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Nation and world briefs


Catholics turn to prayer, action in wake of deadly tornadoes across US

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Catholics turned to prayer and then action in the wake of tornadoes that carved a deadly path of destruction through the United States March 31-April 2, killing at least 33, injuring dozens and devastating thousands of homes and businesses. As of April 3, the National Weather Service counted 100 tornadoes in 11 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Tennessee and Wisconsin. Amid the loss of life and property, Catholics told OSV News they see a glimpse of God’s mysterious mercies. At Our Lady of the Greenwood Parish in Greenwood, Indiana, a parish staff member said a tornado in nearby Whiteland had destroyed several parishioners’ homes. Storms also impacted several areas of the country April 5, with fatalities and injuries reported following a possible tornado in Bollinger County, Missouri, just west of Cape Girardeau. (OSV News)

Pope accepts resignation of Archbishop of Dubuque for health reasons

WASHINGTON — Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Archbishop Michael O. Jackels of Dubuque, Iowa, 68, for health reasons and has appointed retired Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, as apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of Dubuque. The resignation and appointment were publicized in Washington April 4 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States. The archbishop gave no details about his health in a letter published on the archdiocesan website. At 68, he is seven years younger than the age at which canon law requires bishops to turn in their resignation to the pope. (OSV News)


As pope leaves hospital, he comforts couple, jokes with reporters

ROME — “I’m still alive,” Pope Francis joked to reporters who asked how he was doing as he left Rome’s Gemelli hospital April 1. The 86-year-old pope, who had been hospitalized since March 29 for treatment of bronchitis, stopped his car and got out to greet well-wishers and reporters waiting outside the hospital. He embraced a sobbing mother, whose daughter had died the night before. He reached out to the father, too, and holding their hands, he prayed with them. He also signed the cast of a boy who said he broke his arm playing soccer. (CNS)

Responding to Indigenous, Vatican disavows ‘doctrine of discovery’

VATICAN CITY — The Catholic Church formally “repudiates those concepts that fail to recognize the inherent human rights of Indigenous peoples, including what has become known as the legal and political ‘doctrine of discovery,’” a Vatican statement said. Issued March 30 by the dicasteries for Culture and Education and for Promoting Integral Human Development, the statement said papal texts that seemed to support the idea that Christian colonizers could claim the land of non-Christian Indigenous people “have never been considered expressions of the Catholic faith.” But, “at the same time, the Church acknowledges that these papal bulls did not adequately reflect the equal dignity and rights of Indigenous peoples,” the statement said. Canadian Cardinal Michael Czerny, prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, said the document responds to the repeated requests of Indigenous people in Canada and the United States to disavow the so-called doctrine, but it does not claim the discussion has ended or should end. “It acknowledges that dealing with such a painful heritage is an ongoing process,” he told reporters. “It acknowledges still more importantly that the real issue is not the history but contemporary reality.” (CNS)

Additional charges filed in Vatican finance trial

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican’s prosecuting attorney has leveled additional charges against four of the defendants who have been on trial since July 2021 for their alleged roles in the Vatican’s failed investment in a property in London. Alessandro Diddi, the prosecutor, announced the new charges March 30 at the end of the trial’s 54th session. Raffaele Mincione, Gianluigi Torzi and Enrico Crasso were charged with bribery in addition to the original charges that included embezzlement, fraud and money laundering. A money-laundering charge also was made against Fabrizio Tirabassi, a former official in the Vatican Secretariat of State, who had been accused of corruption, extortion, embezzlement, fraud and abuse of office. Diddi said the new charges resulted from testimony given at the trial and from new information that arose as the investigations into the 10 defendants continued. (CNS)

Bishop installed in Shanghai, apparently without Vatican agreement

VATICAN CITY — In an apparent breach of the Vatican’s agreement with China on the appointment of bishops, the bishop of Haimen was installed as the bishop of Shanghai April 4. “The Holy See had been informed a few days ago of the Chinese authorities’ decision to transfer Bishop (Joseph) Shen Bin of Haimen to the Diocese of Shanghai and learned from the media of the installation this morning,” said Matteo Bruni, director of the Vatican press office. “For the time being, I have nothing to say about the Holy See’s assessment of the matter,” Bruni added in a brief statement April 4. (CNS)

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