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 News Briefs

NEWS BRIEFS Apr-10-2008

By Catholic News Service


Pope names bishops for Des Moines, Little Rock, three new auxiliaries

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI appointed Auxiliary Bishop Richard E. Pates of St. Paul and Minneapolis to head the Diocese of Des Moines, Iowa, and Father Anthony B. Taylor, a priest of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, as bishop of Little Rock, Ark., April 10. He also named Father Oscar Cantu, pastor of Holy Name Parish in Houston, as auxiliary bishop of San Antonio; Msgr. James D. Conley, pastor of Blessed Sacrament Parish in Wichita, Kan., as auxiliary bishop of Denver; and Father William J. Justice, San Francisco archdiocesan vicar for clergy, as auxiliary bishop of San Francisco. The appointments were announced in Washington by Archbishop Pietro Sambi, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

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Cardinal says universities must teach church's intellectual tradition

PITTSBURGH (CNS) -- In America and the world today, many people perceive religion and intellectual life as adversaries, but a major task of a Catholic university is to counteract this view by revealing the depth and riches of the Catholic intellectual tradition, according to Cardinal Francis E. George of Chicago. Cardinal George, who also is president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, made the comments in a recent address at Duquesne University on "The Importance of the Catholic Intellectual Tradition in the Life of a Catholic University, the Church and Society." Cardinal George said, "If anyone thinks (the subject of this lecture is) not ambitious enough, perhaps we could add its importance to the world and eternal life as well. It wouldn't be hubris to do so, because the Catholic intellectual tradition is not only important but crucial at the deepest level in all these dimensions of human life." He was the inaugural speaker for the Richard T. and Marion A. Byrnes lecture series at Duquesne's McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts.

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In U.S. Masses, pope to carry pastoral staff of Blessed Pope Pius IX

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- When Pope Benedict XVI processes to the altars where he will celebrate Mass in Washington and New York, he will be carrying the pastoral staff of Blessed Pope Pius IX. Msgr. Guido Marini, master of papal liturgical ceremonies, told Catholic News Service that the 19th-century pastoral staff, topped with a cross instead of a crucifix, "is becoming the usual one for papal celebrations." On Palm Sunday, March 16, Pope Benedict started carrying the older staff, which was used by every pope from Blessed Pope Pius to Pope Paul VI. "This is the typical staff used by the popes because it is a cross without a crucifix," Msgr. Marini said April 10. It is taking the place of the staff with the rugged crucifix on top that was created by Italian artist Lello Scorzelli for Pope Paul in the mid-1960s. The Vatican's yearbook, "Activity of the Holy See," includes a photograph of Pope Paul holding the Scorzelli staff on Easter 1965.

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At ground zero, pope will pray for victims and families, world peace

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- In addition to praying at ground zero in New York for the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and for their families, Pope Benedict XVI will pray for peace and understanding in the world. On April 10 the Vatican posted on its Web site the missal Pope Benedict will use during his April 15-20 visit to Washington and New York; the missal includes the prayer he will recite at ground zero April 20. Describing the site as "the scene of incredible violence and pain," the prayer asks God to grant eternal light and peace to all who died there when terrorists flew two planes into the World Trade Center. It also recalls those who died the same day at the Pentagon and in Shanksville, Pa. According to the missal, the pope will pray: "God of peace, bring your peace to our violent world: peace in the hearts of all men and women and peace among the nations of the earth." The pope will ask God to "turn to your way of love those whose hearts and minds are consumed with hatred."

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Christian group in U.K. sues Google for refusing to accept ad

LONDON (CNS) -- A Christian group is suing the Internet giant Google after it refused to take advertisements on abortion and religious content. The U.K.-based Christian Institute, a nondenominational Christian charity, wanted to place an AdWords advertisement so that when an Internet user typed the word abortion into the search engine a link would appear on the right hand side of the page saying: "U.K. abortion law: news and views on abortion from the Christian Institute. www.christian.org.uk." The Christian Institute announced April 8 that it has started legal proceedings against Google on the grounds that it is infringing the U.K. Equality Act 2006, which prohibits religious discrimination in the provision of a good, facility or service. The Christian Institute is seeking damages, costs and the permission to publish its advertisement. Google said it had a policy of declining ads from organizations that mix abortion with religion.

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German cardinal discusses church's use of slave labor during WWII

MAINZ, Germany (CNS) -- A German cardinal said a report detailing how the church used slave laborers during World War II was an "important building block" for reconciliation. "The church's memory was blind for too long to the fate and sorrows of men, women, youngsters and children who were brought from all over Europe as slave laborers to Germany," said Cardinal Karl Lehmann of Mainz, former president of the German bishops' conference. "This documentation, scientifically examining a forgotten chapter of contemporary church history, cannot and should not be understood as a final reckoning. It is rather an important building block on the way to a future of reconciliation for the Christians of Germany and Europe," said the cardinal. After eight years of research by a special commission, the 703-page report called "The Catholic Church and Forced Labor 1939-1945" was presented in Mainz April 8. Karl-Joseph Hummel and Christoph Koesters headed the commission of historians that prepared the report.

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South African archbishop seeks help defusing crisis in Zimbabwe

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (CNS) -- A South African archbishop has urged African leaders to act swiftly to defuse the crisis in Zimbabwe, a country facing the threat of political violence after disputed elections March 29. Archbishop Buti Tlhagale of Johannesburg called on "the leaders of the Southern African Development Community and the African Union to act swiftly to defuse this tension by mandating a mediator of sufficient international repute, such as Kofi Annan (former secretary-general of the United Nations), to ensure a solution that is acceptable to all Zimbabweans." "I urge (South African) President (Thabo) Mbeki, the leaders of the Southern African Development Community and African Union leaders to use all of their influence and skill to intervene for the release of the Zimbabwean election results," said the archbishop, president of the Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference in an April 10 statement. He noted that "the situation in Zimbabwe is of regional, continental and international concern."

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Eighth-graders create winning film on U.S. trade embargo against Cuba

HIALEAH, Fla. (CNS) -- All they knew about the U.S. embargo on trade with Cuba is what they had heard from their parents and grandparents. They knew even less about filming a documentary. Yet armed with the enthusiasm and "whatever" attitude of young teenagers, two eighth-graders from Immaculate Conception School in Hialeah managed to win the middle-school division of C-SPAN's StudentCam competition by producing a documentary called "Embargo or Free Trade?" The 10-minute documentary traces the nearly 50-year history of the U.S. economic embargo against Cuba, examines the positions of various presidential candidates toward the embargo and concludes with the opinions of individual Cubans and politicians from south Florida, among them the mayors of Hialeah and Hialeah Gardens. The documentary was one of three first-prize winners selected from among 313 videos submitted nationwide. "We put a lot of hard work into it and also when we interviewed different (state) representatives I think that gave it an extra touch," Kristen Cuba, 13, told the Florida Catholic, newspaper of the Miami Archdiocese. She and classmate Alexandria Segovia used a Sony Cybershot, a pocket-size digital camera that records videos, to produce the documentary.


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