Nation and World News

Mexicans pray for miracle in team’s World Cup play

Less than an hour after Mexico won its first World Cup match, worshippers in Mexico City were praying for further success before a statue of the infant Jesus dressed in a soccer uniform.

Knights continue backing for marriage amendment

Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson said last week that the U.S. Senate

World and National News Briefs

Official’s Mass attendance raises eyebrows

HONG KONG (CNS) — The Catholic chief executive of Hong Kong has attended a Mass celebrated by the bishop of Kunming, China, who does not have papal approval, raising questions of propriety and a possible breach of Vatican guidelines. Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, who attends Mass daily in Hong Kong, went to Mass June 5 in Kunming, capital of Yunnan province in southern China, reported UCA News, an Asian Church news agency based in Thailand. Bishop Joseph Ma Yinglin of Kunming celebrated the Mass at Sacred Heart Church. The ordaining and assisting bishops at Bishop Ma’s April 30 ordination have Vatican recognition, so his ordination is valid, but it was not approved by Pope Benedict XVI, so it is considered illicit.

Catholic health group has new officers

ORLANDO, Fla. (CNS) — Members of the Catholic Health Association, during their recent 91st assembly in Orlando, elected new officers and board members. Sandra Bennett Bruce, president of St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise, Idaho, was elected vice chairwoman and chairwoman-elect of the CHA board of trustees. Lloyd H. Dean, president of Catholic Healthcare West in San Francisco, was elected secretary/treasurer of the board. Chosen for a first three-year term as board members were Dr. Regina M. Benjamin, founder of Bayou La Batre Rural Health Clinic in Bayou La Batre, La.; Bishop Robert N. Lynch of St. Petersburg, Fla.; Deborah A. Proctor, president of St. Joseph Health System in Orange, Calif.; Robert V. Stanek, president of Catholic Health East in Newtown, Pa.; Joseph R. Swedish, president of Trinity Health in Novi, Mich.; and Anthony R. Tersigni, president and CEO of Ascension Health in St. Louis.

Bishop says he’s cleared of sex-abuse claim

SPOKANE, Wash. (CNS) — Spokane Bishop William S. Skylstad has said that an investigation he ordered produced no evidence to support an unnamed woman’s allegation that he sexually abused her 40 years ago when she was a minor. Bishop Skylstad communicated the probe’s results June 8 at a news conference in answer to a reporter’s question but did not elaborate. "The bishop could not have been and was not involved with this girl," Thomas Frey, the bishop’s personal lawyer, told Catholic News Service June 9. "The diocese will not pay any claim to her," said Frey, who hired the private investigator that looked into the woman’s allegations. The June 8 news conference was called to announce a proposed settlement with one of the diocese’s insurers, Oregon Auto Insurance Co. The insurer will pay the diocese $6 million to end litigation on whether the insurer is liable for abuse claims against the diocese.

Judge rules Vatican not immune from suit

PORTLAND, Ore. (CNS) — A federal judge in Portland ruled June 7 that the Holy See is not entitled to sovereign immunity from a clergy sex-abuse lawsuit that named it as a defendant. The next day the Vatican appealed the ruling by U.S. District Judge Michael W. Mosman to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Mosman had denied the Vatican motion to be removed as a defendant in the case, saying that the Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act does not entitle the Holy See to immunity in this case because "without warning parishioners of a known danger (the Holy See) placed a priest it knew to be a child molester in a position in which, for the third time, he would have access to minors." He said there was enough of a connection between the Vatican and the priest accused of the molestation for the priest to be considered a Vatican employee under Oregon law.

Catholic-Jewish dialogue progressing

WASHINGTON (CNS) — At a consultation in New York, delegates of the National Council of Synagogues and the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs discussed mutual concerns ranging from current conditions in the Middle East to what they called "the anti-Catholic, even anti-religious implications of the movie ‘The Da Vinci Code.’" The spring meeting of the twice-yearly consultation was held May 22 at New York’s Hebrew Union College/Jewish Institute of Religion. The National Council of Synagogues is an agency of the nation’s Reform and Conservative Jews. In a communique released in Washington June 8, the participants said they devoted their morning session to "an illuminating discussion of ‘Mutual Borrowings Over the Centuries,’" exploring aspects of how Jewish thought and practice have influenced Christianity over time and vice versa.

Church said to have role in mobilizing Hispanics

The Catholic Church can play an important role in mobilizing Hispanics to increase their influence on public policy, said several speakers at a Washington symposium examining Hispanic participation in U.S. political life.

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