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Papal Message

Eusebius, bishop of Caesarea in Palestine, was the subject of Pope Benedict XVI

More Catholics prepare for diaconate

The Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate reports that in 2006-07 it identified more permanent deacon candidates and more students in U.S. lay ecclesial ministry programs than in the previous year.

Philadelphia council rescinds ‘pro-choice’ resolution for city

Cardinal Justin Rigali thanked the Philadelphia City Council June 14 for voting to rescind a

World and National News Briefs

Torched Wisc. cathedral to be rebuilt

MADISON, Wis. (CNS) — Bishop Robert C. Morlino of Madison said recently that St. Raphael Cathedral would be rebuilt on the current site of the church in downtown Madison.

Bishop Morlino made the announcement at the conclusion of a eucharistic procession celebrating the feast of Corpus Christi. He has spent more than two years listening, consulting and praying about the cathedral future. St. Raphael’s cornerstone was laid in 1854, and the church was designated as the cathedral church for the newly established Diocese of Madison in 1946. Much of the church was destroyed in an arson fire March 14, 2005. The day after the announcement, Circuit Judge Steven Ebert sentenced William J. Connell, who admitted to setting the fire, to 15 years in prison.

Amnesty Int’l defends abortion stance

LONDON (CNS) — Amnesty International has defended its new policy on abortion after a Vatican official said Catholics might need to withdraw their financial support of the organization.

"Amnesty International’s position is not for abortion as a right but for women’s human rights to be free of fear, threat and coercion as they manage all consequences of rape and other grave human rights violations," said Kate Gilmore, the London-based executive deputy secretary-general of the international human rights organization. "Ours is a movement dedicated to upholding human rights, not specific theologies," she said in a statement June 14. "It means that sometimes the secular framework of human rights that Amnesty International upholds will converge neatly with the standpoints of certain faith-based communities; sometimes it will not."

Cardinal Renato Martino, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, said Amnesty had "betrayed its mission" by abandoning its traditional neutral policy on abortion in favor of a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy.

Catholic hospitals part of cancer project

BETHESDA, Md. (CNS) — Ten Catholic community hospitals are among the 16 chosen by the National Cancer Institute, an agency of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, to participate in a three-year pilot project aimed at improving cancer care for underserved populations in small towns, rural areas and the inner city.

The NCI Community Cancer Centers Program will link the community hospitals to the medical, surgical and radiation oncologists working with 63 NCI-designated cancer centers, which are principally based at research universities in large urban areas.

The nation’s two largest Catholic health systems — Ascension Health, with headquarters in St. Louis, and Catholic Health Initiatives, based in Denver — will play a leading role in the project, which is also designed to enhance treatment for racial and ethnic minorities with unusually high cancer rates. None of the Catholic hospitals in the St. Louis Archdiocese, however, were among the 10 institutions chosen.

Christians in Gaza concerned for future

JERUSALEM (CNS) — Some Christians in the Gaza Strip expressed concern about their future after Islamic militants of Hamas took control of the Palestinian territory. One young woman told Catholic News Service by telephone that she was concerned the Islamic extremists would begin to enforce a strict dress code, forcing women to wear veils and robes, despite promises by Hamas that nothing would change culturally or socially for Gaza. One Christian teenager spoke to CNS on the condition that her name not be used and said the days of fighting had been "very difficult" but that people there were "OK now."

After five days of infighting between the Palestinian factions of Hamas and Fatah — battles that left dozens dead and hundreds wounded — the streets of Gaza were quiet the morning of June 15.

Bishop nixes Medjugorje visit of papal preacher

The preacher of the papal household has withdrawn from plans to deliver a series of lectures in Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina, after the local bishop denied him permission to speak there.

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