Federal judge permits racketeering suit against Mormon church (Religion Clause) A former Mormon filed suit against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, alleging that several of the church’s teachings involve misrepresentations; she also filed a RICO suit against the church, alleging misrepresentations in fundraising. While a federal judge dismissed the former claim, he permitted the member’s RICO suit to proceed. RICO (the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) was enacted in 1970 against the Mafia.
Leading African cardinal calls for prayer, urges unity (SECAM) SECAM is the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar. Africans “are going through distressing and traumatizing experiences caused by different variants of Coronavirus (Covid-19),” writes Burkina Faso Cardinal Philippe Ouédraogo, SECAM’s president. “Ongoing wars, terrorist attacks and other violent clashes have resulted to loss of life and property in different African countries,” he added. “Countless numbers of our sons and daughters have been brutally murdered and numerous others are living in dehumanizing conditions, perpetual fear and anxiety. While we bemoan the plight of our people everywhere, we also call for renewed courage and trust in our omnipotent, loving and merciful God.”
In Bangladesh, Christians flee after attacks by Buddhist radicals against their church (AsiaNews) The South Asian nation of 163 million (map) is 89% Muslim and 9% Hindu.“Radical Buddhists warned us to completely destroy the church, but we will not, even if we have to sacrifice our lives,” said the assistant pastor of the Bangladesh Tribal Baptist Church. “They threaten us in order to get us to return to our old religion, but we will not return. Jesus Christ is our Savior. We will die for Him.”
Russians, Ukrainians and Belarusians celebrate the baptism of Kievan Rus' (AsiaNews) During the reign of St. Vladimir the Great, the people of Kievan Rus’ (map) were baptized in 988. In Kiev, an estimated 350,000 Orthodox faithful took part in a procession led by bishops of the the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate). Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, issued a statement in which he also recalled the 425th anniversary of the Union of Brest, in which several Orthodox bishops entered into full communion with the Catholic Church.
Manitoba tribe bans priest from its territory (Western Standard) The Bloodvein First Nation in Manitoba has banned Father Rhéal Forest from its territory. Archbishop Albert LeGatt of Saint Boniface also barred the priest from preaching after the priest, in a homily, accused residential school survivors of lying about abuse.
Millions meant for residential school survivors spent on Church lawyers, administration: documents (CBC News) In the 2006 Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement, 47 Canadian Catholic entities agreed to pay $29 million in cash, to provide $25 million in “in-kind services,” and to attempt to raise an additional $25 million (less than $4 million of which has been raised).A 2015 Canadian government document obtained by CBC News (the Canadian public broadcasting agency) alleged that the Church in Canada “breached its obligations in the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement.” $5 million of the $29M in cash was reportedly used for Church attorneys and administrative costs, and $8M was reportedly deducted for funds paid to survivors prior to the agreement.
Manitoba archbishop bars priest from preaching following homily on residential schools (CBC News) Archbishop Albert LeGatt of Saint Boniface (Manitoba) has barred Father Rhéal Forest from preaching after the priest spoke about residential school abuse settlements in a homily. “If they wanted extra money, from the money that was given to them, they had to lie sometimes — lie that they were abused sexually and, oop, another $50,000,” Forest preached. “It’s kind of hard if you’re poor not to lie.”
Vatican newspaper draws renewed attention to jihadist violence in Mozambique (L'Osservatore Romano (Italian)) On July 29, L’Osservatore Romano devoted its most prominent front-page article to a crisis that has received scant media attention: the brutal jihadist insurgency in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado province that has caused 800,000 people, 70% of them women and children, to flee their homes.The newspaper also highlighted the efforts of the Community of Sant’Egidio, Aid to the Church in Need, and others to draw attention to the crisis and assist the refugees. Pope Francis referred to Cabo Delgado in three of his most prominent addresses over the past year: his Christmas and Easter Urbi et Orbi addresses, and address to the diplomatic corps.
Zambian bishops denounce pre-election violence (Vatican News) The southern African nation of 17.4 million (map) is 51% Protestant and 34% Catholic, with 11% adhering to ethnic religions. President Edgar Lungu has been accused of “using repressive tactics to win another term” in the August 12 general election, the Associated Press reported.