National Catholic Reporter

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For Cuban-Americans, generational shift parallels changes on island


WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- As Armando Gil departed Havana in 1965, his father's last words to him, whispered in his ear, were: "Under no circumstances are you to return as long as there is communism in Cuba."

Bound for Mexico, then the United States, Gil was not in the United States a full year before he was off to boot camp for the U.S. Navy. Today, he is a retired schoolteacher, self-described "cradle Catholic" active in the Cursillo Movement and proud grandfather in Jacksonville.

Manila archdiocese's Lenten campaign aims to feed 40,000 children


MANILA, PHILIPPINES -- Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila in his Ash Wednesday message appealed for donations to a campaign to raise about $937,000 to feed 40,000 malnourished children.

His message, posted on the archdiocese's website, was reported in media and discussed by priests during Ash Wednesday Masses.

Anticlimactic arrest, hospitable detention after days of demonstration


Brian Terrell, 55, arrived in Bahrain on Feb. 10 and remained there as an international human rights observer until he was deported five days later. A Catholic Worker farmer and veteran peace activist, Terrell has participated in human rights delegations to Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel/Palestine, Central America and Chiapas, Mexico.

Six American activists arrested in, deported from Bahrain


Bahraini authorities arrested and deported six Americans on Tuesday who say they were in the country as part of a monitoring mission during a security crackdown on the first anniversary of the country's popular uprising.

The Americans activists are members of Witness Bahrain, a newly created U.S. group of civilian observers. All six were arrested in the capital of Manama while accompanying human rights activist Nabeel Rajab during a protest march toward the Pearl Roundabout, the epicenter of last year's anti-government protests that were crushed weeks after they began.

In addition to the six Americans, police arrested dozens of protestors, including women and children, according to Al Wefaq, the country's main political opposition party, which is aligned with Shi'a Islam. Also detained were several human rights activists, among them Rajab, who was later released.

Sealed accounts and mystery sources blur Filipino impeachment trial


The text message from a lawyer flashed on my phone Sunday: "Tonight at 7 p.m. Defense Panel will hold a presscon at the Club Filipino. Inviting everybody to come for an important announcement."

At a sports club packed with journalists and TV and radio crews, impeached Philippines Chief Justice Renato Corona's nine lawyers interrupted their Sunday evening routine to tell the media they received "very reliable information" that Malacañang, the office of President Benigno Aquino, was offering 100 million pesos ($2.356 million) for projects to every senator who would defy the Supreme Court's temporary restraining order to stop the opening of Corona's dollar accounts.

Attorney Dennis Manalo, reading the Corona defense team's statement at the Feb. 12 press conference in San Juan City, Metro Manila, said the team received information that Aquino's executive secretary, Paquito Ochoa, "acting on behalf of the president was personally phoning the senator-judges to persuade or pressure them to defy the temporary restraining order issued by the Supreme Court in favor of Philippine Savings Bank (PSBank)."

New papal representative to Ireland promises to strengthen relations


DUBLIN -- Pope Benedict XVI's new representative to Ireland has promised to strengthen relations between the country and the Holy See.

Archbishop Charles Brown, a native of New York, spoke while presenting his credentials as apostolic nuncio to Ireland and dean of the country's diplomatic corps to President Michael Higgins.

In brief remarks to Higgins, Archbishop Brown said that Pope Benedict XVI had asked him to "solidify and strengthen" the relations between Ireland and the Holy See.

The meeting came three months after the Irish government provoked controversy by closing its embassy to the Vatican. While ministers blamed the closure on economic concerns, the move was widely interpreted as representing a chill in relations: The government had been highly critical of the Vatican's approach to child abuse scandals in the country.



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