Keyes Makes 3rd Bid for Presidency

From the Associated Press

Alan Keyes, a Republican whose two previous runs for president ended in failure, is making a third try for the White House.

The Maryland conservative announced on his Web site that he filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission on Friday to make his candidacy official. He joins a crowded Republican field of nine candidates and is scheduled to participate Monday night at a debate involving lesser-known candidates in Florida.

Keyes, a former State Department official under President Reagan, made unsuccessful presidential runs in 1996 and 2000. He also has been a Senate candidate from Maryland, and, in 2004, he suffered a 43-percentage point loss to Democrat Barack Obama in the Senate race in Illinois. Republicans drafted Keyes after primary winner Jack Ryan dropped out amid a scandal.

In an interview with radio talk show host Janet Parshall, Keyes noted the wide-open nature of the GOP race. “There isn’t a standout,” Keyes said. “I’m like a lot of folks, who have just looked at it and been unmoved.”

We’re Not Racists, Insist Bishops

A follow-up to a story we posted several weeks ago…from The Independent:

Bishops last night hit back at the Equality Authority over claims of discrimination by Catholic schools.

“The assumption behind its recent statement in relation to enrolment in faith schools is mistaken,” said Bishop Leo O’Reilly, who chairs the Hierarchy’s Education Commission.

It was like accusing the GAA of discrimination for giving preference to the supporters of Cork and Kerry when distributing tickets for the All-Ireland football final, he said.

Responses to Certian Questions

Responses to Certain Questions of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Concerning Artificial Nutrition and Hydration.

From the Vatican:

First question: Is the administration of food and water (whether by natural or artificial means) to a patient in a “vegetative state” morally obligatory except when they cannot be assimilated by the patient’s body or cannot be administered to the patient without causing significant physical discomfort?

Response: Yes. The administration of food and water even by artificial means is, in principle, an ordinary and proportionate means of preserving life. It is therefore obligatory to the extent to which, and for as long as, it is shown to accomplish its proper finality, which is the hydration and nourishment of the patient. In this way suffering and death by starvation and dehydration are prevented.

Second question: When nutrition and hydration are being supplied by artificial means to a patient in a “permanent vegetative state”, may they be discontinued when competent physicians judge with moral certainty that the patient will never recover consciousness?

Response: No. A patient in a “permanent vegetative state” is a person with fundamental human dignity and must, therefore, receive ordinary and proportionate care which includes, in principle, the administration of water and food even by artificial means.

And the Commentary.

A Remarkable Man

Cardinal Francois Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan, from the Associated Press:

Pope Benedict XVI expressed his support Monday for the beatification of a Vietnamese cardinal who spent 13 years in a communist prison camp before being sent in exile to Rome.

The pope met at his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo with members of the Vatican’s Justice and Peace commission, which Cardinal Francois Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan headed, on the fifth anniversary of his death from cancer. The pontiff also met with relatives of the cardinal and representatives of the Vietnamese community.

Before becoming ill, the cardinal — an inspirational figure for Vietnamese Catholics — was considered a possible candidate to succeed the late Pope John Paul II.

Church officials announced over the weekend that Van Thuan was being proposed as a candidate for beatification, a process that can lead to sainthood.

Benedict said he welcomed the beatification cause “with intimate joy,” praising the Vietnamese prelate as a “a man of hope, (who) lived from hope, and spread it to all those he met.” The pope recalled Van Thuan’s difficult years in his native Vietnam — including 13 years in a notorious “re-education” camp, nine of them in solitary confinement.

While in prison he was known for clinging to his faith and fashioning a Bible out of scraps of paper.

Coming to the USA: Pope Benedict

April 15th-20th, from the Catholic News Agency:

Details about Pope Benedict XVI’s much-anticipated apostolic journey to the United States next year have begun to emerge. Anticipated stops for the Pope’s first-ever US visit include, New York, Washington, Boston and possibly Baltimore. 

The tentatively scheduled April 15 to 20 trip is centered around a papal speech before the United Nations General Assembly in New York. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon personally invited the pontiff to address the UN.

However, plans for the voyage remain unconfirmed. George Weigel, in comments to CNA, said that “[i]f the Pope comes to the UN next spring, he’ll obviously do one or two other American cities.” “Nevertheless, there is no decision I’m aware of on which it would be.”

Sources familiar with the plans for the papal visit say that the pontiff will visit New York, where he will celebrate Mass at Central Park, give an address in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and pause for a moment of reflection at Ground Zero.

The trip, however, will reportedly begin in Washington, where the Pope is expected to meet with the president, visit Catholic University of America and say Mass on the National Mall. 

The last stop is Boston, where he is expected to address the sexual abuse scandal. His visit there would end with a Mass on Boston Common.

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