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OSV News Showcase | April 12, 2024

People react during a partial solar eclipse at New York Hall of Science in the Queens borough of New York City April 8, 2024. A partial eclipse was visible throughout all 48 contiguous U.S. states, while a total solar eclipse was visible along a narrow track stretching from Texas to Maine. (OSV News photo/Andrew Kelly, Reuters)

Good evening!

This week’s big news came Monday. Yes, there was a major astronomical event. For those viewing from the path of totality, I hear, the Great North American Solar Eclipse lived up to the hype. (It was, admittedly, pretty uneventful from my position in non-totality, cloud-covered Minnesota, so now I’m waiting with bated breath for the next one in 2044.) 

However, as the moon crossed the sun April 8, reaction to the highly anticipated DDF document “Dignitas Infinita” on human dignity also was moving across the U.S. and indeed the world. As expected, it took on gender theory but also immigration, assisted suicide and the death penalty, among other culturally controversial issues. We’ve got a link below to a story, along with other headlines from the past few days.

Have a good weekend and keep up the Easter celebration. It’s at least an excuse to eat up those leftover MoonPies.

Maria Wiering

Senior Writer

P.S.: Enjoy reading this roundup? Sign up to receive our emails here.


US bishops’ pro-life chair: ‘Dignitas Infinita’ speaks truth in love with ‘clarity’

The document “really spoke to the issues that are very much at the forefront in discussions and in all kinds of conversations that people are having — the moral issues of our day,” said Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of Arlington, Virginia, the chair of the U.S. bishops’ pro-life committee. “So I think it’s wonderful that the Holy See has said, ‘Yes, these are issues in our day and age. And here’s the truth. This is what the church has always taught.'”


Solar eclipse enlivens hearts across US with the glory of God’s creation

Father John Kartje, rector and president of the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary in Illinois, who also holds a doctorate in astrophysics from the University of Chicago, said the eclipse is “such an extraordinary natural phenomenon,” especially since the cosmos is often taken for granted, and this experience of “the glory of creation” helped bring people of all backgrounds together.


Ukrainian nun: ‘Tell all the world we suffer’ as Russia ramps up attacks

The Basilian Sisters continue their ministry to those in Zaporizhzhia city and in surrounding villages, as well as to “exhausted” Ukrainian soldiers determined to defend life, said Sister Lucia Murashko. Although Russia officials have “banned” the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in occupied areas, the sisters plan to remain, she said.


Mexico City is ‘waiting room’ for migrants as they sort out legal situation before heading to border

Catholics working with migrants say the Mexico capital affords people without the proper papers the ability to avoid scrutiny from migration officials and often find work in the vast informal economy to sustain themselves while waiting.


Pew report: Most US Catholics approve of pope, but data reflects political divides

“We still see kind of the overall majority of Catholics see him mostly or very favorably,” said Pew research associate Patricia Teverington, one of three primary researchers for the report, “but there is this kind of increasing divide where about a third of Republican or Republican-leaning Catholics view him mostly or very unfavorably, but only just 7% of Democrat or Democrat-leaning Catholics (do so).”


Fire ‘gave us all a boost,’ Notre Dame chaplain says as Paris prepares for cathedral’s reopening

For some, the Notre Dame fire was a sign of devastation of faith and Christian values. But for many more in France, it meant awakening of faith on an unprecedented scale. “The Church was asleep. Some people were behaving badly. In that respect, the fire was providential. It pushed us all to move forward and give our best,” said Father Henry de Villefranche.


Blessed by Cancer’ social media evangelist, mother of 4 dies leaving powerful witness

When Jessica Hanna was diagnosed with cancer while pregnant, she fought to find treatment that would heal her and preserve the life of her unborn child. Months later, she had a healthy baby boy and scans showing no sign of cancer. But tragically, her cancer soon returned.


Pope Francis grants plenary indulgences for National Eucharistic Pilgrimage, Congress participants

The congress and preceding pilgrimage are efforts of the National Eucharistic Revival, a three-year initiative of the U.S. bishops that began in 2022 to inspire greater understanding of and love for Jesus in the Eucharist. Held in Indianapolis July 17-21 at Lucas Oil Stadium, the congress aims to bring together tens of thousands of Catholics for liturgies, devotions and well-known Catholic speakers.


Trump says abortion should be left to states, disappointing pro-life advocates

In a video posted to his social media platform Truth Social April 8, Trump took credit for the Supreme Court’s 2022 decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization which overturned its previous abortion precedent including Roe v. Wade, but said that “my view is now that we have abortion where everybody wanted it from a legal standpoint, the states will determine by vote or legislation or perhaps both, and whatever they decide must be the law of the land. In this case, the law of the state.”


Wisconsin bishop accuses Archbishop Viganó of defamation, potential illicit ordination

Superior Bishop James P. Powers accused Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganó, former apostolic nuncio to the U.S., of defamation, while seeking clarification into an allegedly illicit priest ordination. The Wisconsin bishop released a strongly worded statement April 5, responding to a March 22 post from X (formerly Twitter) account of Archbishop Viganó sharply criticizing a Native American ritual preceding this year’s diocesan chrism Mass.


West Virginia diocese welcomes LOUDfence campaign of awareness, support for abuse victims

The Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston became the first diocese in the U.S. to participate in LOUDfence, a campaign of awareness and support for victims of abuse which began in a small, rural English church and has now spread across the globe with its message of healing.


‘Irena’s Vow,’ Heroism in the Face of Evil

The movie is based on the real-life experiences of Catholic nurse Irene Gut Opdyke (1918-2003). Famed for her rescue of Jews, Opdyke was named Righteous Among the Nations by the Israeli Holocaust Commission. In 1995, she received a special blessing from St. John Paul II who also invited her to a personal audience. Unflinching depictions of history can be both troubling and complicated. But that was the point of Opdyke’s 1999 memoir “In My Hands,” which discussed her decisions.


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