News Briefs

A British court ruled on June 1 that the social services agency of the Catholic Diocese of Leeds, England, could not continue as an adoption agency unless it assessed same-sex couples as potential adopters and foster parents. • Even with a proposed amendment to include public institutions, a New York bill that would temporarily waive the statute of limitations on filing sex abuse lawsuits, called the Markey Bill, “remains terrible public policy,” according to the New York State Catholic Conference. • Pope Benedict has granted the Vatican Congregation for Clergy new powers to dismiss from the priesthood priests who are living with women, who have abandoned their ministry for more than five years or who have engaged in seriously scandalous behavior. The new powers do not apply to cases involving the sexual abuse of minors by a priest; those cases continue to be overseen by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. • Thomas Berry, a Passionist priest internationally regarded as the dean of those working to relate ecology to spirituality, died on June 1 at the age of 94. • Franciscan Father Michael Perry of the United States (right) was elected June 5 as vicar general of the Order of Friars Minor.

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This is the 70th year the event has been held, modeled on similar blessings back in Portugal.
I’ve only been a priest for 13 years. How could I possibly be at the point that I am just recycling ideas?
Jim McDermottJune 27, 2017
People gather outside the U.S. Supreme Court on June 26 in Washington. (CNS photo/Jim Lo Scalzo, EPA) 
The high court, in a 7-2 ruling in Trinity Lutheran Church v. Comer, sided with the religious school.
Activists rally outside U.S. Supreme Court in Washington June 26 after the court sided with Trinity Lutheran Church in Columbia, Mo., which sued after being denied a state grant for creating a safer playground (CNS photo/Yuri Gripas, Reuters). 
The Supreme Court court ruled on June 26 that the government may not exclude religious groups from grant programs simply because they are religious.
Ellen K. BoegelJune 27, 2017