French government to ban all religious ceremonies (Famille Chretienne (French)) The government of France has announced that all religious ceremonies will be banned, beginning on November 2. Celebrations of the feast of All Saints will be allowed, but after that day churches will be open only for private prayer. The October 28 announcement did not clarify rules for funerals and weddings.
(The French government’s announcement was made before the terrorist attack on the Catholic cathedral in Nice.)
Pakistani prelate protests court decision allowing kidnapping of Christian girl (Fides) Cardinal Joseph Coutts of Karachi has protested a Pakistani court decision that rejected protests after a 13-year-old Catholic girl was kidnapped, forcibly converted to Islam, and married to a middle-aged man. The cardinal pleaded for “measures to be taken to stop the growing wave of kidnappings and forced conversions and marriages of young girls belonging to religious minorities in Pakistan.”
At Vatican abuse trial, victim petitions to sue pre-seminary (CNA) Vatican City State prosecutors have brought criminal charges against two priests: one for sexual abuse, the other for failing to report abuse allegations. “The whistleblower — the alleged victim’s roommate — is Kamil Jarzembowski, who was 15 at the time,” according to an NPR story. “In 2012, he reported the abuse to Church authorities. He received no response and at the end of the academic year was kicked out of the seminary.”
8 sainthood, beatification causes advance (Vatican Press Office) Pope Francis has approved a decree recognizing a miracle attributed to the intercession of Bl. Giustino Russolillo (1891-1955), founder of the Vocationist Fathers and Sisters, paving the way for his canonization. The Pontiff also advanced the causes of Ven. Maria Llorença Llong, Ven. Elzbieta Czacka, and 20th-century martyrs in Turkey, Italy, and Brazil. Finally, he recognized the heroic virtues of a Brazilian religious brother and a Spanish nun.
Vatican, International Jewish Committee mark 55th anniversary of Nostra Aetate (Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity) Issued in 1965, Nostra Aetate is the Second Vatican Council’s Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions. “It is without doubt that Nostra Aetate (no.4) laid the foundation for relations between Catholics and Jews and can therefore rightly be considered to be the ‘Magna Carta’ of Catholic–Jewish relations,” Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Holy See’s Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews, said in an October 28 message. Rabbi Noam Marans, in his message, thanked Pope Francis for repeatedly denouncing anti-Semitism.
Nigerian youth are tired of police brutality and corruption, bishops say (Fides) “We support young people who protest and we warn that they are authorized to exercise their right to peaceful demonstrations without any intimidation, but they must not give in to provocations or to incitement to violence,” the Nigerian bishops said in a new statement, issued a week after they described their country as a “failing state.”
El Salvador prelate concerned by border militarization (CNS) While not opposed in principle to a military presence at the border with Honduras, Bishop Oswaldo Escobar Aguilar of Chalatenango called for a respect for the rights of poor agricultural workers, “including being able to move about freely.”