Ukrainian Catholic leader welcomes independent Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church) “Let me heartily congratulate our Orthodox brethren on the Unity Council,” said Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. “At this historic moment, I want to extend the fraternal hand on behalf of our Church to the newly elected Primate and all the Orthodox brethren, saying that from now on we go together in history, to unity, to the truth. Because the future of the Church, the people and the Ukrainian free, independent, European state depends on how we today nurture unity and overcome what separates us.”
Organizers of February conference tell bishops to meet with abuse victims (Vatican Press Office) The chief organizers of a February Vatican conference on sexual abuse have written to the presidents of the world’s episcopal conferences, asking them to meet with abuse victims, “to learn first-hand the suffering that they have endured.” The organizing committee, which includes Cardinals Blase Cupich and Oswald Gracias, also asked the bishops’ representatives to complete a questionnaire that was designed to help prepare for the meeting. The organizers stressed the need for “a comprehensive and communal response” to the problem.
Pope appoints new editor-in-chief of L'Osservatore Romano (Vatican Press Office) Andrea Monda, the Vatican newspaper’s new editor, coordinated the preparation of the texts for this year’s Via Crucis at the Colosseum. A religion teacher at a classical high school in Rome, he has written on Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, G. K. Chesterton, and Padre Pio. Monda, 52, succeeds Giovanni Maria Vian, 66, the paper’s editor-in-chief since 2007; Vian assumes the title of editor emeritus.
Pope encourages nations to show compassion to migrants (Vatican Press Office) “Last week the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, intended to be a framework of reference for all the international community, was approved in Marrakech, Morocco,” Pope Francis said following his December 16 Angelus address. “I therefore hope that, thanks to this instrument, the international community may work with responsibility, solidarity and compassion towards those who, for various reasons, have left their own country, and entrust this intention to your prayers.”
Archbishop Nienstedt welcomes investigation (AP) Archbishop John Nienstedt has told the Associated Press that he would welcome a further Vatican investigation into sexual-misconduct charges. The archbishop, who resigned in 2015, has been barred by his successor in the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese from celebrating Mass in public there. Archbishop Bernard Hebda said that the disciplinary action was in place until the charges against Archbishop Nienstedt are resolved.
Bishop in Central African Republic saved dozens from massacre, priest reports (Fides) A bishop in the Central African Republic saved dozens of people from a November massacre by urging them to flee a refugee camp, a missionary reports. Bishop Cyr-Nestor Yapaupa of Alindao warned refugees that they would not be safe at the cathedral and told them to seek refuge in the bush. The bishop himself stayed behind, survived a massacre that took more than 40 lives, and helped other survivors find new shelter.
Former Buffalo seminary rector cleared of abuse allegations (Buffalo News) Stating that he bears no animosity toward his accuser, Msgr. Frederick Leising, a former president-rector of Christ the King Seminary, has been cleared of abuse allegations. Another rector of the seminary, Father Joseph Gatto, was recently placed on leave following allegations of misconduct with an adult.