DAILY CATHOLIC     FRI-SAT-SUN     April 23-25, 1999     vol. 10, no. 80

NEWS & VIEWS
from a CATHOLIC perspective

CWN WORLD NEWS BRIEFS HEADLINES:

  • COLOMBIAN PRIEST ORDERED FROM AMNESTY AREA BY REBELS
  • PRO-INDONESIAN MILITIAS TERRORIZE EAST TIMOR
  • POLAND SENATE ALLOWS PAPAL CROSS AT AUSCHWITZ
  • CONGRESS PASSES EDUCATION BILL GIVING NEW FREEDOMS
  • CELLS FROM ABORTED CHILDREN SAID TO STOP PARKINSON'S DISEASE
  • PRO-ABORTION PROTESTER ARRESTED AT NEW YORK DEMONSTRATIONS
  • GARY BAUER ANNOUNCES PRESIDENTIAL RUN, POINTS OUT MORAL ILLS
  • DOCTORS SLAM NEGLIGENT DEATH OF PARTIAL-BIRTH ABORTION SURVIVOR
Scroll down to read the stories of your choice courtesy of CWN

COLOMBIAN PRIEST ORDERED FROM AMNESTY AREA BY REBELS

          BOGOTA (CWNews.com) - Colombian rebels ordered a Catholic priest to immediately leave government-proclaimed safe havens on Wednesday, accusing Father Miguel Angel Serna of having ties to the army and of turning parishioners against the rebels.

          The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) has effectively taken complete control of a Switzerland-sized region of southeast Colombia as part of the now-stalled peace process with the government of President Andres Pastrana. The Church in Colombia has criticized the FARC's control of the area, saying the group is ruling it as a virtual fiefdom, pressing children into military service, setting up labor camps, and exacting onerous taxes.

          "We call ... for the withdrawal of Miguel Angel Serna, priest of San Vicente, and consider him to have close ties to the army," said the FARC communique, read by local rebel commander Jairo Martinez in San Vicente. "He has mounted a provocative and ill-intentioned campaign against the people's interests and against the peace process." The FARC said Father Serna had called for demilitarization of San Vicente and other cities and for the army to return to protect citizens.

          Father Serna said he had not seen the document, but added that he was not afraid. "As a priest my job is to talk about freedom of expression ... I have not spoken about forced recruitment but I have talked about the recruitment of children," he said.

PRO-INDONESIAN MILITIAS TERRORIZE EAST TIMOR

          DILI, East Timor (CWNews.com) - Pro-Indonesian militias on Thursday ignored the former Portugese colony's one-day-old cease fire on Thursday, threatening civilians in the capital Dili.

          Witnesses said a militiaman threatened journalists accompanying a government human rights commission team investigating a massacre in the town of Liquisa on April 6. Twenty-five people were killed when pro-Indonesia militias opened fire on a church, throwing grenades inside where men, women, and children sought refuge.

          In Dili, residents stayed inside their homes after dusk, afraid to even travel to nearby villages, because the militias control the roads. "We can't go outside Dili in the evening. It's the (pro-Jakarta) militias who are doing this," said one resident who did not want to be identified. "Even for someone who works in Dili, but lives outside, if they do not leave in time, they cannot go home."

          Pro- and anti-independence militias signed a cease fire agreement on Wednesday at the start of UN-sponsored talks between Indonesia and Portugal on a planned referendum vote on independence or greater autonomy. Indonesia, the most populous Muslim nation in the world, invaded mainly Catholic East Timor in 1975, annexing it the following year in a move not recognized by the UN

          Indonesia's military has been accused of arming the anti-independence militias who rampaged through Dili on Saturday, killing up to 30 people as they sought out pro-independence leaders.

POLAND SENATE ALLOWS PAPAL CROSS AT AUSCHWITZ

          WARSAW (CWNews.com) - Poland's Senate amended a proposed law on Thursday to allow a cross remembering a visit by Pope John Paul to remain outside the former Auschwitz Nazi death camp while removing the hundreds of smaller crosses planted there more recently.

          The small crosses were planted over the past year by grassroots Catholic groups wary of calls by Jewish organizations that wanted all religious symbols removed the area of the camp where more than 1 million Jews were murdered. The Senate voted 58-7 with 26 abstentions for the amendment, which now goes to the lower house, the Sejm. A vote could be held as early as Friday.

          The 26-foot-tall cross was placed outside the camp after the 1979 visit by the Polish-born Pope to commemorate the historic visit and 152 Catholics executed on that site by Nazis in 1941.

CONGRESS PASSES EDUCATION BILL GIVING NEW FREEDOMS

          WASHINGTON, DC (CWNews.com) - Congress on Wednesday passed new education legislation that will give local and state governments more control over how they spend federal education money.

          The bill, which passed the US House 368-57 and the US Senate 98-1, would enable states and school districts to be released from some rules that ordinarily must be met to obtain federal funding. In exchange, they would have to set up their own programs under which they would be accountable for better educational results. President Bill Clinton has said he will sign the bill.

          "This bill cuts the strings that keeps our children from a better education," said Rep. William Goodling, R-Pennsylvania, chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee.

CELLS FROM ABORTED CHILDREN SAID TO STOP PARKINSON'S DISEASE

          TORONTO (CWNews.com) - The results of a new study released this week said most Parkinson's disease patients, but especially younger ones, stand to benefit from a transplant of brain cells from aborted children.

          The University of Colorado Health Sciences Center said the comprehensive study showed that the cells flourished in all the patients, but did best in younger patients. Parkinson's disease is characterized by tremors, rigidity, and the inability to control movements. About 500,000 Americans suffer from the illness, which is linked to the death of brain cells that produce a chemical called dopamine.

          The procedure in the study used tissues from unborn children aborted at the 7th or 8th week of pregnancy, and each patient in the study required brain cells from about four children. Researchers said the cells were only harvested from previously-scheduled abortions not taken specifically for the study. "Should this tissue be used to treat a disease or should it be thrown away?" asked Curt Freed, the principal researcher. "For me that's a fairly easy ethical question."

PRO-ABORTION PROTESTER ARRESTED AT NEW YORK DEMONSTRATIONS

          ROCHESTER, New York (CWNews.com) - The first arrest during a week-long pro-life campaign in upstate New York was of a pro-abortion counter-demonstrator who knelt and pretended to shoot an imaginary rifle at pro-lifers on Wednesday.

          Although police and the courts set up special rules and increased law enforcement presence to counter a perceived threat from pro-life protesters, James Krentel of Rochester was the first person arrested during the mainly peaceful Operation Save America. He was charged with harassment and possessing a loaded weapon in a vehicle. Police said they found two rifles, ammunition, and knives in the car.

          Operation Save America has been criticized by pro-abortion groups for scheduling the demonstrations just six months after a Buffalo-area abortionist was slain by a sniper through his kitchen window. But, the pro-lifers have remained nonviolent, carrying placards, praying, singing, and obeying court orders which increased "buffer zones" around clinics.

GARY BAUER ANNOUNCES PRESIDENTIAL RUN, POINTS OUT MORAL ILLS

          NEWPORT, Kentucky (CWNews.com) - Conservative leader Gary Bauer on Wednesday announced he will run for the Republican nomination for president, using the recent shootings at Colorado high school to show that America needs a moral reawakening.

          Bauer, speaking to a crowd at his alma mater Newport High School, said the problem is simple: Too many children resort to hatred, not God, in a nation that glorifies violence in its mass media, allows "militant secularism" in its courtrooms, and legalizes abortion. Bauer was head of the Family Research Council until earlier this year when he took a leave of absence to pursue his political goal.

          In his remarks, Bauer said guns are only the tool used, not the source of the problem. He pointed to Hollywood's glorification of violence, the justice system's efforts to strip God from schools, and Washington's lack of moral leadership as causes.

DOCTORS SLAM NEGLIGENT DEATH OF PARTIAL-BIRTH ABORTION SURVIVOR

          CINCINNATI (CWNews.com) - A Christian doctors' group on Wednesday denounced a Cincinnati hospital's decision to let a baby who survived a partial-birth abortion for three hours die without care earlier this month.

          Dr. Gene Rudd, associate director of the Christian Medial and Dental Society, said: "Babies at this same age -- 22 weeks -- can and have survived outside the womb. The difference that apparently led doctors to let 'Baby Hope' die is that she was the product of a failed partial-birth abortion."

          The mother of the child, dubbed Baby Hope by emergency room staff, was rushed to the hospital on April 7, a day after undergoing the first part of the three-day partial-birth abortion process, and then gave birth. Bethesda North Hospital said the baby girl was premature and did not have enough lung development to survive. Shelly Lowe, an emergency room technician, said she rocked the newborn and named her Baby Hope. "I named her Hope because I had hoped that she would make it," said Lowe, fighting back tears at a news conference.

          "What has gone wrong with a society that will permit the deliberate and fatal neglect of a living, breathing newborn?" asked Rudd of the CMDS. "Have we grown so callous to the value of human life that we are willing to begin allowing our infants to die without care?"


Articles provided through Catholic World News . CWN is not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

April 23-25, 1999       volume 10, no. 80
NEWS & VIEWS

DAILY CATHOLIC

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