April 20, 2015 • VOL. 53, NO. 8 • Oakland,
Object to death penalty
AUGUSTA, Ga. - U.S. golfer Jordan Spieth smiles April 12 as he wears his champion green jacket on the putting green at the Augusta National Golf Course in Georgia after winning the Masters golf tournament.
The 21-year-old golfer attended St. Monica's Catholic School in Dallas and graduated in 2011 from Jesuit College Prep in Dallas.
"Priest for a Day"
ST. LOUIS - Make-A-Wish requests often involve meeting athletes, attending sporting events or traveling to amusement parks or beaches. When it came time for 11-year-old Brett Haubrich of St. Mark School in Affton to make his wish, he not only listed none of those things but had no request at all. "He didn't want anything," explained his mother, Eileen. "They had to keep asking him, 'What would you like to do? Do you want to meet anybody? What do you want to be when you grow up?'" The answer to the last question became part of his wish what Make-A-Wish calls "wish enhancement" to complement the main wish.
Turns out Brett, a sixth-grader who was diagnosed with a brain tumor last summer, wants to be a priest, a doctor or an engineer, in that order. So, on Holy Thursday, at the invitation of St. Louis Archbishop Robert J. Carlson, Brett took his place beside the altar at Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis as "Priest for a Day.
Message, and example
WASHINGTON - When Pope Francis comes to the United States in September, his message will be that "God loves all of us the way we are" and "God asks us to love one another," said Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington. "We see in him not just the message, but how you do it," the cardinal said in an interview with Fox News on Easter. "The way in which he lives, treats people, responds to people says, I think, to many people ... he sounds and looks a lot like what Jesus would have sounded like."
Roller coaster of laws
WASHINGTON - It started with hallucinogenic peyote and a couple of guys in Oregon who were fired after they used it in a religious ritual. Over the course of 25 years, the U.S. debate over religious rights moved from there to the current social and political uproar about Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act and whether it would give legal cover to those who might discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.
Within hours of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signing a state version of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act March 26, critics slammed the legislation as going further than the federal version of the same law does and said it would enable individuals and businesses to claim a religious right to discriminate in ways not foreseen in other versions. Highly publicized protests and boycotts of Indiana and Indiana-based businesses were launched.
The criticism, notably from gay rights activists and prominent Indiana business leaders who said the law would hurt their and the state's financial bottom lines, led Pence to ask Indiana's Legislature for a fix. Likewise, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson asked legislators to rework a RFRA bill that had already reached his desk.
On April 2, a week after the Indiana bill was signed, both governors signed new RFRA legislation, rewritten to more closely mirror the federal law.
MANILA, Philippines - A Philippine cardinal has pooled a team of peace advocates to help push legislation that would see the creation of an autonomous region in the Muslim-majority section of Mindanao Island. Cardinal Orlando Quevedo of the Cotabato Archdiocese, whose population is half Muslim, announced the formation of "Friends of Peace" April 6 in Manila. It includes more than 30 individuals, peace advocacy groups and nongovernmental organizations.
SYDNEY - Australian police are searching for an arsonist following suspicious fires at three Melbourne area churches with links to clerical sexual abuse. Three blazes broke out in as many days, beginning in the suburb of Brighton with St. James Church, which was almost destroyed March 30.
The church is included on the Australian National Heritage List. St. Mary Church in St. Kilda East sustained minor damage from a fire believed to have been deliberately set around the same time. The third incident was reported early April 1 at St. Mary Church in Dandenong, where firefighters discovered separate fires at the altar and in a storeroom containing vestments. The church sustained more than $190,000 in damage, the fire department reported.
VATICAN CITY - Consecrated men and women can face their current challenges by turning to the Gospel, the teaching of the Second Vatican Council and papal teachings for guidance, said Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz. The prefect of the Congregation for Consecrated Life and Institutes for Apostolic Life spoke April 8 at the opening of an international conference in Rome of about 1,200 religious formation directors. The theme of the April 7-12 conference was "Living in Christ according to the Way of Life of the Gospel."
— Catholic News Service
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