Today in the Diocese
No events in the diocese today.
10- Rev. James Franchi (1969)
10- Rev. Leo St. John, OMI (1976)
Colossians 1:24 — 2:3
Psalm 62:6-7, 9
Today’s Headlines from Catholic News Service
Cleveland diocesan officials testify in trial of former employee
CLEVELAND (CNS) — Even though a former assistant treasurer for the Cleveland Diocese is the one on trial in U.S. District Court for an alleged kickback scheme involving church money, observers are getting a look at the financial operations of the diocese. Anton Zgoznik, 40, a certified public accountant, has been on trial since Aug. 20 for allegedly paying money to former diocesan chief financial officer Joseph Smith in return for business from the diocese for consulting work. Zgoznik is charged with 15 felony counts including conspiracy, mail fraud and obstructing tax laws. Smith also is facing 23 similar charges and his trial is expected to begin after Zgoznik’s concludes. Federal officials allege that the diocese paid $17.5 million to Zgoznik’s firms for computer, accounting and financial work between 1996 and 2003. The government charges that Zgoznik’s companies then paid $784,000 in kickbacks to Smith’s companies. But defense attorneys for Zgoznik say the lifelong Catholic, who was raised in the St. Vitus Church community and a traditional Slovenian family, was merely following directions from his clergy superiors and that the diocese often paid consultants for work in special compensation accounts. They also contend that all work that Zgoznik’s firms received was approved by the diocesan Finance Council.
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Iraq War, foreign aid, housing, immigration on Congress’ agenda
WASHINGTON (CNS) — Nine months into the congressional term, a new Gallup Poll finds only 18 percent of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing. That makes for a whole lot of pressure on the majority Democrats to push through some of the legislation that voters think is important before the already highly politicized environment becomes even more polarized by campaigning for next year’s elections. Dealing with the war in Iraq topped congressional leaders’ priority lists after their August recess. While the debate in Congress focuses on “benchmarks” and other details of an independent commission’s study of the progress of the war, church advocates worry about how the situation is affecting the Iraqi people. Stephen Colecchi, director of the Office of International Justice and Peace for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said that means trying to ensure that whatever the United States does to extricate itself from Iraq the effort must follow a moral framework that leads to a stable transition.
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Nashville Diocese sends three Hispanic seminarians to study in Mexico
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (CNS) — For nearly 10 years, Bishop Jose Andres Corral Arredondo of Parral, Mexico, has sent priests and women religious from his diocese to Nashville to help serve the spiritual needs of the Hispanic community. Now he is helping the Diocese of Nashville in a new way. Three seminarians for the Diocese of Nashville recently began their seminary studies at the diocesan minor seminary in Parral. “I think it’s a relationship that’s mutually beneficial,” said Nashville Bishop David R. Choby. “Obviously, as a diocese, we would not be able to respond to the needs of the Hispanic community without the presence of his priests here. By having seminarians at the Diocese of Parral, we can help support the work of Bishop Corral” in preparing men for the priesthood in his diocese. For the three Nashville seminarians, Rodolfo Rivera, Bernidino Giron and Armando Carrizales, Spanish is their native language. Bishop Choby is hopeful that studying for the priesthood in Spanish will benefit the seminarians.
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Pennsylvania couple retires to serve others in Mercy Volunteer Corps
ERIE, Pa. (CNS) — Dottie and Skip Glover could have done what many couples do when they retire: travel, spend more time with friends or take up a new hobby. Instead, they enlisted with Mercy Volunteer Corps, a program of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas that invites women and men to serve people who are economically poor or marginalized. Last summer, the Glovers, now 63, rented their home in suburban Erie and, with the blessing of their four grown children, took off for a year of service in Philadelphia. “It was wonderful,” said Dottie Glover, a former Catholic elementary school art teacher, describing the past year. “We loved where we worked,” added Skip Glover, who retired from human resources and accounting work for local manufacturing firms. During their year of service, Dottie Glover was the activities and recreation coordinator at Calcutta House, a personal care facility for 27 residents living with AIDS. Skip Glover volunteered at Bethesda Project for homeless men and women. The couple lived with other volunteers in a former convent.
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Pope says Christianity not just legacy of Europe, but way to future
VIENNA, Austria (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI arrived in Austria for a three-day pilgrimage, saying Christianity was not just the legacy of Europe’s past but “the way to the future.” The pope stepped off his chartered Alitalia jet Sept. 7 in heavy rain at the Vienna airport, where he was welcomed by Austrian President Heinz Fischer, who quickly ushered the pontiff into a hangar. After an honor-guard salute, the pope said in a speech that he felt at home in Austria, a country “deeply imbued with the message of Jesus Christ.” His voice was still somewhat rough after a recent bout of hoarseness. The pope said the focus of his journey, a visit to the Marian shrine at Mariazell, would take him to the “maternal heart of Austria” and underline the role of Mary throughout Central Europe. The Marian sanctuary, the pope said, “reminds us of an essential dimension of human beings: their capacity for openness to God and his word of truth.”
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For Pope Benedict, it’s elemental: Safe water is of grave importance
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — When Pope Benedict XVI turns on the tap in his Vatican apartment, it’s a reminder that potable water is a precious resource in today’s world. The 109-acre Vatican City does not have its own water source, and it relies on Italy to furnish it with the estimated 5 million cubic meters of water consumed inside the Vatican each year. That arrangement is guaranteed by a 1929 treaty. When the treaty was drafted, it didn’t seem like a big deal to promise the Vatican an everlasting “adequate endowment of water.” But things have changed: In many countries, water has become a sensitive environmental, political and economic issue. In recent remarks to youths at an Italian Marian shrine, Pope Benedict said he was concerned about the equitable sharing of the world’s water supplies and warned that water shortages could easily fuel conflicts. Three days later the pope sent a greeting to an environmental conference in Greenland, saying the care of water resources was of “grave importance” for the entire human family. The pope’s appeals were brief, but they reflected the Vatican’s increasing interest in the moral, political and scientific aspects of the world’s safe water supply.
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Pope expresses hope trip to Austria would help heal Catholics’ wounds
ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE TO AUSTRIA (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI said he hoped his brief pilgrimage to Austria would help “heal the wounds” among Catholics who have faced their share of internal church problems in recent years. The pope, speaking to reporters Sept. 7 aboard his chartered jet to Vienna, expressed his gratitude to the Catholics who have remained in the church despite the “difficult times.” “I want to say thank you for all those who have suffered in these last years,” he said. “I hope I can help a bit in the healing of these wounds.” In the mid-1990s, the We Are Church movement developed in Austria as an influential lay association that was highly critical of the hierarchy and urged changes in church positions on things like priestly celibacy and women’s ordination. Later, a pornography and sex scandal in an Austrian seminary led to the resignation of a leading bishop. In the wake of those tensions, the number of Austrian Catholics has declined by 6 percent.
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Protecting the earth requires sharing clean technologies, says pope
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Industrialized nations “must share clean technologies” with developing nations, as well as curb the demand for goods that damage the environment, Pope Benedict XVI said. Countries with emerging economies and undergoing rapid industrialization “are not morally free to repeat the past errors of others by recklessly continuing to damage the environment,” the pope said in a written message to environmental and religious leaders meeting in Greenland. As such, “highly industrialized countries must share clean technologies and ensure that their own markets do not sustain demand for goods whose very production contributes to the proliferation of pollution,” he said. The Sept. 1 message was addressed to Ecumenical Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, one of the sponsors of the seventh Religion, Science and the Environment symposium on the Arctic. The Vatican released a copy of the message to journalists Sept. 7. The Sept. 6-12 meeting in Ilulissat, Greenland, brought together religious leaders from numerous traditions to focus on the impact pollution and climate change have had on the island’s rapidly melting glaciers.
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Pope strongly urges Europe not to deny its Christian values
VIENNA, Austria (CNS) — Before an audience of Austrian political leaders and international diplomats, Pope Benedict XVI urged Europe not to jettison its Christian values — especially when it comes to the rights of the unborn and the dying. The pope made the remarks Sept. 7 in an ornate reception hall of Vienna’s Hofburg Palace, which was packed with government officials, legislators, ambassadors and representatives to U.N. and other agencies. After being welcomed warmly by Austrian President Heinz Fischer, the pope stood on a red-carpeted podium and declared bluntly: “Europe cannot and must not deny her Christian roots. These represent a dynamic component of our civilization as we move forward into the third millennium.” The pope then quickly turned to two pro-life issues — abortion and euthanasia — which he said were not merely church concerns but represented threats to the most basic human right, that of life itself.
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Religious order to turn infamous Colombian prison into religious site
BOGOTA, Colombia (CNS) — An infamous Colombian prison named “La Catedral,” once home to narco-trafficking kingpin Pablo Escobar, soon will be turned into a center of prayer. The administration of the prison site recently was given to the Monastic Brotherhood of St. Gertrude the Great, which plans to invest less than $60,000 to turn the ruins into a religious site and spiritual retreat. A cross will stand at the site of an old guard tower and a sculpture of St. Gertrude will look down on the city. The brotherhood also plans to build a chapel and rooms to serve as spiritual retreats. When Colombian authorities finally were ready to arrest Escobar in 1991, he agreed to go to prison — but in a luxury facility built to his own specifications on a mountainside above the city of Medellin. From inside the prison, which was equipped with a soccer field, a waterfall and a giant dollhouse for his daughter, Escobar continued ruling his drug empire and ordering murders. But Escobar lived there only 13 months before learning he was to be transferred to a real prison. He fled in July 1992, but was hunted down by police and shot dead on a rooftop the next year.
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Holy Cross founder to be beatified said to offer lessons for today
PORTLAND, Ore. (CNS) — The only known portrait of Father Basil Anthony Moreau shows a stern, impassioned face. And by some accounts, the 19th-century French cleric lived and thought intensely. But those from the religious congregation he established know him as much more — an enterprising and adaptive man in many ways ahead of his time. Father Moreau, founder of the Congregation of Holy Cross, was to be beatified Sept. 15 in LeMans, France. The beatification rite officially recognizes Father Moreau’s holiness and is one step in the process of naming a saint. “He was a great entrepreneur,” said Holy Cross Father Bill Dorwart, campus minister at the University of Portland. “He was a diocesan priest and a teacher who pulled a whole group of people together to give energy to a mission.” Born to a peasant family, Father Moreau hit his prime as the sheen had substantially worn off the French Revolution. He envisioned laity, religious and clergy working together to re-evangelize the French countryside. He advised his followers to cultivate a preference for the poor.
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Top Vatican official appeals for life of Texas death-row inmate
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — A top Vatican official appealed for the life of a death-row inmate whose execution was scheduled for Sept. 13 in Texas. Cardinal Renato Martino, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, urged Texas government authorities Sept. 7 to commute the death sentence of Joseph Lave. Lave, 42, has been on death row for 13 years. He was convicted of the brutal murders in 1992 of two 18-year-old store clerks, Frederick Banzhaf and Justin Marquart. During a Sept. 5-12 international meeting in Rome on the pastoral care of prisoners, Cardinal Martino asked for Lave’s life “to be saved or at least for a stay of execution,” said a release from the justice and peace council. The cardinal called the death penalty an inhumane and ineffective form of punishment that also “impoverishes the society that legitimizes and practices it,” the release said.
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On 100th birthday, Baltimore parishioner looks forward to future
BALTIMORE (CNS) — Following a special Mass at St. Gregory the Great Parish in Baltimore in honor of her 100th birthday, Ella Byrd told well-wishers she may have lived through a century of history, but looks forward to events in the future that one day will be deemed historic. “As I look back, I see that we’ve made a lot of progress in making things fair and equal,” said Byrd, who turned 100 Aug. 24. “But more needs to be done. I told my friends I’m starting my next 100 years now and can’t wait to see where we go from here.” When Byrd was born in the summer of 1907, women in the United States didn’t have the right to vote and the civil rights movement was still 50 years away. During the course of her first 100 years, Byrd would enjoy the spoils of her ever-evolving nation, become a community activist entrenched in the Democratic Party, and participate in the legislative process as an elections judge.
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Indianapolis family has seven children in one Catholic grade school
INDIANAPOLIS (CNS) — Sam Madden likes it that when he walks through the halls of St. Roch School in Indianapolis he’s likely to see another member of his family. “It’s pretty cool,” said the 13-year-old. “You can walk down the hall and say hi to them. It brightens up the day.” The seven Madden children — ranging in age from 5 to 13 — entered St. Roch School in Indianapolis Aug. 15 to start an unforgettable school year together. While Sam heads for his eighth-grade classroom, 12-year-old Mike turns into the seventh-grade room. Eleven-year-old Jack greets his sixth-grade friends while 10-year-old Anna says hello to her friends in the fifth grade. Nine-year-old Kathryn settles behind her desk in third grade while 7-year-old Kimberly opens her desk in second grade. And, last but not least, 5-year-old Joe walks into his kindergarten classroom. Having seven children in one school is a rare occurrence in today’s world. It’s also a reflection of Jim and Kitty Madden’s belief in Catholic education and their trust that God will provide for their family’s needs.