CATHOLIC VALUES COLUMNIST
New West Virginia bishop demands disgraced successor makes amends
Disgraced Bishop Michael Bransfield, the former leader of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, needs to apologize to people he sexually harassed, apologize to the Catholics in his diocese and repay almost $800,000 to begin making reparations to the diocese he led for 13 years, says his successor. Bishop Mark Brennan, whose diocese spans all of West Virginia, listed his requests to his successor in a Nov. 26 letter to West Virginian Catholics. Bransfield turned 75 last year and submitted his resignation, as mandated by canon law, to Pope Francis. Immediately thereafter, allegations of sexual harassment and financial discrepancies arose against Bransfield, who was soon banned from public ministry and exiled from the diocese. Brennan said in his letter than he has presented the list of requests to Bransfield and is awaiting his response. Bransfield was close to defrocked former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick.
NFL free agent stabbed in Pittsburgh
An NFL wide receiver was stabbed Saturday in Pittsburgh, according to the Allegheny district attorney. Terrelle Pryor, 30, most recently a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars, was stabbed during a domestic dispute inside a Pittsburgh apartment, police said, and was sent to Mercy Hospital. According to Pryor’s agent, Gregory Diulus, he is expected to make a full recovery. Shalaya Briston, 24, of Munhall, Pennsylvania, was arrested in connection with the stabbing. Briston was charged with criminal attempt homicide and aggravated assault. Pryor was given a simple assault charge. Pryor was a star quarterback for Ohio State and has played for five teams in seven NFL seasons. He has not played in an NFL game since 2018, when he was a member of the Buffalo Bills.
American births fall for fourth straight year, says CDC
The U.S. birth rate has fallen for the fourth straight year, this time down 2% to 3.79 million births, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). According to the report, birth rates fell for teenagers and women under 35 while rising for women 35 and above. Researchers also saw a drop in the number of cesarean section deliveries. Also, the number of babies born preterm rose .09%, primarily between weeks 34 and 36 of pregnancy. The CDC’s report was released Nov. 2 and recorded all final data birth for 2018, including information from all 50 states and Washington, D.C.
TikTok apologizes for removing teen’s anti-Chinese video
The social media app TikTok has apologized publicly for suspending the account of a teenaged girl and deleting a video she made criticizing China’s treatment of Uighur Muslims. Feroza Aziz, a 17-year-old New Jersey resident, was filming a makeup tutorial when she stopped just seconds into the video to talk about the Chinese’s treatments of the Uighur, calling it another holocaust “no one is talking about.” TikTok, which is owned by a Chinese company, suspended her account after the video went viral. Last week, the company issued an apology for the suspension, saying it was due to a “human moderation error.” However, this is not the first time TikTok’s Chinese connections have been a cause for concern. According to CBS News, some U.S. senators have questioned the app’s data collection and censorship of content on the platform that doesn’t align with the Chinese government.
Two dead, three wounded in London Bridge terror attack
A terrorist attack Friday near London Bridge left two people dead and three more injured, authorities said. Police identified the man suspected of conducting the attack as 28-year-old Usman Khan. Khan is said to have been wielding two knives, one of which was taped to his hand, in an attack that began in a building on the north side of the London Bridge before ending on the bridge itself. Videos show a man, believed to be Khan, being wrestled to the ground by several bystanders. Upon arrival, police shot and killed Khan, who had a fake bomb strapped to his chest. Khan was convicted in 2012 for terrorism offenses and was released from prison last year with an ankle monitor.
Pope returns relic, believed to be from Jesus’ manger, to Bethlehem
Pope Francis has returned a relic believed to be a piece of Jesus’ manger to Bethlehem, 1,400 years after it was sent to Rome as a gift for the pope. The relic, roughly the size of a thumb, is a piece of the wooden structure that is maintained to be Jesus’ manger. The relic was processed through Bethlehem to its resting place at the Franciscan Church of St. Catherine, next to the famous Church of the Nativity, traditionally known as the site where Jesus was born. The manger had originally been donated to Pope Theodore by St. Sophronius, then the patriarch of Jerusalem. This is the second time this year Pope Francis has parted with significant relics. In July, he sent pieces of St. Peter’s bones to the leader of the Eastern Orthodox Church, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, as a sign of unity between the two churches.