News Briefs

Holy Family Hospital in Bethlehem marked a milestone on Oct. 18 with the birth of its 50,000th baby since 1990, born to a young Muslim couple from a West Bank village. • Australia’s former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd defended the Catholic Church’s response to child abuse, suggesting that the canonization of Mother Mary MacKillop should prompt Australians to a fairer appreciation of the church’s historical contributions. • L’Osservatore Romano has declared that the television cartoon characters Homer Simpson and his dread son Bart are Catholics, even suggesting parents should not be afraid to let their children watch “the adventures of the little guys in yellow.” • More than 5,000 Canadians gathered in Rome Oct. 17 to attend the canonization of Blessed André Bessette, Canada’s first native-born male saint. • Haiti’s devastated St. Francis de Sales Hospital in Port-au-Prince hosted its final event on Oct. 13: a Mass to say goodbye and remember the 70 people who died when the pediatric unit collapsed during the earthquake on Jan. 12. • In a step necessary to “guard the liturgical and sacramental life of the church,” Archbishop George J. Lucas of Omaha suppressed on Oct. 15 the Intercessors of the Lamb Inc., a public association of hermits in his archdiocese.

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Father Ireneusz Ekiert, administrator of Mary Help of Christians Church in Parkland, Fla., leads parishioners during an outdoor Stations of the Cross service on Feb. 16 dedicated to the victims and survivors of the deadly mass shooting at nearby Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. (CNS photo/Tom Tracy)
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