Pope, Catholic media workers strategize
Mar 11 2007
VATICAN CITY – Taking advantage of new media to spread the Gospel, the Catholic Church also has an obligation to point out areas where the media has a harmful effect, especially on children, Pope Benedict XVI said.
The pope called on media operators “to safeguard the common good, to uphold the truth, to protect individual human dignity and promote respect for the needs of the family.”
Meeting March 9 with members of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, Pope Benedict spoke of the benefits of greater access to quality entertainment, information and educational opportunities through the media.
Black America: gaining ground, losing traction
Mar 03 2007
WASHINGTON – Three themes run through black America, according to the Rev. Robert Franklin: celebration of heroic individual and collective achievement; closure of persistent racial gaps in such areas as education and health; and anxiety about losing ground and “mobilizing to reverse negative trend lines.”
Rev. Franklin, author of the new book “Crisis in the Village: Restoring Hope in African American Communities,” believes there is much about which to be anxious.
Concern over abuses in anti-terrorism bill
Mar 03 2007
MANILA, Philippines – Bishops in the Philippines have expressed concern over potential human rights violations which could result from an anti-terrorism bill.
Bishop Martin Jumoad of Isabela said that, although he is “glad” the Human Security Act was passed by Congress, an independent body is needed to avoid such violations.
“There should be another body of civil society that will evaluate or analyze the implementation,” he told UCA News, an Asian church news agency, Feb. 28.
Rome inundated with requests for prayer cards, relics
Mar 02 2007
ROME – The Rome diocesan office charged with promoting the sainthood cause of Pope John Paul II has exceeded its postage budget because of increased requests for prayer cards and relics of the late pope.
“We were getting about 50 requests a day, but overnight it grew to between 500 and 1,000 requests,” a spokeswoman for the office said March 2.
“We could not have foreseen this demand,” she said. “It’s an avalanche.”
Feb 23 2007
As the small jet carrying 10-year-old Xavia Pirozzi’s new heart approached Philadelphia International Airport the evening of Jan. 5, there was a 20 percent chance the aircraft would not be able to land in the dense fog.
Inside the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Xavia’s parents, Nicolle Borys-Pirozzi and Ralph Pirozzi, waited anxiously, knowing the fog was just one of many challenges their daughter has weathered in her short lifetime.
Anglican primates ask for unity
Feb 22 2007
WASHINGTON – At the end of a Feb. 15-19 meeting in Tanzania, the primates of the world Anglican Communion warned of “fracture” in the U.S. Episcopal Church and urged it to abide by a 1998 Lambeth Conference resolution that defines marriage as heterosexual and rejects the blessing of same-sex unions.
They asked the Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops to “make an unequivocal common covenant” that they will not authorize blessings of same-sex unions in their dioceses. They also asked the bishops to affirm that any candidate for bishop who is living in a same-sex relationship “shall not receive the necessary consent (for ordination) unless some new consensus on these matters emerges across the communion.”
Lithuanian bishops try to keep open American parishes
Feb 06 2007
VILNIUS, Lithuania – Lithuania’s Catholic bishops said they would try to do everything within their authority to help keep open Lithuanian-American churches in the United States.
“Lithuanian bishops cannot directly deal with the issues of the parishes that are in the territory of another bishops’ conference, but will seek in their own turn that those parishes are not closed,” said the statement, released after the bishops’ meeting in mid-January.
Priest works to protect migrants headed north
Feb 03 2007
MEXICO CITY – Whenever the freight train rolls into town, Father Alejandro Solalinde and his team of pastors know it’s going to be a long night.
The freight trains, loaded with hundreds of Central American migrants heading north to the United States, stop in Father Solalinde’s town of Ixtepec, an important rail junction in southern Mexico. The migrants who wait for the next train to carry them on to Veracruz are prime targets for criminal gangs, who kidnap them until relatives can wire thousands of dollars in ransom money.
Priest accused of attempted murder is captured
Feb 02 2007
LAS VEGAS, Nev. – A Las Vegas priest accused of attempted murder and sexual assault on a parish employee was captured near Phoenix Feb. 1 after a six-day manhunt across several states.
Father George Chaanine, 52, has been charged with attempted murder with a deadly weapon, sexual assault, kidnapping and other charges in connection with an alleged attack Jan. 26 on Michaelina Bellamy, an employee at Our Lady of Las Vegas Parish where Father Chaanine was administrator. He also faces federal charges of fleeing to avoid prosecution.
Priest serves as Toronto’s second poet laureate
Feb 01 2007
TORONTO – The second person ever to serve as poet laureate for Toronto is also the first Catholic priest to hold the title.
It’s an opportune pulpit for Father Pier Giorgio Di Cicco, 57, a priest-poet-philosopher who is now spreading ideas about how individuals, government officials and even business leaders can make cities and communities more livable as they give more thought to the “poetry” of their lives.