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News Digest

Issue of April 25, 2010 – May 8, 2010 The 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

Annulment sessions

Catholics Come Home Chicago is hosting a series of free information sessions for people with questions about marriage, divorce and annulments.

The sessions will answer questions such as what is marriage in the Catholic Church, what is the annulment process and what are the basic principles of law that must be followed.

Presentations last approximately 90 minutes and allow time for participants to speak with representatives of the archdiocesan Metropolitan Tribunal, the church court that deals with marriage cases.

Sessions are scheduled for: April 25, 2:30 p.m., St. Albert the Great, Burbank, (708) 423-0321, in Polish; April 26, 7 p.m., Notre Dame de Chicago, 1334 W. Flournoy, (312) 243-7400, in English and Spanish; April 26, 7 p.m., St. John of the Cross, Western Springs, (708) 246-4404, in English and Polish; April 28, 7 p.m., Our Lady of Hope, Rosemont, in English; May 16, 3:30 p.m. St. Thomas of Villanova, Palatine, (847) 358-6999, in Polish.

For more information, visit

Franciscan in bioethics group

Chicago-based Franciscan Brother Daniel Sulmasy, a medical doctor who also holds a doctorate in philosophy, has been named to the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues. The White House announced the appointment of Brother Sulmasy and nine others April 7.

Sulmasy, 54, currently works at the University of Chicago, where he is professor of medicine and ethics in the department of medicine and the Divinity School. He is also associate director of the university's MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics.

News Digest

Pope meets abuse victims in Malta, expresses shame, sorrow for their suffering

Pope Benedict XVI met with eight victims of priestly sex abuse in Malta and promised them the church would do "all in its power" to bring offenders to justice and protect children. The pope was "deeply moved by their stories and expressed his shame and sorrow over what victims and their families have suffered," a Vatican statement said after the private encounter April 18.

"He prayed with them and assured them that the church is doing, and will continue to do, all in its power to investigate allegations, to bring to justice those responsible for abuse and to implement effective measures designed to safeguard young people in the future," the statement said.

Regaining momentum on nuclear disarmament

On the nuclear disarmament front, it sounds like the 1980s all over again.

Widespread discussion about nuclear disarmament has been in the news since April 2009, nearly 30 years after the U.S. bishops first adopted their pastoral letter on peace in the nuclear era, "The Challenge of Peace: God's Promise and Our Response."

Atheist, Catholic apologist square off at Notre Dame

Interest in an April 7 debate between atheist author and columnist Christopher Hitchens and Catholic apologist and author Dinesh D'Souza was so high on the University of Notre Dame campus that the event sold out 90 minutes after tickets became available.

The mostly student audience of 900 was enthusiastic but polite as Hitchens and D'Souza conducted a lively discussion of the question "Is religion the problem?"