Australian archbishop to live under house arrest

An Australian judge approved home detention for Archbishop Philip Wilson, the retired Archbishop of Adelaide who was found guilty of failing to report child sexual abuse allegations in the 1970s. The archbishop’s lawyer said that the prelate will appeal his conviction but would begin serving his sentence immediately. He was sentenced on July 3 to one year’s detention, but with the possibility of parole after six months. The Newcastle Magistrates Court ruled that he could serve the sentence at a relative’s house; Australian media reported that it would be the…

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Philippine Church officials welcome change in Church teaching on death penalty

A Filipino Catholic Church official has welcomed the change made by Pope Francis to the Catechism of the Catholic Church declaring death penalty as “inadmissible”, and has reiterated the call by the country’s Catholic Church against the government’s plan to bring back capital punishment. Pro-life Church “The purpose of punishment is rehabilitation and not vengeance,” stressed Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo, chairman of the Commission on the Laity of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP).  “Death is totally unacceptable because there are now means to rehabilitate those who commit crime while protecting the community,”…

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US bishop orders halt to Communion services without a priest

The Bishop of Santa Rosa has ordered an immediate halt to Communion services in his diocese where a priest is not present, saying such services are “not consistent with the Instructions from the Holy See”. Bishop Robert Vasa told Catholics in his Californian diocese that the services must cease as of August 1, citing an Instruction from the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments issued in 2004. The Instruction says that diocesan bishops “should not easily grant permission” for Communion Services without a priest to be held on weekdays…

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Varadkar: I’ll push Pope on accepting same-sex families

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar says he will tell Pope Francis that families headed by same-sex couples are equal to traditional families when the Pontiff visits Ireland later this month. The two are due to meet at Dublin Castle as the Pope visits for the World Meeting of Families, the Catholic Church’s celebration of the family. Asked what he would say to Pope Francis, Varadkar told journalists last Tuesday he would express “our view as a society and as a government that families come in all sorts of different forms…

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Police investigate death of Coptic bishop

An Egyptian Coptic bishop was found dead inside his monastery on Sunday. According to local media reports, Bishop Epiphanius, head of the Anba Makar Monastery in Beheira, northwest of Cairo, was found with injuries indicating that he had been a victim of violence. Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church said that authorities were investigating the bishop’s death in what it described as “strange circumstances”. Security officials, speaking to Arab News on condition of anonymity, said Bishop Epiphanius had suffered head and back injuries. Archbishop Angaelos, Archbishop of London for the Coptic Orthodox…

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World needs leaders who are just, compassionate and merciful, Pope Francis says

The world needs leaders who can “put into practice a more just way for all of us to live in this world as sharers in a common destiny,” Pope Francis said. “There is no need, on the other hand, for hurling slogans that often remain empty, or for antagonism between parties jockeying for the front position,” the Pope said in a letter to the international conference of “Catholic Theological Ethics in the World Church.” The group is a network of Catholic theologians and ethicists. According to the National Catholic Reporter,…

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Philippines orders deportation of 71-year-old nun

Philippine authorities have ordered the immediate deportation of Australian Sister Patricia Fox, superior of the Sisters of Our Lady of Sion in the Philippines, after she was declared an “undesirable alien” by the Immigration Bureau. Ucanews.com reported that Sister Fox, who has worked in the Philippines for 27 years, would appeal the ruling. In a 10-page resolution released on July 19, the Immigration Bureau found Sister Fox “in violation of the limitations and conditions of her missionary visa” for reportedly joining partisan political activities. Bureau spokeswoman Dana Krizia Sandoval said…

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Pope Francis accepts resignation of bishop accused of abusing seminarians

Pope Francis today accepted the resignation of a 57-year-old Honduran auxiliary bishop, Juan José Pineda Fasquelle, who is alleged to have sexually abused seminarians. Bishop Pineda had been until now auxiliary of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, where the archbishop is Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga. Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga is a member of Pope Francis’s “C9” Council of Cardinal Advisers – in fact the coordinator of the Council – and has himself been accused of financial malfeasance, along with his former auxiliary. Cardinal Maradiaga denies the allegations. Bishop Pineda has not commented on them. The Vatican…

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University chaplain sacked after holding service of reparation for Gay Pride

A priest who offered a service of reparation for the “gross offence against God” of Glasgow Pride has been removed as a university chaplain. Fr Mark Morris offered a Rosary, Litany and Benediction at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Balornock, Glasgow on Monday night. Glasgow Caledonian University sacked him as Catholic chaplain the following day, saying his views were at odds with those of the educational institution. University Principal Professor Pamela Gillies said: “Following due consultation Father Mark Morris will not return to his chaplaincy role at the university in September.…

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India to investigate Missionaries of Charity over baby-selling scandal

Facing child trafficking allegations at one of its homes for unmarried mothers in India, the Missionaries of Charity said the order condemns the actions of individuals involved and stressed that these are unrelated to the order. A baby born in Nirmal Hriday (Tender Heart) home in the eastern Indian city of Ranchi was not handed over to state adoption authorities after the mother had declared her intention to do so, Sister Mary Prema Pierick, Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity, said in a July 17 statement from Calcutta. “We…

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