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 March 21, 2011   •   VOL. 49, NO. 6   •   Oakland, CA
News in Brief

Transitional shelters help Haitian quake survivors
Workers at a camp in Terrain Toto, Haiti, construct plywood-walled transitional shelters March 10 for those left homeless in last year’s earthquake. The shelters, produced by Catholic Relief Services and funded by the U.S. government, are meant to last up to three years. Those deemed eligible to receive the structures agreed to provide a bit of sweat equity: applying a coat of paint. The agency is under contract to provide 4,000 T-shelters, which will house 20,000 people. To date, about 2,500 have been completed.
CNS photo/Bob Roller

Publisher ships new Bible
A newly revised Bible hit bookstore shelves on Ash Wednesday across the United States, thanks in part to St. Benedict Press/Tan Books in Charlotte, N.C. The longtime publisher of Bibles and Catholic classics shipped out more than 10,000 copies of the New American Bible Revised Edition, or NABRE, in just one week. It includes the first revised translation since 1970 of the Old Testament. The New Testament translation is the same as in 1986 and later editions of the New American Bible.
CNS photo/Bob Roller

Card promotes sainthood
This prayer card promoting the canonization cause of Father Augustus Tolton, the first recognized American diocesan priest of African descent, is being distributed by the Archdiocese of Chicago. The archdiocese has launched the inquiry into the life and virtues of Father Tolton, an undertaking that could lead to his canonization.
CNS photo/Karen Callaway, Catholic New World

Maryland same-sex bill dead for now

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — A bill to legalize same-sex marriage in Maryland is effectively dead for the current legislative session after a member of the House of Delegates asked that it be recommitted to the House Judiciary Committee March 11. The move came at the end of a passionate and lengthy debate on the floor of the House of Delegates. On a voice vote, delegates approved the recommendation made by Delegate Joseph Vallario of Prince George’s County, and did not have to vote on the legislation. Stunned supporters of the bill wept in the halls of the Statehouse, while jubilant supporters of traditional marriage cheered and honked horns outside.

‘Renewed sorrow’ for victims of abuse

PHILADELPHIA — The stations of the cross and the sacrament of reconciliation served as solemn settings for the penitential service Cardinal Justin Rigali led to address the clergy sexual abuse crisis March 11 in the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul. In the name of the archdiocese, the cardinal expressed “renewed sorrow for this evil inflicted on children and young people” and asked God “to forgive those who have committed this sin.”

US bishops support unions, ask cooperation

WASHINGTON — Amid ongoing battles between Republican governors and organized labor in Midwestern states, U.S. Catholic bishops have echoed the long-standing church tradition of workers’ rights. But they have also noted that there are no easy-fix solutions in today’s battered economy. They have urged workers and government officials to work for the common good and called on the members of public employee unions to make sacrifices.

Walter Reed a ‘sacred place,’ says celebrant

WASHINGTON — For the last time, foreheads smudged with ashes were seen at soon-to-be-closed Walter Reed Army Medical Center after an auxiliary bishop of U.S. military archdiocese celebrated the last Ash Wednesday Mass there for service men and women. “There are many sacred places in the world and Walter Reed is one of them,” said Bishop Richard B. Higgins, vicar for veteran affairs at the U.S. Archdiocese for the Military Services, where he is responsible for more than 215 chaplains across the nation. Located in the nation’s capital, the century-old hospital that has treated presidents, foreign leaders, veterans and soldiers will be relocating to the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.

Maronites elect patriarch expected to unite Catholics

BEIRUT — Church bells rang, horns blasted and firecrackers echoed throughout Lebanon as it was announced that Bishop Bechara Rai of Jbeil, Lebanon, had been elected the new patriarch of the Maronite Catholic Church. Patriarch Rai, 71, known for his courage to speak the truth, is seen as someone who can unite Maronite Catholics, who have been divided among political party lines.

Public school programs can promote dialogue

GENEVA — Education about religion in public schools can help students learn to respect others’ beliefs, but government-run programs must exercise extreme caution not to promote or to criticize a particular religion, a Vatican official told the U.N. Human Rights Council. “Education and freedom of religion can reinforce each other,” said Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican’s representative to U.N. agencies in Geneva.

Liberians fear spillover of neighboring violence

CAPE TOWN, South Africa — Liberians fear a spillover of violence from Ivory Coast as tens of thousands of Ivorians fleeing political tensions at home seek refuge in neighboring countries, said a church worker in Liberia’s Gbarnga Diocese. As more refugees cross the border into Liberia, “there is concern that among them are supporters of either side who want to consolidate their position from here,” said Manuel Bangalie, who works for the diocesan justice and peace commission.

Socks from papal tailor are available online

ROME — Audrey Hepburn had Hubert Givenchy, Rita Hayworth had Jean Louis, Michelle Obama has Jason Wu and the pope has the Gammarellis. From their little shop in Rome, the Gammarelli family has been outfitting popes, as well as cardinals, bishops and priests since 1798. Now, “Mes Chaussettes Rouges” (My Red Socks), a Paris-based online retailer, is offering a tiny piece of Gammarelli style — socks — to the general public.

Government agenda may clash with church

DUBLIN — Ireland’s new governing coalition adopted a legislative agenda that looks likely to put it on a collision course with Catholic leaders and other faith groups on gay marriage and plans to reduce church influence in schools. However, at least one Catholic leader welcomed the coalition’s commitments on social welfare and overseas development aid.

— Catholic News Service


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