Archive of January 20, 2010

Mexican Catholic newspaper clarifies why gays cannot adopt children

Mexico City, Mexico, Jan 20, 2010 (CNA) - The official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Mexico City, “Desde la Fe,” has published an explanation of the Church’s teaching on homosexual couples adopting children. The article was released following of a series of media reports which distorted statements by Church officials on the subject.

In an extensive article, the newspaper reaffirmed that the Church, “faithful to the task entrusted to her by Christ (…) has expressed her opposition to the law that allows ‘married’ homosexual couples to adopt children.”  The article then criticized the media for distorting “statements by members of the Church, quoting them out of context or even openly lying in order to disparage the Church.”

“Desde la Fe” explained that the Church is not homophobic and teaches that homosexual persons should be embraced “with respect, understanding and sensitivity, avoiding any sign of unjust discrimination.”

“It is not homosexuality in itself, but rather homosexual sexual relations that the Church condemns because they are ‘intrinsically disordered'.”  The newspaper quoted the Catechism saying the acts “are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity.”

“The Church invites homosexuals, as well as all single people, to live in chastity,” the paper stated before pointing out that cases of child abuse do not strip the Church of her moral authority to oppose the new law.  Precisely because of “that shameful and painful experience,” for which the Church has asked forgiveness, she has “the authority to warn of the dangers that children face in a homosexual atmosphere.”

Regarding adoption, the article stated that being good parents is not only a question of providing for the material needs of children, but also ensuring their “healthy physical, mental and moral development.”  “No matter how good the intentions of homosexual ‘parents’ might be, their mere lifestyle will impact children greatly.”

The newspaper warned that it would be wrong to ignore the possibility that a particular homosexual couple wishes to adopt children for the perverse purpose of using them for child pornography, sexual abuse or prostitution.”

“Growing up in a homosexual environment cannot be good for a child. The testimonies of those who have experienced the trauma of being raised by homosexuals are proof.  One such testimony is that of Dawn Stefanowicz, whose website ( lists 25 effects which children suffer in these situations,” the newspaper concluded.

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Relics, icons and crosses are onboard International Space Station, cosmonaut says

Moscow, Russia, Jan 20, 2010 (CNA) - The Gospels, four icons, crosses and a relic of the True Cross have been taken aboard the Russian segment of the International Space Station (ISS), a Russian cosmonaut has reported. A photo taken by the station crew shows an icon and a crucifix floating in zero gravity in the ISS.

Writing on his blog at the website of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), Cosmonaut Maksim Suraev responded to readers’ questions about religious symbols on the space station.

“We have four holy icons on the Russia segment. We also have the Gospels and a big cross,” he said, according to a blog entry translated by Russia Today in November 2009.

Russia Today reported that the Lord’s Divine Cross was given to A.N. Merminov, the head of Roscosmos, by the late Patriarch of Moscow Aleksy II. The cross was delivered to the station in 2006 by the crew of Soyuz TMA-8.

Suraev added that he has a reliquary cross in his cabin.

“A priest gave it to me at Baikanur before the launch. Father Job told me a piece of the original cross on which Jesus was crucified is contained in mine.”

He added that his cross was blessed in the major monastery of Sergiev Posad.

“It will be with me the whole expedition and will return with me to Earth,” the cosmonaut wrote.

Holy relics and other objects have been on previous spaceflights. U.S. astronaut Ronald Garan brought a relic of St. Therese of Lisieux with him on the space shuttle Discovery in 2008. He plans to bring another relic of the saint with him on a mission to the ISS in 2011.

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Catholic Relief Services sees ‘tremendous response’ for Haitian appeal

Baltimore, Md., Jan 20, 2010 (CNA) - Catholic Relief Services on Tuesday reported it has received a “tremendous response” of cash donations for relief and recovery in Haiti as it seeks to secure $25 million to help the victims of last week’s massive earthquake.

On Tuesday Catholic Relief Services (CRS) reported it received $13.1 million in donations. This figure is up from its Jan. 17 report of more than $11.9 million in donations, $7.3 million of which came via the internet.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, created by the billionaire Microsoft co-founder, on Jan. 14 announced it had awarded a $1 million grant to Catholic Relief Services to help its response to the needs of the earthquake’s victims.

The foundation said CRS has “experienced personnel and a stock of emergency supplies” in the country. The donation will help cover CRS’s initial relief efforts in areas such as shelter, food, water, sanitation, health and other needs.

Archbishop of New York Timothy Dolan, Chairman of CRS, said there has been a “tremendous response” from all over the world and particularly in the United States.

“Catholic Relief Services, the Red Cross, and so many other aid agencies are already hard at work in Haiti, and they will need our ongoing support as they begin the long and difficult process of helping the people of Haiti to rebuild their lives,” the archbishop wrote on Tuesday on his blog The Gospel in the Digital Age.

As CRS chairman, he added, he is “so grateful” to those who donated. He especially thanked the New York Yankees baseball team, which donated $225,000 to CRS' Haitian relief efforts as part of the $500,000 the team has committed to relief.

“Please keep in your prayers the people of Haiti and those who are working so hard to bring them aid and comfort,” Archbishop Dolan concluded.

The Catholic Relief Services website has been reconstructed to accommodate its heightened volume of online traffic. It is located at

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Planned Parenthood is ‘lying’ about MLK, Alveda King charges

CNA STAFF, Jan 20, 2010 (CNA) - Dr. Alveda King, pro-life advocate and niece of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., has attacked Planned Parenthood, saying its comments about the civil rights leader amount to “lying.” She charged that the organization misrepresents Rev. King’s reception of the Margaret Sanger Award.

“I hate to sound combative, but they do this every year,” she told CNA in a Tuesday phone interview.

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) released a statement saying the civil rights leader had received the Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s Margaret Sanger Award in 1966.

The award is given to recognize “individuals’ excellence and leadership in furthering reproductive health and rights” and is named for the founder of Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood said that Dr. King fought for racial justice, fair wages for workers and “quality health care for all” in its Jan. 18 statement. The organization said that Planned Parenthood works “in the tradition of Dr. King’s call for equity in health care” by erasing “disparities” in the health care system that disproportionately affect “people of color.”

The organization, the nation’s largest abortion provider, claimed that more than 90 percent of the health care provided at its health centers is preventive and includes breast exams, Pap tests and contraception.

PPFA then quoted what it described as the comments Dr. King wrote “in accepting the Sanger Award.”

'We had confidence that when we awakened the nation to the immorality and evil of inequality, there would be an upsurge of conscience followed by remedial action.'

Speaking to CNA on Tuesday, Alveda King commented: “Dr. King did not attend that ceremony, he did not write that speech.”

Rather, she explained, his wife Coretta Scott King delivered the speech.

Alveda King questioned the authorship of the text at several points because of language she found implausible.

“There’s one page in there that says something about ‘the plight of the male ego.’ No male will say that,” she explained to CNA.

King connected the falsehoods she saw about the Margaret Sanger Award with the “lies” she said are told by abortion advocates.

“They lie, they lied to me. They told me that my baby was a blob of tissue, that its removal would not hurt any more than removing a tooth. But it did hurt much more, and it was much more devastating.”

“Abortion isn’t health care, it is a death warrant for babies,” she stated.

King referred CNA to her pamphlet “An analysis of the PPH MLK Brochure,” available in the African-American Outreach section of the Priests for Life website. She also referred to her comments on her blog at

There in a Tuesday entry she asked rhetorically whether a man who “warned against the evils of infanticide in his Letter From A Birmingham Jail,” whose father was “staunchly pro-life,” and who saw injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, could support “abortion and killer chemicals called ‘safe’ birth control.”

“They lied to my uncle, Dr. King. How can the dream survive if we murder our children?” she asked.

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Speakers to describe the ‘pain’ of abortion at Supreme Court building

Washington D.C., Jan 20, 2010 (CNA) - Pro-life activist Dr. Alveda King, actress Jennifer O’Neill and 45 women and men from the organization Silent No More will testify about their abortion experiences on Friday at 3 p.m. in front of the Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C.

“The Silent No More Awareness Campaign was born of the grief, pain, and suffering that those of us who have had abortions know all too well," said Georgette Forney, a co-founder of the campaign. "We are growing in number because women have found that abortion is not the answer, it's the problem."

Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, with gather with the Silent No More speakers as the March for Life reaches the top of Capitol Hill.

"The empty slogans of the child-killing industry avoid the realities of abortion," Fr. Pavone stated. "The Silent No More Awareness Campaign lives and breathes those realities every day. One can't help but be moved and motivated by their stories."

Janet Morana, another co-founder of the group, said it will be “even more visible” at this year’s March.

“In addition to our signature 'I Regret My Abortion' and 'I Regret Lost Fatherhood' signs, we have distributed across the country over 45,000 new signs that say, 'Women Do Regret Abortion' and 'Men Regret Lost Fatherhood.' The message is simple, but in the lives of our members, profound."

The campaign, launched in 2003, claims that 3,423 women and men have shared their testimonies for over 100,000 listeners at over 489 public gatherings in 48 states and seven countries.

Silent No More, a joint project of Anglicans for Life and Priests for Life, says its goals are to raise awareness about the “hurtful aftermath” of abortion and about the help available to cope with the pain.

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Aid to the Church in Need sends its first relief package to quake-stricken Haiti

Port au Prince, Haiti, Jan 20, 2010 (CNA) - Aid to the Church in Need sent $70,000 in emergency help for Haiti last Friday, with more aid planned in the months to come. Communication difficulties and the deaths of leading clergy are hampering the relief efforts.

The package was agreed upon late Thursday and directed towards Haiti through the apostolic nuncio, Archbishop Bernardito Auza. It will provide food, clean water, clothing, medical aid and temporary shelter to the hundreds of thousands of people affected by the massive Jan. 12 earthquake.

The charity expects a series of requests to help support the spiritual needs of Haitians as they begin their long recovery from the disaster.

After struggling to contact bishops and other project partners in Haiti, Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) was able to send messages of support to leading clergy and to learn of the needs in the crisis areas.

Bishop Gontrand Decoste, SJ, of Jérémie told ACN:

“Haiti has been struck by a terrible tragedy. Port-au-Prince is practically destroyed. We are on our knees. Only thanks to the solidarity of people like you can we begin to find the strength to get up on our feet again.”

“Thank you for your heartfelt message of solidarity. We will certainly need help for people who have lost their homes. Also, there is a need to provide support for damaged churches.”

Xavier Legoretta, who co-ordinates ACN projects in Haiti, has urged prayers for those suffering.

“This traumatic experience is for Haiti what the tsunami was five years ago for the people of south-east Asia,” he said.

“What happened in Haiti on Tuesday is a wake-up call to the West, reminding us that we should never forget those who are suffering so much in our world.”

“We know we can count on the prayers and compassion of our benefactors, that they are willing and able to be a sign of solidarity, accompanying the people of Haiti through the difficult days, months and even years to come.”

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Pope calls special meeting with Irish bishops at the Vatican

Vatican City, Jan 20, 2010 (CNA) - Pope Benedict XVI will meet with the Catholic bishops of Ireland in a private audience at the Holy See in February, according to news reports.  The two-day meeting has been called to address the current situation of the Church in Ireland.

On Wednesday The Irish Catholic reported that the meetings would be convened from Feb. 15 - 16. Citing Vatican sources, the newspaper claimed that the agenda will include discussions between the bishops of Ireland, the Pope and members of the Roman Curia regarding the cases of clerical sex abuse made public in the Murphy Report last Nov. 26.

According to The Guardian, "all" of the bishops of Ireland have been summoned to the Holy See to take part in the discussions.

Martin Long, spokesman for the Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference, referred CNA to the Vatican for confirmation of the meeting. Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi confirmed the existence of the plans for the meeting on Wednesday, according to Vatican Radio.

In the meantime, the Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference has announced an extraordinary meeting for Jan. 22 to discuss ongoing issues concerning the Commission of Investigation (Murphy) Report into the Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin and to prepare for the arrival of the Pastoral Letter from Pope Benedict XVI to the Irish Church.

According to "The Irish Catholic" the Papal Letter will be read to Irish faithful in Mass on Feb. 17, Ash Wednesday.

On Dec. 11, the Primate of the Irish Catholic Church, Cardinal Sean Brady, and Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin met with Pope Benedict XVI regarding the matter.  The Pope expressed at that time that he was "deeply disturbed and distressed" after having studied the Murphy Report.  Four Irish bishops have submitted their resignations since its publication.

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Knights of Columbus call for referendum to defend true marriage

Mexico City, Mexico, Jan 20, 2010 (CNA) - The Knights of Columbus have called on both the Mexico City Legislative Assembly and the head of the federal government to organize a referendum asking the Mexican people to decide whether or not  marriage should continue to be defined as a social institution between one man and one woman.

Luis Fernando Guevara, who represents the Knights of Columbus in Mexico said redefining marriage to include same-sex couples does not represent the will of society, which for centuries has always defended the treasure and value of marriage between one man and one woman.

In response to the criticism leveled against religious organizations for their defense of marriage, Guevara said, “People who, on the basis of their religious beliefs, express their opposition to the redefinition of marriage do so by exercising their freedoms of thought and action.”  He noted that both of these freedoms “are guaranteed in the first article of our constitution.”

“We are concerned that the Mexico City Legislative Assembly is not only failing to legislate on issues of priority for society, such as healthcare, security, education, poverty, but it is ignoring fundamental institutions such as marriage, a natural and legal institution that we Mexicans recognize as the foundation of society,” Guevara said.

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Archdiocese of Seville organizes Catholics and Public Life Day

Madrid, Spain, Jan 20, 2010 (CNA) - In order to defend and promote the presence of Christians in society, the Archdiocese of Seville, Spain will host the third Catholics and Public Life Day, which will be held February 12 and 13 on the Bormujos University campus in Seville.  The day's theme will be “Christian Testimony in a Secular Society.”

During a press conference announcing the event, the vicar general of the archdiocese, Father Fernando Ortiz, remarked that this year, activities will center on the economic crisis, the family and the media.

Speaking on the importance of the event, Fr. Ortiz said, “Christians are exercising their liberty in demanding a place in public life.”  He recalled that Pope Benedict XVI, in the encyclical “Caritas in Veritate,” defended the presence of Catholics in the public square, “against the predominant tendency that argues for separating the essence of Catholics from their role in society.”

Jose Maria Monzon, secretary of the Catholic Association of Advertisers, said the event brings to light “the true concerns of citizens.”  He underscored that during the day, “the doors of the campus will be opened so the event will become a forum for all who have something to contribute.”

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Nuncio in Haiti says Church should use 'moral authority' to distribute aid

Port au Prince, Haiti, Jan 20, 2010 (CNA) -

The Apostolic Nuncio to Haiti, Archbishop Bernardito Auza called on volunteers in the country to use “their moral authority” in distributing aid arriving in Port-au-Prince. Due to logistical complications such as lack of transportation, it has been difficult for donations to reach victims of the January 12 earthquake.

In an exclusive interview with CNA outside the Apostolic Nunciature in Petionville, a suburb of Port-au-Prince, the archbishop urged those bringing aid to distribute it without waiting for greater security to be put in place.

“The Church must trust her moral authority in this task. Together with Catholic Relief Services (CRS), we have set up 12 aid-distribution stations. We cannot wait to have sufficient security in order to distribute (the aid), so we must make use of the moral authority we have as part of the Church of Christ,” the nuncio continued.

“We have to trust in that moral authority and do this work so that the people who need the aid can receive it,” he added.

The nuncio also announced that the funeral for Archbishop Serge Miot of Port-au-Prince will take place on Saturday, January 23.

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Pro-life leaders cheer Brown's win over Coakley

Boston, Mass., Jan 20, 2010 (CNA) - Several prominent pro-life leaders are responding to Scott Brown's Senate victory in Massachusetts last night, with one saying that Brown's success is a “win” for American women.

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the pro-life political action group Susan B. Anthony List said on Wednesday that “The election of Scott Brown is no accident,” and that “The American people have spoken tonight.”

“Martha Coakley's defeat is not a setback for women in politics, it is a victory,” the SBA List president said.

She went on to call Scott Brown's success “a win for the majority of American women who demand authentic representation that reflects commonsense pro-life views, like abortion funding restrictions and conscience protections.”

“Abortion is never good for women,” Dannenfelser asserted , “and it should never be a legitimate aspect of any 'health care' debate.”

Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, also issued a statement on Wednesday, commenting that Brown's victory “represents several simple facts about the current state of American politics.” In Fr. Pavone's view, the American people love freedom and that no matter what their party affiliation is, are not comfortable with any party holding majorities in Washington and ignoring “the will of the people, as the Democratic Party has been doing on so many issues.”

“Whether the issue is healthcare, abortion, or anything else, when the people feel powerless to change the minds of those in power, they change those in power,” he concluded.

Concerned Women for America (CWA) president Wendy Wright also responded to the election result last night saying that it was President Obama's and Martha Coakley's “arrogance” that cost them the Senate seat on Wednesday as well as the people of the state beginning to understand what the new health care plan would entail. “Massachusetts' citizens know what ObamaCare would be like,” Wright said, noting that “their state passed oppressive health care 'reform' that subsidizes abortions. They're paying the high prices and getting less health care because of it.”

“The message is clear, abortion is not health care,” Dannenfelser of the SBA List concluded in her Wednesday statement. “Americans should not be forced to fund it, and medical providers of faith should not be forced to participate in it.”

“The people of Massachusetts deserve a Senator who affirms Constitutional rights for all, not one who puts a radical ideology above the right of conscience. Scott Brown promised to keep abortion out of health care on the campaign trail, and the Susan B. Anthony List looks forward to working with him to accomplish that goal,” she said.

Senator-elect Scott Brown is not strongly opposed to abortion and has called it a “decision that should ultimately be made by the woman in consultation with her doctor,” according to his website. His opposition to the Senate health care bill in its current form is based mainly on his aversion to a government-run health care system.

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Rescuers find body of Vicar General in Haiti

Port au Prince, Haiti, Jan 20, 2010 (CNA) - The body of Vicar General Charles Benoit was found beneath the ruins of the Port-au-Prince Cathedral today, a week after the catastrophic earthquake that wreaked havoc on the Haitian community. Vicar General Charles Benoit was discovered with his hands around a reliquary which contained a host inside.

Despite the bad news, rescuers were encouraged by a dramatic two hour rescue that took place Wednesday. Enu Zizi, 60, had been trapped beneath the rubble in the Port-au-Prince Cathedral since the devastating quake hit last Tuesday evening local time.

Zizi's first words upon being pulled from the wreckage were to tell her rescuers, “I love you.” Caritas worker Ruth Schoffl translated Zizi's message for her fellow rescuers and said, “It was like witnessing a small miracle.”

“After a week of searching we heard this voice. I was able to speak to her, translating for the rescue team,” said Schoffl. The Cancun Mexico Rescue Brigade and the South African Relief Team are credited with rescuing Enu,who, aside from injured lips and a possible broken leg, was not critically hurt.

“The rescue of Zizi has been the best thing in the team we have experienced,” said Ahmed Bham, leader of the South African Relief Team. “It is the first time we have saved somebody's life after such a long time after the quake.”

“The team has got an energy boost,” he continued, “and we are heading out to do more work as there is still hope.”

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Pope asks for prayer to achieve visible unity of all Christians

Vatican City, Jan 20, 2010 (CNA) -

Pope Benedict developed his catechesis at the general audience on Wednesday around the theme of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.  The Pope spoke of the importance of "visible unity between Christians," inviting the faithful to invoke the Lord's assistance to "develop fraternal relations and promote dialogue." 

This year's Week focuses on the Bible verse, "you are witnesses of these things," which Benedict XVI meditated on through two questions: the first,  "What are these things?" and the second, "How can we be witnesses of these things?"

"The mystery of the Passion and the gift of the Resurrection" are the answers to the first question, explained the Pope, who added that "by knowing Christ we know the face of God" and "in Christ, the distant becomes close." 

We can be witnesses to "these things," he continued, "by knowing Him personally, ... and truly meeting Him in our life of faith, and thus we can contribute to the novelty of the world, to eternal life."

The Holy Father affirmed the evolution of the ecumenical movement in the last 100 years to its current role in promoting fraternal relations between Churches and ecclesial communities.

He also commented on the scope and success of the movement, saying, "Since Vatican Council II the Catholic Church has forged fraternal relations with all the Churches of the East and ecclesial communities of the West.” With most of these groups, he continued,  she "has been able to find points of convergence, even consensus, on various matters, thus strengthening our bonds of communion.”

"Over the last twelve months, the various dialogues have made important progress," the Pope pointed out, referring specifically to the 10th anniversary of Catholic-Lutheran dialogue established within the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification and progress in talks with the Anglican Church.

Pope Benedict underscored that the unity of Christians is fundamental to spreading the Gospel to the non-Christian world, asking how Christians can be credible in announcing Christ as "the only Savior of the world and our peace" if we are not unified in facing a "world that does not know Christ."

The Holy Father added that much has been done to establish dialogue with the Eastern Churches and ecclesial communities in recent history and that progress "has been achieved in collaboration and in fraternity in all these years."

However, he continued, "Ecumenical work is not a linear process, the old problems that arose in another age lose their importance, giving way to problems and difficulties of our own time. For this reason we must always be willing to accept a process of purification, through which the Lord makes us capable of unity."

The Pope wrapped up his speech by reaffirming the need for a shared witness to Christ and inviting prayer "for the complex ecumenical reality (and) for the promotion of dialogue."

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Religious congregations in Haiti report on damages

Rome, Italy, Jan 20, 2010 (CNA) -

Representatives from religious congregations in Haiti, who have seen their communities, houses and facilities damaged or destroyed by the earthquake in Haiti are asking the international community to provide relief to the devastated country.

According to the Fides news agency, the superior general of the Clerics of St. Viator, Father Mark Francis, said “three clerics who were in Grand Goave, have been found alive, although wounded and suffering from fractures.”

The procurator general of the Christian Brothers, Father Leonardo Tejeiro, remarked that the order’s 15 brothers in Haiti all survived the quake unharmed, but that their homes suffered some damage. The order has opened its doors to help the religious who have been left homeless.

The Monfortians reported that 10 of their students were killed in the quake, as they were departing by bus from a conference organized by the Institute for Studies for Religious Men and Women.

The secretary general of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit, Father John McFadden said their entire community survived the disaster with the exception of one seminarian, Stephane Douge.

“We give thanks to God that so many of our confreres have survived this terrible disaster and pledge our prayers and support for the rescue operations and the remaining pastoral agents who now have to minister to their people in such horrific conditions,” said Fr. McFadden.

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Pope's second book on Jesus of Nazareth is finished

Vatican City, Jan 20, 2010 (CNA) - After meeting with Pope Benedict XVI in a private audience, American Rabbi Jacob Neusner, prolific writer, professor and expert in Judaism, told L'Osservatore Romano newspaper about his history with the Pope. He also mentioned that the Holy Father confided to him that the second volume of Jesus of Nazareth is complete.  

The two met privately on Monday at the Vatican for 20 minutes, which the Rabbi Neusner called a "great gift" and said was "time enough for a nice meeting between two professors."  During this encounter, the Pope chose to reveal to him that the second volume on Jesus is ready for the press.

The American rabbi was in Rome to take part in Catholic-Jewish dialogues following the Pope's visit to the Synagogue of Rome.  He's no stranger to the environment, having dedicated his life to the scholarly study of Judaism, including how it interacts with Christianity and Islam.

Rabbi Neusner has written various treatises addressing inter-religious subjects.  In fact, so impressive was his 1993 treatise "A Rabbi talks with Jesus" that then-Cardinal Ratzinger wrote that it was "the most important novelty in the last decade for Jewish-Christian dialogue," a review which the Rabbi published on the inside cover of the book.

The next contact between the two came in 2007 when Pope Benedict XVI dedicated several pages in his first volume on Jesus of Nazareth to the Rabbi's treatise, which concerns Christ's teaching of the beatitudes on the mount.

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Nuncio unharmed after second earthquake in Haiti

Port au Prince, Haiti, Jan 20, 2010 (CNA) - Despite Haiti being hit with a second earthquake early Wednesday morning 35 miles from from the Capital city of Port-au-Prince, the Apostolic Nuncio in Haiti is reported to be safe and unharmed.

“It was a 6.1 quake!” Archbishop Bernardito Auza told CNA via email on Wednesday. “Pretty strong. It rattled the house. We are sleeping in the garden, but in that moment I was inside the house,” the prelate explained.

Archbishop Auza reported that the nunciature, located in Petionville south-east of downtown Port-au-Prince, is alright as well. Due to the building's structural uncertainty since the Jan. 12 earthquake, he has been sleeping outside in a tent.

Today's tremor struck the beleaguered country just eight days after the devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake left tens of thousands dead and even more injured and homeless.

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Pro-life leader lauds Brown's victory, discusses implications

Washington D.C., Jan 20, 2010 (CNA) - Calling Scott Brown's victory “a political earthquake that will be felt across the United States,” Population Research Institute president Steve Mosher praised the newly elected senator's success and spoke on its wider implications.

“No one thought that a conservative Republican could possibly win in Massachusetts, the most liberal of American states and the long-time power base of liberal icon Teddy Kennedy,” Mosher told CNA on Wednesday. “But State Sen. Scott Brown did what no one thought possible.” 

“Even though Democrats outnumber Republicans three to one,” continued Mosher, “Brown won 52% of the vote to Coakley's 47%. Brown pulled in 1,168,107 votes to 1,058,682 for Coakley.”

Mosher explained his perspective on the wider implications of Brown's success and said that “His victory left the perfect, government-controlled world imagined by Barack Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi in ruins,” and that  “It means the end of Obama's drive for government-run health care, with its public funding of abortion.” 

It also “means the end of cap-and-trade,” and “the anti-Global Warming bill, with its drive for more population control,” said Mosher, who specializes in population research.

The Brown victory, Mosher asserted, “also calls into question other Leftist projects which harm Life and families in the U.S. and overseas.” 

Speaking on the elections that will take place this November, Mosher called Brown's victory a “prelude.”

If Obama is smart, argued Mosher, he will abandon “his radical abortion and population control proposals, which threaten to crush his presidency into the ground.” However, “the definition of a fanatic is one who redoubles his efforts when he has lost sight of his goals,” he stated. 

Senator-elect Scott brown is not strongly opposed to abortion and has called it a “decision that should ultimately be made by the woman in consultation with her doctor,” according to his website. His opposition to the Senate health care bill in its current form is based mainly on his aversion to a government-run health care system and its cost.

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