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June 25, 2012   •   VOL. 50, NO. 11   •   Oakland, CA
News in Brief

Franciscan Sister Pat Farrell, right, president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, and St. Joseph Sister Janet Mock, left, the organization's executive director.
Giancarlo Giuliani, Catholic Press/cns

LCWR officials say meeting was open, but difficult

DSILVER SPRING, Md. — Top officials of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious said their meeting at the Vatican in mid-June "was difficult because of the differing perspectives" they and the leaders of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith have.

Franciscan Sister Pat Farrell, LCWR president, and St. Joseph Sister Janet Mock, executive director, met with Cardinal William J. Levada, prefect of the doctrinal congregation, and with Archbishop J. Peter Sartain of Seattle June 12 to talk about the Vatican's ordered reform of the LCWR.

The two officers returned to the United States and, on June 15, briefed the board members of LCWR, a Vatican-recognized umbrella group that claims about 1,500 leaders of U.S. women's communities as members and represents about 80 percent of the country's 57,000 women religious.

In a statement posted on the LCWR website June 18 and later released to the media, the group said: "While the LCWR officers reported that they were able to express their concerns during the (Vatican) meeting with openness and honesty, they acknowledged that the meeting was difficult because of the differing perspectives the CDF officials and the LCWR representatives hold on the matters raised in the report" about the LCWR released by the Vatican in April.

The report, a doctrinal assessment of LCWR programs and publications, was designed to assist the organization "by promoting a vision of ecclesial communion founded on faith in Jesus Christ and the teachings of the church as faithfully taught through the ages under the guidance of the magisterium," the Vatican said in a statement.

The doctrinal assessment had said a major reform of the LCWR was needed to ensure its fidelity to Catholic teaching in areas including abortion, euthanasia, women's ordination and homosexuality.

Support for new policy halting some deportations

A demonstrator in Los Angeles May 1 carries a sign that reads, "Legalization, yes. Deportation, no."
Jason Redmond, Reuters/cns
WASHINGTON — "Si, se pudo," chanted ecstatic supporters of President Barack Obama's newly announced policy halting deportations of young adults who are living in the United States illegally and were brought to this country when they were minors.

The chant, roughly translating as "Yes, we could," is a sign of success after years of "Yes, we can." It would break out between speakers' comments at an impromptu rally held outside the White House June 15. One group, Casa de Maryland, helped organize the gathering that grew as the afternoon wore on.
Earlier in the day Obama released his new policy, modeled after the proposed DREAM Act, the acronym for Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors. The legislation has bipartisan support but has long languished in Congress.

The policy change will affect people who complete high school or get a GED, or serve in the military. Eligible applicants must be those who are between the ages of 15 and 30, who arrived in the U.S. by the age of 16 and have been here at least five years.

Catechism goes online

WASHINGTON — The Catechism of the Catholic Church now has more of a presence in the increasingly popular world of e-books. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has made the catechism available as a browser-based e-book at www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/what-we-believe/catechism/catechism-of-the-catholic-church/index.cfm. The catechism is a compendium of Catholic beliefs structured around the four pillars of faith: creed, sacraments, commandments and prayer.

Casket restrictions illegal

NEW ORLEANS — An attorney for the Benedictine monks of St. Joseph Abbey in Covington argued before a three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals June 7 that a 1932 Louisiana law requiring anyone selling a casket to be a licensed funeral director is unconstitutional and has no rationale other than "pure economic protectionism." The monks, who make about 30 cypress caskets a month at their St. Joseph Abbey Woodworks, received a favorable ruling last year from U.S. District Court Judge Stanwood Duval, who struck down the Louisiana law, saying it created an unfair industry monopoly. But the Louisiana State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors, representing the state's licensed funeral homes, appealed the decision, saying the law protected consumers by ensuring that any caskets sold were the right size to fit into Louisiana's oddly shaped, above-ground crypts.

Haiti reconstruction slow

WASHINGTON — While it has taken a while, reconstruction of Catholic churches and schools in Haiti following the country's devastating January 2010 earthquake has started moving forward. The first $3.1 million in grants under the Partnership for Church Reconstruction in Haiti, or PROCHE, have been made. Another round of grants worth more than $3 million was expected to be approved June 11. Father Juan Molina, director of the U.S. bishops' Office for the Church in Latin America, explained that the process under PROCHE is deliberate by design to assure that proper construction codes and engineering practices are followed.

Association offers support

ST. LEO, Fla. — The fledgling Association of U.S. Catholic Priests was formed to offer a national support group not before available to many priests and to promote "fulfilling the confirmed agenda" of the Second Vatican Council, according to Father David Cooper. "Vatican II said dialogue is at the heart of the church. Our greatest concern is, 'How do we move forward?'" explained the priest, who is the association's chairman. He and 26 fellow priests, mostly from the Midwest, met and founded the organization at St. Mary of the Lake University in Mundelein, Ill., Aug. 27, 2011.

Youths encouraged on Web

DUBLIN — Young Catholics should be present on the Web as witnesses to their peers who are searching for hope, said Auxiliary Bishop Frank J. Caggiano of Brooklyn. Addressing hundreds of young Irish Catholics and international pilgrims at the International Eucharistic Congress June 16, Bishop Caggiano said, "Your generation is the first to live comfortably in the virtual, electronic world."

Report criticized

DUBLIN — Four Irish archbishops said they told the Vatican that a report on an apostolic visitation to the Pontifical Irish College in Rome contained factual errors. The archbishops told The Irish Times newspaper that an initial report on the visitation, given to them by the Vatican, "contained some serious errors of fact, including named individuals. Attentive to the importance of applying due process, and respecting the rights of those named in this initial report, the trustees made a detailed and considered response to the Holy See."

Reconciliation with SSPX

VATICAN CITY — Cardinal Raymond L. Burke, a senior Vatican official, voiced optimism about reconciliation talks with the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X, while acknowledging the longer-term challenge of bringing the breakaway group under papal leadership.

— Catholic News Service



50th International Eucharistic Congress
Young people hold a Vatican flag during the closing Mass of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress in Dublin's Croke Park June 17. The weeklong 50th IEC began June 10, and is Ireland's largest religious event since Pope John Paul II visited in 1979. The celebration of faith offers a lively mixture of prayer, reflection and liturgy with participation from some of the leading voices in the Catholic world. .
John Mc Elroy/cns

New cathedral
Father Christopher H. Smith, episcopal vicar of Christ Cathedral in Garden Grove, poses outside the cathedral in late March. The Diocese of Orange acquired the former Crystal Cathedral campus in February and announced June 9 it is renaming it Christ Cathedral. The Crystal Cathedral was founded by televangelist Rev. Robert Schuller, who led its popular nationally broadcast TV program "Hour of Power." The cathedral and its nearly 34-acre campus was sold to the diocese for $57.5 million earlier this year.
Rick Belcher, Diocese of Orange/cns

Taizé pilgrimage
Sally Cocjin, a senior at DePaul University, holds a sign at the beginning of the first night of a three-day ecumenical Taizé prayer pilgrimage at the university in Chicago May 25. DePaul hosted the international gathering of young adults over Memorial Day weekend for the Taizé community's "Pilgrimage of Trust on Earth." Named for the site of its founding, Taizé is an ecumenical monastic order principally of Protestants and Catholics devoted to peace through prayer and meditation.
Karen Callaway, Catholic New World/cns

 

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