National Catholic Reporter
The Independent Newsweekly
Issue Date:  October 3, 2003


Bishop Walter F. Sullivan, who turned 75 June 10, has resigned from the Richmond, Va. diocese, which he has headed since 1974. In August, he stepped down after 12 years as bishop-president of Pax Christi USA. At a news conference Sept. 16, Sullivan said he had “three important things on my retirement agenda: I want to learn how to use a computer, learn to say Mass in Spanish and learn how to cook.”

Irshad Manji’s publisher, Random House, is seeking police protection for the Canadian author who has come under fire for her provocative new book, The Trouble with Islam: A Wake-Up Call for Honesty and Change. The book came out in Germany and Canada in September and will appear next year in Britain, France, the United States, Australia and elsewhere. Calling Islam fundamentally anti-Semitic, anti-feminist, racist and anti-homosexual, Manji, who is gay, further contends the faith needs to open itself up to discussion, debate and dissent.

Roy Moore, the suspended Alabama Chief Justice, says he will offer his Ten Commandments monument to Congress for display in the U.S. Capitol. Installation of the monument at the Alabama state judicial building and Moore’s refusal to remove it brought about his suspension. He said if Congress accepted the monument, it “would send a message to federal courts that we, the people, have the final word on our inalienable right to acknowledge God.”

Tetsu Nakamura, a 56-year-old Japanese medical doctor who has worked the past two decades in a hospital in Peshawar, northern Pakistan, received the Magsaysay Award for Peace and International Understanding in Manila. Sept. 4. The Magsaysay award is sometimes called “the Asian Nobel Prize.” His first three years were the fiercest years of the war in Afghanistan between the occupying Soviet forces and the anti-communist mujahedeen. About 3 million Afghan refugees streamed over the border into Pakistan and the hospital ran a mobile clinic for the refugees. Read a full-length feature about Nakamura on

Catherine Bertini, former executive director of the World Food Program and a current U.N. undersecretary general, will receive the $250,000 World Food Prize for 2003. According to the prize foundation, Bertini transformed the World Food Program from a development assistance organization into the largest and most responsive humanitarian relief organization in the world, delivering food aid to 700 million people in more than 100 countries during her 10-year term. She pioneered issuing food aid through women to ensure widespread and effective distribution. She will receive the prize Oct. 13 in Des Moines, Iowa.

Bishop Jose Camnate na Bissign of Guinea-Bissau, a West African nation that was rocked by a military coup Sept. 13, has been appointed to head a 16-member committee tasked with forming a transitional government and helping return the impoverished country to democratic rule. Catholics represent a tiny minority of the country’s 1.4 million people, who are mostly Muslim or followers of traditional African religions.

Johnny Cash, the country singer who died Sept. 12, was mourned by the Rev. Billy Graham, who called Cash “deeply religious.” Graham said, “He and [wife] June [Carter Cash] came to a number of our crusades over a period of many years. Ruth and I took a number of personal vacations with them at their home in Jamaica and in other places. They both were like a brother and sister to Ruth and me.”

Fr. Paolo Turturro, one of Italy’s most famous Mafia-fighting priests, has been ordered to leave Palermo by prosecutors investigating accusations that he sexually abused at least two 10-year-old boys. Magistrates investigating the case said the priest posed a danger to children and could impede the investigation if allowed to remain in Palermo.

National Catholic Reporter, October 3, 2003

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