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Nation and world briefs

U.S.

CDC report: Abortions increased during the last year with Roe still in place

WASHINGTON — The number of abortions in the U.S. increased in 2021, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. national public health agency, and the agency’s last report of such data with Roe v. Wade still in place. For nearly 50 years following the Roe decision, abortion was legally considered a constitutional right. The Supreme Court later overturned the Roe decision in June 2022 with its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, allowing both recent and long-established state laws restricting abortion access to take effect. Since the Dobbs decision in 2022, states across the country have alternately moved to restrict or expand access to abortion. The CDC’s annual report on abortion studies both the profiles of those undergoing abortions and by what means. The study only accounts for legal abortions in states that report their data to the federal government. Although the CDC requests data from all 50 states and DC, it excludes California, Maryland, New Hampshire and New Jersey because they did not provide data. New York City provided its own data. The report documented a total of 625,978 abortions in jurisdictions that reported their data, an uptick from the previous year. The data reflects the last full calendar year with Roe still in place. (OSV News)

Pope planning to withdraw Cardinal Burke’s Vatican salary, sources say

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis told the prefects of Vatican dicasteries that he saw no reason for the Vatican to continue giving U.S. Cardinal Raymond L. Burke a monthly salary and questioned why the Vatican should be providing him with a free apartment in Rome, various sources have confirmed. “He didn’t see why he should continue to subsidize Burke attacking him and the Church,” and the pope thought “he seemed to have plenty of money from America,” a person who spoke to Pope Francis later told Catholic News Service. Riccardo Cascioli, director of the Italian Catholic publication La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana, reported Nov. 27 that Pope Francis announced the provisions regarding Cardinal Burke during a meeting Nov. 20 with the heads of the offices of the Roman Curia. A source who spoke to CNS said his understanding was that Pope Francis was not planning to evict Cardinal Burke from his Vatican-owned apartment but that he did plan to ask the cardinal to start paying rent. (CNS)

WORLD

Ukraine Churches remember Great Famine, in which 3.5 million died

KYIV, Ukraine — Ukrainian Church leaders have joined anniversary commemorations of the 1932-1933 Holodomor, or Great Famine, in which millions died in a disaster deliberately engineered by Soviet Russian rulers. “Ninety years ago, Ukrainians were killed in cold blood under the direct order and elaborate plan of (Josef) Stalin’s totalitarian communist regime, which aimed to destroy our people and their identity, forever ending their hopes of freedom,” said the country’s Greek Catholic bishops. “The genocide of Ukrainians was not an accidental deviation from Moscow’s historical tradition — on the contrary, it was the bloodiest embodiment of a centuries-old ideology of Russian imperialism, which eternally burns with hatred for Ukraine, despises neighboring nations and greedily encroaches on the world’s space.” The declaration, issued ahead of Nov. 25 commemorations, said “killing by starvation” had been chosen as a “weapon of mass destruction” to ensure long-term domination, while erasing Ukraine’s “language, culture and memory” and “sinking its people and land into the abyss.” The Holodomor claimed the lives of at least 3.5 million people. (OSV News)

Pope cancels Dubai trip although Vatican says his health is improving

VATICAN CITY — “With great regret,” Pope Francis has accepted his doctors’ advice to not travel to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Dec. 1-3 and is looking at alternative ways the Vatican can participate in the U.N. Climate Change Conference, the director of the Vatican press office said. The pope was scheduled to be among dozens of world leaders addressing the World Climate Action Summit at the beginning of the conference, commonly known as COP28. “Although the Holy Father’s general clinical condition has improved with regard to the flu and inflammation of the respiratory tract,” for which he had been receiving treatment since Nov. 25, “doctors have asked the pope not to make his planned trip to Dubai,” Matteo Bruni, director of the Vatican press office said Nov. 28. “Pope Francis accepted the doctors’ request with great regret and the trip is therefore canceled,” Bruni said, adding that the Vatican is studying ways the pope and the Holy See still can “be part of the discussions” about addressing the climate crisis. (CNS)

New Vatican letter fuels tensions with German bishops in row over reform

WUERZBURG, Germany — Tensions between Rome and the majority of German bishops are again intensifying with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state informing the German bishops in an official note that the ordination of men to the priesthood and the church’s teaching on homosexuality were non-negotiable, the Catholic weekly newspaper Die Tagespost reported on Nov. 24. The spokesman for the German bishops’ conference, Matthias Kopp, confirmed that the bishops had the letter at their Permanent Council at the beginning of the week. In the letter dated Oct. 23 and addressed to the general secretary of the bishops’ conference, Beate Gilles, Cardinal Parolin drew red lines in the dialogue with the German bishops. He emphasized that the Vatican did not consider it possible to negotiate on the Church’s teaching on homosexuality or the 1994 document “Ordinatio Sacerdotalis” in which John Paul II reaffirmed the exclusion of women from ordination to the priesthood. Pope Francis recently expressed his concern about concrete initiatives individual dioceses and the Catholic Church in Germany as a whole are taking, including the establishment of a synodal council, which, he said, threaten to steer it away from the universal Church. (OSV News)

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