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 April 25, 2011   •   VOL. 49, NO. 8   •   Oakland, CA
News in Brief

Mission dioceses
Mission dioceses, regions where Catholics are small in number, poor or spread over a vast territory, account for 45 percent of all U.S. dioceses. These dioceses rely on funding from the Catholic Home Missions Appeal to help them provide ministries of word, worship and service. This year’s Home Missions Appeal, which began in 1998 to help fund pastoral projects in dioceses, will be conducted in most Oakland diocese parishes during Masses the weekend of April 30-May 1.
CNS graphic/Emily Thompson

Exodus from North Africa
Migrants from North Africa arrive by boat, escorted by two members of an Italian security force, at the southern Italian island of Lampedusa. More than 22,000 refugees, many fleeing political unrest in Tunisia and Libya, have arrived on the tiny island since January. Aid agencies and coastguards are attempting to discover the whereabouts of two boats carrying more than 400 illegal immigrants toward Lampedusa that set off from Libya almost two weeks ago carrying Eritreans and Somalians and have not been seen since — the last news was more than a week ago via a telephone call from both vessels to relatives in northern Europe. A UN spokesman said they had received reports one of the missing vessels may have sunk as a Libyan news channel reported the discovery of 60 bodies in the sea.
CNS photo/Stefano Rellandini, Reuters

Seattle auxiliary bishop
to head Yakima Diocese

WASHINGTON — Auxiliary Bishop Joseph J. Tyson of Seattle (above) will succeed Bishop Carlos A. Sevilla, who is retiring as head of the Diocese of Yakima, Wash. Bishop Sevilla is 75-years-old, the age at which canon law requires bishops to turn in their resignation. Bishop Tyson, 53, has been an auxiliary bishop of the Seattle Archdiocese since June 2005. Bishop Sevilla, a former auxiliary bishop of San Francisco in 1988, had headed the Yakima Diocese since 1996. Bishop Tyson’s installation Mass will be May 31 at Holy Family Church in Yakima.

Archbishop Vigneron gets new
Detroit auxiliary bishop

Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron of Detroit, former bishop of the Oakland Diocese, has a new auxiliary bishop. Father Arturo Cepeda (above), a native of Mexico who currently serves as rector of Assumption Seminary in San Antonio, is the new auxiliary bishop. He will become the 26th active Hispanic Catholic bishop in the U.S. when he is ordained bishop May 5.

Belgian bishop admits
abusing a second nephew

VATICAN CITY — A Belgian bishop forced to retire after admitting to years of sexual abuse of his nephew told Belgian television April 14 that he had molested another nephew and that it had all started “as a game.” Former Bruges Bishop Roger Vangheluwe, 74, said he did not consider himself a pedophile. Belgium’s bishops said they were “astounded” and “extremely shocked” that Bishop Vangheluwe “made light of and justified the crimes committed.”

Decline of marriage affects students’ values

WASHINGTON — The decline of traditional marriage in America continues to affect students’ education and the future welfare of the Catholic Church, said a University of Virginia professor at a symposium at The Catholic University of America. W. Bradford Wilcox, associate professor of sociology and director of the National Marriage Project, spoke April 12 at one of a series of events at a Catholic University symposium. Wilcox said universities need to do a better job of preparing students for marriage, “a vocation that goes right to the heart of the welfare and future of the Catholic Church.”

Wilmington Diocese cuts jobs to pay abuse costs

WILMINGTON, Del. — The Diocese of Wilmington will eliminate 19 full-time and three part-time positions as it cuts operating expenses and prepares to pay more than $77.4 million to survivors of sexual abuse by priests. The diocese announced the cuts in a letter from Bishop W. Francis Malooly accompanied by a list of positions that will be eliminated. Among the services that will be discontinued because of the layoffs are two run by Catholic Charities — parish social ministry and the adoption program.

Courage, not numbers, needed at universities

WASHINGTON — Presidents from Catholic universities around the world gathered together at The Catholic University of America April 12 for a round-table discussion on the idea of a Catholic university. Father Borys Gudziak, president of Ukrainian Catholic University, said universities should not always worry about statistics and numbers but “allow our intellect to create the framework.” He said his university, where there is a high rate of AIDS and alcoholism, builds upon the pillars of the courageous Eastern martyrs, service to the poor and the teaching methods of the faculty. He said the faculty must know how to love.

Virginia bans abortion coverage by insurance

RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia became the seventh state to bar abortion coverage from being offered by private insurance companies through the new state-run health insurance exchanges that were mandated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the sweeping health-reform law passed last year by Congress. While the state’s House of Delegates voted 61-36 for the ban, a deadlocked 20-20 Senate vote required a tiebreaking vote to be cast by Virginia’s lieutenant governor, Bill Bolling, April 6.

JP2 Cultural Center still looking for buyer

WASHINGTON — A Michigan-based order of women religious interested in purchasing the Pope John Paul II Cultural Center in Washington has announced it does not have the funds to do so, putting the multimillion-dollar facility back on the market. The center, which opened in 2001 with financial backing from the Detroit Archdiocese, has experienced financial difficulties throughout its history as it never attracted the number of visitors it expected.

Ambassador to Malta resigns; negative audit

WASHINGTON — A week after an inspector general’s report chided Ambassador Douglas Kmiec for his “unconventional approach to his role,” the U.S. representative to Malta submitted his resignation April 16. It came in a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that noted “my voice has been prevented from speaking; my pen has been enjoined from writing; and my actions have been confined to the ministerial (diplomatic),” not allowing him to touch on broader interfaith topics he saw as part of his portfolio.

Maryland man files abuse suit against priest

CHICAGO — A Maryland man filed a civil suit April 14 in U.S. District Court in Chicago claiming that a priest of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart sexually abused him over an eight-year period when he was a child in the 1980s. The alleged victim, now in his 40s, accused Father Philip DeRea, a popular chaplain on the car racing circuit, of abusing him and also named his religious order in the suit, accusing the order of “negligent supervision” of one of its members.

Promote rights, dignity of Gypsies, official says

VATICAN CITY — Centuries-old discrimination against Gypsies can be overcome with initiatives to encourage education and integration coupled with a desire to reach out to others, a Vatican official said. Archbishop Antonio Veglio, president of the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Travelers, said the Church has been working to help create the structures and the environment that will “change the minds of people within and outside the church” regarding nomadic peoples known as Gypsies.


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