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May 20, 2013   •   VOL. 51, NO. 10   •   Oakland, CA
News in Brief

Pro-life march in Rome
U.S. Cardinal Raymond L. Burke marches with pro-life demonstrators during the third annual national March for Life in Rome May 12. Many of the marchers had reached the end of the route by 11:30 a.m., when Pope Francis acknowledged them before praying the "Regina Coeli" in St. Peter's Square, The pope called on the marchers to "keep the attention of everyone on the important issue of respect for human life from the moment of conception." After leaving the square, Pope Francis rode in the popemobile down Via della Conciliazione, where he was met by many participants in the march.
Robert Duncan/cns

Jesuit sainthood
A detail from an illustration of Jesuit Father Matteo Ricci is seen at the Beijing Center for Chinese Studies in this 2007 file photo. The sainthood cause of the 17th-century missionary to China has moved to the Vatican after the diocesan phase of the sainthood process closed May 10. Father Ricci was born in Macerata, Italy, in 1552 and died in Beijing May 11, 1610.
Nancy Wiechec/cns

Auto blessing
A priest sprinkles holy water on a car during the "Auto-sacrum" blessing in front of a church in Podkowa Lesna, Poland, May 5. "Auto-sacrum" was first practiced in the 1930s and has remained a tradition in which vehicles are blessed on the first Sunday of May.
Kacper Pempel/Reuters, cns

Bishop remembered

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Catholics from Harrisburg, Philadelphia and beyond filled Holy Name of Jesus Church to offer the ultimate prayer for Bishop Joseph P. McFadden, who died unexpectedly of a heart attack May 2 while in Philadelphia to attend a meeting of the state's bishops. A congregation of nearly 2,000 mourners filled the pews and the extra chairs set up for his funeral Mass in Harrisburg May 8.

Abortionist convicted

PHILADELPHIA — On May 13, a Philadelphia jury found Dr. Kermit Gosnell guilty of murder in the deaths of three babies born alive during abortions and acquitted him of a fourth similar charge. He also was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the death by a drug overdose of a patient who had an abortion. Gosnell, 72, was accused of snipping the spines of babies born alive during illegal late-term abortions.

Nun guilty after break-in

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — An 83-year-old woman religious and two other peace activists were found guilty May 8 in a federal court in Knoxville of "intending to harm national security" by breaking into the nuclear weapon-producing facility and defacing its walls last summer. The group, Sister Megan Rice, a member of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus from Washington; Michael Walli, also from Washington, and Greg Boertje-Obed from Duluth, Minn., will be sentenced Sept. 23.

University presidents retire

WASHINGTON — Priest-presidents of Catholic universities in New York and Missouri announced their resignations a day apart. Vincentian Father Donald J. Harrington announced his resignation May 3 as the president of St. John's University in Jamaica, N.Y. He had been president at St. John's for 24 years. A day earlier, Jesuit Father Lawrence Biondi said he would resign as president of St. Louis University after 25 years in the position once a successor is found.

Bishop apologizes

WORCESTER, Mass. — Bishop Robert J. McManus of Worcester pleaded not guilty May 7 at a Wakefield, R.I., courthouse to charges of drunken driving and leaving the scene of an accident. . In a May 6 statement, the bishop said he made a "terrible error of judgment." According to the Boston Globe, the bishop was released on personal recognizance after his attorney, Bill Murphy, told 4th Division District Court Judge Walter Gorman that the bishop waived his right to an extradition hearing. Bishop McManus is due back in court May 28. The bishop was arrested May 4 in Narragansett, R.I., after allegedly being involved in a collision and driving away from the scene.

Detroit to sell buildings

DETROIT — The Archdiocese of Detroit announced it has sold four buildings in or close to downtown Detroit and will relocate its administrative offices sometime next year to another building downtown where it will be the anchor tenant. Proceeds from the sales will net the archdiocese $3.2 million. The archdiocese added the funds will be used for repairs and maintenance on other properties.

Fundraising tops goal

CLEVELAND — Despite a grueling economy and unflinching unemployment rate, parishioners in the Cleveland Diocese contributed more than $170 million to a fundraising campaign benefitting Catholic schools and diocesan ministries. Cleveland Bishop Richard G. Lennon praised parishioners for contributing to the three-year Rooted in Faith Forward in Hope campaign and helping the diocese surpass the original $125 million goal.

Comic book on wage theft

WASHINGTON — Worker advocates have turned to a new tool to educate low-wage employees about wage theft. Welcome the comic book. The first issue of "Wage Theft: Crime & Justice," published by Chicago-based Interfaith Worker Justice, may not be coveted by comic book collectors, but clients at worker centers around the country are poring over the bilingual book to learn how best to regain wages owed to them by deceitful employers.

Obama won't delay case

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration told a federal appellate court May 3 that it would not seek to block an injunction the court had granted in November that had allowed a Christian book publisher to not comply with the contraceptive-coverage mandate of the federal Department of Health and Human Services. Tyndale House Publishers, based in Carol Stream, Ill., won the injunction Nov. 16 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Tyndale, which has about 260 employees, did not meet the "religious exemption" clause under the proposed rules governing the HHS mandate.

Catholics must be 'fearless'

WASHINGTON — In dealing with several serious issues confronting the church and society today, "the only question is how you respond, not whether you should," said Helen Alvare at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast, held May 9 in Washington. The response Alvare suggested to her audience: "As our leader (Pope Francis) is fearless, let us be fearless leaders." Alvare, an associate professor at the George Mason University School of Law in Arlington, Va., a suburb of Washington, said Christians can't merely find issues on which to work. "Rather, they find us," she added.

Abuse allegations drop

WASHINGTON — The annual audit of diocesan compliance with the U.S. Catholic Church's "Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People" found a drop in the number of allegations, number of victims and number of offenders reported in 2012. Georgetown University-based Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, which gathered data for the report, found "the fewest allegations and victims reported since the data collection for the annual reports began in 2004." Most allegations reported last year were from the 1970s and 1980s with many of the alleged offenders already deceased or removed from active ministry.

Western strategy in Syria

BEIRUT — The Syriac Catholic patriarch said events in Syria were the result of Western nations carrying out a geopolitical strategy "to split Syria and other countries" in the Middle East. "It's not a question of promoting democracy or pluralism as the West wants us to understand of its policies. This is a lie, this is hypocrisy," Syriac Patriarch Ignatius Joseph III Younan said. Western nations did not heed warnings and so "bear responsibility for what is happening in Syria."

Cardinal entrusts Our Lady

FATIMA, Portugal — Entrusting Pope Francis' pontificate to Our Lady of Fatima, Cardinal Jose da Cruz Policarpo of Lisbon, Portugal, asked Mary to give the pope courage and strength, particularly as he moves to renew and reform the Catholic Church. Cardinal Policarpo recited a prayer, which he wrote himself, on May 13, the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, at the end of a Mass concluding a major international pilgrimage to Fatima for the feast day marking the 96th anniversary of the apparition of Mary to three children.

Mary beloved

MEXICO CITY — May is the month of Mary, who is celebrated the length of Latin America as someone more than the mother of God — or even a religious figure. Mary is associated with everything from national identity in Mexico to the mother earth in Chile to the national patroness of many of the countries in between. Mary has inspired independence and social justice movements, endured atheist and anti-clerical regimes and been embraced by the indigenous populations and the elites alike.

— Catholic News Service


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