National Catholic Register


National Media Watch

Keeping an eye on the news around the Nation

BY John Lilly

August 20-26, 2006 Issue | Posted 8/21/06 at 10:00 AM


Texas Cathedral Becomes Basilica

ASSOCIATED PRESS, Aug. 9 — Pope Benedict XVI recognized the Cathedral of St. Anthony in Beaumont, Texas, as a basilica, making it the state’s fourth basilica and the nation’s 60th.

As a basilica, the church can add sacred images, including the papal coat of arms, to its artwork. The cathedral is also given the responsibility for celebrating certain feast days with greater solemnity.

“It is the greatest honor that can be bestowed on a church building by the Holy Father,” said Msgr. James Moroney, chief adviser to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The Diocese of Beaumont first made the request for the designation in 2005, following the cathedral’s renovation.


Feminists for Life Buys Susan B. Anthony Home

DEMOCRAT & CHRONICLE, Aug. 7 — A board member of the New York chapter of Feminists for Life of America recently purchased the Adams, Mass., birthplace of suffragist Susan B. Anthony, the Rochester, N.Y., daily reported.

The board member, Carol Crossed, hopes to transform the home into a museum that highlights Anthony’s beliefs, including her belief that abortion was wrong.

Anthony referred to abortion as “child-murder” and refused to take advertisements for abortifacients in her newspaper.

Feminists for Life sees the museum as consistent with its pro-life, pro-women work. The organization will help manage and care for the home.

Study: Degrading Lyrics Lead to Immoral Behavior

ASSOCIATED PRESS, Aug. 7 — A recent Rand Corporation study demonstrated that teenagers who listen to sexually-charged music are much more likely to engage in sexual behavior.

According to the five-year survey, among frequent listeners, 51% began engaging in sexual behavior within two years, compared with 29% of those who listened to little or no such music.

“We think that [sexually degrading music] really lowers kids’ inhibitions and makes them less thoughtful,” said Steven Martino, researcher with the Pittsburgh-based Rand Corporation.


New York Group Pushes Condoms at Catholic Churches

THE NEW YORK TIMES, Aug. 8 — A New York non-profit has been using Catholic parishes and imagery to give Mexican immigrants erroneous messages about AIDS prevention.

Rather than stressing abstinence, the organization Mexicanos Unidos tells immigrants that education and condoms are the best defenses against HIV.

A decade ago HIV was practically nonexistent in those regions of Mexico that send many immigrants to New York. Today, those same states have some of the highest rates of HIV infection in Mexico, Michele Shedlin, a health professor at the University of Texas at El Paso told the New York Times.

Directed by Javier Soriano, Mexicanos Unidos has been organizing art fairs and workshops at New York Catholic churches and passing out condoms and flyers that incorporate Catholic images such as Our Lady of Guadalupe with messages about AIDS.

Contacted by the Register, New York archdiocesan spokesman Joseph Zwilling said: “We’ve spoken to the pastor of the parish, who does not believe that condoms were distributed at the parish. In any event, the pastor has assured us that the gentleman will not be returning to the parish, and we will see to it that he is not invited to other parishes.”