Last-minute change for Archbishop-designate DiNoia’s episcopal ordination

In case you were expecting to see Spanish Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera as one of the ordaining bishops at the episcopal ordination of Archbishop-designate J. Augustine DiNoia tomorrow in Washington, think again.

The cardinal, who is the prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, experienced “visa difficulties” and could not board the plane in Rome, according to Susan Gibbs, spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of Washington.

Retired Archbishop Thomas C. Kelly of Louisville, Ky., will step in. Archbishop Kelly, who was already planning on attending, was Archbishop-designate DiNoia’s spiritual adviser as a seminarian at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington.

After his episcopal ordination, the archbishop-designate will become secretary of the worship congregation. He says “oodles” of his family members will be in attendance for the ceremony at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, as well as more than 100 Dominican priests, four cardinals and at least a dozen bishops.

Pope gives Obama bioethics document

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI gave President Barack Obama a surprise gift this evening: a copy of the Vatican’s document on bioethics and human dignity, which was published in December.


Illustration of an early stage human embryo (CNS)

The document, “Dignitas Personae” (“The Dignity of a Person”), was issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Strangely enough, about four hours before Obama arrived, I was in the Vatican bookstore. While I was trying to pay, the cashier was interrupted by a phone call and she made me wait while she went to the shelves. She pulled  the last two English copies of the document off the shelf and put them on her desk.

Msgr. Georg Ganswein, the pope’s personal secretary, told reporters the document would help Obama understand the church’s reasoning behind its efforts to protect human life at every stage of its development.

Families increasingly homeless, HUD study finds

Homelessness among families jumped 9 percent in 2008, the Department of Housing and Urban Development reported.

Homelessness for families grew primarily in rural and suburban areas of the country, the agency said.

Members of homeless families now make up nearly a third of all homeless people in the country, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan told reporters during a July 9 telephone conference.

In releasing the agency’s Annual Homeless Assessment Report, Donovan said statistics showed that 1.4 million people were homeless for at least one night in 2008.

On one night in January 2008, when HUD conducts its annual census of homeless people,  the report showed that 664,000 people were without shelter or a bed.

The highest concentrations of homeless people were found in California, Hawaii, Nevada and Oregon.

Half of all homeless people were in four states — California, Florida, Michigan and New York. Twenty percent of all homeless people were in Detroit, Los Angeles and New York City.

The full report will be posted at some point on the HUD Web site at

Donovan told reporters in a telephone conference call that the number of people who are homeless held steady between 2007 and 2008, but that data was collected before the full impact of the housing crisis hit last year.

The secretary also announced that $1.5 billion was being released through the Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-housing Program to local communities to offer assistance to families and individuals who are facing homelessness or are already homeless.

The money is part of the $787 billion economic stimulus package passed by Congress in February.

CNS will provide additional coverage of the issue of homelessness in the coming weeks.