Today (05.23.07)


Bishop Pfeifer at St. Mary’s confirmation, Odessa, 6:30 p.m.

Today’s Readings

Acts 20:28-38
Psalm 68:29-30, 33-36
John 17:11-19

Today’s Headlines from Catholic News Service

U.S.An estimated 50,000 recite rosary in event at Pasadena’s Rose Bowl

PASADENA, Calif. (CNS) — Southern California’s largest rosary recitation in more than 50 years offered a broad cross-section of ages and ethnicities in the local Catholic Church, and a link to a storied tradition. Some 50,000 people at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena May 19 prayed the rosary during the Rosary Bowl, an event sponsored by Holy Cross Family Ministries and its Family Theater Productions in conjunction with the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. With the theme “A World at Prayer is a World at Peace,” the event continued the work of the late Holy Cross Father Patrick Peyton, the founder of Holy Cross Family Ministries. Before his death in 1992, Father Peyton conducted more than 40 events throughout the world reaching more than 28 million people. Taryn Wilson, a member of Sacred Heart Parish in Lancaster, attended the Rosary Bowl with her son, Trenton, 16, and her mother, LaVelle. She said she was attracted by the idea of praying the rosary as a family. “It is important for your whole family because the family that prays together, stays together,” she said, quoting Father Peyton.

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Diocese will not appeal jury’s $11.45 million award in abuse trial

ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y. (CNS) — Rockville Centre diocesan spokesman Sean Dolan said the diocese will not appeal a jury’s May 18 verdict awarding $11.45 million to a man and a woman who were sexually abused as minors by a Catholic youth minister. “The diocese decided not to appeal because it felt a new trial would only open up the wounds again,” Dolan told Catholic News Service May 22. He said the diocese seeks healing for the victims and also for the parish where the abuse took place. The victims, now in their early 20s, said Matthew Maiello sexually assaulted them repeatedly over several years, beginning in 1999 when they were 15. At the time Maiello was employed as a youth minister at St. Raphael Parish in East Meadow and they came into contact with him through parish youth activities. Maiello, now 33, pleaded guilty in 2003 to raping and sodomizing the plaintiffs and two other minors and served two years in prison.

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Bay Area bishop: Church must help Chinese-American youths keep values

SAN FRANCISCO (CNS) — The United States’ only Chinese-born Catholic bishop said he is concerned about cultural influences on Chinese-American families. “We have to work hard to help the young generation preserve their values,” said San Francisco Auxiliary Bishop Ignatius C. Wang, underscoring respect for family. “There are a lot of good things to learn in the U.S.” he said, “but there is a lot of not so good, too.” Among the latter, he listed “spending too much money, disrespect of elders and the sexual revolution.” “We have to give our youth hope and courage, and encourage them,” he said, “because if we do not let them use their talents, the Protestants certainly will.” He said social evangelization by Protestant churches often outstrips Catholic efforts. Bishop Wang is in the unique position of having raised a Chinese family in the United States. He traveled to San Francisco in 1974 to visit his widowed sister, Anna Yeun, who had cancer. Discovering she was too ill to care for her three children, then ages 18, 16 and 9, Bishop Wang decided to stay, obtaining an assignment in the archdiocese’s tribunal. Yuen died in 1978 and Bishop Wang became the children’s guardian.

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Honey is like a taste of heaven for Vermont priest who is beekeeper

WEST RUTLAND, Vt. (CNS) — When Father Adam Krempa sits down for a light meal, he enjoys a bowl of cottage cheese drizzled with honey, seeded rye bread lightly toasted with butter not margarine and a cup of coffee with a heaping teaspoon of honey. “It’s like dying and having lunch with the Lord,” said the pastor of St. Raphael Church in Poultney. It’s not the toast or even the butter that makes the meal special; it’s the honey. For 40 years Father Krempa has been keeping bees at his family homestead on Valley View Lane in West Rutland, and the honey they produce and he processes and sells is pure. He also likes honey drizzled on his cornflakes, oatmeal or Cream of Wheat cereal. “You know you’re living” when you taste the honey, he told The Vermont Catholic Tribune, newspaper of the Burlington Diocese. Father Krempa has five hives on the south side of his two-car garage, protected from the strong winter winds that sweep across the hillside property. “This is where I find my relaxation,” he said, noting that he often sits in the yard and watches the bees busily flying to and from the hives. “It’s God’s creation.”

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Liturgical publisher OCP acquires St. Louis church publisher

PORTLAND, Ore. (CNS) — Liturgical publisher OCP has acquired Liturgical Publishers of St. Louis Inc. and renamed it Pastoral Solutions Inc. OCP, formerly known as Oregon Catholic Press, is a Portland-based nonprofit publisher of liturgical music and worship resources that was started in 1922. Its worship programs, including “Breaking Bread” and “Today’s Missal,” are used in two-thirds of U.S. Catholic parishes. Liturgical Publications of St. Louis was started in 1972 to assist churches with their communications needs. More than 1,000 churches around the country have used their weekly bulletins, annual directories, Web sites and other services. After purchasing the company in March, OCP set up the new corporation, Pastoral Solutions. It is based, like the original company, in Ellisville, Mo.

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Latin American, Caribbean church leaders identify pastoral challenges

APARECIDA, Brazil (CNS) — Looking at their regions “with the eyes of disciples of Jesus Christ,” as Colombian Bishop Luis Castro Quiroga of Tunja described it, bishops from Latin America and the Caribbean crafted a seven-point framework for their pastoral work for the coming years. The areas included an analysis of the social, economic, cultural and political situation in the region, what it means to be disciples and missionaries, and how to carry out that life in the world today. The church leaders gathered for the Fifth General Conference of the Bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean are grappling with the role of Catholics as disciples and missionaries in an increasingly globalized and socially unequal region of the world, and in a church that has far too few ordained ministers to meet the needs of the continent with the largest percentage of Catholics. They face the task of sifting through a vast array of issues and problems — “everything from global warming to altar servers,” commented an observer — and to develop pastoral guidelines that will serve as a road map for the church for the next 10 to 15 years. Bishop Castro, president of the Colombian bishops’ conference, said the framework was based on four major challenges identified at the end of the first week of the May 13-31 conference — the passage of faith from generation to generation, cultural changes, human dignity and social inequality.

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Vatican, Israel make progress on financial, juridical issues

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Vatican and Israeli representatives said they finally have a concrete plan for reaching an agreement on financial and juridical issues related to Catholic institutions in Israel. “The talks took place in an atmosphere of great cordiality, mutual understanding and good will, and produced important progress and hope for yet further advances in the coming months,” said a joint statement issued after the representatives met May 21 at the Vatican. The meeting marked the first time in five years that the full membership of the bilateral permanent working commission met to discuss the issues related to church property, taxation and the legal rights of church institutions in Israel. When the Vatican and Israel agreed in late 1993 to establish full diplomatic relations, they also agreed to set up a joint commission to negotiate an agreement on the church’s legal status and related financial issues. The commission’s work has been marked by long periods of inactivity. Aaron Abramovich, director-general of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs and head of the Israeli delegation, told reporters later: “It was a really good day. We believe we are on the right track.” A series of subcommission meetings have been planned over the next six months, he said, and then the entire commission is to meet again in Jerusalem in early December.

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Venezuelan president demands papal apology for remarks on indigenous

CARACAS, Venezuela (CNS) — Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has demanded that Pope Benedict XVI apologize for saying that Europeans did not impose Catholicism on native Americans. “As chief of state, I implore His Holiness to offer apologies to the peoples of our America,” Chavez said in a mid-May broadcast over Venezuelan radio and television. “How can (the pope) go and say that they came — when they came with rifles to evangelize — that they came with no kind of imposition?” During his speech inaugurating the May 13-31 Fifth General Conference of the Bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean, Pope Benedict said Catholic missionaries’ early evangelization was not “the imposition of a foreign culture” on the region’s indigenous peoples, but led to “a synthesis between their cultures and the Christian faith.” In recent years there has been renewed interest in traditional indigenous religions, particularly in Andean and Central American countries; an Indian theology movement of indigenous Catholic theologians also has arisen. In an apparent reference to more radical movements that promote a revival of indigenous religions, the pope warned that “the utopia of going back to breathe life into the pre-Columbian religions … would be a step back.”

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Mexican political party files complaint against Guadalajara cardinal

GUADALAJARA, Mexico (CNS) — The Democratic Revolution Party filed an official complaint with Mexico’s Interior Ministry against Guadalajara Cardinal Juan Sandoval Iniguez for allegedly involving himself in political matters. The complaint against Cardinal Sandoval said he violated the Law of Religious Associations and Public Cults; it was delivered to the Interior Ministry by Democratic Revolution Party President Guadalupe Acosta Naranjo in mid-May. The Mexican news service Notimex reported that Acosta said the complaint was based on the cardinal’s public statements that committed Catholics should not vote for political parties that support decriminalizing abortion and legalizing homosexual unions. Mexico City, which recently decriminalized abortion during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, is governed by the Democratic Revolution Party.

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South African archbishop disputes charges of racism in church

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (CNS) — Archbishop Buti Tlhagale of Johannesburg has disputed charges of racism in the placement of priests in his diocese and said he does not understand “why an African priest would be so keen to serve a white parish when the need is greater in the African community.” It is “not necessarily false to claim that the allocation of priests in parishes in the Diocese of Johannesburg is done along racial lines,” the archbishop, who is president of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference, said in the May 16-22 issue of the Cape Town Catholic newspaper, The Southern Cross. “We are not necessarily colorblind. In the placement of priests, reality is taken into consideration,” he said, noting that Johannesburg Diocese has 30 African (black) priests and 50 African parishes, 44 white priests and 46 white parishes, and eight mixed-race or Indian priests serving eight parishes. “There is a greater need for priests in African parishes. Most of the African priests serve two parishes,” Archbishop Tlhagale said, noting that they speak their parishioners’ languages fluently “and understand the culture of the parishioners.” While some white priests prefer to work among white parishioners, “a significant number” choose to work in black townships, he said.

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Pope recalls Rwandan genocide, says love leads to social perfection

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Remembering the victims of Rwanda’s genocide, Pope Benedict XVI said love is the only force that can lead people toward social and personal perfection and direct society toward doing good. The pope made the statement in a message sent to Rwandan President Paul Kagame to commemorate the 13th anniversary of the 1994 genocide. The message was sent to the Rwandan president in early April, but because the 2007 national day of mourning fell on Holy Saturday, it was only released publicly in late May. Rwandans mark April 7 as a national day of mourning for the victims of the genocide. Although baptisms are usually performed at the Easter Vigil, as a sign of unity with their fellow Rwandan citizens and a sign of respect for those being mourned April 7, the bishops of Rwanda postponed the administration of sacraments that are generally accompanied by family celebrations.

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Texas boy on life support dies; case prompted debate on medical care

AUSTIN, Texas (CNS) — Emilio Gonzales, a 19-month-old boy whose care became the focus of a debate over what constituted proportionate medical care, died May 19 at Children’s Hospital of Austin. Emilio, who had been blind and deaf since birth, was admitted to the hospital Dec. 27 with a collapsed lung. He was also diagnosed with Leigh’s disease, an incurable disease which causes the central nervous system to break down. Emilio’s mother, Catarina Gonzales, had obtained a restraining order forcing Children’s Hospital of Austin to keep her son on a respirator. He was on life support when he died. Bishop Gregory M. Aymond of Austin, in Rome for a meeting, said in a May 20 statement: “I join with Catarina and her family in accompanying Emilio with prayer as he goes home to the Lord. I pledge my prayers for Catarina and her family in this time of loss and as I pray at the tomb of Pope John Paul II this week in Rome, I will ask him to accompany Emilio and his family with his prayers.”

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Surgeon tells of healed baby, crucial miracle for Malta’s first saint

LONDON (CNS) — A surgeon who testified about the miraculous healing of a baby at a British hospital said he remains mystified by the child’s recovery, the miracle that cleared the way for the canonization of Malta’s first saint. Dr. Anil Dhawan, professor of pediatric hepatology at King’s College Hospital, London, told Catholic News Service May 22 there was “no scientific explanation” for the full recovery of the Maltese boy who had undergone “devastating” liver failure. The Catholic Church has concluded that the baby was cured through the intercession of Father George Preca, a 20th-century priest who will be canonized by Pope Benedict XVI June 3. Dhawan, 45, gave evidence to a church tribunal set up in Malta to decide if the healing was a sign from God that Blessed Preca is a saint. “The child was diagnosed with fulminant liver failure,” he said. “There was a 90 percent-plus chance that he wasn’t going to survive without a liver transplant. But he survived. Furthermore, he improved on his own.”

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CAFOD official welcomes resignation of World Bank president

LONDON (CNS) — A British Catholic aid agency official has welcomed the resignation of World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz after a controversy over the promotion of his girlfriend. George Gelber, head of policy at the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development, or CAFOD, said Wolfowitz’s departure presented an opportunity to change the way that top appointments are made to the bank, which he described as a “creditors’ cartel.” CAFOD is the development and aid agency of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales. “Paul Wolfowitz’s tenure at the World Bank and the recent scandal raise questions as to whether he was the right man for the job of fighting poverty in developing countries,” Gelber said in a May 18 statement. “It is remarkable that in the 21st century, these key appointments are made on the basis of nods and winks from the United States and Europe,” he said, adding that the resignation is an opportunity for the position “to be replaced by a democratic and transparent leadership selection process based on merit.”

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Woman says sharing her faith, serving fellow Chinese greatest reward

ATLANTA (CNS) — Sabrina Mao’s greatest reward is to share her faith with others and help them to know and love God and embrace Catholicism. “My motto is ‘all things work together for good for those who love the Lord and are called according to his purpose,'” she said, quoting from Paul’s Letter to the Romans. She also feels called to serve the Chinese in the Atlanta Archdiocese. “The Chinese community has special needs,” she said. “It is my desire to also serve the Chinese community, and I hope someday we will be able to have a Chinese priest in this archdiocese and be able to have a Chinese church.” Mao is Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory’s delegate to the archdiocese’s Chinese Catholic community. She has a master’s degree in pastoral studies from Loyola University in New Orleans and has certification as a spiritual director from Spring Hill College in Mobile, Ala.


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