Pope expresses closeness to victims of violence in southern Colombia (Vatican News) Over 175,000 civilians have lost their lives in the Colombian conflict, which began in 1964. Five years after a peace agreement between the Colombian government and the main rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), “dissident FARC rebels, leftist guerrillas, drug-trafficking groups and right-wing paramilitaries are all battling for control of the lucrative cocaine and illegal mining markets,” the report notes.
Hebei closes nuns' orphanage for the disabled (AsiaNews) Hebei (map) is located in northeastern China. “The prohibition on contact with minors under the age of 18 suggests that the authorities are applying the New Religious Regulations, which prohibit the evangelization of minors,” AsiaNews reported.
Nigerian bishop builds mosque for displaced Muslims (Punch (Nigeria)) Bishop Stephen Mamza of Yola, the capital of Adamawa State (map), said that the majority of displaced persons “who thronged our camp were Christians, but there was also a large number of Muslims among them. And if we were able to build houses for all of them, and also built a church for the Christians among them, then it is only a matter of justice and fairness that we also provide a space of worship for the few Muslims among them.”
Police, DA's office clashed amid Bishop Hart investigation, documents show (Casper Star Tribune) In a separate investigation, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith found that Bishop Joseph Hart, the retired Bishop of Cheyenne, was guilty of a “flagrant lack of prudence” in his relationships with boys, but ruled that accusations of sexual abuse by the bishop could not be proven “with moral certitude.” The CDF also criticized Bishop Hart for “his disregard of the urgent requests that he refrain from public engagements that would cause scandal” after a diocesan investigation found that the accusations against him were credible.
Pontifical academy concerned about neo-populism (Vatican News) “Many nations are threatened by populism fueled by the media and fake news,” the
Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences said in its overview of a webinar on Pope Francis’s third encyclical letter, Fratelli tutti. “In some contexts, the basic human rights to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, expression and association are not respected.” The Vatican’s Dicastery for Communication has highlighted one of the speeches, “Fratelli tutti and the challenge of neo-populism,” by Rodrigo Guerra López.
Minnesota bishop resigns after Vatican investigation (Catholic Herald) Bishop Michael Hoeppner of Crookston, Minnesota, has resigned, at the request of Pope Francis, after a Vatican investigation into charges that he had covered up sex-abuse complaints. Although the Vatican did not give any reason for his early resignation, the Crookston diocese disclosed that it came after an investigation under the terms of Vos Estis, conducted by Archbishop Bernard Hebda of St. Paul—Minneapolis. Bishop Hoeppner is the first prelate to resign as the result of a Vos Estis investigation.
Italian magistrate orders arrest of suspect in Vatican real-estate scandal (CNA) An Italian magistrate has issued a warrant for the arrest of Gianluigi Torzi, a key figure in a Vatican real-estate scandal. Torzi was arrested by the Vatican last year and charged with fraud, but a British court last month said that the Vatican’s case against him was marked by “appalling” errors and omissions. In the new warrant for his arrest, the Italian magistrate found that Torzi had undertaken “fraudulent operations”—apparently with the cooperation of the Vatican Secretariat of State.