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Irish Bishops Mark First Anniversary of Referendum on Right to Life

A pastoral message by Bishop Kevin Doran and Father Dermot Meehan of the Council for Life of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference

The post Irish Bishops Mark First Anniversary of Referendum on Right to Life appeared first on ZENIT - English.

Update: Bishop 'profoundly saddened' by deaths, damage from Midwest storms

IMAGE: CNS photo/Carlo Allegri, Reuters

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WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The chairman of the U.S. bishops' domestic policy committee May 24 called for "prayers for the victims and their grieving families and communities" affected by devastating storms from Texas to Illinois.

"I am profoundly saddened by the loss of life and the damage caused by the tornadoes and storms throughout the Midwest and related regions these past few days," said Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development.

"As of this writing, millions of people in at least seven states have been affected by the powerful winds, rainfall and rising water levels caused by these conditions," he said in a statement.

Bishop Dewane noted that at least seven people have been killed in Missouri, Iowa and Oklahoma. Severe weather was expected to continue "in this devastated area" in the days ahead, he added.

"We are grateful that Catholic Charities and other organizations are in place working to provide for emergency needs" and to help people rebuild their lives and homes," he said.

The Catholic Charities USA website -- https://catholiccharitiesusa.org -- has information about its efforts to help communities hit hard by the storms.

AccuWeather and other weather services said there were 33 reports of tornadoes May 22, mostly in Missouri and Kansas. A day earlier, 24 tornadoes were reported, mostly in Texas and Oklahoma.

On May 23, an AP story said, tornadoes again "strafed the middle of the country," mostly in the Oklahoma and Texas panhandles. Flooding also has been a concern in many communities, with rising rivers and streams forcing residents fleeing from their homes.

In Missouri, a violent line of thunderstorms that spawned the tornadoes killed three people in the southwest part of the state and caused minor injuries to at least 20 people in Jefferson City, authorities said. Some people in the state capital were trapped in their homes or apartments and had to be assisted by safety forces.

In a May 23 statement, Bishop W. Shawn McKnight of Jefferson City expressed gratitude that all residents had been accounted. Some people were forced from their homes as the storm swept through the city of 43,000 just before midnight May 22.

He said the staff of Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Missouri were assessing the needs of residents. Diocesan offices on the west side of Jefferson City and Catholic parishes around the town were unaffected by the storm.

"Please continue to pray with us, for those who have suffered from this natural disaster and also for those who are coming to their assistance," Bishop McKnight said.

The most severe damage occurred in a three-square-mile area south and east of the central part of the Missouri capital, Jefferson City Police Lt. David Williams told reporters.

About 40 to 45 people were being housed the afternoon of May 23 in a school on the west side of the city, authorities said.

Homes, apartments and businesses lost roofs and windows. Power lines were down and trees and other debris blocked roads, hampering the initial emergency response. Some scaffolding erected around the Missouri State Capitol for renovation work was damaged, but the building escaped unscathed.

A spokeswoman for Catholic Charities USA said the agency was working with Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Missouri to assess how to best respond to people affected by the storm.

CCUSA also was weighing its response in areas of northeast Oklahoma and elsewhere, where residents have been displaced by flooding caused by days of heavy rain.

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Violence in Mexican State of Morelos Undermines Future of Young People

Bishop Ramón Castro Castro of Cuernavaca Laments Gangs, Drugs, Abductions

The post Violence in Mexican State of Morelos Undermines Future of Young People appeared first on ZENIT - English.

Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem Launches Abuse Plan for Holy Land Schools

First Schools in Region to Adopt Such a Policy

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Italy: Brothers of the Christian Schools Launch Five New Projects

For Those Living in 'Border Places'

The post Italy: Brothers of the Christian Schools Launch Five New Projects appeared first on ZENIT - English.

Archbishop Auza Stresses Need to Protect Civilians in Conflict Zones

'Civilian populations clearly pay the highest price.'

The post Archbishop Auza Stresses Need to Protect Civilians in Conflict Zones appeared first on ZENIT - English.

Poland: Bishops Release Letter on Abuse

To be Read in Parishes on Sunday, May 26

The post Poland: Bishops Release Letter on Abuse appeared first on ZENIT - English.

Athletica Vaticana in Montenegro for Games of Small States of Europe

Holy See First Participation in an International Sporting Event

The post Athletica Vaticana in Montenegro for Games of Small States of Europe appeared first on ZENIT - English.

US: Pope Appoints New Bishop of Saginaw

Robert D. Gruss, 63, Until Now Bishop of Rapid City

The post US: Pope Appoints New Bishop of Saginaw appeared first on ZENIT - English.

Bulgaria: Pope Values the Protection of the Country’s Tradition and Consideration for the Poor

He Is Grateful for the 'Great Welcome' He Received during His Recent Visit

The post Bulgaria: Pope Values the Protection of the Country’s Tradition and Consideration for the Poor appeared first on ZENIT - English.