CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 16 March 2019

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Arrest ordered of longtime suspect in St. Oscar Romero’s killing
WASHINGTON (CNS): Days after the Catholic Church declared Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero a saint, a judge in El Salvador issued a capture order for a former military captain suspected of killing the religious leader in 1980 as he celebrated Mass. 
 
The judge, Rigoberto Chicas, issued the order on October 23 for national and international authorities to apprehend Alvaro Rafael Saravia, who has for years been a suspect in the killing. He remains at large and is believed to be in hiding. 
 
It’s not the first time such an order has been issued against Saravia. He was arrested in 1987 in Miami and has faced a variety of legal proceedings in El Salvador for years that proved fruitless in any meaningful prosecution because of an amnesty law that prevented prosecution of human rights violations by the military tied to the country’s 1980 to 1992 civil war. 
 
However, the 1993 law was thrown out by the country’s highest court in 2016 and the case involving the killing of the archbishop was reopened the following year.
 
Terror attacks threaten Catholic churches in Kenya
NAIROBI (CNS): As frequent terror attacks continue in northeastern Kenya, Catholic bishops and priests are warning that the acts are posing threats to missions and their work. That caution was amplified when suspected al-Shabab militants killed two Christian teachers in Mandera, a county near the Somalia border, on October 10. 
 
The assailants exploded a roadside bomb at a house occupied by four non-local teachers in Arabia Boys Secondary School, killing two of them. “This is yet another incident when innocent Christian workers have become targets,” Father Alfred Murithi, the priest in charge of Our Lady of Consolation Cathedral in Garissa, said on October 22. 
 
“It has been an ongoing trend. I think there are some elements who don’t want to see Christian presence in this region. They are misled to believe that Christians are infidels,” he said.
 
Although the latest attacks are concentrated in the predominantly Muslim north, their impact is being felt across the country, prompting a change in how churches carry out their day-to-today business. 
 
According to some of the Catholic priests, the acts have forced a change in how the people worship and how they mark important days and celebrations in the Christian calendar.
 
Nobel-winning physicist name to Pontifical Academy of Sciences
VATICAN (CNS): Pope Francis appointed Steven Chu, a Nobel-winning physicist from the United States of America (US), to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences the Vatican announced on October 20. 
 
The 70-year-old Chu, who served as secretary of energy under former president, Barack Obama was in St. Louis, Missouri, and is the co-recipient of the 1997 Nobel Prize in Physics “for development of methods to cool and trap atoms with laser light.” 
 
He was a professor of physics and molecular and cellular physiology at Stanford University in California before serving as energy secretary from 2009 to 2013; in that post, he was the first scientist to hold a cabinet position, according to the Stanford physics department website. 
 
After his term in the Obama administration, Chu returned to teaching at Stanford. Chu has published over 280 papers in atomic and polymer physics, biophysics, biology, bio-imaging, batteries and other energy technologies. Additionally, he holds 15 patents.
 
Witness against bishop accused of rape found dead
JALANDHAR (CNS): Sixty-seven-year-old Father Kuriakose Kattuthara, considered a prime witness against Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Jalandhar who has been accused of rape, was found dead inside his room in on October 22, a week after the bishop was granted bail by the state court in Kerala and went back to his diocese, UCAN reported. 
 
UCAN reported that Father Kattuthara gave testimony against Bishop Mulakkal, who has been accused of repeatedly raping a religious sister between 2014 and 2016. 
 
The priest’s brother said family members believe the priest was killed for his strong stand against the bishop, saying that “he was under tremendous pressure” to retract his statements against the bishop. 
Medical staff at Sacred Heart Hospital in Jalandhar, said Father Kattuthara was a recurring patient receiving treatment for hypertension and diabetes. 
“His blood pressure and sugar levels were dangerously high when he visited us a week ago,” Sister Laila Jose, a doctor at the hospital, said.

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