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Côte d’Ivoire: The National Marian Shrine of Abidjan celebrates its 35th anniversary.

Various commemorative events have been lined up to mark the 35th anniversary of the Marian Shrine. The events will run from Sunday, 24 October 2021, till 6 February 2022.

Holy See commends AIEA’s commitment to a nuclear weapon-free world

On the opening day of the 65th International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Holy See has renewed the Church's call for a nuclear weapons-free world

Council of Cardinals meets to discuss next Synod of Bishops

The Holy See Press Office says the Council of Cardinal met online on Monday to speak about the next Synod of Bishops on the topic of synodality.

Mexican president proposes initiatives to ease poverty

Mexican president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador unveils a new initiative which seeks to root out the desperation of poverty, which leads to undocumented migration.

Prof. Wijlens: Church learning to listen to abuse survivors

As a safeguarding conference wraps up in the Polish capital of Warsaw, Prof. Myriam Wijlens expresses hope that the Church is learning to listen to survivors of clerical sexual abuse, but says the next step is for justice to be administered.

U.S. Bishops’ Migration Chairman and President of Catholic Charities USA Urge Humane Treatment of Haitians, Other Migrants

WASHINGTON—Over the last several weeks, there has been a substantial increase in the number of migrants present in the Del Rio Sector of the U.S.-Mexico border, roughly 145 miles west of San Antonio. The majority of these individuals are Haitian nationals, many of whom have been living in or traveling through Latin America for varying periods of time after fleeing widespread violence, political turmoil, natural disasters, and economic stagnation in their native Haiti. Conditions in Central and South America—including the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic—have forced migration northward to the United States. Recent videos and first-hand accounts from southern Mexico have depicted harrowing instances of mistreatment and abuse of migrants, particularly Haitians. Conditions for migrants in Del Rio have been grim, with daily temperatures exceeding 100 degrees and limited access to basic needs, such as food, water, and shelter.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has responded to this situation by increasing personnel in the region, closing the Del Rio Port of Entry, and accelerating the removal of these migrants from the United States. This includes operating multiple deportation flights to Haiti, which remains crippled by the recent assassination of its president, a major earthquake, Tropical Storm Grace, and other challenges. It was these conditions in Haiti that led DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to recently redesignate Haiti for Temporary Protected Status (TPS), allowing certain Haitians present in the United States since at least July 29, 2021, to remain and work in the United States for a period of eighteen months. Moreover, federal authorities continue to use Title 42 of the U.S. Code and expedited removal to quickly expel migrants, largely avoiding due process.

In response to these events, Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville, auxiliary bishop of Washington and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Migration, and Sister Donna Markham, OP, PhD, president and CEO of Catholic Charities USA, issued the following joint statement:

“Policies such as Title 42 and expedited removal all too often deny the reality of forced migration, disregard the responsibilities enshrined in domestic and international law, and undermine the vulnerability of those against whom they are applied. These are not hallmarks of a ‘fair, orderly, and humane’ immigration system.

“As a Church at the service of all God’s people, we embrace Christ’s call to welcome the newcomer and accompany them wherever they may be. During this National Migration Week—through which we prepare to join the Universal Church in marking the World Day for Migrants and Refugees—we are especially mindful of that obligation and saddened to see such a disregard for human dignity. After all, it is in the face of each migrant that we see the face of Christ.

“We call on the U.S. government to reassess its treatment of migrants in Del Rio and elsewhere along the U.S.-Mexico border, especially Haitians, who face life-threatening conditions if returned to Haiti and possible discrimination if expelled to third countries. In addition to those services and works provided by many Catholic institutions, we offer our prayers for these migrants and all those seeking safety, security, and the opportunity to flourish in accordance with their God-given dignity.”

Last month, Pope Francis encouraged the international community to take a shared interest in the plight of the Haitian people and join in solidarity to alleviate the consequences of recent events. Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the USCCB, released statements following the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse and the recent earthquake in Haiti, conveying the prayers and support of the U.S. bishops for the Church and people of Haiti. Archbishop Gomez also called on all U.S. bishops to consider taking up a special collection in their dioceses to assist with immediate emergency needs and long-term rebuilding and recovery efforts in Haiti.

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Media Contacts:
Chieko Noguchi or Miguel Guilarte
202-541-3200

Statement of U.S. Bishops’ President on the Death of Bishop Anthony Pilla, Former USCCB President

WASHINGTON – Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued the following statement on the passing of Bishop Anthony M. Pilla, bishop emeritus of Cleveland.

Archbishop Gomez’s full statement follows:

“His Excellency, Anthony M. Pilla, bishop emeritus of Cleveland, passed away yesterday at the age of 88. He led the bishops’ conference in the 1990s as president, and those who worked with him have expressed that his deep love for the Church was evident through his faithful commitment and desire for unity within the Church which he expressed through his pastoral leadership of the Conference. I offer my prayers and sympathy to Bishop Pilla’s family, friends, and the many people whose lives he touched through his ministry over the years as a priest, and then bishop of the Diocese of Cleveland. May the Lord grant him eternal rest.”

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Media Contacts:
Chieko Noguchi or Miguel Guilarte
202-541-3200

Cardinal O’Malley: Safeguarding part of pastoral conversion in face of abuse crisis

The President of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, Cardinal Seán Patrick O’Malley, highlights the Church’s need for pastoral conversion in her response to the sexual abuse crisis, as a 4-day safeguarding conference concludes in Warsaw, Poland.

Church in Poland and protection of minors: from unprepared to informed

Both the Church and society in Poland were unprepared to face the crisis caused by the sexual abuse of minors. Negative reactions prevailed at first. In the last few years, thanks to journalists and clear direction from the Holy See, the Church in Poland has learned how to create an integrated structure for the protection of minors and the support of victims.

St. Thomas of Villanueva: Saint of the Day for Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Augustinian bishop. Born at Fuentellana, Castile, Spain, he was the son of a miller. He studied at the University of Alcala, earned a licentiate in theology, and became a professor there at the age of twenty-six. He declined the chair of philosophy at the university of Salamanca and instead entered the Order of St Augustine at Salamanca in 1516. Ordained in 1520, he served as prior of several houses in Salamanca, Burgos, and Valladolid, as provincial ofAndal usia and Castile, and then court ...