News Briefs

On Sept. 3 Sheila Gilbert became the first woman president of the National Council of the St. Vincent de Paul Society. • Havana’s Ladies in White asked the Catholic Church on Aug. 31 to mediate on their behalf with Cuba’s President Raul Castro to counter rising political harassment of their movement to free political prisoners. • About 1.4 million people showed up for World Youth Day’s overnight vigil and closing Mass on Aug. 20-21 at Cuatro Vientos Airport in Madrid; but organizers had planned for only about a million, and more than 250,000 pilgrims were turned away. • Australian bishops welcomed a High Court decision on Aug. 31 that granted a permanent injunction against the deportation of 800 asylum seekers to Malaysia. • The Catholic Conference of Ohio declared itself “neutral” on a November referendum on a new state law that seeks to diminish union collective bargaining rights. • The California Catholic Conference has asked Californians to call Gov. Jerry Brown Jr. to urge his veto of a bill that would allow children 12 and older to be vaccinated against sexually transmitted disease without parental consent or knowledge.

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A boy presents a hat to Pope Francis upon his arrival at the international airport in Trujillo, Peru, Jan. 20. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
“Just as the apostles faced the storm on the sea, you had to face the brunt of ‘El Niño costero.’”
Gerard O’ConnellJanuary 20, 2018
Pope Francis greets the crowd before celebrating Mass at the Maquehue Airport near Temuco, Chile, Jan. 17. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
“Pope Francis’ statements...were a source of great pain for survivors of sexual abuse,” Cardinal O’Malley said in a statement released Jan. 20.
Michael J. O’LoughlinJanuary 20, 2018
 Pope Francis and Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski stand outside the presidential palace in Lima, Peru, Jan.19.(CNS photo//Mariana Bazo, Reuters)
“The degradation of the environment...cannot be separated from the moral degradation of our communities.”
Gerard O’ConnellJanuary 20, 2018
The U.S. bishops had an unusually busy year issuing positive and negative statements about the new president, but some hoped for more decisive action against his policies.
Michael J. O’LoughlinJanuary 19, 2018