Knights of Columbus volunteered for 76m hours
The Knights of Columbus volunteered for 76 million hours and gave $185 million in donations last year, Supreme Knight Carl Anderson has announced at the Knights’ 137th Supreme Convention in Minneapolis. Anderson drew particular attention to their work rebuilding parishes in northern Iraq following its invasion by the Islamic State five years ago.
Other recent initiatives include placing 1,000 ultrasound machines in pregnancy resource centres throughout the United States: ‘the greatest humanitarian achievement in the history of the Knights of Columbus,’ Anderson said. ‘Pro-life is not only a matter of charity. It is also a matter of justice.’
Author JD Vance is baptised a Catholic
The bestselling author JD Vance has been baptised and received into the Church. The author of Hillbilly Elegy grew up in a Christian family but was never baptised. He said he “became persuaded over time that Catholicism was true”.
Vance chose St Augustine as his patron because, he told the American Conservative, “he gave [me] a way to understand the Christian faith in a strongly intellectual way. I also went through an angry atheist phase. As someone who spent a lot of his life buying into the lie that you had to be stupid to be a Christian, Augustine really demonstrated in a moving way that that’s not true.”
Church criticises confessional-breaking bill
The Church in Wisconsin has registered strong objection to a bill which would force priests to violate the Seal of Confession and face excommunication, the Catholic News Agency reports. The proposed Clergy Mandatory Reporter Act, announced last week, would force priests to report child abuse learned of in the confessional. Kim Vercauteren, executive director of the Wisconsin Catholic Conference, decried the attack on the confessional.
“The need for secrecy and to be able to be candid in that circumstance is kind of the whole premise behind Confession, that this is the opportunity to completely unburden your soul,” she said.
A similar bill was introduced in California this year but was withdrawn before it was debated in committee.
Bishop quashes apparition rumours
Bishop Michael Olson of Forth Worth has quashed rumours that he validated Marian apparitions. The claims, which appeared on websites and social media pages, said Bishop Olson and the diocese had authenticated alleged apparitions and messages of the Blessed Virgin Mary under a title of “Mystical Rose – Our Lady of Argyle”. The diocese said in a statement: “Bishop Olson does not encourage anyone to offer credence or support for these claimed apparitions.”
The purported visionary claims to have received messages from saints, angels, Jesus and Mary, on the sanctity of life and other matters.
Argentinian pro-lifers celebrate anniversary of victory
Pro-life groups in Argentina have celebrated one year since the country’s senate voted against the legalisation of abortion. At rallies around the country on August 8, pro-lifers wore the light-blue ribbons which have become a symbol of the movement in response to the pro-abortion “green tide” campaign.
Connie Pallito, 23, one of the founders of Jovenes por la Vida, a pro-life Instagram account, told Crux: “We are not against the woman who gets an abortion, but against the system that makes her believe abortion is her only solution.”
Orán and Mendoza
Abuse trials start
Bishop Gustavo Zanchetta, the Argentine priest who was given a Vatican job by Pope Francis in 2017, was scheduled to appear in court in Oran last week, facing charges which would carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. He is accused of the “aggravated continuous sexual abuse” of two young seminarians.
In Mendoza, two Catholic priests and a former employee are on trial for 28 alleged cases of sexual abuse of 10 students at an institute that cared for deaf children. Father Horatio Corbacho has pleaded not guilty to the charges and is the only one to have entered a plea, according to reports from AP.
15-year-old protests against “Equality March”
A 15-year-old boy from Płock in Poland has made a public stand against an “LGBT rights” march taking place in his home town. Jakub Baryla borrowed a large wooden cross from his parish priest and held it up in witness as participants marched past.
Baryla, a councillor in the youth arm of Płock city council, explained: “I wanted as many people as possible to see it. I wanted it to provoke reflection and discussion.” he said he was motivated by “my Catholic faith”, and that the marchers “profane the Polish flag by putting a rainbow on it.”
Baryla’s protest follows comments from the archbishop of Krakow, who said that his country is under siege from the “rainbow disease” of LGBT activism.
Salvini plays down conflict with Vatican
Matteo Salvini’s has said there is no rift with the Vatican over migration. In an interview with Italian magazine Oggi, Italy’s interior minister and deputy prime minister denied that there was conflict between himself and Pope Francis. Salvini said meeting the pontiff would be a “great honour”, adding: “millions of Italians voted for me – for the most part, I believe, Catholics – [so that] I’ll defend the borders and suppress the traffic in human beings”.
41 die in floods
Catholic institutions in flood-hit Mumbai have taken in thousands of people who have become stranded because of heavy rain and flooding. The region’s three major rivers flooded after authorities released water from overflowing dams. 41 people have died since the rains started in July.
Nigerian archbishop calls for peace
A Nigerian archbishop has called for an end to “finger-pointing” as tensions rise in the country. Ignatius Ayau Kaigama, coadjutor Archbishop of Abuja, said: “Let us all collectively agree we have done wrong and let’s resolve to do better and invoke God and beg Him to show us the way forward so that we can live as patriotic citizens and brothers and sisters.” Asked whether President Muhammadu Buhari wanted to Islamise the country, the archbishop said the bishops had once put this question to the president. “He told us it’s absolutely not true, and we believed him.”
New South Wales steps towards abortion decriminalisation
Archbishop Anthony Fisher of Sydney has said a bill to decriminalise abortion, which passed through the lower house of the New South Wales parliament on August 8, “does nothing to protect mothers or their unborn children or to give them real alternatives”. While supporters of the Reproductive Health Care Reform Bill 2019 say it clarifies previously ambiguous terms in penal code with regard to abortion, opponents believe it opens the possibility of elective abortion at any time, with two doctors consenting.
St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney was opened for 65 hours of continuous Eucharistic adoration from August 5 to 8, and hundreds of pro-life supporters participated in a prayer vigil.
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