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Updated: 40 min 19 sec ago

Holy See permitted priest to remain at highest Vatican court for 15 years after credible abuse allegation (CNS)

Fri, 02/22/2019 - 10:02 AM
In 1995, Msgr. Joseph Punderson (earlier coverage) was named defender of the bond at the Apostolic Signatura. Rayanne Bennett, executive director of the Diocese of Trenton’s Office of Communications and Media, said that Msgr. Punderson “was credibly accused in 2003 of the sexual abuse of a minor 26 years earlier.” He submitted his resignation in 2004; “the Holy See, however, permitted him to continue in office,” said Bennett, with “specific restrictions regarding public acts of ministry.” After initially declining to comment on the case, Vatican spokesman Alessando Gisotti said that Msgr. Punderson retired from his position in late 2018.

Urge Congress to stop infanticide, USCCB says in action alert (USCCB)

Fri, 02/22/2019 - 9:02 AM
On February 25, the Senate is scheduled to vote on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act (S.311), sponsored by Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE).

Religious minorities in India 'attacked with impunity,' human rights groups report (UCANews)

Fri, 02/22/2019 - 9:02 AM
The nation of 1.3 billion is 80% Hindu, 14% Muslim, 2% Christian, and 2% Sikh. According to the report, Muslims were targeted in the majority of incidents over the past decade, and Christians were victims in 14% of the attacks.

170 students kidnapped from Catholic school in Cameroon, released 1 day later (Fides)

Fri, 02/22/2019 - 9:02 AM
The abduction took place in the context of the nation’s Anglophone crisis, which has claimed hundreds of lives.

Official denies Italian diocese knew of abuse allegations against controversial lay movement's founder (Crux)

Fri, 02/22/2019 - 9:02 AM
Piero Alfio Capuana, 74, known as “Archangel,” has been arrested on charges of sexually abusing girls.

Philippine bishop deplores murder at Marian shrine (UCANews)

Fri, 02/22/2019 - 9:02 AM
“We strongly condemn this killing as an act that is indicative of a complete disregard for the Christian and societal ideal we stand for — that any form of violence has no place in and outside our churches,” Bishop Patricio Buzon said after a businessman was murdered at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Shrine in Bacolod City.

The West is responsible for Middle Eastern conflicts, patriarchs tell security conference (Fides)

Fri, 02/22/2019 - 9:02 AM
The heads of the Chaldean Catholic Church and Syriac Orthodox Church made their remarks at the Munich Security Conference.

In Lebanon, Catholic, Muslim leaders unite in opposition to civil marriage proposal (Fides)

Fri, 02/22/2019 - 9:02 AM
“In Lebanon, no civil code exists to regulate personal status issues, such as marriage and divorce,” a Beirut-based newspaper explains. “Rather, such matters are governed by 15 religious laws, overseen by associated courts depending on a person’s religious affiliation.”

Swastika, anti-Semitic graffiti found at another Jewish cemetery in France (Times of Israel)

Fri, 02/22/2019 - 8:02 AM
The French bishops firmly condemned anti-Semitism following other recent incidents.

'Electric shocks, suffocation': Jehovah's Witnesses say Russian police tortured church members (Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty)

Fri, 02/22/2019 - 8:02 AM
The Jehovah’s Witnesses claim 8.5 million members worldwide. The group, which does not adhere to Christian teaching on the Holy Trinity, was founded in Pittsburgh in the 1870s.

Colombian cardinal urges bishops to take responsibility for their mission, act decisively (

Fri, 02/22/2019 - 8:02 AM
Cardinal Rubén Salazar Gómez of Bogotá addressed the Vatican summit on protecting minors in the Church on the afternoon of the first day.

Venezuelan cardinal appeals for spiritual renewal of the clergy (National Catholic Register)

Fri, 02/22/2019 - 8:02 AM
“It is necessary to insist on the right teaching about Christian sexuality, the beauty of celibacy and perfect chastity and its motivations; fidelity to Our Lord, prudence and wisdom to avoid and overcome temptations,” writes Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino, the retired Archbishop of Caracas. “It is necessary also to face the problem of homosexuality in some clergy and religious, as many studies show that about 80% of the abuse has affected male minors.”

Know the pain of abuse victims and heal their wounds, Cardinal Tagle tells abuse summit (

Fri, 02/22/2019 - 7:02 AM
“We humbly and sorrowfully admit that wounds have been inflicted by us bishops on the victims and in fact the entire body of Christ,” Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila said during the first major address of the Vatican summit on protecting minors in the Church. “Our lack of response to the suffering of victims, even to the point of rejecting them and covering up the scandal to protect perpetrators and the institution has injured our people, leaving a deep wound in our relationship with those we are sent to serve.”

Archbishop Scicluna calls on bishops to work to prevent abuse, process abuse cases (

Fri, 02/22/2019 - 7:02 AM
Addressing the Vatican summit on protecting minors in the Church, Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta said that “the way we bishops exercise our ministry at the service of justice in our communities is one of the fundamental tests of our stewardship and, indeed, of our fidelity.” The prelate is also Adjunct Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Archbishop Vigano reflects on Vatican summit, conversion of St. Peter (National Catholic Register)

Fri, 02/22/2019 - 7:02 AM
In a message released on the first day of the Vatican’s “summit meeting” on sexual abuse, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano remarked that it was “a sign of Providence” that the meeting began on the feast of St. Peter Damian, the 11th-century reformer who battled against widespread homosexual activity in the clergy. Commenting on the day’s Gospel, the archbishop observed that St. Peter had to learn to follow Jesus unreservedly, without imposing his own agenda. Archbishop Vigano said that “these conversions of St. Peter... are a great consolation and a great lesson for us.”

Vatican newspaper interviews 'Liar's Club' author about her conversion to Catholicism (L'Osservatore Romano (p. 9))

Fri, 02/22/2019 - 7:02 AM
“If you’d told me at any point in my life that I’d be baptized Catholic at forty, I would’ve laughed in your face,” said Mary Karr, author of the 1995 bestseller, in a rare full-page Vatican newspaper profile of a person’s conversion. Karr added, “I had a better chance of becoming a drug mule.”

Bishops at Vatican summit hear from 5 abuse survivors (

Fri, 02/22/2019 - 7:02 AM
On the first morning of the Vatican abuse summit, the bishops in attendance watched video testimony from five abuse survivors.

Pope offers 21 points of reflection for Vatican abuse summit (Vatican Press Office)

Fri, 02/22/2019 - 7:02 AM
“As a help, I would share with you some important criteria formulated by the various Episcopal Commissions and Conferences—they came from you and I have organized them somewhat,” Pope Francis said in his introductory remarks (CWN coverage). “They are a simple point of departure that came from you and now return to you. They are not meant to detract from the creativity needed in this meeting.”

Police say Indian nun, witness in bishop's rape case, confined by superiors (UCANews)

Fri, 02/22/2019 - 4:02 AM
Police in the Indian state of Kerala have accused superiors of a Catholic women’s religious order of restricting access to a nun who is a witness in a rape case, brought against Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Jalandhar by another nun.

Indian archdiocese defends Cardinal Gracias against charge of ignoring abuse (AsiaNews)

Fri, 02/22/2019 - 4:02 AM
The Archdiocese of Mumbai, India, has responded to charges, aired in a BBC broadcast, that Cardinal Oswald Gracias declined to hear a sex-abuse complaint. The archdiocese reports that the cardinal was contacted just before leaving for Rome, and entrusted the case to an auxiliary. Cardinal Gracias is a member of the Council of Cardinals, and is participating in this week’s Vatican “summit” on sexual abuse.