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 News Briefs

NEWS BRIEFS Jun-26-2012

By Catholic News Service


Bishop tells communicators that they serve church as faithful prophets

INDIANAPOLIS (CNS) -- Catholic communicators who are filled with faith can serve as prophets by their commitment to spread the good news of Christ to the world, Bishop Christopher J. Coyne, apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, told Catholic Media Conference participants. Explaining that prophets speak to "the truth of things," Bishop Coyne reminded the journalists and communicators during his homily at the opening Mass for the conference that the faithful are "called by name, from within the community, and imbued with the Spirit to speak to the truth of Jesus Christ. The call to be heralds and prophets of the kingdom of God is one that is shared by virtue of our common baptism," he said during the June 20 liturgy at St. John the Evangelist Church. "Today, as in the past, our community needs to hear that message of truth loud and clear," he said. "That is the work that you all do so well. Through the various means of communications, we join in the prophetic act of speaking to the truth of Christ's salvific mission to all men and women."

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HHS contraceptive mandate focus of panel at Catholic Media Conference

INDIANAPOLIS (CNS) -- The fight over the federal contraceptive mandate is not about artificial birth control or a theological or moral debate about contraceptives," but is about an "unprecedented violation of religious freedom" by the government, a law professor said June 21. Everyone "should be concerned about this policy," regardless of their view of contraceptives or their opinion of the religious and other groups fighting the mandate, said Carter Snead. He was one of three speakers on a panel at the annual Catholic Media Conference, held June 20-22 in Indianapolis. He teaches law at the University of Notre Dame and is director of school's Center for Ethics and Culture. Snead was joined by Rita Joyce, a civil and canon lawyer who is general counsel for the Pittsburgh Diocese and president of the Canon Law Society of America, and Michael Scaperlanda, associate dean for academics at the University of Oklahoma College of Law. Snead provided an overview of the mandate and the narrow religious exemption to it and how both were drafted. He also took on critics who claim the U.S. bishops' opposition to the mandate is driven by politics. Issued by the Department of Health and Human Services, the federal mandate requires most religious employers to provide insurance coverage of contraception, sterilization and abortifacients free of charge to their employees.

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Pope names US archbishop to new post to aid talks with traditionalists

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- In an effort to aid reconciliation attempts with traditionalist Catholics, Pope Benedict XVI has named U.S. Archbishop J. Augustine Di Noia to fill a newly created post of vice president of the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei." "The appointment of a high-ranking prelate to this position is a sign of the Holy Father's pastoral solicitude for traditionalist Catholics in communion with the Holy See and his strong desire for the reconciliation of those traditionalist communities not in union with the See of Peter," the Vatican said in a written statement June 26. The statement, released by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which oversees "Ecclesia Dei," said the New York-born Dominican is a respected theologian who has devoted much time and attention to the doctrinal issues under review in current talks with the breakaway traditionalist Society of St. Pius X, led by Bishop Bernard Fellay. The society rejects some of the teachings of Vatican II as well as the modernizing reforms, especially to the liturgy, that followed in its wake. Archbishop Di Noia told Catholic News Service June 26 the Vatican needed to help people who have strong objections to the council see "that these disagreements don't have to be dividing or keep us from the same Communion table. It is possible to have theological disagreements while remaining in communion with the see of Peter," he said.

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Nigerian bishops say anger, hatred after bombings is at dangerous level

LAGOS, Nigeria (CNS) -- Nigeria's Catholic bishops expressed concern that anger and hatred are growing among Christian and Muslim communities and have reached a dangerous level following a spate of church bombings believed to be carried out by a fundamentalist Islamic sect. "These are sad days for Nigeria and for all Nigerians," the bishops said in a June 26 statement released in Abuja. "We feel greatly pained by the violent events which have become almost daily occurrences." The statement, signed by Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama of Jos, president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Nigeria, and Archbishop Alfred Adewale Martins of Lagos, lamented the lack of security for Christians despite mounting attacks. Calling upon all Nigerians to defuse the rising tensions, the bishops also urged the government to step up its actions to protect all people from violence. The bishops also condemned reprisal attacks on Muslim communities. The most recent incidents occurred June 17 when 45 people were reported killed after four churches in Zaria and Kaduna were bombed. Afterward, Christian mobs carried out reprisal attacks on Muslims.

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Pope tells homeless, jobless quake victims to put trust in God

ROVERETO DI NOVI, Italy (CNS) -- Fear and anxiety are natural responses to the terror and destruction wrought by a natural disaster, but God's love is rock solid, providing certainty and solace for all victims, Pope Benedict XVI said. "Upon this rock, with this firm hope, one can build and one can rebuild," he said to more than 2,000 Rovereto di Novi residents -- many of whom were rendered homeless and jobless by two earthquakes in May. "Remain true to your vocation as fraternal and supportive people, and tackle everything with patience and determination, fighting the temptations that unfortunately come with these moments of weakness and need," he said June 26. The pope made his remarks during a morning visit to one of the areas hit by two strong tremors in northern Italy May 20 and May 29. Smaller tremors continue as thousands of people live in makeshift structures and tents since buildings have collapsed or are considered unsound. Pope Benedict flew by helicopter from the Vatican to San Marino di Carpi and rode in a van then an open-air military green jeep to Rovereto to greet people and witness some of the damage. Concrete buildings displayed huge cracks in their walls and brick tiles had broken and fallen off roofs. The pope stopped at the damaged church of St. Catherine of Alexandria and prayed for the repose of Father Ivan Martini, 65, who was killed May 29 when falling debris crashed on top of him while he was trying to save sacred and liturgical objects in the church.

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Pope accepts resignation of Argentine bishop seen with woman in pool

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI has accepted the resignation of an Argentine bishop seen apparently being amorous with an unidentified female in a Mexican swimming pool. The pope accepted the resignation June 26 of Bishop Fernando Bargallo of Merlo-Moreno, Argentina, and appointed retired Bishop Alcides Casaretto of San Isidro as apostolic administrator of the diocese. Argentine news channel A24 showed photos June 19 of Bishop Bargallo and an unidentified woman during a trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, two years ago. Media outlets throughout Latin American published the photos widely. Bishop Bargallo, who is also president of Caritas Latin America, appeared on the channel to read a statement in which he denied having any inappropriate relationship and described the woman as a "childhood friend." He also acknowledged, "It has caused a bad impression. I ask forgiveness if this has caused some sort of damage," he said. "I'm totally committed to God, the church and serving the diocese."

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Pope names new heads of family council, archives, VP at 'Ecclesia Dei'

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI made a number of new appointments June 26, including the creation of a new position for the pontifical commission charged with the pastoral care of traditionalist Catholics. The pope named U.S. Archbishop J. Augustine Di Noia, 68, to a newly created post of vice president of the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei." Archbishop Di Noia, who was secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments since 2009, was replaced in that job by 62-year-old Archbishop Arthur Roche of Leeds, England, the Vatican announced. The pope also named 67-year-old Italian Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia of Terni, Narni and Amelia, as president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, which had been headed by Cardinal Ennio Antonelli, who retired for reasons of age. Archbishop Paglia is the postulator for the sainthood cause of Archbishop Oscar Romero of San Salvador. He has served as president of the Catholic Biblical Federation, president of the Italian bishops' commission for ecumenical and interreligious dialogue and general assistant to the Rome-based lay Community of Sant'Egidio, which he co-founded. The pope named French Archbishop Jean-Louis Brugues to be the head of the Vatican Secret Archives and the Vatican Library, replacing Cardinal Raffaele Farina, who retired for reasons of age. The 68-year-old archbishop had been the secretary of the Congregation for Catholic Education; the pope did not name a replacement for that position.

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Bishop of Rochester, N.Y., host of 'Catholicism' series honored

INDIANAPOLIS (CNS) -- Bishop Matthew H. Clark of Rochester, N.Y., publisher of the Catholic Courier, the diocesan newspaper, has received the Bishop John England Award from the Catholic Press Association. The bishop, who will turn 75 July 15, has headed the diocese since 1979. He was honored for his work in supporting the newspaper and its staff in carrying out its journalistic responsibility throughout his tenure and instituting a dramatic restructuring of the newspaper in 1985 during a time of plummeting revenues and mounting debt. He also established a strategic planning committee that led to a 2004 plan that found the Catholic Courier reach every Catholic household of the diocese. The England award is named for the Irish-born bishop of Charleston, S.C., who founded The Catholic Miscellany, the oldest Catholic newspaper in the U.S. in terms of continuous publication. Presented annually, the award recognizes publishers in the Catholic press for the defense of First Amendment rights, such as freedom of the press and freedom of religion. It is the CPA's highest award for publishers. This year's Clarion Award from the Catholic Academy for Communications Arts Professionals was been presented to Father Robert Barron, who will become rector and president of the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary in Illinois July 1. Father Barron received the award for his 10-part video series called "Catholicism." Four parts of the series were broadcast on 90 public television stations across the country in the fall.


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