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Limited child protection audits find compliance
Apr 12 2007
WASHINGTON – Twenty-seven of 29 Catholic dioceses and eparchies audited in 2006 complied with the church's national standards for child protection programs and the prevention of and response to sexual abuse, says a report released April 11. However, four dioceses that were not found in compliance in 2005 refused to participate in the 2006 audit.

Papal nuncio calls teachers 'greatest artists'
Apr 12 2007
While many may consider Michelangelo to be one of the greatest artists of all time, Pope Benedict XVI's apostolic nuncio to the United States told more than 8,000 Catholic educators their daily ministry surpasses the artistry of the great Italian Renaissance sculptor. Presenting the April 10 keynote address during the opening session of the National Catholic Educational Association convention at the Baltimore Convention Center, Archbishop Pietro Sambi said educators touch the lives of children at the most fundamental level.

Latest sex abuse report finds drop in reported victims
Apr 11 2007
WASHINGTON – The number of people who said they are victims of clergy child sex abuse has dropped 34 percent since 2004, according to a national survey of dioceses and religious orders. The survey was conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University in conjunction with the 2006 audit on U.S. church compliance with child protection policies.

Holy Week came at time of more church-state harmony
Apr 10 2007
HAVANA – Holy Week in Cuba was marked with processions, a Way of the Cross through the streets of Old Havana and official permission to broadcast radio messages to the faithful. The celebrations came at a time when relations with the socialist government have been characterized by “a process of greater understanding,” said Auxiliary Bishop Juan de Dios Hernandez Ruiz of Havana. For the third time in recent years, a Cuban government television channel also broadcast the Good Friday Way of the Cross from Rome, led by Pope Benedict XVI. The April 8 news program aired on all local TV channels showed images of the papal Easter Mass and part of the pope’s Easter message.

Work must not just be about productivity, but charity
Apr 07 2007
VATICAN CITY – The working world must not just be about competition and productivity; today’s workers must also make room for charity and defending human dignity, said Pope Benedict XVI. “Today more than ever it’s urgent and necessary” to live as Christians in the workplace and to become “apostles among workers,” the pope said. “Becoming more competitive and productive is not the only thing that matters,” he said in a message to young people. “Paying charitable witness” in the workplace and elsewhere is necessary, he said.

Writer awed over responsibility
Apr 06 2007
VATICAN CITY – It’s not every day a person gets a call from the Vatican, and most people would be bowled over when it happens. The late Mario Luzi, who as a prolific Italian poet shouldn’t have been at a loss for words, was “flabbergasted” when the Vatican called him up saying Pope John Paul II wanted him to pen the meditations for the pope’s 1999 Good Friday Way of the Cross, an event watched each year by millions of people around the world.

Time to Time: Events lead up to Holy Week
Apr 05 2007
Among the many ways of communicating the good news of the Gospel is radio. A radio Mass brings the Gospel into many homes in the Baltimore area every Sunday. On March 18 I had the privilege of celebrating a radio Mass and preaching at St. Ignatius Church. The pastor, Father James Casciotti, S.J., welcomed me to the special studio which is the weekly scene of the Mass. The Gospel readings that day told the story of the Prodigal Son, although it really shows God as the Merciful Father, who forgives the failings of the son, embraces him, and has the fatted calf killed to celebrate his return.

Use faith to help survive ‘the blitz’
Apr 01 2007
WORCESTER, Mass. – California businessman Tom Brady Sr. didn’t come to the seventh annual Worcester Diocesan Men’s Conference to tell Hollywood-ready tales about a Super Bowl-winning son and a family leading perfect lives. He came to tell the truth – and to challenge area Catholic men to use their faith to deal with life’s pressures.

Cardinal says government is ‘legislating for intolerance’
Mar 29 2007
LONDON – A British cardinal has said that by sponsoring legislation for gay rights, the government is “legislating for intolerance.” Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor of Westminster also questioned “whether the threads holding together democracy have begun to unravel.” “My fear is that, under the guise of legislating for what is said to be tolerance, we are legislating for intolerance,” he said during a March 28 lecture in London a week after the government forced through new gay rights legislation with minimal debate in the House of Commons.

Ongoing history
Mar 27 2007
MENLO PARK, Calif. – Even though the average age of religious-order priests, sisters and brothers serving in the United States is increasing and their numbers are declining, don’t conclude religious communities are dying out, a well-known scholar said during a recent national meeting in Menlo Park. Instead, think of consecrated life as an “ongoing history” being written by the Holy Spirit, advised Oblate Father Frank Morrisey, adding that the divine author’s last chapter is “yet to come.”

Pope names three monsignors for Baltimore
Mar 25 2007
Pope Benedict XVI has recognized the exemplary ministry of three priests of the Archdiocese of Baltimore by conferring on them the honorary title of monsignor. Cardinal William H. Keeler made the surprise announcement during a March 22 dinner at his Charles Street residence with the new monsignors –

Pope names three monsignors for Baltimore
Mar 24 2007
Pope Benedict XVI has recognized the exemplary ministry of three priests of the Archdiocese of Baltimore by conferring on them the honorary title of monsignor. Cardinal William H. Keeler made the surprise announcement during a March 22 dinner at his Charles Street residence with the new monsignors –

Archbishop says he would risk his life leading protests
Mar 24 2007
HARARE, Zimbabwe – Archbishop Pius Ncube of Bulawayo urged Zimbabweans to continue their protests against government oppression and said he was willing to risk his life by leading them. “We must be ready to stand, even in front of blazing guns,” Archbishop Ncube said at a March 22 news conference in the capital, Harare. “I am ready to stand in front,” he told the news conference, organized by the Zimbabwe Christian Alliance.

Pope names three monsignors for Baltimore
Mar 23 2007
Pope Benedict XVI has recognized the exemplary ministry of three priests of the Archdiocese of Baltimore by conferring on them the honorary title of monsignor. Cardinal William H. Keeler made the surprise announcement during a March 22 dinner at his Charles Street residence with the new monsignors –

Harvard to return collection of historic bells
Mar 22 2007
MOSCOW – Harvard University will return a collection of historic bells to the Russian Orthodox Church more than seven decades after they were seized and sold by the regime of Josef Stalin. “These bells are not only a witness, but also a victim of history, a symbol of the independence, greatness and identity of the people,” Russian Orthodox Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow said March 21. “I’m happy our guests from Harvard University could feel this part of the Russian soul, conveyed through the tolling of church bells.” Orthodox and Harvard representatives signed an agreement to return the 18 bells to Moscow’s Danilov Monastery, which has housed the Moscow Patriarchate since being reopened in 1988.