National Media Watch

Bishops Spend Thousands Fighting for Initials

TOWNHALL.COM, Jan. 12 — After a six-year court battle costing approximately $100,000, a federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops against Brent Bozell’s Media Research Center. According to the news and opinion website, the bishops had ordered the Media Research Center to cease and desist from using the initials CNS for its Cybercast News Service. The bishops’ conference uses the initials CNS for its Catholic News Service.

The Register has learned that the bishops’ conference also has pressured the Cardinal Newman Society, a group often critical of most Catholic universities, to stop referring to itself as CNS in its materials. The bishops did not launch similar lawsuits against other news services, such as Cox or Christian News Service, which use the same initials.

The initials are not trademarked by Catholic News Service. is trademarked by the Media Research Center.

Detroit Bishop Says He Was Abused

DETROIT FREE PRESS, Jan. 11 — Detroit Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Gumbleton revealed that he was sexually molested as a young teenager by a priest at Sacred Heart Seminary, reported the Free Press. He is the first Catholic bishop in the United States to acknowledge such abuse.

Bishop Gumbleton, 75, admitted the abuse while lobbying Ohio legislators to pass a law that would temporarily allow victims’ lawyers and investigators to dig into past cases that are off-limits because the statute of limitations has passed. His stand contrasts with that of Ohio’s bishops.

“I regret that we need this kind of legislation, but I insist that we do need it,” said the bishop. He said he kept quiet for 60 years about being abused but is coming forward now to “make a difference for the victims.”

Swastikas Replaced by Rosary Images on Cathedral

ST. CLOUD TIMES, Jan. 5 — After years of debate and fund-raising, the Cathedral Church of St. Cloud, Minn., is replacing five decorative swastika discs near its roof, reported the Times.

The cathedral was modeled after a third-century, basilica-style Romanesque church in Ravenna, Italy. The symbols pre-date Nazi Germany.

“The symbol itself can never mean what it used to mean in terms of a decorative cross or a German symbol of good luck,” said Father Steve Binsfeld, rector of the cathedral.

Local Catholics and Jews raised $14,000 to replace the discs with symbols portraying the Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary.

Los Angeles Archdiocese Disinvites Speaker

ASSOCIATED PRESS, Jan. 10 — The Los Angeles Cathedral has withdrawn its speaking invitation to Vassula Ryden, a Greek Orthodox woman who claims to speak with God and Jesus, said the Associated Press.

Ryden was set to speak at a Christian unity conference held at the cathedral. Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant leaders had been invited to speak.

A 1995 Vatican statement warned that Ryden’s “‘revelations’ were merely the result of private meditations and contained doctrinal errors.” It advised bishops not to provide opportunities for Ryden to disseminate her ideas.