In Brief

In Brief Cardinal Adrianus Johannes Simonis
Shrine in memory of aborted children dedicated in Mexico

The Mexican pro-life association Los Inocentes de María (Mary’s Innocent Ones) has dedicated a shrine in Guadalajara last month in memory of aborted children. The shrine, called Rachel’s Grotto, also serves as a place for reconciliation between parents and their deceased babies.

In an August 15 dedication ceremony, the archbishop emeritus of Guadalajara, Cardinal Juan Sandoval Íñiguez, blessed the shrine and emphasized the importance of promoting “awareness that abortion is a terrible crime that frustrates the destiny of many human beings.”

The shrine is part of a project by the association to make the first cemetery for aborted babies in Latin America.


New York parish anti-racism pledge prompts controversy

A New York priest has said his parish added a “pledge for racial justice” to Masses as part of its anti-racism initiatives, and that no one at the parish is required to participate in it.

While video of the pledge has been the subject of criticism in the media and from some Catholics, the Archdiocese of New York has not commented on the matter.

“After the death of George Floyd our parish wished to be more pro-actively anti-racist,” the priest said.

Liturgical law prohibits the addition of any components to Mass that are not prescribed by Church rubrics or approved by proper authorities.


Cardinal: Pandemic may have accelerated secularisation of Europe by 10 years

A cardinal has suggested that the coronavirus pandemic may have accelerated the secularization of Europe by 10 years.

In an interview with L’Osservatore Romano, Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich said he believed that the number of Catholics going to church would decrease as a result of Covid-19.

Asked whether he thought the Church in Europe would emerge stronger or weaker from the pandemic, he said: “I think about my country: we will be reduced in number.

“But it’s not a complaint on my part. We would have had this process even without a pandemic. Perhaps it would have taken us 10 years longer.”

Dutch cardinal Adrianus Johannes Simonis dead at 88

Cardinal Adrianus Johannes Simonis [pictured], retired archbishop of Utrecht, Netherlands, died on September 2 at a care centre in Voorhout. He was 88.

In a telegram to Cardinal Eijk, successor of the deceased, Pope Francis offered his condolences to the faithful of the archdiocese. “Commending his soul to the loving mercy of Jesus the Good Shepherd, I join you in giving thanks to almighty God for the late cardinal’s faithful witness to the Gospel, his years of devoted episcopal ministry to the churches of Rotterdam and Utrecht and his valued efforts in the service of ecclesial communion,” the Pope said.


After racially charged elections, Trinidad archdiocese explores tensions

The heavily racist tone of Trinidad and Tobago’s recent national election season has deeply troubled Archbishop Jason Gordon of Port-of-Spain, among others.

On social media and elsewhere, the exchanges were between the country’s two largest ethnic groups and the two political parties traditionally associated with representing them: the People’s National Movement and the United National Congress, respectively.

“This election was one of the most racially charged that I can remember,” said Archbishop Gordon. “I heard young Trinbagonians calling people of other races names that cannot be repeated. I heard the others calling for rape and murder of the first group. This is the irresponsibility that will destroy this place if left unchecked.”