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Coadjutor named for troubled Guam

AGANA (CWN): Bishop Michael Byrnes, an auxiliary from Detroit, has been named as coadjutor of Agana in Guam; where Hong Kong-born Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-fai has been standing in for Archbishop Anthony Apuron, who has been charged with multiple sex-abuse complaints.

Archbishop Hon relieved Archbishop Apuron of all pastoral responsibilities in June. Archbishop Apuron has denied the charges and officially remains in his post, although his authority has been suspended.

Archbishop Hon asked the Holy See to remove him permanently and name a successor.


Catholic to lead opposition in Bangladesh

DHAKA (SE): A Catholic has been chosen for the first time as the leader of the main opposition party in Bangladesh.

Albert Costa was elected as president of the Jubo Dai, the youth wing of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party. He told AsiaNews that he hopes to revive the party. “I will reorganise the party from the ground up,” he said.

Catholics account for less than 0.5 per cent of  the 160 million population of Bangladesh.


Cathedrals’ red light district

LONDON (SE): Three cathedrals in England will be floodlit in blood red during all of November to draw attention to the plight of persecuted Christians.

“In November, nobody passing Brentwood Cathedral at night will be able to turn a blind eye to it, and nobody, believer or non-believer, Christian or non-Christian, should turn a blind eye to the persecution of Christians in the Middle East,” the rector, Father Martin Boland told the Catholic Herald.

Westminster Cathedral is also taking part in the initiative, as well as the Anglican Westminster Abbey.


Louisiana defends confessional seal

BATON-ROUGE (CWN): The Louisiana Supreme Court ruled that priests are not required to report child abuse when they hear about sexual abuse in the sacrament of reconciliation.

“A priest when administering the sacrament of confession has no duty to report any confidential communications made during the confession that, by the tenets of the Roman Catholic Church, he is authorised to hear and is also duty bound to keep confidential,” the court ruled on October 28.

Father Jeff Bayhi, from Baton Rouge, had been directed to testify about what a 14-year-old allegedly told him in confession.

She said she told Father Bayhi about being molested by a member of his parish. Father Bayhi refused to testify, citing the confessional seal.


Prayer for shipbuilders

SEOUL (UCAN): An interfaith prayer service was held in Seoul, South Korea, on October 18 for people in the ailing shipbuilding industry who have been fired or are under threat of dismissal.

“The greedy economic system blocks the common good and does not serve people. I pray for a fair restructuring of the industry that considers the most vulnerable people first,” Father Ignatius Jung Soo-yong, president of Labour Pastoral Commission, said.

The rally criticised the government and companies for firing people without considering their welfare.

Song Tae-wan, a subcontractor, said, that if religious people pray for and support us, less people will be kicked out on the street.


14 million from Britain for anti-human trafficking drive

VATICAN (SE): At a Vatican conference on human trafficking, the British home secretary, Amber Rudd, announced a Ä14 million ($142.8 million) programme to combat the growing abuse.

Rudd made the announcement on October 27 at a talk to the Santa Marta Group, which was set up by Pope Francis to fight against human trafficking. Britain’s top police official, Bernard Hogan-Howe, is the co-chairperson of the group, along with Vincent Cardinal Nichols, from Westminster.


No ordination of women pope reiterates

Rome (CWNews): “On the ordination of women in the Catholic Church, the final word is clear, it was said by St. John Paul II and this remains,” Pope Francis told reporters during his return flight from Sweden to the Vatican on November 1.

Pope Francis said that Pope John Paul’s 1994 apostolic letter, Priestly Ordination (Ordinatio Sacerdotalis), “leads in that direction.”

Pope Francis explained that the Church is not discriminating, but recognising that women have a different and in many ways a superior role.


He pointed out that women can do so many things better than men and reminded reporters that the Church has a Marian as well as a Petrine dimension, and that the role of the Virgin Mary is more important than that of St. Peter. “Much more,” Pope Francis emphasised.

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