Advertisements ad

News Digest

Issue of February 15 – February 28, 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

Abuse case update

The Cook County Circuit Court affirmed on Jan. 28 its prior ruling upholding its protective order in a civil case brought against the Archdiocese of Chicago by a victim of sexual abuse. A protective order is a ruling that provides "an appropriate and necessary guard against the involuntary public disclosure of the identities of individuals who are not parties to a lawsuit," according to an archdiocesan statement.

"The protective order in this case is intended to allow the exchange of information between the parties to the lawsuit while ensuring that the privacy interests of victims of child sexual abuse and their families are respected while the case is pending.

"The archdiocese continues to provide information regarding sexual misconduct by clergy on its Web site In addition, it has successfully mediated claims of child sexual abuse without any requirement of confidentiality," the statement reads.

The archdiocese has reached settlement agreements through mediation with five victims of Daniel McCormack, the former priest involved in the Doe case. McCormack was laicized in 2007 and is no longer a priest.

Fire damages S. Side parish

A fire damaged All Saints-St. Anthony Church in the early hours of Feb. 6.

Officials say they believe the blaze, which destroyed a stained glass window portraying the Nativity, was deliberately set. Someone also used red tape to form letters spelling out "God is a lie," "rape" and "happend hear" on the front doors of the church.

A former priest, Robert Craig, who has been accused of sexual abuse was assigned to the parish in the late 1970s and early 1980s, although none of the complaints filed against him, stem from his time at the parish.

Chicago emergency services officials said they received a 911 call after someone saw flames at the church about 3 a.m. Feb. 6. The fire was extinguished by 3:15 a.m.

News Digest

Pope says fasting in Lent opens hearts to God, hands to the poor

Fasting from food and detaching oneself from material goods during Lent help believers open their hearts to God and open their hands to the poor, Pope Benedict XVI said.

The Lenten fast helps Christians "mortify our egoism and open our hearts to love of God and neighbor," said the pope in his message for Lent 2009.

Pope, German chancellor discuss Holocaust-denying bishop

Pope Benedict XVI and German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke to each other on the telephone about the recent controversy surrounding a traditionalist bishop who has denied the Holocaust.

"It was a cordial and constructive conversation, marked by a common and profound agreement that the Shoah is a perpetually valid warning for humanity," said a statement released Feb. 8 by the spokesmen for the pope and for Merkel.

Cardinal calls bishop's Holocaust remarks 'false'

Cardinal George, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, labeled as "deeply offensive and utterly false" remarks denying the Holocaust made by a formerly schismatic bishop whose excommunication was lifted in January by Pope Benedict XVI.

"No Catholic, whether layperson, priest or bishop, can ever negate the memory of the Shoah, just as no Catholic should ever tolerate expressions of anti-Semitism and religious bigotry," Cardinal George said in a Feb. 3 statement.