The Dispatch

Of Gods and Men

December 11, 2018 Amy Welborn 1

[Editor’s note: On Saturday, December 8, 19 men and women martyred in Algeria between 1994 and 1996 were beatified during a Mass in Oran. Among them were seven Trappist monks from Tibhirine, who were the […]

No Picture
News Briefs

Nineteen Algerian martyrs beatified

December 10, 2018 CNA Daily News 1

Oran, Algeria, Dec 10, 2018 / 03:08 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Bishop Pierre Claverie and his 18 companions, who were martyred in Algeria between 1994 and 1996, were beatified Saturday during a Mass in Oran.

AFP reported that some 1,200 people attended the Dec. 8 ceremony at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Holy Cross. Among them were relatives and friends of the beatified. The beatification was celebrated by Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Becciu, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

Blessed Claverie and his companions were killed during the Algerian Civil War by Islamists.

Archbishop Paul Desfarges of Algiers noted the “thousands of victims of the Algerian civil war,” calling them anonymous heroes.

“We did not want a beatification between Christians, because these brothers and sisters died among tens and tens of thousands of Algerian” Muslims, he stated.

Algeria’s population is almost entirely Muslim.

Relatives of those beatified were received by Muslim dignitaries at the Ibn Badis Grand Mosque, where Mostapha Jaber, an imam, said, “We Muslims associate this event with much joy.”

“These Christian martyrs killed during this national tragedy … had a good mission — (they were) determined to spread peace.”

The pope had authorized the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to recognize the martyrdoms in January.

Blessed Claverie was a French Algerian, and Bishop of Oran from 1981 until his Aug. 1, 1996 martyrdom.

His companions are: Brother Henri Vergès, Sister Paul-Hélène Saint-Raymond, Sister Esther Paniagua Alonso, Sister Caridad Álvarez Martín, Fr. Jean Chevillard, Fr. Alain Dieulangard, Fr. Charles Deckers, Fr. Christian Chessel, Sister Angèle-Marie Littlejohn, Sister Bibiane Leclercq, Sister Odette Prévost, Brother Luc Dochier, Brother Christian de Chergé, Brother Christophe Lebreton, Brother Michel Fleury, Brother Bruno Lemarchand, Brother Célestin Ringeard, and Brother Paul Favre-Miville.

The best known of Bl. Claverie’s companions are the seven monks of Tibhirine, who were kidnapped from their Trappist priory in March 1996. They were kept as a bartering chip to procure the release of several imprisoned members of the Armed Islamic Group of Algeria, and were killed in May. Their story was dramatized in the 2010 French film Of Gods and Men, which won the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival.

After the death of the monks of Tibhirine, Claverie knew his life was in serious danger. A bomb exploded at the entrance of his chancery Aug. 1, 1996, killing him and an aide, Mohamed Bouchikhi.

In a pastoral letter last month, Bishop Desfarges called the beatification “a grace for our Church,” urging the local Church “to love as they did in the freedom that the Holy Spirit gives” because the martyrs “go before us on the path of witness that our Church is called to give in this land of Algeria, which from the first century has been watered with the blood of the martyrs.”

Archbishop Desfarges said that the martyrs’ lives “were given to God and to the people to whom love had united them.” He encouraged the faithful to pray to them “asking for the grace of fidelity for our Church in its mission.”

Finally, the Archbishop of Algiers invited the faithful to live this “time of witnessing” through interreligious dialogue.

“The witness of the Catholic Church is not a witness against another’s religion, but a witness that the love of Christ poured out in our hearts calls us to live a love for everyone, without distinction, even enemies,” he concluded.

[…]

The Dispatch

A short defense of authentic synodality

December 10, 2018 Dr. Adam A. J. DeVille 3

Among some Catholics today, “synodality” is regarded as an ill-defined term perhaps signifying nothing but the covert dismantling of Catholic structures and teaching. Raymond Cardinal Burke, for instance, recently said in an interview with LifeSiteNews […]

No Picture
News Briefs

US Supreme Court won’t hear case of states defunding Planned Parenthood

December 10, 2018 CNA Daily News 1

Washington D.C., Dec 10, 2018 / 02:07 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The US Supreme Court will not hear an appeal from states which were seeking to terminate Medicaid contracts with Planned Parenthood, meaning that these contracts will remain.

Kansas and Louisiana had attempted to block Medicaid funds from being used for preventative care services provided by Planned Parenthood. A lower court ruled that this policy violated federal law, and the states were attempting to appeal this decision.

By deciding not to hear the case, the court has not cast a judgement on the questions contained in the appeals.

Only three judges – Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Neil Gorsuch – voted to grant certiorari. This is one short of the four needed.

Voting against certiorari were newly-confirmed Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Chief Justice John Roberts, and Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan.

In his dissent, Thomas wrote that he thought his colleagues on the bench were trying to avoid any cases involving Planned Parenthood, the country’s largest abortion provider. This case in particular did not involve abortion, but concerned other services provided by Planned Parenthood.

“What explains the court’s refusal to do its job here?” asked Thomas, adding, “I suspect it has something to do with the fact that some respondents in these cases are named ‘Planned Parenthood.’”

Thomas was furious with the court’s denial of certiorari, saying: “But these cases are not about abortion rights,” but rather “about private rights of action under the Medicaid Act.”

“Resolving the question presented here would not even affect Planned Parenthood’s ability to challenge the States’ decisions; it concerns only the rights of individual Medicaid patients to bring their own suits. Some tenuous connection to a politically fraught issue does not justify abdicating our judicial duty.”

Former Planned Parenthood clinic director Abby Johnson told CNA that she did not agree with the court’s decision.

“States should have every right to divert funding away from the nation’s largest abortion provider and towards health centers that provide true healthcare to patients, not one that promotes abortion above all else,” Johnson said.

She also pointed out that Planned Parenthood has done fewer and fewer preventative services in recent years. Between 2009 and 2016, the number of breast cancer screenings done by the organization dropped by 61 percent, she said.

“Other cancer screenings have dropped by 64 percent during the same time. And forget about prenatal services and adoption referrals. Those services are barely offered, if at all at some Planned Parenthoods,” added Johnson.

Johnson told CNA she believes states should instead fund federal qualified healthcare clinics, which “outnumber Planned Parenthood nearly 20-to-1 and sees ten times the number of patients that Planned Parenthood does every year.”

[…]