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Doubting cardinal dies
COLOGNE (SE): The group of four who had become known as the doubting cardinals has now been reduced to three with the death in Cologne, Germany, of Joachim Cardinal Meisner at the age of 83 while on vacation in Bad Füssing on July 5.
Together with Carlo Cardinal Caffarra, Walter Cardinal Brandmüller and Raymond Cardinal Burke, Cardinal Meisner submitted five doubts about Pope Francis’ work, The Joy of Love, to the pope on September 19 last year.
G20 summit an opportunity lost
ROME (SE): L’Osservatore Romano published an unsigned front-page analysis on July 10 of the G20 summit held in Hamburg in early July, describing it as a great opportunity lost.
It was critical of both Russia and China for opposing efforts by the European Union and the president of the United States of America, Donald Trump, to take additional steps against human trafficking. It also lamented the lack of consensus on combating climate change.
Ganges misses out on human status
NEW DELHI (SE): The Supreme Court of India has overturned a ruling of the High Court of Uttarakhand recognising the Ganges River and its affluent the River Yamuna as living beings with the rights of a person.
Their waters are considered sacred living human entities by over a billion Hindus and the state-level court had decreed they possess “the legal status of a person with all the rights, duties and responsibilities arising therefrom.”
The original judgement was widely welcomed, but in overturning the decision the Supreme Court pointed out the river causes much damage through flooding, silting and pollution and if it had human status it could be sued.
Diocese to investigate drug murders
MANILA (UCAN): Since the government refuses to investigate the rampant spate of extrajudicial killings in the pretend war on drugs, the diocese of Kalookan in Manila is setting up a team that will include representatives of local government councils and civic groups to look into them.
Bishop Pablo David said the bullets target small-time drug suspects instead of big and powerful drug cartels.
First Jesuit university in India
KOLKATA (UCAN): The 157-year-old St. Xavier’s College in Kolkata transformed itself into the first Jesuit university in India when the new academic year opened on July 7, six months after being granted the new status.
The chief minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee, unveiled the plague of the new building.
Banerjee said she has a dream for this university that one day it will become like Harvard and Oxford.
Archbishop Thomas D’Souza, from Kolkata, blessed a marble statue of St. Francis Xavier after a short prayer at the entrance, marking the opening of first academic session of the new university0.
Cameroon’s bishops take on police verdict
BAFIA (SE): When the body of Bishop Jean-Marie Benoit Balla was found in a river in Cameroon on May 31, the police suspected suicide, but then opened an investigation into murder before finally concluding that his death was either suicide or accidental drowning, saying there is no trace of violence.
However, his fellow bishops have rejected the police findings and are insisting that he was brutally assassinated.
The autopsy was carried out by German doctors, but the bishops’ reaction reflects the deep level of suspicion between the hierarchy and the government leadership.
Shroud of Turin contains evidence of torture
PADUA (CWN): A new scientific study of the Shroud of Turin has found that the linen cloth contains human blood, showing indications of torture.
The analysis of the blood on the Shroud, conducted by a team from three Italian universities, discovered unusually high levels of ferrin and creatinine.
Giulio Fanti, from the University of Padua, explained that these particles, which are found only in the blood of an individual who has suffered severe trauma, “point to a violent death of the man wrapped in the shroud.”
New road to sainthood
VATICAN (SE): Pope Francis has opened the possibility of a new way for the processes of beatification and canonisation—the offering of life—which is now added to martyrdom and heroic virtue. It came into effect on July 11.

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