Page 5, 16th August 2002

16th August 2002
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Page 5, 16th August 2002 — Americas

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Youth day debt prompts appeal

ORGANISERS of World Youth Day in Toronto, Canada, are appealing for about £15 million in donations to cover a massive funding shortfall.

Archbishop Anthony Meagher said: "The Catholic Church organised World Youth Day as an investment in the youth of the world. We knew that there was likely to be a shortfall and now we think it will be $30m.We appeal to anyone who wants to help with this investment."

The gap seems to have arisen because thousands of people failed to pay before participating.

Bishops tackle roots of decay

EIGHT US bishops have proposed a new plenary council of the American Church to promote holiness, priestly celibacy and a sound sexual morality.

The council would be the first in America since the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore in 1884, which lasted nearly a month and led to the development of the Baltimore Catechism and efforts to set up Catholic schools.

In a letter to other bishops, the group said the Church had taken "the first step in dealing with the crisis of sexual abuse of minors in Dallas, but still needed to address the root causes".

Knights attack death culture

THE LEADER of the Knights of Columbus — the largest Catholic lay organisation in the United States —has urged Catholics to vote pro-life in this year's congressional elections.

Supreme Knight Carl Anderson, a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life, told the organisation's annual meeting in California that Catholics had a duty to elect a Senate that would confirm federal judges and Supreme Court Justices who would then overturn Roe v Wade, the 1973 US Supreme Court decision that declared a constitutional right to abortion.

Border policy a 'deadly failure'

AMERICA'S attempts to cut down on illegal traffic across the Mexican border is a "deadly failure", according to the chairman of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network.

Writing in the Arizona Republic, a Phoenix daily paper, Bishop Nicholas A Dimarzio cited a new study to support his argument that the border policy "has not only failed", but is "also deadly".

People who cross illegally are more likely to be caught now, but the massive build up has not cut down on the number of people in the country illegally, and may actually be a factor in them staying in the United States longer, the S •y cone e•

Mexican priest clinches prize

A MEXICAN theologian is among the recipients Of this year's Hispanic Heritage awards.

Fr Virgilio Elizondo, professor of Latin theology at the University of Notre Dame, was cited for his "worldwide impact upon Hispanic religion" through his writings, lectures and televised bilingual Masses.

He has written extensively about the theological dimension of a process he has calls "mestizaje", the biological and cultural mixing of different peoples so that a new people begins to emerge.

Other recipients include the Puerto Rican pop singer, Ricky Martin.

Pressure group criticises treaty

AN AMERICAN Catholic pressure group is claiming that the UN treaty, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, is officially pushing abortion, despite vehement denials.

The CEDAW committee, is meeting at UN headquarters in New York, at a time, when the US Senate is considering ratification.

CEDAW proponents insist that it has nothing to do with abortion, but the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (CFAM) alleges that the committee , set up to interpret the document, does obligate states to legalise abortion.

According to its 1999 interpretation of CEDAW Article 12, the CEDAW committee holds that "legislation criminalizing abortions should be amended, in order to withdraw punitive measures imposed on women who undergo abortion."

CFAM is urging Catholics to lobby Senators demanding they vote against ratification.

US research ban ignored

PUBLICLY funded researchers in the United States are sidestepping the ban on destructive embryonic stem cell research by using private money.

A report in the New York Times said that President Bush blocked the use of federal funds for research involving the destruction of any more embryos a year ago but destructive embryo research remains legal and so researchers can continue to destroy embryos as long as they do so with private money.

However, reports suggest that one effect of President Bush's ruling over the past year has been that American scientists have largely avoided the area of embryonic stem cell research altogether.

Rabbi preaches

to Catholits A RABBI and best-selling author urged Catholic nurses and doctors gathered in Chicago to reject "the sin of perfectionism" and to make their workplaces " sacred space".

An address by Rabbi Harold Kushner, rabbi laureate of Temple Israel and author of "When Bad Things Happen to Good People", closed the Catholic Health Association's annual convention in Chicago.

Rabbi Kushner Joked that "only in America" would Catholic health care leaders "turn to a Conservative rabbi for spiritual uplift."

He added: "I can only think that over the past 275 years, you've exhausted your own resources", referring to the 275th anniversary of Catholic health care and social services.

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