Jesuit priest suspended
A JESUIT PRIEST has resigned as president of Loyola University in New Orleans after a sexual misconduct charge re-surfaced.
Fr Bernard Knoth, former president of the Catholic University of America and a former dean of arts and sciences at the New Orleans university, was removed from his ministry following alleged misconduct which was said to have taken place in 1986 at Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School, a private co-educational Catholic high school in Indianapolis where he served as principal from 1983 to 1988. He has denied "any inappropriate misconduct".
His successor, Fr William Bryon said that Fr Knoth "has served this university generously and well as president for eightyears". He described the resignation as "another event in a series of tragic events that in my view constitutes the greatest crisis that the Catholic Church has had to deal with in the United States".
But he said the Catholic Church now has "a nononsense, quick-action policy and it's all for the protection of children".
Bush sends family to Pope
AMERICAN President George W. Bush has named his sisterin-law to head his official delegation to Vatican celebrations of the Pope's 25th anniversary and the beatification of Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
The U.S. Embassy to the Vatican said also that Ambassador Jim Nicholson would be part of the delegation to the celebrations.
The delegation is expected to include 12-15 members.
Columba Bush, a native of Mexico, is the first lady of Florida. She and her husband, Governor Jeb Bush, the president's brother, are Catholics.
She is active in various programmes on behalf of children, arts appreciation and the prevention of drug abuse.
Gunman torches church
A LONE• GUNMAN set fire to a pulpit inside a cathedral in Georgia before being removed by the police.
Barbara King, spokeswoman for the Diocese of Savannah, said the man poured lighter fluid on the pulpit to start the blaze. She said a docent, or greeter, came to work in the morning, saw the man pouring the fluid on the bishop's chair and shouted at him to stop but he pulled a gun on the woman and set fire to the church before fleeing. He was later captured.
`Morals must underpin law'
AN AMERICAN cardinal said modern law should carry moral authority..
Cardinal Avery Dulles told a congregation of lawyers, judges and government officials that although they could not legislate virtue they should have "a sense of the importance of moral convictions and moral training for the health of our society".
The Cardinal, who delivered the homily at the annual Red Mass at St. Matthew Cathedral in Washington, stressed that "law and spirit belong together" and are "as inseparable as body and soul".
The congregation included U.S. Chief Justice William Rehnquist, Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Mel Martinez, and District of Columbia Mayor Anthony Williams.
Canada backs `gay marriage'
PRO-FAMILY groups lost a major battle in their struggle against same-sex marriage when Canada's highest court rejected their bid to appeal a lower court decision.
A five-judge Supreme Court of Canada panel ruled unanimously that the Association for Marriage and the Family in Ontario and the Interfaith Coalition on Marriage and Family cannot appeal a judgment by the Ontario Court of Appeal that found the traditional definition of marriage to be unconstitutional.
In the new year, the Liberal government probably will introduce legislation to allow same-sex marriage.
Cuba problem for Church
THI (' \THOLIC Church is still facing obstacles in Cuba, according to the Archbishop of Havana.
Cardinal Jaime Lucas Ortega spoke to Catholics in Milan, Italy, about the situation of the Church in communist Cuba.
Cardinal Ortega said: "Criticisms and arguments with some foreign governments have inflamed political life. However, I repeat, daily life has neither improved nor worsened. After the Pope's visit in January 1998, the Church found greater acceptance at the social level.
"Them are voluntary initiatives in parishes at the service of the poor and the sick. However, the Church's presence continues to be very limited at the level of education and the media.
"The Office of Religious Affairs of the Central Committee of the Communist Party is always hovering over us.
"It is an organ of control which limits the evangelizing action of the Church."
UN supports papal letter UNITED NATIONS SecretaryGeneral Kofi Annan said that Pope John XXIII's encyclical Pacem in Terris "still challenges us as much as it did" when it was issued in 1963.
Addressing a Vatican-sponsored gathering of more than 300 participants at U.N. headquarters in New York, he cited in particular the encyclical's call to adapt the U.N. structure and methods so that it could more effectively safeguard the "universal, inviolable and inalienable" rights of the human person.That great reforming pope, whose transparent love and compassion touched the hearts of all humanity, had grasped a fundamental point about the nature and purposes of our organization," Annan said.