Bishop Farrell to Be New Episcopal Moderator of Diocesan Fiscal Management Conference

August 31, 2010

BishopFarrellWASHINGTON DC (MetroCatholic) - After 25 years, Bishop Donald Trautman of Erie, Pennsylvania, is stepping down from his duties as episcopal moderator of the Diocesan Fiscal Management Conference (DFMC), the national association of financial leaders of dioceses in the United States and Canada, and will be succeeded by Bishop Kevin Farrell of Dallas. Bishop Farrell will assume the episcopal moderator’s duties at the conclusion of the DFMC’s 41st annual conference in New Orleans, September 26-29. Bishop Trautman asked Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), to name a replacement.
           
“It has been an honor and privilege to see firsthand the work of faith filled professionals strengthening the Church in fiscal management,” said Bishop Trautman in a message to the members of DFMC.
           
Bishop Trautman has served as Episcopal Moderator of the organization since 1985. He has served as bishop of Erie since 1990. Bishop Kevin Farrell has served as bishop of Dallas since 2007 and is also the chairman of the USCCB Committee on National Collections.
           
The Diocesan Fiscal Management Conference is allied with the USCCB through both its episcopal moderator and the bishops of the dioceses. The DFMC’s ministry is to support the free exchange of best practices, provide on-going professional educational opportunities, and promote both the spiritual development and professional relationships of its members in matters of fiscal and administrative expertise in service to the local and national Church

Cardinal Danneels denies cover-up charges, says he was unprepared for meeting

August 31, 2010

Brussels, Belgium,  (CNA).- Cardinal Godfried Danneels of Belgium has denied he intended to cover up a bishop’s sexual abuse and said he was “unprepared” for his meeting with a victim who secretly taped their conversation. His spokesman acknowledged the transcripts of the meeting but claimed they do not show enough nuance.

A 42-year-old nephew of the former Bishop of Bruges Roger Vangheluwe accused his uncle of sexually abusing him. The nephew made a recording of his April 8 meeting with the cardinal, transcripts of which were published in two Belgian newspapers on Saturday.

According to Reuters, the tapes feature the former head of the Belgian Catholic Church urging the alleged victim to accept a private apology or to wait a year until Bishop Vangheluwe’s retirement before making his accusations public.

“The bishop will resign next year, so actually it would be better for you to wait,” the cardinal said, according to the meeting transcript. “I don’t think you’d do yourself or him a favor by shouting this from the rooftops.”

In the transcript the cardinal said he cannot discipline the bishop or inform higher authorities, including Pope Benedict. He said the bishop should turn himself in, but also warned the victim about trying to blackmail the Church.

The victim denied he wanted to blackmail anyone and said in the meeting that his uncle “dragged my whole life through the mud, from 5 until 18 years old.”

“Why do you feel so sorry for him and not for me?” the victim asked.

A second tape records the cardinal and Bishop Vangheluwe meeting with the victim and a relative of his. In that tape the bishop apologized and said he has searched for a way to make up for his misdeeds.

According to Reuters, the victim decided to publish the tapes to counter allegations he had tried to blackmail the bishop.

Bishop Vangheluwe resigned on April 23, admitting he had sexually abused a boy about 20 years earlier.

In a Sunday statement Cardinal Danneels’ interim spokesman Toon Osaer said that it was never the cardinal’s intention in his conversation with the victim to “hush up” the abuses committed.

“The cardinal granted the request of the family to be a mediator within the family circle after these abuses. In the confidential context of a family meeting, different approaches were examined in search of a reconciliation,” the statement continued.

“In no moment was pressure exerted, neither on the family nor on the victim, to keep the facts secret …  Cardinal Danneels repeats that he condemns the abuses committed by the bishop emeritus and he deeply regrets them.”

According to the spokesman, the prelate is also disappointed that a confidential conversation was recorded and released without the knowledge of both parties.

While the Belgian media is focusing on the cardinal’s failure to tell journalists about his attempt to persuade the victim to remain silent, Danneels’ spokesman claimed this showed his willingness not to break the confidentiality of the meeting and expose a victim who had not yet gone public.

Osaer told the Associated Press on Monday that the cardinal realizes “that the whole approach, as it was, was not the right one.” The cardinal was unprepared for the meeting and improvised his comments.

The spokesman added said that the transcript of the meeting was not in doubt, but he said it was not complete enough to give a more nuanced understanding of the meeting. “It is not correct to say that Danneels implied — let’s give forgiveness and that’s it,” Osaer said

Abortion is murder, not ‘termination of pregnancy,’ maintains archbishop

August 31, 2010

Buenos Aires, Argentina,  (CNA).- In a recent message, Bishop Jorge Luis Lona from San Luis in Argentina criticized the country’s officials for promoting abortion by describing the procedure as a “termination of pregnancy.”

The prelate lamented that Argentina is becoming a culture of “promoting abortion.” “The shocking word ‘murder’ will not be used.  It will be said that it is only a ‘pregnancy termination,’ but lives will be definitively interrupted,” the bishop explained.

“Another ploy is to present the issue not as one of life or death, … but rather as a mere bureaucratic procedure” that would allow for the most liberal access to abortion, he added.

The bishop also denounced the discrimination against children who are denied the right to a father and a mother. “Today, the activists who promote the culture of abortion in Argentina are the same ones … who promote homosexual marriage and aim to extend its effects to all of society at the educational and cultural level,” Bishop Lona warned.

“This is a global effort whose central nucleus is undoubtedly bound to some sectors of the United Nations. In the name of the struggle against discrimination, they unleash the most active and unjust discrimination against those who believe that God is ‘the source of all reason and justice,’ and who live sustained by that faith,” the bishop said

‘We will bury Katrina,’ New Orleans archbishop declares on fifth anniversary

August 31, 2010

New Orleans, LA (CNA).- Five years after the Hurricane Katrina disaster, Archbishop of New Orleans Gregory Aymond remembered the dead and thanked those who have helped recovery work. He noted that the symbolic funeral residents held for Katrina shows that it is time “to let her go.”

“Five years ago Katrina, the unwelcomed guest, did ravage on our city and left incredible destruction,” the archbishop said in a video posted on August 29 at the archdiocese’s website.

“We stand here five years later in a spirit of hope and gratitude, with hope for those who have died. We cannot forget the hundreds who died. We commend them to God’s kingdom and ask God’s blessings on their families as they grieve.”

“On Saturday morning we will bury Katrina,” said the archbishop. “We will have a jazz funeral. We’re hoping she doesn’t resurrect. It is a very symbolic gesture … that it is time to let her go. But we must move on to hope and to the future.”

The archbishop expanded on his remarks in a Sunday reflection.

“It would be easy to allow those feelings of confusion, anxiety, and despair from five years ago to creep back into our heads and spirits, but today, we must ask God to help us to rise above those feelings and allow our loving God to replace them with renewed feelings of faith and hope,” he commented.

Acknowledging that he cannot fully understand the emotions of Katrina’s victims because he was not living in New Orleans at the time of the disaster, he said that the strength of people is “amazing.”

“I am constantly inspired by the stories of those who have rebuilt and those who found solace in their faith and in love of God, family and neighbor. This is what makes New Orleans special. Your faith in God inspires me!”

“There is tremendous hope here,” he added in his video.

He pledged help from the Catholic Church to those who are still rebuilding.

“I promise to do all within our means to help you though your pain and your struggles and to be the heart of Jesus Christ to you in your time of need,” he told the disaster’s victims. “We must not forget Katrina, but must use those experiences to grow and strengthen our families and communities so that we may be an example of God’s hope to our neighbors and the rest of the country.”

In the video, the archbishop also praised the “incredible work” of Catholic charities and reported that the organization had helped provide over $55 million in aid to the hurricane’s victims. He thanked other Catholic bishops and Catholics of other dioceses who contributed to the recovery work.

He noted that Catholic Charities’ relief work recently faced a severe shortfall until a gift of $100,000 came from David Blossman of the Abita Brewing Company to help the relief work continue.

Archbishop Aymond also reported that Tom and Gayle Benson, owners of the New Orleans Saints football team, have recently decided to contribute to Catholic Charities’ relief work for Gulf oil spill victims.

“When we seem not to have enough, with the little bit we have and with God’s blessings, we have plenty,” the Archbishop of New Orleans said.

The archbishop has asked all parishes in the archdiocese to say a special Mass in honor of Our Lady of Prompt Succor to thank her for her prayers and to ask her intercession with Jesus for ongoing protection for the region. He also asked Catholics to join in prayer for New Orleans, asking that Our Lady’s prayers will join them more closely to Jesus

Cardinal Rivera: Massacre points to social disorder and loss of values in Mexico

August 30, 2010

Mexico City, Mexico  (CNA) — The Archbishop of Mexico City, Cardinal Norberto Rivera, expressed profound sadness last week over the murder of 72 immigrants in the state of Tamaulipas. He called the incident “more evidence of the social disorder and loss of values” dominating “some areas of the country.”

In a statement, the cardinal said that the massacre also points to “the lack of a comprehensive immigration policy in Mexico that is consistent with the needs demanded by human mobility regarding the humanitarian treatment of immigrants, just as Mexico is demanding of the United States.”

This “shameful tragedy” must not go unpunished, the cardinal said. He then called on the governments of America “to take immediate actions to ensure that such deplorable acts never happen again.”

“Pope Benedict XVI has said in the context of migrant ministry that ‘human mobility is a co-responsibility of States and international organizations,’ and in this sense, Mexico is obliged to make every effort to safeguard the fundamental rights of those who enter the country without documents, with the dream of achieving a life of greater dignity,” he said.

The refusal of the victims to cooperate in the drug trade—which was the reason for their deaths—is “a true message of hope and faith,” the cardinal stated. “The sacrifice of these innocent people conveys the universal message about the defense of values and the love of their families.”

Catholic College Keeps Pro-Abortion Links Up Despite 15,000 Complaints

August 30, 2010

McKinney, TX  (MetroCatholic) — Well over 15,000 students and parents have politely requested that Alverno College, a Catholic college founded by the School Sisters of St. Francis, delete several web site links that channel students to abortion advocacy groups. However, despite the large number of complaints the links remain up and running.

Pro-abortion groups listed include the Center for Reproductive Health, National Organization for Women (NOW), EMILY’s List, and many more.

“You can’t be a true Catholic and at the same time favor abortion,” said TFP Student Action director John Ritchie. “It betrays the very mission of a Catholic institution. So, we’ve decided to intensify our prayers and protest until all the pro-abortion links are gone.”

One of the groups linked to Alverno College’s web site is called Radical Women. This organization bills itself as “a trailblazing socialist feminist organization,” and its web site not only promotes communist ideology and homosexual vice, but also the brutal abortion procedure known as partial birth abortion.

After TFP Student Action started its peaceful protest in June, Alverno College merely removed a few links and posted a disclaimer stating: “The views expressed in these weblinks do not necessarily reflect the views of the Alverno College Research Center for Women and Girls.”

However, according to TFP spokesman John Ritchie, “the disclaimer is just window dressing.”

Two Catholic institutions, Rosemont College and the University of Detroit Mercy, recently took down links to pro-abortion groups that were listed on their web sites. Yet Alverno College has not done so thus far.

TFP Student Action is asking its members to “speak out against this scandal” and sign an online protest addressed to Dr. Mary Meehan, president of Alverno College. The petition is available at: www.tfpstudentaction.org.

Catholic Trio Plays Solider Field Prep Bowl

August 30, 2010

by: Tom Danyluk

CSN Staff Writer

For years they played a thing at Soldier Field called the Prep Bowl – public school champs versus Catholic league champs. Chicagoland football wars. The season’s grand finale. In the ’42 game, during the war years, they were raising right hands and swearing players into the service right there on the field.

And in 1937 it was Leo High vs. Austin High and 120,000 swarmed the place and that’s still the all-time record for single-game football attendance. The nearest threat to that total converged during a NFL exhibition in back in 1994, Cowboys versus Oilers and the rowdies of Mexico City. Announced crowd: 112,336.

The Prep title game has long since closed down, but a trio of generous Chicago football men have set up an annual event that honors the tradition of that old playoff. They’ve hosted for six years now, and it’s called The Chicagoland Pre-Season Prep Bowl.

“Three games in one day,” says Jim McHugh, one of the event’s founders. “The whole point is get some of the better teams in the area together – Catholic versus public, ideally – and give them a chance to play in a big venue, a pro stadium. So the kids can look back and say, ‘We had a chance to kick off on the same field that the Chicago Bears play.’”

McHugh has been working the clock at NFL games for 25 years. During the regular season it’s the Bears, then a to-be-determined site for his playoff duty. Last year he worked the Indy-Jets AFC title game, and the year before that it was Seahawks-Packers in the divisional round, in a pretty Lambeau whiteout.

“Snow so thick you couldn’t read the names or the numbers,” says Mchugh. “We had a helluva time keeping things straight for that one.”

McHugh says the Soldier Field thrill is sometimes a bigger deal to the officials assigned to the event than it is to the juniors and seniors out there tearing up the turfs.

“A typical high school game has five officials; we upped it to seven for this event and there are no shortage of volunteers,” he laughs. “They love coming down to work these games.”

The event’s other organizers are Tim LeFevour (GM operations, soldier Field) and Frank Lenti. Lenti was Donovan McNabb’s coach at Mt. Carmel High, and he stresses that another appealing part of this Prep Bowl show is luring back alumni from winning times and letting them work their magic with the crowd.

“The recognition of former championship teams,” Lenti says, “gives the fans the opportunity to see the best of our past, along with the best of our current student athletes.

“It’s a non-profit deal for us,” says McHugh. “The goal is to raise enough dollars to pay the bills, the cost of opening the stadium for a day. The satisfaction when it all comes together, that’s for free.”

2010 Chicagoland Pre-Season Prep Bowl Results

Game 1: Simeon 47, Mt. Carmel 41. Back and forth, a day of sprints to the goal line. Carmel falls one sprint short.

Game 2: Morgan 16, Providence 14. Last play – Providence man whacks a 47-yarder, plenty of distance but wide by a pencil length. “On a high school field, that’s good,” moans a voice in the press box.

Game 3: Notre Dame Niles 19, Fenwick 13. ND storms 65 yards late to steal it. Drama abounds. 30 years ahead, 121,000 will claim to have seen it.

Planned Parenthood Files to Block Public Records After Tip from Iowa Board of Medicine

August 30, 2010

DES MOINES, Iowa (MetroCatholic) — An open records request for public documents has been denied by the Iowa Medical Board, which tipped off Planned Parenthood of the Heartland that the request for public records had been made. Planned Parenthood then filed a suit against a medical watchdog group to block the release of the documents.

Operation Rescue was contacted by the Citizen’s Information Center located in Boston, Massachusetts, a group that conducts research on the medical industry through public records. They sent OR a copy of a law suit filed against the CIC by Planned Parenthood of the Heartland on August 9, 2010, in Polk County, Iowa, asking the court to enjoin the release of public records to the CIC. As of this writing, no court hearing date has been set and no injunction has been issued.

Along with the petition, the CIC sent Operation Rescue a series of emails that clearly show that their public records request was forwarded to Planned Parenthood of the Heartland by an Iowa Board of Medicine staff member.

Operation Rescue has released a copy of the suit filed by Planned Parenthood against the CIC as well as a series of e-mail communications that were provided to the CIC by Amy Van Maanen, Director of Licensure & Administration at the Iowa Board of Medicine. (Links below)

On August 9, 2010, attorney for Planned Parenthood Mike Falkstrom sent an e-mail to Kent Nebel, Director of Legal Affairs for the Iowa Medical Board. Falkstrom stated:

Kent,

We’re filing to enjoin the release of records today. I apologize for the delay, there were scheduling issues with taking affidavits and I was unable to get them until last week. I appreciate your patience.

Thanks!
Mike Falkstrom

“That e-mail implies a working relationship and prior communication between Mr. Nebel and the Planned Parenthood attorney concerning the open records request. Why would the IBM work with Planned Parenthood to obstruct a citizen from accessing public records? What is the IBM helping Planned Parenthood to hide?” asked Operation Rescue President Troy Newman.

The file in question is the medical license application for Planned Parenthood abortionist Susan Haskell, an osteopath who is involved in the controversial remote-controlled dispensing of abortion drugs known as telemed abortions.

Operation Rescue confirmed with the IBM that medical license applications are in fact public records.

“We have obtained medical license applications from a number of states on our own and the usual procedure is for the medical boards to redact any personal information, such as home addresses and phone numbers. We have never seen a case where access to a medical license application was denied,” said Newman.

In a conversation with Operation Rescue on Friday, Kent Nebel indicated that he was required by law to inform Haskell that an open records request had been made for her license application in order to give her the opportunity to obtain an injunction. He cited Iowa Code Section 22.8.

OR was told that this code requires the IBM to give notice to the physicians when public records requests are made, however ‘notice’ requirement in 22.8.1 is clearly a requirement to notify the records requester that the custodian of records has filed for injunctive relief.

“It is a misreading of the statute to say that the subject of the records must be notified,” said Newman.

As for any potential “harm” claim that may come from the release of public records, any private information can be easily redacted, as is the practice in nearly every other state. Medical license applications are public record for reasons of accountability. Under Iowa law, “inconvenience or embarrassment” are not legitimate reasons to deny public records requests or to get an injunction.”If Haskell doesn’t want her applications inspected by the public, which has a legal right to do so, maybe she shouldn’t working in the medical field where she knows certain information will be considered open record,” said Newman.

“We believe that Mr. Nebel acted improperly by forwarding the CIC open record request to Planned Parenthood and denying the CIC the records that were legally requested. This incident diminishes our confidence that the Board is capable of acting properly on complaints before them involving Planned Parenthood’s dangerous telemed abortion pill distribution scheme.”

As for the petition itself, Planned Parenthood makes numerous of unfounded assumptions about the CIC that Operation Rescue is told are completely false and border on paranoid hysteria.

“Planned Parenthood has no idea who this private watchdog group is, so they jumped to the unfounded assumption that it is an ‘anti-abortion’ group bent on engaging in illegal activity. They really have no idea why the CIC even wants the records, so they manufactured some fictional conspiracy. They worry the CIC may use the information to ’slander’ Haskell, yet they are doing worse to the CIC by attacking their reputation in this outlandish and completely baseless petition. It is the very definition of hypocrisy,” said Newman.

Operation Rescue plans to release additional documents at a later date that we believe shows a protective and apparently improper relationship between the Iowa Attorney General’s office and Planned Parenthood of the Heartland.

“There is evidence that the Iowa Attorney General may be involved in collusion and even corruption to protect Planned Parenthood of the Heartland from accountability to the laws of the State of Iowa,” said Newman. “We plan to release that additional documentation soon and allow the public to decide.”

View the petition: PPH v. CIC
View the email exchange between PPH and the IBM

Operation Rescue is one of the leading pro-life Christian activist organizations in the nation and has become a strong voice for the pro-life movement in America. Operation Rescue is now headquartered in a former abortion clinic that it bought and closed in 2006. From there, Operation Rescue launches its innovative new strategies across the nation, exposing and closing abortion clinics through peaceful, legal means. Its activities are on the cutting edge of the abortion issue, taking direct action to stop abortion and ultimately restore legal personhood to the pre-born in obedience to biblical mandates.

Bus Tour Exposes Indoctrination in Public Schools

August 30, 2010

WACO, Texas (MetroCatholic) — Touring the United States in a school bus, filmmaker Colin Gunn hopes to inform Americans about the indoctrination he says is taking place in public schools. Gunn will take his wife and seven children from Waco, TX to Boston, MA, talking with educators, historians and everyday Americans about the problems with public schools. The month-long tour, which begins on August 31st, will be made into a documentary film later this year.

Gunn contends that public school curriculum is antagonistic to Christianity, promotes Darwinian propaganda and socialist, Marxist agendas. He considers it ironic that conservatives send their children to a school system that undermines their values. He says, “We now are facing all these problems in America — high taxation, welfare dependency, government debt — and as Christians and conservatives we have to see we can’t solve those problems until we solve the public schooling problem.”

Concerned about the effect of public education on future generations, Gunn decided to embark on the 3,000 mile bus tour as a means of engaging conservatives on these issues. He hopes that his seminars during the tour, and the subsequent film, will cause conservatives to rethink the government school system entirely.

“Conservatives should know that capitalism or the free market will bring the highest quality goods and services at the cheapest price. It’s always amazing to hear conservatives support the public school system when you know that system will bring the worst product at the highest price.”

The “Indoctrination Bus Tour” will visit key locations related to public education, including Dayton, TN, site of the famous 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial; the Creation Museum in Petersburg, KY; Washington, DC; New York, NY; and Boston, MA, the birthplace of public education. The Gunn family will be joined on the tour by Gunn’s fellow producer, Joaquin Fernandez, and a crew prepared to interview various national leaders and average Americans. The producers will be “live blogging” during the tour so supporters can follow their daily progress.

Colin Gunn is an award-winning producer/director and accomplished animator. Originally from Hamilton, Scotland, Gunn now lives in Waco, Texas with his family.

To interview Colin Gunn, please contact Joaquin Fernandez at 803-240-4934 or [email protected]. More information about the Indoctrination Bus Tour and film can be found at www.indoctrinationmovie.com.

Christian Coalition of America Announces Release of 2010 Congressional Scorecards

August 30, 2010

WASHINGTON (MetroCatholic) — Christian Coalition of America announces the release of its 2010 Congressional Scorecards, rating members of Congress on their votes over the past year.

In announcing the scorecards, Coalition President Roberta Combs stated that, “When it comes to how members of Congress actually vote on critical issues, too many Americans are not aware of how their elected officials vote on bills that affect their everyday lives.”

“Our scorecards rate members of Congress on some of the most important issues that we face today. These issues are important to our families and to the conservative movement,” Combs said.

The scorecards cover a range of congressional votes, including: the debate over health care reform, taxpayer funding of abortion, spending bills, traditional marriage, free speech and the illegal immigration issue.

Members of Congress are then rated on a scale of 0 to 100, based on their votes.

The scorecards can be accessed at: www.cc.org/webform/congressional_scorecards

Christian Coalition of America is a non-partisan political organization that works to identify, educate and mobilize Christians for effective political action.

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