US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Weekly roundup: Egypt, two new saints, and an encyclical

By Kira Dault | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

Are we all recovered from the fireworks and barbecue? Yes? Good. Then it's time for the weekly roundup.

First, we go to Egypt, where President Mohamed Morsi was deposed from office by a popular uprising and/or military coup, depending on who you ask. Adly Mansour, the head of the Supreme Constitutional Court in Egypt has been sworn in as interim president.

At the Vatican, two of the top managers at the Vatican bank offered their resignations on Monday. The resignations follow the arrest of a senior Vatican official who has been accused of smuggling 20 million Euros from Switzerland into Italy.

In slightly more uplifting news from the Vatican, it looks like two former popes are close to being elevated to sainthood. Popes John Paul II and John XXIII will be officially canonized in ceremonies sometime this year, according to some Vatican officials. Both John Paul II and John XXIII have been venerated for years already, especially by their local communities.

Even after all of the Supreme Court hullabaloo last week, we are already starting to get glimpses of what the next SCOTUS term might look like. The 10th Circuit Court in Denver has ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby in the company's lawsuit opposing the HHS mandate for companies to cover contraception for their employees. Then, in Michigan, a federal judge has consented to hear a discrimination case filed by a same-sex couple against the state's ban on same-sex marriage. The judge specifically made reference to the Supreme Court's decision to overturn a key provision of DOMA last week. We are likely to see more challenges like this in the months to come.

The Obama administration issued its final ruling on the HHS mandate. The USCCB took some time to analyze it, and ultimately found it wanting. At the end of the Fortnight for Freedom, the bishops called the law "coercive," while Bishop Lori issued an open letter signed by a number of religious leaders from a variety of religious background.

The bishops also finally got behind voting rights this week. Read Scott Alessi's comments here.

Meanwhile, the good folks over at the Millennial Journal have called for the Fortnight for Freedom III, but this time, instead of focusing on religious liberty, they recommend that we focus on "freedom from want." That's a Fortnight for Freedom that I could get behind.

In the scandal corner, documents related to the sex-abuse scandal in Milwaukee have shown that Cardinal Dolan moved money around (to the tune of $57 million) apparently to protect it from litigation. Furthermore, in Quebec, a church has settled about $18 million with sex abuse victims --one of the largest settlements awarded in Canada to date.

Pope Francis has released his first encyclical. Lumen Fidei (Light of Faith) is an encyclical that Francis claims is written by "four hands"--his own two and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI's. For some highlights, check out our friends over at Religion News Service.

Finally, we at U.S. Catholic want to offer our condolences and prayers to the families and communities who are grieving the loss of 19 firemen in Prescott, Ariz.