Coronavirus keeps volunteers away, but Arkansas Catholic Charities plans help for tornado victims

Little Rock, Ark., Mar 31, 2020 / 07:01 pm (CNA).- An EF3 tornado blew through Jonesboro, Arkansas, this week, and although no deaths have been reported, Catholic Charities of Arkansas is gearing up to help those whose livelihoods will be affected by the disaster.

Patrick Gallaher, director of Catholic Charities of Arkansas, told CNA that he anticipates that their involvement with the disaster in Jonesboro will involve long term case management to help uninsured and underinsured families recover and settle into permanent housing.

Typically, with a tornado like this, Catholic Charities will work with Habitat for Humanity to help get underinsured people into a Habitat for Humanity house, he said.

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Kentucky AG aims to declare abortion ‘non-essential’ under coronavirus bans

CNA Staff, Mar 31, 2020 / 06:30 pm (CNA).- Kentucky’s attorney general has joined the national controversy over whether abortion clinics can continue to operate at a time when other surgeries and procedures have been canceled or delayed to conserve medical resources to combat the novel coronavirus.

“Abortion providers should join the thousands of other medical professionals across the state in ceasing elective procedures, unless the life of the mother is at risk, to protect the health of their patients and slow the spread of the coronavirus,” Kentucky’s Attorney General Daniel Cameron said March 27.

The attorney general has asked Kentucky’s Acting Secretary of Health and Family Services Eric Friedlander to certify that abortion providers are not essential under the governor’s executive order barring non-essential medical procedures. The certification is necessary to act against any abortion clinics in violation.

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Nicaraguan bishops cancel annual pilgrimage, but mayor reportedly goes ahead

CNA Staff, Mar 31, 2020 / 06:01 pm (CNA).- Local media in Nicaragua are reporting that despite the nation’s bishops’ conference suspending Mass and prohibiting large gatherings, the mayor of Granada is going ahead with an annual pilgrimage that the bishops had canceled.

For more than 150 years, Catholics in Nicaragua have venerated an image of Jesus del Rescate (Jesus of the Rescue) in Popoyuapa, near the city of Rivas. The image represents the crowning of thorns and the flogging of Christ.

Normally there is an annual pilgrimage to the image, which pilgrims make by wagon and on foot, during the “Week of Sorrows” that marks “the final stretch” of the time of Lent, according to ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish language news partner.

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