National Catholic Reporter
The Independent Newsweekly
Issue Date:  January 16, 2004


Willie Nelson, the country and western music icon, wrote a Christmas song, “Whatever Happened to Peace on Earth?” after watching news reports on the Iraq war Christmas Day. He debuted the song at a rally for Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich Jan. 3. The song opens with the line: “How much oil is one life worth?” and its chorus is: “Hell they won’t lie to me/Not on my own damn TV/But how much is a liar’s word worth/And whatever happened to peace on earth?” Nelson, 70, is up for five awards at the Grammys this year.

Jon Kitna, the Cincinnati Bengals quarterback, was fined $5,000 last month for wearing unauthorized headgear too close to game time during a television interview. Kitna wore a black cap with a simple, white embroidered cross -- a symbol of the Pro Bowl quarterback’s devotion to Jesus. Upon learning of the NFL’s decision, owners of The Catholic Shop in a Cincinnati suburb decided they would begin selling the caps for $5 a pop. They’ve sold more than 4,000 of the caps in about a week.

Jesuit Fr. John Dear, 44, confronted 75 members of a National Guard battalion as they drilled in a parking lot across from his parish church in Spring, N.M., in late 2003. The troops were preparing for deployment to Iraq. “In the name of God, I order all of you to stop this nonsense, and not go to Iraq,” Dear told them. “I want all of you to quit the military, disobey your orders to kill and not to kill. I don’t want you to be killed.” The guardsmen responded with bewildered expressions and a few chuckles.

Cardinal Juan Sandoval Iñiguez of Guadalajara, Mexico, will not be prosecuted for money laundering. Former attorney general Jorge Carpizo had accused Sandoval of working with drug traffickers, but investigators said Dec. 26 they found no evidence of wrongdoing. Church officials said Sandoval was being framed for seeking justice in the murder of his predecessor, Cardinal Juan Jesús Posadas Ocampo, who was gunned down in the Guadalajara airport in 1993. Sandoval says Posadas was killed to conceal ties between drug traffickers and the government. Carpizo has said the cardinal was killed by accident during a showdown between drug traffickers.

National Catholic Reporter, January 16, 2004

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