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Nation and world briefs


Foster care is a pro-life issue the Church should fully support, parents say

COLUMBUS, Ohio — “There are no unwanted children,” an anonymous inspiring quote declares, “just unfound families.” If that’s so, the almost 400,000 children in the U.S. foster care system — approximately 100,000 of whom are legally adoptable — need only wait. But the reality, especially in post-Roe v. Wade America, presents a more complex and challenging scenario — one in which foster care must, Catholic experts urge, be viewed as a pro-life issue. “What we’re trying to do,” said Kimberley Henkel, executive director of Springs of Love — a ministry that “encourages, equips, and educates Catholics to discern and live out the call to foster and adopt,” according to its website — “is to help create a culture of fostering and adoption in the Catholic Church. And we see fostering and adoption, clearly, as a very significant pro-life issue.” Henkel, who has four adopted children, added that “Jesus commands us to care for widows and orphans in their distress, and the children in foster care are our modern-day orphans.” (OSV News)

Chicago auxiliary bishop named chair of USCCB anti-racism committee

WASHINGTON — Auxiliary Bishop Joseph N. Perry of Chicago has been named chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism, succeeding Archbishop Shelton J. Fabre of Louisville, Kentucky, who has been the chair since 2018. The appointment, made by Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the U.S. Archdiocese for the Military Services, USCCB president, was announced May 10. Archbishop Fabre recently requested a new chair be named following his appointment to Louisville last year. The committee was formed in 2017 by Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, then-USCCB president, to address racism, which the USCCB has described on several occasions as “America’s original sin.” (OSV News)


Deadly Cyclone Mocha hits Myanmar

SITTWE, Myanmar — The Catholic Church has dispatched aid materials to the hardest-hit regions of Myanmar after deadly Cyclone Mocha battered the Southeast Asian country May 14. The cyclone collapsed houses, brought down communications lines and destroyed poorly constructed camps of Rohingya people — a Muslim minority persecuted by Myanmar’s regime who live mostly in Rakhine state, the one hardest hit by the cyclone. After the storm left a trail of destruction in Rakhine, the military-ruled government declared 17 townships as a natural disaster-affected area May 15. The winds were as strong as 155 mph assisted by copious amounts of rainfall. The storm was reported to be the strongest cyclone of the 16 that have occurred so far this year. (OSV News)

Pope issues new ‘fundamental law’ for Vatican City State

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis updated the “Fundamental Law of Vatican City State,” opening the possibility that laypeople can be members of its governing commission and emphasizing that the independence of the city-state is essential for the mission of the Holy See. The previous version of the law was promulgated by St. John Paul II in 2000; his introduction to the text noted the independence of Vatican City State guaranteed “the freedom of the Apostolic See” and assured “the real and visible independence of the Roman Pontiff in the exercise of his mission in the world.” Pope Francis’ revision of the law incorporates the mission into the text of the law itself. The first article states, “The Vatican City State ensures the absolute and visible independence of the Holy See for the fulfillment of its high mission in the world and guarantees its unquestionable sovereignty in the international arena as well.” (CNS)

Interfaith leaders march for peace in Jerusalem as spiral of violence erupts

JERUSALEM — Faith leaders and activists for coexistence from across Israel gathered in prayer in front of the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem on May 10, in a week that saw yet another increase in violence between Israel and the Palestinians. The prayer march came after the May 2 death in prison of prominent hunger-striking Palestinian prisoner Khader Adnan, a leader and spokesman in the Islamic Jihad militant group. The announcement of his death was followed by a barrage of missile strikes into southern Israel by Islamic Jihad. The prayer gathering took on more urgency following an early morning Israeli airstrike into Gaza May 9 that killed three senior Islamic Jihad militants and at least 10 civilians including the militants’ wives, several children, and civilian neighbors in a residential building. Muslim peace activist Ghadir Hani, from the northern Israeli city of Acco, and Rabbi Lana Zilberman Soloway from the Jerusalem area, prayed in both Hebrew and Arabic. (OSV News)

Caritas elects new president, stressing local connections in aid

ROME — Caritas Internationalis, the global Catholic charity network, elected Archbishop Tarcisius Isao Kikuchi of Tokyo to be its new president following a Vatican-mandated overhaul of its leadership. After a transition period, which began after Pope Francis removed Caritas’ president and suspended other top leadership positions in November 2022, some 400 delegates representing national and local Caritas organizations elected Archbishop Kikuchi May 13, and were expected to elect a new secretary-general and fill other leadership positions. As a former Caritas volunteer and now its president, Archbishop Kikuchi said that Caritas “does not only include those who are in the top administration levels of the top officers. From the grassroots, all the volunteers, they are all Caritas,” he said. That grassroots connection allows Caritas organizations to be more than just a source of physical aid to people in need, Tetiana Stanwnychy said. (CNS)

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