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September 21, 2015   •   VOL. 53, NO. 16   •   Oakland, CA
News in Brief

Syrian refugee children covered with dust arrive Sept. 10 at the Jordanian border with Syria and Iraq, near the town of Ruwaished, which is close to Amman, Jordan.
Muhammad Hamed/Reuters, cns

Migration solution
MANCHESTER, England — The European Union must adopt a common asylum policy "without delay" because it is unacceptable for refugees to "drown and suffocate" at the fringes of the bloc, said the European bishops. A statement issued by the Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Community, COMECE, said a common policy would prevent countries from keeping out migrants. "If we can solve an economic crisis at an overnight EU extraordinary summit, then it should be just as easy with this crisis, especially when the fate of so many people is at stake. After all, the question of a common solution to the refugee crisis is also an issue that directly affects the values and the future of Europe," said the statement issued Sept. 10. Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich-Freising, Germany, COMECE president; Auxiliary Bishop Jean Kockerols of Mechelen-Brussels, Belgium, COMECE vice-president; and Bishop Gianni Ambrosio of Piacenzo-Bobbio, Italy, signed the statement. It comes in response to the mass migration of refugees into Europe throughout 2015. Most of those arriving in Greece are fleeing war in Syria, while thousands of Africans have entered Italy after paying human smugglers to put them on boats from Libya.

14th anniversary
A boy places his hand on a firefighter's shoulder during a ceremony marking the 14th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York City. The 2001 attacks claimed the lives of nearly 3,000 people in New York City, Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and at the Pentagon.
Andrew Kelly/Reuters, CNS

New LA bishops
Auxiliary Bishops Joseph V. Brennan, Robert E. Barron and David G. O'Connell, pray during their Sept. 8 episcopal ordination at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, the largest in the United States. Archbishop Jose H. Gomez, together with Chicago Archbishop Blase J. Cupich and retired Auxiliary Bishop Joseph M. Sartoris of Los Angeles, ordained the bishops. Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, apostolic nuncio to the United States, presented the mandates from the Apostolic See. More than 500 Los Angeles and Chicago priests and 45 bishops from throughout the United States — including Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, retired archbishop of Los Angeles — concelebrated the Mass. "Our Holy Father has said that there are three basic qualities that we should look for in a bishop," Archbishop Gomez said in his homily to the thousands that filled the cathedral. "As the famous expression indicates: 'If he is holy, let him pray for us. If he is learned, let him teach us. And if he is prudent, let him govern us,'" the archbishop said. "So today we rejoice!
John Rueda/The Tidings, cns

New embassy in Rome
Ken Hackett, U.S. ambassador to the Holy See, speaks during the inauguration of the new headquarters of the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See in Rome Sept. 9. The new building is located on the campus of the U.S. embassy to Italy. Hackett described the move as an "upgrade in the quality, size and security of our embassy."
Paul Haring/CNS

'Sense of camaraderie'

YONKERS, NEW YORK — At St. Joseph's Seminary in Yonkers, third-year student Tom Griffin said he finds "a sense of camaraderie here, of belonging, that you're not in this alone. You see here that the church is bigger than just your diocese. It's a universal force," he said about the flagship of the St. Charles Borromeo Inter-Diocesan Partnership in Spiritual and Theological Formation for Clergy, Religious and Laity. Established by the Archdiocese of New York and the dioceses of Brooklyn and Rockville Centre in 2011, the partnership began its academic year in September with 92 seminary students from the originating dioceses; the Diocese of Albany; the Diocese of Bridgeport, Connecticut; the Syro-Malankara Catholic Exarchate; the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal; and the Piarists congregation. "Seminary is not supposed to be easy. It's supposed to be a bit of a challenge, a process of growing into who you are as a man and learning to be a good priest," Griffin said. He is from Wantagh, in the Rockville Centre Diocese. Griffin and other seminarians spoke with Catholic News Service Sept. 2 after a Mass to mark the opening of the academic year.

Court denies appeal

CHICAGO — Several additional Catholic entities in Indiana were among those told by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Sept. 4 that there is not a substantial burden to their religious rights in the process they must follow to avoid having to pay for contraceptive coverage in employee health insurance. The 7th Circuit had ruled last December in a case involving the University of Notre Dame that a process known as an accommodation for avoiding the mandate does not substantially burden the Catholic institution's religious rights. The latest ruling reiterates many of the same points in finding that a different set of plaintiffs similarly should not be protected from requirements established by the Department of Health and Human Services for avoiding the contraceptive mandate because of religious objections. The plaintiffs in the newest ruling include entities within the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, including Catholic Charities; St. Anne Home and Retirement Center; the Franciscan Alliance, which is an Indiana health care system; the University of St. Francis; and Our Sunday Visitor, a Catholic publishing company; as well as Biola University, a California Christian school, and Grace College and Seminary in Indiana (Biola and Grace filed suit together in Indiana); and Specialty Physicians of Illinois. "We conclude that the (Affordable Care Act) does not impose a substantial burden on the plaintiffs' free exercise rights," the court said in a 2-1 ruling. It continued for 60 days a stay on the enforcement of the requirement, to give time for a lower federal court to consider related issues. Failure to comply with the requirement to offer contraceptive coverage or follow the procedures of the accommodation are subject to penalty of substantial fines.

Catholic News Service


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