Advisory Panel Recommends Vaccinations

MSNBC, July 3 — A government advisory committee has recommended that girls as young as 9 be vaccinated against the human papilloma virus (HPV), a sexually transmitted virus that can lead to cervical cancer, said MSNBC.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended that the vaccine be given to females age 9 to 26. Health officials say that more than 50% of sexually active men and women will be infected with some type of HPV during their lifetime.

Proponents say that the vaccine could reduce the 4,000 cervical cancer deaths that occur in the United States annually. The Family Research Council opposes making the vaccine required before children can enroll in school.

Merck & Co., the maker of the vaccine, is currently studying the vaccine’s effectiveness in males.

Religion a Factor in Presidential Voting

LOS ANGELES TIMES, July 3 — Americans may not be as anti-Catholic as some observers suggest. A recent Times/Bloomberg poll shows that voters are much more comfortable voting for a Catholic than, say, a Mormon. And they seem to prefer a mainline Judeo-Christian candidate than a Muslim.

Of those polled, 37% said they would not vote for a Mormon presidential candidate, and 54% said they would not vote for a Muslim. Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is exploring a possible presidential run.

Twenty-one percent of those polled said they would not vote for an evangelical Christian; 15% would not vote for a Jewish candidate; and only 10% said they would not vote for a Catholic for president.

Discovered Relic Sheds Light on American History

ASSOCIATED PRESS,  June 29 – A bronze relic discovered in Pueblo, N.M., may be a cross carried by 17th-century Spanish explorers, reported the Associated Press.

The 5-inch-long piece bears images of the vision of Constatine, an armor breastplate, and a cross with a crown around it.

The piece was given to a New Mexico priest following its discovery in Colorado in 1961. It was found in a file cabinet wrapped in tissue paper.

“That piece could be the factual evidence that [the Spanish] were here that early, and that could shed new light onto the history of Colorado,” said Dave Bailey, curator of history at the Museum of Western Colorado in Grand Junction.

Mass. Legislators Consider Lengthening Statutes

BOSTON GLOBE, July 4 — The Massachusetts legislature plans to consider a compromise bill that would give victims of sexual abuse as children 25 years to report their cases, said the Globe.

The proposal extends the current statute of limitations by 10 years, but does not abolish the statute completely.

The Massachusetts Catholic Conference supports the extension.

“The Catholic Church, nationally and locally, has made it a priority to create safe environments in our churches and schools and to continue to provide support to survivors and to all people who have suffered as a result of sexual abuse,” said the bishops’ statement.