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 April 11, 2011   •   VOL. 49, NO. 7   •   Oakland, CA
News in Brief

Fr. Corapi’s company says action violates law
WASHINGTON — A representative of the media company owned by Father John Corapi challenged the action to place the popular speaker on administrative leave from priestly ministry, saying that it was illicit under “several points of canon law.” The statement offered no specifics. Father Corapi was placed on administrative leave after an accusation of misconduct by a former employee. The priest denied any wrongdoing in a statement on his website March 18. He gave little information about the accusation except to say a former employee had “sent a three-page letter to several bishops accusing me of everything from drug addiction to multiple sexual exploits with her and several adult women.”
Maryknoll priest warned on ordination for women
WASHINGTON — The superior general of the Maryknoll order warned Father Roy Bourgeois that he will proceed under canon law to seek Bourgeois’ removal from the order and request that he be laicized unless he recants his belief that women should be ordained as Catholic priests. Father Bourgeois has until April 13 to respond. Father Bourgeois’ support for the ordination of women to the priesthood led to his excommunication latae sententiae — automatically — in November 2008.

Rice Bowls aid Japan

(CNS) — Bishop Marcellino Daiji Tani of Saitama, one of the dioceses hit hardest by Japan’s earthquake and tsunami disaster, said the catastrophe is a challenge for Christians during Lent “to practice and witness to the commandment of love and brotherly love.” Many Catholic families take part in Operation Rice Bowl, which supports Catholic Relief Services.

Donations are being accepted (877) HELP-CRS and online at www.crs.org.

Pro-life candidate McCormack dead at 84

MERRICK, N.Y. — Ellen McCormack, whose pro-life views led her to run for president in 1976 and 1980, died of congestive heart failure March 27 in Avon, Conn. She was 84. McCormack was the first woman to qualify for federal matching campaign funds and for Secret Service protection as a candidate. Her bid to the Federal Election Commission to certify her eligibility for matching funds was challenged by the National Abortion Rights Action League on the grounds that her campaign’s “apparent” Catholic Church connections violated separation of church and state.

Book misrepresents faith, bishops’ committee says

WASHINGTON — In a detailed critique, the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Doctrine has concluded that a 2007 book written by Fordham University theology professor Sister Elizabeth A. Johnson “contains misrepresentations, ambiguities and errors” related to the Catholic faith. The committee said in a 21-page statement released March 30 that the book, “Quest for the Living God: Mapping Frontiers in the Theology of God,” failed to take the faith of the Catholic Church as its starting point and chose to use standards from outside the faith to “criticize and to revise in a radical fashion the conception of God revealed in Scripture and taught by the magisterium.”

Cardinal: Like Jesus, migrants seek welcome

WASHINGTON — Migrants around the world struggle to find welcome, making the Catholic Church’s challenge to educate its own people about the teachings of the faith a universal one, said Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, the retired archbishop of Washington. who was the keynote speaker during a daylong conference on the subject. “I have witnessed the migration phenomena in all its forms,” said Cardinal McCarrick at the March 21 conference co-sponsored by The Catholic University of America and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. “In every visit to another country, migration is part of the conversation. And it’s not a pretty sight. But it cannot be ignored, because it involves human beings.” “Jesus was an itinerant preacher,” he said. “He had nowhere to lay his head. There are many like that in our world today.” In today’s society, “you may not recognize Jesus at first” in a stranger, “but he is there.”

Court tosses challenge to Ariz. tuition program

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court April 4 tossed out a challenge to Arizona’s tuition tax credit program — which directs money to scholarships for students at mostly Catholic nonpublic schools — saying that because no direct state expenditures are involved, taxpayers have no legal basis for suing. The 5-4 ruling written by Justice Anthony Kennedy held that because the arrangement is for taxpayers to receive tax credits for their donations to tuition scholarship organizations, no actual state spending is involved and that therefore taxpayers in general lack jurisdiction for challenging the program. The 1997 law allows tax credits of up to $500 for individuals and $1,000 for couples who donate money to a scholarship tuition organization, which in turn uses the money to fund scholarships for students who attend private schools, including religious schools.

Marquette adds benefits for same-sex partners

MILWAUKEE — Marquette University will extend health benefits to same-sex domestic partners starting next year. The extension is contingent upon domestic partners registering their status with Milwaukee County clerk’s office. University spokeswoman Kate Venne said there are 13 other Jesuit colleges and universities that offer health benefits to same-sex partners.

Diocese stops accepting deacon candidates

WORCESTER, Mass. — The Worcester Diocese has stopped accepting new men into its permanent diaconate program, at least temporarily, Deacon Anthony R. Surozenski, director of the Office of Diaconate, said in mid-March. This will allow time to assess whether more deacons will be needed and whether assignments and funding will be available for them, he said. It also allows time for studying how to better apply national church norms to deacons’ ministry and find ways deacons could help meet needs that they are not currently addressing, such as hospice and truck-stop ministries, he said. The United States has 17,165 permanent deacons, more than 50 percent of all the permanent deacons in the world, said Deacon Gerald W. DuPont, president of the National Association of Diaconate Directors.

‘Borgias’ made more for ratings than jabs

WASHINGTON — The Showtime series “The Borgias” which debuted April 3 may be interpreted less as a swipe against the Catholic Church than the desire for the Showtime pay-cable channel to produce a follow-up in the same vein as “The Tudors,” its racy predecessor. “They’re going for the flamboyant, the exotic, the erotic,” said Timothy Thibodeau, a history professor at Nazareth College in Rochester, N.Y., of Showtime.

Bill to legalize civil unions in Colo. dies

DENVER — Nearly eight hours of emotional testimonies and legislator commentaries at the state Capitol in Denver March 31 ended in the defeat of a bill that would have created civil unions in Colorado.

Voting 6-5 along party lines House Republicans defeated the Democrat-sponsored bill, legislators went back and forth on the legal and societal effects that the state Senate bill could have on Coloradans. The debate featured seven hours of public testimonies in a standing-room-only Old Supreme Court room.

TV repairman 68th miracle at Lourdes

ANGERS, France — The cure of Serge Francois, 65, a French TV repairman who completed a 1,000-mile hike after his paralyzed leg was inexplicably healed has become the 68th miracle to be officially recognized by the Catholic Church at the French Marian sanctuary of Lourdes. He had been twice operated on unsuccessfully for a herniated disk when he traveled to Lourdes on a diocesan pilgrimage April 12, 2002. His case was studied by a church canonical commission in September 2010.

Gays, lesbians have home in Church, bishop says

SALTILLO, Mexico — Celebrating Mass for participants in a diocesan-endorsed forum on sexual diversity, Bishop Raul Vera Lopez of Saltillo told gays and lesbians, “The Church is your home. Jesus founded the Church to bring in those on the outside, for those suffering exclusion and rejection ... so that they find the love of God,” he said March 27. Bishop Vera has made the inclusion of homosexuals in the Catholic Church a priority in his northern Mexican diocese, which has a reputation for championing human rights issues.

New financial oversight norms go into effect

VATICAN CITY — Individuals carrying more than 10,000 euros (about $14,000) into or out of Vatican City State must declare the amount to proper authorities under a new law aimed at meeting international norms against money-laundering and financing terrorism. The new measures to guarantee financial transparency in the Vatican went into effect April 1.

—Catholic News Services


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