Shrine rector investigated
The Diocese of Scranton has begun an investigation intovMgr Walter Rossi, the longstanding rector of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, after he was accused of misconduct.
The diocese had received allegations a year ago, and referred them to Washington archdiocese, which said they were “unfounded”, Scranton diocese said in a statement. “Additional concerns have now surfaced, however.”
The two dioceses will now work together on an investigation. Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Washington, DC, said last week that people should not be convicted by “innuendo”.
“As far as I know, no one who has been a victim [of Rossi] has come forward and identified themselves and said specifically ‘I was harmed’,” the archbishop said.
Prayers of reparation after Black Mass
Catholics have said prayers of reparation as a Satanic “Black Mass” took place at a heavy metal bar called The Koven. Protestants also joined the demonstrations outside. One preacher told Ottawa Matters: “The participants are deceived, they’re lost. All we’re out here to do is give them contrast. If they want to choose Satan, they can also choose Jesus.”
The organisers, the Satanic Temple of Ottawa, said the sacrilegious event was a matter of “religious freedom” and self-expression. Archbishop Terrence Prendergast of Ottawa said occult practices have “the potential of opening a spiritual doorway into the evil realm – giving demonic spirits permission, in other words, to infest our city”. He has offered a Mass of Reparation and asked priests to do the same.
Actress’s scholarship for pregnant women
The star of the pro-life film Unplanned has founded a scholarship to help pregnant women pursue an
Ashley Bratcher is working with Heartbeat International, an organisation which provides resources for pregnant women. Bratcher said: “I wanted to be a part of empowering mothers to chase their dreams and to provide a means for those who choose life to continue their educations.” The Unplanned Movie Scholarship will give £5,000 a year to help a woman with an unplanned pregnancy attend college or trade school.
In the film, based closely on a true story, Bratcher played Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood clinic manager who quit after seeing an abortion performed.
Bishops protest at abortion exception
The Mexican bishops’ conference has expressed concerns over a decision by the Supreme Court which allows abortion in some cases, the Catholic News Service reports. In an 8-3 decision, the Court upheld a health norm allowing access to abortion in public clinics if a woman has been the victim of sexual violence. The women would not have to file a criminal complaint with the police. Only a sworn statement would be necessary.
Abortion in Mexico is only legal in Mexico City, where it is permitted during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. The bishops said: “Respect for the right to life cannot be infringed upon by the circumstances in which a human being is conceived.”
Cardinal questions ‘anti-imperialist’ ideology
As Venezuela’s political crisis continues, a cardinal has said that its roots lie in the ideology of the country’s leaders.
In an article for Religion Digital, partially translated by Inés San Martín of Crux, Cardinal Baltazar Enrique Porras Cardozo argued that Venezuelan politicians have a “virus” which makes them think they are “the reincarnation of Simón Bolívar”, the Venezuelan president who led the secession of several states from the Spanish Empire. “Anti-imperialist discourse has destroyed the country”, he wrote, because leaders have divided rather than built up the country.
President looks forward to synod
The Colombian Church has hosted a meeting of clergy and laity ahead of October’s Amazon synod in Rome. Bishops who will be attending the synod, including Peruvian Cardinal Pedro Barreto Jimeno, discussed theological and political issues with attendees including the president of Colombia, Ivan Duque. Duque said that cocaine traffickers were clearing space in the rainforest to plant coca leaves.
Critics argue that the synod will be dominated by debates over celibacy, and that the organisers want to radically reshape the priesthood. But the organisers claim their focus is on pastoral support for a region troubled by a priest shortage and social injustice.
Stalowa Wola, Poland
Kaczyński backs archbishop in LGBT row
The leader of Poland’s biggest party has sided with an archbishop who criticised the LGBT rights movement. Jarosław Kaczyński, of the Law and Justice party, said he was “grateful” to Archbishop Marek Jędraszewski of Kraków, who compared the advance of Gay Pride events to communism. The clash between the Church and the LGBT rights movement has escalated: at one event, a drag queen reportedly simulated the murder of an inflatable doll of Archbishop Jędraszewski. Organisers condemned the performance.
Mr Kaczyński said that Poland should resist the “travelling theatre” of Gay Pride marches, and must “live in freedom, and not be subject to all that is happening to the west of our borders … where freedom is being eliminated.”
Bishop calls for calm over war compensation claim
A Japanese bishop has said that the country needs a “calm and rational dialogue” with South Korea after a trade dispute.
South Korea’s Supreme Court has ordered Japanese companies to compensate Koreans who were used as forced labour in World War II. Japan says the issue has already been resolved. The two governments have taken away each other’s trade privileges. Bishop Taiji Katsuya of Sapporo said Japan should give “special consideration” to former colonial countries.
The acting president of the Hong Kong Federation of Catholic Students has called for Christians to take a bigger role in the protests against China’s domination of the region. Edwin Chow told CNA that Christians could help foster a “peaceful atmosphere” as tensions rise.
Christians ask for prayer amid invasion fears
Groups representing Christians in north-east Syria are appealing for prayers amid concerns that Turkey plans to make good its numerous threats to invade the region with its military forces, reports the Catholic News Service.
Since November 2018, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has threatened to launch a large military operation east of the Euphrates River to “clear Kurdish terrorists” from the area. Syriac Christians view the move as a pretext to enter more of Syria in a bid to change the north-east’s demographic of Kurds and Christians.
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