News Briefs

Donna Markham

Donna Markham, an Adrian Dominican sister, has been chosen to succeed the Rev. Larry Snyder as the new president of Catholic Charities USA, beginning in June. • Surprising even the people who have been promoting the sainthood of Blessed Junipero Serra, Pope Francis announced on Jan. 15 that he hopes to canonize the 18th-century Spanish Franciscan in September. • On Jan. 12 German bishops “totally” distanced the church from an anti-Islamic movement that staged mass demonstrations in Dresden and other cities, but they also urged a better understanding of public fears and opinions. • A panel of theologians advising the Vatican’s Congregation for Saints’ Causes voted unanimously on Jan. 8 to recognize El Salvador’s assassinated Oscar Romero as a martyr, declaring that the archbishop had been killed “in hatred for the faith.” • In an interview published in late December, Bishop Johan Bonny of Antwerp urged the church to find ways to recognize same-sex relationships in which “exclusivity, loyalty and care are central to each other.” • The Rev. Father Noor Alqasmosa, a Syriac Catholic, warned that funding will soon run out to feed and house thousands of Iraqi Christians who took refuge in Jordan from Islamic State militants, adding that the Iraqis increasingly feel hopeless and abandoned.

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