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 September 17, 2012   •   VOL. 50, NO. 16   •   Oakland, CA
News in Brief

Tears for 9/11 moment
A woman sheds tears Sept. 11 as she and other relatives of the victims of 9/11 observe a moment of silence led by President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta at the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., to mark the 11th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the U.S. Nearly 3,000 people perished in New York, Washington and Shanksville, Pa., in the 2001 attacks.
Jason Reed/cns, Reuters

Catholic population
The majority of the world's Catholic population lives in the Americas and Europe, but the growth rate of Catholics over two decades has been strongest in Africa and Asia. In the 20 years between 1990 and 2010, the global Catholic population grew from 928.5 million to almost 1.2 billion, a 29 percent increase. Europe was the only region reporting a drop in the number of Catholics, and it was down less than 1 percent.

Archbishop Sheen museum
Byzantine-rite vestments and other items belonging to the late Archbishop Fulton Sheen are seen on display in the Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen Museum in Peoria, Ill., Sept. 9. That day hundreds gathered at the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception in Peoria for a Mass celebrating Pope Benedict XVI's declaration that Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen was "venerable."
Karen Callaway/cns

James Phalan

Phalan pictured in Rome

Holy Cross Father James Phalan, president of the Mariological Society of America and director of Family Rosary International, is pictured at a Marian conference in Rome Sept. 6. Father Phalan said that devotion to Mary "collapsed" in some parts of the United States after the Second Vatican Council even though council participants had upheld her critical place within the Catholic faith.

Former senator dies

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A funeral Mass was celebrated Sept. 10 at St. Juliana's Catholic Church in West Palm Beach for Philip D. Lewis, a former Florida state senator and past board chairman of Foundations and Donors Interested in Catholic Activities. Lewis, 82, died at his home in West Palm Beach Sept. 4. No cause of death was given. Lewis was active in FADICA for more than three decades and served as its chairman from 2002 to 2005.

Residence sold for $10M

PHILADELPHIA — St. Joseph's University will buy the archbishop of Philadelphia's residence for $10 million, the university announced Sept. 7. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia signed a letter of intent with St. Joseph's to acquire the 8.9-acre property and its three-story, 23,350-square-foot mansion that has been the home of Philadelphia's Catholic archbishops since 1935.

Advice for seminarians

WASHINGTON — In a letter to seminarians of the Archdiocese of Washington, Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl encouraged them to rely on authentic Catholic teaching in their preparation for the priesthood, so that they will be able to share the truth of the church's teachings with the people they will one day serve. He urged them to look to the Catechism of the Catholic Church as a sure guide on what the church teaches.

Stupak against mandate

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Department of Health and Human Services' mandate that would force many religious institutions to provide free contraceptives against their consciences is illegal, former Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., said Sept. 4 during a meeting of pro-life Democrats. During debate over the legislation that would become the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Stupak negotiated an executive order with the Obama administration that guaranteed the act would not violate the Hyde Amendment, which forbids federal funding for any abortion or abortion-related care. The HHS mandate violates that executive order, as well as the Hyde Amendment itself, Stupak believes.

Parties seek Latino aid

WASHINGTON — The conventions for the two major political parties in the United States have wrapped up but the fight for votes is nowhere near over. In an election that promises to be tight, what's clear is that both parties are emphasizing their respective support of Latinos in the United States. What's foremost in the minds of some is not the immediate effect of the Latino vote in the 2012 election but its impact beyond.

Florida martyrs' Mass

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — Father Agustin Ponce de Leon, a Florida-born Franciscan priest, has received long-overdue recognition, 307 years after he died rescuing Guale Indian converts from enemy Indians in a swampy marsh north of St. Augustine. Bishop Felipe J. Estevez of St. Augustine celebrated a memorial Mass Sept. 3 at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine to formally acknowledge the priest's heroic actions of Sept. 3, 1705.

Faith and football link

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Green Bay Packers fans who check out the new Packers Heritage Trail will discover a number of Catholic sites that have ties to the team's history. The trail, designed as a self-guided walking tour, features 22 commemorative plaques located within a two-mile radius of downtown Green Bay. Seventeen plaques are part of a city walk. Five others are a part of self-guided bike tours. One of the city's sites is St. Willebrord Church, known to many as the church where former Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi attended Mass.

Leaders meet

UNITED NATIONS — A delegation of 28 Congolese church leaders and civil society representatives met Sept. 5 with U.N. officials to press the international community to take seriously the Rwandan threat to Congolese national unity. The delegation, headed by Catholic Bishop Nicolas Djomo Lola, president of the Congolese bishops' conference, included representatives of the Anglican, Protestant, Baptist, Methodist, Church of Christ, Orthodox, Kimbanguist and Reveil churches, as well as the Salvation Army and the Islamic community.

Learn about exorcism

ANAHEIM — In addition to the usual teen and children's programs and the expected selection of workshops on such topics as the power of God and healing relationships, the 41st annual Catholic Renewal Convention sponsored by Southern California Renewal Communities offered a look into the reality of evil in the world today. But the conference workshops focusing on exorcism and deliverance ministry were a far cry from the sensationalistic Hollywood versions of exorcism that have hit the silver screen recently. "It's not all about high drama," said Father Gary Thomas, exorcist for the Diocese of San Jose and the subject of the book (and film of the same name) "The Rite."

Priest apologizes

NEW YORK — Father Benedict Groeschel, a Franciscan Friar of the Renewal who has long been a popular speaker and television personality, apologized Aug. 30 for interview comments he made that were published online two days earlier, saying that "in a lot of cases" the victim of child sexual abuse is "the seducer." Father Groeschel also had said priests who have committed abuse just one time should not go to jail.

Bishop Finn convicted

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Bishop Robert W. Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph was convicted Sept. 6 of one count of failing to report suspected child abuse and acquitted on another count in a brief bench trial. Jackson County Circuit Judge John M. Torrence issued the verdict and quickly set and suspended a sentence of two years' probation.

Chaplain saint candidate

WASHINGTON — On the 45th anniversary of a Navy chaplain's death amid enemy gunfire in Vietnam, the archbishop for the U.S. military services said the chaplain had learned to imitate the way of Jesus by going where he was needed. Maryknoll Father Vincent Capodanno's motivation was "much more than a series of regulations or military precision," said Archbishop Timothy M. Broglio in a Sept. 4 homily at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington.

— Catholic News Service

A Ukrainian Catholic Church synod
Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, major archbishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, processes in to celebrate the Divine Liturgy at Sts. Volodymyr and Olha Cathedral Sept. 9 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. At the end of the Divine Liturgy, Archbishop Shevchuk of Kiev-Halych, Ukraine, declared the worldwide Ukrainian Catholic Synod of Bishops officially opened.
David Lipnowski/cns

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