Catholics displaced by lava in Hawaiii ask for prayers
HONOLULU — Paul and Rose Utes, members of Sacred Heart Parish in Pahoa, had to leave their home when lava from the Kilauea eruptions moved into their section of the Leilani Estates subdivision in Puna on the Big Island. At the time they heard the mandatory evacuation order, the couple were prepping to cater food for Honolulu Bishop Larry Silva’s parish visit that first weekend in May. While the Utes were at their house retrieving their belongings, a fissure opened up across the street, sending a lava fountain shooting into the air. ”It’s just frustrating not knowing what’s going on around your house,” Paul said May 23 in an interview with the Hawaii Catholic Herald, Honolulu’s diocesan newspaper. According to Hawaii County Civil Defense, 82 structures have been destroyed by lava in this latest outflow from Kilauea Volcano, erupting continuously since 1983. Lava has covered more than 2,223 acres.
Court upholds decision overturning California
RIVERSIDE, Calif. — A California appeals court has denied Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s request for an immediate stay on a lower court ruling that overturned the state’s assisted suicide law. The decision was handed down May 23 by the 4th District Court of Appeal in Riverside. The court gave Becerra and other interested parties 25 days to provide more arguments as to why the court should grant the stay and suspend the lower court ruling. The attorney general requested the stay after Judge Daniel A. Ottolia of Riverside County Superior Court ruled May 15 that the California Legislature violated existing law when it passed the End of Life Option Act during a special session dedicated to health care. The law, which went into effect in June 2016, authorized doctors to prescribe lethal prescriptions to any patient determined by two doctors to have six months or less to live. On June 16, 2017, Ottolia ruled that a civil rights lawsuit challenging the assisted suicide law could go forward.
Vote on revised medical
directives on tap at
bishops’ spring assembly
WASHINGTON — Revised guidelines governing Catholic and non-Catholic health care partnerships will be on the agenda of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ spring general assembly June 13-14 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The revisions are limited to Part 6 of the “Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services,” the document that governs moral questions related to the delivery of health care. The bishops also will consider a new document described as a “pastoral response” to the growing Asian and Pacific Island Catholic community in the United States. “Encountering Christ in Harmony” offers pastoral suggestions to address the concerns and needs of Asian and Pacific Island Catholics. Revisions in language to clarify seven of the 17 articles in the “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young Adults” are on the agenda for review and a vote as well.
Cardinal-designate Becciu named prefect of
congregation for saints
VATICAN CITY — Cardinal-designate Giovanni Angelo Becciu is one of the very few new cardinals not completely surprised in late May when Pope Francis announced the names of the 14 Churchmen he intended to induct into the College of Cardinals. The pope, who keeps the nominations secret even from most of the people on the list, justified making an exception for then-Archbishop Becciu by noting that the two of them see each other almost every day, the cardinal-designate told Avvenire, the Italian Catholic newspaper. A week after the pope publicly read the names, the Vatican announced Pope Francis had appointed the Sardinian cardinal-designate to be the next prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes, succeeding Cardinal Angelo Amato, who turns 80 in early June. He will take up his post at the congregation overseeing sainthood processes at the end of August.
Cardinal Bo among faith leaders pledging to back Myanmar peace efforts
BANGKOK — Cardinal Charles Bo of Yangon, Myanmar, has joined other faith leaders in declaring their commitment to peace initiatives in the strife-torn southeast Asia country, a move welcomed by State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi. In an open letter to Myanmar’s people, Cardinal Bo and 17 other members of a high-level delegation from Religions for Peace International and Myanmar stated their commitment to peace and reconciliation efforts in a country currently experiencing internal conflicts, ucanews.com reported. “It is at a crucial moment in the history of this country that we, as Buddhist, Christian, Hindu and Muslim leaders from Myanmar and across the region, come to you in solidarity with hope for peace,” began the letter presented May 25 to Suu Kyi. The faith leaders rejected the misuse of religion and race to divide the country, saying that doing so violates the fundamental tenets of the world’s religious traditions and brings hatred, discrimination and violence.
Italian nun murdered in Somalia to be beatified
NAIROBI, Kenya — An Italian Consolata sister murdered in Somalia in 2006 will be beatified in Piacenza, Italy, May 26. Sister Leonella Sgorbati and her bodyguard were gunned down as they left the children’s hospital where she worked in Mogadishu. Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes, will be the main celebrant at the beatification Mass in the Piacenza cathedral. Sister Sgorbati’s death in September 2006 came amid rising tensions in the Muslim world over a speech then-Pope Benedict XVI had given in Regensburg, Germany, quoting a Christian emperor’s criticism of Islam. However, most Muslim leaders in Somalia condemned the killing, emphasizing that Sister Sgorbati was dedicating her efforts to the Somali people. She was 65 at the time, had worked in Africa for 35 years and had been in Somalia since 2001.
— Catholic News Service