Latest News News Analysis

World News: From San Cristobal to Kochi

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra (Getty)

Los Angeles

Attorney general investigates Church’s record on abuse

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has opened an investigation into how the state’s 12 Catholic dioceses have addressed allegations of sexual abuse of minors by priests, lay church employees and volunteers, reports the Catholic News Service.

In a May 2 letter to each diocese, Becerra asked church officials to preserve all documents related to abuse allegations. Los Angeles archdiocese was among those receiving the letter, Angelus, the news outlet of the archdiocese, reported. Archdiocesan spokeswoman Carolina Guevara said the archdiocese would “be responding cooperatively as we have with the past three grand jury investigations of the archdiocese.”


Victory for Sheen family in legal dispute

Venerable Fulton Sheen’s remains can be moved to the Cathedral of St Mary in Peoria, the New York Appeals Court ruled on Monday.

This opens the way to Sheen’s possible canonisation, a Cause which advanced in 2012 when Pope Benedict XVI recognized his “heroic virtues”.

The Diocese of Peoria said in a statement: “After almost three years of litigation, the New York archdiocese’ legal arguments have now been rejected at all three levels of the New York state court system. Although the New York Archdiocese may technically have legal options remaining, they are contrary to the wishes of Archbishop Sheen and his family.”

Mexico City

Mexico hails first beatified laywoman
cardinal Angelo Becciu has celebrated the beatification Mass
of Blessed Maria Concepcion Cabrera, the first Mexican laywoman to be proclaimed Blessed.

Blessed Maria, known as “Conchita”, gave witness as “a wife, mother, widow, and an inspiration for religious institutes and apostolic initiatives”, Cardinal Becciu said.

Born in 1862, Conchita married in 1884 and had nine children. Her husband died unexpectedly in 1901, leaving her grief-stricken, but she devoted herself to her family, to serving the poor, to writing – her collected works amount to 66 volumes – and to founding Catholic associations.

The best-known, the Apostolate of the Cross, helps members, lay and clerical, to make their lives an offering to God in union with the Cross.

San Cristobal, Venezuela

Guardsmen attack church with tear gas
Members of the National Guard have attacked a church in San Cristóbal.

Two national guardsmen entered Our Lady of Fatima church on a motorbike, just as Mass was ending. When the priest remonstrated with them, 40 more guardsmen arrived and threw tear gas into the church. A nun fainted during the attack.

Bishop Mario del Valle Moronta Rodriguez of San Cristóbal de Venezuela called it a “despicable” attack “on the Catholic Church”, and said the military leaders in the region “don’t have the least respect for human dignity and don’t even show any fear of God.”

Tensions continue to mount in Venezuela, with opposition leader Juan Guaidó calling for further protests.

Buenos Aires

Pope Francis keen to visit, say archbishops
Pope francis has said he intends to visit his homeland as soon as his schedule allows, according to two Argentine archbishops.

Archbishop Andres Stanovnik of Corrientes told journalists: “He repeatedly expressed his desire to visit is but the challenge is his agenda.”

The archbishop was speaking after a two-hour meeting with the Pope as part of Argentine prelates’ ad limina visit to the Vatican. Archbishop Eduardo Martin of Rosario told the online news site Crux that the visit was “one of the first things we talked about”.

São Paulo

Cardinal to take lead at Amazon synod
The retired Archbishop of São Paulo, 84-year-old Cardinal Claudio Hummes, has been chose as relator general for next year’s synod of bishops on the Amazon.

Pope Francis announced the appointment through the Vatican on May 4.

Cardinal Hummes will be responsible for outlining the synod’s intentions at the beginning of the conference and summarising speeches at the end, before proposals are made to the pope.

In 2017, Francis said indigenous people are “often forgotten and left without the prospect of a peaceful future, including because of the crisis of the Amazon forest”.


Jean Vanier dies aged 90
Jean Vanier, the founder of L’Arche, has died aged 90.

L’Arche said in a statement on Tuesday: “Jean passed away peacefully today … In recent days, while remaining very present, he had declined quickly.”

In 1964, Vanier bought a house in Trosly-Breuil, northern France, and founded L’Arche, a community for those with learning disabilities to live with their carers and be helped to grow to their full potential. L’Arche International now has 150 sites around the world.

He also co-founded Faith and Light with Marie-Hélène Mathieu in 1971. An international network of forums for those with learning disabilities, their friends and family, it has more than 1,500 communities in 81 countries around the world.

Kochi, India

Accusations against Cardinal were forgeries, say police
A police investigation into Cardinal George Alencherry has found that allegations against him were based on forged bank documents.

The Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Church was accused of transferring large sums of money from a private bank account. But a police spokesman said: “The cardinal has no such bank account used for transferring funds as alleged by the complainants.”

The investigation is continuing.


Masses suspended
Public Masses were suspended for a second weekend running in Sri Lanka, following the terrorist bombings last month in which more than 250 people were killed.

Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith instead celebrated a televised Mass at his residence.


Cardinal Pell ‘barred from saying Mass’
Cardinal George Pell is unable to say Mass in prison, according to reports, as he is being denied wine as part of his incarceration.

He is kept in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day, a decision taken to protect him, and passes his time reading, writing and in prayer.

One of the cardinal’s friends told The Australian: “He is being treated well. He’s a spiritual person. He’s not able to say Mass and I suspect that will be the most significant privation for him.”

The cardinal was sentenced to six years in prison for alleged child sex offences. He maintains his innocence. His appeal will be heard in June.

Kaduna, Nigeria

Archbishop: Christians being ‘killed like chickens’
A Nigerian Archbishop is appealing to the international community for help after a series of attacks on Christian-majority villages in the north-west of the country.

Archbishop Matthew Man-oso Ndagoso of Kaduna (right) told LifeSite that Christians “are being killed like chickens”.

Farmers are afraid to go to their villages, he said, and unless the situation changes “only God knows what will happen to us next year in terms of food security.”

The archbishop said the Nigerian government needs to be put under international pressure to act.