Today (05.30.07)

No diocesan wide events today

Today’s Readings

Sirach 36:1, 4-5, 10-17
Psalm 79:8-9, 11, 13
Mark 10:32-45

Today’s Headlines from Catholic News Service

Appeals court says victims of abusive priest can sue his seminary

SEATTLE (CNS) — A court of appeals in Seattle has rejected a request to dismiss two lawsuits against a former Sulpician seminary that trained a priest who sexually abused minors. The U.S. Sulpicians argued that the seminary cannot be held responsible for the abuse committed by former priest Patrick O’Donnell following his ordination. If successful, the lawsuits could be the first in which a seminary is found legally liable for having recommended the ordination of someone who subsequently molested children. O’Donnell studied at Sulpician-run St. Thomas Seminary in Kenmore, a Seattle suburb, and was ordained a priest of the Spokane Diocese in 1971. He has been accused of molesting at least 65 minors between 1970 and his permanent removal from ministry in 1985. The lawsuits contend that seminary officials knew O’Donnell had molested boys but recommended him for ordination anyway. They allege that the seminary sent him to sexual deviancy counseling while he was still in the seminary.

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U.S. must honestly assess what is achievable in Iraq, says archbishop

BROOKLYN, N.Y. (CNS) — At this stage in the Iraq War, the United States “must honestly assess what is achievable in Iraq using the traditional just-war principle of ‘probability of success,’ including the probability of contributing to a responsible transition,” said Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien. The U.S. and its allies “also have a grave responsibility, even at a high cost, to help Iraqis secure and rebuild their nation,” unless the conclusion is reached that “a responsible transition is not achievable,” he said. The archbishop, who heads the U.S. Archdiocese for the Military Services, made the comments in a Memorial Day pastoral message to Catholic men and women in the U.S. armed forces. He delivered the same message at a packed session May 25 during the 2007 Catholic Media Convention in Brooklyn. The annual convention, a joint effort of the Catholic Press Association and Catholic Academy for Communication Arts Professionals, drew about 400 people working in Catholic communications in the U.S. and Canada.

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NCR and St. Paul, Detroit, Honolulu diocesan papers get CPA honors

BROOKLYN, N.Y. (CNS) — The National Catholic Reporter in Kansas City, Mo., won first place for general excellence among national newspapers for the eighth straight year in Catholic Press Association judging. Diocesan newspapers judged tops in general excellence were The Catholic Spirit, St. Paul-Minneapolis, 40,001-plus circulation; The Michigan Catholic, Detroit, 17,001-40,000 circulation; and Hawaii Catholic Herald, Honolulu, 17,000-and-under circulation. The annual CPA awards for diocesan and national newspapers were announced May 25 at the Catholic Media Convention in Brooklyn. In the national category, the CPA’s second place for general excellence went to The Catholic Register in Toronto. Third place went to the National Catholic Register in North Haven, Conn.

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Faith & Family wins CPA’s top magazine award for sixth year in a row

BROOKLYN, N.Y. (CNS) — Faith & Family, based in North Haven, Conn., won the general excellence award for general-interest magazines for the sixth year in a row in the Catholic Press Association’s annual competition. U.S. Catholic, published in Chicago, finished second for the second year in a row. Taking third place was St. Anthony Messenger, published in Cincinnati. Honorable mentions went to Ligourian, Notre Dame Magazine and True Girl. The CPA judges said True Girl deserved special mention for being a first-year magazine, adding that it does a “great job of fulfilling its goal of targeting Catholic teenage girls.” The awards were announced May 25 during the Catholic Media Convention in Brooklyn.

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El Centinela wins five CPA Spanish-language first-place awards

BROOKLYN, N.Y. (CNS) — El Centinela, the monthly Spanish-language newspaper of the Archdiocese of Portland, Ore., won five first-place awards in the Catholic Press Association’s annual competition for Spanish-language Catholic newspapers. At the Catholic Media Convention in Brooklyn May 25, the CPA honored El Centinela for general and individual excellence. The judges praised El Centinela’s selection of stories and opinion pieces, and said the paper’s choice of pictures adds to its professional appearance. “It is an interesting newspaper that appeals to the reader,” they added. In the general excellence category, El Pregonero, the weekly of the Washington Archdiocese, took second place, and El Mensajero Catolico, the monthly of the Diocese of Rochester, N.Y., won third place. For individual excellence for a writer or editor, Rocio Rios, editor of El Centinela, tied for first place with Carmen Aguinaco, editor of Oye! of the Chicago Archdiocese. The judges said the two editors “exceed expectations by showing undisputed talent, creativity, perseverance and effectiveness.”

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Kelly book gets top CPA honors for popular presentation of faith

BROOKLYN, N.Y. (CNS) — “May Crowning, Mass and Merton” by Liz Kelly won first place for popular presentation of the Catholic faith in the Catholic Press Association’s annual book awards announced May 25 in Brooklyn. CPA judges described the book, published by Loyola Press in Chicago, as “a joyful, heartfelt examination of Catholic life by a woman who has embraced every manifestation of it, from kneelers in church to the Eucharist, from particular prayers to the writing of such diverse authors as Flannery O’Connor and Thomas Merton.” Second place in the category went to “Blessed Are the Bored in Spirit” by Mark Hart, published by Servant Books in Cincinnati. The third-place winner was “At the Name of Jesus: The Way, The Truth, The Life” by Michael O’Neill McGrath and Richard N. Fragomeni, published by World Library Publications in Franklin Park, Ill. An honorable mention went to Guy Bedoulle for “An Illustrated History of the Church,” published by Liturgy Training Publications in Chicago.

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New affinity Visa card supports Catholic missions and evangelization

NEW YORK (CNS) — Catholics now have the opportunity to participate in the missionary work of the church each time they use a new affinity credit card. The Society for the Propagation of the Faith in New York recently announced the creation of the World Missions Visa credit card. The card will generate funds for the society and will be used to support the work of the church’s missions in more than 120 countries, according to a release. “With this credit card, Catholics here in our country can be part of our work — in effect missionaries here at home through their prayers and this financial assistance,” Msgr. John E. Kozar, national director of the pontifical missionary societies in the United States, said in a statement. One percent of purchases made with the card will go toward pastoral and evangelizing work in Asia, Africa, the Pacific islands and Latin America. More information about the credit card and applications are available online at:

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Theology school offers degree in interreligious dialogue

CHICAGO (CNS) — Catholic Theological Union has announced a new degree program, a master of arts in interreligious dialogue, starting this fall. The program will focus on the three Abrahamic faith traditions — Judaism, Christianity and Islam — and is designed to provide theological and practical preparation for future leaders in interreligious dialogue, whether as teachers, representatives of religious organizations, or resources where those skills are needed in government and business. Catholic Theological Union is the largest graduate school of theology and ministry in the United States. In a news release announcing the program, the school said the new program will seek to “maintain a balance of Jewish, Christian and Muslim students, reflecting the balance of the Jewish, Christian and Muslim professors who function as the core faculty.” It said, “Each participant is expected to become theologically literate in one of the faith traditions other than his or her own.”

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Pope says biblical Pentecost describes identity of Catholic Church

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The biblical account of Pentecost describes the elements essential for the identity of the Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI said. “The church is one,” just as the community gathered on the day of Pentecost was one, the pope said May 27, reciting the “Regina Coeli” prayer with visitors in St. Peter’s Square. Pope Benedict said reading the account of the descent of the Holy Spirit on the apostles at Pentecost is a reminder that “the church is holy, not on its own merits, but because, animated by the Holy Spirit, it keeps its gaze fixed on Christ in order to conform itself to him and his love.” The account also proclaims that “the church is catholic, because the Gospel is destined to all people,” he said. And “the church is apostolic because, built on the foundation of the apostles, it faithfully keeps their teaching through the uninterrupted chain of episcopal succession.” Finally, the pope said, the church is missionary because from the day of Pentecost onward the Holy Spirit has prompted the church to bring the Gospel message to the entire world.

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Pope urges Christians of India to work together to share Gospel

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Greeting the new head of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI urged the Christians of India to work together to share the Gospel and to reach out to other believers to promote justice and solidarity. Major Archbishop Isaac Cleemis Thottunkal of Trivandrum made his first visit to the Vatican as head of the church May 28, accompanied by a group of priests and nuns. The 47-year-old was elected in February to head the Eastern-rite church, which claims about 400,000 members in India and North America. Pope Benedict told the archbishop it was his duty to help his church live in full communion with the worldwide Catholic Church while also protecting the Syro-Malankara church’s particular liturgical and spiritual heritage. “Now is a time of new evangelization, a time of constantly renewed and convinced dialogue with all our brothers and sisters who share our Christian faith, a time of respectful and fruitful encounter between religions and cultures for the good of all, and especially the poorest of the poor,” the pope told him.

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Pope urges Mozambique bishops to make evangelization a priority

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI urged the bishops of Mozambique to make evangelization a priority, particularly by strengthening the religious education of the country’s Catholics. “Without this deep formation, faith and religious practice will remain superficial and fragile,” the pope said, and it will be impossible to infuse “the ancestral customs with a Christian spirit.” Pope Benedict met the bishops May 26 at the end of their “ad limina” visits, which the heads of dioceses make every five years. About 24 percent of Mozambicans are Catholic and about 18 percent are Muslim; a substantial portion of the population either belongs to Christian sects or follows a traditional African religion. Pope Benedict told the bishops that if Catholics had a better understanding of their faith and were more committed to living it not only would they be protected from the sects, but they also would be better equipped for dialogue with Muslims and members of other religions.

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Toronto Archdiocese says women’s ordination not connected with church

TORONTO (CNS) — The Archdiocese of Toronto said an ordination ceremony held by a group that calls itself Roman Catholic Womenpriests has “no connection whatsoever to the Roman Catholic Church.” The archdiocese said in a statement that, “despite its name, (Roman Catholic Womenpriests) has no connection whatsoever to the Roman Catholic Church, nor do its ceremonies have any relationship with the sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church.” The statement said the organization has no authority to restructure the sacraments, especially that of priestly ordination. The Catholic Church does not allow the ordination of women. One Canadian and two American women were ordained “priests” at the May 27 ceremony in the tiny West Hill United Church. Three others, including the group’s first male, were ordained as deacons. South African Patricia Fresen, who performed the ordinations, was part of a ceremony in 2002 on the Danube River in Germany, where seven women were “ordained” by a schismatic Argentine bishop. The women were subsequently excommunicated by the Vatican. Since then, the group has performed several other public ceremonies and now claims 14 women priests in Canada and one in the United States.

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Pope: Catholics must bring Gospel to world debased by poverty, abuses

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The primary task of every Catholic is to bring the Gospel message to a world debased by poverty, violence and human rights abuses, Pope Benedict XVI said. Through its missionary action, the pope said, the church can “guide and evangelize cultural, social and ethical transformations and offer Christ’s salvation to modern humankind, debased and oppressed in so many parts of the world because of endemic poverty, violence and the systematic denial of human rights.” While renewed efforts for evangelization have proven fruitful, there is “still more to be done to answer the missionary call the Lord tirelessly makes to every baptized person,” he said in his message for World Mission Sunday 2007. The Vatican released this year’s message May 29, ahead of World Mission Sunday, to be celebrated Oct. 21 in most dioceses. Addressing this year’s theme, “All the Churches for All the World,” the pope focused on the need for every local church to breathe new life into its missionary mandate.

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Redemptoris Mater seminary wins first seminarian soccer series

ROME(CNS)– The soccer team representing Redemptoris Mater seminary won the first Clericus Cup, a championship series exclusively for priests and seminarians studying in Rome. The May 26 final pitted Redemptoris Mater, the Neocatechumenal Way’s Rome seminary, against Pontifical Lateran University. In nine games no team had managed to get a goal past the Neocatechumenal team, which ended the season undefeated. The 10th and final game of the series was no exception. The only goal scored during the final game was by Redemptoris Mater’s Giacomo Piermarini on a penalty kick. In early May the Neocatechumenal team knocked the Pontifical North American College’s Martyrs out of the playoffs. The Clericus Cup tournament was launched in late February; 16 teams from various seminaries and pontifical universities played against each other.

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40 years after war, Jerusalem’s Christian leaders urge work for peace

JERUSALEM (CNS) — On the 40th anniversary of the 1967 Israeli-Arab war, Christian leaders in Jerusalem called on all people to “work diligently for peace” as God’s children. “It is totally unacceptable for the situation to continue where the Palestinians endure daily hardships and humiliations with deprivations of international human rights, allegedly to ensure the safety and security of the Israelis, whereas we believe the security of Israel is dependent on the freedom and justice of the Palestinians,” the church leaders said in a letter May 27. They noted that their position on Jerusalem, stated in November, includes recognizing the rights of the three monotheistic faiths — Christianity, Islam and Judaism — and the needs of the Israelis and Palestinians in the city. “Now we sincerely believe it is time to intensify action, particularly through negotiation, to end occupation, establish an independent Palestinian state … with borders clearly defined, thus giving both peoples, Israelis and Palestinians alike, human dignity, security and equal opportunities,” they said.

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Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue to get its own leader

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, which has shared a president with the Pontifical Council for Culture for more than a year, will get its own leader shortly, the Vatican secretary of state said. Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, speaking May 26 at a conference on interreligious dialogue in Vercelli, Italy, said, “the change demonstrates the importance of interreligious dialogue” for the Catholic Church. The Vatican press office confirmed Cardinal Bertone’s remarks but said it had no information on when Pope Benedict XVI would name the new president. Since March 2006, French Cardinal Paul Poupard, 76, has led both the Pontifical Council for Culture and the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. The Vatican said at the time that the joint presidency would be temporary. Still, many people involved in interreligious dialogue saw the move as a downgrading of the council’s importance or as a shift in emphasis from focusing on the faith and practice of the Catholic Church’s dialogue partners to focusing on their contributions to local culture and on fostering joint cultural projects.

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Orthodox official says his church rules out papal-primacy compromise

MOSCOW (CNS) — A Russian Orthodox official who represents his church on a Catholic-Orthodox commission said his church rules out any compromise on papal primacy. “Historically, the primacy of the bishop of Rome in the Christian church, from our point of view, was that of honor, not jurisdiction — the jurisdiction of the pope of Rome was never applied to all the churches,” said Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev of Vienna and Austria, who represents the Russian Orthodox Church on the International Commission for Theological Dialogue Between the Catholic Church and Orthodox Churches. The commission is scheduled to meet in October in Ravenna, Italy, for the 10th plenary since its creation in 1979. After a six-year break, the 60-member commission reconvened in September to debate conciliarity and authority. “There can be no compromise whatsoever” on papal primacy, Bishop Hilarion said in a May 28 interview with Russia’s Interfax news agency. He added that “the aim of the theological dialogue is not at all to reach a compromise. For us, it is rather to identify the church’s original view of primacy.”

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Celebrate success, sacrifices, chief justice tells new college grads

WORCESTER, Mass. (CNS) — “To be free, you must be brave,” the chief justice of the United States told graduates of the College of the Holy Cross May 25. Chief Justice John G. Roberts brought history, government and mountains into his commencement address after receiving an honorary doctor of laws degree from the college. About 640 graduates received bachelor of arts degrees. Addressing the graduates at the college’s Fitton Field, Roberts drew laughter and applause as he said, “In my capacity as chief justice, let me begin with a subject I know something about: Nice robes.” The chief justice told graduates that Holy Cross posed to them a question of universal importance: “How then shall we live?” and commencement was a good time to “pause and see where you are in coming up with an answer.” The chief justice is married to Jane Sullivan Roberts, a 1976 graduate of Holy Cross and current member of the college’s board of trustees.

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Swan, Erdosy win CPA individual excellence honors

BROOKLYN, N.Y. (CNS) — Michael Swan of The Catholic Register in Toronto and Daria Erdosy of One Magazine in New York won individual excellence honors in the combination awards category of the Catholic Press Association awards announced May 25 in Brooklyn. Swan’s award was as a writer/editor, and Erdosy was honored in the photographer/artist category. The CPA judges said Swan, as an associate editor of the Canadian national Catholic weekly, “sets the tone for this publication with his solid reporting, clear writing, thought-provoking commentary and beautiful photography.” Erdosy received praise for beautiful photographs that “serve the purpose of not only telling a story but stirring emotions.” Taking second place for writing and editing was Elizabeth Martin Solsburg of Faith Magazine in Lansing, Mich. Kate Blain of The Evangelist in Albany, N.Y., and John Shaughnessy of The Criterion in Indianapolis tied for third place.

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