Annual National Prayer Vigil for Life will take place Jan. 19-20
The National Prayer Vigil for Life held each January will continue even with the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade because there is “still a great need for prayer and advocacy”‘ to end abortion and protect the unborn and their mothers, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said Nov. 11. The vigil is hosted in Washington by the USCCB Secretariat of Pro-life Activities, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and The Catholic University of America’s Office of Campus Ministry. Scheduled for Jan. 19-20 at the national shrine, the vigil has always coincided with the eve of the March for Life, which marks the date of 1973 decision of the court’s Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion nationwide. The 2023 March for Life is Jan. 20.
AG files motion to release sex abuse report covering 80-year span
Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh filed a motion Nov. 17 to allow release of the office’s report of its investigation of child sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Baltimore. The investigation began in late 2018. Although the attorney general’s office has a policy of not confirming ongoing investigations, the archdiocese announced at that time that it was cooperating with the AG’s office. The investigation identified more than 600 victims, the motion said.
Defend the country, defend your hearts, cardinal says at Mass
Ukraine, like any nation under attack, has a legitimate right to self-defense and to seek justice, but great care also must be taken to defend the hearts of Ukrainians from hatred and a desire for vengeance, said the Vatican secretary of state. When Jesus told his disciples to turn the other cheek, he was not ruling out self-defense, because “the Lord does not require unjust or impossible things,” Cardinal Pietro Parolin said in a homily Nov. 17 during a Mass for peace in Ukraine. The liturgy at Rome’s Basilica of St. Mary Major marked the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the Holy See and Ukraine, but it could not ignore how “nearly nine months of extensive warfare have reduced parts of the country to ruins, emptied of people, filled with debris and shrouded in darkness,” the cardinal said.
Pope taps layman as new secretary of Laity, Family, Life
Pope Francis has named a Brazil-born husband, father of two children and teacher of religion in an Italian school to be the secretary of the Dicastery for Laity, the Family and Life. The pope’s choice of Gleison De Paula Souza, who teaches in the southern Italian town of Galatina, was announced by the Vatican Nov. 17. He succeeds Schonstatt Father Alexandre Awi Mello, who was elected superior general of his order in August. Souza, 38, was born in Brazil’s Minas Gerais state. From 2005 to 2016, he was a member of the Sons of Divine Providence but left the community without being ordained to the priesthood. He holds a bachelor’s degree in theology from the Pontifical Salesian University in Rome and a master’s in philosophy from the University of Salento in Lecce.
Retired archbishop admits ‘inappropriate gestures’ toward woman
The retired archbishop of Strasbourg, France, admitted making “inappropriate gestures” to an adult woman when he was a Franciscan priest in the 1980s. Archbishop Jean-Pierre Grallet issued a public statement Nov. 15. He said both a criminal investigation and canonical investigation were underway and that he would withdraw from speaking publicly during the investigations. He also said that, earlier this year, when he learned the woman had come forward, he apologized to her and sought forgiveness from her and her family. In a separate statement, Archbishop Luc Ravel of Strasbourg said the abuse dates back to the fall of 1985, and he learned of the allegations from the victim last December. He said that in January, he reported the case to the Strasbourg public prosecutor; he also notified Vatican authorities. He said civil and canonical inquiries were ongoing.