Sunday, December 8

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Cardinal Law is in Rome....

400 march outside Boston Cathedral

I hope we will have some first hand observations of the events of the morning from Fr. Carr and/or Kelly Clark, both of whose words are linked at the Cathedral home page or one of our several Boston bloggers.

Student sues the state of Kentucky for withdrawing a college scholarship because he was going to use it to pursue religious studies.

Mormon scientist tests the Book of Mormon: Are Native Americans descended from Israelite tribes?

Result via DNA testing: negative. Result via church authority: excommunication

Murphy, chairman of the anthropology department at Edmonds Community College in Lynnwood, Wash., and other scientists say that DNA research demonstrates what anthropologists have long said: The ancestors of the American Indians came across the Bering Sea from Asia, with no traces of Middle Eastern ancestry.Those findings echo the work of other secular scholars who have yet to uncover evidence, DNA, archeological or otherwise, of an ancient Hebrew tribe that lived in America.To reach his conclusion, Murphy, 35, analyzed data collected by a multimillion-dollar "molecular genealogy" project at Brigham Young as well as other, similar projects that track ancestry from people worldwide via DNA in blood samples.

Protestants reaching out to Catholics in wake of scandal and inviting VOTF to meet in their churches

Some Protestant clergy have agonized about whether to allow Voice of the Faithful to meet on their property because they wanted to avoid harm to local Catholic-Protestant relations. Many Protestant ministers are friendly with their Catholic counterparts through clergy associations.

''We get along very well with our Roman Catholic friends, and I wanted to make sure that we were not going to do something that would jeopardize that relationship, so I called around a bit to see if it would be offensive,'' said the Rev. Jeffrey H. Walker, rector of Christ Church, an Episcopal parish in Greenwich, Conn. ''But with the great deal of pain these people are in, we thought it was the right thing to do. They asked to meet here because they're not allowed to meet somewhere else by the bishop of Bridgeport, and it is our hope that if they can find a place to meet they can bring some reconciliation in the future of the Catholic Church.''

Leaders of Voice of the Faithful are conflicted about how to respond to Protestant clergy. Voice of the Faithful has been banned from meeting in Catholic churches in seven dioceses, as well as in any parishes in the Archdiocese of Boston that did not have a Voice of the Faithful affiliate by Oct. 12. The group's national officials, based in Newton, say they have no problem with local affiliates meeting in Protestant churches.

''The fact is, these [Protestant churches] are our brothers and sisters, and they've shown a lot more fortitude and compassion and tolerance than our own church,'' said Luise Cahill Dittrich, a Voice of the Faithful spokeswoman. ''We are not afraid of the company we keep, and we are grateful that they have taken us in. But if we wanted to be Protestant we would be Protestant - it's pretty clear this movement is Catholic.''

But some local leaders around the nation fear meeting on Protestant property will give ammunition to critics who have portrayed Voice of the Faithful as disloyal to their church.

'We came to a consensus that we would avoid meeting in Protestant churches, because we want to go out of our way to make sure we're not sending a message that people in Voice of the Faithful are dissidents, or in any way divisive,'' said Sheila Peiffer, regional coordinator of Voice of the Faithful on Long Island.

An angel museum in Wisconsin

A small museum that sits on the banks of the Rock River in southern Wisconsin is a heavenly spot for angel lovers.The Beloit Angel Museum features more than 7,500 angel statues displayed wing to wing in a former Roman Catholic church that was spared destruction so it could house the figures.The entire collection originally was displayed in their four-bedroom ranch house in Beloit, about 65 miles southwest of Milwaukee, but eventually the Bergs had to remove doors and install shelves to display all the figures.In July 1994, while out driving, they noticed St. Paul Catholic Church along the Rock River."When we drove past, the doors were open.... The sun was shining right on them. It was like they jumped right out because they were so noticeable," Joyce Berg said.The parish had been closed in 1988 after the death of its longtime pastor, and the Bergs learned that the church was scheduled to be demolished in eight months if it wasn't put to good use. The Bergs contacted former parishioners, and submitted a museum plan to city officials, who approved it.The church, now a historical landmark, was renovated with community development block grants, fund-raisers and volunteer help. The city owns the church and charges the museum $1 a year for rent.

New Father Solanus Casey center dedicated in Detroit

How nice: Planned Parenthood reaching out to Hispanic community in Canton

Word is...that the National Review Board has demanded to see Cardinal Law pronto

Cardinal Law backs out Mass this AM at the Cathedral

Bernard Cardinal Law last night backed out of a Mass set for today at Holy Cross Cathedral, barely 12 hours before hundreds of irate Catholics planned to gather there to demand his resignation.Donna M. Morrissey, Law's spokeswoman, gave no reason for the decision, saying only that Law ``will have no public schedule.''Morrissey would not say whether Law might attend a long-scheduled meeting of the Catholic University board of trustees tonight through Wednesday in Washington, D.C. Law was slated to leave for Washington after his weekly 11 a.m. Mass at the cathedral. Law's withdrawal from the Mass came as scores of his priests waded into what a cleric called ``deeply uncharted waters'' by circulating the drafts of two letters - one polite but firm, the other far more critical - urging Law to resign.``I'm not surprised to hear that,'' the Rev. Robert E. Nee, chaplain of Children's Hospital, said last night of Law's decision not to attend this morning's Mass.Nee wrote and circulated the far more blunt letter to Law, which came after of a week of bankruptcy talk and scandalous revelations in the clergy sex-abuse crisis.A priest who saw a draft of the other letter described it as follows:``I will say that in its essence, as it stands, the letter expresses regret that the cardinal can no longer provide real spiritual leadership to the church in Boston, so compromised has his position become, and thus it is best for the people, for the church, for moving ahead in dealing with the agony of the abuse crisis, that he resign.''


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