In Brief

In Brief Paris Archbishop Michel Aupetit
Canonical proceedings against French parish over mask-less Masses

The archbishop of Paris announced canonical proceedings last Wednesday against a parish priest for reportedly refusing to follow coronavirus health measures at the Easter Vigil.

A statement from the Archdiocese of Paris on April 7 said that the pastor of Sainte-Eugène-Sainte-Cécile church in Paris’ ninth arrondissement did not enforce “the health measures in force to fight against the Covid-19 pandemic during a celebration on Saturday, April 3”.

“These measures were, however, the subject of clear instructions that the diocese of Paris regularly reminded all parishes of,” it said.

Archbishop Michel Aupetit’s decision to open proceedings within Church law was made public the day after Paris police opened an investigation into the parish for “endangering the lives of others”.


Philippine diocese launches app to link Covid patients with priests

A diocese in the Philippines has launched an application, E-Pray, for spiritual accompaniment during Covid-19 isolation.

E-Pray is a free web application where patients can type in their contact details so that priests can get in touch with them, reported Novaliches Diocese in Manila said the app was developed in response to a recent spike in Covid-19 cases in the Philippine capital.

“With this E-Pray app, Covid patients can communicate with our diocese for spiritual advice and counselling… [and] allowing them to send their prayer intentions to us,” the diocese said in an announcement on social media.

“During times when we feel like we are about to surrender, the presence of a priest is very important for guidance,” said Father Luciano Felloni, the diocese’s social communications director.


Scholar urges Catholics to speak out against Equality Act

Catholic scholar and legal expert Ryan Anderson warned that if the Equality Act is passed by the Senate and signed into law, it would significantly impact women’s privacy and safety, genuine equality, medical practices and religious liberty.

It also would negatively affect Catholic schools, shelters, charities and hospitals, not to mention individual educators, social workers and medical professionals who practice their faith, Mr Anderson said.

He made the remarks in the keynote address for the recent annual virtual fundraiser for the Diocese of Phoenix’s John Paul II Resource Center for Theology of the Body and Culture.

The Equality Act would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing, public accommodations and more.


Bishops seek changes from Nigerian government

Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah of Sokoto criticised the Nigerian government for investing millions of dollars in rehabilitating Boko Haram’s so-called repentant members in the belief that they would turn over a new leaf.

He said the public had not heard anything about a rehabilitation program for the thousands of Nigerian schoolchildren who had been victims of abduction.

Bishop Kukah was one of several Nigerian bishops who used their Easter homilies April 3-4 to call for change in the country. He said Boko Haram insurgents had waged war against their country, murdered thousands, and rendered entire families permanently displaced and dislocated.

“Why should rehabilitating the perpetrator be more important than bringing succor to the victims?” he asked, noting that families of kidnapping and murder victims were left to deal on their own.