Australian priests still bound by confessional seal, bishop says (Crux) Despite a new law, Catholic priests in Australia remain bound by the absolute secrecy of the confession, Bishop Gregory O’Kelly said. Bishop O’Kelly—who earlier this month was named apostolic administrator of the Adelaide archdiocese, after Archbishop Philip Wilson was found guilty of failing to report abuse—said that the confessional seal, imposed by the nature of the sacrament, “does not change by the law of politicians.”
Worldwide drop in numbers of priests, seminarians (Catholic Herald) The number of Catholic priests and seminarians has dropped significantly over the past four years, new Vatican statistics show. The Annuarium, a statistical record made public on June 13, showed a slight decline in the number of world’s priests, and a more troubling 3% decline in the number of seminarians. The decline is most visible in Europe and the Americas. Africa is bucking the trend, with a steady rise in the number of priests and in the overall Catholic population.
Guam archbishop appeals Vatican guilty verdict on abuse charges (USA Today) As expected, Archbishop Anthony Apuron of Agana, Guam has appealed the decision of a Vatican tribunal that found him guilty of sex-abuse charges. Archbishop Michael Byrnes, who was appointed by the Vatican as a coadjutor to lead the Guam archdiocese after Archbishop Apuron was recalled to Rome, remarked that the long canonical process is having a “very detrimental” impact on the local Church. “We need final closure,” he said.
US bishops denounce Trump immigration policies, weigh responses (RNS) Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, the president the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) voiced “deep concern” about the Trump administration’s immigration policies, as the USCCB met in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Many bishops called for stronger measures, with Bishop Edward Weisenburger of Tucson suggesting “canonical penalties” for federal agents who enforce the policies.