National Catholic Reporter

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Faith & Parish

Bishops see new perspective on Middle East after Holy Land pilgrimage

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The 18 U.S. bishops who conducted a 12-day prayer pilgrimage for peace in the Holy Land in September came away with new perspectives on the ongoing tensions in the Middle East, according to Bishop Oscar Cantu of Las Cruces, N.M.

He was one of the bishops who visited many of the sacred sites of Judaism, Christianity and Islam during the trip.

Mail balloting needed to determine vote on diocesan assessment increase

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A proposed 3 percent hike in diocesan assessments for 2016 to fund the U.S. bishops' national operations fell three votes short of approval in electronic balloting Tuesday during the second day of the bishops' annual fall general assembly in Baltimore.

Under the electronic balloting system, votes are kept secret, but the system knows which bishops vote, so the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops will send mail ballots to complete the vote.

Encourage more Latino students to attend Catholic schools, bishops told

The church needs to do a better job of encouraging Latino families and underserved populations to send their children to Catholic schools, the bishops were told Monday during their annual fall assembly in Baltimore.

"If efforts are not made to reach out to them, they won't think it's a viable option," said Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville, Texas, chairman of the Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church.

Vatican court finds no proof of abuse claims against Los Angeles priest

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A Vatican court has "definitively determined and ruled" that no allegations of sexual misconduct of any kind alleged against Msgr. Richard Loomis, a Los Angeles priest, have been proved.

The ruling was announced in a statement issued Saturday by Office of the Vicar for Clergy of the Los Angeles archdiocese.

The ruling came "after 10 years of exhaustive investigation and canonical trial," it said, adding that Loomis "has always professed his innocence."

Müller to USCCB: Catholics must be heard in public square

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In a U.S. visit, Cardinal Gerhard Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, told officials at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops not to lose sight "that the voice of the Catholic church must be heard in the public square."

"Otherwise we risk that our democracies are reduced to a vocabulary of truth, which is exclusively pragmatic and positivist," he said Tuesday at the USCCB headquarters in Washington.

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