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by Domenico Bettinelli, Jr.
Catholic World News staff

DALLAS ( - Norma McCorvey, the woman who was once the icon of the pro-abortion movement and later renounced that status to become a pro-lifer and a Christian, announced on Tuesday that she is planning to enter the Catholic Church.

The former "Jane Roe" of the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court case that effectively legalized abortion on demand said she has decided the join the "Mother Church of Christianity." McCorvey was baptized into the Christian faith in 1995 by the Rev. Flip Benham, director of Operation Rescue, and then later met Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life, who became a mentor and friend and "the catalyst to bring me into the Catholic Church."

McCorvey said she had clearly heard God tell her in prayer that she was to come home to Him soon. Not knowing what the ominous words meant, she consulted with Father Pavone. "I told him of my concerns, and his advice to me was to continue to pray and to ponder this message," she said. "I listened to him and came to realize that what God was actually saying to me was to 'come all the way home to Him' in His Church."

Many Catholic pro-life leaders who knew McCorvey's mother was Catholic encouraged her to return to that faith after her initial conversion to Christianity. "After I came into Christianity, I just wanted to learn the Gospel and all that," McCorvey said. "And I did, but I also received both the influences of the Evangelical side of the pro-life issue and the Catholic side."

McCorvey said she expects to begin instruction in the Catholic faith in July with Father Edward Robinson in Dallas, and hopes to be ready to enter the Church by the end of the year. "I will also continue to be in close contact with Father Pavone, who now works at the Vatican and will arrange for me to receive my Confirmation in the city of Rome," she added. "He has told me that he is going to inform the Pope of my decision to become a Catholic."


Courtesy of Catholic World News
JUN. 16, 1998



Vatican Eases Up on Lutherans

from the Associated Press


VATICAN CITY (AP) - The Vatican agreed in principle Thursday to a joint declaration with the Lutherans intended to settle a doctrinal dispute that was at the heart of the Protestant Reformation.

With the agreement, most of the condemnations the Lutheran and Roman Catholic churches heaped on one another when Western Christianity split in the 16th century no longer apply, the Vatican said.

But while the Vatican said a ``high degree of agreement'' has been reached, it said some differences on fundamental doctrine remain and these require further study.

The Lutheran World Federation announced June 16 that its ruling council had unanimously approved a declaration lifting the condemnations.

One of the key unresolved points regards what theologians call ``justification,'' or how man achieves salvation. For the Lutherans, it depends on the grace of God, while Catholics maintain that good works are also involved.

The Reformation stereotype was of Catholics earning their salvation through the buying of papal indulgences.

``The level of agreement is high. But it does not yet allow us to affirm that all the differences separating Catholics and Lutherans in the doctrine of justification are simply a question of emphasis or language,'' the Vatican said.

Cardinal Edward Cassidy, who heads the Vatican's office for relations with other denominations, said of 44 points in the declaration, only three lacked full agreement.

He said the formal signing of the Joint Declaration will take place this fall.

The declaration was drawn up last year by an international group of Catholic and Lutheran theologians.

It was sent to the federation's 124 member churches, who represent 57 million Lutherans, and the Vatican for approval.

Last year, the United States' largest Lutheran church, the 5 million-member Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, endorsed the declaration.

The ELCA is one of the federation's two largest churches. The other, the Church of Sweden, has also endorsed the declaration.


This story - AP-NY - dateline - 06-25-98 1441EDT

Copyright 1998 The Associated Press.


Prelates differ on Italian civil-union proposal

Rome, Sep. 15 ( - Marriage cannot be reduced to a mere civil contract, argued Cardinal Julian Herranz in an interview with the Italian daily La Repubblica .

The Spanish cardinal, who is president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, spoke to La Repubblica about a proposal to give legal recognition to "civil unions" in Italy. The proposal, advanced by Italian opposition leader Romano Prodi, has stirred a lively debate.

Cardinal Herranz reasoned that lawmakers "should always work for the common good," and observed that marriage and the family are "common goods par excellence." Therefore, he said, any political policy that strengthens family life deserves support, while anything that would weaken the family must be opposed.

Citing the message that Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news) delivered to a conference on family life in June of this year, the cardinal said that the acceptance of various alternatives to marriage-- such as common-law partnerships and same-sex unions-- devalue the institution of marriage and harm the family. Marriage and the family "are not a casual sociological construction," he said, and "cannot be replaced by other forms."

In an interview published a day earlier, Cardinal Mario Francesco Pompedda had indicated that he was open to the recognition of civil unions. Although he made it clear that the measure should not be a step toward recognition for same-sex marriage, Cardinal Pompedda observed the proposal would offer some legal protection for the rights of unmarried couples.

Cardinal Herranz took a different view. "To speak about marriage and the family is one thing," he said, "and to discuss the rights of each person is another." He observed that lawmakers may legitimately take action to secure individual rights, but should never do so at the expense of marriage and the family. "We have to be very clear, and not create confusion, even in semantics," he said.


Courtesy of Catholic World News
Sept. 15 2005


Church historian sees end to restrictions on Latin Mass

Dublin, Sep. 15 ( - Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news) will take action soon to allow all Catholic priests to celebrate the Latin Mass, a Cambridge historian has predicted.

Speaking to a conference of priests in Ireland earlier this week, Eamonn Duffy said that it was "extremely likely that Pope Benedict will lift the restrictions on the celebration of the Tridentine liturgy," the Irish Independent reported.

The Tridentine ritual, which was the universal form of the Mass prior to Vatican II, is now celebrated only with the explicit permission, or "indult," of the diocesan bishop. Some Vatican-watchers speculate that Pope Benedict will announce a "universal indult," giving blanket permission for all Catholic priests to use the old ritual.

In remarks to the National Conference of Priests of Ireland, Eamonn Duffy said that he thought the Pope would make the policy change in October, during the meeting of the Synod of Bishops. The topic for Synod discussions is the Eucharist.


Courtesy of Catholic World News
Sept. 15 2005



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