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Survey notes attitudinal differences in heavy, light TV watchers
Jun 13 2007
WASHINGTON – A newly published survey shows notable differences in the attitudes of heavy TV watchers and light TV watchers on several social and political issues.

Demonstrators silently protest abductions, killings in Sri Lanka
Jun 13 2007
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka – Hundreds of local and international nongovernmental activists, wearing black cloths over their mouths as gags, staged a silent protest at Colombo’s central train station.

Blog aims to educate public on preparing for possible pandemic
Jun 10 2007
WASHINGTON – What do the founder of eBay, the U.S. secretary of Health and Human Services and a Mercy nun/ethicist have in common?

Covering uninsured is year-round job
Apr 28 2007
WASHINGTON – At Cabrini Clinic in the Corktown neighborhood of Detroit, “every week is Cover the Uninsured Week,” says Mercy Sister Mary Ellen Howard, who has directed the free clinic for more than a dozen years. In a city with some 200,000 uninsured adults, the clinic – formally known as the St. Frances Cabrini Clinic of Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church – provides medical care, prescription drug assistance and mental health services to about 150 people a week, completely free of charge.

Shooting at Virginia Tech ‘tremendously sad’
Apr 17 2007
BLACKSBURG, Va. – The April 16 shooting spree at Virginia Tech that left at least 33 people dead is “tremendously sad,” said Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo of Richmond. In a phone interview just hours after the shootings, Teresa Volante, Catholic campus minister at Virginia Tech, said she had sent out an electronic notice that the Newman Center chapel was open for anyone who wanted to stop in and pray. But she said the center, located just off the campus, was rather quiet at that time since the dormitories on campus were still locked down and the off-campus students had been instructed to stay away. “I’m here for students to talk to,” she said.

Use faith to help survive ‘the blitz’
Apr 01 2007
WORCESTER, Mass. – California businessman Tom Brady Sr. didn’t come to the seventh annual Worcester Diocesan Men’s Conference to tell Hollywood-ready tales about a Super Bowl-winning son and a family leading perfect lives. He came to tell the truth – and to challenge area Catholic men to use their faith to deal with life’s pressures.

Cardinal says government is ‘legislating for intolerance’
Mar 29 2007
LONDON – A British cardinal has said that by sponsoring legislation for gay rights, the government is “legislating for intolerance.” Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor of Westminster also questioned “whether the threads holding together democracy have begun to unravel.” “My fear is that, under the guise of legislating for what is said to be tolerance, we are legislating for intolerance,” he said during a March 28 lecture in London a week after the government forced through new gay rights legislation with minimal debate in the House of Commons.

Harvard to return collection of historic bells
Mar 22 2007
MOSCOW – Harvard University will return a collection of historic bells to the Russian Orthodox Church more than seven decades after they were seized and sold by the regime of Josef Stalin. “These bells are not only a witness, but also a victim of history, a symbol of the independence, greatness and identity of the people,” Russian Orthodox Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow said March 21. “I’m happy our guests from Harvard University could feel this part of the Russian soul, conveyed through the tolling of church bells.” Orthodox and Harvard representatives signed an agreement to return the 18 bells to Moscow’s Danilov Monastery, which has housed the Moscow Patriarchate since being reopened in 1988.

Behind the scenes
Mar 21 2007
VATICAN CITY – As head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith since 2005, U.S. Cardinal William J. Levada has found that most of his work is behind the scenes. The recent action against Jesuit Father Jon Sobrino was an exception: He was the first theologian to be publicly censured during Cardinal Levada’s tenure, and the case immediately brought the doctrinal congregation into the media spotlight. Although some critics described the Vatican’s action against Father Sobrino as authoritarian, for Cardinal Levada it was an example of how carefully and cooperatively the doctrinal congregation operates.

Jews react strongly to remarks made by German bishops
Mar 08 2007
COLOGNE, Germany – Remarks made by German bishops during a recent visit to the West Bank have caused a storm of reaction from Jewish leaders in Germany. The Central Council of Jews in Germany and the Israeli Embassy responded angrily to comments by Bishop Gregor Hanke of Eichstaett, who compared the situation of Palestinians in Ramallah with that of Jews in the Warsaw ghetto in Poland during World War II. For his part, Bishop Walter Mixa of Augsburg described the Israel-Palestinian situation as “almost racism.”

U.S. urged to stop Marianas trafficking
Feb 10 2007
WASHINGTON – A Filipina forced into the sex trade and raped hours after her arrival in the Northern Mariana Islands appealed to U.S. senators to change immigration and labor laws in the commonwealth. “I know there are other women out in the (Mariana Islands) community like me,” Kayleen Entena said in her Feb. 8 testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources; its jurisdiction covers U.S. territorial islands and other insular areas.

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.

Hike in federal minimum wage long overdue
Jan 15 2007
WASHINGTON – An increase in the federal minimum wage, its proponents would argue, is not only an idea whose time has come, but an idea whose time had come long ago. The minimum wage was last increased in 1997. The 10-years-and-counting gap between increases is the longest since the minimum wage was instituted in 1938. Its purchasing power also has dropped. According to Catholic Charities USA, it’s now equal to $3.95 in 1995 dollars – when the minimum wage was $4.25.

Bishops reject embryonic stem-cell bill
Jan 11 2007
WASHINGTON (CNS) – The U.S. bishops have urged the House of Representatives to reject an embryonic stem-cell bill that would fund research that involves the destruction of human embryos. Instead, they said, Congress should support research that would use available stem cells from adult tissues, cord blood, amniotic fluid and placentas. In a letter dated Jan. 9 and released Jan. 10, Philadelphia Cardinal Justin Rigali, chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, urged House members to “consider the fundamental moral line” they would cross if they approved legislation on embryonic stem-cell research scheduled for a vote Jan. 11.

New year, new Congress, but a familiar agenda awaits
Jan 10 2007
WASHINGTON (CNS) – It’s apt that the start of the new congressional term coincides with the time of year when people are optimistically making New Year’s resolutions. Lose weight, get to the gym more often, pass comprehensive immigration reform, raise the minimum wage, make sure the farm bill reauthorization helps protect family farmers ... you know, the usual. With Democrats controlling both houses of Congress for the first time in 12 years, the dynamics behind what legislation advances will differ from what they have been under the Republican majority, which could be good news for some long-standing wish lists.