News Briefs

Marcello Di Finizio, a 49-year-old Italian, scaled the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica to protest Italian and European economic policy on Oct. 2 and remained there unobserved until the next day, when thousands assembled for Pope Benedict XVI’s weekly general audience. • The Vatican on Sept. 29 appointed Roza Pati, a professor of law at Miami’s St. Thomas University School of Law, to the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and named Msgr. Martin Schlag, a professor at Rome’s Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, as a consultant to the council. • On Oct. 20 the Joseph Ratzinger (Benedict XVI) Vatican Foundation will honor the American Jesuit Brian E. Daley, a professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame. • Coptic families are fleeing the city of Rafah in northern Egypt after Islamist militants distributed leaflets warning Christians to leave and then opened fire on a Coptic-owned shop on Sept. 26. • The appeal of blasphemy charges against Rimsha Masih, a 14-year-old Pakistani Christian girl, has been postponed, alarming supporters already worried after three of four witnesses who accused an imam of planting evidence against her retracted their testimonies.

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The appointments are part of an ongoing effort to give a greater role to women in the work of the Roman Curia offices, the central administration of the Catholic church.
Gerard O’ConnellApril 21, 2018
Ivette Escobar, a student at Central American University in San Salvador, helps finish a rug in honor of the victims in the 1989 murder of six Jesuits, their housekeeper and her daughter on the UCA campus, part of the 25th anniversary commemoration of the Jesuit martyrs in 2014. (CNS photo/Edgardo Ayala) 
A human rights attorney in the United States believes that the upcoming canonization of Blessed Oscar Romero in October has been a factor in a decision to revisit the 1989 Jesuit massacre at the University of Central America.
Kevin ClarkeApril 20, 2018
Journalists photograph the lethal injection facility at San Quentin State Prison in California in 2010. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)
In California, Catholic opponents of the death penalty are trying to protect the largest population of inmates awaiting execution in the Western Hemisphere.
Jim McDermottApril 20, 2018
Photo: the Hank Center at Loyola University Chicago
Bishop McElroy said that Catholics must embrace “the virtues of solidarity, compassion, integrity, hope and peace-building.”