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Keeping an eye on the news around the Nation
BY John Lilly
Paper Says Cardinal Egan Is
Caring and Involved
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, Oct. 17 — Amid
the media coverage of an anonymous letter sent by a group of New York archdiocesan priests criticizing
Cardinal Edward Egan for a lack of leadership, columnist Michael Daly wrote in
support of the cardinal, suggesting that he’s not quite as distant as the
priests’ letter makes him out to be.
According to Daly, Cardinal Egan
makes a habit of visiting parishes on a regular basis and greeting people. He
tells the story of Archbishop Egan’s visit to Our Lady of Refuge in the Bronx one Sunday, shortly after his appointment as
The archbishop arrived, had
coffee, said the 9 a.m. Mass and the 11 a.m. Mass, and stayed for lunch with
“I was incredulous,” said Msgr.
John Jenik, pastor. “He went to all the tables, spoke
to all the people.”
The letter, which suggested that
priests take a no-confidence vote in the cardinal, is thought to be intended as
a signal to Rome
as he turns 75 next April and must tender his resignation.
In response to the letter,
Cardinal Egan met with 40 members of the Priests Council, who issued a
statement denouncing it. “As today’s meeting has shown, it is possible to meet
and discuss any issue with Cardinal Egan,” they said. “If any priest has a
concern he can raise it and discuss it at any time.”
Rochester Diocese Criticizes Stem-Cell Ads
WHAM-TV, Oct. 17 — The Diocese of
Rochester, N.Y., had criticized a political ad that targets a congressional
candidate’s vote against stem-cell research, urging voters to consider the
science and ethics of such research, reported WHAM.
The ad fails to note that Rep. Jim
Walsh, R-N.Y., has voted for funding of adult stem-cell research, while voting
against only human embryonic stem-cell research, which the Church condemns.
“Congressman Walsh has indeed
voted to fund adult stem-cell research,” said Jann Armantrout, diocesan life issues coordinator. “He has
rejected the ethically compromising embryonic destruction that’s involved in
embryonic stem-cell research.”
Catholic Hospital Loses Tax Exempt Status
NEWS-GAZETTE, Oct. 15 — The
revocation of an Urbana, Ill.,
Catholic hospital’s property tax exemption has caused other non-profits to
wonder if such action is possible elsewhere, said the Illinois daily.
On Sept. 29, the Illinois
Department of Revenue revoked Provena Covenant
$1.1 million property tax exemption for the year 2002. The issue was first
raised four years ago when an activist group, the Champaign County Health Care
Consumers, first raised concerns about the hospital’s charity care and debt
When the Champaign County Board of
Review asked Covenant for information about the center’s leases and agreements
with outside service providers doing business at the hospital, the hospital
refused to share the information.
In 2002, Covenant’s revenues were
$113 million, but it spent less than 1% on charity care. Last year, the company
reported a $39.6 million profit. The Department of Revenue said that the small
amount of charity care was insufficient to justify the $1.1 million property
tax exemption. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has proposed that
hospitals be required to provide charity care equal to 8% of their operating
The Illinois Hospital Association
condemned the revocation and sees it as a threat to all hospitals and
“If this decision is allowed to
stand, this could disrupt a great deal of good work done by a lot of
not-for-profits,” said Howard Peters, senior vice president of government
relations for the organization.