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Nation and world briefs

U.S.

Immigration advocates say DACA ruling should push Congress to act

WASHINGTON — Catholic immigration advocates are emphasizing that the Oct. 5 ruling by a federal appeals court — finding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program is unlawful — sends another signal that permanent legislation is needed to protect young immigrants from deportation and put them on a path to U.S. citizenship. A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans affirmed a lower court’s ruling last year that said the Obama administration did not have the legal authority in 2012 to create DACA in the first place. This appeals court decision, similar to the ruling last summer from a federal judge in Texas, prevents the Biden administration from enrolling new participants in the program. The new court decision continues to leave DACA in limbo.

WORLD

Pope prays for unity of Church as he celebrates anniversary of Vatican II

VATICAN CITY — The Second Vatican Council was the universal Catholic Church’s response to God’s love and to Jesus’ command to feed His sheep, Pope Francis said, celebrating the 60th anniversary of the council’s opening. The council reminded the Church of what is “essential,” the pope said: “a Church madly in love with its Lord and with all the men and women whom He loves,” one that “is rich in Jesus and poor in assets,” a Church that “is free and freeing.” Pope Francis presided at the Mass Oct. 11 in St. Peter’s Basilica, where the council sessions were held in four sessions from 1962 to 1964. The date is also the feast of St. John XXIII, who convoked and opened the council; the glass urn containing his body was moved to the center of the basilica for the liturgy. In his homily, the pope said the council marked a renewed effort by the Church to feed God’s sheep, not just those who are Catholic, but all people. The debates that followed the council and continue today are a distraction from the Church’s mission, Pope Francis said.

Thailand day care massacre called an act of ‘unspeakable violence’

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis said he was “deeply saddened” after hearing the news of one of the world’s worst mass shootings at a day care center in northeast Thailand. In a message sent Oct. 7 by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, the pope offered prayers for the victims “of the horrific attack” that claimed the lives of 36 people, including at least 24 children, Oct. 6. The pope “offers his heartfelt condolences and the assurance of his spiritual closeness to all those affected by this act of unspeakable violence against innocent children,” the cardinal wrote. According to an AP report Oct. 7, authorities said Panya Kamrap, a former policeman, went to the day care, where his child was enrolled, before going on a shooting and stabbing rampage. He then went home where he shot and killed his wife and child before turning the gun on himself.

Saints have joyful hearts, not long faces, pope says

VATICAN CITY — The holiness of saints is reflected not only in how they overcame struggles but by their ability to transmit the joy that comes from being loved by God, Pope Francis said. The gift of sharing the love and mercy Christians receive from God “enables us to experience an immense joy that is not a fleeting emotion or mere human optimism, but the certainty that we can face every challenge with the grace and the assurance that come from God,” the pope told participants at a Vatican conference on holiness. “Without this joy, faith shrinks into an oppressive and dreary thing; the saints are not ‘sourpusses,’ but men and women with joyful hearts, open to hope,” he said, meeting conference participants Oct. 6. The conference, “Holiness Today,” was sponsored by the Dicastery for the Causes of Saints and held Oct. 3-6. During the conference, Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, prefect of the dicastery, announced the creation of a commission that will recognize Christians who, although not canonized and perhaps not Catholic, were exemplary and even heroic witnesses to the Christian faith.

— Catholic News Service

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