WASHINGTON — Aamir Hussain, a Muslim student at Georgetown University in Washington, gets the importance of interfaith work. During a symposium at a chapel on campus, Hussain said he enjoyed working side by side with students of different faiths in service projects and participating in round-table discussions with them. He also said the experience had the unexpected bonus of strengthening his own faith. The sophomore government major was one of a few dozen students attending a ceremony marking the end of the university's participation in a national project called the President's Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge. It invited universities to develop one-year programs where students worked with local religious groups and other organizations to tackle specific community challenges. About 25 Catholic colleges and universities were among nearly 300 participating colleges.
Faith strength for fathers
WASHINGTON — The image of the American family is changing and increasingly that means a family doesn't include a father figure. Expectations of the American father are changing, too. Brian Caulfield, editor of the Knights of Columbus initiative Fathers for Good, believes a man's obligation to be a good father is a moral obligation. The changes seen in fatherhood and the role of fathers in many ways are related to a cultural trend that says men are not needed in a family, he said.
Spokane abuse settlement
WASHINGTON —The Diocese of Spokane, Washington, reached a broad settlement May 26 agreeing to pay $1.5 million in unresolved abuse claims, legal and mediation expenses and to replenish its future claims fund. The amount — significantly less than what had been projected — prevents the possible foreclosing of diocesan parishes and schools. The settlement will officially be filed with a bankruptcy court in Spokane in early June and is expected to be approved days later.
Cardinal's economic plan
WASHINGTON — German Cardinal Reinhard Marx called for a "social market economy" in the wake of the fiscal crisis that has gripped much of Europe over the past year. In a May 30 talk delivered at Georgetown University in Washington, Cardinal Marx, the archbishop of Munich and Freising, said the economy needed to move "beyond capitalism" in order to be more fair.
Pope appoints bishops
WASHINGTON — Pope Benedict XVI has named Bishop Samuel J. Aquila of Fargo, N.D., as the new archbishop of Denver and also named Bishop Richard J. Malone of Portland, Maine, to head the Diocese of Buffalo, N.Y. The pope also accepted the resignation of Bishop Edward U. Kmiec, who is 75, the age at which canon law requires bishops to submit their resignation to the pope. Archbishop Aquila, 61, succeeds Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, who was named to head the Philadelphia Archdiocese last July.
Obama stance a non-issue
WASHINGTON — A month after President Barack Obama said he has come to support same-sex marriage as a matter of civil rights, polls show the revelation has had little effect on people's voting plans. When weighed against concerns such as the economy, very few voters are likely to make their choice for president on the basis of the candidates' positions on same-sex marriage.
Brothers win in civil suit
GREEN BAY, Wis. — A jury May 21 sided with two brothers in a civil lawsuit filed in January 2008 against the Diocese of Green Bay. The lawsuit claimed fraud by the diocese based on plaintiffs Todd and Troy Merryfield's allegation that the diocese knew that then-priest John Feeney had a history of sexual molestation and was a danger to children.