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News Digest

Issue of February 1 – February 14, 2009The following items are condensed. For the complete articles, please read the print edition of The Catholic New World. To subscribe, call (312) 534-7777.

News Update

Cardinal to visit three parishes

Cardinal George will join Domican Father Jordan Kelly, director of the Office of Evangelization, in leading three "visits for evangelization" to inform Catholics about evangelization efforts and to receive their input. Cardinal George will offer comments on the 12th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops and its theme, "The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church," that took place in Rome in October 2008.

Vitsts will take place at 9:30 a.m. Jan. 31 at St. Mary Parish, 175 E. Illinois, Lake Forest; 9:30 a.m. Feb. 21 at St. Giles Parish, 1025 N. Columbian Ave., Oak Park; and 9:30 a.m, Feb. 28 at Rosary Hill Retreat House, 9000 W. 81st St.

Indian archbishop to visit Chicago

Archbishop Raphael Cheenath, SVD, of the Cuttack-Bhubaneswar Archdiocese in India, will address Chicagoans the week of Feb. 2 to launch an innovative program to bring stability to Orissa, India.

As part of a tour that includes New York and Washington, D.C., the archbishop will reveal plans for restoring peace in Orissa, India's poorest state. Last autumn, violence rocked the region as religious extremists took revenge for the killing of Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati.

Archbishop Cheenath will speak about the current situation and introduce the "Asha Kiran" ("ray of hope") program at 3 p.m. Feb. 7, at St. Alphonsa Hall at St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Cathedral, 5000 St. Charles Road, Bellwood. He will celebrate Mass beginning at 5 p.m. in the cathedral.

At 10 a.m. Feb. 8, he will preside at Mass at the Chapel of the Holy Spirit in Techny. The chapel is located in Techny Towers, 2001 Waukegan Road, Techny. The public is invited to a reception following Mass. For more information about either event, go to or call (847) 272-7600.

News Digest

Vatican launches YouTube channel

The Vatican launched a video channel on YouTube that will feature news coverage of Pope Benedict XVI and major Vatican events.

It marked the start of the Vatican's strategic vision of working "to be present wherever people are," said Archbishop Claudio Celli, head of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.

Excommunications of four Lefebvrite bishops lifted

Pope Benedict XVI has lifted the excommunication of four bishops ordained against papal orders in 1988 by the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. The move was considered a major concession to the archbishop's traditionalist followers.

The Vatican said the decree removing the excommunication, signed Jan. 21 and made public three days later, marked an important step toward full communion with the Society of St. Pius X, founded by Archbishop Lefebvre in 1970.

Pro-life leader laments Mexico City policy reversal

Pro-life activists quickly denounced President Barack Obama's Jan. 23 signing of an executive order reversing the Mexico City policy, a move that clears the way for the federal government to provide aid to programs that promote or perform abortion overseas.

"It is clear that the provisions of the Mexico City policy are unnecessarily broad and unwarranted under current law, and for the past eight years they have undermined efforts to promote safe and effective voluntary family planning in developing countries," Obama said.

Faith rituals help students in crisis, priest tells campus ministers

As the second anniversary of the largest mass killing on a U.S. campus approaches, the Catholic priest serving at Virginia Tech University said the church can help fearful and confused students through its mindfulness of community rituals.

The church view of the "intimacy of God with the world" is a strong perspective during times of crisis, Father John Grace said. "It is probably the strongest card we have."

The scandal of God's fatherhood

St. Paul stood in the front lines of a religious revolution. He preached a radical proposition. His gospel - his good news - was news indeed.

Even today his message is shocking. And yet we have somehow lost our capacity to be shocked by it.