World News

In brief

Hobbs, New Mexico

Virgin Mary statue is ‘weeping olive oil’

A seven-foot bronze statue of the Virgin Mary appears to be weeping tears composed of scented olive oil, chemical analysis has found. The Diocese of Las Cruces has been investigating the statue at Our Lady of Guadalupe church in Hobbs, New Mexico, since May, when the phenomenon first began. Bishop Oscar Cantú told Las Cruces Sun-News that it was still a mystery where the oil was coming from. He said the statue’s manufacturers had insisted that there was no possibility any moisture had remained in the bronze. The interior had been examined and was hollow, he said. He added that people who had visited the statue had experienced “tremendous spiritual consolation”.


Bishop quits amid allegations from ex-seminarians

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of a bishop facing allegations of sexual misconduct and corruption. Auxiliary bishop Juan José Pineda of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, was accused last December of allowing “reckless financial operations” and giving Church funds to friends, including buying someone a flat and a car. Then in March two former seminarians accused Bishop Pineda of attempting to sexually assault them and then making life difficult for them once they had rejected his advances. The bishop has not yet commented on the accusations. Bishop Pineda has been serving as an auxiliary to Cardinal Oscar Maradiaga, a close confidante of Pope Francis and head of the C9 council of cardinals advising the Pope on Vatican reform.

Buenos Aires

Activist creates pro-abortion video game

A pro-abortion activist in Argentina has created a shoot’em up video game in which players fight Catholic priests, Nazi-style police and knife-wielding women in order to shoot at a large image of an unborn baby. Designer Florencia Rumpel told the Argentinian website Kotaku that she made the game, called “Doom Fetito”, during an “anti-fascist game jam”. It is a customised version of the 1993 hit Doom. The Catholic site Crux said it showed a “nastier” tone emerging in Argentina’s debate on the issue. The country’s senate is preparing to vote on a bill that would legalise abortion on demand for the first 14 weeks of pregnancy.


Exorcist who was the Pope’s spiritual director dies aged 102

Fr Carlos Aldunate, an exorcist who taught Pope Francis, has died in Chile aged 102. Fr Aldunate was a spiritual director for Fr Jorge Bergoglio during his novitiate. According to Civiltà Cattolica, Pope Francis called him “the king of common sense”. He was also rector of the Jesuit seminary in Chile and author of the book The Devil, Doctrine and Catholic Practice. He once said: “Once you suspect someone needs an exorcism, then you pick up the phone and call a bishop to ask for authorisation … It’s an obligation of charity.”

New York

Pray and fast for the Supreme Court, urges cardinal

Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York has urged Americans to pray that the new justice of the Supreme Court will “move our nation closer to the day when every human being is protected in law and welcomed in life”.The cardinal, chairman of the US bishops’ pro-life committee, said the process of confirming a new candidate was being “grossly distorted by efforts to subject judicial nominees to a litmus test of support for Roe v Wade”.

He urged people of good will to pray a “Novena for the Legal Protection of Human Life” every Friday for nine weeks from August 3. People are also invited to fast for this intention. “May Our Lady of Guadalupe intercede for the healing of … our people from decades of abortion on demand,” Cardinal Dolan said.


Chaplain fired for calling gay pride event a ‘gross offence’

A priest who offered a service of reparation for the “gross offence against God” of Glasgow Pride has been removed as a university chaplain. Fr Mark Morris offered a rosary of reparation, followed by litany and Benediction, at Immaculate Heart of Mary, Balornock, last Monday. The next day Glasgow Caledonian University sacked him, saying his views were at odds with those of the institution. The university’s Catholic society said: “It is frankly abhorrent that a Catholic priest would be dismissed from his post as a Catholic chaplain for merely reaffirming the teachings of the Catholic faith.”


Patriarch blames Tsar’s murder on ‘foreign influence’

Patriarch Kirill II has said that the assassination of Tsar Nicholas II and his family 100 years ago was the “consequence of the pernicious influence of a philosophy coming from abroad, which led to the denial of God”. He was speaking as 100,000 Orthodox faithful gathered in Ekaterinburg, where the Tsar, an Orthodox saint, was executed. The patriarch said Russia’s problems began when “thoughts foreign to us … began to be welcomed by the intelligentsia”.


PM appeals to Pope

Malcolm Turnbull, Australia’s Catholic convert prime minister, has said “the time has come” for the Pope to sack the Archbishop of Adelaide. Archbishop Philip Wilson, sentenced to a year in jail for failing to report abuse, has said he will only resign if he loses his appeal.

Vatican City

Teenager beaten by his uncle to be canonised

A teenager known as “our little saint” in Naples is to be canonised during the youth synod in October, the Vatican has said. Blessed Nunzio Sulprizio, who died in 1836, aged 19, from bone cancer, was raised by his uncle after his parents passed away. His uncle made him an apprentice blacksmith, but mistreated him, beating him and withholding meals. Blessed Nunzio found solace in Adoration and the Rosary. He was taken to hospital after contracting gangrene and, while ill, became renowned for his serenity in offering up his suffering. After his death his body was exhibited in Naples for five days.

Caloocan City

My flock is being slaughtered while I lie in bed, says bishop

Bishop Pablo Virgilio David of Caloocan, the Philippines, has expressed shame that he has been unable to protect his flock from “wolves”. He was speaking after a 27-year-old mother of two was shot dead by masked men. “Today, in utter shame and frustration, I declare I have not been a good shepherd to my flock,” he said at a Mass in Manila. His diocese had become a “killing field”, he said. “I will bow in shame if the Good Shepherd denounces me as a mere hireling who remains very safe and secure, who can get a good night’s sleep in his warm bed while his sheep are being slaughtered. And this is what I was saying in tears to myself last nighT.”