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Irish bishop resigns over abusive priest
DUBLIN (CNS): Bishop John McAreavey of Dromore, Northern Ireland, resigned on March 1 after increased criticism over how he dealt with revelations of an abusive priest. 
The bishop came under fire in a programme on BBC Northern Ireland on February 28, after it emerged that he concelebrated an anniversary Mass with a priest he knew had stepped down after being sent for treatment following complaints of abuse. 
In a statement from his lawyer released to journalists on March 1, he 69-year-old Bishop McAreavey said: “Following media reports which have disturbed and upset many people in the diocese and further afield, I have decided to resign with immediate effect.” 
Twelve people accused the late Father Malachy Finnegan of sexual abuse. The priest, who taught at St. Colman’s College in Newry, from 1967 to 1976, is also accused of physical and emotional abuse against students. 
While Father Finnegan was disciplined under his predecessor, Bishop McAreavey had been criticised in recent weeks for not making the cleric’s abuse public.

Rector of Indian shrine stabbed to death
BANGALORE (CNS): Father Xavier Thelakkat, the 52-year-old rector of the shrine of St. Thomas at Malayattoor, was stabbed to death on March 1 at around noon. 
Police launched a manhunt for the alleged attacker, a sacristan whom Father Thelakkat had earlier suspended for misconduct, including alcoholism. 
Witnesses said the two were arguing when the former sacristan stabbed the priest. The priest was stabbed at the Sixth Station of the Cross as he came down the hill after checking on preparations for the annual Lenten pilgrimage.
St. Thomas shrine sits on a hill about 48 kilometres north of Cochin. The Vatican had granted the shrine international status in 2004. The Father Thelakkat had been rector there since 2011. 
Exploitation of nuns decried
VATICAN (Agencies): The March edition of Women Church World, the monthly women’s magazine of the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, denounced how nuns are often treated like indentured servants by cardinals and bishops, for whom they cook and clean for next to no pay, according to a March 1 report from the Associated Press (AP).
The magazine’s exposé on the underpaid labour and unappreciated intellect of religious sisters confirmed that the magazine is increasingly becoming the imprint of the Catholic Church’s #MeToo movement, according to the AP article.
“Some of them serve in the homes of bishops or cardinals, others work in the kitchens of Church institutions or teach. Some of them, serving the men of the Church, get up in the morning to make breakfast and go to sleep after dinner is served, the house cleaned and the laundry washed and ironed,” one of the lead articles reads.
AP quoted a religious sister, identified only as Sister Marie, as describing how sisters serve clergy but “are rarely invited to sit at the tables they serve.”
While such servitude is common knowledge, it is remarkable that an official Vatican publication would publicly denounce how the Church systematically exploits its own nuns.
Centuries old quake damaged church restored 
TAGBILARAN (UCAN): Archbishop Gabriel Giordano Caccia, the papal nuncio to the Philippines, witnessed the handover this of the newly restored Immaculate Conception parish church in Baclayon town to the Tagbilaran Diocese in Bohol province.
A renowned Spanish colonial structure and historical landmark, the church was destroyed by a devastaing magnitude 7.2 earthquake in October 2013 which killed over 200 people and damaged some 73,000 structures.
The town of Baclayon was founded by Jesuit priest Juan de Torres and Gabriel Sanchez in 1596, and became the oldest Christian settlement in the central Philippine province.
The old coral stone church was completed in 1727 and renovated by the Augustinian Recollects in 1768.
The church was declared a national cultural treasure by the Philippine government and had been on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List since 1993.
Reconstruction following the earthquake was spearheaded by the National Museum of the Philippines.
Archbishiop Caccia commended the local Church and the Philippine government for working together. 
“When there is harmony, there is peace and joy,” the archbishop said.

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