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November 23, 2015   •   VOL. 53, NO. 20   •   Oakland, CA
News in Brief

Terror attacks condemned
People in Paris form a human solidarity chain Nov. 15 near the site of the attack at the Bataclan concert hall. Catholic leaders around the world condemned terrorist attacks in Paris and Beirut, offering prayers and condolences. An outpouring of grief, condolences and prayers came from Catholics across the United States in reaction to Nov. 13 evening attacks in Paris, attacks the French government said were carried out by three teams of Islamic State terrorists. The U.S. Catholic bishops Nov. 14 pledged their prayers for those killed and injured at three sites in France's capital and voiced their support for those "working to build just and peaceful societies. Terror always seeks to separate us from those we most love," said a statement issued by the Administrative Committee of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Pascal Rossignol/Reuters, cns

Sister isn't 'Chopped'
Franciscan Sister Alicia Torres embraces a guest during a viewing party at Chicago's Mission of Our Lady of the Angels Nov. 9. Sister Alicia competed and won $10,000 on the show "Chopped" and won a special Thanksgiving competition for the Food Network. She says the money will go to feed the poor in the community. She made her final vows Oct. 4.
Karen Callaway, Catholic New World/cns

Tolton graphic book
This is the cover of "Father Augustus Tolton: The First Recognized Black Catholic Priest in America." Father Tolton's story — that of the first identified black priest in the United States — comes to life in the 48-page, 12-by-9-inch novel aimed at helping young people and adults learn about the extraordinary life of Father Tolton, according to Claude-Bernard Costecalde, director of publications for Editions du Signe. Born into slavery, he fled with his mom and siblings through the woods of northern Missouri and across the Mississippi while being pursued by soldiers. The publishers worked closely with the Father Augustus Tolton Guild, the official organization promoting his sainthood cause, to ensure the story's accuracy.
Liturgy Training Publications
and Editions du Signe/cns

End exploitation
Pope Francis greets a child wearing a homemade miter as he arrives to celebrate Mass at the Artemio Franchi soccer stadium in Florence, Italy, Nov. 10. Pope Francis also addressed Italy's bishops and cardinals in the city's cathedral during his one-day visit to Florence. While meeting workers, Pope Francis demanded an end to economic exploitation, to clerics "obsessed" with power, to apathy among youth and to a cold, fearful church that forgets Christ is always by its side. "We must not be obsessed with power," the pope said, even if it is a useful or seemingly innocuous way of getting things done. Otherwise the church "loses its way, loses its meaning."
Paul Haring/cns

Steps lead to unity
BALTIMORE — A new 120-page document marks the progress in Catholic-Lutheran relations over the past 50 years and maps the remaining steps needed to achieve full unity. The "Declaration on the Way" was prepared by a joint task force of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs and the Chicago-based Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, which has more than 3.7 million members in 9,300 congregations across the United States.

Religion's role
SANTA CLARA — Ghanaian Cardinal Peter Turkson, a Vatican official, told participants at an interfaith dialogue here that "Pope Francis" is "not just a name, it's a program." In opening remarks, he shared an anecdote about the pope's decision to choose the name "Francis" out of his concern for the poor. The name is a "program of the pontificate, program of action and program of life," said the cardinal, who is president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and the lead consultant on Pope Francis' encyclical on the environment.

Holy Spirit inspires art
FLORENCE, ITALY — Millions of people come here — an art lover's mecca — to marvel at centuries-old masterpieces decorating church walls and lining the city's skyline and paving stone squares. However, the same faith and spirit that inspired these artistic masters of the past are not dead and must continue to find expression in today's world, said leaders of an ecumenical community for the arts. "It's easy, especially in a city like Florence, to assume that perhaps the greatest sacred art has already been written," said Blair Tingley, senior vice president of Mount Tabor Ecumenical Center for Art and Spirituality.

Mystery priest death
HONG KONG — A Catholic priest who once operated a website that ran afoul of Chinese authorities has died under mysterious circumstances. On Nov. 11, police informed the family of Father Pedro Yu Heping, also known as Wei Heping, that the priest's body had been found in the Fen River, a tributary of the Yellow River that flows through Shanxi province, reported ucanews.com.

Catholic News Service


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