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Catholic Voice

 February 6, 2012   •   VOL. 50, NO. 3   •   Oakland, CA
News in Brief

Church in
snow-covered
Swiss village

Snow completely surrounds a church in this Jan. 23 photo taken above the village of Jenisberg near the mountain resort of Davos, Switzerland.
CNS photo/Arnd Wiegmann, Reuters\

ABOVE: Miss America
Miss Wisconsin, Laura Kaeppeler, poses at a news conference after being crowned Miss America 2012 at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas Jan. 14. The 23-year-old Catholic attends St. Therese Church in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and is a fourth-grade teacher at Kenosha’s St. Joseph Academy’s lower campus.
CNS photo/Steve Marcus, Reuters

LEFT: Our Lady of Lourdes
Our Lady of Lourdes is depicted in a modern painting by Stephen B. Whatley, an expressionist artist based in London. The feast of Our Lady of Lourdes is Feb. 11, marking Mary’s first appearance to St. Bernadette Soubirous in the small town in southwest France.
CNS photo/Stephen B Whatley

Detroit bishops blog about visit to Vatican

DETROIT — Detroit Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron and his four auxiliary bishops are the latest group of U.S. bishops to give Catholics back home an up-close look at their “ad limina” visit to the Vatican through blog postings. Bishop Vigneron was formerly Bishop of Oakland. Early in January, the Archdiocese of Detroit started a blog — http://aodonline.wordpress.com — to collect a “spiritual bouquet” for the intentions of Pope Benedict XVI.

Catholic organization promotes rosary


FORT WORTH, Texas — A new Catholic organization — www.knightsoftheholyrosary.com — is aiming to live and spread the message of Fatima through recitation of the rosary and the wearing of clothing and patches as an indirect way to evangelize. The Knights and Dames of the Holy Rosary seeks to promote Catholic faith and morals not only by the prayers requested by Our Lady of Fatima in 1917 but also by bearing public witness to their faith through the wearing of Knights and Dames clothing and patches.

Two women accused of stealing $1M each


WASHINGTON — Employees of the New York and Philadelphia archdioceses are accused of stealing $1 million each in church funds over the past decade. In New York, archdiocesan spokesman Joseph Zwilling said Jan. 30 that Anita Collins, who had worked for the archdiocese since 2003, allegedly stole about $1 million before she was fired Dec. 6. Collins used “a sophisticated fraud to manipulate the accounts payable system in the Department of Education Finance Office,” Zwilling said.

In Philadelphia, Anita Guzzardi, who was named chief financial officer of the archdiocese July 1, 2011, was terminated from employment later in July when alleged “financial accounting irregularities” were discovered. Although an investigation by the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office was continuing, sources said the amount involved is nearly $1 million. No criminal charges have been filed against Guzzardi.

Same-sex marriage issue comes up in states

WASHINGTON — The same-sex marriage issue will be facing lawmakers and voters in several states this year. Democratic-controlled legislatures in Washington state, Maryland and New Jersey are considering legislation that would legalize same-sex marriage, while Maine voters will vote on a same-sex marriage referendum in November. Voters in North Carolina and Minnesota will consider constitutional amendments defining marriage as between a man and a woman. In New Hampshire, the Republican-controlled legislature is gearing up to vote on a bill that could reverse that state’s same-sex marriage law.

Catholic Healthcare West no longer “Catholic”

SAN FRANCISCO — Catholic Healthcare West announced a restructuring Jan. 23 that will make it no longer an official ministry of the Catholic Church, while keeping it “rooted in the Catholic tradition.” Under the new governance structure, Dignity Health, as Catholic Healthcare West will now be known, will be a nonprofit organization under which its Catholic hospitals “will continue to be Catholic, directly sponsored by their founding congregations and adhering to the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services,” said the statement announcing the change.

Dolan: Natural law dictates all life sacred


NEW YORK — Natural law is a concept of objective truth, not religious preference, and reliance on natural law and human rights will move the culture and its laws in the direction of authentic respect for human life, Cardinal-designate Timothy M. Dolan of New York said in an address Jan. 24. Cardinal-designate Dolan, speaking on “Law & the Gospel of Life,” gave the inaugural talk in a lecture series sponsored by the Institute on Religion, Law and Lawyers’ Work at Jesuit-run Fordham University School of Law.

Altoona-Johnstown bishop eulogizes Paterno


ALTOONA, Pa. — Although Joe Paterno will be remembered as “a legend throughout our region and throughout our country,” Bishop Mark L. Bartchak said the iconic football coach will be best remembered in the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown as “a good Catholic, a family man and a friend to many.” Bishop Bartchak made his comments Jan. 22 at a news conference at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Altoona, prior to a prayer service celebrating Respect for Life. Paterno, 85, died that morning at Mount Nittany Medical Center in State College, just 10 weeks after the Nov. 18 announcement that he was suffering from lung cancer. That announcement came nine days after Paterno’s 61-year career at Penn State University was terminated in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.

Life, liberty at ‘core of our national character’


WASHINGTON — Americans “as a people are pro-life” because life and liberty “are intertwined and form the core of our national character,” House Speaker John Boehner told the crowd gathered on the National Mall Jan. 23 for the 39th annual March for Life. “God who gave us life gave us liberty,” said the Ohio Republican, who is a Catholic. He added that his pro-life stand isn’t political, “it’s just who I am.”

Language immersion seen as ‘win-win-win’

SEATTLE — Teaching half the school day in English and half in Spanish could be a boon for Catholic education in the United States, according to a Hispanic educator. Luis Ricardo Fraga, a professor of political science at the University of Washington and director of its Diversity Research Institute, said such a program, called “two-way immersion,” could provide a superior education, increase educational opportunities for Hispanic Catholics, increase enrollment and prevent school closures. Starting two-way immersion programs in Catholic schools would be a “win-win-win,” Fraga said.

New foreign policy threat to religious liberty


QUINCY, Mass. — Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s announcement in December that respect for gay rights is now a factor in the Obama administration’s foreign policy decisions is on a collision course with religious freedom, said an official with the Becket Fund. “This administration clearly wants to elevate certain rights over others. And unfortunately it seems that religious freedom is never prioritized in their foreign policy as it should be,” Tina Ramirez told The Anchor, newspaper of the Fall River Diocese. Ramirez is director of government and international relations for the Becket Fund, which seeks to protect the free expression of all faiths.

Bishops to use Olympics to renew interest in faith

MANCHESTER, England — British bishops plan to use the 2012 London Olympic Games to renew interest in the Catholic faith, with initiatives ranging from fighting human trafficking and homelessness to promoting youth ministry and ecumenical dialogue. The Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales is also preparing resources for liturgies and holy hours and will post them on the Internet before the July 27-Aug. 12 games.

After independence, South Sudan struggling


CAPE TOWN, South Africa — The Church in South Sudan and its partners in the U.S. are frustrated that their efforts to build peace in the infant country are threatened, but they have not given up, Catholic officials said. A serious political deadlock between South Sudan and its northern neighbor, Sudan, over the split of oil revenues “could lead to a declaration of war,” said Auxiliary Bishop Santo Loku Pio Doggale of Juba, capital of South Sudan.

 

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