Dec 17, 2004 - 12:00 am .- In a pastoral letter to be released on Saturday, Most Rev. Samuel J. Aquila, Bishop of Fargo, addresses the roots of dissent among Catholics, highlighted during the recent elections in the U.S., and picks out five main areas of concern.
Dec 17, 2004 - 12:00 am .- In his syndicated column, Fr. Richard McBrien, professor of Theology at the University of Notre-Dame, issued a scathing attack on bishops holding a pro-life position, claiming that they negate the importance of other concerns such as capital punishment, just war, or social justice.
Dec 17, 2004 - 12:00 am .- The Vatican's Good Samaritan Foundation for AIDS patients was presented today in the Holy See Press Office and “all men and women of good will, especially those in more economically advanced countries,” were invited by Pope John Paul II “to contribute to the goals of this foundation."
Dec 17, 2004 - 12:00 am .- Pope John Paul II told the 90 performers who will perfrom at the Christmas in the Vatican Concert that it “helps support the building of new churches, especially on the periphery of our diocese.” He said he hoped that tomorrow's concert would “once again attain its noble goal.”
Dec 17, 2004 - 12:00 am .- Welcoming 18 members of the Anti-Defamation League in the Vatican this morning, Pope John Paul II expressed his fervent desire for the eradication of all forms of racism.
Dec 17, 2004 - 12:00 am .- Parents and students have filed a federal lawsuit against a public school district in Plano, Tex., after it informed its schools of a ban on candy canes with religious messages, pencils with the name “Jesus” on them, and red- and green-colored decorations at holiday parties, reported AgapePress. The matter has also sparked an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Dec 17, 2004 - 12:00 am .- A new analysis of a studies on birth control pills demonstrates that there is no evidence that the pill cuts the risk of heart diseases. The same studies also falsely claimed that there is no link between the pill and increased risk of breast cancer. The new analysis was backed by the director of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, who said the research was flawed.
Dec 17, 2004 - 12:00 am .- The new executive director of the Virginia Catholic Conference has his sight set on promoting a consistent ethic of life and creating a culture of life in the southern state.
Dec 17, 2004 - 12:00 am .- Pope John Paul II has dismissed two priests of the Ferns Diocese in Co Wexford from the clerical state, reported Irish Public Radio yesterday. This is the first defrocking of priests for sexual abuse in Ireland’s recent history.
Dec 17, 2004 - 12:00 am .- A Spanish magazine focusing on African issues, “Mundo Negro” (“Black World”) is reporting that other African countries, especially Ivory Coast, are adopting the anti-AIDS policies of the Ugandan government, which are based on abstinence.
Dec 17, 2004 - 12:00 am .- As part of an outreach called, “Let’s evangelize the heart of the city,” thousands of volunteers, mostly young people, will participate in a campaign to bring Christmas cheer to the poor and the homeless.
Dec 17, 2004 - 12:00 am .- Auxiliary Bishop of Mercedes-Lujan, Argentina, Oscar Sarlinga, praised the “pastoral attitude” of Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Buenos Aires for calling for a Mass in response to a “blasphemous” art exhibit on display in the Argentinean capital.
Dec 17, 2004 - 12:00 am .- The Teaching and Catechesis Committee of the Bishops Conference of Spain issued a statement to dioceses and Catholic schools this week stating that neither the bishops, nor Catholic educational institutions have called for protests to be held this Saturday, December 18. The statement, signed by committee director Modesto Romero, says, “Regarding the request for information about calls for protests outside the Cathedrals of every diocese,” the Spanish bishops have “no involvement whatsoever.”