News Briefs

Pope Francis named Brother Guy Consolmagno, a Jesuit from the United States, to be the new director of the Vatican Observatory on Sept. 18. • The Archdiocese of Cincinnati is one of the latest U.S. dioceses to heed the call of Pope Francis, announcing that annulment fees would be eliminated effective Sept. 14. • Philippine church leaders warned the faithful on Sept. 12 against making money out of reported “miracles” and “apparitions” of Mary after stories of weeping images of Jesus’ mother surfaced in local media. • Embracing Pope Francis’ request to sponsor a refugee family, St. Anne parish in Vatican City welcomed a family of four from Damascus, Syria, on Sept. 18, sponsoring the Melkite Catholic family in a Vatican apartment near St. Peter’s Square. • The Diocese of Lincoln, Neb., announced on Sept. 10 that it will take part in the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ audit of sexual abuse by clergy, the first time the diocese has done so since the audits began in 2003. • Calling himself “a bit feminist,” Pope Francis praised women religious on Sept. 17 for always heading to the “front lines” to bring the church’s tenderness and motherly love to those most in need—which he called “a beautiful witness.”

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