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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