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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 • European funding for Catholic aid agencies based in the United Kingdom could be withdrawn if the British people vote on June 23 to leave the European Union, Auxiliary Bishop William Kenney of Birmingham warned on May 28.

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Pope Francis issued a letter to Catholics around the world Monday condemning the "crime" of priestly sexual abuse and its cover-up and demanding accountability.
Bishop Lawrence T. Persico of Erie, Pa., speaks during a meeting in late January at the headquarters of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)
“I think we need complete transparency if we’re going to get the trust of the people back,” said Erie Bishop Lawrence T. Persico.
Mélanie Thierry as Marguerite Duras in “Memoir of War.” © Music Box Films
The film tells the story of a woman who worked for the German-controlled Vichy government but secretly joined the Resistance movement.
A. W. Richard Sipe (photo: Facebook)
Sipe's research into celibacy and priestly sexual behavior helped guide the work of church leaders and others responding to the clergy sexual abuse crisis.
Catholic News ServiceAugust 17, 2018