May 9, 2023 // National

News Briefs: May 14, 2023

Dallas Bishop Reacts to Mass Shooting at Mall with ‘Heavy Heart,’ Urges ‘Prayers for Peace’ in Communities

DALLAS (OSV News) — Dallas Bishop Edward J. Burns addressed the faithful of the diocese “with a heavy heart” late on May 6 after at least eight people, including a child, were killed during a mass shooting that afternoon at an outlet mall in Allen, Texas. “Like all of you, I am deeply troubled by the shooting in the community of Allen and the senseless disregard for life that has occurred in our community,” Bishop Burns said in a statement. “The Catholic community is in unity and solidarity with the families who have lost loved ones in this tragedy. May God, our Heavenly Father, bring comfort and strength to all affected by this tragic event. We ask God to comfort our community, the victims, and their families.” Authorities said a gunman opened fire at the Allen Premium Outlets, a Dallas-area outlet mall, killing eight and wounding at least another seven people before being killed by a police officer who happened to be at the mall. The Allen Police Department said one of its officers had already responded to the outlet mall on an unrelated call, when they heard gunshots shortly after 3:30 p.m. The department said their officer “engaged the suspect and neutralized the threat.” Victims range in age from 5 to 61-years-old, authorities said. President Joe Biden on May 7 decried the “latest act of gun violence to devastate our nation.” “Jill and I are praying for their families and for others critically injured,” he said, “and we are grateful to the first responders who acted quickly and courageously to save lives.” Elsewhere in Texas on May 7, there was another tragedy, authorities said, when a driver plowed into a group near a shelter that had been housing migrants in Brownsville, near the Texas border.

Possible Eucharistic Miracle in Connecticut Under Vatican Investigation

HARTFORD, Connecticut (OSV News) — A possible Eucharistic miracle in Connecticut is now under investigation by the Vatican. Archbishop Leonard P. Blair told a Hartford television news station on May 2 that the Dicastery (formerly Congregation) for the Doctrine of the Faith will examine whether an apparent multiplication of Communion hosts during a March 5 liturgy at St. Thomas Church in Thomaston, Connecticut, was supernatural. The church, along with Immaculate Conception Church and St. Casimir Church, both in Terryville, Connecticut, is part of St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish. St. Maximilian Kolbe pastor Father Joseph Crowley said in a YouTube livestream of his March 12 homily that an unnamed extraordinary minister of Holy Communion at the previous week’s liturgy had begun to run out of hosts — only to find that “all of a sudden there (were) more hosts in the ciborium.” Speaking to media on May 2, Archbishop Blair said he had “(sent) out an experienced priest who has knowledge of church law, canon law, to follow procedure, (and) to just examine exactly what happened and under what circumstances.” He noted that “the guidelines for these kinds of situations do call for me to notify the (Dicastery) for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome.” The Vatican’s investigation is expected to take approximately two weeks.

Head of Taxi Company Serving Cities in Ukraine, Poland, Helps Sisters Get Supplies to War-Torn Villages

ZAPORIZHZHIA, Ukraine (OSV News) — Ivan Smyglia and Denys Kurpikov say they had “no other option” but to assist in delivering food and much-needed supplies to some of the hardest-to-reach and most dangerous places in a country at war. With Sister Lucia Murashko, a member of the Sisters of the Order of St. Basil the Great of the Ukrainian Catholic Church “we often went into a ‘gray zone.’ These are the villages on the front line, between our army and the army of the Russian Federation — territories that Ukraine does not control,” said Kuprikov in an interview in Zaporizhzhia in southeast Ukraine. Sister Murashko lives in a monastery there with other Basilian sisters who serve at the local Ukrainian Catholic parish. The sisters, too, have been providing humanitarian aid within their parish community, as well as to the civilians and Ukrainian soldiers on the front, only 30 miles away, since the war began on Feb. 24, 2022. Smyglia was running a successful company, Ivan-taxi, in 10 Ukrainian cities and in Warsaw, Poland, when Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine. “When the war started, my team and I had no other option. I had a feeling deep inside that we needed to help,” he said.

Supreme Court Stays Richard Glossip’s Execution in Oklahoma

WASHINGTON, D.C. (OSV News) — The U.S. Supreme Court on May 5 temporarily blocked Oklahoma from executing death-row inmate Richard Glossip after the state’s attorney general said Glossip should have a new trial. Glossip was scheduled to be put to death on May 18 despite arguments from Oklahoma’s Republican Attorney General Gentner Drummond that he did not receive a fair trial. The now-blocked execution date was his 9th scheduled execution date, coming so close on prior occasions that he received three last meals, despite investigations resulting in doubts about his conviction. The high court put the execution on hold so it may consider whether to take up the case. Justice Neil Gorsuch recused himself. While no official reason was given by the court, Gorsuch previously dealt with the case when he was an appeals court judge. In a statement, Drummond said he is “very grateful to the U.S. Supreme Court for their decision to grant a stay of execution.” Krisanne Vaillancourt Murphy, Executive Director of Catholic Mobilizing Network, praised the stay in a statement. “We give thanks to God that Richard Glossip has been granted a temporary stay of execution, and we pray the Supreme Court decides to formally take up his case,” Vaillancourt Murphy said.

Utah Law Requiring Adult Content Websites Verify User Age Takes Effect

SALT LAKE CITY (OSV News) — A Utah law requiring websites with adult content to obtain age verification for users went into effect on May 3. Pornhub, one of the world’s most-visited adult websites, responded by blocking access to users in Utah in what it said was a protest of the law. In March, lawmakers in Utah passed SB 287 Online Pornography Viewing Age Requirements, requiring websites with adult content to verify each user is a legal adult in an effort to prevent minors from accessing the content. The bill was passed unanimously by the Legislature and signed into law by Republican Governor Spencer Cox earlier this year. The law states that any website with adult content that “fails to perform reasonable age verification methods” could be held liable for “damages resulting from a minor’s accessing the material.” Federal law currently prohibits children from accessing pornography, but it is rarely enforced. Critics of the bill argue that the age verification requirement presents free speech and privacy concerns, while supporters say it protects children from adult content.

Andreína González, of Venezuela, plays with her 10-month-old daughter, Yulianis, in downtown San José, Costa Rica, March 31, 2023. Like many Venezuelan migrants, González traveled through Costa Rica in March with two children, hoping to make into the United States, fleeing the economic situation in her native country. (OSV News photo/Rhina Guidos, GSR)


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