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Nation and world briefs

U.S.

Mass celebrated in memory of mariners lost at sea, other seafarers and their families

WASHINGTON — In anticipation of the National Day of Prayer and Remembrance for Mariners and People of the Sea May 22, Bishop Brendan J. Cahill of Victoria, Texas, celebrated Mass May 20 in Washington in remembrance of seafarers who died at sea, and for seafarers’ families and for all the faithful. “We pray for the men and women upon the seas today, that they may find safe passage and safe harbor … and know our love and support each and every day,” he said in his homily during Mass in the Crypt Church of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Bishop Cahill is the bishop-promoter of Stella Maris, the Catholic Church’s Apostleship of the Sea, whose chaplains and other pastoral workers reach out to mariners, fishermen, dock workers, workboat operators, cruise ships’ passengers and crews and their families. The Catholic Church’s national day of prayer for mariners falls on the same day as the U.S. National Maritime Day, which recognizes the maritime industry. (OSV News)

Deluged by abuse claims, Oakland Diocese files for bankruptcy

OAKLAND, Calif. — The Diocese of Oakland has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy to address more than 330 lawsuits from survivors of alleged clerical sexual abuse. The decision was made after “considerable consultation and much prayer,” wrote Bishop Michael C. Barber, a Jesuit, in a May 8 letter to diocesan Catholics announcing the filing. Most of the related claims of abuse date from the 1960s through the 1980s, with only three cases alleged to have occurred in the last two decades, the diocese noted on a dedicated webpage detailing the bankruptcy filing. Several California dioceses have filed or announced possible filings of bankruptcies in recent months, due to a three-year window opened by that state in its statute of limitations. The Diocese of Santa Rosa, facing more than 130 sexual abuse lawsuits, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on March 13, following a Dec. 2, 2022 announcement by Bishop Robert F. Vasa. The San Diego and Sacramento dioceses have stated they are considering bankruptcy filings as well. (OSV News)

Bishop Bradley of Kalamazoo, Mich., retires; Erie, Pa., priest appointed as successor

WASHINGTON — Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Paul J. Bradley of Kalamazoo, Michigan, and appointed as his successor Msgr. Edward M. Lohse, vicar general and moderator of the curia for the Diocese of Erie, Pennsylvania. Bishop Bradley, 77, has headed the Kalamazoo Diocese since 2009. Bishop-designate Lohse, 61, also is moderator of the curia for his diocese and pastor of St. Julia Parish in Erie. He was ordained a priest for the Erie Diocese in 1989 and named a monsignor in 2015. Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio, announced the changes in Washington May 23. Bishop-designate Lohse will be ordained and installed at the Cathedral of St. Augustine in Kalamazoo July 25. (OSV News)

WORLD

AI topic draws record number of participants to media ethics conference at in Krakow

KRAKOW, Poland — For 17 years, the media ethics conference at the Pontifical University of John Paul II in Krakow, Poland, has gathered media researchers from all over the country. This year it attracted a record number of academics. The reason? The main topic was the ethics of using artificial intelligence (AI) in the media space. “The theme is gaining momentum,” said Father Michal Drozdz, dean of the university’s social sciences department. “So far we’re in the stage of having fun with ChatGPT, we’re treating it as an adventure. But we see more and more that this is an issue of human ethical security, and we start our reflections from this point at the conference,” he said. What is at stake, Father Drozdz said, is a threat of the objectification of man and empowerment of machines. Meanwhile, tech giants’ executives are calling for regulation of AI. On May 16, the chief executive of the California start-up OpenAI, Sam Altman, urged government to regulate the increasingly powerful technology in testimony before members of a Senate subcommittee. Many participants agreed that regulation is one challenge; the other is education of society. “We can’t stop technology, but we have to educate,” Natalia Hatalaska, author of “The Age of Paradoxes. Is Technology Going to Save Us?,” said at the panel closing the conference. (OSV News)

Pope Francis adds Fátima visit to World Youth Day trip

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis will visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Fátima during his trip to Portugal for World Youth Day 2023, the Vatican said. In a statement May 22, Matteo Bruni, director of the Holy See Press Office, confirmed that the pope will travel to Lisbon Aug. 2-6 and will visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Fátima Aug. 5. The Marian shrine at Fátima is connected to Pope Francis’ public prayer appeals for an end the war in Ukraine. In March 2022, just over one month after Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the pope consecrated both countries to Mary’s Immaculate Heart, praying before a statue of Our Lady of Fátima in St. Peter’s Basilica. Before her death, Sister Lúcia dos Santos, one of the three Portuguese children who claimed to see apparitions of Our Lady of Fátima in 1917, had said Mary requested that Russia be consecrated to her Immaculate Heart by a reigning pope to bring peace to the world. Previous popes had consecrated Russia to Mary’s Immaculate Heart in various forms but had never mentioned the country by name as Pope Francis did in 2022. (CNS)

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