Bishop Elected to Board of Military Institute

FORT BENNING, Ga. — Bishop Robert Morlino of Madison, Wis., was elected chairman of the board of visitors of the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation at Fort Benning. He replaces Ambassador Jose Sorzano, who has been serving as chairman. His continued board membership was term-limited.

The institute, established in 2001 as a successor to the 55-year-old School of the Americas, instructs civilian, military and law enforcement leaders from throughout the Western Hemisphere. The election of Bishop Morlino took place at the board’s recent meeting. It was unanimous, with the exception of his own abstention from the vote.

The bishop commented that he was surprised at being invited to be a board member in the first place but even more surprised he was nominated for the chairmanship. He was appointed to the board in October 2005 by the U.S. secretary of defense and the U.S. secretary of the Army.


Pope Taps Bioethics Center Head for Vatican Post

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI has named John Haas, a moral theologian and president of the Philadelphia-based National Catholic Bioethics Center, to be a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life.

The Vatican announced the appointment Dec. 6.

Haas, a Philadelphia resident and father of nine children, has taught moral theology at the Philadelphia Archdiocese’s St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, at the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family in Washington and at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio.

Pope John Paul II established the Pontifical Academy for Life in 1994 to study problems related to the promotion and defense of human life and dignity.


Los Angeles Cardinal Calls Settlement ‘Fair and Just’

LOS ANGELES — The $60 million settlement of 45 cases in which clergy had been accused of sexual abuse is “fair and just,” Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles said Dec. 1.

In a statement, the cardinal also termed the settlement “a positive step forward in the Church’s efforts to promote healing and reconciliation for those who have suffered abuse by members of the clergy.” He also made a personal apology to all victims of abuse by a priest, religious or deacon in the archdiocese. “The sexual abuse of minors is both a sin and a crime, and there is no place in the priesthood for those who have abused children,” he added.

The archdiocese said its share of the settlement was about $40 million, with the remainder covered by insurance companies or religious orders. The amount of the settlement “was anticipated and set aside last year,” it added. “I want to assure you,” Cardinal Mahony said, “that no parishes will be affected as a result of this settlement.”