Nation and world briefs

U.S.

Beatification date set for Oklahoma priest

WASHINGTON — The Archdiocese of Oklahoma City announced that Father Stanley Rother, an Oklahoma priest who worked in Guatemala and was murdered there in 1981, will be beatified Sept. 23 in Oklahoma. "It's official! Praised be Jesus Christ! Archbishop Coakley received official word this morning from Rome that Servant of God Father Stanley Rother will be beatified in Oklahoma City in September!" the archdiocese announced March 13 on its web page. Pope Francis recognized Father Rother's martyrdom last December, making him the first martyr born in the United States.

Cdl. Dolan op-ed urges passage of nationwide school choice bill

NEW YORK — Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York urged President Donald Trump to follow through on a recent call for legislation that funds school choice for disadvantaged youth nationwide. Writing in a column for The Wall Street Journal March 9, Cardinal Dolan stated he hoped that the president would "push Congress to make scholarship tax credits available to working-class families." The cardinal called for rapid action in Congress so that families can benefit as soon as possible from having a choice on where to send their children to school. Seventeen states already have scholarship tax credit programs and children in the remaining states "deserve the same opportunities," Cardinal Dolan wrote. Under a nationwide tax credit program parents can opt to send their children to private schools, the cardinal wrote, noting that 97 percent of Catholic high school students in the Archdiocese of New York graduate in four years and 95 percent attend college.

Priest named auxiliary bishop for Washington

WASHINGTON — Pope Francis has appointed Father Roy Edward Campbell Jr., who is pastor of St. Joseph Church in Largo, Maryland, as an auxiliary bishop of Washington. The appointment was announced March 8 in Washington by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States. Bishop-designate Campbell, 69, has been pastor of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Largo, a Washington suburb, since 2010. His episcopal ordination will be April 21 at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington. Raised in the Archdiocese of Washington, he worked in the retail banking industry in the Washington-Baltimore area until taking early retirement in 2002. The following year he entered the seminary to study for the priesthood. He was ordained for the archdiocese by Washington Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl May 26, 2007.

WORLD

Trudeau abortion policy 'reprehensible example' of imperialism, says bishop

TORONTO — In a biting letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the president of the Canadian bishops' conference called the government's new overseas abortion policy "a reprehensible example of Western cultural imperialism." In a separate letter to Trudeau, Cardinal Thomas Collins of Toronto expressed "deep concern and disappointment" and called it "arrogant for powerful, wealthy nations to dictate what priorities developing countries should embrace." Cardinal Collins and Bishop Douglas Crosby of Hamilton, Ontario were responding to an announcement March 8 that the government would "invest" $650 million (US$483 million) over three years to provide abortion and other services in the developing world. In addition to funding abortions and other sexual health initiatives, Canadian money will be earmarked to support foreign advocacy organizations working to make abortion legal in nations that ban the practice.

Pope to visit Colombia in September

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis will be visiting Colombia in mid-September as the Latin American nation works to implement a new peace deal and rebuild after 52 years of war. The Vatican announced March 10 that the pope had accepted the invitation of President Juan Manuel Santos and the Colombian bishops. The trip, Sept. 6-11, will include visits to the cities of Bogota, Villavicencio, Medellin and Cartagena. Details of the trip were to be published at a later date. Pope Francis will be the third pope to visit the nation after Blessed Paul VI and St. John Paul II. The bishops' conference posted on its website the trip logo: the pope smiling and walking flanked by the white and yellow colors of the Vatican on one side and an early indigenous symbol on the other. The motto is "Let us take the first step" ("Demos el primer paso").

— Catholic News Service 

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