U.S. Notes & Quotes

Denver, Technology and the Church

A Vatican-sponsored summit on “The New Technologies and the Human Person” will be held March 26-28 in Denver.

At the conference, “top Roman Catholic officials will gather … to wrestle with the weighty issue of communication technology's impact on religion,” according to the Denver Business Journal (Dec. 22, 1997).

Why Denver?

“Denver was a natural site for such an event,” according to Francis Maier, chancellor of the Archdiocese of Denver. Bishops worldwide think fondly of the city since 1993's World Youth Day, staged at Cherry Creek Reservoir and officiated by Pope John Paul II.

“Probably most important, though, is Denver's status as a hub of telecommunications and computer technology because of companies such as Tele-Communications Inc., Jones Intercable Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co., and Sun Microsystems Inc. ‘We have tremendous resources along those lines, unrivaled by virtually anyplace in the country…’ Maier said.”

Speakers at the Pontifical Council for Social Communications-affiliated conference include: computer industry analyst Esther Dyson; Charles Geschke, president of Adobe Systems Inc.; Greg Liptak, president of Jones International Networks; James Bailey, “futurist and author”; Steve Schovee, OneCom founder and president of the venture capital fund Telecom Partners; and Ted Henderson, industry researcher at investment banking firm Janco Partners.

Martin Luther King Jr.'s Niece Criticizes Disney

Alveda King, daughter of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s brother, the Rev. Alfred King, is a political activist, like her uncle. But unlike some members of her famous family, she opposes abortion and affirmative action and favors school vouchers, according to The Washington Times, (Dec. 19).

In fact, her views are so unpopular in the family that Dexter King, president of the Martin Luther King Jr. Center, refused to comment on her—even though she is a member of the Center's board of advisors.

King for America, an organization that Alveda King founded, has taken on many foes, but none so formidable as the Walt Disney Co. “As a mother, I relied on Disney,” she was quoted saying. “It was always a safe haven.”

She changed her mind first because of the content of recent cartoons but then her group, “expressed concern about Disney departing from family values,” she said.

King for America met early in the summer with Disney Senior Vice President John Cooke.

“[W]e talked about Ellen with them and Nothing Sacred was coming up. I said ‘John, I feel betrayed.’”

The paper also noted that King takes offense at those who draw parallels between race and homosexuality, as if the two were equivalent.