OSV News Showcase | March 1, 2024

Have you ever heard of the saying, “March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb”?

Today’s the first of March, and the stories have come roaring in today — over 30 pieces of content went up on the wire. It’s been a bit intimidating facing this wild beast known as Catholic news, and it’s going to continue to roar at us for a while yet. But with Easter Sunday happening the last day of the month, I’m confident we’ll be going out with the Lamb for a peaceful Paschal holiday.

Below is a selection of our stories from this week. You can find more by following us on social media @OSVNews. I’m also always happy to hear your story ideas messaged to us on those platforms.

Megan Marley

Digital Editor

P.S.: Enjoy reading this roundup? Sign up to receive our emails here.

At least 15 Catholics dead in attack during Mass in Burkina Faso

Christians in Burkina Faso have been increasingly targeted in recent years by terrorist groups amid political and social upheaval.

What is love? U.S. bishops’ new initiative offers ‘clarity’ for the culture’s questions

“Conversations about love, marriage, sexuality, family, and the human person can be confusing and polarizing,” Bishop Barron said in a Feb. 21 news release, adding that he hoped the initiative would “help bring clarity and compassion to those questions.”

Q&A: Why does the church oppose IVF? What can be done about frozen embryos?

Father Francis J. Hoffman, a priest of Opus Dei well known as “Father Rocky” in his role as executive director and CEO of Relevant Radio, dives deeper into the church’s teaching on IVF and the related issue of frozen embryos in this Q&A.

Washington state bill requiring clergy to report child abuse fails for second year

Some have expressed concern that without exceptions for clergy-penitent privilege, the bill could place Catholic priests at odds with civil law in order to uphold church law regarding the seal of the confessional.

Black family farms find a Catholic ally for bringing fresh food and hope to tables

Founded in 1937 by the late Edmundite Father Francis Casey, the Edmundite Missions is a tireless ally to rural, mostly Black communities in the Deep South in the fight against extreme poverty by providing assistance with farming, education and nutritional diets.

Christian minister says nitrogen execution he witnessed is slow, ‘spiritually violent’ torture

The execution of Kenneth Smith by means of nitrogen hypoxia was the first execution in the world using this method. Rev. Jeff Hood, who accompanied Smith in his final moments, said “it was absolutely … incredibly disturbing to see a human being suffocated to death.”

Lincoln pastor is one of first ‘priest companions’ for Eden Invitation LGBTQ+ outreach

Father Nathan Hall is one of Eden Invitation’s first “priest companions” trained over the last several months to accompany the organization’s Hearth Groups, or local chapters, and be available for spiritual guidance, to administer the sacraments and to build community together.

While recent talks with cartels didn’t bring peace pact, Mexican bishops remain open to dialogue

Priests have long mediated disputes the length of Latin America, intervening as uniquely positioned interlocutors among predominantly Catholic populations. But news of the bishops intervening in Guerrero — which unfolds to the south of Mexico City — reflects the deteriorating security situation across broad swaths of the country, along with perceptions of the state failing to control territory and accusations of politicians colluding or being cowed by drug cartels.

Australian Catholic University’s liturgy center offers training for Nigerian lay ministers

The Australian Catholic University’s Center for Liturgy offered a four-week online training program in February 2024 for lay liturgical ministers of the Word in Nigeria, the first such program in Africa for the center.

National group Awake: ‘All God’s people deserve to be safe in church,’ not just kids

The Catholic Church in the U.S. has made “real progress in protecting children today from abuse,” but “unfortunately, this is just not true for adults,” a leading Catholic survivor advocate told OSV News.

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