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 October 9, 2006VOL. 44, NO. 17Oakland, CA
News in Brief

Funeral for murdered nun
Mourners pray around the casket of Consolata Sister Leonella Sgorbati who was murdered in Somalia as she left the children’s hospital where she worked in Mogadishu.. Her death on Sept. 17 is believed to have been in retaliation for remarks about Islam made by Pope Benedict XVI on Sept. 12. The 65-year-old nun had worked in Africa for 35 years and had been in Somalia since 2001. Her Sisters vowed not to abandon their humanitarian work despite the dangers


Social Service Sister beatified in Hungary
Social Service Sister Sara Salkahazi was beatified in Hungary Sept. 17. In 1944 Nazis shot her and threw her into the Danube River for safeguarding Jewish women and children at her convent during the Holocaust.


Mass for
executed men

Relatives mourn during a memorial Mass for Fabianus Tibo, Dominggus da Silva and Marinus Riwu in St. Mary Church in Palu, Indonesia, Sept. 22, who had been executed earlier that day. The three Catholics were convicted of leading a mob that killed Muslims in 2000 during Muslim-Christian clashes. Police and prosecutors rejected the men’s last request that they be given a Catholic funeral Mass.

CNS PHOTO/CRACK PALINGGI/REUTERS (CNS photo/Crack Palinggi, Reuters)

New museum to open where John Paul lived
KRAKOW, Poland (CNS) -- The Archdiocese of Krakow, Poland, will open a museum in the house where Pope John Paul II lived during World War II. The Krakow house is “very run down” and needs “total renovation,” said Father Jan Kabzinski, archdiocesan steward.

The archdiocese plans to use period furniture “to recreate the atmosphere and show the poverty he faced as a young person,” Father Kabzinski added.

As Karol Wojtyla, Pope John Paul moved with his father to the house from his nearby Wadowice hometown in 1938, when he enrolled as a student at Krakow’s Jagiellonian University.

He lived in the two-room basement while working as a laborer under Nazi occupation at a stone quarry and factory.

His father died at the house in February 1941, and young Wojtyla stayed there for three more years with a friend, Mieczyslaw Kotlarczyk, until he began studying secretly at the Krakow seminary.

Researcher says Shroud of Turin is authentic
SYDNEY, Australia (CNS) -- A newly published book cites new scientific evidence challenging claims that the Shroud of Turin is a fake and reasserting that the 14-foot by 4-foot linen cloth is the burial cloth of Jesus.

In “The Shroud Story,” author Brendan Whiting argues that results from carbon dating carried out in 1988 -- suggesting the shroud dated from medieval times -- are anomalous and that “there is nothing about the Shroud of Turin that prevents it from being over 2,000 years old.”

An Australian author and researcher, Whiting now points to research by eminent U.S. chemist Raymond Rogers from the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico that shows the sample used for the carbon dating was polluted by fragments of invisible mending done to the linen cloth in the Middle Ages.

Arch. Milingo and four others excommunicated
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Recent ordinations made without papal approval have placed Zambian Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo and the four prelates he ordained under automatic excommunication, the Vatican said. Starting with his “attempted marriage” in 2001 until his Sept. 24 ordinations of four bishops in Washington, Archbishop Milingo’s actions have led him to “a condition of irregularity and progressive breach in communion with the Church,” said a written statement by the Vatican press office.

Various church officials tried “in vain” to contact the retired archbishop of Lusaka, Zambia, and “dissuade him from continuing acts that provoke scandal,” the Sept. 26 press statement said. Because of the unapproved ordinations, “both Archbishop Milingo and the four ordained men are under a ‘latae sententiae’ excommunication, according to Canon 1382 of the Code of Canon Law,” the statement said.

A bishop who consecrates a bishop without a pontifical mandate and the person who receives the consecration from him automatically incur the penalty of excommunication.

Venezuelan church-state relations improving
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- While church-state relations in Venezuela are improving, the country’s bishops still have serious concerns over issues such as the growing militarization of society and efforts to curtail religious education in public schools, said the president of the Venezuelan bishops’ conference.

The bishops also have complained about President Hugo Chavez’s use of religious terminology in political speeches, said Archbishop Ubaldo Santana Sequera of Maracaibo, the newly elected conference president. About 96 percent of Venezuela’s 25 million people profess Catholicism.

Underground Chinese bishop returns home
HONG KONG (CNS) -- Underground Bishop Julius Jia Zhiguo of Zhengding, China, returned home Sept. 25 after three months of house arrest in an undisclosed location. Sources from northern China told UCA News that the 72-year-old bishop had been returned to his cathedral in Wuqiu village, near Shijiazhuang, the capital of Hebei province. A source quoted Catholic visitors as saying that Bishop Jia appeared to be in poor health and very tired, but was in good spirits.

Catholics back bill to help disabled living
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and two other national Catholic organizations have backed proposed federal legislation that would enable many people with disabilities to live in their communities instead of in nursing homes. The legislation would help those with disabilities use Medicaid resources to choose independent living, with reliance on community-based services, over Medicaid-funded institutionalized care.

In a joint letter to key House and Senate sponsors of the bill, the heads of the USCCB Committee on Domestic Policy, the Catholic Health Association of the United States and the National Catholic Partnership on Disability urged passage of the Medicaid Community-Based Attendant Services and Supports Act, known as MiCASSA.

Historian says archives will clear the Church
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Documents now available from the Vatican Secret Archives will allow scholars to rewrite history and erase claims the Church was not a staunch opponent of Nazism, fascism and other forms of totalitarianism, said a Jesuit historian.

Father Giovanni Sale, historian of the Jesuit journal, La Civilta Cattolica, said documents relating to the 1922-1939 pontificate of Pope Pius XI will have an impact on political and religious history. What emerges is an even clearer picture of the Church as being “steadfast in the fight against totalitarianism, against fascism, against Nazism, but also against communism,” he said in an interview with Vatican Radio.

After years of preparation, the Vatican archive office Sept. 18 opened up to researchers all the documentation from Pope Pius’ pre-World War II pontificate. An official at the Vatican archives said that in the first week after the 1922-1939 archives were opened, between 55 and 60 scholars from all over the world were going through the documents each day.

Message sticks stress aboriginal reconciliation
SYDNEY, Australia (CNS) -- The unfinished work of aboriginal reconciliation and justice is being highlighted for Australian Catholics in the journeys of indigenous message sticks. In aboriginal society, a message stick is a totemic herald used to communicate across the country.
Thousands of people in parishes, schools and hospitals have greeted the reconciliation message sticks, which are passing through many hands as they make their way to the town of Alice Springs for celebrations marking the 20th anniversary of Pope John Paul II’s speech to indigenous peoples there.

Man sues two cardinals over sex abuse cover-up
MEXICO CITY (CNS) -- A Mexican man is suing the cardinals of Mexico City and Los Angeles, claiming the cardinals covered up crimes of a priest accused of sexually abusing boys on both sides of the border.

In a civil suit filed in California, the man accused Cardinals Roger M. Mahony of Los Angeles and Norberto Rivera Carrera of Mexico City of negligence, claiming they aided the flight of Father Nicolas Aguilar Rivera and that they were partially responsible for sexual battery due to their negligence. Spokesmen for both cardinals denied the charges.

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