pro-woman, pro-family, pro-worker and, thus, authentically pro-life.”


Vatican: Pope’s remarks on Dugina defended life, were not political

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis’ comments on the death of Darya Dugina, a 29-year-old commentator with a nationalist Russian TV channel, were meant to defend life and were not a political affirmation, the Vatican said. “It must be reiterated that the Holy Father’s words on this tragic issue should be read as a voice raised in defense of human life and the values attached to it, and not as a stance on political positions,” the Vatican said in a statement published Aug. 30. “As for the large-scale war in Ukraine initiated by the Russian Federation, Pope Francis’ interventions are clear and unequivocal in condemning it as morally unjust, unacceptable, barbaric, senseless, repugnant and sacrilegious,” the Vatican added. The Vatican said the pope’s numerous statements calling for an end to the war in Ukraine “are mostly aimed at inviting pastors and the faithful to prayer, and all people of good will to solidarity and efforts to rebuild peace.” Nevertheless, the Vatican said that although Pope Francis’ words are meant to promote peace, “public discussions have arisen about the political significance attached to such interventions.”

Pope meeting off as Russian patriarch cancels visit to Kazakhstan

ROME — Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill, who was expected to meet Pope Francis at the Congress of World and Traditional Religions in Kazakhstan, will not attend the interreligious gathering in September, a senior Russian Orthodox bishop said. Metropolitan Anthony of Volokolamsk, head of external relations for the Russian Orthodox Church, confirmed to the Russian news agency Ria Novosti that the patriarch will not attend the Sept. 13-15 meeting in the Kazakh capital of Nur-Sultan. However, Metropolitan Anthony, who met with the pope at the Vatican Aug. 5, said there was still hope for the pope and the patriarch to meet and that an eventual meeting between the two “must be an independent event by virtue of its importance.” Patriarch Kirill’s outspoken support of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine, particularly his justification of the war as a defense against Western immorality, has caused ruptures within the Russian Orthodox Church and strained relations with the Catholic Church.

Priests transferred by German diocese continued to abuse

TRIER, Germany — The Diocese of Trier transferred alleged or convicted perpetrators of abuse to new locations in and outside the diocese, where they reoffended against young people and children, according to an independent commission’s interim report on abuse in the diocese from 1946 to 2021. The German Catholic news agency KNA said the report’s statistics showed 513 victims of abuse in the diocese’s area of responsibility “could be identified by name or anonymously” for the period from 1946 to 2021. “In a large number of cases at least … no measures were taken on the part of the diocese to protect potential victims from sexual abuse,” the commission said. It said of the 513 victims it identified, 162 were female and 311 male. For 40 victims, information on gender was missing. The report listed 195 people as accused or convicted perpetrators of sexual abuse. The commission said the numbers were likely to increase as it delved deeper into the files.

Pope tells Catholic lawmakers to tackle inequality, injustice

VATICAN CITY — The world needs lawmakers who are capable, inspired by love and dedicated to serving the most vulnerable, Pope Francis told Catholic and Christian legislators. “I encourage your ongoing efforts, on the national and international levels, to work for the adoption of policies and laws that seek to address, in a spirit of solidarity, the many situations of inequality and injustice threatening the social fabric and the inherent dignity of all people,” the pope said during an audience at the Vatican Aug. 25. Pope Francis was speaking to members and representatives of the International Catholic Legislators Network, who were in Rome for an annual conference.

— Catholic News Service

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