Oklahoma City

Church praises new protections for adoption agencies

Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City has welcomed the decision by Oklahoma and Kansas to join nine other US states in signing legislation ensuring that faith-based adoption and foster care providers can provide these services in accordance with their religious beliefs. Catholic adoption agencies in some other states including Illinois, Massachusetts and the District of Columbia have been forced to close because of laws requiring them to place children with same-sex couples or unmarried couples. Supporters of the legislation in Oklahoma argue that the many non-Catholic adoption agencies in the state make sufficient provision for LGBT adoptive parents.

Ottawa

Bishops ask Catholic groups to give up state funding

More than 150 Catholic groups in Canada have applied for and accepted grants for Canada Summer Jobs projects for students, despite a requirement from Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government to tick a box attesting that they accept abortion as a human right. Over 100 of these are parishes, but some are charities, schools, hospitals and care homes. According to LifeSiteNews, some of these groups have now retracted their acceptance, saying it was made in error, and have returned the money. But others have said they are keeping the funding because they are already committed to their projects. At least three Canadian bishops have instructed parishes to return any funding they have been given. The Archdiocese of Toronto has calculated that it will lose $1.1m (£637k) in grants to about 30 parishes and charities.

Managua

Bishops pull out of talks amid national crisis

Nicaragua’s bishops have suspended their role as mediators in a national dialogue amid political turmoil in the country, citing a “lack of consensus among the parties”. The bishops said a six-person commission should continue to seek a solution. Protests against President Ortega’s rule have left several dozen people dead. “We’re putting out a call to all media and social networks to please stay on the side of truth, and foster a respectful environment that aids further dialogue, avoiding attacks, disqualifications, and threats that damage dignity, reputation, body, and morale,” the bishops’ mediation and witness commission said. “It was impossible to continue with the National Dialogue,” said Auxiliary Bishop Silvio José Báez of Managua.

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