Dallas Battles to Seize Catholic Cemetery Land
KNIGHT-RIDDER, Nov. 14 — The Dallas school district wants land, and it's not squeamish about where to find it.
Using the right of eminent domain, the district hopes to seize the unused land of Dallas' only active Catholic cemetery, according to Knight-Ridder news service.
The plan was to take the Catholic land to build more public schools.
But where there's death, there's hope: Officials of the diocese have found unmarked graves on the land and are now able to claim that the land seizure constitutes a desecration of the dead.
Knight-Ridder reported that Dallas County Judge W. Bruce Woody has granted a temporary restraining order to hold back the bulldozers and is considering a permanent injunction.
“The Church is trying to protect its sacred burial grounds,” said Bronson Havard, Dallas Archdiocese spokesman. “Calvary Hill remains the only active Catholic cemetery in Dallas County. We were hoping it would serve our people into the next century.”
Looking Out for Home Schoolers
Using the shocking case of four starving boys in New Jersey — whom children's service personnel had repeatedly failed to remove from their parents' abusive custody — the Times pointed out that the children were being home schooled. In a Nov. 15 editorial, the paper suggested this was part of the reason they were starving and hadn't been rescued sooner.
The Times sniffed, “New Jersey is one of a number of states that provide no supervision over parents who decide to keep their offspring out of the public and private school systems. Most teachers would immediately have sounded the alarm” about the starving children, the paper claimed, calling on the state to impose a stricter regimen of supervision over parents and their relationships with their children.
Confession in the Spotlight
“Most Catholics who grew up in the '50 and '60s would rather go to the dentist than confession,” Greg Magnoni, Archdiocese of Seattle spokesman said, bemoaning. “But today, that's changed, and the sacrament of reconciliation is a celebration of God's grace and mercy.”
The article quoted one Saturday afternoon confessor, Keith Abrahams, who said he goes to confession every two weeks.
“It helps me to avoid doing the same things over and over again,” said Abrahams, 62. “I feel relief and forgiveness.”
The article's writer was confused about communal penance services, but did point out that it is not permitted to give general absolution at parish services.
- Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2003