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Nation and world briefs


Bp. Barron expresses outrage over desecration at Catholic cemetery

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Bishop Robert E. Barron of Winona-Rochester expressed outrage Nov. 2 over the desecration of several graves and the columbarium at the diocese’s Calvary Cemetery in Rochester “with hateful and obscene graffiti” on Halloween night. He assured his prayers for families “of those whose final resting places were so dishonored.” The diocese “will cooperate with police in assuring that those responsible are brought to justice,” he added in a statement issued on All Souls’ Day, when the Catholic Church “honors our beloved dead. Cemetery staff is working diligently to repair the damage and restore the grounds,” Bishop Barron said, and he pledged to bless and reconsecrate “this sacred space” once the staff’s task “is completed. May the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace,” Bishop Barron added.

Commissioning of ferry boat recalls Dorothy Day’s legacy of justice

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Martha Hennessy, granddaughter of Dorothy Day, said her grandmother “loved the Staten Island Ferry, so what an honor to have one named after her. In these days of global instability, let us use this moment to remember her efforts to make peace,” Hennessy, herself a social justice activist, said at a Nov. 4 ceremony to officially commission the Dorothy Day ferry boat at St. George Ferry Terminal in Staten Island. The newest vessel in the fleet that transports passengers from the island in New York Harbor to lower Manhattan and back is named for the co-founder of the Catholic Worker Movement. Day had deep roots on Staten Island, one of New York’s five boroughs. She was received into the Catholic Church there and lived part of her life there. As an adult, she was baptized at Our Lady Help of Christians Church in Tottenville in 1927. She died in 1980 at age 83 and is buried in Resurrection Cemetery in Pleasant Plains.


Cardinal tells leaders at COP27 they have duty to act on climate change

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt — Leaders gathered in Egypt for the U.N. climate summit have “a moral obligation” to act seriously and together to safeguard the planet and to offer concrete aid to people suffering the “more frequent and more serious humanitarian impacts caused by climate change,” said Cardinal Pietro Parolin. The Vatican secretary of state led the Holy See’s official delegation to COP27, the 27th Conference of the Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, meeting in Sharm el-Sheikh Nov. 6–18. The cardinal told world leaders Nov. 8 that “the growing phenomenon of migrants being displaced” by climate change is something they must act on because currently “they lack access to international protection” recognizing them as deserving special care.

Italian missionary sister beatified in Kenya

NAIROBI, Kenya — Rwandan Cardinal Antoine Kambanda beatified an Italian Cottolengo nun who served in Kenya about 100 years ago. Beatification is one of the final steps toward sainthood. Sister Maria Carola Cecchin served in Kenya from 1905-1925. The miracle needed for her beatification involved the cure of a stillborn infant, who now is a healthy 9-year-old boy. “She knew this place well and spent her youth for the Gospel among us here. … She is a model of missionary of charity,” Cardinal Kambanda told these gathered in Meru, Kenya, Nov. 5. “When Blessed Sister Maria Carola Cecchin experienced the great love of Christ, she spared no effort to proclaim the Gospel of God to the nations, to the people who had not yet known Christ.” The fifth of 10 children, Fiorina Cecchin was born April 3, 1877, in Cittadella, Italy. At age 19, she joined the Cottolengo Sisters, and in 1905 she left for Kenya. Cardinal Kambanda said Blessed Maria Carola represented “so many missionaries in that time who accepted to endure all sorts of sacrifices and risks to bring the salvation of God to the missions.”

French cardinal admits to abusing teen girl 35 years ago

LOURDES, France — French Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard, former head of the French bishops’ conference, admitted to abusing a 14-year-old girl 35 years ago. The revelation came in a letter from Cardinal Ricard read by Archbishop Eric de Moulins-Beaufort of Reims, president of the bishops’ conference, during a news conference on abuse Nov. 7, during the French bishops’ general assembly. The cardinal said the “reprehensible” action occurred when he was a priest, and he said his behavior “has necessarily caused serious and lasting consequences for this person.” He said he asked the woman for forgiveness and asked for forgiveness from her family. He also said he was going on retreat to pray. “This is a difficult process. But what comes first is the suffering experienced by the victims and the recognition of the acts committed,” he said. “Finally, I ask forgiveness to those whom I have hurt and who will live this news as a real test,” he said.

Ethiopian cardinal says he hopes peace agreement will end war

NAIROBI, Kenya — Ethiopian Cardinal Berhaneyesus Demerew Souraphiel has welcomed a peace agreement that the government and Tigray forces signed to end the war in the country’s northern region. After 10 days of talks in South Africa, the two sides signed the pact Nov. 2, after nearly two years of conflict. But on the opposite end of the continent, in Ethiopia’s semi-autonomous region of Tigray, the guns were still firing amid an escalating humanitarian crisis. “We hope the agreement … will lead our peoples toward unity and peace,” Cardinal Souraphiel, the archbishop of Addis Ababa, said in a brief statement. “To ensure sustainable peace throughout the country, I urge you to promote a spirit of closeness and reconciliation among our people and enable the displaced to return to their homes.” The agreement includes a permanent cease-fire, which includes cessation of covert and overt violence, laying of land mines, sabotage and airstrikes.

— Catholic News Service

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