Catholic News Service published briefs on the following topics: Death of Cameroonian bishop; Proposed changes in Church administration, and Pope’s weekly general audience.
Church officials say Cameroonian bishop death was murder, not suicide
YAOUNDE, Cameroon (CNS) -- Catholic bishops in Cameroon said a bishop whose body was pulled from a river in early June did not commit suicide, but was murdered. "In view of the initial findings, we bishops of Cameroon affirm that Bishop Jean-Marie Benoit Bala did not commit suicide; he was brutally murdered. This is one more murder, and one too many," the bishops said in a statement after meeting in a general assembly June 13. The news site Koaci.com reported the bishops said the murderers "must be identified and delivered to justice to be judged according to the law." They said the government must "assume its duty to protect human life, especially that of the ecclesiastical authorities." The bishops named at least three other Church officials, dating back to 1988, whose murders had not been solved. "We feel that the clergy in Cameroon is particularly persecuted by dark and evil forces," the bishops said.
Pope, cardinal advisers study 'healthy decentralization' proposals
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis and members of his international Council of Cardinals discussed the possibility of allowing local bishops rather than the Vatican decide on certain matters, including the marriage or priestly ordination of permanent deacons. It is "what the Pope calls a 'healthy decentralization,'" said Greg Burke, director of the Vatican press office. Briefing journalists on the council's June 12-14 meeting, Burke said the cardinals and Pope looked specifically at the possibility of allowing bishops to determine whether a permanent deacon who is widowed can remarry or whether a permanent deacon who is unmarried or widowed can be ordained to the priesthood without having to "wait for a decision to be made in Rome" as is the current rule. Such decisions regarding permanent deacons now are handled at the Vatican Congregation for Clergy, but could pass to the local bishops' conference, Burke told journalists June 14. The council of cardinals advising the Pope on Church governance also discussed proposals to broaden the participation of laypeople and members of religious orders in the selection of new bishops.
Behind hatred, violence is an unloved heart, Pope says at audience
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Violence and hatred often are signs that a person is unhappy and feels unloved and unwanted, Pope Francis said. In today's world, people -- especially children and youths -- often feel that unless "we are strong, attractive and beautiful, no one will care about us," the Pope said June 14 during his weekly general audience. "When an adolescent is not or does not feel loved, violence can arise. Behind so many forms of social hate and hooliganism, there is often a heart that has not been recognized," he said. Despite a heat wave that brought temperatures close to 90 degrees, an estimated 12,000 pilgrims donning colorful hats and umbrellas cheered and waved as the Pope entered St. Peter's Square. Pope Francis took a moment to greet the sick who were watching the audience from indoors because of the hot Roman weather. "They are in the Paul VI hall and we are here," the Pope told the crowd in the square. "But we are all together; we are connected by the Holy Spirit who always unites us.”