Nation and World News

USCCB releases resource guide on Girl Scouts for Catholic parishes

WASHINGTON -- Responding to concerns about Catholic involvement with Girl Scouts, a U.S. bishops' committee released key points from its dialogue with Girl Scout leaders outlining major concerns of Church leaders and the national organization's responses.

The aim of the resource, issued April 2 by the bishops' Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, was not to support or oppose Catholic involvement with Girl Scouts of the USA, known as GSUSA, but to provide local bishops, pastors, youth leaders and parents with necessary information to determine their level of involvement.

Promotion of family life, fertility urged as answer to aging population

UNITED NATIONS -- An intervention from the Holy See's Permanent Observer Mission to the United Nations decried the low birth rates in 80 countries in the world, saying the statistics "should be a great cause for alarm."

Msgr. Janusz Urbanczyk, who is first counselor and charge d'affaires at the mission, delivered the intervention April 10 to the U.N.'s Commission on Population and Development.

Nation and world briefs


Survey finds dissatisfaction with new Missal language

Jesus 'knows what you are going through,' Cardinal Dolan tells inmates

FALLSBURG, N.Y. -- At an upbeat Mass in a maximum security prison, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan said Holy Week resonates with inmates, who can relate to Jesus' arrest, captivity and trial.

The archbishop of New York celebrated Mass April 14 for offenders, staff and visitors at the Sullivan Correctional Facility in Fallsburg.

The state prison, 100 miles north of New York City, houses approximately 450 men. Most are serving life sentences for committing violent felonies. The hilltop facility is surrounded by tall chain-link fences, topped with concertina wire.

Prayer, charity surround John XXIII, John Paul II being declared saints

VATICAN CITY -- The rite of canonization for Blesseds John XXIII and John Paul II April 27 will use the standard formula for the creation of new saints, but the Mass will be preceded by the recitation of the Divine Mercy chaplet, and it is possible retired Pope Benedict XVI will attend, the Vatican spokesman said.

"He is invited," said Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the spokesman. "But there is still a month to go. We'll have to see if he wants to be present and feels up to it."

John XXIII, John Paul II changed the way Church relates to other faiths

VATICAN CITY -- Blesseds John XXIII and John Paul II left lasting marks on the way the Catholic Church understands other religions and the way it interacts with believers of other faith communities.

Both popes' outgoing personalities and personal experiences -- especially during World War II -- obviously came into play, as did the fact that the world around them and many of their own faithful, theologians and bishops increasingly sensed that respecting human dignity meant at least trying to respect that others also were searching for truth.

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