Nation and World News

Refuse medical methods that destroy life, Vatican academy tells Catholics

Catholic health care professionals, including hospital administrators, have an obligation to refuse to participate

Refuse medical methods that destroy life, Vatican

Catholic health care professionals, including hospital administrators, have an obligation to refuse to participate

Scripture, song, prayer mark anti-war protests

Scripture readings were interspersed with testimonies at a crowded prayer vigil March 16 that kicked off weekend anti-war protests in Washington and around the country.

World and National News Briefs

Mass banned at homsexuality symposium

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Archbishop Harry J. Flynn of St. Paul-Minneapolis barred a National Symposium on Catholicism and Homosexuality from celebrating the Eucharist during its March 16-18 meeting in Minneapolis.

In a letter to New Ways Ministry in Mount Rainier, Md., the sponsor of the symposium, Archbishop Flynn said
that upon reviewing the planned program "I became concerned about some of the topics listed, and also about some of your featured speakers who are known to have publicly contested Church teaching." He added, "As you well know, New Ways Ministry itself has several times been central in similar disputes."

He said the plan to conclude the symposium with a Mass "makes it seem as though the symposium is a perfectly fine Catholic event. You do not have permission to celebrate the Eucharist as part of your symposium. Hopefully, that will at least minimize potential confusion and scandal," Archbishop Flynn wrote. New Ways Ministry executive director Francis DeBernardo said the archbishop’s decision "will cause great pain to faithful Catholics who are concerned about the Church’s pastoral response to lesbian/gay people and their families."

Viet priest’s arrest adds to rights furor

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The arrest of Father Nguyen Van Ly in February by Vietnamese police was denounced by members of Congress and several Vietnamese-American rights activists during a March 14 press conference at a House office building.

Father Ly, who was arrested inside the rectory of the cathedral in Hue, Vietnam, is "the vocal heartbeat of their country," said U.S. Rep. Christopher Smith, R-N.J., who visited Father Ly and other religious rights and human rights activists in the country last year. "All they want is human rights and freedom."

Doan Viet Hoat, chairman of the Washington-based International Institute for Vietnam, said the monthlong Vietnamese crackdown on activists in the spheres of religious rights, labor rights and human rights took place "right after Vietnam gained entry to the WTO (World Trade Organization), met with the Holy See and right after the issuance of the 2006 U.S. human rights annual report." In that report, Vietnam was listed as "a country of concern" over the human rights situation there.

Father Sobrino responds to criticism

WASHINGTON (CNS) — In a sharply worded letter to his religious superior, Jesuit Father Jon Sobrino said that a Vatican document criticizing his work is an effort "to put an end to the theology of liberation."

Father Sobrino defended his theology and said that there is an attitude among many Vatican officials and Latin American bishops against him and other liberation theologians. The letter was sent to Father Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, superior general of the Society of Jesus, after Father Kolvenbach had sent Father Sobrino a notification by the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith strongly criticizing theological aspects of two of Father Sobrino’s books.

The notification was dated Nov. 26 and made public at the Vatican March 14. Father Sobrino wrote the letter in early December. His letter was posted March 13 on the Web site Atrio which posts documents on Catholicism and other religions. Jesuit sources said the letter was authentic.

Carjackers kill missionaries in Kenya

NAIROBI, Kenya (CNS) — Carjackers shot at close range and killed a Missionaries of Africa priest before taking his car in Nairobi March 10.

Father Martin Addai, 46, was traveling near the Missionaries of Africa house when he died of massive bleeding from the gunshot wound, said a statement from Brother Anthony Baaladong, superior general of the Missionaries of Africa in Kenya.

Father Addai was on his way to visit friends, the statement said. His body was thrown on the side of the road and assailants escaped with the vehicle, it said.

Kuhn recalled as ‘good Catholic man’

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (CNS) — Former baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn, who died in a Jacksonville hospital March 15 at age 80 from respiratory failure following a bout with pneumonia, once said he wanted to be remembered simply "as a good Catholic man."

He was commissioner from 1969 to 1984.

In a 1999 interview with The Long Island Catholic, newspaper of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, N.Y., Kuhn said his faith was his anchor throughout his life. "My Church taught me the importance of right and wrong," he said, explaining that the Church gave him the tools to stay on that path, as well as the sacraments. "The Church is my bulwark," he added.

"Not a moment goes by where I don’t realize that I’m a man of faith, and there are certain obligations that go along with that."

Kuhn was a lay member of the Opus Dei prelature, founded in the 1920s by Spanish priest St. Josemaria Escriva. Kuhn told the Review in 2002 that the example of St. Josemaria had led Kuhn to see how following Christ "is a call to holiness in everyday life." Kuhn was a featured speaker at a special tribute to St. Josemaria held in November 2002 at the Sheldon Concert Hall in St. Louis. He spoke, without fee, that evening about his Catholic faith to full house.

Little Sisters’ leader is first from United States

Mother Celine of the Visitation decided as a 17-year-old U.S. schoolgirl in San Francisco that she wanted to join the Little Sisters of the Poor.

Papal Message

When Catholics nourish themselves with the Eucharist, the love of Jesus grows in them so that they can share that love with the world, Pope Benedict XVI said March 18 during his midday Angelus address.

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