Dec 23, 2003 - 12:00 am .- In a letter for the 90th World Day of Migrants and Refugees, which will be celebrated in 2004, Pope John Paul says that immigrants and refugees have rights, including the basic right to migrate. The Pope writes in the message that “unfortunately we are used to witnessing the hopeless journey of immigrants, the desperate escape of refugees, their arrival by any means in the richest countries, seeking to satisfy their personal and family needs.”
Dec 23, 2003 - 12:00 am .- The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a statement indicating that it is acceptable to kneel after receiving Communion. The news came after months of confusion in U.S. dioceses about the appropriateness of the longstanding tradition.
Dec 23, 2003 - 12:00 am .- A Federal Judge in Florida has ruled that the town of Palm Beach has until noon on Christmas Eve to decide whether it will allow Maureen Donnell and Fern deNarvaez to display Nativity scenes on public property alongside Jewish Menorahs.
Dec 23, 2003 - 12:00 am .- Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin pledged to protect the freedom of religious groups, and even use the notwithstanding clause if necessary, if a law on same-sex marriage in Canada would require religious groups to change their definition of marriage to include same-sex couples.
Dec 23, 2003 - 12:00 am .- In his Christmas message read in parishes yesterday, Cardinal Jaime Ortega Alamino of Havana, Cuba, exhorted Cuban families to cultivate joy and love despite economic hardships and the absence of love ones because of emigration, imprisonment or death.
Dec 23, 2003 - 12:00 am .- On Dec. 8, 1988, Fr. Emmett Johns and a few volunteers parked a second-hand van in the middle of downtown Montreal and started serving hot dogs to street kids. This year, the ministry celebrates its 15th anniversary and, given the growth of his ministry, there’s a lot to celebrate.
Dec 23, 2003 - 12:00 am .- A proposal to create a new diocese in eastern Virginia has the support of Cardinal William H. Keeler, the Richmond diocese's interim bishop, reported the Associated Press.
Dec 23, 2003 - 12:00 am .- Thanks to their prayers, everything for Christmas is back on track, said Santa in a letter to millions of Canadian children.
Dec 23, 2003 - 12:00 am .- Five foreign tourists and two Colombians were released on Monday after being held since last September 12 by the National Liberation Army (ELN) in the northern mountains of Santa Marta, Colombia, according to sources with the negotiating commission under the direction of the Catholic Church.
Dec 23, 2003 - 12:00 am .- According to the Fides News Agency in Rome, the number of pilgrims in Bethlehem has increased slightly this Christmas, but the volume is still not sufficient to offset the overall drop in visitors.