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Nation and world briefs

Report: Abortions provided by virtual-only clinics spike 72% in year since Dobbs

WASHINGTON — The number of legal abortions provided by virtual-only clinics via abortion pill prescriptions spiked 72% in the year following the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade, according to a report by #WeCount, a research project by the Society of Family Planning, a group that supports legal abortion. The increase in abortions at virtual-only clinics, which use telemedicine to prescribe an abortion-inducing drug regimen to patients, comports with some previous studies showing similar results post-Dobbs. Even prior to that decision, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that more than half of the abortions performed in the U.S. were chemical or medical, rather than surgical. The #WeCount report, which examined the period from April 2022 to June 2023, found that although abortions decreased in states that have banned or limited the procedure, abortions increased nationally. (OSV News)

Catholic Charities reacts to ‘disturbing’ online threats over migration work

WASHINGTON — Catholic Charities USA, the organization dedicated to carrying out the domestic humanitarian work of the U.S. Catholic Church, responded Oct. 31 to “disturbing” recent remarks by a social media influencer threatening its staff. Right-wing social media influencer Stew Peters said in Oct. 28 comments that Catholic Charities helps “coach illegals on how to get admitted here.” “We need troops on the border that will shoot people that are trying to invade our country,” he said, while suggesting “shooting everyone involved with these fake charities.” The comments were livestreamed on the social media platforms X and Rumble. As of Oct. 31, the video appeared to be removed from Rumble, but was still accessible on X. Kevin Brennan, a spokesperson for Catholic Charities USA, said in a statement that “these comments are deeply disturbing and could endanger Catholic Charities staff members and volunteers, who on a daily basis selflessly serve people in need in every corner of this country.” Catholic Charities agencies provide basic humanitarian care — “a warm meal, fresh clothing, a bed to sleep in for a night” — to migrants after federal authorities release them into the country, he said. (OSV News)

After mass shooting, Maine parish becomes hub of healing

LEWISTON, Maine — A Maine parish has become a hub of healing as its community grapples with a devastating mass shooting. “It’s been miraculous what the Holy Spirit has done,” said Tyler Nadeau, director of evangelization and catechesis at Prince of Peace Parish in Lewiston, Maine. “I can say with 100% certainty that God has sent legions of angels into our community.” An Oct. 29 prayer vigil — organized by Lewiston officials and hosted by the parish — drew some 4,000 residents to the Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul, one of the five churches that comprise the parish. The evening gathering commemorated the 18 victims killed in an Oct. 25 shooting rampage that spanned two locations in Lewiston. “We were able to come out as one,” Nadeau said. “So many people just walked (into the basilica) and said, ‘We had forgotten how beautiful this is.’” (OSV News)


Papal commission reaches out to Father Rupnik’s known victims

VATICAN CITY — The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors has reached out to known victims of Slovenian Father Marko Rupnik, asking to meet with them. The purpose of the invitation, written by a member of the 19-member papal body, was to examine and study how the victims were treated by the Church, specifically the Jesuits — the religious order Father Rupnik was expelled from in June — and the Vatican, Il Sismografo, an Italian blog that closely follows the Vatican, reported Oct. 25. Catholic News Service confirmed the invitation Oct. 26. The mission of the papal body includes evaluating the Church’s response to victims and abuse allegations and ensuring that “robust policies and practices for the prevention and management of all forms of abuse are in place,” according to the commission’s strategic plan for 2022-2027. According to details provided by Il Sismografo and confirmed by CNS, the outreach to Father Rupnik’s victims is not a legal review of their cases but is about reviewing current policies and practices and what the victims experienced by reporting the abuse to Church officials. (CNS)

Mexican bishops call for solidarity after Hurricane Otis devastates Acapulco

ACAPULCO, Mexico — Mexico’s bishops expressed “closeness” with the affected populations and urged generosity after a monster Category 5 hurricane tore through Acapulco, leaving 27 dead and four people disappeared. Cáritas México, meanwhile, mobilized a response to Hurricane Otis, which battered Acapulco around midnight Oct. 25 as the strongest hurricane to ever hit Mexico’s Pacific Coast, according to the National Hurricane Center. The hurricane caused widespread property damage and flooding, while leaving the tourist destination incommunicado. Dioceses in Mexico have established collection centers to help the homeless amid widespread devastation. The National Hurricane Center said at 10 p.m. on Oct. 24 that Hurricane Otis had explosively intensified by 95 mph during the past 24 hours. (OSV News)

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