News In Brief
BY John Lilly
June 11-17, 2006 Issue | Posted 6/12/06 at 10:00 AM
Plan Would Mean Far Fewer Bishops’ Committees
Under the proposal, the number of bishops’ program or mission committees would drop from 35 to 14. The number of executive-level or management committees would go from five to four. Ad hoc committees — currently numbering 16 — would be eliminated, although ad hoc subcommittees or temporary task forces could be created when needed.
As in the current organization’s structure, some committees could have permanent subcommittees dealing with areas that require extensive ongoing work or special expertise. The committee restructuring, to be voted on when the bishops meet again in November, is a first major step in a planned streamlining of the bishops’ national offices. Staffing changes are to be discussed and decided the following year.
More Americans Oppose Embryonic Research
Richard Doerflinger, deputy director of the pro-life office, cited a new poll that showed 48% of Americans oppose federal funding of stem-cell research that requires killing human embryos, while only 39% support such funding. The rest said they didn’t know or refused to answer.
When told that scientists disagree on whether embryonic stem cells or adult stem cells would “end up being more successful in treating diseases,” 57% of survey respondents said they favored research “using adult stem cells and other alternatives, to see if there is no need to destroy human embryos for research.” Only 24% said they would support “all methods, including those that require destroying human embryos, to see which will be most successful.” Another 11% said they did not support either option, and the rest said they didn’t know or declined to answer.
“The most important thing about
the estimation process is that once the claims are estimated we will be able to
move forward,” said Susan Ford, a
In March, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Elizabeth Perris opened the door for using the estimations to cap the amount the archdiocese must set aside to pay all claims. She was to preside at a key hearing on the subject June 15. Ford and the archdiocese point to the 140 pre-bankruptcy abuse settlements as a record of how much the plaintiffs tend to get paid. Those payments totaled $53 million. But attorneys for claimants say the results of upcoming trials — which they expect will exceed the out-of-court settlements — should be used as the example.
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