November 7, 2023 // National

News Briefs: November 12, 2023

After Music Video ‘Desecration,’ Brooklyn Bishop Celebrates Mass of Reparation

BROOKLYN, N.Y. (OSV News) – Bishop Robert J. Brennan of Brooklyn celebrated a Mass of Reparation on Saturday, November 4, in a Brooklyn Catholic Church used in a violent and provocative music video, and he has removed its well-known pastor from his diocesan development role. Pop musician Sabrina Carpenter released a music video to her song “Feather” on Tuesday, October 31, that includes scenes of the singer dancing and performing inside and outside of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Brooklyn, including in the sanctuary where the altar is located. Monsignor Jamie Gigantiello, the parish’s pastor, was removed as the Diocese of Brooklyn’s Vicar for Development on Friday, November 3. He will remain pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel-Annunciation Parish. However, Bishop Robert Brennan has appointed Auxiliary Bishop Witold Mroziewski as the temporary administrator. Earlier this week, Bishop Brennan was said to be “appalled” by what was filmed.

Cardinal Dolan Rebukes Surging Religious Hatred in U.S.

NEW YORK (OSV News) – Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York has issued a sharp rebuke against surging religious hatred in the United States amid the Israel-Hamas war. “In recent days here in America, where for hundreds of years many have sought refuge from religious persecution, we have seen outbreaks of religious hatred that shock the conscience,” said Cardinal Dolan, Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Religious Liberty, in a statement released on Wednesday, November 1. Threats, slurs, and physical attacks against both Jewish and Muslim individuals in the United States have risen dramatically since Hamas launched its attacks on Israel in early October. “In the face of such base hatred, we must affirm certain fundamental truths,” Cardinal Dolan said. “Every human life is of equally incalculable worth. Hating your neighbors is a grave sin against God, who created us all in His image and likeness. Violence only begets more violence, not justice. May those whose hearts have been gripped by hatred repent, and may people of goodwill stand courageously for peace.”

U.S. Bishops Object to Inclusion of Abortion in Proposed Harassment Guidance

– A rule proposed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, “Enforcement Guidance on Harassment in the Workplace,” would govern the implementation of federal law on harassment and associated nondiscrimination policies. However, the U.S. Catholic bishops and other religious organizations have argued that the way the rule defines “pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions” to include abortion could result in pro-life views leading to a harassment charge. The rule, published for public inspection in early October, states that “sex-based harassment” also includes harassment based on “pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions” which it defines as inclusive of “current pregnancy, past pregnancy, potential pregnancy … use of birth control, menstruation, infertility and fertility treatments, endometriosis, miscarriage, stillbirth, or having or choosing not to have an abortion, among other conditions.” In a letter to the EEOC, representatives of the bishops’ conference argued that “references to abortion in the harassment guidance are problematic and should be removed” and that “opposition to abortion (including speech opposing abortion) is not sexual harassment because it is not based on sex,” the letter said.

Pro-life Supporters Gain Partial Legal Win in Federal Court

MINNEAPOLIS (OSV News) – In a partial legal win for pro-life protesters outside abortion clinics, a federal judge has allowed a First Amendment challenge to proceed against Minneapolis’ 2022 “abortion bubble” ordinance. U.S. District Court Judge Eric C. Tostrud, in his ruling on Monday, October 30, rejected the assertion by the Christian nonprofit Pro-Life Action Ministries that the words “physical” and “disrupt” in Minneapolis’ ordinance are so vague they don’t give protesters adequate notice of what is and is not prohibited. But Tostrud allowed the complaint to proceed through the court system on free-speech grounds, since the lawsuit asserted the city’s ordinance was overly broad and “it would be premature to dismiss the overbreadth challenge at the pleadings stage.” The lawsuit was brought in April by the Thomas More Society, a Chicago-based public interest law firm.

Pope: Wars in Gaza, Ukraine, ‘Kill’ the Future of Children

VATICAN CITY (CNS) – The wars being fought in Gaza, Ukraine, and other parts of the world are destroying the future of the children who live in those nations, Pope Francis said after praying the Angelus in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday, November 5. The pope asked the world to “think of the children” who suffer as a result of war. For “all the children affected by this war, as well as in Ukraine and in other conflicts: this is how their future is being killed,” he said. Pope Francis noted that many children are among the hostages taken into Gaza by Hamas during its attack on Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday, October 30, that more than 200 hostages were being held in Gaza, including 33 children. “May they return to their families,” the pope said. “May the hostages be freed immediately.

Caritas Offers Humanitarian Aid in Hurricane-Stricken Acapulco

ACAPULCO, Mexico (OSV News)
– The morning after Hurricane Otis stormed through Acapulco as a Category 5 monster, Father Leonardo Morales surveyed the damage and saw total destruction. “It looked like a war zone,” Father Morales, Archdiocesan Director of Caritas, said in WhatsApp messages shared with OSV News. “It hit everyone.” People in Acapulco have been left to pick up the pieces after Hurricane Otis battered the tourist destination. The storm made landfall on Wednesday, October 25, as the strongest hurricane to hit Mexico’s Pacific Coast with winds reaching 165 mph. Caritas chapters across Mexico have established collection centers and sent donations to Acapulco, which was so badly battered that electricity still hasn’t been fully restored as of early November. Many of Acapulco’s residents lived in poor neighborhoods of self-built dwellings, which were obliterated in the storm, according to clergy familiar with the city. Businesses have been unable to open amid water and electricity shortage; many stores were looted after the storm. As of Monday, November 6, the death toll stood at 47 with 56 missing, according to the Mexican government.

Ukraine Suspects Russian Patriarch’s Involvement in Attacks

LVIV, Ukraine (OSV News) – Ukraine’s Secret Service, SBU, announced suspicion against Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill, who, it said, “blessed the racists to kill Ukrainians.” A statement from officials of the SBU, released on Saturday, November 4, said the organization has “gathered evidence” that Patriarch Kirill “promotes armed aggression of the Russian Federation and denies the war crimes of the occupiers” and that he “is a member of the inner circle of Russia’s top military and political leadership” and was “one of the first to publicly support a full-scale war against Ukraine.” In August, Archbishop Borys Gudziak of the Archeparchy of Philadelphia wrote that “Patriarch Kirill has continued to defend the invasion despite mounting evidence of Russian war crimes committed in Ukraine.” Meanwhile, Russia launched an air attack on the Ukrainian Black Sea port of Odesa late on Sunday, November 5, wounding at least eight people, setting ablaze trucks loaded with grain, and damaging one of the city’s principal art galleries, officials said.

Fourth-grade students at Lumen Christi Catholic School in Indianapolis view saints’ relics displayed Oct. 31, 2023, on a side altar of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Church. The relics were available for veneration in anticipation of the Solemnity of All Saints, celebrated in the Catholic Church Nov. 1. (OSV News photo/Sean Gallagher, The Criterion)

* * *

The best news. Delivered to your inbox.

Subscribe to our mailing list today.