September 21, 2011 - WASHINGTON (CNS)—Archbishop Pietro Sambi, the late Vatican nuncio to the United States, “viewed his diplomatic vocation, as an ambassador of the vicar of the crucified one, as an extension of the invitation to mercy, reconciliation, unity, peace and life inherent in the Triumph of the Cross,” Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of New York said Sept. 14. [read more]
Priests for Life head is needed for work in Texas, Bishop Zurek says
Bishop Zurek in a decree Sept. 6 ordered the 52-year-old New York-born priest to return to Amarillo and announced it in a Sept. 9 letter to his fellow bishops. He pointed to “persistent questions and concerns” from clergy and laity about how the millions of dollars donated to Priests for Life are used as the reason for suspending Father Pavone’s ministry outside the diocese.
“He’s here to be obedient to the bishop and try to work with the bishop,” Msgr. Waldow said. “He’s going to have assignments, and he will be put on our payroll and given health care and other benefits like any other priest of the diocese.”
For his part, Father Pavone returned to Amarillo the evening of Sept. 13 from Birmingham, Ala., where he had been taping programs for the Eternal Word Television Network for more than a week. Both Msgr. Waldow and Father Pavone said no meeting was immediately scheduled with Bishop Zurek, who left the diocese the afternoon of Sept. 13 for two weeks.
Msgr. Waldow clarified Bishop Zurek’s concerns in a Sept. 15 statement, saying there is a “dispute” about the audits of two of Priests for Life’s affiliated agencies, Rachel’s Vineyard, an abortion healing ministry, and Missionaries of the Gospel of Life, a lay Catholic association.
“Because there is a dispute ... (it) does not mean that Father Pavone is being charged with any malfeasance or being accused of any wrong doing with the financial matters of Priests for Life,” the statement said.
Pope meets astronauts from Endeavour, space station
The pope welcomed crew members from the International Space Station and the space shuttle Endeavour to the papal villa in Castel Gandolfo Sept. 19. The crew members, who included two Italians, are on a speaking tour of Italy.
During their visit with the pope, the astronauts gave back to him a silver medallion that he had given them to carry to the space station orbiting the earth.
Pope Benedict had spoken to the astronauts May 21 during a video hookup with the space station.
Roberto Vittori, an Italian member of the Endeavour team, had let the medallion float weightless in front of the screen for the pope to see. The medallion bore an incision duplicating the scene of the creation of man from Michelangelo’s famous fresco in the Sistine Chapel.
The nine astronauts who met the pope also gave him an atlas of the universe and a framed memento to hang on the wall containing a Vatican flag, the NASA logo and a photograph of the space shuttle.
The U.S. astronauts meeting the pope were: Catherine Coleman, Mark Kelly, Gregory H. Johnson, Edward Michael Finke, Andrew J. Feustel, Gregory E. Chamitoff and Scott Kelly.