Smith dinner’s tone lighthearted, but abuse crisis not ignored in remarks

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley delivers the keynote address during the 73rd annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner in New York City Oct. 18. (CNS photo/Gregory A. Shemitz)

By Beth Griffin
Catholic News Service

NEW YORK (CNS) — In the current toxic environment where political rivals describe each other as “evil” and “enemies,” it is imperative to remember that in America, “our political opponents are not evil, they are just our opponents,” according to Ambassador Nikki R. Haley.

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations was the keynote speaker at the 73rd annual dinner of the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Oct. 18 at the New York Hilton.

Haley distinguished the heated rhetoric from the “true evil” she has witnessed in South Sudan, Syria and North Korea since she arrived at the United Nations in 2016.

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Posted in U.S.

Response to sexual abuse crisis tops agenda for USCCB fall assembly

Bishop Robert J. Baker of Birmingham, Ala., prays with other prelates during the 2017 fall general assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)

By Dennis Sadowski
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The firestorm surrounding the clergy sex abuse crisis and the way some bishops handled allegations of abuse against priests will be an important part of the agenda of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ fall general assembly.

The bishops have had to deal with seemingly endless revelations of allegations of abusive clergy since June, most of which referred to long-past incidents. New reports from media outlets also were expected as the Nov. 12-14 assembly in Baltimore approaches.

Bishops nationwide also are facing new challenges as several state attorneys general have opened investigations into the handling of abuse allegations. The investigations follow the release of a Pennsylvania grand jury report in August that linked more than 300 priests and church workers to abuse claims and identified more than 1,000 victims over a 70-year period dating from 1947.

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Posted in U.S.

Sunday Scripture readings, Oct. 21, 2018: To serve, not to be served


The Catholic News Service column, “Speak to Me Lord,” offers reflections on the Sunday Scripture readings. (CNS/Nancy Wiechec)

Oct. 21, Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Cycle B
1) Is 53:10-11
Psalm 33:4-5, 18-20, 22
2) Heb 4:14-16
Gospel: Mk 10:35-45

By Jem Sullivan
Catholic News Service

If no spoken or written words of St. Teresa of Kolkata were ever recorded, the holy woman would still be a canonized saint of the church. For her saintly actions spoke louder than any of her words. She embraced the outcast leper; sheltered the homeless, dying man abandoned on the street; loved the orphaned, hungry, destitute child; and infused hope in marginalized, despairing hearts. Continue reading

Posted in "Speak to Me Lord", CNS columns

Scalabrini shelter in Guatemala swamped by Hondurans seeking safety

A Honduran migrant holds her daughter Oct. 18 at a Scalabrinian-run shelter in Guatemala City. She and the other migrants at the shelter are part of a caravan trying to reach the U.S. (CNS photo/Luis Echeverria, Reuters)

By David Agren 
Catholic News Service

MEXICO CITY (CNS) — A Scalabrini migrant shelter in Guatemala City has served 1,700 Hondurans heading north as part of a caravan seeking to reach the U.S. border.

Carlos Lopez, a shelter official, told Catholic News Service the Scalabrini facility in Guatemala normally serves up to 80 guests at a time, but the number of migrants arriving from Honduras has forced the shelter to offer lodging in a nearby school.

Resources, he added, are strained and “staff are exhausted,” having worked 48 hours nonstop. Rain is also making life miserable for migrants traveling mostly on foot and sometimes forced to sleep outside.

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Posted in World

Synod about learning from Christ, not producing document, bishop says

Bishop Frank J. Caggiano of Bridgeport, Conn., addresses a session of the Synod of Bishops on young people, the faith and vocational discernment at the Vatican Oct. 4. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)

By Anne Condodina 
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The point of the Synod of Bishops on young people is not primarily to produce a document, but instead is to learn from Christ how to “bring God’s mercy into the world,” Bishop Frank J. Caggiano of Bridgeport, Connecticut, said in a homily at the synod.

“We have come to sit at the feet of the ‘Divine Physician’ and learn from him how to become physicians of broken hearts, among youth, young adults, and all God’s people,” the bishop said Oct. 18.

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Posted in U.S., Vatican

Pope, meeting South Korean leader, says he’s open to visiting North

South Korean President Moon Jae-in walks next to Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, as he prepares to speak after a Mass for peace for the Korean peninsula in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican Oct. 17. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

By Junno Arocho Esteves 
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis, at a meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, said he is willing to visit North Korea.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un had asked Moon to tell the pope of the invitation. According to Yonhap, the Korean news agency, Moon’s press secretary told reporters the pope said he would accept “if an (official) invitation arrives and I can go.'”

Meeting the South Korean president Oct. 18, the pope praised Moon’s efforts to promote peace in the Korean peninsula.

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Posted in Vatican, World

Report: Immigrant aid agencies urge end to family separation policies

Immigrant children react as they are released from detention at a bus depot June 22 in McAllen, Texas. (CNS photo/Loren Elliott, Reuters)

By Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) — A report from two leading faith-based agencies serving immigrants entering the United States from Mexico and Central America called on the federal government to end a policy of separating children from their families and help families comply with immigration law.

The report details the collaboration in July between the U.S. bishops’ Office of Migration and Refugee Services and Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service to assist more than 1,200 families to reunite after children were separated from adults under the U.S. Department of Justice’s “zero tolerance” policy.

The policy caused a crisis at the border in the spring and summer months this year as federal agents jailed adults crossing into the U.S. and placed the children who had accompanied them in detention centers, largely in Texas, Arizona and California.

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Posted in U.S., World