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 News Briefs

NEWS BRIEFS Sep-8-2005

By Catholic News Service


Church leaders say ethical values important to economic globalization

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Religious leaders need to instill ethical values into free trade agreements if economic globalization is to succeed, said cardinals, international economists and politicians attending a two-day conference in Washington. "Globalization has its own logic, but not its own ethic," said Cardinal Francis E. George of Chicago. "Churches and synagogues have to step forward to bring this (ethical) dimension." Enrique Iglesias, Inter-American Development Bank president, compared a free trade accord to a knife. "It can cut bread or it can kill," he said, depending on how terms are negotiated. Archbishop Silvano M. Tomasi, Vatican representative to the World Trade Organization, said an ethical approach to free trade issues is a good economic investment. "A fair trade system pays off for all sectors of the economy. More people become active participants strengthening the process," said Archbishop Tomasi. In speeches and interviews, more than 50 participants at a Sept. 7-8 meeting discussed the relationship of morality to world trade issues aimed at reducing poverty. The gathering was sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Latin American bishops' council and the Inter-American Development Bank.

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New Orleans Archdiocese to set up satellite schools

BATON ROUGE, La. (CNS) -- The Archdiocese of New Orleans is planning to establish satellite elementary and secondary schools in communities where thousands of students have taken refuge to escape the ravages of Hurricane Katrina, according to the archdiocese's superintendent of Catholic schools. Father William F. Maestri made the announcement at a Sept. 7 meeting, which drew an overflow crowd to the Catholic Life Center auditorium in Baton Rouge. Planned for Catholic school administrators and teachers, the meeting also drew some parents anxious to hear any news about their schools. Father Maestri also advised parents they could enroll their children in the existing Catholic schools nearest them or consider home schooling their children, especially if their original school in the Archdiocese of New Orleans will reopen in the near future. All 108 elementary and secondary schools in the New Orleans Archdiocese have been closed because of Hurricane Katrina, although church officials expected some schools that sustained less severe damage to reopen as soon as electrical and water services were restored over the next several weeks.

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Sister Keehan named Catholic Health Association president and CEO

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The new president and CEO of the Catholic Health Association is already a familiar face in the halls of Congress and familiar to national organizations in Washington. Sister Carol Keehan, a Daughter of Charity who most recently chaired the board of Sacred Heart Health System in Pensacola, Fla., has represented CHA before Congress and has been a leader in nationwide efforts to find ways to get health insurance for all Americans. Sister Carol, who will take up her new duties Oct. 10, also headed Providence Hospital in Washington for 15 years. The appointment was announced Sept. 7 in a teleconference from CHA's headquarters in St. Louis. A 40-year member of the Daughters of Charity, Sister Carol addressed the House Ways and Means Committee in May about the community benefits provided by Catholic hospitals, saying they far outweighed the value of their tax exemptions. But she emphasized that "Catholic hospitals do not provide these services to justify continued tax exemption." She said, "We provide them because serving our communities in this way is integral to our history, our identity and our mission -- it is what we always have done."

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Evacuees and rescuers look for places to stay, ways to help

RICHLAND, Miss. (CNS) -- Just before Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, 86-year-old Howard Adams, a lifelong resident of New Orleans, left his home with a handful of insurance papers. He had seen storms and threats of storms before in Louisiana but never left. This time, he took the warnings more seriously, although he thought he would soon be back in the old neighborhood, four blocks from his parish, St. Raphael's, and 12 blocks from Lake Pontchartrain. He now knows differently. He bought some clothes and made friends at the Days Inn motel in Richland where he and his son had been staying for more than a week. He did not want to continue paying the daily charge for his room, but he also did not know where to go and had no idea what he will do in the upcoming months. Adams talked with Catholic News Service in the motel lobby Sept. 7 while a local television newscast reported on the hurricane's impact, and motel guests, looking almost at home in their temporary residence, shared bits of news they heard about the chances of returning to where they really belonged.

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Helena bishop dedicates new church named for late Pope John Paul II

BIGFORK, Mont. (CNS) -- Bishop George L. Thomas of Helena dedicated the new Pope John Paul II Catholic Church in Bigfork during an Aug. 21 Mass. The new parish church is believed to be among the first Catholic churches named for the late pope, who died April 2. It combines two parish communities, St. Catherine in Bigfork and St. Ann Mission in Somers, both located on Flathead Lake, a popular tourist area just south of Glacier National Park in northwestern Montana. The decision to build a new church was prompted by the growth of the Flathead Lake parishes. The new facility, which will seat nearly 500 people, is within easy reach of both communities. Construction on the new church, made of cedar and Montana-quarried stone trimmed with copper, was begun in May 2004. Incorporated in the new structure are the altar crucifix and tabernacle from St. Catherine's and the historic bell from St. Ann's. St. Ann's wooden pews also were used to create an ornamental screen for the new sanctuary.

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Pope tells Mexican bishops church must reach out to young people

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The church must reach out to young Catholics who no longer attend Mass and help them find their way in the world by following Christ, Pope Benedict XVI said in an address to bishops from Mexico. Young people who are no longer a part of church life after having received the sacraments of initiation "find themselves in a society marked by growing cultural and religious pluralism," he said. "Sometimes alone and confused," young people can also encounter beliefs that a person can "reach fullness through technological, political and economic power," he added. "It is therefore necessary to accompany young people and invite them with enthusiasm" back into the church community, "so that they can take on the task of transforming society as a fundamental requirement of following Christ," said the pope. At the papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo Sept. 8, the pope addressed some 27 bishops and their auxiliaries from northern and western Mexico at the end of their Sept. 1-8 "ad limina" visits, which heads of dioceses are required to make every five years.

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Experts say Catholics still don't read Bible regularly

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- While it may be a best-seller, the Bible still is not regularly read, nor has it become an integral part of many Catholics' lives, said a panel of biblical experts. "Unfortunately, it must be said, there is still little Bible in the lives of the faithful," said Italian Bishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Catholic Bible Federation. Recent research conducted in Italy, Spain and France found that many Catholics consider the sacred Scriptures as something "reserved for the clergy" rather than as an accessible resource for them to draw upon for truth and inspiration in their own lives, he said. Bishop Paglia, together with a number of biblical experts, spoke at a Vatican press conference Sept. 8 to present an upcoming international congress commemorating the 40th anniversary of "Dei Verbum," the Second Vatican Council document on Scripture and divine revelation. The five-day conference Sept. 14-18 was to gather more than 400 biblical experts from all over the world. Its aims included pinpointing the current challenges and problems in making people aware of the importance of the Bible.

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Haitian party announces jailed priest to be presidential candidate

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (CNS) -- Haiti's Lavalas Family party has announced its choice of presidential candidate: Father Gerard Jean-Juste, a priest who has been jailed without charges since July 21. "The Lavalas Family listens to the people, and we have decided to support the choice of the masses to promote the candidacy of Father Jean-Juste," said party member Louis Gerard Gilles, a former senator. "He is eligible because he is a prisoner of conscience, recognized by Amnesty International, who has never been convicted." Father Jean-Juste has been held in prison since his arrest at the funeral of murdered journalist and poet Jacques Roche. Father Jean-Juste was in Miami at the time of Roche's death. The Lavalas Family has announced demonstrations in mid-September to call for Father Jean-Juste's release. The party said the priest's candidacy will be registered Sept. 13, two days before candidate registration closes. The first round of presidential and legislative elections is Nov. 20.

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Simple, family-oriented funeral held for Rehnquist at cathedral

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Chief Justice William Rehnquist's funeral Sept. 7 was a simple, family-oriented Lutheran service in Washington's elegant Catholic cathedral. Three ministers from the two Lutheran churches to which Rehnquist belonged presided over the two-hour service at the invitation of Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, archbishop of Washington. Rehnquist, 80, died Sept. 3 after a yearlong fight with thyroid cancer. His family requested the use of St. Matthew Cathedral when they learned the larger National Cathedral was unavailable the day they wanted to hold the funeral. The Episcopalian-administered National Cathedral is more commonly the site of large Protestant or nondenominational Christian funerals and religious services. Church law permits the local Catholic bishop to allow the use of a church for services of other denominations under certain circumstances. Cardinal McCarrick welcomed Rehnquist's family, friends and colleagues to the cathedral, led the funeral procession into the church and sat to one side at the altar during the service.

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Pope names four mainland Chinese bishops to October synod

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- In what could be a promising move for Vatican-China relations, Pope Benedict XVI has named four mainland Chinese bishops as members of the October Synod of Bishops. Church sources in Rome said two of the bishops belong to the government-approved Catholic Church in China, while the other two have been members of the underground church that has rejected official government ties. None are listed in the Vatican's official pontifical yearbook. The appointments were announced without comment by the Vatican Sept. 8. Those named to the synod were: Bishop Aloysius Jin Luxian of Shanghai, a government-recognized bishop; Bishop Anthony Li Du'an of Xi'an, a government-approved bishop; Bishop Luke Li Jingfeng of Fengxiang, an underground church leader; and Bishop Wei Jingyi of Qiqihar, another underground church bishop. The appointments to the Oct. 2-23 synod were seen as a potential breakthrough, in part because the full spectrum of the Catholic community in China would be represented at the Rome assembly for the first time.

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Former mayor recalls how New Jersey town coped with terrorist attacks

RIDGEWOOD, N.J. (CNS) -- Four years ago, the traditional Irish tune "Danny Boy" became a sacred touchstone for Jane Reilly. "That was Dan McGinley's song," she said with a warm smile as she sipped a cup of tea in a local cafe. "He always used to sing it at the Knights of Columbus party on St. Patrick's Day." The former mayor of the Bergen County community of Ridgewood in northern New Jersey, Reilly said the bittersweet song of love, loss and remembrance became an impromptu hymn at the funeral Mass for McGinley, which was held four years ago at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church. McGinley was one of 12 residents of Ridgewood who died in the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on New York's World Trade Center. Reilly, a parishioner at the Church of the Presentation in the nearby town of Upper Saddle River, said there were many stories from that period that were too wrenching, too private for her to discuss. However, she was proud to share as her most vivid memory the image of hundreds of people at Mount Carmel spontaneously singing the haunting ballad in tribute to a beloved village son.

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Retired New Orleans archbishop praises worldwide outpouring of aid

VILNIUS, Lithuania (CNS) -- The people of the United States have helped so many in the world that it is good to see other nations responding generously to the Hurricane Katrina disaster, said retired Archbishop Francis B. Schulte of New Orleans. "The United States has responded to so many needs around the world, most recently to the terrible tsunami in South Asia, and now those whom we have helped in the past are coming to help us at this moment; for that we are very appreciative," Archbishop Schulte said in an interview Sept. 6 in Vilnius. The archbishop visited Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia in early September as part of his responsibilities as a member of the U.S. bishops' Ad Hoc Committee on Aid to the Church in Central and Eastern Europe. He said he planned his visit to Lithuania before Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and the Gulf Coast Aug. 29. His visit coincided with an international outpouring of help to the hurricane victims.


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