National Media Watch

Sirius Radio Adds Second Catholic Channel

BILLBOARD RADIO MONITOR, May 10 — Sirius Satellite Radio is launching a second Catholic channel to its existing lineup, reported Billboard.

“The Catholic Channel” is being launched in cooperation with the Archdiocese of New York and will feature contemporary talk, music programming and live daily Masses from St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The channel will also feature content from Vatican Radio.

The addition of “The Catholic Channel” marks Sirius’ second Catholic channel that is available nationwide. Sirius already broadcasts EWTN Global Catholic Radio on a separate channel.

Teacher Fired Over In Vitro Fertilization

APPLETON POST-CRESCENT, May 9 — Catholic school teacher Kelly Romenesko’s use of in vitro fertilization has cost her her job, said the Wisconsin daily.

A lifelong Catholic, Romenesko in 2004 asked for time off as a French teacher with the Aces/Xavier school system to undergo in vitro fertilization. Then-principal Tony Abts told Romenesko she could be violating her contract. Four days after announcing her pregnancy, she was fired. Romenesko has appealed the decision.

The school’s contract states that teachers must uphold the teachings of the Catholic Church and act and teach in accordance with Catholic doctrine and the Church’s moral and social teachings.

“Her public announcement of her intentions was in direct violation of the teachings the Church feels its youth should be taught.”

Catholic Leaders Oppose Changing Statutes

ASSOCIATED PRESS, May 9 — Some U.S. bishops are taking a stand against attorneys representing sexual abuse victims, said the Associated Press.

The response by some Catholic leaders is in response to state legislatures that are attempting to change the statute of limitations, allowing abuse claims to be filed even if the time-limits for lawsuits have passed. “Plaintiffs’ attorneys may … offer help in drafting new legislation from which they themselves hope to benefit,” wrote Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput in the journal First Things. The legislation specifically targets the Catholic Church, and specifically exempts other organizations, especially public schools, where abuse is much more rampant.

Attorneys Larry Drivon and Jeff Anderson helped draft California legislation that was enacted that abolished the state’s statute of limitations for one year. That action prompted hundreds of new claims against the Church and sparked similar bills in Colorado, Delaware, Maryland and Ohio. So far, only California has adopted such a bill. The Colorado bill died May 10 in the Senate (see news brief on page 3).

President Clinton Pursued Abortion Pill

ASSOCIATED PRESS, May 9 — Documents from the Bill Clinton Presidential Library show that his administration considered accepting the patent for the abortion pill RU-486, but decided against it because it could affect his 1996 re-election bid, reported the Associated Press.

Before Clinton took office in 1993, the pharmaceutical company Danco Laboratories had decided not to market the drug in the United States. Three days after Clinton took office, he inquired whether there was a way to promote the drug’s testing, licensing and manufacturing in the country. His administration expressed concerns about potential political fallout. The documents were posted on the Judicial Watch website on May 9.

A Food and Drug Administration hearing is currently under way regarding concerns that the drug may cause septic shock. At least six people have died after taking it.