- The Washington Times - Friday, March 30, 2007

EL SALVADOR

Nation remembers archbishop’s slaying

SAN SALVADOR — Hundreds of Salvadorans marked the 27th anniversary of the assassination of Roman Catholic Archbishop Oscar Romero during the nation’s bloody civil war.

Archbishop Romero was gunned down on March 24, 1980, a day after calling on the military to halt its repressive tactics. The Vatican is currently considering him for sainthood.

A Mass was celebrated last Saturday at the same hospital chapel where the archbishop was slain with a single bullet while celebrating Mass. Worshippers then walked through the streets singing hymns, clutching roses and carrying placards with photos of the archbishop. The procession concluded at the Metropolitan Cathedral, where Archbishop Romero is buried.

During El Salvador’s 12-year civil war, the military was blamed for forming death squads that killed thousands of suspected guerrillas and leftist opponents of the military-led government.

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Bishops condemn theologian’s work

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has taken the unusual step of declaring pamphlets by a Marquette University theologian incompatible with church teaching.

Daniel Maguire last year distributed pamphlets to all the U.S. bishops titled “The Moderate Roman Catholic Position on Contraception and Abortion” and “A Catholic Defense of Same-Sex Marriage.”

The bishops’ doctrine committee said in a statement that Mr. Maguire gave his views wide distribution “as if they were a valid alternative to the teaching of the Catholic Church,” so the prelates felt it was important to publicly denounce his arguments.

Mr. Maguire teaches religious ethics at Marquette, a Jesuit school. He has been challenging the church’s views on sexuality for years.

In a March 23 response to the bishops, Mr. Maguire called church leaders “arrogant.” Marquette said in a statement that it agrees with the bishops that Mr. Maguire’s pamphlets are not in accord with Catholic teaching but Mr. Maguire has a right to express his views and, “as a tenured professor, he also has rights related to his academic discipline.”

NORTH CAROLINA

Five colleges plan to cut Baptist links

RALEIGH — The last five colleges and universities with ties to the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina are preparing to split with the group.

Some schools fear conservative Southern Baptist teachings, such as the vote last year by the North Carolina convention last year to ban homosexual-friendly churches from their organization.

“The denominations continue to set boundaries that are ever-changing, and it makes it difficult for universities to negotiate,” said Bill Leonard, Divinity School dean at Wake Forest University, which broke from the state Baptist convention years ago.

Advocates of separation also said the schools are increasingly attracting students with no Baptist ties. College administrators also want the freedom to pick trustees from other denominations and states. The five North Carolina schools are Campbell University in Buies Creek; Chowan University in Murfreesboro; Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs; Mars Hill College in Mars Hill and Wingate University in Wingate.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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