September 19, 2016 • VOL. 54, NO. 16 • Oakland, CA
Praying to end violence
Phyllis Schlafly dies
Phyllis Schlafly, 92, died Sept. 5 at her home in Ladue, Missouri, outside St. Louis, according to the Eagle Forum, an organization she founded in 1975. No cause of death was given, but she had been ill for some time. A Catholic who gave birth to six children to her husband, John, Schlafly immersed herself for most of her adult life in a host of conservative causes, including stopping ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment.
WASHINGTON — Georgetown University last year stripped from a building the name of one of its past presidents, a priest who authorized the sale of 272 women, children and men — slaves sold to save the university from financial ruin in 1838. In a historic change of fortune, current university president John J. DeGioia announced Sept. 1 that the building will be renamed after one of the men the university sold as a result of the priest's decision. It was one of several steps DeGioia detailed as part of a plan to begin to deal with what he called "Georgetown's participation in that disgrace," meaning slavery.
Retired bishop dies
ROCKFORD, Ill. — A funeral Mass was celebrated Sept. 9 at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Rockford for retired Bishop Thomas G. Doran of Rockford, 80, who died Sept. 1 at his residence at Presence Cor Mariae in Rockford. He had served as bishop from 1994 until his retirement from active ministry in 2012. Bishop Doran had lung cancer surgery in December 2006 at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
Diocese reports abuse
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The Diocese of Providence, Rhode Island, said it will notify the state attorney general of any allegations of sexual abuse of a minor in an effort to strengthen its child protection policies. The diocese said it already reports allegations of sexual abuse of a minor to law enforcement officers and said in a statement Aug. 31 that the additional step of notifying the attorney general's office "provides supplemental transparency" to help ensure a safe environment.
OXFORD, England — A spokesman for the new bishop of Limburg, Germany, said he would not live in the luxurious residence built for his predecessor. Stephan Schnelle, Limburg diocesan spokesman, said the residence would be used for offices, meetings and exhibitions. The diocese has said Bishop-designate Georg Batzing would live at a convent after his Sept. 18 installation, then move to a nearby church house. Bishop-designate Batzing replaces Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, who resigned in March 2014 after protests over his personal expenditures, such as disputes over the costs of renovating his residence and office when diocesan staffers faced salary cuts.
CAPE TOWN, South Africa — While most expatriate aid workers left South Sudan after a brutal attack on foreigners in the capital, a group of Catholic missionaries chose to stay. "We stayed because we are committed to the ordinary people who are suffering so much," La sallian Christian Brother Bill Firman, director of Solidarity with South Sudan, said in an Aug. 29 telephone interview from Juba, the capital.
ROME — A man imprisoned for killing an Italian Catholic priest in Turkey was released after serving almost half of his 18-year sentence. Oguzhan Akdin was among thousands of prisoners released early from prison in Turkey to make room for new prisoners allegedly involved in a July coup attempt, reported Fides, the news agency of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.
MANILA, Philippines — A Catholic bishop in the southern Philippines is backing a military campaign against Abu Sayyaf militants, who claim to have links with the Islamic State group. "The Abu Sayyaf is a terrorist group and it is not for dialogue," said Bishop Martin Jumoad of Isabela, in Basilan province. "They must be destroyed," said the bishop, adding that it is time that the terror group is "dismantled and apprehended."
ROME — Chinese authorities arrested the coadjutor bishop of Wenzhou, China, and local faithful said it was to prevent him from taking possession of the diocese after the death of Bishop Vincent Zhu Weifang. AsiaNews, the Rome-based missionary news agency, said police took Coadjutor Bishop Peter Shao Zhumin out of the diocese in early September. Under canon law, a coadjutor would take over the diocese when the bishop retires or dies. AsiaNews reported Sept. 8 that Bishop Shao Zhumin was taken to northwest China "on a trip."
— Catholic News Service
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