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 November 7, 2011   •   VOL. 49, NO. 19   •   Oakland, CA
News in Brief

Franciscans look over Assisi
Franciscans look out from a terrace above the site of the 25th interfaith peace meeting outside the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi, Italy, Oct. 27. Pope Benedict XVI, with 300 religious leaders, said people who are suspicious of religion cannot be blamed for questioning God’s existence when they see believers use religion to justify violence.
CNS photo/Paul Haring

Sister dies
Sister Richardis Durant died Oct. 20 at Mount St. Francis in Colorado Springs, Colo., the motherhouse for the Western province of the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration. Sister Durant, who entered the convent in the era of World War I and Prohibition, died just six days shy of her 106th birthday.

Religious liberty
Bishop William C. Lori of Bridgeport, Conn., addresses a subcommittee of the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington Oct. 26. Speaking on behalf of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, he told U.S. representatives the government has a fundamental obligation to protect religious liberty.

New nuncio
Italian Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, 70, the new apostolic nuncio to the United States, is pictured at the Vatican Oct. 20. He served for two years as secretary-general of the commission governing Vatican City and succeeds the late Archbishop Pietro Sambi. Being a nuncio, he said, is “a call to know this people, this country and come to love them.”

All Saints Day visit
Members of the Little Sisters of the Poor visit the tombstone of a recently deceased nun on All Saints Day in the cemetery of San Lorenzo in Ronda, near the southern Spanish city of Malaga, Nov. 1. Catholics mark All Saints Day by visiting cemeteries and graves of deceased relatives and friends.
CNS photo/Jon Nazca, Reuters

Judge won’t evict protesters from church

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Saying that he “cannot conclude that the condition of the steeple presents an emergency such that immediate court intervention is necessary,” a Massachusetts Superior Court judge has denied a motion that would have evicted protesters from a former Catholic church in the Diocese of Springfield. Ruling on an Oct. 4 motion filed by the diocese, Judge C. Jeffrey Kinder decided that a preliminary injunction that would have allowed law enforcement officials to remove occupiers protesting the closure of Mater Dolorosa Church in Holyoke so that repairs could be made to its damaged steeple was not necessary.

Court says roadside crosses unconstitutional

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court declined to take up a case from Utah in which a federal appeals court ruled it unconstitutional to allow memorial crosses on state land along highways. By an 8-1 vote, the court decided Oct. 31 not to take the case in which the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said that the memorial crosses were unconstitutional because reasonable observers could conclude their presence along state highways meant the markers were a government endorsement of Christianity.

Maryknoll: Gift U.S. has given to world

NEW YORK — Maryknoll is the gift of mission that the Church in America gave to the universal Church, and will continue to give, Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick told more than 1,800 participants at a festive Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral Oct. 30. The Mass celebrated the centennial of the group formally known as the Catholic Foreign Mission Society of America.

University says it doesn’t mistreat Muslim students

WASHINGTON — The president of The Catholic University of America has disputed a complaint filed with the District of Columbia’s Office of Human Rights over the ability of Muslim students to engage in worship at the university. “That charge is completely without foundation,” declared president John Garvey in a statement sent to all students, faculty and staff Oct. 28.

Catholics urged to persist in poverty fight

JAMAICA, N.Y. — Catholics have a responsibility to impel business, government and civil society to eradicate poverty by adopting policies that respect human dignity, promote the common good, protect human rights and address systemic ills, said speakers at an Oct. 22 program at St. John’s University.

Sister Patricia Chappell to lead Pax Christi USA

WASHINGTON — Helping people understand how the sin of racism undermines society’s ability to overcome violence and economic injustice is the top priority for Sister Patricia Chappell, a member of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, Connecticut province, as the new executive director of Pax Christi USA.

Ordination, installation of new Savannah bishop

SAVANNAH, Ga. — With reverence, high ceremony, singing, prayer and applause, Conventual Franciscan friar Gregory John Hartmayer was ordained and installed as the 14th bishop of Savannah. The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Savannah was filled to capacity for the two-and-a-half-hour Mass Oct. 18, attended by parishioners from across the diocese and people from every period of Bishop Hartmayer’s life — family, hometown friends, fellow Franciscans and former parishioners.

Catechism immunizes voters against ‘spin’

NEW YORK — Catholic voters who seek objective facts, study issues carefully and consider the teachings of the Church are well-equipped to weather the storms of negativity and partisan sniping associated with the upcoming elections, according to panelists at an Oct. 18 conference on “Keeping the Faith in a Season of Spin.” Speakers at the program at Jesuit-run Fordham University offered observations on the role of faith and principles for both candidates and voters.

Pittsburgh prosecutor says accusation invalid

PITTSBURGH — Beaver County District Attorney Anthony Berosh said he found no basis “in law or fact” to sustain allegations made by a former student that Pittsburgh Bishop David A. Zubik sexually assaulted him while he was vice principal of Quigley Catholic High School in Baden in the 1980s. Berosh held a news conference Oct. 5, a few hours after Bishop Zubik at a news conference of his own denied the accusation made on a website that he had sexually assaulted the student.

Monarchs will be able to marry Catholics

MANCHESTER, England — The law that bans a British monarch from marrying a Catholic is to be lifted after more than 300 years. The reforms were announced following the unanimous agreement of the 16 nations that have Queen Elizabeth II as their constitutional head of state. But they will not include the repeal of a Catholic becoming monarch because allegiance to the pope might conflict with the sovereign’s role as the supreme governor of the Church of England.

Father Pavone seeks mediation with bishop

WASHINGTON — Saying that communication has broken down between Bishop Patrick J. Zurek of Amarillo, Texas, and himself, pro-life activist Father Frank Pavone is seeking mediation to resolve differences stemming from questions over the financial operations of Priests for Life.

Bishop Finn, diocese plead not guilty

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Bishop Robert W. Finn and the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, which he heads, entered pleas of not guilty to misdemeanor charges of failure to report child abuse. The charges, brought by Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker in relation to the diocese’s handling of the case of Father Shawn Ratigan, were acknowledged in an Oct. 14 statement on the diocesan website.

— Catholic News Service


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