Nation and World News

Fetal-pain bill fails in House

The U.S. House of Representatives failed to reach the two-thirds majority needed Dec. 6 to pass the Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act.

Kidnappers free pair of Chaldean priests

The kidnapped rector of the Chaldean Catholic seminary and a kidnapped parish priest in Baghdad, Iraq, have been released.

World and National News Briefs

Massachusetts church to be a mosque

INDIAN ORCHARD, Mass. (CNS) — It will still be a house of worship. That’s something important to Lokman Yanbul and Catholic parishioners regarding the former St. Matthew Church in Indian Orchard. The 142-year-old colonial-style church and the rectory next door were sold for $150,000 in October to the Turkish-American Islamic Society Inc., which plans to convert it into a mosque. "We did this for the children," said Yanbul, referring to why the local Turkish-American community felt the need to have its own mosque. "We want them to (be able to) continue their cultural and religious heritage." Yanbul has lived in the United States for 29 years. He has been a resident of Ludlow, near Indian Orchard, for the last seven years. Aside from worshipping in the Turkish language, Yanbul said their community’s liturgy is culturally different from those offered in other area mosques. He said the Turkish-American society has about 80 families.

Daily Mass readings ready as podcasts

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Audio recordings of the daily Mass readings from the New American Bible are now available for download as podcasts through links on the U.S. bishops’ Catholic Communication Campaign Web site — www.usccb.org/ccc/. "The Internet is now a part of our lives and a medium which can help provide for spiritual enrichment," said Archbishop George H. Niederauer of San Francisco, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Communications. Podcasts are recordings that are prepared with actual radio broadcast material for individual listening on computers or the iPod personal music storage system.

Polish primate to leave Warsaw post

WARSAW, Poland (ZENIT) — Pope Benedict XVI has accepted the resignation, for reason of age, of Cardinal Jozef Glemp, archbishop of Warsaw, and named Bishop Stanislaw Wojciech Wielgus of Plock as his successor. Cardinal Glemp, who will be 77 on Dec. 18, will retain the title of primate of Poland until he is 80, the pope told him in a letter. Bishop Wielgus, 66, was ordained a priest in 1962 in Lublin. From 1969 until his episcopal ordination he taught at the Catholic University of Lublin.

N. Ireland bishops oppose school plans

DUBLIN, Ireland (CNS) — The Catholic bishops of Northern Ireland have opposed British government proposals to close or amalgamate more than a third of Northern Ireland schools. The bishops expressed concern in a statement Dec. 6 that the proposal would "pose a serious threat to the right of parents to choose a Catholic education for their children." The proposals would put the administration of educational services under a new Education and Skills Authority to decide which schools will close. All types of schools in Northern Ireland — Catholic, Protestant and integrated — share the problem of falling pupil numbers. As many as 54,000 school desks are empty. "The proposals will radically undermine a long cherished Catholic education system which has been recognized for the strength of its distinctiveness, and the richness of its tradition and diversity as contributing to the raising of school standards and the promotion of a culture of tolerance and understanding," the bishops said.

Vatican backs bishop’s excommunications

LINCOLN, Neb. (CNS) — The Vatican has upheld Bishop Fabian W. Bruskewitz’s decision 10 years ago that membership in Call to Action "is totally incompatible with the Catholic faith" and results in automatic excommunication for Catholics in the Diocese of Lincoln. Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Bishops, told Bishop Bruskewitz in a Nov. 24 letter that the bishop’s ruling "was properly taken within your competence as pastor of that diocese." Bishop Bruskewitz said, "My prayer will always be that when people understand they have taken a wrong turn, they will stop and take the right turn." The Vatican letter only dealt with Call to Action, the other groups named by Bishop Bruskewitz were: Planned Parenthood, Society of St. Pius X, Hemlock Society, St. Michael the Archangel Chapel, Freemasons, Job's Daughters, DeMolay, Eastern Star, Rainbow Girls and Catholics for a Free Choice.

‘War in God’s name’ always wrong, pope says

Even when faced with a potential terrorist attack or in the midst of war, basic human rights must be respected, Pope Benedict XVI said in his message for World Peace Day 2007.

Papal Message

All Christians are called to become

Papal Message

In the Vatican Basilica at 5 p.m. Dec. 2, Pope Benedict XVI presided at the celebration of Vespers on the first Sunday of Advent.

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