Bishops condemn UK's imposition of abortion in Northern Ireland (Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference) The directive by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Brandon Lewis, “to make abortion services available in Northern Ireland by 21 March 2022, is gravely disquieting,” Northern Ireland’s bishops said in a statement. “Westminster has imposed an unjust law. Christians, and all people of good will, can never ignore the fact that unborn children are human beings worthy of protection.”“Sadly, some of our local political parties seem content to welcome this unilateral move by Westminster on an issue which is of fundamental importance to local voters, while rightly challenging such unilateral impositions on other issues,” the bishops added. “We encourage everyone who believes in the equal right to life and compassionate care for a mother and her unborn child to ask local candidates and political parties to explain their position on these interventions and on this most fundamental of all issues.”
Priest attacked in Edinburgh cathedral (The Scottish Sun) Wielding a bottle as a weapon, a man attacked Father Jamie McMorrin, assistant priest at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Edinburgh, while the priest was praying in a pew. The priest “managed to fend him off with a chair before the attacker ran out of the Cathedral,” the archdiocese said in a statement.“This was terrible, frightening and totally unacceptable,” said John Swinney, Scotland’s second-leading official.
Federal appeals court rules against web designer who objects to creating same-sex marriage sites (Religion Clause) “A Colorado law forces web designer Lorie Smith and her studio, 303 Creative, to design and publish websites promoting messages that violate her religious beliefs,” stated her legal counsel, Alliance Defending Freedom. “The law at issue also gags Smith from even explaining on her company’s website what websites she can create consistent with her religious beliefs.”Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act “permissibly compels [Smith’s] speech,” the 10th Circuit ruled. “A faith that enriches society in one way might also damage society in other ways, particularly when that faith would exclude others from unique goods or services.”
Pro-abortion protestors disrupt Mass in Brooklyn (CNA) On July 10, members of the group New York City for Abortion Rights gathered outside St. Paul’s Church “before the morning Mass and chanted throughout the Mass,” according to the report. “Some of their chants outside the church included ‘Our bodies, our lives, our right to decide,’ as well as ‘St. Paul’s Church harasses patients’ and ‘Free abortion on demand, can we win it? Yes we can.’”Afterwards, the protestors “physically impeded [a pro-life Rosary procession] and harassed participants,” according to the report.
Disruption of religious services is a violation of federal law, ironically, under the terms of the FACE law, which has enacted primarily to guarantee unimpeded access to abortion clinics.
Michigan bishops donated $238K to effort to challenge LGBT ballot initiative (MiBiz) The “Fair and Equal Michigan: ballot initiative “would likely label as ‘discriminatory’ or ‘hate speech’ religious teaching that differentiates between the two genders, exclude faith-based organizations from providing necessary medical and social services for Michigan’s neediest citizens, and create ongoing and burdensome legal challenges for any number of religious communities,” the Michigan Catholic Conference said in a statement.
Pennsylvania diocese places vicar general on leave (Diocese of Harrisburg) The Diocese of Harrisburg has placed its no. 2 official, Father David Danneker, on leave because of “allegations of adult misconduct” that “center around a relationship between Rev. Danneker and an adult female. A formal investigation by an outside third party is being conducted by a firm that has no ties to the Diocese.”
Vatican officials using 'hookup apps,' data show (Pillar) The Pillar news site has obtained cell-phone signal data that shows multiple devices inside the Vatican using hookup or dating apps. Although the data do not identify individual users, the devices were located in areas of the Vatican that are not ordinarily open to tourists. Pillar notes that in addition to the evidence that Vatican officials and employees are seeking sexual partners, the use of such apps also poses security risks. One popular app, Grindr, is now owned by a Chinese firm that has been cited by the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States as a national security risk. The Vatican declined to comment on the report.
The revelations follow closely after a similar discovery, also made public by Pillar, prompted the resignation of Msgr. Jeffrey Burrill as secretary-general of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Reporter ousted from press group over service on diocesan committee (VT Digger) The New England First Amendment Coalition has expelled the vice president of its board, veteran Vermont journalist Mike Donoghue, because he serves on the Diocese of Burlington’s File Review Committee.The president of the Vermont Press Association came to Donoghue’s defense. “Mike’s practice of his faith and service to his Church are his own personal business, and it is inappropriate to suggest that his journalism is compromised by his private practice of his religion,” said Lisa Loomis.
Vatican financial-scandal trial opens (BBC) The long-awaited trial of ten defendants, including Cardinal Angelo Becciu, on financial-misconduct charges, opened before a Vatican tribunal hearing on July 27. After preliminary hearings this week, the trial is expected to adjourn for several weeks, then continue for months. The trial, centering on a London real-estate deal, has become a centerpiece of the Vatican’s drive to restore public confidence in its financial affairs.
Pope renews criticism of 'unjust food system' (Vatican Press Office) In a message to participants in a UN meeting leading up to the Food System Summit, Pope Francis said that the Covid epidemic provides an occasion for “addressing the roots of our unjust food system.” He said that “systematic injustices” require “radical change,” while “self-centered and conflicting—but powerful—economic interests prevent us from conceiving of a food system that responds to the values of the common good.”
Parish vandalized in British Columbia (New Westminster Record) The parish, St. Peter’s Church, is located in New Westminster, a city of 70,000 near Vancouver. The church is entrusted to the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, the religious institute that administered over 40% of the Indian residential schools in Canada.