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OSV News Showcase | October 6, 2023

Pope Francis and members of the assembly of the Synod of Bishops pray in the Vatican's Paul VI Audience Hall Oct. 6, 2023. (CNS photo/Lola Gomez)
Pope Francis and members of the assembly of the Synod of Bishops pray in the Vatican's Paul VI Audience Hall Oct. 6, 2023. (CNS photo/Lola Gomez)

Welcome to today’s OSV News Showcase!

Well, the Synod on Synodality has begun. This week began with synod participants on retreat and news of dubia from five retired cardinals, including Cardinal Burke, seeking clarification around some points of doctrine, including blessings on same-sex marriage and women’s ordination, and Pope Francis’ response. That led to lots of conversation about these two issues. But now that the synod is underway, the volume is on low — because Pope Francis has exhorted synod participants not to speak to media in order to better listen to the Holy Spirit. In Rome, CNS is following the daily press briefings, and for OSV News, Peter Jesserer Smith is heeding Pope Francis’ call to listen — for key undercurrents that are shaping the synod process. As I keep reminding myself, this is just the start: This synod comes with an unprecedented two-session general assembly, and we’ll be working to continue to bring you insight and analysis from now through next year’s final session. 

You can find more of our stories by following us on Facebook, X (aka Twitter) and Instagram, and I’m always happy to hear your story ideas messaged to us on those platforms. Have a great weekend.

Maria Wiering

Senior writer

For synod, questions around women’s diaconate run right through the priesthood

As the Synod on Synodality was set to open Oct. 4 in Rome, among the most closely watched topics under discussion was the question of whether the Catholic Church can or will extend the permanent diaconate — restored after the Second Vatican Council — to women.

‘Laudate Deum’: Planet mirrors a deeply flawed view of human life and activity

Pope Francis warns the clock is ticking on the dangers of climate change — and both a paradigm shift and practical action are critically needed to avert looming disasters in nature and human society. The pope released his new apostolic exhortation “Laudate Deum” Oct. 4 as a follow-up to his 2015 encyclical “Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home.”

Mother of Blessed Carlo Acutis visits U.S., invites all to encounter Christ in Eucharist

At each gathering, Antonia Acutis echoed her late son’s call to draw close to Christ in the Eucharist, which was “the most important thing” for the teen, who in 2006 died at age 15 from acute promyelocytic leukemia, having offered his sufferings for the pope, the church and his own deliverance from purgatory. He was declared venerable in 2018 and beatified in 2020.

‘I forgive you. I pray for you,’ Florida inmate says in final statement before execution

Catholic Mobilizing Network, which led a vigil for Zack outside the Florida State Prison that included Bishop Emeritus Felipe Estévez of St. Augustine, posted on X Oct. 3, “We stand in solidarity with all of those throughout the state of Florida who are holding vigils, protesting and bearing witness to the sanctity of #MichaelZack’s life.” Zack, 54, was pronounced dead that evening by lethal injection at the Florida State Prison in Starke.

Fleeing ethnic Armenian Christians ‘completely disregarded’ for political, economic profits, says bishop

According to the United Nations, more than 100,000 residents have now fled Nagorno-Karabakh, a historic Armenian enclave located in southwestern Azerbaijan and internationally recognized as part of that nation.

Nicaraguan priests kidnapped from parishes amid continued crackdown on church

Fathers Ivan Centeno and Julio Norori were abducted Oct. 1 by plain-clothed individuals, prompting fears the priests were taken by paramilitaries. The churchmen have been identified as pastors of parishes in the Diocese of Estelí in the country’s northwest, where imprisoned Bishop Rolando Álvarez is apostolic administrator.

National Eucharistic Pilgrimage invites young people to — literally — step out in faith

Organizers are inviting young adults ages 19 to 29 to apply as participants in the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage, which will take place May 17 to July 21, 2024. The “Perpetual Pilgrims” will travel along four different routes throughout the country — a combined distance of 6,500 miles — to the 10th National Eucharistic Congress, set to take place July 21-24, 2024, in Indianapolis.

‘Radical solidarity’ with women in need means being the ‘hands and feet of Jesus,’ pro-life leaders say

“It would be easy for these ministries to drop some diapers off, and not to say that’s not important,” said Keri Ninness, who leads the Walking with Moms in Need ministry at St. Joseph Parish in Marietta. “But when we’re talking about long-term impact — and we’re talking long term — being the hands and feet of Jesus, that means relationship.”

Boston Archdiocese opposes canceling civil statute of limitations for abuse claims

A statement from the Archdiocese of Boston said removing the statute of limitations for civil lawsuits would put at risk the archdiocesan aid program for sexual abuse victims. David Vicinanzo, a New England attorney who has represented both sexual abuse victims and Catholic institutions throughout his career, called completely lifting the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse victims “almost an incontrovertible good policy.” “From a moral perspective it’s not a close call, it’s the right thing to do,” he said.

Q&A: John L. Allen Jr. on ‘Catholics and Contempt’

Crux Editor John L. Allen Jr. talks with Charlie Camosy about his book “Catholics and Contempt: How Catholic Media Fuel Today’s Fights, and What to Do About It,” published in June by Word on Fire.

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