Indian bishop accused of rape steps aside, requests leave from Vatican

A Catholic bishop in India accused of raping a nun repeatedly over the course of two years has written to the Vatican asking permission to be relieved of his duties as bishop while the case is investigated. “Bishop Franco Mulakkal wrote a letter to Holy Father Pope Francis expressing his desire to step aside temporarily and requested to be relieved from the administration of the Diocese,” the Diocese of Jullundur, which Mulakkal leads, said in a statement released over the weekend and reported by Reuters. The request came days before Sept.…

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Pope Francis warns priests against living a double life

During a day trip to Sicily Saturday, Pope Francis told priests and religious to fight their vices and strive to live a consistent witness of morality. “One cannot live a double morality: one for the people of God and another in their own home,” the pope told a group of priests, religious and seminarians in Palermo, Italy, Sept. 15. “No, the witness is only one. The testimony of Jesus always belongs to him. And for his love [the priest] undertakes a daily battle against his vices and against all alienating…

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Pope Francis gives out crucifixes during Angelus

Pope Francis gave a crucifix to every person present at the Angelus in St Peter’s Square on Sunday, to mark the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross celebrated two days before. “Today, two days after the Feast of the Holy Cross, I thought of giving you who are here in the Square a crucifix,” the Pope said, in his remarks following the Angelus prayer. Around 40,000 silver-plated metal crucifixes were distributed, along with a prayer card with the words (in English, Italian, and Spanish): “The Cross of Christ…

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Pope accepts resignation of US bishop accused of sexual harassment

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Michael Bransfield of Wheeling-Charleston, West Virginia, and has instructed Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore to conduct an investigation into allegations that Bishop Bransfield sexually harassed adults. Archbishop Christophe Pierre, nuncio to the United States, announced Bishop Bransfield’s retirement on September 13 and the appointment of Archbishop Lori as apostolic administrator of Wheeling-Charleston. The Archdiocese of Baltimore released the news that Archbishop Lori had received a specific charge from the Pope to investigate allegations against the bishop. “My primary concern is for…

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Vatican ‘planning response’ to Viganò claims

Members of Pope Francis’s international Council of Cardinals expressed “full solidarity” with him in the midst of questions about his handling of the clerical sexual abuse scandal and said the Vatican is planning a response to allegations made against him by a former nuncio. Only six of the nine cardinals who are members of the council participated in the meeting Sept. 10. The six “expressed full solidarity with Pope Francis in the face of what has happened in the last few weeks, aware that in the current debate the Holy…

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Nigeria: Another Catholic Priest murdered in Imo State

Catholic Priest, Rev. Fr Jude Egbom was on Monday September 10, assassinated by gunmen while having his haircut in his hometown Umuwala. A resident of the community, Ikem Obioma, said, “Fr Jude Egbom, who visited his hometown, Umuwala during the weekend, decided to have a haircut at Nkwerre, not knowing that the heavy hands of death were already at hand. “Fr Egbom, who was with his junior seminarian was shot severally at the chest by the unknown gunmen at the hair salon to the extent that stray bullet hit one…

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Trump defends Pope Francis’s handling of the abuse crisis

Donald Trump has defended Pope Francis’s handling of the abuse crisis, saying that the Pontiff is handling the situation “the best anyone can handle it”. In an interview with the Daily Caller, Trump said that the abuse scandal dated back 70 years, and was “one of the sadder stories ’cause I respect so much the Catholic Church.” Of the multiple abuse allegations against Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, Trump said: “I’m surprised at McCarrick, everyone knew him and so incredible to see these things.” Trump’s comments come less than two weeks after Archbishop Carlo…

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The Church has been ‘turned upside down’ by abuse crisis, says Cardinal

The Catholic Church in the United States is living through two storms, Cardinal Joseph Tobin has said. There is the policy of “zero tolerance” toward undocumented immigrants, which has plunged communities into fear, and the Holy Spirit is working “like a hurricane” to smash structures of clericalism through the current clergy sexual abuse crisis, he said. Cardinal Joseph Tobin of Newark, New Jersey, devoted his remarks in a lecture at the University of Notre Dame to immigration, discussing the impact of a corrosive political discourse and secularism and drawing on…

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Kenya’s bishops ‘not worried’ by breakaway married priests

The president of Kenya’s bishops’ conference has said they are “not worried” by a splinter group of priests whose rules permit them to marry. One of those priests, the Rev Peter Njogu, was ordained a Catholic priest in 1989. He had made up his mind to be celibate for the rest of his life and serve God. But 13 years later, all of that would change. In 2002, Rev Njogu was charged by the Diocese of Nyeri of having a girlfriend, whom he had met while serving in Italy. He…

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Pope Francis receives Vespa scooter from enthusiasts

A group of Vespa enthusiasts gave Pope Francis a 1971 Vespa 50R scooter on Sunday, which will be sold to raise money for charity. Pope Francis met Sunday in the Vatican with participants in the 2nd International Roma Caput Vespa Rally. The Vespa Club in Time, which donated the moped, tricked it out with the papal insignia and a custom number plate: BF362918, which stands for “Bergoglio” – “Francis” – his year of birth – Sunday’s date. Cardinal Konrad Krajewski climbed aboard briefly to check out the Pope’s new ride. As the Pope’s almoner,…

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