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OSV News Showcase | April 26, 2024

This is a screenshot of "Father Justin," an AI chatbot simulating a priest in order to answer questions for teaching apostolate Catholic Answers. A day after the bot was launched April 23, and following much backlash from social media about having the character be a priest, Father Justin was turned into simply "Justin." (OSV News screenshot/Catholic Answers)

Did you hear about the Father Justin AI rolled out by Catholic Answers this week?

This sort of stuff is right up my alley as digital editor, but disappointingly I was too nose-to-the-grindstone to have a chat before he was “lAIcized” (see what I did there?), though our reporter Gina Christian did for her stories on him and Catholic Answers’ thoughts on using artificial intelligence/large language models. It’s sad when you’re the digital editor and miss a chance to test out the fun stuff.

While I’ve been tinkering with tech, our team continues to bring you not-to-miss stories and features. Just today, we posted a Catholic’s guide to Paris ahead of the summer Olympics, analysis of Taylor Swift’s new album and a story on a New York state appeals court giving an insurer for the Archdiocese of New York the go-ahead to pursue a lawsuit contending it should not have to indemnify the archdiocese in hundreds of lawsuits over sex abuse.

From global happenings to more local scoops, get ready to dive into some highlights of this week’s news below.

Megan Marley

Digital Editor

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

Updated April 30, 2024 to make clear the New York appellate court has not ruled on the case, but has only allowed the insurer’s lawsuit to move forward.

Louisiana State Police execute search warrant at New Orleans Archdiocese for records on abuse handling

Louisiana State Police executed a search warrant on the Archdiocese of New Orleans April 25 for documents related to a widening investigation into how the archdiocese has handled allegations of clerical sex abuse.

Mexico’s bishops denounce use of Santa Muerte imagery in political advertising

Mexico’s bishops have blasted the use of the folkloric La Santa Muerte by the country’s ruling party as a distortion of the nation’s “fundamental values” ahead of presidential and local elections, which have been marred by violence and the killing of candidates.

Passions flare as Supreme Court hears case with major impact on homelessness policy

The Supreme Court on April 22 heard a case concerning the constitutionality of local laws that ban public camping and their impact on people who are homeless. 

Arizona House votes to repeal state’s near-total protections for unborn children

Arizona’s Republican-controlled House voted April 24 to repeal the state’s 1864 law banning abortion recently upheld by that state’s Supreme Court. Republicans in the state Senate recently allowed that chamber to proceed to a repeal vote, meaning that chamber could soon follow suit.

Man stabs parishioner, says ‘Jesus is not real,’ outside San Francisco church during confirmations

A parishioner was stabbed outside a historic San Francisco church April 21, where the city’s Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone was administering the sacrament of confirmation.

Haiti violence, lawlessness forces longtime U.S. missionary priest to evacuate

As Haiti’s capital spirals into lawlessness, a longtime U.S. missionary has been forced to evacuate — while Haitian Catholics in the U.S. are doubling down on prayer for their troubled homeland.

Cardinal Grech says releasing ‘Fiducia Supplicans’ won’t affect future synodal session

Cardinal Mario Grech, secretary-general of the synod, said he learned about the document “like everybody else when it was published.” When asked whether the document will inform the second synodal assembly in the autumn, he said it had “nothing to do with” either the previous synodal assembly nor with the forthcoming second session.

As House reveals China’s fentanyl role, Catholic experts say US has just one path out of the crisis

Catholics working to address the nation’s fentanyl problem told OSV News a new congressional report naming China — and blaming its government — as the key source of the drug is important but old news, and that healing rising rates of addiction ultimately demands divine assistance. 

Argentina’s slum priests hope for papal Mass at pope’s favorite soccer stadium

Father Pedro Cannavó, who was ordained by the then-Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio over 15 years ago, is one of the so-called ‘slum priests’ or ‘curas villeros’ working in the Argentine capital. “A visit by Pope Francis would be the best that could happen to us,” Father Cannavó told OSV News. Pope Francis, 87, was invited to visit his native country earlier this year by President Javier Milei. 

What’s going on with the Latin Mass?

QUESTION CORNER: What’s going on with the Latin Mass, and why do some priests like to celebrate it while others don’t? One thing that is clear in any case is that as Catholic Christians we are called to approach all things in a spirit of patience and charity.

Denver-based Augustine Institute will relocate to St. Louis area in coming months

The Augustine Institute announced April 23 that it has purchased the former Boeing Leadership Center near Florissant and will begin moving its headquarters to the St. Louis area in the coming months.

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