Second Day of Vatican Summit Begins
By VICTOR L. SIMPSON
.c The Associated Press
VATICAN CITY, (April 24) - Using the strongest language yet, Pope John Paul II laid out the agenda for U.S. cardinals confronting the sex abuse scandal that has shaken the American faithful, decrying abuse both as a sin and a crime.
Talks between the cardinals and top Vatican officials resumed Wednesday, a day after the pope opened the sessions by using the word ''crime.'' The pontiff's phrasing Tuesday seemed to end any lingering debate about whether U.S. bishops should refer abuse accusations against priests to secular authorities.
In the past, some bishops have not, causing an uproar.
''The abuse which has caused this crisis is by every standard wrong and rightly considered a crime by society'' as well as an ''appalling sin'' before God, he said.
''People need to know that there is no place in the priesthood and religious life for those who harm the young,'' the pope said.
''It's the strongest language I've seen about what we call at home 'zero tolerance,''' he said. Others have called this the ''one strike and you're out'' policy.
However, Chicago's Cardinal Francis George said this wasn't entirely clear, because in another passage the pope spoke of ''the power of Christian conversion, that radical decision to turn away from sin and back to God.''
While Catholic liberals see ending celibacy as a long-term remedy, conservatives - notably including the pope's spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls - want new enforcement to keep homosexuals out of the priesthood, even if they maintain celibacy.
Cardinal Adam Maida of Detroit said behavioral scientists think ''it's not truly a pedophilia type problem but a homosexual type problem.'' He said bishops need to ''cope with and address'' the extent of a homosexual element in Catholic seminaries.
And Gregory acknowledged that ''it is an ongoing struggle to make sure that the Catholic priesthood is not dominated by homosexual men.''</a>
...::froths some more, eyes roll back into head::...
You know, I don't know why this even surprises me long enough for me to be shocked. If there WAS a God, the Vatican would have been burned to the ground and annhilated long ago. Imagine - what kind of IDIOTS... I can't even get my mind around this bullshit, fuck it...
Senator Helms to Have Open-Heart Surgery
.c The Associated Press
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (April 24) - Sen. Jesse Helms will receive open-heart surgery at a Maryland hospital as early as this week to replace an artificial valve installed 10 years ago, his aides said.
The 80-year-old Republican will continue undergoing tests Wednesday at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., where he was admitted Monday after feeling tired and weak over the weekend.
Initial testing was inconclusive as to the existence of the aging senator's heart, however evidence of an oilcan on his bedside table made doctors suspect that at least there was "Something going on in there, but what that might be remains a mystery."
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