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Catholic Voice

 April 22, 2013   •   VOL. 51, NO. 8   •   Oakland, CA
News in Brief

Today, Brazil hosts the largest population of Catholics over any other country, with Mexico following close behind.
In 1910, France surpassed all countries in the number of Catholics.
All: Catholic
news service

Demographic shifts:
Europe no longer Church's center


DOXFORD, England — The election of Pope Francis, an Argentine, to lead the world's 1.2 billion Catholics confirms what observers have long known: Vast demographic shifts in the Catholic population are reconfiguring the face of the church and shifting the institution's center from its historic European heartland. What that means for the church remains unknown, but Europeans who have long viewed themselves as Catholicism's traditional guardians are likely to find they will have to share that role with others.

"Although the bishop of Rome is its head, the church's center is no longer in Europe, and the presence of an Argentine pontiff expresses the new situation," said Jesuit Father Paul Zulehner, retired professor of pastoral theology at the University of Vienna and one of Austria's leading social scientists.

"With many Catholics already coming here from other parts of the world, it looks as if we'll be learning from the church's peripheries in the future, as much as from its center," the priest said. Europeans made up more than half of the 115 cardinals who elected Pope Francis, with 28 from Italy alone. European cardinals were prominent among those mentioned as top papal candidates.





'Shepherd in combat boots'

U.S. Army chaplain Father Emil Joseph Kapaun, who died May 23, 1951, in a North Korean prisoner of war camp, is pictured celebrating Mass from the hood of a jeep Oct. 7, 1950, in South Korea. He was captured about a month later. He helped his fellow prisoners of war keep a sense of hope, and was honored posthumously with the Medal of Honor, the highest military honor, in an April 11 White House ceremony. President Barack Obama told multiple stories of the "shepherd in combat boots" from Kansas who voluntarily stayed behind with the wounded.

States restrict abortions

Kansas and Virginia have joined the growing list of states that this year have passed new restrictions on abortion. Kansas lawmakers passed a bill declaring that life begins "at fertilization" and bans sex-selection abortions. In Virginia, the state's Board of Health gave its approval by an 11-2 vote April 12 on new regulations for abortion clinics. Among the new regulations are mandatory state inspection of clinics, and architectural requirements to match those of newly constructed hospitals.

Mother Maria Theresia Bonzel

Way set for beatification

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Mother Maria Theresia Bonzel, foundress of the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration, will be beatified Nov. 10 in Paderborn, Germany, according to the order's Colorado Springs motherhouse. The announcement follows the Vatican's recognition of a miracle in the healing of 4-year-old Luke Burgie attributed to her intercession that occurred in Colorado Springs nearly 15 years ago. Doctors could not explain his recovery.

Anniversary of famed letter

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Fifty years ago, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. took a group of white Alabama clergymen to task for suggesting he find ways, other than demonstrations and protests, to seek racial equality. The civil rights leader did not mince words telling the group that included Protestant pastors, a rabbi and a Catholic bishop — Auxiliary Bishop Joseph A. Durick of what was then the Diocese of Mobile-Birmingham — that he was "disappointed with the church." In their public letter to Rev. King, published in an April 13, 1963, newspaper, the religious leaders urged him to negotiate and wait for court actions and described the civil rights demonstrations in Birmingham as "unwise and untimely."

Roger Ebert

Film critic dies

Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic Roger Ebert, who was raised Catholic, died April 4 at age 70 in Chicago. Ebert had been dealing with a series of health struggles since being diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer in 2002.

Immigration reform push

WASHINGTON — At a massive rally on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol April 10, the underlying demand — comprehensive immigration reform — came with different primary interests for different people. A look at the range of issues underlying the effort to produce a bill that can pass in both the Democratic-controlled Senate and the Republican-controlled House helps explain why it's taking so long for a bipartisan Senate panel to produce a bill, reported to be 1,500 pages long.

Bishops change

WASHINGTON — Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Archbishop Jerome G. Hanus of the Archdiocese of Dubuque, Iowa, and named Bishop Michael O. Jackels of Wichita, Kan., as his successor. The pope also appointed Msgr. John Folda, a seminary rector in Nebraska, to be the bishop of Fargo, N.D. He succeeds Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila, who was named to head the Denver Archdiocese in May 2012.

Unsuitable for ministry

PHILADELPHIA — Three suspended priests of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia have been deemed unsuitable to return to ministry, the archdiocese announced April 7. Two of them, Fathers Joseph J. Gallagher and Mark S. Gaspar, had been placed on administrative leave by the archdiocese since 2011 after being named in the Philadelphia grand jury report on sexual abuse of minors by clergy. A third priest was placed on leave but not as a result of the grand jury report.

New school funding

CHICAGO — The Archdiocese of Chicago's strategic plan to keep its Catholic schools vital and viable emphasizes new management strategies, the need to find new funding and a strong focus on Catholic identity and excellent academics. The plan highlights an issue facing Catholic schools nationwide: funding. It calls for a capital campaign to establish a scholarship fund and raise money for capital needs and to maintain efforts to secure some public funding for Catholic education. It also stresses the need for increased partnerships with organizations that have supported Catholic schools, such as the Big Shoulders Fund, a Chicago foundation whose mission is to help Catholic schools in the neediest areas of Chicago.

Cardinal Lorenzo Antonetti

Cardinal Antonetti dies

VATICAN CITY — Italian Cardinal Lorenzo Antonetti, who died April 10 at the age of 90, dedicated many years as a "diligent colleague" at the Holy See," Pope Francis said. The cardinal had spent more than 35 years at the service of the Vatican as a diplomat and a financial manager, and he'd been the papal delegate for the basilicas of St. Francis and St. Mary of the Angels in Assisi, Italy.

Sainthood candidate

LA CROSSE, Wis. — The sainthood cause for Father Joseph Walijewski, a La Crosse diocesan priest who established a Bolivia parish and a Peru orphanage on behalf of the diocese, has been officially opened. Known affectionately as "Father Joe," the priest established two missionary foundations that are sponsored by the diocese: Holy Cross Parish of Santa Cruz in Bolivia and Casa Hogar Juan Pablo II orphanage in Lurin, Peru.

— Catholic News Service

 

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