Schools divided after archbishop marriage order
An archdiocese has been riven by disputes over Church teaching, after two schools were asked by Archbishop Charles Thompson to remove teachers in same-sex marriages.
One, Cathedral High School, complied with the archbishop’s request, saying: “Archbishop Thompson made it clear that Cathedral’s continued employment of a teacher in a public, same-sex marriage would result in our forfeiting our Catholic identity due to our employment of an individual living in contradiction to Catholic teaching on marriage.” The school said the “agonising” decision followed 22 months of dialogue with the archdiocese.
Another, Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School, refused to do so. As a result, the archbishop withdrawn its status as a Catholic school.
Blessed Sacrament carried through political district
For the first time in recent memory, a Corpus Christi procession has come to Capitol Hill, passing the Capitol building and the Supreme Court.
The procession was led by Mgr Charles Pope and joined by about 350 priests, sisters and lay people, who sang hymns and prayed the rosary. Writing on the Archdiocese of Washington website, Mgr Pope said that Capitol Hill is “a location that inspires both awe and anger. It is the epicentre of power in our country, power for both great good and great evil. Yet here we are as well, the Church.”
He said the procession was offered “in reparation for the sins and shortcomings of the members of the Church, both clergy and lay.”
Sheen Cause reopens as body comes back
Archbishop Fulton Sheen’s Cause has resumed after his remains returned to the Diocese of Peoria. Bishop Daniel Jenky announced that Sheen’s body had been moved from St Patrick’s Cathedral, New York, without publicity – as canon law requires.
The diocese said: “The Vatican has confirmed that the Cause for beatification has now resumed.” It had stalled because of the now-resolved legal dispute between New York and Peoria over where Sheen’s body would rest.
Now the Pope will consider an alleged miracle attributed to Sheen’s intercession: the healing of an infant who appeared to be stillborn. The Vatican’s experts have approved the miracle, as has the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
Seminarian ‘sacrificed himself’ in bus crash rescue
A seminarian has died in a bus crash, reportedly after acting to save the lives of his fellow-passengers. According to witnesses, Jason Marshall (right), a 53-year-old studying for the priesthood at at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio, took the wheel of a bus after the driver suffered a reported medical incident.
The seminarian was remembered as a brave and kindly man. One seminarian recalled: “There would always be a point in that conversation where he would get fired up and say: ‘Priests have to be men! They have to be ready – they have to be shepherds and they have to be ready to stand up and potentially lay their lives down.’”
‘More than 100,000’ at pro-life, pro-family march
Tens of thousands have taken to the streets of Ecuador, protesting against a ruling by the Constitutional Court which overturned the constitution’s definition of marriage as between a man and a woman. The organisers, who claim that the total attendance was more than 100,000, said: “The sovereign authority, that is, the Ecuadoran people, is defending its rights and fighting so they don’t keep passing laws attacking the life, health and security of the family, and attacking children, the most vulnerable of beings.” They also cautioned against new measures to legalise abortion.
Zanchetta granted leave for Vatican trip
A judge in Argentina has granted a high-ranking Vatican official facing trial for criminal sexual misconduct permission to leave the country.
Bishop Gustavo Zanchetta, currently Assessor to the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA), is charged with abusing two seminarians while he was Bishop of Orán diocese in northern Argentina. He denies the charges.
The judge granted the bishop permission for unspecified “work-related” reasons. The bishop is a close associate of Pope Francis, who appointed him to the Vatican post. The Pope said that Bishop Zanchetta had persuasively defended himself in person.
Two-child welfare policy ‘has encouraged abortions’
Mothers are being pushed towards abortion by the British government’s “two-child limit”, a report has claimed.
Since 2017, low-income families only receive state support for the first two children, meaning that each child carries a notional additional cost of more than £2,500. The report by the Church of England and the Child Poverty Action Group, based on interviews with charities and 430 families, found that “several” couples had considered abortion because they felt unable to afford a child.
Some of the women quoted had narrowly escaped having an abortion. One said: “I booked an abortion as I saw this as my only way out.” She had cancelled the appointment, but was now “on my own with three children unable to meet my outgoings”.
Cardinal welcomes Pope’s message to German Church
Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki has thanked Pope Francis for a letter which urged the German Church to focus on conversion and evangelisation. Cardinal Woelki praised the Pope’s use of “terms which we often express in this country only with hesitation and a certain timidity, which we have almost lost: repentance, conversion, mission”.
Francis’s letter urges “caution” in the “synodal process”, during which German bishops will revisit Church teachings.
Blessed John Henry Newman will be canonised in Rome on Sunday, October 13, the Vatican has announced.
October 9 is currently Newman’s feast day. It marks the anniversary of his momentous and influential conversion from Anglicanism to Catholicism.
Court orders removal of disabled man’s food and water
France’s highest civil court has ruled that a man who has been in a vegetative state for a decade must be deprived of food and water and left to die. The Court of Cassation’s ruling brings to an end the long-running dispute over the fate of traffic-accident victim Vincent Lambert, 42, whose Catholic parents have fought for him to continue receiving treatment. Church documents on euthanasia have classed food and water as ordinary care which must be provided, but French law permits their removal.
The parents, who last month won a last-minute reprieve for their son from a lower court, say that if food and water are removed they will press murder charges.
Patriarch: help Syrian refugees to return
The leader of Maronite Catholics has spoken out against new proposals to help immigrants stay in Middle Eastern countries.
Patriarch Bechara Boutros al- Rahi (right), the Patriarch of Antioch, was responding to a plan laid out by Jared Kushner, son-in-law and adviser to Donald Trump, for $50 billion (£40 billion) of investment in the Middle East to help countries such as Lebanon with a large number of immigrants. The Patriarch said it would be better to prioritise “the return of Syrian refugees to their country.”
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