CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 19 August 2017

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Around the Traps

 
The devil may care
ROME (SE): The devil may care, but is a symbolic figure invented by Christians to explain the existence of evil in the world, Father Arturo Sosa Abascal, the Jesuit superior general told the Spanish newspaper, El Mundo, on June 1.
 
Father Sosa added evil can also be a product of our social environment, as “there are people who act because they are in an environment where it is difficult to act to the contrary.”
 
However, he had been misquoted. A spokesperson said that what he really said was, “To say the devil symoblises evil is not to deny the existence of the devil.”
 
Sisters of Charity to quit hospitals in Ireland
DUBLIN (SE): The Sisters of Charity announced they will cede control of the St. Vincent’s Healthcare Group handing over ownership to a secular corporation—called St. Vincent’s—that has been established for that purpose.
 
The Irish health minister said, “It directly addresses concerns regarding the question of religious influence in the new National Maternity Hospital and further illustrates the constructive role of the sisters to facilitate this landmark project.”
 
The Irish Independent reported that some abortions have already been performed at St. Vincent’s under the terms of new legislation.
 
Show your warrant
SANTA FE (SE): The archdiocese of Santa Fe, New Mexico, has instructed pastors and Church employees to ask federal immigration officials to show a warrant before entering Church property.
 
A memo was circulated, believed to be in response to raids by immigration officials on various other institutions in New Mexico. 
 
Although there have been no reports of raids on churches, the memo instructs Church personnel to contact the diocesan attorney in case of a raid and demand that officers leave Church property if they do not have a valid warrant.
 
Convert or die
MINYA (SE): Coptic Christians involved in the fatal attack in Minya, Egypt, on May 27, were told to convert to Islam or face death, L’Osservatore Romano reported.
 
The reports were based on the testimony of various survivors of the attack, in which 28 were killed and 22 were injured.
 
Bishop’s body in river
YAOUNDE (SE): The body of Bishop Jean-Marie Benoit Balla was discovered in a river near Yaounde in Cameroon on June 2, the Catholic Herald reported.
 
Bishop Balla had been missing since May 31. His car was found on a bridge over the Sanaha River, with a terse note saying: “I am in the water.” Divers recovered his body.
 
Police suspected suicide, but further investigations suggest the note was written by someone else.
 
It is now being treated as a murder enquiry.
 
Denmark repeals 1683 blasphemy law
COPENHAGEN (SE): The Danish parliament has repealed a 1683 act that makes blasphemy criminal offence.
 
“Religion should not dictate what is allowed and what is forbidden to say publicly,” the sponsor of the repeal bill said. “It gives religion a totally unfair priority in society.”
 
Prosecutions under the blasphemy law have been rare, but a 42-year-old man was probably destined to be tried under the old law for posting a video of himself burning the Qur’an on the Internet.
 
Religious bodies dismayed at Trump
NEW YORK (SE): The World Council of Churches, Lutheran World Federation and the ecumenical ACT Alliance expressed deep dismay at the decision of Donald Trump to renege on his country’s commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement.
 
“This is a tragedy, missing an opportunity to show real, accountable leadership for the future of humanity and our common home,” Reverend Olav Fykse Tveit, the general secretary of the World Council of Churches, said on June 6.
 
“This is a decision that is not morally sustainable—and not economically sustainable either,” he said.
 
Man shot near Notre Dame
PARIS (SE): Police shot and wounded a man who attacked a police officer with a hammer at a station next to Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on June 6.
 
Scores of people rushed into the church for cover. Police locked down the cathedral as people panicked at the sound of gunshots.
 
The man has not been identified. He is now recovering in hospital.

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