Court overturns Roe – ongoing efforts to ‘uphold sanctity of life’ continue

By Joanna Puddister King
JACKSON – On the evening of July 6, the Jackson Women’s Health Organization closed its doors for the final time, making it the first time in 49 years that the state of Mississippi has no operating abortion clinic. This coming after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned its nearly five decades old decision in Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion.

The Court’s opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization handed down on Friday, June 24 held that the Constitution does not confer a right to abortion, with the authority to regulate abortion returned to the states.

JACKSON – Jackson Women’s Health Organization – the last abortion facility in the state – closed permanently on July 7 after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. (Photo by Joanna Puddister King)

The Dobbs case centered around Mississippi legislation that was passed in 2018 called the Gestational Age Act, that sought to prohibit abortions after 15 weeks gestation. The Jackson abortion clinic and one of its doctors sued Mississippi officials in federal court, saying that the law was unconstitutional.

The federal district court and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, both ruled in favor of the clinic, blocking enactment of the law.

In May 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court decided it would take up Dobbs, marking the first time since Roe that it would take up a pre-viability ban.
More than 140 amici curiae briefs were filed with the Supreme Court on the Dobbs case, the very first being from the Dioceses of Jackson and Biloxi, stating that “the church has a vested interest in this matter – the dignity and sanctity of all human life.”

While originally asking the Court to hear arguments on a viability question – whether all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortions are unconstitutional – Mississippi changed course and argued before the Supreme Court on Dec. 1, 2021 that Roe should be completely overturned and the authority to regulate abortions be returned to the states.

With Associate Justice Samuel Alito writing for a 5-4 majority he states that “we hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled. … The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision.”

Alito’s opinion closely mirrored a leaked initial draft majority opinion, shared on May 2 by Politico.

Alito was joined by Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett. Chief Justice John Roberts concurred with the majority but in a separate opinion wrote that he would have taken “a more measured course” by “rejecting the misguided viability line” by Roe and Casey, but not overturning Roe completely.

The Supreme Court has six Catholics on the bench – Justices Alito, Kavanaugh, Thomas, Coney Barrett, Roberts and Sonja Sotomayor, with the latter joining Justices Stephen Breyer and Elena Kagan in dissent of the majority.

“One result of today’s decision is certain,” wrote the dissenting justices,” the curtailment of women’s rights, and of their status as free and equal citizens.”

Of major concern of the dissenting justices was the discarding of the viability balance afforded by Roe and Casey.

“Today, the Court discards that balance. It says that from the very moment of fertilization, a woman has no rights to speak of,” the justices wrote, mentioning that some state’s already passed “trigger” laws contingent on the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade.

Mississippi’s trigger law passed in 2007, only allowing abortion if the pregnant woman’s life is in danger or if the pregnancy is caused by a rape reported to law enforcement. Twelve other states also have trigger laws.
On Monday, June 27, after Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch certified that Roe had been overturned, the clock began to tick on the trigger law which was set to take effect 10 days post determination on July 7.

After the Dobbs decision was released, many statements were released in celebration and some in outrage.

JACKSON – Officers were present to keep the peace and direct traffic in and out of the Jackson Women’s Health Organization on Saturday, July 2, days before the clinic closed. (Photo by Joanna King)

Bishops Joseph R. Kopacz and Louis F. Kihnemann released a joint statement commending the decision and recognizing much needs to be done to assist mothers and families.

“The church will continue to accompany women and couples who are facing difficult or unexpected pregnancies and during the early years of parenthood, through initiatives such as Walking with Moms in Need,” stated the bishops in their June 24 statement.

“Our respective dioceses will continue to collaborate with organizations such as Her Plan, Pro-Life Mississippi and many others to bring vital services to support mothers and the unborn.”

Catholic leader, Mississippi Lieutenant Governor Delbert Hosemann stated that Mississippi is a leader on protecting the unborn with a law in place that prohibits abortion.

“I am pro-life,” stated Hosemann. “I am also pro-child. In addition to protecting the unborn, we must also focus on other ways to support women, children and families.”

Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch, who led efforts to overturn Roe, also released a statement after the decision stating, “Now, our work to empower women and promote life truly begins. The Court has let loose its hold on abortion policy making and given it back to the people.”

The USCCB also released a statement by Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities.

“Today’s decision is also the fruit of prayers, sacrifices, and advocacy of countless ordinary Americans from every walk of life. Over these long years, millions of our fellow citizens have worked together peacefully to educate and persuade their neighbors about the injustice of abortion, to offer care and counseling to women, and to work for alternatives to abortion.”

The environment outside of the Jackson Women’s Health Organization – also known as the “Pink House” due to the bright pink hue it was painted in January 2013 – was anything but peaceful in the aftermath of the Dobbs decision. Until the clinic closed for good on the evening of July 6, pro-life and pro-choice voices clashed amid national and local news reporters from near and far.

As an effort to keep providing services, the Jackson Women’s Health Organization requested a temporary restraining order to block the trigger law from taking effect but it was denied by chancery judge, Debbra K. Halford on Tuesday, July 5, reasoning that the state Supreme Court would reverse the 1998 Pro-Choice Mississippi v. Fordice ruling that relied on the Mississippi Constitution for a right to privacy.

Abortion demonstrators are seen near the Supreme Court in Washington June 24, 2022, as the court overruled the landmark Roe v. Wade abortion decision in its ruling in the Dobbs case on a Mississippi law banning most abortions after 15 weeks. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)

The abortion clinic filed a petition to the Mississippi Supreme Court allow it to reopen, citing Fordice where the court stated it did not “interpret our Constitution as recognizing an explicit right to an abortion, we believe that autonomous bodily integrity is protected under the right to privacy as stated in In re Brown.” On July 11, the court rejected the clinic’s plea to stop the abortion ban. The court will wait for arguments from Attorney General Fitch to be submitted before ruling on the petition.

Nationally, President Joe Biden signed an executive order on Friday, July 8, aiming to protect access to abortion in the wake of the Supreme Court overturning Roe. The order attempts to protect access to medication abortion, access to contraception and to guarantee a patient’s right to emergency medical services.

Speaking from the White House on July 8, President Biden urged women to “head to the ballot box” to “reclaim the right taken from them by the court.” He stated that “the fastest way to restore Roe is to pass a national law, codifying Roe.”

In response, the USCCB released a statement from Archbishop Lori stating, “I implore the president to abandon this path that leads to death and destruction and to choose life. As always, the Catholic Church stands ready to work with this Administration and all elected officials to protect the right to life of every human being and to ensure that pregnant and parenting mothers are fully supported in the care of their children before and after birth.”

Bishops Kopacz and Kihnemann remain “grateful for the Supreme Court’s decision but are also mindful that the battle to uphold the sanctity of life is an ongoing effort.”

“Let us pray and continue to raise our voices both in our churches and in our communities in defense of human dignity and justice.”

Statement from Bishop Joseph R. Kopacz and Bishop Louis F. Kihneman on Supreme Court’s Ruling in Dobbs. v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization

Today, Lady Justice has turned her attention to the cry of the unborn child hidden in the refuge of his or her mother’s womb. Today, justice has not abandoned that unborn child and his or her capacity to feel pain, but there is still more work to be done.

Together with many throughout our country, we join in prayer that states are now able to protect women and children from the injustice of abortion. The Catholic Church has had a vested interest in this matter – the dignity and sanctity of all human life.

The church has a long history of service to those who are most vulnerable and remains the largest private provider of social services in the United States. Through its charity agencies, and the independent efforts of its members, the Catholic Church is supporting all women in addition to the child in the womb.

The church will continue to accompany women and couples who are facing difficult or unexpected pregnancies and during the early years of parenthood, through initiatives such as Walking with Moms in Need.
With our brother bishops, we renew our commitment to preserving the dignity and sanctity of all human life by:

• Ensuring our Catholic parishes are places of welcome for women facing challenging pregnancies or who find it difficult to care for their children after birth, so that any mother needing assistance will receive life-affirming support and be connected to appropriate programs and resources where she can get help.

• Helping fellow Catholics recognize the needs of pregnant and parenting moms in their communities, enabling parishioners to know these mothers, to listen to them and to help them obtain the necessities of life for their families.

• Being witnesses of love and life by expanding and improving the extensive network of comprehensive care including pregnancy help centers, and Catholic health care and social service agencies.

• Increasing our advocacy for laws that ensure the right to life for the unborn and that no mother or family lacks the basic resources needed to care for their children, regardless of race, age, immigration status or any other factor.

• Continuing to support and advocate for public policies and programs directed toward building up the common good and fostering integral human development, with a special concern for the needs of low-income families and immigrants.

In all of these ways and more, the Catholic Church witnesses to the sanctity of human life, from conception to natural death, and continues to work to build a culture of life in our nation.

Our respective dioceses continue to collaborate with organizations such as Her Plan, Pro-Life Mississippi and many others to bring vital services to support mothers and the unborn.

The community can immediately accompany women and couples who are facing difficult or unexpected pregnancies through the Walking with Moms in Need initiative in the Diocese of Jackson. For more information on how to get involved or offer support to women in need, please contact the Office of Family Ministry coordinator in the Diocese of Jackson at In the Diocese of Biloxi, contact Deacon Jim Gunkel, director of the Office of Family Ministry and Family Life at or Margaret Miller, coordinator of Walking with Moms at

Additionally, there are Catholic Charities Community Outreach Centers located in the Diocese of Biloxi in Gulfport, Hattiesburg, Waveland and Pascagoula. These centers provide confidential pregnancy testing; Medicaid pregnancy confirmations; life-affirming options counseling; case management (including budgeting and goal setting); basic needs assistance; car seats and safe sleeping spaces for infants; diapers formula, clothing, blankets, socks, etc.; and representative payee services. The Diocese of Biloxi is also sharing the pro-life message through its Pro-Life Billboard initiative.

The Diocese of Biloxi will also be resuming adoptions and foster parenting services in the near future, complementing existing programs in the Diocese of Jackson that have provided those services through Catholic Charities, Inc. for over a half century.

Again, we are grateful for the Supreme Court’s decision but are also mindful that the battle to uphold the sanctity of life is an ongoing effort. Let us pray and continue to raise our voices both in our churches and in our communities in defense of human dignity and justice.


WASHINGTON (CNS) – Sister Simone Campbell, a longtime advocate for economic justice and health care policy, and late labor leader Richard Trumka received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, in a White House ceremony. President Joe Biden presented the award to 15 others as well July 7. “For so many people and for the nation, Sister Simone Campbell is a gift from God. For the past 50 years she has embodied the belief in our church that faith without works is dead,” Biden said of the woman religious whose career has focused on advocating for poor and voiceless people. Sister Campbell, a California native and a member of the Sisters of Social Service, stepped down as executive director of Network, a Catholic social justice lobbying organization, in March 2021 after serving for 17 years. Biden particularly noted her role in passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, a complex law which expanded access to health care for millions of people. He also cited a series of annual “Nuns on the Bus” nationwide tours that Sister Campbell led touting health care as a right and that federal budgets were moral documents that must reflect the priorities of serving poor and marginalized people.
“Compassionate and brave, humble and strong, today Sister Simone remains a beacon of light. She’s the embodiment of a covenant of trust, hope and progress of a nation,” Biden said. Trumka was president of the AFL-CIO from 2009 until his death in August 2021. The faith of Trumka, a Catholic born to a Polish father and an Italian mother, helped shape a lifelong career in the labor movement.

CHICAGO (CNS) – Saying he watched “in horror” news reports in the aftermath of a mass shooting during a suburban Fourth of July parade, Cardinal Blase J. Cupich of Chicago offered prayers for the victims. Authorities said seven people died – five on the parade route and two later in the hospital – and 30 others were injured when a gunman opened fired on people lining the parade route. “What should have been a peaceful celebration of our nation’s founding ended in unspeakable tragedy,” Cardinal Cupich said in a

A tricycle is seen near the scene of a mass shooting in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park, Ill., July 4, 2022. (CNS photo/Max Herman, Reuters)

statement released hours after the tragedy by the archdiocese of Chicago. Pointing to the victims, who authorities said ranged in age from 8 to 85, Cardinal Cupich said, “Weapons designed to rapidly destroy human bodies have no place in civil society.” Law enforcement authorities charged Robert E. Crimo III, 21, of suburban Chicago with seven counts of murder after the shooting in Highland Park in Chicago’s affluent North Shore. Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart said the suspect would receive a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole if convicted of the charges. He also said other charges were pending. The man was apprehended without incident on a busy highway in a nearby suburb after briefly fleeing officers. Highland Park police said witnesses reported seeing a man with a long gun indiscriminately firing dozens of rounds from a rooftop at parade spectators, sending marchers and viewers scurrying for cover.

WASHINGTON (CNS) – In a 6-3 vote June 27, the Supreme Court ruled that a former high school football coach had the right to pray on the football field after games because his prayers were private speech and did not represent the public school’s endorsement of religion. “The Constitution and the best of our traditions counsel mutual respect and tolerance, not censorship and suppression, for religious and nonreligious views alike,” said the court’s majority opinion, written by Justice Neil Gorsuch. Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan dissented. The court’s majority opinion also emphasized that “respect for religious expressions is indispensable to life in a free and diverse Republic – whether those expressions take place in a sanctuary or on a field.” It said the case focused on a government entity seeking to “punish an individual for engaging in a brief, quiet, personal religious observance doubly protected by the Free Exercise and Free Speech Clauses of the First Amendment” and that the “Constitution neither mandates nor tolerates that kind of discrimination.” Joseph Kennedy, former assistant coach at Bremerton High School, outside of Seattle, said his postgame prayers on the field cost him his job. The coach had been told by school district officials to stop these prayers on the 50-yard line, and he refused. When his contract was not renewed, he sued the school for violating his First Amendment rights.

VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Pope Francis said the goals he has achieved in more than nine years as pope were simply the fruit of the ideas discussed by the College of Cardinals prior to his election. In an interview with Argentine news agency Telam published July 1, the pope said that objectives, such as the reform of the Roman Curia, were “neither my invention nor a dream I had after a night of indigestion. I gathered everything that we, the cardinals, had said at the pre-conclave meetings, the things we believed the new pope should do. Then, we spoke of the things that needed to be changed, the issues that needed to be tackled,” he said. “I carried out the things that were asked back then. I do not think there was anything original of mine. I set in motion what we all had requested,” he added. The apostolic constitution reforming the Roman Curia, titled “Praedicate Evangelium” (“Preach the Gospel”) went into effect June 5. In the document, the pope said the purpose of the constitution was to “better harmonize the present exercise of the Curia’s service with the path of evangelization that the church, especially in this season, is living.

VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Before celebrating the Holy Year 2025, Pope Francis is asking Catholics around the world to dedicate time in 2023 to studying the documents of the Second Vatican Council. Presenting the official logo for the Holy Year June 28, Archbishop Rino Fisichella also announced the pope’s plan for helping Catholics prepare for the celebration: focusing on the four constitutions issued by Vatican II in 2023; and focusing on prayer in 2024. The four Vatican II constitutions are: Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy (“Sacrosanctum Concilium”); Dogmatic Constitution on the Church (“Lumen Gentium”); Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation (“Dei Verbum”); and Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World (“Gaudium et Spes”). Archbishop Fisichella, whom the pope appointed to coordinate planning the Holy Year, said, “A series of user-friendly resources, written in appealing language, are being produced to arouse curiosity in those who have no memory” of the council, which was held 1962-65. Details about the 2024 year of prayer and spiritual preparation for the jubilee are still being worked out, the archbishop said. The Vatican already had announced that Pope Francis chose “Pilgrims of Hope” as the theme for the Holy Year.

HONG KONG (CNS) – The Chinese Communist Party is seeking to expand its apparatus to monitor and curb religious activities in cyberspace through training and deploying hundreds of “auditors” across the country, triggering concerns from rights groups. Under the guidance of the Communist Party, the Ethnic and Religious Commission of Guangdong Province in southern China held a test for the first group of auditors for the state-run Internet Religious Information Services in early June, the China Christian Daily reported. The Internet Religious Information Services agency was formed in March after China’s State Administration for Religious Affairs announced the “Administrative Measures for Internet Religious Information Services” late last year. The measures have been formulated by several state agencies in line with existing legislation in China such as the “Cybersecurity Law of the People’s Republic of China,” “Administrative Measures for Internet Information Services,” and the revised “Regulations on Religious Affairs.”

Misioneras de la Caridad expulsadas de Nicaragua

Por David Agren

CIUDAD DE MÉXICO (CNS) – Las Misioneras de la Caridad han sido expulsadas de Nicaragua, el último de una serie de ataques contra la Iglesia Católica y sus ministerios por parte del gobierno cada vez más represivo del país centroamericano.

La orden de hermanas, fundada por Santa Teresa de Kolkata, conocida popularmente como Madre Teresa, opera un hogar para adolescentes abandonados, un hogar para ancianos, y una guardería para familias de escasos recursos en Nicaragua.

Varios líderes católicos informaron y tuitearon la noticia de la expulsión el 28 de junio. Los medios de comunicación nicaragüenses informaron de la salida de las hermanas como parte de una ofensiva contra organizaciones no gubernamentales por parte de los sandinistas en el poder.

El obispo auxiliar Silvio José Báez de Managua, quien actualmente radica en Miami por motivos de seguridad, tuiteó: “Me da mucha tristeza que la dictadura haya obligado a las (hermanas) . . . a abandonar el país. Nada justifica privar a los pobres de atención caritativa. Soy testigo del servicio amoroso que prestaban las hermanas. Que Dios las bendiga”.

Miembro de las Misioneras de la Caridad aparece en una foto de archivo cerca de una imagen de Santa Teresa de Calcuta durante la misa en la catedral de Managua, Nicaragua. La orden religiosa ha sido expulsada de Nicaragua. (CNS photo/Oswaldo Rivas, Reuters)

El presidente de Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega, y sus aliados han perseguido cada vez más a la Iglesia Católica y a la sociedad civil. El presidente, que ganó la reelección el año pasado — considerada fraudulenta por opositores y observadores externos — está concentrando poder; continúa reteniendo presos políticos y ha cerrado puntos de expresión política.

Una hermana de las Misioneras de la Caridad en Nicaragua contactada por la publicación española Alfa y Omega dijo: “De momento no podemos realizar nuestra labor. Nos pararon”. Ella dijo que las hermanas no tenían información adicional aparte de lo que habían leído en los medios. También agregó lacónicamente: “No podemos hablar por este teléfono”.

El medio de noticias nicaragüense Confidencial dijo que un informe del Ministerio del Interior alega que las Misioneras de la Caridad “incumplieron con sus obligaciones”. Otro supuesto problema es que el consejo de administración de la orden tiene más del 25 por ciento permitido de participación extranjera, supuestamente violando una regla aprobada solo en los últimos meses.

Informe de prensa Nicaragua ha extinguido oficialmente la personería jurídica de unos 770 grupos no gubernamentales, incluyendo algunas organizaciones católicas. Una votación oficial en la asamblea nacional sobre el estatus legal de las Misioneras de la Caridad debía haber tenido lugar el 28 de junio, según Confidencial.

El 27 de julio, el obispo Rolando Álvarez de Matagalpa tuiteó que Telecable, un proveedor de televisión por cable, había eliminado el canal de televisión diocesano TV Merced por instrucción de los reguladores. TV Merced dijo en un comunicado que continuaría transmitiendo a través de las redes sociales.

Monjas enfrentan falta de recursos para cuidar a sus ancianas

Por Barb Fraze

WASHINGTON (CNS) – Congregaciones de religiosas de todo el mundo pueden sentirse abrumadas con el cuidado que necesitan las hermanas mayores, pero a menudo, los recursos que se dan por sentado en países desarrollados ni siquiera existen en otros países.

Por ejemplo, mientras que las congregaciones de todo el mundo brindan a sus hermanas mayores acceso a atención espiritual, solo el 11 por ciento de las monjas en Kenia tienen instalaciones con rampas de acceso y no hay equipo médico disponible. En algunos países, las religiosas ni siquiera hablan de los problemas de sus miembros mayores.

El Centro de Investigación Aplicada en el Apostolado de la Universidad de Georgetown (CARA por sus siglas en inglés) está comprometido en una asociación de investigación global para identificar las necesidades de las comunidades de hermanas católicas en el cuidado de sus hermanas ancianas y enfermas en Kenia, Uganda, Zambia, Ghana, Nigeria, México y los Estados Unidos. Los investigadores han descubierto que, en muchos casos, las religiosas no se dieron cuenta de que otras congregaciones enfrentaban problemas similares.

La hermana Bibiana Ngundo de la Universidad Católica de África Oriental en Nairobi, Kenia, habla ante una pequeña audiencia en Washington el 23 de junio de 2022. Dijo que las congregaciones religiosas deben hablar sobre la situación del envejecimiento. (Foto CNS/Barb Fraze)

Algunos de los investigadores hablaron con un pequeño grupo en Washington en junio. Cada comunidad religiosa ha estado “sufriendo el impacto del proceso de envejecimiento, sola”, dijo la Hermana Brenda Hernández, miembro de las Hijas de María Inmaculada de Guadalupe de la Ciudad de México, quien ha estado involucrada en la investigación del proyecto de CARA. “Nos faltan instalaciones, nos falta asistencia”, así como cuidadores capacitados y dinero para ayudar a las hermanas mayores.

La hermana Bibiana Ngundo, miembro de las Hermanitas de San Francisco que realiza investigaciones en la Universidad Católica de África Oriental en Nairobi, Kenia, habló de situaciones similares que mostraron que las hermanas africanas no hablan sobre el envejecimiento.

“Las hermanas que fueron puestas en el hogar para ancianos nunca fueron preparadas”, dijo, y una incluso se negó, diciendo: “No, si me voy, me muero”. “Las hermanas deben estar preparadas a partir de los 40, 50 y 60 años”, dijo, y enfatizó que las congregaciones religiosas deben hablar sobre el envejecimiento.

La hermana de la Asunción Candida Mukundi, quien trabaja en la investigación junto con la hermana Ngundo, habló sobre el desafío de la falta de hogares para las hermanas mayores y dijo que las congregaciones podrían ayudarse. “Cada congregación cuidaba de sus propias hermanas”, dijo y, mientras participaban en la investigación, los miembros de diferentes órdenes aprendieron que podían compartir sus problemas entre sí.

Ella y sus colegas hablaron con miembros de 57 congregaciones religiosas en Kenia. Una de las primeras cosas que hicieron fue capacitar a las superioras religiosas sobre cómo completar la encuesta de formularios de Google. En la 12ª Conferencia Trienal sobre la Historia de las Mujeres Religiosas en el Centro Cushwa de la Universidad de Notre Dame a fines de junio, la Hermana Mukundi y otras personas involucradas en el proyecto presentaron algunas de sus investigaciones.

La hermana Mukundi dijo que los hallazgos fueron “una llamada de atención a las congregaciones en Kenia para que se vuelvan más agresivas en el reclutamiento de vocaciones, la sostenibilidad de las vocaciones, la preparación para la vejez, mantenerse al día con los signos de los tiempos en términos de apostolados y en el cuidado de hermanas mayores”.

Ella dijo que las monjas esperaban compartir recursos y obtener fondos para una estructura física central que permitiera a las hermanas mayores vivir en una vida comunitaria holística. Entre otras cosas, esto facilitaría que los expertos en geriatría ofrecieran servicios.

También ayudaría a aliviar parte del estrés de las hermanas. “Soy vieja y débil, pero a veces tengo que llevar agua para bañarme en un balde por falta de duchas”, dijo una monja anciana en la encuesta.

El Mundo en Fotos

Los manifestantes agarran una bandera estadounidense gigante mientras participan en el desfile del Día de la Independencia en Port Jefferson, Nueva York, el 4 de julio de 2022. (Foto de CNS/Gregory A. Shemitz)
A pesar de la lluvia y el viento persistentes, el primer día de la Segunda Asamblea del Quinto Consejo Plenario de Australia se inauguró en Sídney con una ceremonia indígena de fumar. (Foto del CNS/Giovanni Portelli, The Catholic Weekly)
A migrant in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, is seen near the “Kiki Romero” temporary migrant shelter Aug. 1, 2021, after being rescued by the police from inside a house where human smugglers kept migrants and others. (CNS photo/Jose Luis Gonzalez, Reuters)
Se ve un triciclo cerca de la escena de un tiroteo masivo en el suburbio de Highland Park, Illinois, en Chicago, el 4 de julio de 2022. (Foto de CNS/Max Herman, Reuters)
Las mujeres indígenas rezan sobre los ataúdes del padre jesuita Javier Campos y Joaquín Mora durante su misa fúnebre en la iglesia del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús en Chihuahua, México, el 25 de junio de 2022. Los dos sacerdotes fueron asesinados en la parroquia el 20 de junio cuando ofrecían refugio a un guía turístico en busca de protección. (Foto CNS/José Luis González, Reuters)
Partidarios posan con banderas chinas y de Hong Kong en Hong Kong el 1 de julio de 2022, en el 25 aniversario de la entrega de la antigua colonia británica al gobierno chino. (Foto del CNS/Paul Yeung, Reuters)
Las plantas de soja dañadas afectadas por el agua de mar salada que fluye hacia el río Po, afectado por la sequía, se muestran en Porto Tolle, Italia, el 23 de junio de 2022. El río Po, el más largo de Italia, se extiende desde los Alpes en el noroeste hasta el Mar Adriático en el este. No es sólo la falta de lluvia el problema. La Agencia Espacial Europea dice que las altas temperaturas y la falta de nieve en las montañas que alimentan el río también están empeorando la situación. (Foto del CNS/Guglielmo Mangiapane, Reuters)
Debra Ponce, a la izquierda, y Angelita Olvera de San Antonio lloran el 28 de junio de 2022, cerca del lugar donde decenas de inmigrantes fueron encontrados muertos dentro de un camión de remolque el día anterior. (Foto del CNS/Go Nakamura, Reuters)
El presidente de Filipinas, Ferdinand Marcos Jr. Louise Araneta-Marcos, esposa de Louise Araneta-Marcos, observa el desfile civil y militar durante la ceremonia de inauguración del Museo Nacional en Manila, Filipinas, el 30 de junio de 2022. (Foto de CNS/Eloisa López, Reuters)
El padre Daniel L. Mode, capellán jefe de la Guardia Costera de EE. UU., se encuentra en el gran atrio de la sede de la Guardia Costera en Washington. Detrás de él hay un enorme muro de banderas e insignias del Departamento de Seguridad Nacional y la Guardia Costera de EE. UU. (Foto de CNS/Leslie Miller, Heraldo católico)


– Cardinal-designate Robert W. McElroy told reporters May 31 that when he learned he is among the 21 new cardinals Pope Francis will create Aug. 27, “I said a big prayer. I said several prayers because I was stunned and so shocked by this,” said the 68-year-old prelate who heads the San Diego Diocese. He is the only American in the group the pope announced May 29. “It was prayer in gratitude for my family and the many people who have helped form me over the years and thanksgiving to God for all their roles in my life,” he said during a 25-minute news conference held outside the diocesan pastoral center. After the consistory, he will be among 132 cardinals under the age of 80, who will be eligible to vote in a conclave. The number of those over 80 will be 97, bringing the total number of cardinals to 229. A native of San Francisco, Bishop McElroy is the sixth bishop of San Diego. He was installed April 15, 2015. Ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of San Francisco April 12, 1980, he was an auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese from September 2010 until he was named to head the Diocese of San Diego in 2015. “By naming Bishop Robert McElroy as a cardinal, Pope Francis has shown his pastoral care for the church in the United States,” said Los Angeles Archbishop José H. Gomez, who is president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. “I have known and have had the privilege of working with Cardinal-designate McElroy for many years.”

– Any Catholic who participates in the celebration July 24 of the World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly can receive a plenary indulgence, the Vatican announced. “Grandparents, the elderly and all the faithful who, motivated by a true spirit of penance and charity,” attend Mass or other prayer services for the occasion can receive the indulgence, which “can also be applied as a suffrage for the souls in purgatory,” said the announcement published May 30. Pope Francis celebrated the first World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly in 2021 and decreed that it be observed each year on the Sunday closest to the feast of Sts. Joachim and Anne, Jesus’ grandparents. In his message for this year’s celebration, Pope Francis asked older people like himself to be “artisans of the revolution of tenderness. We grandparents and elderly people have a great responsibility: to teach the women and men of our time to regard others with the same understanding and loving gaze with which we regard our own grandchildren,” he had written.

VATICAN CITY (CNS) – The Holy Trinity shows how to be open to others and to be good, generous and gentle, Pope Francis said. “The Trinity teaches us that one can never be without the other. We are not islands, we are in the world to live in God’s image: open, in need of others and in need of helping others,” the pope said June 12 before reciting the Angelus prayer with visitors gathered in St. Peter’s Square. He also led prayers for the people of Ukraine, who remain “afflicted by war” and whose situation “remains vivid in my heart.” He urged that the world “not grow accustomed” to the tragedy in Ukraine. “Let us always keep it in our hearts. Let us pray and strive for peace,” he said after reciting the Angelus prayer. In his main address, the pope reflected on the day’s feast of the Most Holy Trinity, which celebrates God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit speaks, not of himself, but “he announces Jesus and reveals the Father. And we also notice that the Father, who possesses everything because he is the origin of all things, gives to the Son everything he possesses,” the pope said. The Holy Trinity “is open generosity, one open to the other.”

Inge Kraegeloh, 69, and Werner Deigendesch, 75, of Germany walk on the Via Dolorosa’s new accessible lane in the Old City of Jerusalem June 3, 2022. The Accessible Jerusalem-Old City makes many streets accessible to wheelchairs, baby strollers, and the vision impaired. (CNS photo/Debbie Hill)

– After 10 years of systematic work, the Old City of Jerusalem is more accessible to the disabled and the elderly. The pandemic-related shutdown allowed for completion of work of the last, most sensitive mile of the historic stone alleyways of the Via Dolorosa – the Way of the Cross. It took years for the first 2.5 miles of the $6.5 million Accessible Jerusalem-Old City project to be complete because of the complexity of working within a historic area that is less than a half square mile in size. Both the Old City and its walls are designated as an UNESCO World Heritage site, requiring planners to carefully consider changes as they accommodated the needs of residents living their daily lives and millions of visitors a year, said Gura Berger, spokeswoman for the East Jerusalem Development Co., which implemented the program. “We worked day and night and we made (1 mile) accessible in two years,” Berger said. “These are the most sentimental (miles) because for the first time in history the Via Dolorosa is accessible. We did something important because people really come here in awe, with respect and hopes to the holy city.”

SEOUL, South Korea (CNS) – Bishops in South Korea have moved ahead to pursue the canonization of 81 Catholics, including priests, religious and laypeople who were martyred by communist forces during the Korean War. The Special Episcopal Commission to Promote Beatification and Canonization held its closing session June 7 for preliminary examination of 81 Servants of God, the title accorded to individuals as the first step toward canonization, according to a notice from the bishops’ conference of Korea. The bishops agreed that the candidates were “witnesses of modern and contemporary faith” of the Korean Church, reported. Sainthood candidates include Bishop Francis Hong Yong-ho of Pyongyang, 49 priests, seven religious and 23 laymen who were tortured and killed by the communists before and after the Korean War, which was fought from 1950 to 1953. The martyrs include foreign missionaries. One was Msgr. Patrick James Byrne, an American Maryknoll missionary who was the apostolic delegate to Korea. The bishops’ conference said a preliminary examination of data and research materials began Feb. 22, 2017, and 25 sessions were held until May 13 this year. The committee will submit the data and documents it has gathered to the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Causes of Saints.

Mundo en fotos

Un activista pro-vida sostiene un feto durante una protesta frente a la Corte Suprema de los Estados Unidos en Washington el 1 de diciembre de 2021. Colorado y otros 15 estados y Washington, D.C., han aprobado leyes que protegen el aborto en caso de que la Corte Suprema de los Estados Unidos revoque Roe v. Wade en su decisión en el caso Dobbs se espera para junio o principios de julio. Si se anula Roe, el tema del aborto vuelve a los estados. (Foto del CNS/Jonathan Ernst, Reuters)
ANDANDO CON LA DUDA. Santa Teresa de Calcuta se ve en esta foto de archivo de 1995. La Madre Teresa le dijo una vez a su director espiritual: “Donde trato de elevar mis pensamientos al cielo, hay un vacío tan convincente que esos mismos pensamientos regresan como cuchillos afilados y lastiman mi alma”. (Foto de archivo del SNC/Joanne Keane)
La reina Isabel de Gran Bretaña, la princesa Ana, el príncipe Carlos, Camila, la duquesa de Cornualles, el príncipe Guillermo y Catalina, duquesa de Cambridge, junto con la princesa Carlota, el príncipe Jorge y el príncipe Luis aparecen en el balcón del Palacio de Buckingham como parte del desfile Trooping the Color durante las celebraciones del Jubileo de Platino de la reina en Londres el 2 de junio de 2022. El Papa Francisco envió buenos deseos a la Reina Isabel II para la ocasión. (Foto del CNS/Hannah McKay, Reuters)


WASHINGTON (CNS) – How to make sense of Americans’ attitudes toward abortion? It isn’t easy. In polls, many respondents will give answers that contradict each other. A Gallup poll in 2019 – Gallup has polled regularly on abortion since 1975 – found that 92% of Americans believed that using birth control was “morally acceptable,” but their support for abortion, by contrast, was more mixed. (The Catholic Church teaches that both are morally wrong.) But the year before, Gallup found that 65% of Americans believed abortion should generally be illegal during the second trimester of pregnancy – but in the same survey, 69% said the Supreme Court should not overturn Roe v. Wade. FiveThirtyEight, which itself analyzed abortion polls, “found that a large majority of Americans support abortion in the first trimester, but that support tends to drop in the second trimester.” In an ABC News-Washington Post poll conducted in late April, 54% of Americans want the court to uphold Roe, nearly twice as many as the 28% who want to see it struck down. Also, an ABC poll offering only a yes-or-no choice found that 57% of Americans opposed a ban on abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, while 58% opposed a ban after six weeks.

WASHINGTON (CNS) – The chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace praised a May 16 statement announcing the lifting of restrictions against Cuba by the Biden administration, particularly those measures that will help family reunification. The Biden administration said it will increase consular services on the island to help with visa processing “making it possible for more Cubans to join their families in the United States via regular migration channels.” The State Department also announced plans to allow more people from the U.S. to engage with Cubans via group travel, allowing U.S. flights beyond Havana, and reinstating a remittance program for families in the U.S. to send up to $1,000 per quarter to family members on the island. The move reverses restrictions imposed by the Trump administration, which had taken a more punitive stance on Cuba. “We commend the administration’s renewed interest in restarting U.S. engagement with Cuba. Recognizing that points of contention remain between our two countries, Cuba’s punitive isolation has not produced the economic and social change that the United States has sought to effect,” said Bishop David J. Malloy of Rockford, Illinois, who chairs the USCCB’S international policy committee.

VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Catholics of all ages are called to form strong faith communities, listen to and dialogue with others, reach out to share the Gospel and work to protect the environment, Pope Francis said in a series of speeches May 21. Still using a wheelchair because of ongoing pain in his knee, Pope Francis had a busy day, meeting four separate groups in addition to holding three private meetings. The pope’s public appointments began with an apology to several hundred adolescents preparing for confirmation in the Archdiocese of Genoa; they had gathered in the small square between the pope’s residence and St. Peter’s Basilica. “I’ve made you wait 35 minutes. I am sorry,” the pope told them. “I heard the noise but had not finished the things I had to do first.” Pope Francis pleaded with the youngsters not to make their confirmation a “farewell sacrament” from active parish life, but to treasure the grace they receive, strengthen it with prayer and share it “because in the church we are not ‘me alone,’ or just me and God; no, we are all of us, in community.”

ROME (CNS) – Celebrating the launch of the Scholas International Educational Movement and its environmental project, Pope Francis encouraged young people, especially women, to lead the charge in fighting climate change. “Defending nature means defending the poetry of creation, it means defending harmony. It is a fight for harmony. And women know more about harmony than us men,” the pope said May 19 during an event at Rome’s Pontifical Urban University. U2 frontman Bono, who joined the pope for the launch, said he had been a supporter of Scholas for the past four years and was “drawn to this idea of a ‘culture of encounter.’” Scholas began in Pope Francis’ Archdiocese of Buenos Aires, supporting education in poor neighborhoods by pairing their schools with private schools and institutions in wealthier neighborhoods. The organization has spread to other countries and supports a variety of exchange programs aimed at promoting education, encouraging creativity and teaching young people about respect, tolerance and peace.

Pope Francis greets U2 singer Bono before a meeting of Scholas Occurentes in Rome May 19, 2022. The event was for the launch of the “Laudato Si’ School,” a yearlong project of Scholas young people to develop projects to promote protection of the environment. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)

MEXICO CITY (CNS) – A Nicaraguan bishop and priest accused police of harassing them – the latest attempt by the government to impede the work of the Catholic Church. Bishop Rolando José Álvarez Lagos of Matagalpa, Nicaragua, started a hunger strike May 19. He said he would have only water and electrolytes until police stop the harassment – including harassment of his parents and family. In a video posted to the Facebook account of the Diocese of Matagalpa, Bishop Álvarez said police followed him all day and, when he asked to speak with the chief of police, officers entered the house where he was with his family. “I have been persecuted throughout the day by the Sandinista police, from morning until late at night, at all times, during all my movements of the day,” Bishop Álvarez said. “They came to my private, family, paternal, maternal home, putting the safety of my family at risk.” The Nicaraguan bishops’ conference issued a statement supporting Bishop Álvarez May 21. “We are experiencing difficult moments as a nation and our duty as a church is to announce the truth of the Gospel,” the statement said.

SASKATOON, Saskatchewan (CNS) – Chief Cadmus Delorme of the Cowessess First Nation and Archbishop Donald Bolen of Regina, Saskatchewan, have been walking together for some time now – including through the work of ground-penetrating radar and finding 751 hits near a former Catholic-run residential school last summer. “It took the validation of unmarked graves (to) put us in this moment,” Delorme said at a recent “Walking With Your Neighbor” event in Saskatoon. He described how the discoveries of unmarked graves has led to millions of Canadians putting down their “shields” and admitting they did not know the truth about Indigenous peoples and Canada. “We are truly at a moment where all of us – Indigenous and not – must all reset our compass just a little bit – because our children and children yet unborn depend upon this moment. We could look the other way and stay with the status quo … but the status quo doesn’t work,” said Delorme. “Walking Together” is the theme of Pope Francis’ July 24-29 visit to Canada’s Indigenous peoples. In the presentation at the Cathedral of the Holy Family, Archbishop Bolen stressed the importance of finding a new way of walking together and coming to a new understanding of the truth of Canadian history. “The conversation starts to open up between the church and Indigenous peoples when we acknowledge the profound suffering, the waves of suffering that so many Indigenous peoples have experienced in the context of residential schools, and more broadly in the context of the Indian Act and colonization,” said Archbishop Bolen. “We need to acknowledge our responsibility as church for our involvement in these schools, that took away language and culture and spirituality and suppressed so many good things.”


NEW YORK (CNS) – New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan said he was surprised and inspired by Ukrainians he met when he made a brief visit to Lviv, Ukraine. “I thought I would come to Ukraine and see great depression,” he told the Religious Information Service of Ukraine. “Yes, I see sadness and pain, but I am impressed by the vitality, hope and solidarity of Ukrainians.” On May 2, the cardinal and Archbishop Mieczyslaw Mokrzycki, Latin-rite archbishop of Lviv, met with the leadership of the Ukrainian Catholic University, families of displaced Ukrainians who found refuge during the war and student volunteers. The visit was part of a trip by a New York church delegation to visit and express solidarity with Ukrainian refugees, including those in the bordering countries of Poland and Slovakia. “I see Ukrainians welcoming internally displaced persons. I see Ukrainians giving their rooms and houses to those who have lost their homes, such as here at the Ukrainian Catholic University. I see Ukrainians volunteering and working on water, medicine and food supplies,” Cardinal Dolan told RISU. “I see people who are patriots. I see Ukrainians who do not allow evil to say the last word. Life will overcome darkness. Life will defeat death. There is no depression in Ukraine, there is hope. I feel encouraged to be here in Ukraine.” The cardinal told RISU he would pass on Ukrainians’ messages of gratitude for all the help they received from Americans. Nearly 12 million Ukrainians have fled their own country or been displaced from their homes in Ukraine since the Russian military invasion of their homeland began Feb. 24, according to the United Nations.

WASHINGTON (CNS) – After the Supreme Court ruled that Boston violated the free speech rights of a Christian group to fly its flag at City Hall, another group, The Satanic Temple, has requested permission to fly a flag outside the city building. The mayor’s office of the Boston has not commented on the group’s request except to say that is has been reviewing the court’s decision and also evaluating its flag-raising program. On May 2, the Supreme Court handed down a unanimous decision in favor of the city flying the flag of a Christian group. It said the city couldn’t deny the group the right to raise its flag along with other flags reflecting the city’s diversity. “Boston’s flag-raising program does not express government speech,” wrote Justice Stephen Breyer in the court’s opinion. “As a result, the city’s refusal to let (the group) fly their flag based on its religious viewpoint violated the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment.” “This case is so much more significant than a flag,” said Mathew Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, a Christian legal group that represented Camp Constitution that owns the flag in question. “Boston openly discriminated against viewpoints it disfavored when it opened the flagpoles to all applicants and then excluded Christian viewpoints,” he added in a statement.

VATICAN CITY (CNS) – Meeting with superiors general of women’s religious orders, Pope Francis arrived in a wheelchair – the first time he has used one publicly at the Vatican. The 85-year-old pope has been experiencing severe knee pain for months and told an Italian newspaper May 3 that his doctor had advised rest and “injections” into the knee; the Vatican has not clarified whether the injections would be cortisone, hyaluronic acid or another therapy typically used to treat joint pain or deterioration. When the pope met May 5 with members of the women’s International Union of Superiors General, he arrived in a wheelchair pushed by his personal aide, Sandro Mariotti. The women superiors were holding their plenary assembly in Rome May 2-6, focusing on the theme, “Embracing Vulnerability on the Synodal Journey.” Pope Francis handed the UISG leaders his prepared text but responded to questions rather than reading the speech. According to the UISG communications office, the discussion included the war in Ukraine, the need to offer long-term help to Ukraine and Ukrainians, the importance of discernment within religious communities, colonialism and the importance of being faithful to the founding charism of one’s order without being “rigid.” One of the tweets from the office said the pope told them not to be “frozen nuns.”

ABUJA, Nigeria (CNS) – Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari told West African bishops he appreciated Pope Francis’ encyclical “Fratelli Tutti” for proposing some of the boldest and most radical ideas on securing human unity, peace and security. “Peace cannot reign in our region if it does not first reign in our communities and countries. Which is why I think that the theme of this summit is especially apt,” the president said in a message read by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. The president’s message was delivered May 3 at the opening of the Reunion of Episcopal Conferences of West Africa, meeting on the theme “Fratelli Tutti: Path to Build Brotherhood and Sustainable Peace in West Africa.” Buhari said the basis of the encyclical – “the idea that fraternity and social friendship are the ways to build a better, more just and peaceful world with the commitment of all people and institutions” – was especially needed in today’s times. He said people of faith should look upon diversity as a gift, not as a cause of conflict. “By offering concrete prescriptions on building brotherhood and sustainable peace anywhere, the encyclical ‘Fratelli Tutti’ rightly takes the position that this is not merely the business of governments and political institutions; it must also be anchored on our civil societies, of which the faith communities are an important constituency.”

LIMA, Peru (CNS) – Good Shepherd Sister María Agustina Rivas Lopez, who was murdered by terrorists during Peru’s political violence, was beatified May 7 during a liturgy in the same plaza where she was shot to death in 1990. The altar, adorned with local tropical plants and flowers, was set up outside the simple, red-roofed Catholic church in La Florida, a small town in the central Amazonian Vicariate of San Ramon. A reliquary, adorned with leaves fashioned from silver and containing relics of Sister Rivas, who was known affectionately as “Sor Aguchita,” was placed on a table before the altar. The offertory gifts included a basket of bread, a coffee plant, cassava tubers, cacao pods and fruit, all crops typical of the area. With her life and her death, Sister Rivas put her faith in peace, not in violence, Bishop Gerardo Zerdin of San Ramon told Catholic News Service. She also leaves an example of an “option for the Amazon, nature, the environment,” he said, and “a great urge to serve others. with a complete absence of economic interest.” In his homily at the beatification Mass, Venezuelan Cardinal Baltazar Porras Cardozo, who represented Pope Francis at the ceremony, highlighted Sister Rivas’ humility and willingness to serve others, her preferential option for the poor and her devotion to the Blessed Mother and St. Joseph from an early age. Her martyrdom, he said, highlighted “the senselessness of violence, crime, injustice, and the evil of ideologies in which human life means nothing. The indiscriminate use of weapons leaves only death and desolation; it does not solve real problems of human coexistence.”

Nación y Mundo en Fotos

Refugiados ucranianos en Zaporizhzhia, Ucrania, caminan hacia un centro de registro para desplazados internos el 21 de abril de 2022, luego de llegar en un pequeño convoy que atravesó un territorio controlado por las fuerzas rusas. (Foto del CNS/Ueslei Marcelino, Reuters)
Un participante en la cuarta Marcha Anual por la Vida de Virginia en Richmond, Virginia, el 27 de abril de 2022, lleva un cartel en español que dice “Reza por el fin del aborto”. (Foto de CNS/Michael Mickle, The Catholic Virginian)
Jefferson Guardado, de 10 años, interpreta el papel de Jesús en una de las Estaciones de la Cruz el Viernes Santo, 15 de abril de 2022, en Chalatenango, El Salvador en una Semana Santa en la que más de 12,000 salvadoreños han sido detenidos por el gobierno desde el 27 de marzo en un esfuerzo para combatir la violencia de las pandillas. (Foto del SNC/Rhina Guidos)
Una joven migrante haitiana que viaja con sus padres, buscando llegar a los EE. UU., se encuentra frente a un refugio temporal en una iglesia en Ciudad Juárez, México, el 20 de diciembre de 2021. La Diócesis de Nuevo Laredo advirtió sobre una “crisis humanitaria”  y emitió un llamado urgente de asistencia a medida que cientos de inmigrantes haitianos llegan a la violenta ciudad de Nuevo Laredo.
Estudiantes de la Escuela Católica St. Anthony en Washington asisten a la dedicación y bendición de la hermana Thea Bowman Drive en la Universidad Católica de América el 29 de abril de 2022. La hermana Bowman, quien murió en 1990, es una de los seis católicos negros que son candidatos a la santidad. Su causa de santidad se abrió en 2018 y tiene el título de “Sierva de Dios”. (Foto del SNC/Tyler Orsburn)
El obispo Thomas R. Zinkula de Davenport, Iowa, entrega el Premio Paz y Libertad Pacem in Terris a la Hermana Norma Pimentel, directora de Caridades Católicas del Valle del Río Grande en Texas, en la Universidad St. Ambrose en Davenport el 21 de abril de 2022. (CNS foto/Anne Marie Amacher, El Mensajero Católico)
Esta foto representa a un adolescente con problemas de ira. Parece que la ira está en un nivel epidémico en muchas discusiones y acciones en estos días. (Foto de CNS/Parentinglogy a través de Creative Commons)