News Briefs

Rhode Island’s Governor Lincoln Chafee’s decision “to avoid the word Christmas” in a public invitation to a statehouse “holiday tree lighting” ceremony “is most disheartening and divisive,” said Bishop Thomas Tobin on Nov. 29. • Edward Louis Cleary, O.P., professor emeritus of political science at Providence College and a noted Latin American and human rights scholar, died on Nov. 21 at the Priory of St. Thomas Aquinas. • Excessive focus on money is destroying the environment and dehumanizing people, said Cardinal Oscar Rodríguez Maradiaga of Honduras, president of Caritas Internationalis, on Dec. 4 in Durban, South Africa, where he was attending U.N. climate talks. • In a fundraising letter to supporters, the Rev. Frank Pavone, the embattled head of Priests for Life, charged that “all of our work...indeed the very existence” of the pro-life groups “is in jeopardy.” • Audits of six Catholic dioceses in Ireland reveal “a marked improvement” in how the church is handling allegations of sexual abuse by clerics; but the findings, released on Nov. 30, also show that in the past too much emphasis has been placed on the rights of accused priests and protecting the reputation of the church.

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