News Briefs

Charitable giving dropped about 5 percent in 2009, a decrease of $11.2 billion, reports the Boston College Center on Wealth and Philanthropy. • Bishop Francisco Claver, S.J., a defender of civil rights, died on July 1 in Manila, Philippines. He was the author of a statement in 1986 by the Philippine bishops that helped the People Power Revolution that unseated President Ferdinand Marcos. • Italy defended the display of the crucifix in public schools before Europe’s human rights court on June 30, arguing that it is a symbol of the country’s cultural heritage, not an imposition of religious belief on students. • Great Britain’s coalition government has dropped plans to amend the laws of succession that might have allowed a Catholic to become king or queen. • The Rev. Joseph Zhang Shulai, the “underground” vicar general of the Diocese of Ningxi, China, and Sister Mary Wei Yanhui were found murdered in their rooms on July 6 at a church-run home for the aged in Wuhai city, Inner Mongolia. • Pope Benedict XVI named Msgr. Robert McElroy of the Archdiocese of San Francisco as an auxiliary bishop. A contributor to America, Monsignor McElroy is the author of “Why We Must Withdraw From Iraq” (4/30/07).

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Archbishop Matteo Zuppi (Photo/Community of Sant'Egidio website)
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 Pope Francis arrives in procession to celebrate Mass marking the feast of Pentecost in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican May 20. The pope at his "Regina Coeli" announced that he will create 14 new cardinals June 29. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
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Images: AP, Wikimedia Commons
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