COMMENTARY: The Pope Should Now Apologize to Catholics

c. 2000 Religion News Service (Eugene Kennedy, a longtime observer of the Roman Catholic Church, is professor emeritus of psychology at Loyola University in Chicago and author most recently of “My Brother Joseph,” published by St. Martin’s Press.) (UNDATED) Pope John Paul II deserves praise for his unprecedented initiative in seeking forgiveness for sins committed against others by somebody _ full description not given _ in the Roman Catholic Church. This small miracle of grace does not flow from how well it was done but from its being done at all. We are told that the pope will be more explicit in his future trips to lands whose peoples have been sinned against.

COMMENTARY: The Pope Should Now Apologize to Catholics

c. 2000 Religion News Service (Eugene Kennedy, a longtime observer of the Roman Catholic Church, is professor emeritus of psychology at Loyola University in Chicago and author most recently of “My Brother Joseph,” published by St. Martin’s Press.) (UNDATED) Pope John Paul II deserves praise for his unprecedented initiative in seeking forgiveness for sins committed against others by somebody _ full description not given _ in the Roman Catholic Church. This small miracle of grace does not flow from how well it was done but from its being done at all. We are told that the pope will be more explicit in his future trips to lands whose peoples have been sinned against.

NEWS STORY: Pope Hopes Trip Will Aid Middle East Peace Process

c. 2000 Religion News Service VATICAN CITY _ Pope John Paul II hopes his spiritual pilgrimage to the Holy Land next week will advance ecumenical and interfaith dialogue and help to create a climate for peace in the Middle East, the Vatican said Friday (March 17). Chief spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said the Roman Catholic pontiff will travel to Israeli and the autonomous Palestinian territories March 21-26 as “a friend of the Jewish people,” the pope who declared anti-Semitism to be a sin and established relations with Israel, but also as a supporter of “the right of the Palestinian people to a homeland.” “The pope has no political formulas, but he hopes to contribute to the creation of a climate in which political solutions can be applied for the two sides to elaborate,” the spokesman said. Navarro-Valls noted that John Paul first spoke of making a pilgrimage to the Holy Land at Christmas 1978, little more than two months after he was elected pope. The trip became possible when the Vatican and the Jewish state established full diplomatic relations in 1993 but was delayed to coincide with the start of the third millennium of Christianity.

NEWS FEATURE: Colleges Adapting to Increased Muslim Presence Among Students

c. 2000 Religion News Service WASHINGTON _ When Tarek Elgawhary was looking at colleges three years ago, he wanted the things most students want _ strong academics, a friendly campus and a reputable degree. But when he finally decided to attend George Washington University in Washington, D.C., there was another factor at work. GWU has a Muslim student population of almost 1,000 students, and to Elgawhary, that was as important as anything else. “I was interested in going to a place where there was a large, strong Muslim community,” said Elgawhary, now a junior majoring in religion.

NEWS FEATURE: Colleges Adapting to Increased Muslim Presence Among Students

c. 2000 Religion News Service WASHINGTON _ When Tarek Elgawhary was looking at colleges three years ago, he wanted the things most students want _ strong academics, a friendly campus and a reputable degree. But when he finally decided to attend George Washington University in Washington, D.C., there was another factor at work. GWU has a Muslim student population of almost 1,000 students, and to Elgawhary, that was as important as anything else. “I was interested in going to a place where there was a large, strong Muslim community,” said Elgawhary, now a junior majoring in religion.

NEWS ADVANCE: Pope’s Holy Land Trip Culminates Long and Dramatic Papacy

c. 2000 Religion News Service VATICAN CITY _ The pilgrimage that an aging and ill Pope John Paul II will make to the Holy Land next week could well mark the culminating moments of his long papacy. The six-day trip to Jordan, Israel and the autonomous Palestinian territories will be John Paul’s 91st outside Italy since he was elected Roman Catholic pontiff in 1978 _ and one of his most important in both spiritual and temporal terms. What the pope insists will be “an exclusively religious pilgrimage” celebrating the start of the third millennium of Christianity, will, however, inevitably affect ecumenical and interfaith relations and possibly the peace process as well in the volatile Middle East. It also will severely test John Paul’s dwindling strength. The pope will turn 80 on May 18 and is increasingly debilitated by Parkinson’s disease, but he was nevertheless determined to revisit the biblical sites he first saw 35 years ago when he was archbishop of Krakow, Poland.

RNS Daily Digest

c. 2000 Religion News Service UCC, ACLU Joins Anti-Chief Wahoo Protest (RNS) The United Church of Christ has joined the American Civil Liberties Union in spearheading a move to allow people around Cleveland’s Jacobs Field to protest the use of the Cleveland Indians name and its mascot, Chief Wahoo. Leaders of the 1.4 million-member church, which is based in Cleveland, say the team’s name and mascot are offensive to Native Americans. ACLU officials, meanwhile, say team efforts to bar protesters around the park violate the First Amendment. The coalition filed suit on Friday (March 10) in U.S. District Court, asking a judge to allow the protesters around the stadium.

RNS Daily Digest

c. 2000 Religion News Service UCC, ACLU Joins Anti-Chief Wahoo Protest (RNS) The United Church of Christ has joined the American Civil Liberties Union in spearheading a move to allow people around Cleveland’s Jacobs Field to protest the use of the Cleveland Indians name and its mascot, Chief Wahoo. Leaders of the 1.4 million-member church, which is based in Cleveland, say the team’s name and mascot are offensive to Native Americans. ACLU officials, meanwhile, say team efforts to bar protesters around the park violate the First Amendment. The coalition filed suit on Friday (March 10) in U.S. District Court, asking a judge to allow the protesters around the stadium.

RNS Daily Digest

c. 2000 Religion News Service L.A. Cardinal Issues Sweeping Apology on Eve of Lent (RNS) Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony issued a sweeping mea culpa on the eve of Lent, apologizing to those in his archdiocese and around the country whom he or the Roman Catholic Church may have offended, including gays, lesbians, Jews, Muslims and victims of clergy sexual abuse. In a seven-page apology issued Monday (Feb. 6), Mahony apologized for the wrong things he has done, as well as the times he remained silent when he should have spoken out. The 64-year-old cardinal has led the nation’s largest Catholic diocese _ with 4 million Catholics _ since 1985.

RNS Daily Digest

c. 2000 Religion News Service L.A. Cardinal Issues Sweeping Apology on Eve of Lent (RNS) Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony issued a sweeping mea culpa on the eve of Lent, apologizing to those in his archdiocese and around the country whom he or the Roman Catholic Church may have offended, including gays, lesbians, Jews, Muslims and victims of clergy sexual abuse. In a seven-page apology issued Monday (Feb. 6), Mahony apologized for the wrong things he has done, as well as the times he remained silent when he should have spoken out. The 64-year-old cardinal has led the nation’s largest Catholic diocese _ with 4 million Catholics _ since 1985.

COMMENTARY: The Things He Left Behind: Clinton’s Tragic Legacy

c. 2000 Religion News Service (Eugene Kennedy, a longtime observer of the Roman Catholic Church, is professor emeritus of psychology at Loyola University in Chicago and author most recently of “My Brother Joseph,” published by St. Martin’s Press.) (UNDATED) There is something touching in the restless urgency with which President Clinton pursues his “legacy.” Have we heard of this plight before? Perhaps in that gospel parable of the foolish women who had garishly lighted up the night with their lamps only to find that they had no oil left and, hearing the footfall of their master, searched vainly for more. Clinton, it might be said, has also lighted up the night garishly and finds now that wisps of smoke are all that is left to play against the falling night.

COMMENTARY: The Things He Left Behind: Clinton’s Tragic Legacy

c. 2000 Religion News Service (Eugene Kennedy, a longtime observer of the Roman Catholic Church, is professor emeritus of psychology at Loyola University in Chicago and author most recently of “My Brother Joseph,” published by St. Martin’s Press.) (UNDATED) There is something touching in the restless urgency with which President Clinton pursues his “legacy.” Have we heard of this plight before? Perhaps in that gospel parable of the foolish women who had garishly lighted up the night with their lamps only to find that they had no oil left and, hearing the footfall of their master, searched vainly for more. Clinton, it might be said, has also lighted up the night garishly and finds now that wisps of smoke are all that is left to play against the falling night.