CNN reaches settlement with Covington student
CNN has reached an undisclosed settlement with Nick Sandmann, a Kentucky Catholic high school student who sued the cable news outlet for defamation over its coverage of a confrontation that occurred after last year’s March for Life, the Catholic News Service reports.
Sandmann, a junior last year who was at the centre of the viral video controversy, sought $275 million (£212 million) in damages in his lawsuit filed against CNN last March. He has also sued the Washington Post and NBC Universal. A federal judge let part of the suit against the Post continue after the paper filed a motion to dismiss it. Trial dates have not yet been set for these two lawsuits.
Lipinski ‘disappointed’ by lack of pro-life support
Dan Lipinski, one of the few Democrats in Congress to support anti-abortion legislation, has said that the pro-life movement has not given him as much support as he would have hoped. Lipinski told the Catholic News Agency that “I’ve gotten some support from pro-life groups, but honestly, not as much as I’d like to see.”
Lipinski is campaigning for re-election in Illinois’ third congressional district. Pro-abortion Democrats are trying to oust him, making much of his stance on abortion. “I am not someone who’s a big self-promoter,” Lipinski said, “but look, I have put myself on the line in a more difficult political situation than almost any other pro-life member of Congress.” He said that, if pro-life Democrats become extinct, “It will be easier for the Republican Party to take pro-life voters for granted.”
McCarrick leaves friary
Disgraced former cardinal Theodore McCarrick has moved from the Franciscan friary where he had been living since 2018, when allegations first emerged that he had committed sexual abuse of minors and seminarians over decades.
A spokesman for the Capuchin Franciscan Province of St Conrad told the Catholic News Agency (CNA) that McCarrick had left St Fidelis Friary around the beginning of the month.
CNA said that, according to sources, McCarrick had chosen to move to a new, undisclosed location in order to limit the media pressure on the friary. Coverage of the cardinal’s actions is expected to intensify when a Vatican report is released later this year detailing his career and examining the claims against him.
Bishops criticise government
Venezuela’s bishops have once again strongly criticised the government of Nicolás Maduro, saying that the government’s recent manoeuvres in the country’s legislative assembly were “a new manifestation of the totalitarian ideology of those who hold political power”.
Archbishop José Luis Azuaje Ayala of Maracaibo, president of the bishops’ conference, said that the election of Luis Parra (inset) as president of the National Assembly was an “invalid appointment” achieved by “violating all norms of the assembly”. Parra was elected only after opposition lawmakers were barred from the chamber by National Guard troops.
Priest temporarily suspended after same-sex blessing
A priest has been temporarily suspended by his diocese after giving a blessing at a same-sex union.
Fr Vicente Paula Gomes was allegedly present at a ceremony where two men exchanged vows. He then told them: “You have declared your love and you had the courage to make it public among your friends and before the Holy Church. Of course I cannot give you this sacrament, but I shed a blessing over you … And don’t forget that God blesses your love now and forever.”
The diocese is investigating.
Rio de Janeiro
Ruling allows banned Jesus film
Netflix will be allowed to continue showing a film which displays Jesus as a gay man, after the president of the Supreme Court issued an order overturning an earlier ban.
A Rio judge had previously ruled that Netflix must take down the film, which had provoked two million Brazilians to sign a petition of protest. The local judge said that exhibiting the film could lead to worse consequences than suspending it.
But Supreme Court president José Antonio Dias Toffoli said that “a humorous satire” did not have “the magic power to undermine the values of the Christian faith”.
Master of music resigns after timetable changes
Martin Baker has resigned as master of music at Westminster Cathedral, the diocese has announced.
It is understood that Baker, who had served as master of music since 2000, had urged Cardinal Vincent Nichols not to approve changes to the Westminster Cathedral Choir School timetable, which would mean that choristers had to go home at weekends.
Parents argued the change would put the cathedral’s musical heritage at risk. Writing in the Catholic Herald before the changes were implemented, the former master of music Colin Mawby, who died in November, warned that forcing parents to pick up their children every week would make it impossible for families living outside London to send their children to the school.
Bishops sound alarm on secularist government
Spanish bishops have voiced concern for their country’s future after the government pledged to legalise euthanasia, secularise education and strip the Church of “improper assets”, the Catholic News Service reports,
Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera of Valencia told Catholics in a pastoral letter: “Spain faces a critical situation, a true emergency for our future.” The cardinal asked for prayers and Masses to be said.
The Vatican-Beijing deal has been followed by “increasing persecution” of Catholics, a US report has found. The Congressional-Executive Commission on China found widespread “concern that the agreement did not provide sufficient support for the Chinese Catholic community”.
Archbishop deplores ‘proxy wars’
Iraq has suffered from “proxy wars” for too long, an archbishop has said amid growing tensions between the United States and Iran.
After a US drone killed one of Iran’s leading military figures in a raid on Baghdad airport, Iran vowed revenge. Iranian troops fired at two military bases in Iraq housing US soldiers.
Chaldean Catholic Archbishop Bashar Warda (right) told the Catholic News Agency: “We truly pray that the military solution is not the only solution, but that there is a diplomatic solution to protect Iraqi blood.”
Supreme Court allows state intervention in church schools
Bishops have said that the Supreme Court’s decision to allow the government to control the appointment of teachers in educational institutions run by religious minorities violates their right to manage such institutions.
Ucanews.org reported that the country’s top court upheld a West Bengal state law allowing a government commission to screen candidates to be appointed as teachers in government-funded madrasas (Muslim religious schools).
Fr Joseph Manipadam, secretary to the bishops’ office for education, said: “Our right to administer our institution is curtailed. Freedom to appoint teachers is also part of the administration.”
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