Monday, October 14

Church to start massive prevention program of mother-to-child HIV infection in Kenya

The programme will involve the provision of the anti-retroviral drug - Nevirapine - to infected epectant women and their infants in the church's 41 hospitals countrywide.Mothers will be given a dose of Nevirapine on the onset of labour, while the infants' dose will be administered hours after birth.Currently, Kenya has about 106,000 HIV-positive children aged below five years.The programme, dubbed "Born to Live", is the first initiative of its magnitude by a church to fight mother-to-child HIV transmission. It is jointly sponsored by the Kenya Episcopal Conference and the US-based Catholic Medical Mission Board.

Pope will reportedly celebrate his 24th anniversary on Wednesday by adding another set of mysteries to the rosary.
Vatican defends Church in Russia

In the latest in an increasingly bitter battle with Moscow, the Vatican on Monday denounced what it called a "despicable operation" to discredit the Roman Catholic Church in Russia. The statement by Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls followed an appeal to human rights groups last month by the head of the church in Russia against what he called a "large-scale anti-Catholic campaign." As examples, the Vatican statement cited the transformation of an apartment rented out for charitable purposes by the Fransican Order into a house of prostitution and Russian news reports depicting people in religious dress in "immoral poses."

The mess over Mother Teresa's purported miracle.

Dr. Tarun Kumar Biswas and Dr. Ranjan Mustafi, who treated Monica over several months, say their patient indeed had a lump in her abdomen, but it was not a full-grown tumor. "She responded to our treatment steadily," says Mustafi. Monica's medical records contain sonograms, prescriptions and physicians' notes that could conceivably help prove whether science or the icon worked the cure. But the records are missing. Monica says Sister Betta of the Missionaries of Charity took them away two years ago. "It's all with her," says Monica. A call to Sister Betta, who has been reassigned to another post of the Charity, produced a "no comment." Balurghat Hospital officials say the Catholic order has been pressuring them to say Monica's cure was miraculous. Calls to the office of Sister Nirmala, Mother Teresa's successor as head of the order, produced no comment as well.

From Seattle: A look at George Weigel
From a comment thread below:

About distrust of Opus Dei. Could it be a distrust of organizations? I am a citizen of the United States and of the state of California. Only their tax collectors and a few other government agencies know I exist. I am a member of the Catholic Church. The Pope doesn't know I exist; my bishop doesn't know I exist. My pastor does but only thanks to my initiative. I know the church isn't an earthly organization but within the church there are organizations akin to earthly organizations. I don't want any earthly or half earthly organization breathing down my neck any more than possible. Secular government is a necessary evil. The church I accept to bind my conscience. But sub churches within the church to further bind me--no thank you.

Panel discounts abuse charges against Archbishop Pell
Somali refugees overwhelm Lewiston, Maine:

Two years ago, not a single Somali lived in this stout little city in central Maine, a place of 35,000 people. Today the Somalis, slim and lithe, and black and Muslim, number perhaps 1,500 -- 300 arrived between Memorial Day and Labor Day alone. Their halal food store stands cheek to jowl with Frenchy's barbershop, and a mosque has taken its place amid the town's towering Catholic churches.

The immigration was due to the dissatisfaction Somali immigrants to other parts of the United States felt with their new homes and the negative impact they were having on their families. So...

They sent seven young men out to find a new homeland, spreading south, east, west and north. Known as "sahan," this is an ages-old nomadic practice used to find water for the cattle in Somalia's arid hinterlands.

"They found Lewiston," Ali said. "They check the crime statistics, they see the last policeman killed here was in 1882. They see the unemployment rate is low. There is housing and close family values like Somalia.

"The young men tell us: 'This is a dream place.' "

The first Somalis took the bus to Lewiston about February 2001, and in the next year about 1,000 followed.

I found this entire article quite interesting, but I have to admit, I was taken aback by one detail: When I was a girl, my grandmother lived in the Marcotte Home in Lewiston. We used to visit her during our vacations stays in Maine. In my memory, Lewiston was an enormous city - I was shocked to read here that its population is only 35,000!


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