Tens of thousands rally in support of Nicaragua’s bishops
A huge crowd of Nicaraguans marched in support of their bishops in the capital of Managua on Saturday, waving flags and holding up statues of the Virgin Mary.
The gathering, called a “Pilgrimage in solidarity with the bishops and shepherds”, came after Daniel Ortega, the country’s president, accused the bishops of being “part of the coup mongers’ plan”. Bishops have been assaulted and churches desecrated in recent weeks as forces sympathetic to the government have turned against the Church. Hundreds of protesters have been killed since April. Fr Carlos Avilés, an archdiocesan official, told the crowd not to be “led by violence” but to live a “radical pacifism”.
Church to work more closely with Evo Morales
Bolivia’s bishops have said they will “march together” with the country’s socialist leader Evo Morales, working together on issues such as education and welfare. They issued their statement after a meeting hailed as a rapprochement between Morales and the hierarchy. After the meeting Morales said he would appoint a delegate to work permanently with bishops and facilitate meetings between them and government ministers. In the past Morales has clashed with the Church – for instance, in 2006 he made the constitution secular. Last month he came to the Vatican to see Cardinal Toribio Ticona, with whom he is said to be friendly, receive a red hat.
Chilean cardinal to testify over alleged abuse cover-up
Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati of Santiago has been summoned by a Chilean prosecutor in the city of Rancagua to testify amid allegations that he covered up clerical abuse.The Archdiocese of Santiago said on its website that he would discuss the “eventual responsibility he might have in the crime of covering up [abuse]”. He said he had never “obstructed justice” and that he was committed to the “search for truth”. Prosecutors said last week they were investigating allegations
of abuse involving 158 people linked to the Church.
Priests’ abuse of nuns was covered up, say five ex-Sisters
Five former members of the Congregation of the Good Samaritan, which is dedicated to caring for the sick in the Diocese of Talca, have accused the order of ignoring the sexual abuse of its members by priests. Speaking to Televisión Nacional de Chile, the Sisters said at least three visiting priests sexually assaulted members, and that complaints were dismissed. One of the whistleblowers, Yolanda Tondreaux, claimed that “more than 23 sisters” were expelled in a year after speaking out. The Congregation has acknowledged one case of abuse and asked for forgiveness.
Cardinal Farrell: I had no idea about McCarrick allegations
Cardinal Kevin Farrell, head of the Vatican office for laity and family, has said he was “shocked” by allegations of sexual abuse carried out by Theodore McCarrick, the man who ordained him a bishop and for whom he served as a vicar general for six years. “I was shocked, overwhelmed; I never heard any of this before in the six years I was there with him,” he told Catholic News Service. The cardinal is often regarded as a protégé of McCarrick. Meanwhile, a letter sent to priests in Washington claimed that Cardinal Donald Wuerl had no knowledge of financial settlements made to two of McCarrick’s alleged victims. The letter, from Mgr Charles Antonicelli, vicar general in Washington, said the archdiocese had no involvement in the settlements, which were made in 2005 and 2007 by two dioceses in New Jersey.
Cause opens for pro-life doctor
The cause of a doctor who campaigned successfully to recriminalise abortion in Uruguay in the 1930s has been formally opened.Salvador García Pintos, born in Montevideo in 1897, was a father of seven who, as well as being a medical doctor, served as an MP for the Unión Cívica party. He was also one of the owners of Jackson Radio, the country’s first Catholic radio station. Cardinal Daniel Sturla presided over a ceremony opening the Cause. Uruguay introduced abortion in 1934 but García Pintos led a campaign to overturn the law, which meant it was recriminalised in 1937. Abortion was legalised in the country in 2012.
Church counselling service to be offered to same-sex couples
The marriage counselling agency of the Irish bishops’ conference has agreed to government demands to offer its service to same-sex couples.The agency, named Accord, will receive €1.6 million (£1.4 million) in state funding which will be withdrawn if it turns away gay couples. A spokeswoman for Tusla, a government body, said Accord had promised it would “provide counselling services regardless of sexual orientation”. Meanwhile, the Irish bishops’ conference has released a new document, “The Code of Ethical Standards for Healthcare”, which reiterates that Catholic hospitals cannot perform abortions. The document was handed to government officials last month.
Catholic magazine compares Matteo Salvini to the Devil
An influential Catholic weekly in Italy has compared the deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini to Satan, declaring “Vade retro Salvini” (“Get back, Salvini”) on its front cover – a tweaked version of the medieval Latin formula used during exorcism. Salvini, leader of the right-wing League party and a Catholic, said the Famiglia Cristiana cover was in “bad taste” and “disrespectful”. Salvini, as interior minister, has overseen the closure of Italian ports to migrants.
Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Archbishop Philip Wilson of Adelaide. The archbishop, who is appealing a conviction of failing to report child abuse, said he resigned because he was “increasingly worried at the growing level of hurt” his conviction had caused.
Pope makes surprise visit to elderly friend
Pope Francis surprised residents of a quiet neighbourhood in Rome last week when he stepped out of his blue Ford Focus to visit a bedridden friend. The Pope went into a block of flats in the city’s Salario neighbourhood, just a few streets from the parish of Santa Maria Addolorata, the Argentine national church in Rome. A neighbour told the news agency Dire: “There is an elderly lady who knows him, but she can’t move.” Vatican and Italian plainclothes police officers waited outside for nearly an hour. Upon his return, the Pope greeted a crowd that had gathered to see him.
Cardinal asks God why the innocent are being massacred
Cardinal Luis Tagle has lamented the deaths of innocents amid a drugs war in the Philippines that has killed 28,000 people. Speaking to an audience of 8,000 people at an evangelisation conference in Manila, he said: “There are many innocent people who are dying. We want to believe that you do not rejoice in their death. But there are so many of them.” He continued: “Where do we see your face? Where do we hear your word? Some people are asking, where are you?”
According to UCA News, the cardinal’s address came a day before the Philippines bishops issued a statement condemning the killings associated with President Rodrigo Duterte’s drugs war.