Priests' letter sparks row
OUTRAGED Catholics in the United States are calling for the removal of four priests over a letter written by them publicly defending abortion.
The priests' letter appeared to disobey Cardinal Adam Maida's recent statements that Catholic priests and politicians may not promote or permit abortion.
The letter, signed by Fr Paul Chateau of Our Lady of 7atima in Oak Park, Fr John Nowlan of St Hilary in Detroit, and Fr Kenneth Kaucheck of St Anastasia in Troy, and Fr Anthony Kosnik of Ecumenical Theological Seminary in Detroit, appeared in the Detroit Free Press.
They criticised three Catholic professors for their defence of the cardinal's teaching that abortion advocacy was incompatible with Catholicism. One of the priests, Fr Kosnik, was the editor of Human Sexuality: New Directions in American Catholic Thought, a book commissioned by the Catholic Theological Society of America but which in 1979 was censored by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for its distortions of Catholic teachings, specifically the advancement of masturbation, cohabitation, adultery, homosexuality, and even bestiality as morally neutral.
Media is hostile, says archbishop
THE CANADIAN media, courts and general public have turned their indifference to the Catholic Church into hostility, a Canadian archbishop said.
Archbishop Adam Exner of Vancouver, British Columbia, said: "Believe me, the only time they (the media) want to talk to us is when there's a scandal; otherwise they don't care." He told a Canadian bishops' plenary assembly that there was "a bias against the Catholic Church, and that bias is fed by the myth that we are rich and, therefore, we should pay".
Archbishop Exner's remarks came as he briefed Canadian bishops about a recent court case involving Vancouver College and St Thomas More Collegiate, administered by the Christian Brothers of Ireland.
He said the archdiocese had to pay £8 million to buy the schools back from the government after it sold them to pay compensation to people who claimed they had been abused by the Christian Brothers in Newfoundland.
Cubans vanish at youth day
CATHOLIC Church leaders in Cuba have admitted that they have to be more attentive to the needs of the faithful, after 23 young Catholics who went to Toronto for World Youth Day failed to return.
In an article published in his diocesan bulletin and in the latest issue of the Archdiocese of Miami's Spanish monthly, La Voz Catolica, Fr Willy Pino of the Camaguey Diocese asked "What happened?"
He wrote: "The Church is not going to regard these youths who decided to stay as bad Christians, bad Cubans, deserters or traitors. We respect their decision. They continue to be for us much loved children, and we will always be very grateful for the dedicated work they carried out in our communities."
Sisters face jail for missile stunt
THREE WOMEN religious are to face criminal charges after they were arrested at a missile silo in the United States during an act of civil disobedience.
They were detained at Greeley after the international "Keep Space for Peace Week", sponsored last month by the Global Network Against Nuclear Weapons and Power in Space.
Dominican Sisters Carol Gilbert, Jackie Hudson and Ardeth Platte now face federal charges. All three of the sisters were involved in an act of civil disobedience in September 2000 at Peterson Air Force Base near Colorado Springs.
The three women represented the Sacred Earth and Space Ploughshares group, which also sponsored the Colorado Springs action.
Media 'must raise standards'
CATHOLICS in the media need to be dedicated not only to quality productions but to higher moral standards in the entertainment industry,
according to a senior Vatican official.
American Archbishop John Foley, the president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, told the Catholic Academy for Communication Arts Professionals, that it was "from the media — and not from the Gospel — that many people today derive their own moral standards."
Archbishop Foley said diminishing requirements for providing time for public service messages and religious programming, as well as fewer restrictions on ownership of media outlets and declining moral standards in film and broadcasting, were symptoms of a greed-driven industry.
"Age has something to do with this," he said, "but I remember a time when networks and stations had broadcast standards departments and public affairs departments — and they still made money.
"Perhaps they were more interested in making a living than in making a killing. They were certainly more interested in service."
Bishops define kneeling norm
THE AMERICAN bishops have said that standing during the Eucharistic prayer at Mass should be an exception, rather than the norm.
The US Bishops' Committee on Liturgy made the announcement public in its latest newsletter saying that "the only licit posture" during the Eucharistic prayer was kneeling, unless Catholics "are prevented on occasion from kneeling due to health, lack of space, the large number of people present, or some other good reason". The newsletter was quoting from the General Instruction of the Roman Missal.
The reason for the declaration was to ensure "uniformity of posture so that this central action of the entire Mass would not be a moment when division was manifested, but unity in Christ".