National Media Watch

Support for Bishop Bruskewitz

LINCOLN JOURNAL STAR, April 25 — Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz of Lincoln, Neb., remains firm in his decision not to participate in the national audit of diocesan sexual abuse policies, the Nebraska daily reported.

In late March, Patricia O’Donnell Ewers, chairwoman of the National Review Board appointed by the U.S. bishops, called for “strong fraternal correction” of Bishop Bruskewitz and Melkite Archbishop Cyrille Bustros for their decisions not to participate in the 2005 audit of diocesan sex-abuse programs.

Bishop Bruskewitz responded March 30 with a strongly worded letter. It stated that his diocese “has always been in full compliance with all laws of the Catholic Church and with all civil laws,” and said that “Ewers and her board have no authority in the Catholic Church.”

In an e-mail interview with the Journal Star in late April, Bishop Bruskewitz said that response from Catholics to his position as been “extremely positive and supportive.”

Said the bishop, “I have received only a few negative remarks from very few people who oftentimes have made their negative remarks out of misunderstanding and misinformation.”

Young Folks Flocking to Faith

AKRON BEACON JOURNAL, April 22 — An article distributed by Knight Ridder Newspapers has reported that young people in the United States are part of a worldwide trend towards greater religious faith.

The Knight Ridder article cited a recent Harvard University Institute of Politics survey of religious attitudes among 1,200 college students nationwide. It found that seven in 10 students say religion is somewhat or very important.

Another national survey of 112,000 college students conducted last year by UCLA had similar findings, with 80% saying they believe in God.

“No one can determine the genuineness or depth of anyone’s faith,” the article concluded. “But the signs for a younger generation are encouraging.”

Bishop D’Arcy: ‘Stress’ With Notre Dame

NOTRE DAME AND ST. MARY’S OBSERVER, April 24 — During an April 21 visit to the Notre Dame Law School, Bishop John D’Arcy of Fort Wayne-South Bend said that the decision by Notre Dame President Father Kevin Jenkins to allow the staging of “The Vagina Monologues” has strained his relationship with the university’s administration.

Father Jenkins April 5 that the controversial play can continue to be staged with some restrictions, the Observer reported. Bishop D’Arcy said at the time that he was “deeply saddened” by the decision.

Bishop D’Arcy told law school faculty and students that Father Jenkins’ decision has affected his connection with the current administration, the Observer reported.

“I’ve always had a very good relationship with three [university] presidents,” said Bishop D’Arcy. “It’s under stress now. I don’t enjoy that.”

Georgia Okays Bible Classes

ASSOCIATED PRESS, April 20 — Last month Georgia became the first state to offer government-sanctioned elective classes on the Bible.
Gov. Sonny Perdue signed a bill April 20 authorizing the Bible classes, Associated Press reported.

Under the new law’s provisions, elective classes on the Bible can be taught to high school students. Local school systems will decide whether to offer the courses.