National Catholic Reporter
The Independent Newsweekly
This week's stories | Home Page
Issue Date:  February 27, 2004


Bishop Meng Ziwen of Nanning, who lives in Guigang, rural southeast China, says farmers in his region are not particularly worried about the bird flu sweeping much of Asia. “People like us in rural areas feed herbal tea to the poultry if the birds are sick with influenza,” said the 101-year-old bishop and traditional herbalist. He said he makes a drink that includes the root banlangen and dandelion flowers as main ingredients.

Fr. Scott Mansfield of New Mexico, who said during a funeral sermon that the man he was burying had been a “lukewarm” Catholic who was already in hell, cannot be sued, a judge has ruled. The family of the late Ben Martinez sued Mansfield last year for emotional distress. Judge Stephen Pfeffer ruled Jan. 23 that a secular court cannot intervene in matters of doctrine. “For thousands of years, churches have been making judgments against people,” Pfeffer said. “Dante’s ‘Inferno’ has been talking about sending people to hell for many a year.”

Maryknoll Fr. Raymond Nobiletti, pastor of Transfiguration Parish in New York City, has received the Chinatown YMCA’s Community Missionary Service Award. Nobiletti was a missionary in Hong Kong for 15 years, and has been at the Chinatown church for more than 12 years. The parish’s immigration and emergency services help immigrants get into the mainstream of the community. Nobiletti said his time at Transfiguration has been “as much of a mission experience to me as any I have seen in the world.”

Jon Kitna, the Cincinnati Bengals’ quarterback fined by the NFL last year for wearing a baseball-style cap embroidered with a simple, white cross (NCR, Jan. 16) won’t have to pay, the football league has announced. Kitna was fined $5,000 for wearing unauthorized headgear too close to game time during a television interview in December. A local religious goods shop sold several thousand similar caps at $5 a piece over the next couple of weeks. The NFL did not say why the fine was rescinded.

National Catholic Reporter, February 27, 2004

This Week's Stories | Home Page | Top of Page
Copyright  © The National Catholic Reporter Publishing  Company, 115 E. Armour Blvd., Kansas City, MO   64111
All rights reserved.
TEL:  816-531-0538     FAX:  1-816-968-2280   Send comments about this Web site to: