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 March 23, 2015   •   VOL. 53, NO. 6   •   Oakland, CA
News in Brief

Abbey to house refugees
Beuerberg Abbey in Beuerberg, Germany, founded in 1121, as seen on Jan. 9. The Archdioceses of Munich and Freising have worked a deal to house up to 60 refugees from Syria, Iraq, Nigeria, Afghanistan and other conflict zones.
Anian Christoph Wimmer/CNS

New leaders' Bay Area ties
WASHINGTON Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, apostolic nuncio to the United States, announced three new appointments made by Pope Francis: Auxiliary Bishop Robert W. McElroy of San Francisco, above left, has been named to head the Diocese of San Diego; Auxiliary Bishop Thomas A. Daly of San Jose, above center, will head the Diocese of Spokane, Washington, and Conventual Franciscan Father John Stowe, above left, will be bishop of Lexington, Kentucky. Bishop McElroy, 61, is a native of San Francisco who has spent most of his life in the Bay Area. He has been an auxiliary bishop since 2010. He succeeds Bishop Cirilo B. Flores, who died Sept. 6, 2014. Earlier Bishop McElroy had been pastor of St. Gregory Parish in San Mateo for 14 years. Before that he was vicar general for the San Francisco Archdiocese, from 1995 to 1997. He was named a monsignor in 1996. Bishop Daly, 54, has been an auxiliary of the San Jose Diocese since 2011. Bishop-designate Stowe is a vicar provincial for his community and rector of the Basilica and National Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation in Carey, Ohio. Bishop Daly was born April 30, 1960, in San Francisco. He graduated with a bachelor's degree from the University of San Francisco in 1982; a master's degree in divinity from St. Patrick's Seminary in Menlo Park in 1987; and a second master's degree, this time in education, from Boston College in 1996. He was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of San Francisco in 1987. After ordination, he served in various capacities, including parochial vicar, teacher, campus minister and chaplain, vocations director and president of Marin Catholic High School in 2003, serving in both capacities until Pope Benedict XVI named him auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of San Jose in 2011. Bishop-designate Stowe was born April 15, 1966, in Amherst, Ohio. He earned a bachelor's degree from St. Louis University in 1990; a master's degree in divinity from Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, in 1993; and a licentiate in sacred theology from Jesuit School of Theology in 1995. He has served mainly in Texas and Ohio.

Cemetery fund at risk
CHICAGO — The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago ruled March 9 that it would not violate the free exercise of religion to consider the Milwaukee Archdiocese's cemetery trust fund in its Chapter 11 reorganization proceedings. The court overturned a July 29, 2013, ruling by Judge Rudolph Randa of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. Randa said that applying the U.S. Bankruptcy Code to $55 million transferred from the archdiocese's general accounts to a trust earmarked for cemetery maintenance would violate Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki's religious freedom rights as trustee for the cemetery trust. He cited the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, better known as RFRA, and the First Amendment's free exercise of religion clause.

Abortions higher for rich
WASHINGTON — A recent study released by the Brookings Institution in Washington finds that single women whose income is 400 percent of the federal poverty line or higher are nearly four times as likely to opt for an abortion when faced with an unplanned pregnancy. The findings contradict earlier statements by the Guttmacher Institute, the research arm of Planned Parenthood, saying that women with family incomes at or above 200 percent of the poverty line "have a rate of nine abortions per 1,000, which is about half the national rate."

90% favorable rating
WASHINGTON — Two years after he was elected pope, Pope Francis' popularity rating among U.S. Catholics is at 90 percent, surpassing Pope Benedict XVI's best-ever popularity, and rivaling that of St. John Paul II. Pope Francis, who is scheduled to visit Washington, New York and Philadelphia in September, garnered a "very favorable" view from 57 percent of U.S. Catholics, and "mostly favorable" from another 33 percent.

Aid for Ukraine's poor
NEW HAVEN, Conn. — The Knights of Columbus is providing $400,000 to relief programs sponsored by the Catholic Church in Ukraine. The violent conflict in Ukraine has created "an enormous humanitarian disaster in the freezing winter months," the fraternal organization said in announcing the aid. Gifts by the Knights of $200,000 each to the Eastern- and Latin-rite Catholic communities of Ukraine are being used for humanitarian relief, including projects that feed and aid homeless children and refugees living on the streets of the capital city of Kiev, it said.

Cardinal Egan, 82, dies
NEW YORK — Cardinal Edward M. Egan, who retired as archbishop of New York in 2009, died March 5. The cause of death was cardiac arrest. He was 82. Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who succeeded Egan, said in a statement that Cardinal Egan "had a peaceful death, passing away right after lunch." Pope Francis offered his condolences "with gratitude for his years of episcopal ministry among Christ's flock in Bridgeport (Connecticut) and New York, his distinguished service to the Apostolic See and his expert contribution to the revision of the church's law in the years following the Second Vatican Council."

CRS rejects assertions
WASHINGTON — Catholic Relief Services, the U.S. bishops' overseas relief and development agency, called assertions that it had supplied birth control in Kenya "misleading, exaggerated and untrue." A report released March 3 by the Population Research Institute and the Lepanto Institute contends CRS implemented a federal President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief program, Healthy Choices 2 for older teenagers, which included the distribution of condoms and contraceptives, and that CRS conspired with the federal government to cover up its involvement. "CRS' implementing partners used two out of the four sections (in the Healthy Choices 2 curriculum) — those two which were appropriate and in accordance with church and CRS doctrine — and did not use the other sections, as they were deemed inappropriate," said a CRS statement issued March 3 in response to the report.

Fertile ground for priests

SALINA, Kan. — Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York says one of the virtues of rural life is the number of priests who come from country parishes. The Diocese of Salina would seem to confirm that. Of its 53 active and retired diocesan priests, 26 grew up in a parish of fewer than 150 families. Of the current seminarian class of 14 men, four are from rural parishes. Several priests who grew up in rural parishes all spoke to The Register, Salina's diocesan newspaper, of feeling a closeness to the land, nature and to God that, in turn, opened their hearts to the priesthood.

Cardinal Tagle heads CBF

ROME — Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila, Philippines, has been named the new president of the Catholic Biblical Federation. While Cardinal Tagle was elected unanimously as head of the federation at an Oct. 24-25 meeting in Rome of its executive committee, Pope Francis confirmed his election March 5. He will assume his office at the federation's plenary assembly, to take place June 18-23 in Nemi, Italy. Cardinal Tagle will succeed Italian Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia.

Mass for beatification
SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador — Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero will be beatified in San Salvador May 23, said Italian Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, the postulator or chief promoter of the archbishop's sainthood cause. The ceremony, which moves the murdered archbishop a step closer to sainthood, will be in Plaza Divino Salvador del Mundo.)

— Catholic News Service


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