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4 interesting articles on papal matters

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  • Greg Cannon
    I was going to send these articles seperately, but then realized that since they re all on basically the same subject I might as well send them in a bunch. If
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 6, 2005
      I was going to send these articles seperately, but
      then realized that since they're all on basically the
      same subject I might as well send them in a bunch. If
      that doesn't work I can send them seperately. I'm
      sending you:
      Italy agency denies said bin Laden on way to Rome
      Rome Eyes Profits From Papal Pilgrims
      US Catholics want new pope to resemble John Paul II
      Brazil's Cardinal Hummes a Papal Candidate

      And the cardinals have set April 18 as the day for
      beginning their conclave, if you hadn't heard that.

      Italy agency denies said bin Laden on way to Rome

      ROME, April 6 (Reuters) - Italy's leading news agency
      has denied reporting that al Qaeda leader Osama bin
      Laden would attend Pope John Paul's funeral on Friday
      after a story attributed to it circulated widely on
      the Internet.

      "Some people just won't stop even at a time of
      mourning for the Pope: among the deluge of false
      emails, viruses and spam, a false item attributed to
      Ansa is circulating about Osama bin Laden attending
      the funeral of John Paul II," the Ansa agency said.

      In a dispatch issued late on Tuesday, Ansa noted that
      the prankster, who specified bin Laden would be flying
      to Rome from Pakistan, had accurately imitated the
      agency's sign-off style -- a series of letters and
      numbers at the end of every item.

      The Saudi-born bin Laden, whose al Qaeda militant
      group is blamed by U.S. authorities for the Sept. 11,
      2001 attacks on American cities, is thought to be
      hiding on the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
      04/06/05 07:40

      Rome Eyes Profits From Papal Pilgrims

      Apr 6, 2:59 PM (ET)


      ROME (AP) - With up to 4 million pilgrims pouring into
      the city to pay their respects to Pope John Paul II,
      businesses hope for an unseasonable windfall worth
      millions of dollars - but some say profits could be

      City officials, storekeepers and business owners
      complained Wednesday some of the profit is going to
      unlicensed street vendors - selling water, food or
      papal trinkets, for instance- and said stores that are
      not near the Vatican are almost empty.

      These are not the high-rolling spenders who wander
      through the ancient ruins or museums of the Eternal
      City. These are pilgrims who don't go to restaurants,
      take cabs or tourist trips around Rome.

      But their sheer numbers are bound to translate into a
      business boon.

      So many are coming for Friday's funeral that the city
      is offering free cots at tent camps erected on a
      fairground, in an unused railway building and inside a
      concert hall.

      "This is a type of tourism that is eat-and-run," said
      Franco Cioffarelli, the city's financial chief. "It
      certainly brings in money, but I don't think this is a
      relevant phenomenon financially."

      The consumer monitoring group Codacons disagreed,
      estimating businesses would earn an additional $122.5
      million over two weeks.

      It said visitors were expected to spend $193.4 million
      just on transportation - trains, plane tickets and

      Those estimates were based on a conservative figure of
      2 million pilgrims. Since then, the crowd estimates
      have gone up.

      A Codacons spokesman said 10 to 20 percent of the
      revenue was probably going to illegal businesses.

      Though Cioffarelli had not estimated the potential
      earnings, he acknowledged the flow of people was
      unprecedented. The Chamber of Commerce said it also
      had no financial estimates.

      Although Rome's streets are jammed with visitors, taxi
      companies said they aren't earning that much. "These
      people go on foot a lot," said Paolo Pombi, of the
      Pronto Taxi company. Still, he added, "when there is
      high tide, a few fish are going to fall in your lap."

      Shopkeepers around St. Peter's said their best-selling
      items are small and cheap images of the pope -
      pictures, postcards, but also magnets, key chains and

      The visitors are prey to vendors and storekeepers
      selling goods at double the price or more, city
      officials said. Inspectors found about 10 percent of
      the hundreds of premises they visited were gouging
      their customers, said Col. Giuseppe Zafarana of
      Italy's financial police.

      "The closer you get to the basilica, the higher the
      prices," Cioffarelli said.

      Codacons issued a warning to visitors through the
      Italian media with tips to avoid getting fleeced. It
      recommended filling empty water bottles at public
      drinking fountains, leaving the Vatican area for
      meals, buying snacks at grocery stores before going to
      St. Peter's and demanding receipts at all times.

      Inspectors found that prices of small bottles of water
      fluctuated from $1.50 to $3.25.

      Codacons estimated earnings of $64.4 million from the
      sale of religious articles, including rosaries and
      images and small statues of saints; $25.8 million from
      restaurants, bars, cafes and grocery stores, and $32.2
      million from hotels.

      But some complain they are missing out, especially
      those out of range of the Vatican.

      And in some cases, shops near the Vatican said they
      have been blocked by police barricades controlling the
      flow of people viewing the pope's remains.

      "We are completely cut off," said Luigi Bernardi,
      standing in an empty store on Via della Conciliazione,
      the street that leads to St. Peter's Square, watching
      the crowd walk by. "We take place at ceremonies for
      the pope's death, but not in any commercial way."

      US Catholics want new pope to resemble John Paul II

      Wed Apr 6, 9:54 AM ET

      WASHINGTON (AFP) - Roman Catholics in the United
      States and Canada would like the next pope to resemble
      John Paul II -- with somewhat more progressive
      theology on issues like contraception and stem cell

      According to a Gallup poll carried out by CNN and USA
      Today, 59 percent of American Catholics are hoping for
      many similarities between the last pope, who died
      Saturday aged 84 after a 26-year reign at the Vatican,
      and his successor.

      Only one third of those interviewed think the next
      pope should be more liberal on society matters, but a
      mere four percent said he should be more conservative.

      During last November's presidential election, a
      majority of American Catholics supported President
      George W. Bush over Democrat John Kerry, also a
      Catholic, due mainly to Bush's opposition to abortion
      and gay marriage.

      A majority also backed the war in Iraq, against the
      Vatican's preference.

      On social issues, most US Catholics nonetheless favor
      birth control, priests marrying, and would also like a
      more permissive stance on stem cell research.

      A broad majority of Catholics condemn abortion.

      But they are also split on the role women should take
      in the church. While 55 percent would like to see
      women priests ordained, 44 percent oppose it. Divorce
      is also a bone of contention.

      While 49 percent agree with Catholics being able to
      divorce then remarry, 48 percent do not.

      In Canada where 13 million people call themselves
      Roman Catholics, a pope who resembles the late John
      Paul II who can draw the interest of youths is what
      Catholics are looking for.

      "Youth is not just the future of the church, it is the
      present of the church," said Neil MacCarthy, director
      of Catholic Youth Toronto.

      Canada has three cardinals with a right to vote for
      the next pope -- two of them are French speaking.

      The question of who will succeed the pope is another

      The church's worst problem today is the "secularity of
      our society, the passivity of people with regards to
      things of God," said Cardinal Theodore McCarrick,
      archbishop of Washington.

      "In North America and Europe, the cardinals will want
      a pope who supports ecumenical dialogue with
      Protestants and Jews. Given the growing alienation of
      educated women, they would also want someone who
      projects an understanding of women's concerns," said
      Father Tom Reese, a religious affairs specialist.

      "The last thing they would want, for example, is a
      pope who decided to get rid of altar girls. The
      American cardinals would also want someone who
      understands and supports what they are doing to deal
      with the sexual abuse crisis."

      The scandal of pedophile priests undermined the Roman
      Catholic Church in the United States, where more than
      4,300 priests are suspected of sexually abusing more
      than 10,000 children and teenagers since the 1950s,
      according to a 2004 study for John Jay College in New
      York's Department of Law.

      One of the 11 American elective cardinals, Monsignor
      Bernard Law, the former bishop of Boston, is suspected
      of having protected a pedophile priest for a number of

      Law resigned as archbishop in December 2002 after the
      scandal erupted, but Pope John Paul II effectively
      promoted him, making him Archpriest of St. Mary Major
      Basilica in Rome in May 2004.

      The associations that defend victims of sexual abuse
      in the Church, such as Voice of the Faithful, want the
      next pope not only to denounce perpetrators of
      priestly abuse, but also to take legal action against
      both those who committed and covered up crimes.

      "We want the next pope to acknowledge and understand
      that the questions around clergy sexual abuse still
      remain and it's unfinished business," said VOF
      spokeswoman Suzanne Morse.

      Brazil's Cardinal Hummes a Papal Candidate


      SAO PAULO, Brazil (AP) - As bishop of a working-class
      district 30 years ago, Claudio Hummes gave refuge to
      metalworkers staging an illegal strike - among them a
      fiery union leader named Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

      Silva is now Brazil's president, and Hummes has risen
      as well, to the rank of cardinal. As speculation
      mounts about the possibility of a Latin American pope,
      Hummes' name repeatedly surfaces - the top candidate
      from the world's most populous Roman Catholic country.

      Like other contenders, Hummes has tried to play down
      such talk.

      ``In the conclave, all these things will be
      secondary,'' said the archbishop of Sao Paulo. ``It
      will not matter where he comes from, from which
      continent. It will matter that the cardinals will be
      in front of God, under oath, and they will have to
      choose the one they think is the man for this moment
      in the history of the church and the world.''

      Named cardinal in 2001, Hummes, 70, - pronounced
      HOO-mez - already has made his mark on the Brazilian

      As the successor of Sao Paulo's popular Cardinal Paulo
      Evaristo Arns, a political activist who defended
      opponents of the 1964-85 military regime, Hummes
      initially was regarded with reservations. Skeptics
      viewed him as part of a Church plan to divide and
      depoliticize Brazil's largest archdiocese.

      Today, he has won respect as a conservative on
      doctrine and a progressive on social issues, though
      not sharing Arns' explicit support for radical
      ``liberation theology.''

      ``We are living in a period of ebullition,'' Hummes
      said. ``The Church's challenge is to keep pace with
      the ongoing progress we are seeing so it can have
      answers to the new problems that are arising.''

      Among his concerns is the rapid growth of evangelical
      Protestant sects in Brazil, said Monsignor Dario
      Bevilacqua, spokesman for the Sao Paulo archdiocese.

      ``He has said that this growth should alert us
      Catholics to the fact that our evangelism has been
      very superficial,'' Bevilacqua said. ``We have not
      done enough to broaden our efforts.''

      Hummes believes in ``bringing the Church closer to the
      people, making the church less elitist, giving it a
      more active role in people's lives,'' the spokesman

      While Hummes has worked to improve relations among
      Brazil's Christians, Jews and Muslims, he takes a
      strict line on gay rights, abortion, celibacy and the
      use of condoms - all major issues in Brazil.

      ``He has always been in line with the Vatican's
      official position,'' Bevilacqua said. ``He has always
      followed the guidelines and policies set by Pope John

      Hummes is a great grandson of a German immigrant who
      came to Brazil in the 19th century and married a
      Brazilian woman of German descent. Hummes was born
      Aug. 8, 1934, in Montenegro, a small city in the
      southern state of Rio Grande do Sul.

      Ordained a Franciscan priest in 1958, he obtained a
      doctorate in philosophy from Rome's Pontifical
      Antonianum University four year later. He concluded
      his studies at the Ecumenical Institute of Bossy in
      Geneva in 1968, returned to Brazil and taught
      philosophy at two seminaries and a Catholic

      In 1975, Hummes was appointed bishop of Santo Andre,
      an industrial district on the outskirts of Sao Paulo,
      where he gained national attention as a defender of
      the striking metalworkers. Strikes were illegal and
      the military regime considered them a threat to
      national security.

      The door of Hummes' church was always open to strikers
      and union leaders - including Silva - who were fleeing
      from riot troopers. Hummes' defense of the strikers
      made him a star of the Church's progressive wing, and
      he gained attention in Rome as well.

      In 1996, John Paul appointed Hummes archbishop of
      Fortaleza, capital of the northeastern state of Ceara.
      Two years later, he was transferred to Sao Paulo, home
      to some 6 million Roman Catholics.

      In his first day as Sao Paulo's archbishop, Hummes
      lashed out at the globalized market economy for the
      ``misery and poverty affecting millions around the

      ``Market economy has reinvented poverty in many
      countries,'' Hummes said. ``We must find a new
      alternative - a third way - to guarantee economic
      growth without sacrificing the poor and causing

      Arns, Hummes' predecessor, was very popular with
      Catholics in Sao Paulo but earned Vatican displeasure
      for supporting liberation theology - which sought to
      more actively engage the Church in efforts to combat
      poverty and social injustice. To rein in the popular
      doctrine and its defenders, the Vatican in 1989 carved
      up the Sao Paulo diocese into five parts, and put
      conservative bishops in charge of the four new

      Hummes, when he succeeded Arns in 1998, made clear
      that he would be more conservative in terms of

      ``The fundamental mission of the Church is to spread
      the Gospel and bring people in closer contact with
      Jesus Christ,'' Hummes said. ``And it is through this
      contact that we can start correcting social
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