Archive for July, 2010

By Carol Glatz Catholic News Service

This is a view of the lower level of the ancient Mamertine prison in Rome. Tradition holds that St. Peter was imprisoned here before he was crucified. The prison was built over a natural spring. Prisoners were dumped onto the watery floor from the hole i n the ceiling. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Tradition holds that St. Peter was jailed in Rome’s maximum security Mamertine Prison before he was crucified upside down and buried on the hill where St. Peter’s Basilica was later built.

And now after recent excavations in Rome’s oldest prison, archaeologists say they have uncovered evidence that, while not providing direct proof, does support that belief.

The prison, which lies beneath the Church of St. Joseph of the Carpenters facing the Roman Forum, was closed for the past year as experts dug up old floors and picked away plaster.

They found and restored a 14th-century fresco of Jesus with his arm around a smiling St. Peter and an 11th-century fresco of Jesus with the oldest known image of the Campidoglio, Rome’s city hall, behind him.

Patrizia Fortini from the city of Rome’s department of archaeological heritage led the excavation and restoration project. She told journalists July 27 they found proof that the site had been a place for venerating St. Peter by the seventh century, lending support to historical accounts that he had been incarcerated there.

The prison has two levels: the upper chamber called the “Carcer” and the lower chamber called the “Tullianum,” which was built in the sixth century B.C.

In the Tullianum, Fortini said, they found “traces of a basin that must have been where water was collected — water which, according to tradition, sprang forth after St. Peter pounded on the stone floor.” (more…)

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By Dennis Sadowski Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Now that financial reform legislation has been signed into law, the focus is shifting to ensure that the legislation works as intended.

In the minds of financial reform proponents, that means adopting strong rules that allow government agencies to carry out their now-mandated watchdog role, protect average people in their financial transactions and end the casino mentality they say dominated markets before the worldwide economic free fall started in late 2007. (more…)

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When faced with deciding what kind of project she would pursue to receive her Gold Award in Girl Scouting, Jenny Hernandez looked back to her childhood for inspiration.

“I remember when I was a little kid I was always outside running around and playing games. With all the technology available it got me thinking that kids don’t realize how much fun they can have outside and also how healthy it is,” Hernandez said. (more…)

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By Catholic News Service

A man prays during a vigil protest against Arizona's controversial S.B. 1070 immigration law outside the state capitol in Phoenix July 28. (CNS photo/Joshua Lott, Reuters)

PHOENIX (CNS) — Arizona’s Catholic bishops commended a July 28 ruling that blocked enforcement of the most controversial sections of the state’s contentious immigration law a day before it takes effect.

They also voiced a hope “that reaction to (the) ruling will be expressed only in peaceful and legal ways.”

Los Angeles Cardinal Roger M. Mahony also praised the ruling. “This entire Arizona attempt to deal with various immigration issues outside federal law reveals once again the level of frustration across the country that the U.S. Congress will not deal with the pressing issue of needed immigration reform,” he said. (more…)

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Por Catholic News Service

SANTIAGO, Chile (CNS) — El presidente chileno Sebastián Piñera dijo que emitir un amplio indulto para los reclusos en prisiones basado en una propuesta de los obispos católicos no sería ni prudente ni apropiado, pero acordó considerar los casos humanitarios individualmente. (more…)

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Parts of Arizona’s immigration law were blocked from taking effect July 28 by a federal judge.

The overall law will still take effect July 29, but without certain provisions including sections that required officers to check a person’s immigration status while enforcing other laws. (more…)

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By Judith Sudilovsky Catholic News Service

BEIT SAHOUR, West Bank (CNS) –The demonstration began after Sunday Mass. Well-dressed women, men and children holding Palestinian flags and banners strolled leisurely up the windy hillside. They passed a small playground and continued toward an abandoned Israeli army outpost on the outskirts of the largely Christian town of Beit Sahour to protest against a feared reoccupation of the site by the Israeli army at the behest of Israeli settlers. (more…)

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