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Nation and world briefs

U.S.

Catholics express sorrow, prayers after ‘horrific’ Michigan State shooting

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Catholic leaders in the state of Michigan reacted Feb. 14 to the news of a mass shooting on the campus of Michigan State University with a mixture of shock, sorrow and a pledge to pray for and accompany victims. Police reported a 43-year-old male suspect killed three people and injured at least five others on the East Lansing campus when he opened fire late Feb. 13. The suspect was later discovered dead off campus with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. As news of the incident spread early the next morning, Lansing Bishop Earl A. Boyea tweeted: “A dreadfully dark day in East Lansing. May the love of Almighty God restore health to the injured; sustain those caring for them; bestow solace on those who mourn and eternal rest to those who were killed. The Catholic community is praying that they rest in peace.” (OSV News)

National Black Catholic Congress XIII to be held in Washington area in July

WASHINGTON — During Black History Month in February, Catholics are being invited to register to attend this summer’s National Black Catholic Congress, which over the years has made history of its own. The National Black Catholic Congress XIII will be held July 20-23 at the Gaylord National Resort in National Harbor, Maryland, just outside the District of Columbia. It marks the third time the Washington area has hosted the gathering, and each of those times, key participants included noted figures in U.S. Catholic history. Cardinal Wilton D. Gregory — the archbishop of Washington who was elevated to the College of Cardinals by Pope Francis in 2020, becoming the first African-American cardinal in history — will give the opening keynote speech and celebrate the opening Mass. Early registration for the National Black Catholic Congress XIII ends Feb. 28 and regular registration ends July 15. For more information, including a schedule of events, and to register, go online to nbccgathering2023.org. (OSV News)

WORLD

Portugal commission reveals ‘full extent’ of Church abuse

LISBON, Portugal — A final report of the Independent Commission for the Study of Sexual Abuse of Children in the Catholic Church in Portugal revealed more than 4,800 children had been victims of clergy sexual abuse in the country from 1950 to 2022. Responding to the report, the president of the Portuguese bishops’ conference, Bishop José Ornelas Carvalho of Leiria-Fatima, apologized to the victims and thanked the Church-sponsored commission for highlighting the abuse by Catholic clergy. He also pledged that surviving perpetrators would be removed from office. “Zero tolerance toward abuse has to be a reality throughout the Church — we will not tolerate abuses or abusers,” Bishop Ornelas said. The report was presented Feb. 13 at Lisbon’s Catholic University. The 500-page report called for a new institution to continue monitoring abuse in the Church, as well as for improved “training protocols” at Catholic seminaries. (OSV News)

Papal vicar names safeguarding point person for Vatican City

VATICAN CITY — Cardinal Mauro Gambetti, the papal vicar for Vatican City State, has appointed Scalabrinian Father Luigi Sabbarese, a 60-year-old canon lawyer, to coordinate and verify the city state’s safeguarding efforts. Pope Francis established a set of guidelines in 2019 for the protection of children and vulnerable persons for the Vicariate of Vatican City, that is, for Vatican City State and the Roman Curia. The guidelines said the papal vicar “shall appoint a contact person for the protection of minors who shall coordinate and verify the implementation of the present guidelines so that, within the vicariate, there is a community respectful and mindful of the rights and the needs of minors, as well as being vigilant in preventing any form of violence or abuse.” The contact person also was to coordinate “the prevention and training activities of pastoral workers” and promote increased care in welcoming and supporting “those who claim to have suffered exploitation, sexual abuse or ill-treatment, as well as their family members,” the guidelines said. (CNS)

Cardinal Collins retires from Toronto; Montreal’s Bishop Leo appointed as successor

TORONTO — The Holy See announced Feb. 11 that Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Thomas Collins as archbishop of Toronto and named Bishop Frank Leo of Montreal as his successor. Archbishop-designate Leo will be installed as archbishop of Toronto at St. Michael’s Cathedral on a date to be announced. Cardinal Collins was three months shy of 15 years of service to the Archdiocese of Toronto when the announcement was made. (OSV News)

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