Bible Lessons

09/23/2008 Comments (1)

Teaching English and faith together in Pakistan. (UCAN)

Next month’s World Synod of Bishops on the Word of God in Rome has been convened to encourage Catholics to make better use of their Bibles.

Pakistani Catholic layman Christopher Paul has already taken that instruction to heart.

The Union of Catholic Asian News reported Sept. 22 about how Paul is using the Bible to teach English and deepen his students’ faith at the same time.

Since January, Paul has been giving free English-language classes five evenings a week to 10 Christian teenagers at St. Dominic School in Lahore, Pakistan. Each 90-minute class starts with a half-hour reflection on a Bible passage in English.

Paul said lack of money prevents many Christians, most of whom are...READ MORE

Filed under education, pakistan, synod

Unreported Abuse

09/23/2008 Comment

The national news media gives intensive coverage to sexual abuse scandals involving Catholic clergy.

But according to online journalist Dave Pierre, the mainstream media is declining to take a similar interest in what he calls “a major child abuse scandal” in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD).

In an article this spring on the Media Research Centers’ Newsbusters website, Pierre detailed allegations of sexual abuse involving more than two dozen teachers in the school system.

On Sept. 22, Pierre detailed seven more sexual abuse allegations that have come to light since May.

When contacted in May by a Los Angeles TV station about the sexual abuse cases, LAUSD Deputy...READ MORE

Filed under media, sexual abuse

Padre Pio’s Stigmata

09/23/2008 Comment

St. Pio, with apparent stigmata visible on his hand. (CNS)

New details have emerged about the Vatican’s first investigation of the famous stigmata of St. Pio of Petrelcina.

The renowned saint — who died exactly 40 years ago today on Sept. 23, 1968 — was first investigated in 1921 by the Holy Office, known today as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

A new article published by L’Osservatore Romano rejects longstanding claims that the Holy Office was suspicious of Padre Pio and of the authenticity of his stigmata.

According to the article, written by St. Pio’s biographer Francesco Castelli, records from the 1921 investigation instead show the Vatican’s admiration and appreciation for the Italian Capuchin friar.

And Bishop...READ MORE

Filed under saints

U.S. Bishops: Reject FOCA

09/23/2008 Comment

U.S. bishops' pro-life ad opposing FOCA. (CNS)

Cardinal Justin Rigali, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, has asked the U.S. Congress not to enact proposed “Freedom of Choice” legislation.

In a Sept. 19 letter to all members of Congress, Cardinal Rigali said the “Freedom of Choice Act” or “FOCA” bills now before Congress “would deprive the American people in all 50 states of the freedom they now have to enact modest restraints and regulations on the abortion industry.”

Along with Cardinal Rigali’s letter, the bishops’ conference has released a detailed analysis of the adverse legal impact of the FOCA legislation.

“FOCA would coerce all Americans into subsidizing and promoting...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, politics, u.s. bishops

Japan’s Catholic Leader

09/23/2008 Comment

Taro Aso, leader of Japan's Liberal Democratic Party (Kyodo)

Taro Aso, 68, was elected Monday as the new leader of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

Tomorrow, Aso is expected to be confirmed as Japan’s first Catholic prime minister by Japan’s lower house of parliament, which is controlled by his party.

Aso is known as a politician with personality, Associated Press noted: He is an Olympic sharpshooter in a country with strong gun laws who also has earned a reputation as a political straight-shooter.

Aso will become the third Japanese prime minister since 2006, succeeding Shinzo Abe and Yasuo Fukuda who both resigned because of low poll numbers and constant battles with the opposition-controlled upper house of Japan’s parliament.


Filed under japan, politics

Faithful Faith-Based Voters

09/22/2008 Comment


A new study comparing religious voters’ preferences in the current presidential race and in 2004 has found a surprising degree of similarity.

The Fifth National Survey of Religion and Politics, undertaken by University of Akron pollster John Green, was conducted before the Democratic and Republican national conventions.

The survey found Democratic candidate Barack Obama does best with the same religious groups that supported John Kerry most strongly in 2004: Jews, black Protestants, Latino Catholics and the religiously unaffiliated.

Republican candidate John McCain’s support is strongest among evangelical Protestants, where he had almost as big an edge over Obama (37.3%) as...READ MORE

Filed under politics

God and Tony Blair at Yale

09/22/2008 Comment

Former British PM Tony Blair (AFP)

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair delivered his inaugural lecture Sept. 19 as a visiting lecturer on religion at Yale University.

Blair converted to Catholicism in late 2007, only a few months after resigning as prime minister.

The Yale lecture was delivered to only a small number of students, but Blair also gave a more informal talk later in the day to a crowd of more than 2,000 students.

In his position as Yale’s Howland Distinguished Fellow, Blair will give five lectures annually at Yale for the next three years. The lectures will focus on the subject of faith and globalization.

— Tom McFeely

Filed under education

Supreme Knight Chides Biden

09/22/2008 Comment

Sen. Joe Biden on Meet the Press. (CNS/Reuters)

The head of the Knights of Columbus has written an open letter to Democratic vice-presidential candidate Sen. Joe Biden about Biden’s position on abortion.

Addressing Biden as “a fellow Catholic layman,” Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson took issue with Biden’s abortion-related comments during a Sept. 7 appearance on Meet the Press. Biden said he accepted the Church’s teaching that life begins at conception “as a matter of faith” but said he could not impose that belief on others through public policy.

Biden was subsequently criticized by many American bishops for having misrepresented Church teachings in his remarks.

In his letter, Anderson appealed to Biden to abandon his...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, joe biden, knights of columbus, politics

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