National Catholic Register


National Media Watch

Keeping an eye on the news around the Nation.

BY John Lilly

March 26-April 1, 2006 Issue | Posted 3/27/06 at 10:00 AM


JPII Center Seeks Solutions to Debt, Low Attendance

CHICAGO TRIBUNE, March 11 — Five years after its opening, Washington, D.C.’s Pope John Paul II Cultural Center is facing a sizable debt, reported the Tribune.

When the center opened in 2001, a fund-raising video described it as “the greatest thing to happen in the Catholic Church in the United States for the next 100 years.” But now the center is visited by less than one-tenth the expected 750,000 visitors annually.

The museum owes $40 million in loans, including $17 million to the Archdiocese of Detroit, and spends nearly double the $30 million expected. It lacks a central location in a city that has more than 100 other museums.

Detroit Cardinal Adam Maida, president of the center’s executive committee, met with Catholic leaders seeking solutions to the crisis on March 16.

“There’s no question that they’re facing challenges right now,” said Ned McGrath, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Detroit. But he said, “We all feel very confident that it has and it can make a significant contribution to the Catholic dialogue in the U.S.”

Candidate Says He Doesn’t Need the Register

FORWARD, March 10 — At a March 6 reception designed to introduce Catholic Pennsylvania senatorial candidate Robert Casey Jr. and others to Jewish Democrats, Casey sought to differentiate himself from incumbent Republican Sen. Rick Santorum, reported the Jewish weekly.

Referring to Santorum, also a Catholic, Casey said, “I don’t make decisions based on my religion or the National Catholic Register. My obligation is to my oath of office and the people I represent.”

The Register had recently written about Casey appearing at a dinner supporting “gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender” causes. Like Santorum, he opposes abortion and embryonic stem-cell research. The National Jewish Democratic Committee, which hosted the event, strongly supports embryonic stem-cell research.

Miracle May Lead to Canonization of Indiana Nun

NORTHWEST INDIANA TIMES, March 12 — The healing of Phil McCord’s right eye may well contribute to the canonization of Blessed Mother Theodore Guerin, founder of the Sisters of Providence in Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Ind., reported the Times.

McCord had cataracts in both eyes. While surgery on his left eye was successful, surgery on his right eye was not. He was told he would need a cornea transplant. In 2000, he went to the congregation’s chapel to “have a conversation with God” about his condition, the paper said. While there, he said, “I went on to Mother Theodore. I just wanted to cover all the bases.”

Two weeks later, an eye specialist told McCord he no longer needed surgery. His vision soon returned.

On Feb. 21, the Ordinary Congregation of the Cardinals in Rome declared the act attributable to Mother Theodore’s intercession and qualified as a miracle. The religious order expects that Pope Benedict XVI may canonize Mother Theodore in April.