In a statement to the Board of Trustees last week, Father Scanlan said: "I do believe that my continuing as president is in the best interest of all, so I will fully and actively serve in the presidency for another year or more..." Father Scanlan was to take on the newly-created title of Chancellor on July 1, working to promote the school and its mission, while handing the reins over to a new president selected by the Board of Trustees.
Some sources said the decision to keep Father Scanlan at the helm was prompted by concerns that none of the candidates for the presidency answered concerns by trustees, administrators, and faculties that a new administration might not continue Father Scanlan's unique 25-year promotion of "dynamic orthodoxy" at the university, a formula that has brought much success to the school.
On February 22, Father Edmund Carroll, TOR, chairman of the Board of Trustees, announced that Father Scanlan would step down as president on June 30. The former front-runner for the position of president had been executive vice president Father Thomas Bourque, TOR, who took the position in 1997.
German law was changed in 1995 to make abortion legal during the first three months, with the condition placed that the woman must first get advice from a counseling center. Armed with certification of such a visit, abortion is not only legal, but supported by the governmental health care system. After a consultation, a woman who decides not to have an abortion is also entitled to government aid.
This is the second letter on this topic that the Holy Father has sent to the German Bishops. After the first letter of January 11, 1998, the majority of the Episcopal Conference voted to implement a plan for consultation and aid, including jobs and economic support and a new formulation of the certificate, to avoid this document being regarded as a justification of abortion.
The Pope accepted this proposal but has requested that the text of the certificate be extremely clear, as it concerns a most delicate matter. The requirement for women in crisis pregnancies to get counseling is commonly seen as simply a hurdle that has to be crossed before getting a legal abortion.
Thus, in the Pope's new letter, dated June 3 and made public today, John Paul II states, "So that the legal and moral quality of this document becomes unambiguous, I ask you to place it clearly in the actual text that the certificate that certifies counseling by the Church and giving right to the promised aid cannot be used to obtain a decriminalized abortion."
The Pope described the new document as stating simply the goal of counseling and aid (as in the text proposed by the German Bishops), but with one additional sentence: "This certificate cannot be used to for the performance of decriminalized abortions."
In the document written in response to the German Episcopate, the Pope acknowledges the commitment of the Bishops in defense of the right to life of the unborn and adds: "I ask you, for the sake of the dignity of life and of clarity in ecclesial testimony, to unanimously accept my decision on this matter and to put it into practice before the end of the year."
Moreover, the Pontiff assures the Bishops that they will "find ways to offer the plan of consultation and aid not only to women who, because of their difficult situation, are unable to imagine life with a child, but also to other pregnant women, who have difficulties and need help."
The Pope concludes by encouraging all Catholics and non-Catholics alike to commit themselves to the defense of life of all human beings, "the born and the unborn, the elderly and youths, the sick and the healthy, and to spare no effort so that in our time, which experiences so many signs of death, a new culture of truth and love will finally be established." ZE99062207
The Pope referred to the historic meeting convoked by Leo XIII, which brought to Rome all the Bishops of Latin America, and gave "the peoples new perspectives full of hope."
The Decrees of that Council, the Spanish edition of which is being republished by the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, "although not directly applicable to the present circumstances, serve as a 'memory' which must illuminate, stimulate and help at this crossroads of history," noted the Holy Father. "In these decrees, which were carefully written by the council Fathers, great concern is perceived to maintain and exalt the Catholic faith, to configure the outward appearance of ecclesiastical persons, to protect divine worship and the celebration of the Sacraments, to promote the education of youth and their formation in the principles of Christian doctrine, to encourage the practice of charity and the other virtues."
The Pope went on, "I want to recall that, since the celebration of the Council, the vitality of the Church in America has grown. Proof of this are the Eucharistic and Marian Congresses, and also the four General Conferences of the Latin American Episcopate held in Rio de Janeiro (1955), Medellin (1968), Puebla (1979) and Santo Domingo (1992), the latter two being inaugurated by me. I also want to recall that, in his historic pilgrimage to Bogota, Paul VI opened the way to the pastoral trips to America which I, with God's favor, have been able to undertake. All this culminated in the celebration of the Synod for America, held at the Vatican, which I had the good fortune to convoke and later, at the beginning of this year, to close in the Mexican Basilica of Guadalupe, the Marian heart of the continent, where I gave the Apostolic Exhortation 'Ecclesia in America.' "
The Holy Father asked the Symposium participants (both historians and pastors), to work "with objectivity, grounding yourselves on real data and not on ideologies or partial visions of the facts." ZE99062206
The St. Francis Foundation had claimed to be backed by the Vatican and include on its board such luminaries as Walter Cronkite and Chrysler Corp. chairman Lee Iacocca, but those claims appear to have been false after investigators began asking questions. Even the identity of the foundation's director is in question. Although his name is listed as David Rosse, regulators now believe he is Martin Frankel, a 44-year-old money manager who was sanction by the Securities and Exchange Commission in 1992.
Investigators said the foundation is apparently connected, although the details are still unclear, to a group of Tennessee-based insurance companies now under the control of state regulators. Those companies are missing $335 million and possibly more.
Frankel disappeared in early May, after piles of financial documents were found burning in his Greenwich, Connecticut mansion, which was abandoned when fire fighters arrived. In an affidavit filed in federal court in Bridgeport, Connecticut, last month, an agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation said he believes that Frankel was laundering money.
Father Peter Jacobs, a retired priest living in Rome, said he was contacted by Frankel to help distribute billions of dollars to charities, especially hospitals for the poor. A lawyer for Father Jacobs, who was suspended from the Archdiocese of New York in 1980 after he refused to stop running a restaurant, said the priest was duped by Frankel with promises that he could help many people.