Legal eagle heads for Rome
POPE JOHN Paul II has named Cardinal Adam Maida of Detroit to serve as a member of the Vatican council responsible for canon law issues.
The cardinal's appointment to the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts was announced last week at the Vatican.
Cardinal Maida, whose appointment brings the number of the council's American members to two, has an extensive legal background.
In 1960, four years after his priestly ordination. he received a licentiate in canon law from Rome's Lateran University.
In 1964, he earned a civil law degree from Duquesne University's School of Law in Pittsburgh. He was admitted to practice law before the Bar of the State of Pennsylvania and before the US Supreme Court.
Over the years. he has edited and published Church law analyses of marriage annulments, labour issues, ownership and control of Church institutions, and Church finances and property. He has chaired the canon law committee of the US bishops' conference.
The cardinal also serves on the Vatican congregations for clergy and Catholic education, the council for migrants and travellers, and the fivemember commission of cardinals that oversees the Vatican bank.
The only other American member of the Vatican's church law council is Cardinal Francis Stafford, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity and former Archbishop of Denver.
Missionaries thanked by Pope
THE POPE has thanked the "Little Missionaries" for their work in spreading the Gospel.
John Paul II recalled the 160th anniversary of the Pontifical Missionary Society of Holy Childhood, a group that relies on youngsters for support to spread the Gospel.
The society proposes to children prayer and the offering of "gestures of concrete solidarity, even at the cost of personal sacrifice, for the good of their contemporaries who still do not know Jesus and live in difficult situations," the Pope said in St Peter's Square last week on the World Day of Missionary Childhood.
"I thank all these 'Little Missionaries' for their contribution to the spread of the Gospel and I hope that they will know how to witness to it every day with their life," he added.
Last year the "Little Missionaries" distributed more than $13 million in aid for 2,667 projects worldwide: 1,181 in Africa, 1,247 in Asia, 188 in the Americas, 30 in Oceania, and 21 in Europe.
Cuban activist meets John Paul
POPE JOHN Paul II has met with a leading Cuban human rights activist at the Vatican.
Oswaldo Paya Sardinas met the Pontiff briefly last week. A Catholic. he started the Christian Freedom Movement in 1987 and since 1998 has promoted the Varela Project, signed by more than 11,000 Cubans, seeking non-violent democratic reform in the communist nation.
Cuban leader Fidel Castro has ignored the petition, which calls for freedom of assembly and expression, free enterprise reforms and amnesty for political prisoners.
During a visit to Cuba in 1998, the Pope called for widespread social and moral reforms as an important element in the country's efforts to end its international isolation.