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Catholic Voice

 June 23, 2008   •   VOL. 46, NO. 12   •   Oakland, CA
News in Brief

Early Christian artifact
A Jordanian shows an artifact discovered inside a cave underneath St. Georgeous Church in the northern town of Rihab, Jordan. Jordanian archaeologists say the cave was used as the world’s first Christian church — a claim that other scholars have questioned.


Priest-designed clothing
A model displays a selection from an organic clothing line designed by Father Andrew O’Connor, assistant pastor at Holy Family Church in New York. His new organic clothing line, Goods of Conscience, provides healthy labor opportunities for poor workers in Guatemala and the East Bronx section of New York.

Myanmar survivors
Survivors of Cyclone Nargis wait to receive food supplies from an aid agency in Myanmar’s cyclone-ravaged Irrawaddy delta. Catholics and Muslims in south Florida have joined forces to raise money to aid people in Myanmar in the aftermath of the May 2 cyclone.

Pope wants Latin Mass in each parish, official says
LONDON (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI would like every Catholic parish in the world to celebrate a regular Tridentine-rite Mass, a Vatican cardinal has said.

Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos also told a June 14 press conference in London that the Vatican was writing to all seminaries to ask that candidates to the priesthood are trained to celebrate Mass according to the extraordinary form of the Latin rite, also known as the Tridentine Mass, restricted from the 1970s until July 2007 when Pope Benedict lifted some of those limits.

“The Holy Father is not returning to the past; he is taking a treasure from the past to offer it alongside the rich celebration of the new rite,” the cardinal added.

Rights groups applaud Guantanamo decision

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Leaders in the human rights and anti-torture movements said the June 12 U.S. Supreme Court decision defending the right of habeas corpus for detainees at the U.S.-run Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba is a hopeful sign that upholds American values for anyone accused of even the most heinous offenses.

At the same time, they expressed concern the court’s narrow 5-4 decision may be limited in scope, leaving detainees in detention centers around the world with no access to the courts while continuing to expose all detainees to interrogation techniques that some consider torture.

The United States opened the prison Jan. 11, 2002, at the U.S. Navy base at Guantanamo saying it was beyond the reach of American courts. The June 12 ruling marked the third time the court has decided in favor of detainee rights since 2004.

Bishops’ vote on liturgy document inconclusive

ORLANDO, Fla. (CNS) — Following a lively debate, the U.S. bishops left a 700-page translation of one section of the Roman Missal in limbo June 13 when the document failed to obtain the number of votes needed to approve the text or to reject it. The translation of the proper prayers for Sundays and feast days during the liturgical year requires the approval of two-thirds of the 250 Latin-rite members of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

But after more than a dozen bishops spoke against the translation, results of the voting were inconclusive. USCCB members not present at the spring general assembly in Orlando will vote by mail on the issue.

Russert remembered for his fondness for church

WASHINGTON (CNS) — NBC News Washington bureau chief and “Meet the Press” moderator Tim Russert, who died June 13 at the age of 58, was remembered for his warm lifelong ties to the Catholic Church and his support for Catholic education as well as for his career covering politics. An active Catholic who apparently kept a promise to God to never miss Sunday Mass if his son was born healthy, Russert spoke often and fondly of his Catholic school education and of the role of the Church in his life.

Providence Diocese offers relief from high gas costs

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (CNS) — Bishop Thomas J. Tobin of Providence and Alfred J. Moscola, general manager of the transit authority, known as RIPTA, announced the launch of the Catholic Charity Fund RIPTIKS program June 11 on the steps of the Cathedral of Sts. Peter and Paul. The new initiative, sponsored by the Providence Diocese, provides public transit coupons to needy Rhode Island residents who are struggling to cope with the constantly rising cost of gasoline.

Thanks to a $17,500 grant from the diocesan Catholic Charity Fund, the diocese has purchased 1,166 RIPTIKS booklets. The booklets, worth $17.50, have tickets for 10 rides.

Vatican rejects appeal on Boston parish closings

BRIGHTON, Mass. (CNS) — The Catholic Church’s highest court has rejected appeals of the closures of eight Boston-area parishes. Boston-area Catholics have vowed to continue their fight to have their closed parishes reopened. The Apostolic Signature sided with the archdiocese, which closed the parishes. Representatives from all the former parishes will ask the court to reconsider their appeals, according to Capuchin Franciscan Brother James Peterson, assistant to the moderator of the Boston archdiocesan Curia for Canonical Affairs.

Archbishop sets rules for Legionaries of Christ

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien of Baltimore has established a series of requirements under which the Legionaries of Christ and its lay branch, Regnum Christi, must operate in the archdiocese. Saying pastors in recent years have raised concerns “regarding a lack of pastoral transparency at times and a tendency to conduct parallel programs within our parishes without the knowledge of local pastors,” Archbishop O’Brien outlined the requirements under which the Legionaries must operate in his column in the June 12 issue of The Catholic Review, the archdiocesan newspaper.

The archbishop said that while the work of the Legionaries has “operated with the blessing of the Holy See,” the order’s activities “have not been without certain tension” in the United States and the archdiocese. His column was not specific except to say that “undue pressure was placed on individuals to conform to the rule of Regnum Christi and in a context of secrecy.”

Zimbabwe church groups in danger

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (CNS) — Zimbabwean church groups are “in danger of police interference at any time,” a Catholic official said after the Ecumenical Center in the capital, Harare, was raided June 9. “No one is immune to these raids,” said Alouis Chaumba, head of Zimbabwe’s Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace.

Harare’s Ecumenical Center houses a variety of groups, including the Student Christian Movement of Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe Christian Alliance. “Heavily armed members of the police, central intelligence and military personnel” raided the center and arrested five staffers, including the Student Christian Movement general secretary, Prosper Munatsi, said Chaumba.

Pakistani church urges end to discrimination

LAHORE, Pakistan (CNS) — The Catholic Church in Pakistan has urged the country’s new government to end religious discrimination and establish the equality of all citizens under the law through proposed constitutional amendments.

“In order to make the constitution more democratic, the multi-religious and multicultural aspect of Pakistani society should be recognized,” the Pakistani bishops’ National Commission for Justice and Peace said June 1. About 95 percent of Pakistan’s 160 million people are Muslim. Less than 2 percent are Christian.

The Church’s statement came in response to a proposed constitutional reform package that contains provisions ensuring a parliamentary democracy, doing away with some presidential powers and ensuring at least a minimum representation of minority religious communities in the senate.

2008 Path to Peace Award for El Salvador president

UNITED NATIONS (CNS) — Archbishop Celestino Migliore, apostolic nuncio to the United Nations and president of the Path to Peace Foundation, presented the 2008 Path to Peace Award to President Elias Antonio Saca Gonzalez of El Salvador June 10. Archbishop Migliore said the Salvadoran president was the unanimous choice of the board of the Path to Peace Foundation, an agency established to support the work of the Holy See mission to the United Nations. A member of the National Republican Alliance, known by its Spanish acronym ARENA, Saca was elected president of El Salvador with nearly 58 percent of the vote March 21, 2004, and took office June 1 of that year.


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