1. Pope expresses sadness over image of drowned father, child.

By Trisha Thomas, The Associated Press, June 26, 2019, 8:58 AM

Pope Francis on Wednesday expressed sadness over the fate of the father and young daughter who drowned in the Rio Grande while trying to cross into the United States.

“With immense sadness, the Holy Father has seen the images of the father and his baby daughter who drowned in the Rio Grande River while trying to cross the border between Mexico and the United States,” the Vatican’s interim spokesman, Alessandro Gisotti, said in a statement.

“The pope is profoundly saddened by their death, and is praying for them and for all migrants who have lost their lives while seeking to flee war and misery,” he said.

Photographs, which have been widely published around the world, show the bodies of a father and his 23-month-old daughter face down along the banks of the Rio Grande near Matamoros, Mexico, across the river from Brownsville, Texas.


2. Minnesota diocese reaches $34M settlement with abuse victims.

The Associated Press, June 26, 2019, 5:38 PM

The Diocese of New Ulm in Minnesota has reached a $34 million settlement in its bankruptcy case with 93 people who say they were sexually abused by priests and others, the diocese and an attorney representing survivors said Thursday.

Bishop John LeVoir said the settlement represents the diocese’s commitment to finding a fair resolution for victims and survivors while continuing its ministry in southern and west-central Minnesota.


3. Kansas abortion ruling prompts new attack on death penalty.

By John Hanna, The Associated Press, June 26, 2019

A recent Kansas Supreme Court ruling declaring that the state constitution protects access to abortion opened the door to a new legal attack on the death penalty.

Attorneys for five of the 10 men on death row in Kansas argue that the abortion decision means the state’s courts can enforce the broad guarantees of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” in the Bill of Rights in the Kansas Constitution.

The lawyers contend the convicted killers cannot be executed because capital punishment violates their “inalienable” right to life.


4. Missouri’s Last Abortion Clinic to Get Case Heard in August, An injunction allowing the clinic to continue operating expires Friday evening.

By Jennifer Calfas, Wall Street Journal Online, June 26, 2019, 10:30 PM

A Missouri commission charged with determining the fate of the state’s last abortion clinic will hear the case in August, weeks after the expiration, set for Friday evening, of the injunction that has kept the clinic operating.

Lawyers representing the Reproductive Health Services of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region filed a motion to the state’s Administrative Hearing Commission Tuesday asking it to allow the clinic to continue operating as an abortion provider, as the commission considers the case.

After the state Department of Health and Senior Services declined to renew the clinic’s license, Circuit Court Judge Michael Stelzer granted Planned Parenthood a reprieve, allowing it time to appeal the decision to the state commission.


5. Vaticanista Valentina Alazraki tells all about interview with Pope Francis.

By Marta Petrosillo and Katholiek Nieuwsblad, Crux, June 26, 2019

She is a veteran Vatican correspondent, who started working as a journalist in the 1970s, and has covered five pontificates and taken part in 154 international papal visits. Valentina Alazraki, the Vatican correspondent for Mexico’s Noticieros Televisa, has also interviewed Pope Francis twice, most recently last month.

It was an explosive interview in which the pope spoke openly about a lot of issues: From the Viganò case to the accusations of heresy against him. Katholiek Nieuwsblad spoke with Alazraki about her interview and her relationship with the Argentine pope.

Katholiek Nieuwsblad: How did this most recent interview come about?

Alazraki: Every Christmas I write a letter to the pope on the occasion of his birthday. I use that opportunity to tell him about my doubts and questions that arise in my daily work. In 2017, I wrote to him that there were some topics that I would have liked to discuss with him. In his reply he told me he had already promised to do several interviews on the occasion of his fifth anniversary as pope. So, with some irony, I said that I could interview him for the sixth anniversary. Then in February, during the abuse summit, right before my speech, the pope told me that we could do the interview.

You have been following the Vatican since the times of pope Paul VI. How has the job of a Vatican correspondent changed over the years?

When I arrived on the scene there was no such thing as internet, computers, or cell phones. Today it really looks like another world. I followed Paul VI as a mere intern. My relationship with the Vatican communication really took off during the two conclaves of 1978.

I saw how communication was transformed by St. John Paul II. From the moment he appeared on the balcony, we all realized that he was an absolutely mediagenic pope.


6. Church Law Backs Indianapolis Archbishop’s Action Against Jesuit School, Experts Say.

By Joan Frawley Desmond, National Catholic Register, June 26, 2019

Shortly after national headlines confirmed that Indianapolis Archbishop Charles Thompson had stripped Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School of its right to call itself “Catholic,” canonists began weighing in on the dispute, which came to a head with the release of a formal archdiocesan decree June 20.

Dominican Father Joseph Fox, the vicar for canonical services in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, told the Register that “canon law was pretty clear” about the handling of such cases, and the archbishop’s decision reflected that.

“Religious orders are subject to the authority of bishops when exercising an external apostolate, like running a Catholic school,” said Father Fox.

The confrontation between the Jesuit high school and Archbishop Thompson had been brewing for almost two years, after social-media posts about the Brebeuf Jesuit teacher’s legal same-same union drew public attention, and the superintendent of Catholic education directed the school not to renew the faculty member’s contract.


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