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In unusual move, Steubenville bishop named auxiliary bishop of Detroit (Vatican Press Office)

In an unusual move, Pope Francis has transferred Bishop Jeffrey Monforton, 60, of Steubenville (OH) to his native Detroit, where he will serve as an auxiliary bishop.

The Pontiff also named Bishop Paul Bradley, the retired bishop of Kalamazoo (MI), as the apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Steubenville.

Last year, Bishop Monforton announced his request for a USCCB consultative vote on a merger of the Steubenville diocese with the Diocese of Columbus. His request—soon tabled—was undertaken without consultation with his clergy.

Bishop Monforton is also the subject of two ‘Vos Estis’ investigations into whether he mishandled sexual abuse allegations.

Canadian bishops address protection of minors and vulnerable adults (CNA)

The Canadian bishops’ annual plenary assembly is taking place in King City, Ontario, from September 25-28. The meeting began with an address by Bishop Raymond Poisson of Saint-Jérôme and Mont-Laurier (Québec), president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Discipline of sister who led community co-founded by Father Rupnik raises questions (CNA)

Hannah Brockhaus of CNA notes the apparent contradiction between two recent actions undertaken by the Diocese of Rome. Auxiliary Bishop Daniele Libanori, SJ directed Sister Ivanka Hosta to do penance for Father Marko Ivan Rupnik’s victims; Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, the Vicar of Rome, authorized a separate canonical visitation that questioned the accusations against Rupnik.

Deacon's estate settles with abuse victim (The Guardian)

The estate of a late New Orleans deacon has agreed to “one of the largest individual sexual abuse settlements ever paid” to area clerical abuse survivors, The Guardian reported. The amount of the settlement was not disclosed.

Virgil M. Wheeler III, an attorney and Tulane University law professor, served on several archdiocesan boards as a layman and was ordained to the diaconate in 2018.

In 2022, he was convicted of sexually abusing a boy in 2001 and 2002 and received five years’ probation. After reneging on a verbal commitment to settle the victim’s civil suit for $1 million, Wheeler died of pancreatic cancer in April.

Maryland attorney general releases revised report on abuse in the Archdiocese of Baltimore (AP)

Attorney General Anthony Brown has released a revised report on sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Baltimore. The revised report includes previously redacted names, though five names still remain redacted.

The attorney general’s original report, released in April, found that “over 600 children are known to have been abused by the 156 people included in this Report, but the number is likely far higher.”

The vast majority of first incidents of abuse took place between 1955 and 1989 and peaked in the late 1960s and 1970s, according to the archdiocese, which responded with a pastoral letter and FAQs.

At the time, the Archdiocese of Baltimore was marked by widespread priestly dissent from Catholic teaching on sexual morality, with 72 priests signing Father Charles Curran’s statement of dissent from Humanae Vitae within weeks of its publication in 1968.

Stolen tabernacle returned to California church, with Blessed Sacrament missing (KMPH-TV)

The tabernacle was recently stolen from St. Rita Catholic Indian Mission, a church in the Diocese of Fresno. The thief returned the tabernacle, with the Blessed Sacrament missing, to another church, with a note that the tabernacle belonged in St. Rita’s.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has documented over 275 acts of vandalism, arson, and other destruction at parishes and other Catholic sites in the United States since May 2020.

Weekly Mass attendance in US fell to 17% in 2022, with additional 5% watching online (Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate)

Weekly Mass attendance among adult Catholics in the United States fell from 24% in 2019 to 17% in 2022, with an additional 5% watching Mass weekly online because of COVID-related concerns, according to a new study published by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University.

The study found that “49% percent of adult Catholics always receive Communion when attending Mass and 18% do so frequently or usually. 18% seldom receive Eucharist at Mass. 15% never receive Communion at Mass.”

49% of adult Catholics—and 88% of adult Catholics who attend Mass weekly—believe that “Jesus Christ is truly present under the appearance of bread and wine.”

Only 24% of those surveyed go to Confession at least yearly.

Religious freedom includes institutional freedom, Vancouver archbishop preaches (The B.C. Catholic)

Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, of Vancouver preached at a recent Red Mass that religious freedom is not “an individual matter to be confined to the private sphere alone.”

“What the Church asks for is simply the space to continue to serve with integrity the common good through the institutions it has developed over centuries,” he continued. Religious freedom’s “authentic exercise demands that its beliefs, including its inherent moral imperatives, be manifested publicly.”

USCCB, CUA urge EEOC not to apply pregnant workers' protections to abortion (USCCB)

Echoing an earlier USCCB statement, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Catholic University of America offered 20 pages of formal comment criticizing the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s decision to define abortion as a pregnancy-related condition that merits workplace protection.

Priest shot in attack on parish in Cameroon (ACI Africa)

Suspected separatist fighters shot Father Elvis Mbangsi in both legs and one hand during an attack on St. Martin of Tour’s Kembong Parish in the Diocese of Mamfe in Cameroon.

Cameroon, a Central African nation of 29.3 million (map), is 62% Christian (30% Catholic), 20% Muslim, and 17% ethnic religionist. The Anglophone crisis, an ongoing armed conflict, began in 2017 and has displaced over 700,000 people.