Hobbs, New Mexico

Virgin Mary statue is ‘weeping olive oil’

A seven-foot bronze statue of the Virgin Mary appears to be weeping tears composed of scented olive oil, chemical analysis has found. The Diocese of Las Cruces has been investigating the statue at Our Lady of Guadalupe church in Hobbs, New Mexico, since May, when the phenomenon first began. Bishop Oscar Cantú told Las Cruces Sun-News that it was still a mystery where the oil was coming from. He said the statue’s manufacturers had insisted that there was no possibility any moisture had remained in the bronze. The interior had been examined and was hollow, he said. He added that people who had visited the statue had experienced “tremendous spiritual consolation”.

Tegucigalpa

Bishop quits amid allegations from ex-seminarians

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of a bishop facing allegations of sexual misconduct and corruption. Auxiliary bishop Juan José Pineda of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, was accused last December of allowing “reckless financial operations” and giving Church funds to friends, including buying someone a flat and a car. Then in March two former seminarians accused Bishop Pineda of attempting to sexually assault them and then making life difficult for them once they had rejected his advances. The bishop has not yet commented on the accusations. Bishop Pineda has been serving as an auxiliary to Cardinal Oscar Maradiaga, a close confidante of Pope Francis and head of the C9 council of cardinals advising the Pope on Vatican reform.

Buenos Aires

Activist creates pro-abortion video game

A pro-abortion activist in Argentina has created a shoot’em up video game in which players fight Catholic priests, Nazi-style police and knife-wielding women in order to shoot at a large image of an unborn baby. Designer Florencia Rumpel told the Argentinian website Kotaku that she made the game, called “Doom Fetito”, during an “anti-fascist game jam”. It is a customised version of the 1993 hit Doom. The Catholic site Crux said it showed a “nastier” tone emerging in Argentina’s debate on the issue. The country’s senate is preparing to vote on a bill that would legalise abortion on demand for the first 14 weeks of pregnancy.

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