Category Archives: Catholic News Service

Today (09.17.07)

No diocesan wide events

Today’s Readings

Galatians 6:14-18
Galatians 2:16, 20; Philippians 1:20-21
Luke 9:23-26

Today’s Headlines from Catholic News ServiceĀ 

Santa Rosa Diocese reaches settlement with priest’s abuse victims

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (CNS) — The Diocese of Santa Rosa reached a settlement of more than $5 million to resolve sex abuse claims against a fugitive priest, Father Francisco Ochoa-Perez, who was an assistant pastor in Sonoma. The settlement will be paid to 10 people and is being funded by insurance coverage and the sale of a piece of property next to the Cathedral of St. Eugene, according to a Sept. 13 statement from Deirdre Frontczak, a spokeswoman for the diocese. According to local news reports, the settlement was reached Aug. 27. It was made public Sept. 13. The sum of $5 million will come from those sources and an additional $20,000 will be paid personally by Santa Rosa Bishop Daniel F. Walsh from stipends he receives when he officiates at baptisms and weddings. Last year in late April, the priest, who also goes by the name Francisco Xavier Ochoa, admitted to Bishop Walsh and other top diocesan officials that he had had inappropriate contact with children, including kissing an altar boy and giving him money. The bishop suspended him immediately. About a week later Father Ochoa-Perez fled the area. It is believed he has been living in Mexico since that time.

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Bishops pledge to use church resources to stop human trafficking

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Calling human trafficking “a horrific crime against the basic dignity and rights of the human person,” Bishop Gerald R. Barnes of San Bernardino, Calif., said the Catholic bishops “pledge to use the resources of the church to help end this affliction. Continue reading

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Newly arrived in California, Catholic Iraqi refugees eager to work

By Sharon Abercrombie
Catholic News Service

OAKLAND, Calif. (CNS) — Their family home in Fallujah, Iraq, was shelled, burned and looted. They languished for two years in Istanbul, Turkey, within the cultural and vocational limbo accorded refugees who are waiting to be permanently resettled somewhere, sometime.

Now that Hana, Wafa and Sana Toma have found a permanent home in the Oakland Diocese with the help of Catholic Charities, they speak with a single voice: “We want Continue reading

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USCCB urges greater U.S. resettlement assistance for Iraqi refugees

By Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The U.S. government should provide resettlement aid for 25,000 Iraqi refugees in the next fiscal year, 10 times the number expected to arrive by the end of the year, said one recommendation of a new report by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on the Iraqi refugee crisis in the Middle East.

“Iraqi refugees with relatives in the United States should be considered for U.S. resettlement on the basis of family reunification, dropping the requirement that they enter as refugees or migrants,” said the report, “Escaping Mayhem and Murder: Iraqi Refugees in the Middle East.” Continue reading

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Pope strongly urges Europe not to deny its Christian values

By John Thavis
Catholic News Service

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. Continue reading

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San Diego Diocese announces $198 million settlement

By Catholic News Service

SAN DIEGO (CNS) — The Diocese of San Diego Sept. 7 announced an agreement to pay $198.1 million to settle lawsuits with 144 victims of sexual abuse by priests.

The diocese had originally offered $95 million to settle the claims. The plaintiffs sought $200 million.

Earlier in the year, the diocese filed for bankruptcy protection hours before a trial was to begin in one of the first lawsuits alleging that the church was responsible for sexual abuse by priests. The judge in the bankruptcy case had recently threatened to throw out the bankruptcy case if the church didn’t reach an agreement with the plaintiffs. Continue reading

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Pope: Prisons must not be centers for torture

By Catholic News Service

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy (CNS) — Prisons must not be centers for torture and other degrading forms of punishment, but must help rehabilitate detainees so they can “conduct upright and honest lives within society,” said Pope Benedict XVI.

Jails and correctional facilities “must contribute to the rehabilitation of offenders, facilitating their transition from despair to hope and from unreliability to dependability,” the pope said in a Sept. 6 audience with prison chaplains at his summer villa in Castel Gandolfo. The chaplains were participants in a Sept. 5-12 international meeting on the pastoral care of prisoners. Continue reading

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Priest sees rise in ‘spiritual enthusiasm’ at Boy Scout summer camps

By Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) — As a priest for 52 years and a Boy Scout for 65, Msgr. John B. Brady says he has never experienced the “youthful spiritual enthusiasm” he witnessed this summer as a chaplain at the Goshen Scout Reservation in Goshen, Va.

“Scouts of every faith attended religious services in record numbers,” Msgr. Brady said in a report on his experiences with the more than 7,000 Scouts and leaders who attended the six camps at Goshen this summer. Continue reading

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