News Briefs

Cardinal Edmund Szoka

Vatican Radio reports that so far this year nearly 1,900 migrants have died trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea into Europe—far surpassing the 700 dead recorded in 2013 and 500 in 2012. • Cardinal Edmund C. Szoka, a former Vatican official and one-time head of the Archdiocese of Detroit, died at age 86 on Aug. 20 in Novi, Mich. • At 105, the Rev. Jacques Clemens celebrates Mass every Sunday at St. Benoit Catholic Church in Ham-sur-Heure-Nalinnes, Belgium, making him perhaps the world’s oldest living priest who still holds a regular service. • A stolen consecrated host intended for use at a Satanic “black mass,” the focus of a lawsuit filed by Archbishop Paul Coakley, was turned over to the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City on Aug. 21. • The global climate campaign 350.org urged Pope Francis on Aug. 27 to support publicly the growing fossil-fuel divestment movement and to order the Vatican Bank to sell off any fossil-fuel holdings. • Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, primate of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church, in a letter to the world’s bishops’ conferences released on Aug. 21, denounced violence against religious minorities in eastern Ukraine and complained bitterly about “claims and accusations” circulated by Russian Orthodox leaders.

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