News In Brief

Evidence Sent to Rome for Possible Newman Miracle

BOSTON — Evidence of an alleged miraculous cure in the Archdiocese of Boston attributed to the intercession of Cardinal John Henry Newman has been sent to the Congregation for Saints’ Causes in Rome.

The Roman postulator of the cause, Andrea Ambrosi, was assigned by the archdiocesan tribunal in Boston to be the official carrier of the package of documents, which contained two copies of the evidence. He flew from Boston to Rome and handed over the package Nov. 14 to congregation officials at the Vatican.

The package, containing the sworn testimonies and the medical evidence of the healing of Deacon Jack Sullivan, 68, of Marshfield, was sealed during the closing session of the tribunal Nov. 9. Deacon Sullivan had a severe spinal disorder, but was restored to full mobility in 2001 after praying for Cardinal Newman’s intercession. The package was wrapped in brown paper, tied with red ribbon and secured with the wax seal of Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston.


Marines Will Accept Talking Jesus Doll Donations

QUANTICO, Va. — A 12-inch talking Jesus doll may find its way to needy children this Christmas after the Marines’ Toys for Tots Christmas toy drive reversed course Nov. 15 and decided to accept the dolls. The Toys for Tots Foundation had initially declined a donation of 4,000 Jesus dolls from the Valencia, Calif.-based Beverly Hills Teddy Bear Company, saying they could be inappropriate for non-Christian children.

“We realized it’s a lot less time-consuming to find homes for the dolls than it is to answer media and complaints,” said Bill Grein, vice president of Marine Toys for Tots Foundation, in Quantico, Va.

When the decision to reject the toys got out, the toy company began receiving hundreds of phone calls and e-mails from organizations and people who would like to receive the dolls. “The phones are ringing off the hook. There is a new e-mail every few seconds. It is unbelievable,” said Michael La Roe, director of business development for the company. “We had someone write in from Okinawa, Japan. The word is spreading all over the country and in some cases all over the world.”


Fans Say Pressure Has Eased NBC `VeggieTales’ Edits

NEW YORK — Fans of “VeggieTales,” those lovable animated singing and talking vegetables, may notice a change in the episodes aired on NBC’s Saturday morning cartoon lineup: There’s less editing than originally feared.

“The last batch of episodes are airing with very little editing,” “VeggieTales” creator Phil Vischer wrote in an e-mail. “Not none whatsoever, but very nearly none whatsoever. Much less than earlier episodes.”

Originally, NBC had asked for changes in four of 13 episodes — mostly editing out references to God and the Bible. Vischer said he was not thrilled with the edits, but was happy to have the cartoons on network television.

He said he had “no idea” why many recent shows have had fewer edits, but Paul Irwin, president of the American Bible Society, said his organization has sponsored “several hundred thousand” complaint letters to NBC and its parent company, General Electric.

Said Irwin: “NBC has learned that this is not a matter of casual interest to the people of this country.”