CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 8 December 2018

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Two more  Chile bishops resign
VATICAN (CNS): The Vatican on June 28 that Pope Francis has accepted the resignations of two more of Chile’s bishops: Bishop Alejandro Goic Karmelic of Rancagua, and Bishop Horacio del Carmen Valenzuela Abarca of Talca, in the wake of a papal investigation into abuse of power, negligence and the cover-up of sexual abuse in the Church in Chile.
 
Almost every bishop in Chile had offered his resignation to Pope Francis in mid-May after a three-day meeting at the Vatican to discuss the clerical sexual abuse scandal.
 
Pope Francis named two apostolic administrators—auxiliary bishops from the Archdiocese of Santiago—to  the now dioceses: Bishop Luis Fernando Ramos Perez fro Rancagua, and Bishop Galo Fernandez Villaseca for for Talca. 
 
Jordan’s king honoured for promoting a peaceful Islam
WEST CONSHOHOCKEN (CNS): Jordan’s King Abdullah II has been chosen as the 2018 Templeton Prize Laureate. 
 
Jordan’s ruler has “done more to seek religious harmony within Islam and between Islam and other religions than any other living political leader,” said a June 27 announcement released by the John Templeton Foundation in West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, the United States of America. 
 
The Templeton Prize, established in 1972 by Sir John Templeton, aims to recognise someone “who has made an exceptional contribution to affirming life’s spiritual dimension, whether through insight, discovery, or practical works.” 
 
King Abdullah will be formally awarded the US$1.45 million ($11.14 million).Templeton Prize at a ceremony in Washington DC on November 13. 
 
Three new bishops for Japan
TOKYO (UCAN): Pope Francis has appointed a new bishop for the Dioceses of Saitama and two auxiliary bishops for the Archdiocese pf Osaka, Japan. 
 
Salesian Father Mario Michiaki Yamanouchi, who is 62-years-old, was appointed bishop of Saitama. He was born to a Catholic family in Japan’s Oita Prefecture in 1955, but he was eight-years-old, his family emigrated to Argentina to raise their children in a Catholic country. He was ordained a priest at 29 and has worked in Japan since 1997. Since 2014, he has been the provincial of the Salesians in Japan.
 
Saitama has not had a bishop since 2013, and Archbishop Takeo Okada of Tokyo has been administering the diocese. The diocese has about 21,500 Japanese Catholics but an even higher number from the Philippines and South America.
 
Sixty-eight-year-old Claretian Father Josep Maria Abella Batlle and fifty-eight-year-old Opus Dei Father Toshihiro Sakai were named auxiliary bishops of Osaka. 
 
Father Abella is the pastor of Osaka’s St. Mary’s Cathedral. The Spanish missionary arrived in Japan in 1973 and was ordained a priest in 1975. He was Claretian provincial from 1981 10 1992 and superior general of the Claretian Missionaries from 2003 to 2015.
 
Father Sakai, secretary-general of the Prelature of Opus Dei in Japan, was born in Hyogo Prefecture in 1960 and entered an Opus Dei seminary in Spain in 1985. He worked in the Archdiocese of Nagasaki where he and Cardinal-designate Maeda, then a diocesan priest, became friends.
 
Father Sakai is a member of the Osaka Archdiocesan Committee for Liturgy. He is also a master of the short Japanese haiku poetic form, as is Cardinal-designate Maeda. Osaka has about 50,000 Catholics.
 
Vatican urges help for drug abusers
VATICAN (CNS): Marking the United Nations’ International Day in Support of Victims of Torture on June 26, Pope Francis called on Christians to help victims of torture, calling this crime against human rights a “mortal sin.” 
 
The pope tweeted: “Torture is a mortal sin! Christian communities must commit themselves to helping victims of torture.” 
 
During his visit to concentrations camps in Poland in 2016, he said: “Cruelty did not end at Auschwitz, at Birkenau. Today too, people are tortured; many prisoners are tortured at once, to make them speak ... It is terrible! Today there are men and women in overcrowded prisons; they live—I’m sorry—like animals.” 
 
The Vatican also marked United Nations International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking on June 26.
 
Peter Cardinal Turkson, prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, called for outreach and support of all those who have been caught up in the world of illicit drugs which is run by people “without scruples, who, giving into the temptation of easy money, slow death, cut off hope and destroy so many families.”

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