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 January 10, 2011   •   VOL. 49, NO. 1   •   Oakland, CA
News in Brief

More than 2.27 million pilgrims and visitors came to see Pope Benedict XVI in person at the Vatican or the papal villa at Castel Gandolfo in 2010.
CNS/Emily Thompson
Pope issues call
for religious freedom

VATICAN CITY — Opening 2011 with a strong call for religious liberty, Pope Benedict XVI condemned deadly attacks against Christians and announced a new interfaith meeting next fall in Assisi, Italy. At a Mass Jan. 1 marking the World Day of Peace and a blessing the next day, the pope voiced his concern about fresh episodes of violence and discrimination against Christian minorities in the Middle East.
Father Harvey, Courage founder, dies at 92
ELKTON, Md. — Oblate Father John F. Harvey, who founded an organization for celibate Catholic homosexuals that now has more than 100 chapters worldwide, died Dec. 27 at Union Hospital in Elkton. He was 92. An Oblate of St. Francis de Sales for 73 years, Father Harvey founded Courage, a spiritual support group for homosexual men and women, in 1980 at the request of Cardinal Terence Cooke of New York and served as its national director until his death.

Marian apparitions doubted in new book
VATICAN CITY — A newly expanded compendium of visions of the Virgin Mary shows how the very idea of such apparitions has been met with skepticism and preoccupation within the Church, from early Christian times to the present. Experts in Mariology presented the Italian edition of the Dictionary of “Apparitions” of the Virgin Mary, translated from the original 2007 French publication with the addition of some 150 new entries. The 1,600-page volume lists more than 2,400 claims of people who over the centuries alleged to have seen Mary, as well as the consequences of such announcements. Only 15 of these have been officially recognized by the Church.

Vatican financial transparency ordered

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI instituted a new agency — the Financial Information Authority — to monitor all Vatican financial operations and make sure they meet international norms against money-laundering and the financing of terrorism. And the Vatican promulgated a detailed new law that defined financial crimes and established penalties — including possible jail time — for their violation.

Pope’s 2011 calendar has full schedule

VATICAN CITY — For Pope Benedict XVI, the 2011 calendar already holds a full slate of meetings, liturgies and foreign trips. What’s not on the calendar — at least so far — is a special “year of” or a “year for.” The pontiff turns 84 in April. Unlike the past three years, there’s no Synod of Bishops on the horizon in 2011. Most people are not expecting a consistory this year, either, and there is no sign that the pope plans to convene the world’s cardinals at the Vatican for other reasons.

Two U.S. cardinals given several Vatican posts

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI named two U.S. cardinals to several Vatican offices. Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington and Cardinal Raymond L. Burke, prefect of the Vatican’s supreme court, were among the 24 new cardinals the pope appointed. Cardinal Burke was made a member of the Vatican’s Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, Congregation for Bishops, and the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts. Cardinal Wuerl was made a member of the Vatican’s Congregation for Clergy and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

Military gets new auxiliary bishop

WASHINGTON — Father Neal Buckon, 57, a military chaplain from the Diocese of Cleveland, was named an auxiliary bishop of the U.S. Archdiocese for the Military Services. Bishop-designate Buckon has served as an Army chaplain around the world since 1998.

Orthodox leader given support after attacks

BEIRUT — An Egyptian Orthodox leader, Coptic Orthodox Bishop Youhannes Zakaria of Luxor, Egypt, said he had received many messages of support from Muslims after a Jan. 1 church bombing that killed about two dozen people. Mideast Catholic leaders also sent messages of support to their fellow Christians. The head of Catholic Relief Services in Egypt said he was afraid the bombing indicated a renewal of sectarian violence.

Catholics ‘neighbors’ worldwide on website

SPOKANE, Wash. — Dan Roach, an attorney and member of St. Patrick Parish in Walla Walla, Wash., found himself “not knowing” about his fellow Catholics, “what they did for a living, who their family was.” After about four years of development, a false start, investment of time and money and a very steep learning curve, ourcatholicneighborhood.com went live last July. The site acts as a portal, a directory, a home and a search engine for things Catholic on the web.

Thrift shop treasures keeps charity rolling

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Tom White. a volunteer at TurnStyles, the thrift store of Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas in Overland Park, has been trained to recycle donated “trash” into the “treasure” that will keep Catholic Charities programs rolling — with a little help from cyberspace shoppers. Since TurnStyles’ eBay Team was formed four years ago, it has sold to customers in all 50 states and 30 countries around the world, generating more than $56,000 for Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas.

University president defends inquiry

WASHINGTON — The University of Notre Dame president has called the investigation into the alleged assault of a now-deceased female college student by a football player “thorough, careful (and) impartial.” In his first public statement about the investigation of the sexual battery allegation made last September at the Catholic Indiana university, Holy Cross Father John I. Jenkins told the South Bend Tribune that he also believes the school could have handled the situation better. Various media outlets have quoted the young woman’s parents as saying they are unhappy with Notre Dame’s handling of the case.

Love of Eucharist restored faith

ARLINGTON, Va. — From age 7 to 19, Teresa Pitt Green was sexually abused by multiple priests. In an interview with the Arlington Catholic Herald diocesan newspaper, Green recounted how, though she “left the Catholic Church forever many times,” her love of the Eucharist endured, and, with the support of Arlington diocesan priests, Office of Victim Assistance programs and Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde, she was able, eventually, to enter a church without fear and receive the body of Christ. Earlier this year, Green published “Restoring Sanctuary” (Dog Ear Publishing), a book part memoir, part spiritual reflection and part impetus for healing.

— Catholic News Service


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