Nation and World News

FBI will testify at inquest of priest’s death in Kenya

Three FBI representatives are expected to testify in early March at an inquest into the death of Mill Hill Father John Kaiser, a U.S. missionary who died in Kenya in August 2000.

Pope to priests: Face life with trust in God’s love

During a 90-minute question-and-answer session with pastors from the Diocese of Rome Feb. 22, Pope Benedict XVI encouraged the priests to face challenges with trust that God

World and National News Briefs

Polish nuns out in flap over superior

OXFORD, England (CNS) — A group of Polish nuns has been expelled from their order and laicized after refusing to accept a new superior. Archbishop Jozef Zycinski of Lublin published the Vatican decree expelling the members of the Sisters of the Family of Bethany, a Polish order, for "open violation of monastic vows."
The president of Poland’s Conference of Female Superiors told Catholic News Service Feb. 22 she had requested an explanation for the unprecedented action and was satisfied correct procedures had been followed. "The Church gave them a chance to defend their stance and has now made its decision," said Ursuline Mother Jolanta Olech, whose conference represents 93 female religious orders in Poland.

Nun to coordinate migrants’ ministry

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Scalabrinian Sister Myrna Tordillo has joined the U.S. bishops’ Office for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Refugees as coordinator for ministries to people on the move.
Sister Tordillo has worked with the bishops’ conferences of Mexico and the Philippines on the pastoral care of people on the move and she is founder and director of the Catholic Organization of Migrant Equity. Her appointment was announced Feb. 13 by the communications office of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Sister Tordillo is a member of the Missionary Sisters of St. Charles Borromeo. Members are commonly known as Scalabrinians after their founder, Italian Bishop Giovanni Battista Scalabrini of Piacenza. The order specializes in evangelical and missionary service to migrants and refugees, especially the poor and those in need.

Charismatics mark 40th anniversary

DETROIT (CNS) — One of the world’s foremost Catholic preachers told a Feb. 16-18 gathering of more than 3,000 people involved in the charismatic renewal movement that they should focus more on the future than on the movement’s past.
Even as they gathered to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the charismatic movement, Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa told charismatic Catholics from across the United States, "We should expect a new Pentecost, not just celebrate that others experienced a new Pentecost 40 years ago." The preacher of the papal household spoke Feb. 17 in the Riverfront Ballroom of Detroit’s Cobo Center.
Harkening back to Pope Paul VI, the first pope to welcome the charismatic renewal movement in the Church, Father Cantalamessa repeated the late pontiff’s desire that "The first need of the Church is for a perennial Pentecost in which the Church would have fire in her heart, works in her midst and prophecy in her outlook."

Pope still backs Polish archbishop

OXFORD, England (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI expressed support for a Polish archbishop who resigned in January because of links to communist-era secret police.
"I would like, above all, to offer words of encouragement, inviting you to stride forward with confidence and peace in your heart," Pope Benedict said in a letter to former Warsaw Archbishop Stanislaw Wielgus. "I express the wish that Your Excellency renew your activity in Christ’s service in every way possible, so your immense and deep knowledge will bear fruit, as well as your priestly devotion for the good of the beloved Church in Poland."
The pope said in a letter published Feb. 21 that he was "fully aware of the exceptional circumstances" in which Archbishop Wielgus had worked "when the Marxist regime used all means to smother the freedom of citizens, and especially priests."

Bishop in Britain speaks of troops

LONDON (CNS) — The head of Britain’s military diocese said families will welcome the British government’s decision to reduce the number of soldiers serving in Iraq. However, Bishop Thomas Burns told Catholic News Service that he believed troops would have been able to return home sooner if they had been better equipped for their mission.
He said the reduction of 1,600 troops from southern Iraq, announced by Prime Minister Tony Blair Feb. 21, "will be warmly welcomed by servicemen and women, and not least of all by their families."

Office promotes JPII’s sainthood

ROME (CNS) — The Rome diocesan office charged with promoting the sainthood cause of Pope John Paul II continues to distribute the official prayer cards for the cause and the only authorized relics, an office spokeswoman said.
"We receive dozens of requests each day and the distribution continues," she told Catholic News Service Feb. 26. The relic is a small piece of one of the white cassocks worn by Pope John Paul.
The free cards and relics can be requested by letter, fax or e-mail, at; the fax number is: (39-06) 6888-6240. The mailing address is: Postulazione Giovanni Paolo II, Vicariato di Roma, Piazza San Giovanni in Laterano 6A, 00184 Rome, Italy.

Archaeologist: Tomb discovery is ‘nonsense’

The claim by filmmakers that a tomb uncovered nearly 30 years ago in Jerusalem is the burial site of Jesus and his family is

No. 2 man at Vatican keeps high public profile

Listening to an early morning talk show on the radio one recent morning, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone grew annoyed as callers complained about the Vatican

Pope decries ‘designer embryos’

Pope Benedict XVI has denounced the high-tech trend that encourages parents to seek the

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