Nation and World News

Only through Christ’s cross can we make sense of life

Only in the light of Christ

London churches deal with illegals

The size of the Catholic Church in the British capital is being boosted by waves of illegal immigrants, according to a new report.

New archbishop named in Warsaw

Two months after Pope Benedict XVI

Nepal gets ready for its first bishop

Soon to take the role of Nepal

World and National News Briefs

Pope announces March prayer intentions

VATICAN CITY (VIS) — Pope Benedict XVI’s general prayer intention for March is "That the Word of God may be ever more listened to, contemplated, loved and lived." His mission intention for the month is "That the training of catechists, organizers and laypeople committed in the service of the Gospel may be the constant concern of those responsible for the young Churches." The Vatican released the intentions March 1.

Rome deluged with JPII card requests

ROME (CNS) — The Rome diocesan office charged with promoting the sainthood cause of Pope John Paul II has exceeded its postage budget because of increased requests for prayer cards and relics of the late pope. "We were getting about 50 requests a day, but overnight it grew to between 500 and 1,000 requests," a spokeswoman for the office said March 2. "We could not have foreseen this demand," she said. "It’s an avalanche."
Franciscan Brother Chris Gaffrey, who assists the office with English translations, told Catholic News Service that the vast majority of requests in late February and early March were coming via e-mail from the United States. Several options for sending donations to cover the costs of the cards can be found on the official website of Pope John Paul’s sainthood cause —

Priest wins discrimination complaint

WASHINGTON (CNS) — A Jesuit priest is to be reinstated as a chaplain at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center after a federal board ruled that he was fired because of religious discrimination. Father Henry Heffernan, 76, was ordered to be reinstated at the NIH clinic in Bethesda, Md., by the Merit Systems Protection Board, a federal agency that hears personnel disputes.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled in January that Father Heffernan was wrongly suspended and fired in 2004. The merit systems board, a quasi-judicial entity, upheld the decision in a Feb. 23 order. The EEOC found that Father Heffernan was suspended and fired because of concerns he raised with the way the spiritual ministry director at the center insisted upon a multifaith chaplaincy that Father Heffernan believed did not accommodate the spiritual concerns of Catholic patients.

Abortion clinic in center is denounced

OXFORD, England (CNS) — Catholic Church officials in Austria have denounced the opening of an abortion clinic in a new Viennese shopping mall. "You can now drink coffee, watch a film, buy clothes and then have an abortion," said Erich Leitenberger, spokesman for the Austrian bishops’ conference. "This trivializes decisions about life and death."
Leitenberger told Catholic News Service Feb. 28 that Cardinal Christoph Schonborn of Vienna has asked the shopping mall’s Catholic owner, Richard Luger, to "think again" about the clinic’s opening. Lugar "already leased the premises and says this isn’t up to him, but the cardinal knows him well and I think he’s open to the arguments." A 1975 law legalizing abortions for women up to 12 weeks pregnant has left an "open wound" in Church-state relations in Austria, where Catholics are 78 percent of the population.

Chicago pastor to lead mission society

CHICAGO (CNS) — Father John J. "Jack" Wall, pastor of Chicago’s historic Old St. Patrick’s Church, has been named president of the Chicago-based Catholic Church Extension Society. His appointment was announced March 1.
Father Wall succeeds Bishop William R. Houck, 80, who retired from the post at the end of February. Catholic Extension serves 80-plus mission dioceses in the United States. During its 100-year history, it has distributed more than $400 million in donations for church construction, religious education and seminary formation, campus and outreach ministries, evangelization and salaries for missionaries.

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