News Briefs

Maria de Lourdes Ruiz Scaperlanda, a writer and author in the Catholic press since 1982, received the 2016 St. Francis de Sales Award from the Catholic Press Association during its annual conference in St. Louis, Mo., on June 3. • The treacherous Mediterranean Sea crossing from Libya to Italy claimed the lives of over 1,030 migrants in the last week of May, as overloaded and barely seaworthy smuggling boats foundered and sank despite calm seas and clear skies. • India, with more than 18.5 million people trapped in modern slavery—40 percent of the total of 45.8 million—topped a global slavery index released by the Walk Free Foundation on June 3. • “Nothing unites us to God more than an act of mercy,” Pope Francis said at a Vatican retreat for priests on June 2, adding, “for it is by mercy that the Lord forgives our sins and gives us the grace to practice acts of mercy in his name.” • European funding for Catholic aid agencies based in the United Kingdom could be withdrawn if the British people vote on June 23 to leave the European Union, Auxiliary Bishop William Kenney of Birmingham warned on May 28.

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The leaders sent a letter to President Donald Trump, administration officials and members of Congress.
Altar servers lead a Palm Sunday procession March 25 in Youtong, in China's Hebei province. (CNS photo/Damir Sagolj, Reuters)
The pope appeared to be alluding to the fact that since February there has been a crackdown by the Chinese authorities on religion in the mainland.
Gerard O’ConnellMay 23, 2018
Chilean clerical sex abuse survivors Juan Carlos Cruz, James Hamilton and Jose Andres Murillo in Rome, May 2. The three met Pope Francis individually at the Vatican April 27-29. The Vatican announced on May 22 that a second group of abuse victims will visit the pope in June (CNS photo/Paul Haring).
The encounters will take place from June 1-3 at Santa Marta, the Vatican guesthouse where Francis lives.
Gerard O’ConnellMay 22, 2018
Pope Francis talks with Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley of Boston, president of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, as they arrive for a meeting in the synod hall at the Vatican in this Feb. 13, 2015, file photo. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) 
Righteous call-outs should be patterned after Cardinal O’Malley’s rebuke of Pope Francis on sex abuse.
Simcha FisherMay 22, 2018