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By Liz F. Kay and Liz F. Kay,Sun reporter | November 11, 2006
Eileen McCafferty DiFranco doesn't look like a radical. But once she dons her vestments, this wife, mother, grandmother and school nurse becomes a revolutionary in the battle to expand the role of women in the Catholic Church. There she was on a recent Sunday morning, standing before the altar in a suburban Philadelphia chapel, violating the strictures of the Roman Catholic Church by celebrating Mass, a role reserved for men.
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NEWS
September 8, 2006
Court upholds cryptologist's life sentences in '93 deaths The Maryland Court of Special Appeals yesterday upheld the life-without-parole sentences for a former National Security Agency cryptologist whose two previous death sentences in the 1993 killing of his former fiancee and her friend had been overturned. The families of victims Betina "Kristi" Gentry, 18, and her friend, Cynthia V. Allen, 22, had asked Anne Arundel County prosecutors not to pursue death sentences against Darris Alaric Ware (now 35)
NEWS
By GEORGE WEIGEL | July 7, 2006
I first became aware of Baltimore's "Old Cathedral" in September 1957, when I began first grade at the Cathedral School, then at 7 W. Mulberry St. Months later, the entire school was marched across the street to pray the rosary inside what we now know as the Basilica of the Assumption; a fire had broken out at the Fallon & Helen furniture store a few doors away, and it was feared that it might take the school and its adjacent convent with it. Fortunately, that...
NEWS
By MATTHEW HAY BROWN and MATTHEW HAY BROWN,SUN REPORTER | March 16, 2006
When the great dome of Benjamin Henry Latrobe's cathedral first rose over the Baltimore skyline two centuries ago, it loomed as a bold symbol of a new liberty. The British had suppressed Roman Catholicism in the American colonies, forcing the faithful to worship in secret. But now a church building that rivaled Latrobe's U.S. Capitol in size and sophistication, a cathedral on a hill for a Catholic diocese that encompassed the entire young nation, proclaimed a new era for religious freedom.
NEWS
By MATTHEW HAY BROWN and MATTHEW HAY BROWN,SUN REPORTER | November 16, 2005
WASHINGTON -- Sensing growing public ambivalence over capital punishment, the nation's Roman Catholic bishops renewed calls yesterday to end use of the death penalty, calling its application error-prone, biased and irreversible, and saying that state-sanctioned killing diminishes all Americans. "This statement is a call to reject the tragic illusion that we can demonstrate respect for life by taking life," Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn, N.Y., told the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
NEWS
By MATTHEW HAY BROWN and MATTHEW HAY BROWN,SUN REPORTER | November 15, 2005
WASHINGTON -- The families of two men who apparently were shot to death by a priest demanded yesterday to meet with Roman Catholic bishops about reforming a system that they say still is not protecting parishioners from troubled clergy. The parents, brothers and sisters of the slain men, Daniel O'Connell and James Ellison, say church officials should have taken note of the Rev. Ryan Erickson's handgun collection, his penchant for drinking alcohol with youths on overnight visits, and the history of allegations against him that involved sexual abuse and affairs with parishioners.
NEWS
By Janice D'Arcy and Janice D'Arcy,SUN STAFF | June 17, 2005
CHICAGO - A board set up by U.S. Catholic bishops to examine the church's sexual abuse crisis recommended a sweeping study yesterday to provide a better understanding of why priests abused minors. Dr. Paul McHugh, a professor and former director of the Johns Hopkins psychiatry department, told the gathering of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops during a closed-door session that the research would take about three years and would include extensive interviews with victims and perpetrators.
NEWS
By Janice D'Arcy and Janice D'Arcy,SUN STAFF | June 16, 2005
With financial settlements in the church's sexual abuse scandal costing more than $1 billion, the nation's Roman Catholic bishops are expected this week to retain their zero tolerance policy - permanently dismissing priests from the ministry for any act of abuse against children. But as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' semiannual meeting begins today in Chicago, the bishops will consider revising other policies enacted after the scandal erupted in Boston in 2002. Among the changes to be discussed will be scaling back independent reviews of dioceses, which ensured the policies were carried out and decided whether to fund a multimillion-dollar study of the underlying causes of the abuse.
NEWS
By Janice D'Arcy and Janice D'Arcy,SUN STAFF | May 20, 2005
When several Catholic bishops argued last year that they had a responsibility to deny Holy Communion to politicians who support abortion rights, Baltimore's Cardinal William H. Keeler was not among them. He instead offered that taking the sacrament was a personal matter, saying, "We don't need bishops to get into the act." Keeler said yesterday that he was not doing a turnabout in boycotting Loyola College of Maryland's commencement ceremony today. Keeler is not attending because of the abortion-rights stance of the keynote speaker, former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani.
NEWS
By Janice D'Arcy and Janice D'Arcy,SUN STAFF | February 19, 2005
More than a thousand new sexual abuse complaints were lodged against U.S. Roman Catholic clergy last year, according a new report suggesting that the church is still suffering through a scandal that has rocked the institution since 2002. Released yesterday, not long after convictions of two prominent sexual abusers - including defrocked Baltimore priest Maurice Blackwell - the audit of local dioceses found that the church paid more than $157 million last year in connection with the scandal, bringing the nationwide total to at least $840 million.
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