Bishop Mendez hopes to foster a "great social pact"
Jan 12 2007
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (CNS) -- Retired Bishop Fernando Lugo Mendez of San Pedro, Paraguay, who resigned from active ministry to run for president, said he hopes to foster a "great social pact" to achieve national reconciliation in a country with deep divisions.
"I believe in collective leadership. ... I'm no messiah," Bishop Lugo, who is leading in opinion polls, told Catholic News Service in a telephone interview in mid-January. "Paraguay has a lot of very qualified people."
More U.S. strikes on Somalia would make things worse
Jan 09 2007
VATICAN CITY (CNS) – While he has said for years that terrorists were hiding out in Somalia, the apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Mogadishu said more U.S. airstrikes would only make things worse.
Bishop Giorgio Bertin of Djibouti, who also oversees the church in Somalia’s chaotic and violent capital, spoke to the Vatican’s Fides news agency Jan. 9, the day after a U.S. Air Force gunship fired on suspected al-Qaida terrorists in southern Somalia.
“Prudence must guide all human activities, and it is even more important when taking action in a country like Somalia,” Bishop Bertin said. “This act risks throwing more fuel on an already explosive situation.”
Vatican says execution not way to justice
Jan 02 2007
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Executing someone guilty of a crime "is not the way to restore justice and reconcile society," the Vatican spokesman said after Saddam Hussein was hanged Dec. 30.
Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi said, "A capital execution is always tragic news, a motive for sadness, even when it involves a person found guilty of serious crimes."
In a formal statement issued shortly after Saddam's death was announced, Father Lombardi said, "The position of the Catholic Church against the death penalty has been reaffirmed many times."
The death penalty not only will not restore justice in Iraq, but also can "increase the spirit of vengeance and sow new violence," he said.
Sister Jeannine Gramick honored as Mother Teresa laureate
Dec 23 2006
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (CNS) -- Loretto Sister Jeannine Gramick has been honored as a laureate of the 2006 Mother Teresa Awards, sponsored by the St. Bernadette Institute of Sacred Art in Albuquerque.
The award, presented in November in Los Angeles, acknowledges Sister Jeannine's "role as American human rights activist, ministering to Catholic gays and lesbians," according to a news release.
Vatican officials gauge life span, geographic reach of Turkey visit
Dec 08 2006
Buoyed by Pope Benedict XVI's successful visit to Turkey, Vatican officials began trying to gauge its long-term effect on ecumenical and Catholic-Muslim dialogue in other parts of the world.
Would the rave reviews and upbeat headlines carry over into coming weeks and months? And in the case of Islam, would the pope's outreach to a Muslim population on the edge of Europe make a similar impact in Arab and East Asian countries?
Pope seeks prayers for trip; Turkish security to be unprecedented
Nov 27 2006
ANKARA, Turkey (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI asked for prayers for his pilgrimage to Turkey, as the Turkish government announced unprecedented security measures to protect the pontiff and the Vatican confirmed the pope would visit a mosque during his trip.