Pope accepts resignation of Archbishop of Paris, appoints administrator (Vatican Press Office (Italian)) Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Archbishop Michel Aupetit of Paris. The 70-year-old prelate, who was appointed Archbishop of Paris in 2017, offered to resign following the publication of a report about his relationship with a woman.
The Pontiff appointed Archbishop Georges Pontier, 78, retired Archbishop of Marseille and former president of the French episcopal conference, as apostolic administrator.
Pope, in Cyprus, puts focus on migration (Crux) Pope Francis arrived in Cyprus on December 2, and told a welcoming crowd: “Walls do not and should not exist in the Catholic Church.”
The Pope’s arrival in Cyprus was the first stop in a trip that will take him next to Greece. He will return to Rome on Monday.
Pope recalls World AIDS Day, asks for prayers for apostolic journey (Vatican News) World AIDS Day “is an important occasion to remember the many people who are affected by this virus,” Pope Francis said following his December 1 general audience.
“For many of them, in some areas of the world, access to the necessary treatment is not available,” he continued. “My hope is that there might be a renewed commitment in solidarity to guarantee fair and effective health care.”
Liberal justices angry as Court hears landmark abortion case (Washington Times) Liberal Supreme Court justices employed fiery rhetoric—and betrayed a remarkable ignorance of science—as the Court heard arguments in the Dobbs case on December 1.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor questioned whether the Court would “survive the stench” if, as widely expected, the majority upholds the Mississippi law that bans abortion after the fetus is viable.
Justice Elena Kagan made the claim that “not much has changed” regarding fetal viability since the Roe decision in 1973. In fact, at the time of Roe, the accepted standard for fetal viability was 28 weeks into pregnancy; it is now 23 weeks, with some babies surviving birth as early as 21 weeks.
Nigerian bishop criticizes Biden administration for removing Nigeria for religious-freedom blacklist (Vatican News) In November, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken designated China, Eritrea, Iran, Myanmar, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan as “countries of particular concern,” as they “engaged in or tolerated systematic, ongoing, egregious violations of religious freedom.”In not including Nigeria—which had previously been on the annual list—Blinken has attracted criticism from a number of religious-freedom advocates. “There is nothing on the ground to suggest that Christians have an easier time practicing their faith in Nigeria today than they did one or two years ago,” said Bishop Emmanuel Adetoyese Badejo of Oyo.
Dutch bishops cancel Christmas Midnight Masses (CNA) The Dutch government has barred public gatherings between 5:00 PM and 5:00 AM at least through December 19, and the bishops have cancelled Christmas Midnight Masses as a precaution, according to the report.
84% of people in the Western European nation of 17.3 million (map) have been fully vaccinated, according to the report, and 587 are hospitalized with Covid in intensive care units.
Cyprus prepares for Pope Francis's visit (Custody in the Holy Land) On December 1, the Franciscan Custody in the Holy Land—the Franciscan province that includes the Holy Land and Cyprus—released additional details about the Pope’s apostolic journey to Cyprus and Greece.The Pope will be staying at the Franciscan convent of the Holy Cross in Nicosia, the nation’s capital. “To avoid the Holy Father having to climb stairs, we have prepared a room for him on the ground floor,” a friar said.
Faith groups: Build Back Better Act would exclude faith-based child care, pre-K providers (USCCB) A coalition of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim organizations, joined by committee chairmen of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, warned on December 1 that the Act would “interfere with faith-based providers’ protected rights under Title VII and Title IX regarding curricula or teaching, sex-specific programs (such as separate boys or girls schools or classes), and preferences for employing individuals who share the providers’ religious beliefs.”
Judge: Iowa Medicaid denial of sex-change surgery unlawful (AP) An Iowa judge has ordered the state’s Department of Human Services to provide Medicaid coverage for sex-change surgeries.
Judge William Kelly ruled that “once the medical community determined that surgery is medically necessary to treat this health issue, the government lost its rational basis to refuse to pay for the surgery.”
Court revives lawsuit of Catholic school teacher fired for same-sex marriage (AP) A male teacher at Cathedral High School in Indianapolis was dismissed from his teaching position after he contracted a civil marriage with a male teacher at Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School.An Indiana trial court dismissed the teacher’s lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. The Indiana Court of Appeals, however, has unanimously overturned that dismissal.
US bishops commemorate 50th anniversary of Catholic Campaign for Human Development (USCCB) At the recent US bishops’ meeting, Auxiliary Bishop David Connell of Los Angeles, chairman of the Subcommittee on the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, praised and defended the bishops’ program, which has attracted criticism over the years over some of its grant recipients.
Over the past 50 years, “it has awarded over $440 million in grants supporting nearly 12,000 community-based, grassroots-led organizations,” he said. “Now more than ever, we need the work of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development so that our parishes can become places of transformation where barriers are broken down and divisions are overcome.”
For some Catholic employers, paid parental leave helps 'honor the family' (Pillar) “Support in principle for paid employee leave has led to variety in practical responses, with some dioceses, Catholic, and pro-life organizations offering ample paid leave after the birth of a child, and others offering little, or none at all,” The Pillar reported as it examined different organizations’ family-leave policies.
Few Americans blame God or say faith has been shaken amid pandemic, other tragedies (Pew Forum) A new Pew survey has found that “nearly six-in-ten US adults (58%) say they believe in God as described in the Bible, and an additional one-third (32%) believe there is some other higher power or spiritual force in the universe.
80% of believers “say that most of the suffering in the world comes from people rather than from God,” and 56% of believers agree with the statement that God chooses “not to stop the suffering in the world because it is part of a larger plan.”