National Catholic Register


News In Brief

BY John Lilly

July 23 - August 5, 2006 Issue | Posted 7/23/06 at 10:00 AM


Pope Appoints St. Louis Archbishop to High Court

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis to the Vatican’s Supreme Court of the Apostolic Signature. The archbishop, who had worked for the court during 1989-94, was named a member of the body July 8. He will remain archbishop of St. Louis.

According to Pope John Paul II’s 1988 apostolic constitution Pastor Bonus (The Good Shepherd) the Apostolic Signature functions as the Vatican’s supreme court and is charged with ensuring justice is administered correctly in all tribunals and by all offices of the Roman Curia.

Many of the cases handled by the court are appeals to sentences of the Roman Rota dealing with marriage annulments. The Apostolic Signature also promotes and approves the establishment of interdiocesan tribunals around the world.


Colorado Bishops Warn Against Immigration Alarmism

DENVER — As Colorado’s Legislature considered immigration-related bills in a special session, the heads of two of the state’s three Catholic dioceses warned against allowing alarmism to color the debate in the state or in the nation.

In a commentary published July 6 in The Denver Post, Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput and Colorado Springs Bishop Michael Sheridan urged legislators to “let common sense and good policy drive out the ugly partisan politics that can infect special sessions.”

The special session ended July 10 with the approval of what some called the toughest immigration law in the country. In their column, the bishops said legislative efforts should promote dignity, not punishment. “And real reform is more than just another word for enforcement,” they said. The bishops warned that “if the Legislature gets into a contest over which political party can be tougher on ‘illegals,’ we’ll undermine our own best interests and miss an opportunity to help frame the national immigration discussion with common sense and justice.”


Error Reported in Catholic Directory

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Catholic population apparently rose by more than a million last year, according to figures in the 2006 Official Catholic Directory, but it actually may have fallen, once a correction is made for the plainly erroneous figures for the Boston Archdiocese.

The 2006 figures are also skewed by a lack of any data from the New Orleans Archdiocese, which was devastated by Hurricane Katrina last Aug. 29 and unable to provide statistical data for this year’s directory.

And a transposition of two figures for the Boston Archdiocese led to an overcount of about 2.1 million in the total number of Catholics in the country: The directory shows the total population in the archdiocese as 1,845,846 and the Catholic population as 3,974,846. The larger figure should be the total population and the smaller figure the Catholic population.

Also, the U.S. Church clearly registered declines in Catholic school enrollments and in almost every area of sacramental practice between 2005 and 2006, according to the directory. The 2,043-page tome, also known as the Kenedy Directory, came out at the end of June.