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It's official: Martino has resigned

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Pope accepts resignation of Scranton bishop for health reasons

By Catholic News Service

tWASHINGTON (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI has accepted the resignation of Bishop Joseph F. Martino, 63, from the pastoral governance of the Diocese of Scranton, Pa., for health reasons.

tHe has appointed Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia to be apostolic administrator for the diocese.

tThe pope also has accepted the resignation of Scranton Auxiliary Bishop John M. Dougherty, who is 77. Canon law requires that all bishops submit their resignation to the pope when they turn 75.

MORE TO COME

Scranton diocese schedules news conference:

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This notice appeared on the web site of the Scranton diocese over the weekend:

Diocese of Scranton To Make Announcement

The Diocese of Scranton will conduct a news conference this Monday, Aug. 31, at
10 a.m. The news conference is not open to the public, and the location cannot be disclosed.

The news conference will be broadcast live on Catholic Television: CTV. Afterward, a video of the news conference can be viewed on the Diocesan website at www.dioceseofscranton.org

There will be no comment from the Diocese prior to the news conference.

http://www.dioceseofscranton.org/News/DioceseToMakeAnnouncementAugust29,2009.asp

Italian soap opera opens rift between church and conservatives

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By JOHN L. ALLEN JR.

tHere’s something you don’t see every day: A prominent Catholic leader in Italy has drawn a nasty personal attack, described as “disgusting” by the president of the Italian bishops’ conference, from a newspaper owned by the country’s conservative prime minister. It’s a situation that defies the usual political dynamics in European nations, particularly Italy, where these spats typically pit the church against the secular left.

One prominent Italian commentator and political scientist has suggested that the affair illustrates a profound "mutation" in church/state relations, rendering the old battles between Catholics and secularists largely irrelevant. Today, he said, the real fault line runs between those who support an institutional role for the church as a voice of conscience and those who don't -- with many secularists and Catholics, liberals and conservatives, falling on both sides of that divide.

McCarrick Reveals Communication Between Kennedy and Benedict

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Retired Washington Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, at Arlington National Cemetary last night, provided some highlights of a heretofore private communication between Senator Edward Kennedy and Pope Benedict XVI.

In the letter, delivered to the Holy Father by President Obama during their July visit, Kennedy wrote: "I want you to know, your Holiness, that in my nearly 50 years of elective office I have done my best to champion the rights of the poor and open doors of economic opportunity. I've worked to welcome the immigrant, to fight discrimination and expand access to health care and education. I've opposed the death penalty and fought to end war. Those are the issues that have motivated me and have been the focus of my work as a United States Senator."

Making Clear What Rome is Up To

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All sorts of people keep saying they have no idea why the Vatican is investigating nuns. It's conceivable, I suppose, that someone could have missed the last 40 years of strained relations between Rome and U.S. sisters, and it's true that the investigation wasn't accompanied by a large print set of objectives, but otherwise it's either disengenuous or an evasive strategy in some grander design. In any case, it's unnerving to hear people pretend the gorilla isn't in the room.

Interfaith Voices looks at Vatican probes of U.S. Nuns

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The lead segment on the radio program, Interfaith Voices, this week looks at the Vatican investigations of American nuns, both the “apostolic visitation” and the “doctrinal assessment” of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR).

Guests include Kevin Eckstrom, editor of Religion News Service, who acknowledges that we don’t know the deep reasons behind the probes, but lays out what we do know, and offers his conjectures about the future. He is followed by an exchange between conservative Ann Carey, author of Sisters in Crisis: The Tragic Unraveling of Women’s Religious Communities, and Benedictine Sr. Joan Chittister, former president of LCWR, prolific author of 40 plus books on spirituality, and regular columnist with NCR. It’s a polite conversation, with lots of feeling!

tHere’s the link to listen on line.
t

Card. O'Malley to Preside at Kennedy Funeral

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The Boston Globe is reporting that Cardinal Sean O’Malley will preside at the funeral Mass for Sen. Ted Kennedy tomorrow at the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help.

As previously noted, the crazies on the rightwing have already begun attacking the Cardinal for even permitting the Mass. Some blogs have denounced permitting President Obama to deliver the eulogy. But, wait until there are pictures!

The Venom Against Sen. Kennedy

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You knew it was coming. The venom that has been spewed at Senator Ted Kennedy by certain rightwing Catholics is starting to be spewed at Boston’s Cardinal-Archbishop. In a letter to Cardinal O’Malley posted on the website of the American Life League, Judie Brown writes: “We are aware of the impending disaster that is about to take place at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Basilica in your Archdiocese…We are therefore astounded that you are permitting a funeral Mass for this man at the Basilica, and that you have obviously approved the appearance of President Barack Obama, the United States president who has done more to facilitate the direct killing of innocent children before birth than any president in the history of this nation.”

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