Posts about “Religion/Spirituality” Category
About 200 people stayed at the Dos Pueblos High School evacuation center in Goleta last night. Among them was Monsignor John Christopher Yanek, who’s retired from the clergy.
He was forced to leave his craftsman-style house at Foothill and Mission Canyon Road in Santa Barbara. Yanek says he believes his house survived the fire, despite the fact that it’s made of 100-year-old wood.
John Christopher Yanek: “The fire came down the hill, we lost our garage with the granny unit above, but miraculously the fire split and went around the house on either side and spared the main house with the chapel inside.”
Yanek says that earlier this week he observed the Feast of St. Florian, the patron saint of firefighters.
Los Angeles’ Roman Catholic Archdiocese is facing another civil lawsuit that alleges clergy sexual abuse. The priest named in this suit has already been convicted. He’s spent time behind bars and he’s been deported to his native Colombia.
Lawyers for the victim are suing the Catholic Church in Los Angeles and in Rome. Attorney John Manly told reporters that church officials should have known the priest was a pedophile before the Vatican sent him to Los Angeles.
John Manly: “We want to know what they knew before they sent him here. We want to know what the archdiocese knew. This guy does not just get here and get caught.
“He was here for a couple of years. He was taking this boy in the rectory. He was taking him on trips. He was taking other boys. He was spending all his time with boys. And they knew. And they did nothing.”
The Los Angeles Archdiocese hasn’t returned a call for comment. A jury convicted Reverend Fernando Lopez-Lopez of molesting several boys. The victim in this case was 14 when the abuse happened; he’s 21 years old now.
A Newport Beach congregation that split from the Los Angeles Episcopal Diocese wants the U.S. Supreme Court to decide who owns the parish’s property. KPCC’s Frank Stoltze has more.
Frank Stoltze: St. James Church left the diocese five years ago after the Episcopal Church consecrated a gay bishop in New Hampshire. The congregation took church property with it.
In January, the state supreme court ruled that the property belonged to the Episcopal diocese. Later, the court modified its opinion and effectively sent the case back to an Orange County trial judge.
Lawyers for St. James say they’ll ask the U.S. Supreme Court to decide the issue. Chapman University Law School dean John Eastman, who’s representing St. James, said the question of who owns church property should be settled nationwide before local cases go to trial.
Three other breakaway parishes in Southern California face similar issues. They’re All Saints of Long Beach, St. David’s in North Hollywood, and St. Luke’s of the Mountain Church in La Crescenta.
A funeral service took place today for Dr. Hassan Hathout, a prominent Muslim leader in the Southland. KPCC’s Brian Watt reports.
Brian Watt: For 20 years Doctor Hathout, a devout Muslim, worked at the Islamic Center of Southern California to build bridges between Muslims, Jews, and Christians. He also co-founded the Interfaith Council of Southern California.
Doctor Hathout was born in Egypt 84 years ago. He studied medicine in Scotland and taught in Kuwait before he emigrated to the United States in the 1980s.
He co-founded the International Organization of Medical Sciences. The group provides guidance to religious and secular professionals on controversial medical issues including abortion and genetic engineering.
Hathout’s Web site calls him a physician, ethicist, and poet, a man of God, and a man of love.
Eleven years ago, he delivered the sermon at the first White House celebration of Eid al-Fitr, the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Dr. Hassan Hathout died Saturday at his home in Pasadena.
The annual blessing of the animals at Olvera Street near downtown Los Angeles is scheduled for tomorrow afternoon. Landscape designer Katherine Parra plans to take Miles, her one-and-a-half year old silver miniature poodle. From her L.A. studio Parra spoke with KPCC’s Patricia Nazario about what the blessing means to her.
Katherine Parra: “This is the design room, the drafting table, the drawing table. Back over in here, I have all my reference books. [She calls dog] Miles. Good boy.
“You know, if I’m having a bad day, Miles, he’s just come sit down next to me or lay down next to me and leans up against me, as if he could say, “I’m here. I’m supporting you. It’s OK. Pet me!”
“The value for me in having him blessed is our animals are so special to us. They love us so much. Even though he might not know what’s happening on Saturday by being blessed, to me it’s like saying this is how much I love you and how much I cherish your companionship and your time with me.
“I think the microphone reminds him of his stuff toy, so he wants to tear all the stuffing out.” [Sound of dog attacking mic]
Roman Catholic Cardinal Roger Mahony is scheduled to deliver the blessings at the 79th annual procession of animals. The 2 o’clock event will start with a cow wearing colorful flowers. It starts the parade, because tradition says that of all the animals, the cow gives the most to humanity.
The 79th annual Blessing of the Animals at Olvera Street near downtown Los Angeles is scheduled for tomorrow.
L.A. landscape designer Katherine Parra plans to take her one-and-a-half year old miniature poodle Miles. Parra referred to the Old Testament story of Noah to explain why she wants to honor her pet this way.
Katherine Parra: “Why were the animals saved on the ark then? What was the point if they don’t have a place? It isn’t just to serve us. It’s also for companionship. So, no, I don’t think it’s going too far at all to have your animals blessed, any animal.”
The event will start at 2 tomorrow afternoon with a parade led by a cow wearing colorful flowers. Roman Catholic Cardinal Roger Mahony is scheduled to deliver the blessings.
Investigators are piecing together the motive behind a fatal shooting last night at a Korean religious retreat near Temecula. KPCC’s Steve Julian says the suspect was well known among the guests.
Steve Julian: Police say the man who shot two people, killing a woman, is in his early 70s and called Uncle by many at the center. It’s not yet clear why he allegedly shot two people and got into a fight with another couple, but it was that fight that injured the suspect, who’s now hospitalized.
Officers were stymied by a language barrier when they arrived at the Korean Retreat Camp in Temecula, about an hour’s drive north of San Diego. The campground is one of four U.S. branches of the Kkottongnae Brothers and Sisters of Jesus, a Roman Catholic organization that serves the poor and homeless. It’s in a rural part of southern Riverside County in a region known for its wine production.
A shooting last night at a Korean Christian Center in southern Riverside County has left one person dead and a few others injured. KPCC’s Steve Julian says investigators are working to figure out the motive.
Steve Julian: The center is a mile up a winding road near Temecula, known as one of California’s prominent wine regions. Officers found one woman dead of gunshot wounds and a man who’d been shot and who’s now hospitalized.
Inside another lodging trailer, police say they found a couple whose injuries were consistent with defending themselves. It was here, officers say, where the suspect was injured. He’s in his early 70s, well known at the center – many people there call him Uncle.
The retreat is one of four U.S. branches of the Kkottongnae Brothers and Sisters of Jesus, a Roman Catholic organization dedicated to serving the poor and homeless. It was founded in 1976 in South Korea. The retreat is about 85 miles southeast of Los Angeles in Riverside County.
President Obama has appointed a prominent Southland minister to his advisory council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. KPCC’s Cheryl Devall says Bishop Charles Blake leads one of Los Angeles’ largest African-American congregations.
Cheryl Devall: About 24,000 people call West Angeles Church of God in Christ their spiritual home. In the 40 years that Charles Blake has headed the congregation, he’s expanded its ministries that include a day school, prison outreach, and a bookstore.
Blake also supervised the construction of the West Angeles Cathedral on Crenshaw Boulevard in South L.A. In addition, he’s the presiding bishop of the 6 million member Church of God in Christ, a Memphis-based Pentecostal denomination.
For a one-year term, Blake will join 24 other religious and nonprofit leaders to advise President Barack Obama’s faith-based initiatives. President George W. Bush established the office to lower the legal and institutional barriers that prevented government and faith-based groups from working as partners. Through the office, the Obama administration plans to emphasize neighborhood and religious leaders’ advancement of federal anti-poverty efforts.
Roman Catholic Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles made a rare court appearance yesterday. He testified in a clergy sexual abuse case in Fresno. KPCC’s Steve Julian has more.
Steve Julian: Two brothers – George and Howard Santillan – sued the central California diocese over abuse they claim happened from 1959 through 1973. During many of those years, Mahony was a high ranking administrator in Fresno – and he supervised the accused priest and had access to secret files.
The brothers claim now-Monsignor Anthony Herdegen molested them in his bedroom; their attorney claimed Herdegen’s housekeeper knew the boys were alone with the priest. Cardinal Mahony testified that he could not recall any allegation of sexual abuse.
He added that the church, in those days, looked upon such occurrences as “spiritual failures.” Now, he says, the church knows that’s not an appropriate response. The U.S. Catholic church has paid out more than $2.6 billion in settlements related to molestation claims.
Los Angeles’ Roman Catholic Cardinal Roger Mahony testified today in a sexual abuse case in Fresno. Mahony is not a defendant in the case brought by two brothers who say a priest molested them repeatedly over 14 years.
Garance Burke, a reporter for the Associated Press, told KPCC’s “Patt Morrison” that the cardinal had worked in Fresno for some of the years the plaintiffs claimed they were abused.
Garance Burke: “The cardinal has said that he knew nothing of sexual abuse during the time he was a high ranking administrator in the Fresno Diocese during the years that George and Howard Santillan claimed they were molested.”
Mahony has testified only once before, 11 years ago, in a case related to clergy sexual abuse. A federal grand jury is investigating his and other Catholic leaders’ handling of hundreds of abuse allegations in the Diocese of Los Angeles.
Spiritual leaders from around the globe are gathering in the desert near Palm Springs this weekend. KPCC’s Steven Cuevas says they’re there to examine the spiritual challenges facing the economy and the environment.
Steven Cuevas: Just what does it take to re-ignite our “divine connection” with Mother Earth’s sacred cycles? Is our quest for more money and better technology severing our ties to humanity? Those just a couple of the heady spiritual conundrums a group of global sages will try to enlighten people about at the Interspiritual Conference in Joshua Tree.
The conference will feature healers and shamans representing ancient spiritual traditions from Mexico, Africa, the Pacific Islands, and elsewhere. Many believe the global economic crisis stems in part from a global spiritual crisis.
[Music: Lei’ohu Ryder singing]
Among those participating is Lei’ohu Ryder, a traditional Hawaiian singer and peace worker.
Lei’ohu Ryder: We are called in service to uplift humanity and life as one, and yes we are not denying that there are many things out there in our world that are catastrophic, that are pulling at life. But we are also here to remember that our stories as humanity have taught us to be one breath of life.
[Music: Lei’ohu Ryder singing]
Cuevas: The Interspiritual Conference runs through Sunday at the Joshua Tree Retreat and Wellness Center.
California scientists say the state is well-positioned to take advantage of any new federal dollars for human embryonic stem-cell research. President Obama announced today he’s lifting restrictions on federal backing for that research. KPCC’s Frank Stoltze reports.
Frank Stoltze: Bob Klein of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine says lifting restrictions on human embryonic stem-cell research will help clear the way for collaboration with British scientists. He says those scientists are using embryonic stem cells to cure blindness in large animals.
Bob Klein: They are successfully curing blindness in these animals, so we would hope to collaborate with them and California institutions, and bring that research to U.S. human clinical trials at a much earlier date, perhaps as early as 2011.
Stoltze: Some conservative Christian groups remain opposed to the use of human embryonic stem cells for research. Carrie Gordon Earll of Focus on the Family compares such cells to human beings.
Carrie Gordon Earll: We have prisoners that are going to die anyway. They might make excellent research subjects. But we are not going to conduct experiments on them because they are members of the human family.
Stoltze: California is a leader in stem cell research. The state’s Institute for Regenerative Medicine has provided close to $700 million for stem cell research since voters approved its launch three years ago.
Saturday’s the night: It’s time to “spring forward” and set your clocks and watches ahead one hour before you go to bed. At 2 a.m. Sunday, Daylight Saving Time officially begins, adding an extra hour of daylight.
Reverend Richard Bentley, Pastor of First United Methodist Church in Alhambra, says at this time of year, he prays that everyone in his congregation gets the message.
Reverend Richard Bentley: “Years ago, we used to make a bigger deal of reminding them. These days, we just put it in the bulletin and hope that it all works out.”
Before the federal Energy Policy Act of 2005, Daylight Saving used to begin on the first Sunday in April. Reverend Bentley says that made for some tense moments.
Bentley: “The biggest challenge I remember were the years when we’d… when it was Easter and you’d have like this 6 a.m. service and the time would change and you’d (laughs) have to get there at 5 and stand there and wondering if anybody was going to get there at all.”
In case you’re wondering, Daylight Saving Time is observed in every state except Arizona and Hawaii.
- March 6, 2009 5:36 PM
- Categories: Religion/Spirituality
The head of a Southern California Muslim group says he and other Muslims feel betrayed by allegations that the FBI used an informant to infiltrate Southern California mosques. Craig Monteilh claims the FBI paid him to identify and thwart terrorist operations in the Orange County Islamic community.
Hussam Ayloush is executive director of the Greater L.A. Council on American-Islamic Relations. He told KPCC’s Larry Mantle that Monteilh was more instigator than informant.
Hussam Ayloush: “At a same time when we’re promoting a partnership – with our law enforcement – for the sake for national security, our FBI were hiring shady characters and individuals to try to instigate against the Muslim community.
“And instigate acts of violence to ruin the reputation of the Muslim community. We feel very betrayed by this very unprofessional behavior.”
Ayloush notes that Monteilh had been convicted of grand theft and forgery in the past. Monteilh claims he was gathering information on Ahmadullah Niazi.
He’s an Afghan national who authorities arrested last week on charges of lying on documents about his alleged connections to terrorist groups. Niazi denies the charges. The FBI has not confirmed Monteih’s claims.
A Muslim group says its members are angry and disillusioned with the FBI. The statement by the L.A. office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations follows allegations by an Irvine man that he functioned as a paid FBI informant at several Southern California mosques.
Craig Monteilh claims he recorded one man, Ahmadullah Niazi, talking about plans to blow up local buildings. But Jarir Saaeoun told KPCC’s Larry Mantle that he used to attend an Irvine mosque with Monteilh – and he thinks the alleged informant was an instigator.
Jarir Saaeoun: “There’s been, like, many times when he’s come and asked about jihad and verses in the Koran, what do they mean, how can we implement them, and what sort of things like that.”
Saeeoun also said he never heard Niazi make any kind of extremist comments. Authorities arrested Niazi, an Afghan national, last week, claiming that he’d lied on passport and citizenship applications about his alleged connections to terrorist groups.
Niazi has denied being a jihadist. He claims the FBI is retaliating against him because he refused to become an informant.
The nomination of Congresswoman Hilda Solis for Secretary of Labor is stalled in the Senate. During a mid-day Mass today, worshipers at downtown L.A.’s La Placita Catholic Church prayed for the process to move forward. KPCC’s Brian Watt reports.
Brian Watt: Father Richard Estrada began the Spanish-language service by asking how many people knew Congresswoman Solis. Most in the crowd of a hundred raised their hands.
Once the praying and singing were over, two dozen parishioners phoned members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee in Washington. Sixty-two-year-old Maria Luna of Boyle Heights placed one of the first calls to support the El Monte Congresswoman she’s seen a lot at the church.
Maria Luna: She’s working for a long time, for the poor, the workers, for the families, for the union of the families. She is very important person for us.
Watt: President Obama’s nomination of Hilda Solis as his Labor Secretary hit a wall last week, when reports surfaced about tax liens against her husband’s business. The congregants at La Placita say the Senate should focus on Solis’ qualifications, not on her husband’s tax troubles.
Parishioners at La Placita Catholic Church in downtown L.A. sent phone calls – and some prayers – to the U.S. Senate today The church dedicated its midday mass to the congresswoman Hilda Solis. The El Monte Democrat’s nomination to be secretary of labor is stalled in the Senate.
When mass was over, two-dozen churchgoers and labor activists phoned members of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. Father Richard Estrada says they should move ahead now with the Solis nomination.
Father Richard Estrada: “Our country is in dire need of a leader, especially in the field of employment, of jobs, of the worker. And as secretary of labor, I think that President Obama picked the right person.”
Obama’s nomination of Solis is held up in the Senate over concerns about her husband’s tax problems.
The big transition from analog to digital television was supposed to be complete next week. But Congress has voted to delay the deadline until June. That gave millions of households not yet ready for the switch four more months to buy new televisions, subscribe to cable or satellite TV, or buy digital-to-analog converter boxes.
Federal Communications Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein is touring the Southland to ask churches and neighborhood groups for help with preparing in more households for digital TV.
Jonathan Adelstein: “The government does not have in place a field operation to make sure that people that can’t do this for themselves have help in their homes if they need it.
“Not everybody wants a stranger coming into their home. They trust members of their congregation, and that’s a particularly good source of help for those that need it.”
Adelstein spoke with pastors at Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist Church in South Los Angeles, and to more than 100 people at the West Covina Senior Center. He said Los Angeles is home to more over-the-air TV watchers – that is, viewers without cable or satellite – than any other city in the country.
Thunderstorms won’t be the only thing rumbling through the Inland Empire this weekend. More than a hundred Christian motorcycle riders will roar across local freeways in what they call a “praying procession” for the region’s battered economy. KPCC’s Steven Cuevas has details.
Steven Cuevas: It’s the second time a coalition of Inland churches has hosted the “Ride and Pray” event. Bikers will fan out across the region from Riverside to Yucaipa delivering prayer and ministry to people in financial and emotional distress. Riders will wear t-shirts emblazoned with a message the churches have already been sending through a yard sign and billboard campaign.
Debbie Hornsby: It says, “Cast your cares on him, for he cares for you. Give your life to Jesus.”
Cuevas: Pastor Debbie Hornsby is one of the ride’s organizers.
Hornsby: I think our heart is just, that if we can get the word out there that Inland people are hurting, they’ll begin to turn to churches and begin to say to their neighbor, ‘Who has that yard sign? Y’know, I’m really struggling. What’s that sign all about?” And then that opens the door for people to love them and share the gospel with them.
Cuevas: Sunday afternoon, “Ride and Pray” participants will steer their choppers into the Stater Bros. parking lot in Fontana for the 1:00 start. The lot is just off the 15 Freeway at Summit Avenue. There’ll be six more rides through the summer.
Cardinal Roger Mahony says he’s puzzled by reports that he’s under investigation. The Los Angeles Times reports that U.S. Attorney Thomas O’Brien has launched a federal grand jury investigation into the way L.A.’s Roman Catholic cardinal dealt with priests accused of sexual abuse.
Two sources told the Times that the investigation is looking into whether Mahony committed fraud by failing to remove the priests from direct contact with children. L.A. Archdiocese spokesman Tod Tamberg told KPCC’s “AirTalk” he’s frustrated by the leaks.
Tod Tamberg: “We kind of are wondering why this was done, who did it, what their purpose was, and none of us really know what the focus of this investigation is about.”
Tamberg said the Archdiocese knew that subpoenas had been issued, but added that his understanding is that Mahony is not the target of the investigation.
The Times reports that authorities are seeking to use a federal statute that makes it illegal to scheme to deprive others of the “right of honest services.” Under that theory, the idea is that Mahony was responsible for keeping children safe from abusive priests.
The U.S. Attorney in Los Angeles has reportedly launched a federal grand jury investigation into Roman Catholic Cardinal Roger Mahony. But a spokesman for the L.A. Archdiocese is denying that Mahony is the target.
Two law enforcement sources told the Los Angeles Times that the investigation focuses on whether Mahony committed fraud by failing to adequately deal with priests who were accused of sexual abuse.
KPCC’s Larry Mantle asked Archdiocese spokesman Tod Tamberg about Mahony’s reaction to the report.
Tod Tamberg: “Well, the cardinal has said he’s puzzled and I think I would add to that, there’s a sense of frustration here in the way that this investigation has been brought to light.”
In a statement yesterday, Mahony’s attorney called for an internal investigation into the leak.
The Times reports that authorities are using a novel legal theory as part of their investigation. They’re trying to determine whether Mahony deprived parishioners of the right to honest services. The federal statute usually applies to people who defraud others of money.
The Los Angeles Times says the U.S. Attorney in Los Angeles has launched a grand jury investigation into Cardinal Roger Mahony and the clergy sexual abuse scandal in the L.A. Archdiocese. KPCC’s Nick Roman has more.
Nick Roman: The L.A. Times reports that federal prosecutors intend to pursue a novel legal theory in this case. They’re looking into whether Cardinal Mahony committed fraud as he dealt with allegations of sexual abuse by priests.
Abuse victims have claimed for years that Mahony and others within the Roman Catholic Archdiocese covered up the scandal by moving priests from parish to parish. To get a criminal case into court, federal prosecutors would have to show that Mahony used mail or other communication to deprive Catholics in L.A. of “honest services.”
The L.A. Times refers to information from two law enforcement sources who are familiar with the investigation, but who refused to speak on the record.
An attorney for the cardinal says federal prosecutors have contacted the Archdiocese. He says church officials will cooperate with them. He also says he’s been told that Cardinal Mahony is not a target of the investigation.
LINK: L.A. Times article
A prominent Los Angeles Jewish leader is urging Pope Benedict the 16th to quiet a controversial Roman Catholic bishop and to reaffirm the church’s position on the Holocaust.
Rabbi Marvin Hier of the Simon Wiesenthal Center today challenged British bishop Richard Williamson’s assertion that the Nazis had not killed millions of Jews in gas chambers during World War II.
Rabbi Marvin Hier: “How ironic, in the same week when nations of the world gather to commemorate the extermination of the Jews, a bishop in the Catholic Church rises and says, ‘It didn’t happen.’”
Rabbi Hier was referring to the official commemoration of Holocaust Memorial Day tomorrow at the United Nations. Bishop Williamson made his remarks in a Swedish state TV interview last week, days before the pope reinstated him and three other traditionalist bishops the church had ex-communicated.
Since the controversy over the Holocaust denier arose, Pope Benedict defended that action but told the Vatican’s official newspaper that the bishop’s statements violate Catholic teaching.
- January 26, 2009 1:13 PM
- Categories: Religion/Spirituality
Hundreds of African-Americans at First AME Church in South Los Angeles shared applause, laughter and cheers during President Barack Obama’s Inauguration today. That was especially true as civil rights leader Reverend Joseph Lowery concluded his benediction. Here’s the moment:
Reverend Joseph Lowery: “And in the joy of a new beginning, we ask you to help us work for that day when black would not have to get back. (Audience gasps) When brown can stick around. (Applause) When yellow will be mellow. (Laughter) When the Red Man can get ahead, man. (Cheers) And when White will embrace what is right. (Screams and applause) Will all those who do justice and love mercy say, “Amen.”
Lowery: “Say Amen.”
Lowery: “And Amen.”
Note: KPCC’s Patricia Nazario captured the moment during this morning’s prayer breakfast at First AME Church. Obama spoke at the iconic South L.A. congregation a year and a half ago… long before he’d become the Democratic Party’s nominee. Back then he asked worshippers to help him win the White House.
Amid the celebration that marked President Barack Obama’s Inauguration, Saddleback Church Pastor Rick Warren reminded those present not to lose sight of humility when they fall short.
Rick Warren: “When we focus on ourselves. When we fight each other and we forget you, forgive us. When we presume that our greatness and our prosperity is ours alone, forgive us. When we fail to treat our fellow human beings and all the earth with the respect that they deserve, forgive us.”
The new president chose Warren, one of the country’s most influential evangelical ministers, to offer the invocation after the two became friends during the long campaign for the White House.
The pastor of Orange County’s Saddleback Church, Rick Warren, delivered the invocation at this morning’s Inauguration.
Warren told the listening crowd that Barack Obama’s election as the nation’s first black president represents a “hingepoint of history.”
Rick Warren: “We are so grateful to live in this land, a land of unequaled possibility where the son of an African immigrant can rise to the highest level of our leadership. And we know today that Dr. King and a cloud of witnesses are shouting in heaven.”
Warren is a nationally known evangelical minister. He was a controversial choice to deliver the invocation. Gay rights and liberal groups have been upset at Warren over his support of Proposition 8, the voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage in California.
Orange County Pastor Rick Warren will take center stage at Tuesday’s presidential Inauguration when he offers the invocation. KPCC’s Frank Stoltze reports.
Frank Stoltze: Warren heads Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, one of the largest evangelical congregations in the country. The 54-year-old pastor is unique among evangelical leaders in his call for Christians to work with people of other faiths on global poverty, AIDS, and climate change. In a recent talk, he compared himself with President-elect Barack Obama.
Rick Warren: The point I want to make is, here are two guys who said, “We have to restore civility to civilization.” I don’t know if you’ve noticed this or not, but the world is getting ruder. It’s getting more hateful.
Stoltze: Some gay rights activists call Warren hateful for his opposition to same-sex marriage, and his reported refusal to allow gay men and lesbians to join his church. They say they’ll wave rainbow flags in protest during his inaugural prayer.
Riverside County supervisors today unanimously approved an ordinance to limits protests outside a private residence. The action was inspired by a recent demonstration that targeted a secluded Church of Scientology complex near Hemet. KPCC’s Steven Cuevas has more.
Steven Cuevas: Activists held the protest last October outside a gated Scientology compound called “Golden Era Productions.” Security guards were seen on video roughing up a protestor after he walked onto edge of the property.
Critics claim the facility is an interrogation center for recalcitrant Scientology members. Scientology officials insist it’s just the Church’s media production wing, though some Scientologists do live there. They say the occasional protests infringe on their right to privacy.
Riverside County supervisors approved the measure as an “urgency” ordinance, so it’ll take effect immediately. It bars protestors from getting within 50 feet of a targeted residence’s property line. That would make public demonstrations near the Scientology compound nearly impossible. The main road that leads to it is surrounded on both sides by church-owned land. The church now says it’ll allow protests inside a designated area outside the compound’s front gates.
Christmas greetings! Your calendar is on the right page. For many Orthodox Christians in the Southland and across the country, this is Christmas Eve. KPCC’s Cheryl Devall says that’s because liturgical calendars vary.
Cheryl Devall: The Armenian, Ukrainian, Russian, Serbian, Coptic, and Ethiopian Orthodox churches observe Christmas on December 25th - by the Julian calendar that’s 13 days behind the more widely-used Gregorian calendar. That places Orthodox Christmas on January 7th. Special worship services and family celebrations take place in churches that serve about 40,000 faithful in the Southland.
Having Christmas around the same time many people mark the Epiphany - the visit to the infant Jesus from three wise men - isn’t easy. Many Orthodox believers can’t get time off from work, or - like adherents to other religions - they chafe at the overwhelming cultural emphasis on Christmas in late December. The Greek Orthodox Church - the largest of the branches in this country - addressed the matter more than 80 years ago by shifting its Christmas to December 25th – on the Gregorian calendar.
- January 6, 2009 3:43 PM
- Categories: Religion/Spirituality
An attorney for one of three breakaway Episcopal parishes that lost the right to keep their property in yesterday’s California Supreme Court ruling says the legal skirmish isn’t over.
But Bishop Jon Bruno, head of Los Angeles’ Episcopal Diocese, told KPCC’s “AirTalk” he doesn’t think the case will return to trial court.
Jon Bruno: “The reality is that we don’t think that it will be going back to the Orange County court. We think that it will be handled by the appellate court, which the Supreme Court affirmed their decision yesterday.”
Congregations in Newport Beach, Long Beach, and North Hollywood left the Episcopal Church almost five years ago after it ordained a gay bishop. Those parishes - along with about 100 others in the United States – affiliated with Anglican dioceses elsewhere in the world that share their position that the ordination was wrong.
The attorney for a breakaway Episcopal congregation says the legal fight over the church’s property is not over. The state Supreme Court ruled yesterday that three Southern California parishes that left the U.S. Episcopal Church don’t have a right to keep their church buildings and land.
Eric Sohlgren is an attorney for one of the parishes, Saint James Church in Newport Beach. He told KPCC’s “AirTalk” he thinks the case has to go back to a trial court.
Eric Sohlgren: “Based on the procedural posture of the case in the trial court below, this case has never really been litigated with discovery or a trial so all the Supreme Court has done here is issue some rulings about what the law should be.”
Sohlgren believes that additional evidence may help the churches’ case, or mitigate the effects of yesterday’s decision.
The congregations broke away almost five years ago after the U.S. Episcopal Church ordained an openly gay bishop. The head of Los Angeles’ Episcopal Diocese says he hopes the ruling will lead to reconciliation talks with the three parishes.
The Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles regards a ruling today by the California Supreme Court as a victory. In a unanimous decision, the court decided that a local parish that broke away from the national Episcopal Church can’t take its property with it.
The case involved St. James Church in Newport Beach, All Saints Church in Long Beach, and St. David’s Church in North Hollywood. Bishop Jon Bruno of the Diocese of Los Angeles praised the ruling.
Jon Bruno: “We have prevailed in all areas of law addressed in this case. We look forward to the possibility of reconciliation with these congregations and the members in those congregations. But we assure the Diocese of Los Angeles and the people of the Episcopal Church that we will continue mission and ministry in these areas where these congregations serve. “
The three congregations began to split off from the Episcopal Church four-and-a-half years ago after the national church ordained an openly gay bishop in New Hampshire. Like other breakaway parishes in the United States, they affiliated with dioceses in other countries that strongly object to the ordination.
Local Episcopal parishes that broke with the Episcopal Church of the United States don’t have the right to take their parish property. That ruling by the California Supreme Court came down this morning. KPCC’s Nick Roman says it’s a damaging blow to parishes that left in a dispute over a gay bishop.
Nick Roman: St. James Parish in Newport Beach broke away from the Episcopal Church in the United States four-and-a-half years ago. It left in protest - along with several other Episcopal parishes - when the US church named an openly gay clergyman as the bishop of the Diocese of New Hampshire.
St. James affiliated with a conservative Anglican diocese in Africa. The Episcopal Diocese in Los Angeles said St. James had to give up its church property - insisting the buildings and land belonged to the diocese and not the parish. St. James won a lower court ruling - but the Diocese won on appeal – and now it’s won the case before the state Supreme Court.
The court ruled “the general church, not the local church, owns the property in question.” Three other Southern California Episcopal parishes also broke with the U.S. Church. All could now face a choice between returning to the fold - and giving up their property and moving on.
The holidays are a time for family and friends. ACLU Director Mark Rosenbaum’s favorite holiday memory happened years ago – his first Hanukkah with his daughter. He says it made him realize that Hanukkah means a great deal more when you have your own kids.
Mark Rosenbaum: “It was nice to have the entire family, including the extended family. It happened just a few years before my father died. And we knew at the time that my father was very ill. That meant a great deal. It meant the beginning of a set of gifts that still continue to boggle my mind.”
By gifts, Rosenbaum means the physical and spiritual virtues of the holiday. He says from that first Hanukkah, he’s seen his children bring those virtues into their lives every day, not just during the holidays.
Authorities in San Bernardino County have arrested two suspects in connection with the beating earlier this month of an Inland pastor. KPCC’s Steven Cuevas says one of the suspects is a 16-year-old girl.
Steven Cueavas: The girl’s name is not being released because she’s a juvenile. Her boyfriend – 20-year-old Allan Gomez – was also arrested. The duo is charged with receiving stolen property and fraudulent use of a credit card. Gomez could also be charged with robbery and attempted murder. Both suspects are being held without bail. Police are looking for a third suspect.
Pastor James Warman was attacked a few weeks ago at Church of the Valley in Highland as he was putting up Christmas decorations. Authorities say he was beaten with a blunt object and suffered severe facial and head injuries. He was in a coma for several days. The pastor is now recovering at home.
His wife told the Riverside Press-Enterprise that she and her husband want to help the young attackers get the help they need. Medny Warman says God forgives them, and she and her husband are called to do the same.
The Dolores Mission Church in East Los Angeles is marking its 20th anniversary as a shelter for the homeless.
To celebrate, the eighth-grade class at the church’s on-site Catholic school sponsored a breakfast feast this morning. Their moms worked overtime to prepare Menudo, and the students helped serve up the traditional Mexican soup. Their teacher, Giselle Haro, says feeding and serving the hungry is a graduation requirement.
Giselle Haro: “In order to build that character in them, it’s our main responsibility to teach them how to do it, and I think the kids take great pride in being able to provide that to the community.”
The church takes in 55 men at a time for a three-month stay. They sleep inside the church, as well as in the parish community room and garage.
Before President Bush leaves office he plans to enact a “right of conscience” rule for doctors and other health care providers. It would allow medical workers whose facilities receive federal money to refuse to perform abortions or dispense contraception if they choose.
Anita Nelson is an obstetrics and gynecology professor at UCLA’s Geffen School of Medicine. She told KPCC’s Larry Mantle that the rule is broadly - and badly-written.
Anita Nelson: “Anybody who believes that something works against his own personal beliefs does not have to offer it to the patient, even if the belief is based on misinformation. There is no protection for the patient.”
Dr. David Stevens, chief executive of the Christian Medical Association, defended health care workers’ right to act on their personal moral beliefs.
Dr. David Stevens: “We need to understand that this is a basic constitutional issue. We, in the First Amendment, say the free exercise of religion is a fundamental human right and therefore you should not compel someone to violate their deeply held religious belief unless it’s an emergency situation or somebody’s life is in peril.”
Once he assumes office, President-elect Barack Obama could overturn the rule through a lengthy process. Congress also can adopt a resolution to reject it.
An ultra-orthodox Jewish group confirmed this morning that a New York rabbi and his wife were among five people killed at the Mumbai headquarters of Chabad-Lubavitch. That’s one of 10 sites gunmen attacked on Wednesday.
Commandos found the bodies of Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife, Rivka, this morning. Their 2-year-old son survived the ordeal. Rabbi Boruch Cunin is the director of Chabad’s West Coast organization.
Rabbi Boruch Cunin: “We know him, we know his wife. They are emissaries of the Rebbe. His cousin is an emissary for us here in California. Very, very sweet people. And miraculously, God took the 2-year-old child out and saved his life.”
The cousin is part of the Chabad organization in Monterey. West Coast Chabad plans to hold a memorial service for the couple.
- November 28, 2008 1:15 PM
- Categories: Religion/Spirituality
An American ultra-orthodox rabbi and his wife were among those killed at a Jewish center in Mumbai, India. The Chabad-Lubavitch organization has confirmed the deaths of Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife, Rivka. The couple had moved from New York to run the center.
Rabbi Boruch Cunin, the director of West Coast Chabad, reacted with sorrow to the news.
Rabbi Boruch Cunin: “They gave their lives not for business, not for commerce. They gave their lives to bring comfort to all of God’s children.”
Cunin said that he and others in West Coast Chabad knew the rabbi and his wife, and that Holtzberg’s cousin is part of the Chabad organization in Monterey.
West Coast Chabad plans to hold a memorial service for the couple. Their toddler son survived the siege.
- November 28, 2008 11:25 AM
- Categories: Religion/Spirituality
A religious statue that had vanished from an Orange County church re-appeared, just as mysteriously, in the yard of a Newport Beach woman. KPCC’s Cheryl Devall says police returned the statue to the church today.
Cheryl Devall: Newport Beach police believe someone swiped the 5-foot statue of Mary, the mother of Jesus, from Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic parish. The bronze statue went missing Saturday from its pedestal outside the church.
The key word here is bronze. It’s a combination of copper and other metals, and anything made of it – from commemorative plaques to public art – has become a popular target for thieves because of its value as scrap metal.
The woman who discovered the runaway church statue in her yard called police after she saw a photo of it in a newspaper. She suspects that her teenage son and his friends may have had something to do with its removal.
The Roman Catholic diocese of Orange is regarding the incident as a prank, and a spokesman said church officials are in a forgiving mood. They don’t plan to press charges. Police said the statue by Mexican sculptor Victor Salmones is worth about $30,000.
By LISA LEFF Associated Press Writer
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The state attorney general and sponsors of the ballot initiative that banned same-sex marriage in California urged its Supreme Court to hear a series of lawsuits seeking to overturn the ban, saying the matter is too urgent to be unsettled.
“The petitions raise issues of statewide importance, implicating not only California’s marriage laws but also the initiative process and the Constitution itself,” Attorney General Jerry Brown argued in his filing.
“This court can provide certainty and finality in this matter,” he said.
Proposition 8, which passed with 52 percent of the vote earlier this month, overturned the high court’s May decision legalizing gay marriage in California. The measure inserts language into the constitution limiting marriage to one man and one woman.
Gay and civil rights groups, the city of San Francisco and other plaintiffs have asked the court to void the measure on the grounds that voters did not have the authority to make, what they say, is a fundamental constitutional change.
There is no deadline for the justices to decide whether they’ll take the cases.
The litigation has made unwitting allies of supporters of the same-sex marriage ban and the attorney general, who voted against the proposition. Over the summer, anti-gay marriage groups sued Brown after his office changed the measure’s wording to reflect that it would take away a right that same-sex couples then had.
Brown has since said that in his role as California’s top public lawyer, he will fight to uphold Proposition 8 as an expression of public sentiment on same-sex marriage. The preliminary documents he filed Monday did not address that issue.
Andrew Pugno, a lawyer for the Yes on 8 campaign, said the measure’s supporters are so confident the Supreme Court would uphold the initiative they want the court to take the cases and resolve the question quickly.
“There is no question Proposition 8 is exactly the type of amendment the framers of the Constitution envisioned for the people to be able to enact,” Pugno said.
The Protect Marriage coalition is less confident about Brown’s sincere interest in defending the gay marriage ban in court, according to Pugno. That’s why the coalition asked the court for permission to intervene in the cases Monday.
“Everyone knows the AG opposed Proposition 8, did everything he could to undermine it and it still passed anyway,” he said.
“There is little hope he would make much effort at all to defend Prop. 8.”
Both the attorney general and Protect Marriage asked the court to reject a request from gay marriage supporters for a stay that would allow same-sex couples to resume marrying in California until the broader legal issues are addressed.
Meanwhile, the interfaith California Council of Churches and the Episcopal bishops of Northern California and Los Angeles added their petition Monday to those asking the high court to invalidate Proposition 8. They argue that if voters are permitted to take away rights from a group based on sexual orientation, the same could happen to religious minorities.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.
Catholic group calls for withholding offerings once a month due to handling of clergy sex abuse scandal
A small group of Roman Catholics called “Send the Bishops a Message” wants to do just that. KPCC’s Brian Watt explains that the new organization plans to employ the power of the purse.
Brian Watt: The group accuses the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church of failing to protect children from clergy sexual abuse – and of continuing to cover it up. Frank Douglas, a spokesman for the group, called on all parishioners to hang onto their financial contributions once a month on designated “Withholding Sundays.”
Frank Douglas: They can send a message by doing nothing. All they have to do is pass the collection plate to the next guy without putting anything in. It’s the perfect Catholic passive resistance activity.
Watt: His group says that although Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony approved a $660 million settlement with sex abuse victims, he continues to keep secret church files he’d agreed to hand over to the victims’ attorneys.
L.A. Archdiocese spokesman Todd Tamberg says Mahony is following a procedure for releasing those files that both sides had approved. Tamberg questioned the wisdom of a campaign to limit donations.
Todd Tamberg: This is a very bad idea at a very bad time.
Watt: Tamberg says that Catholics support a network of social service agencies handling a surge in need during the economic crisis.
- November 10, 2008 5:48 PM
- Categories: Religion/Spirituality
Some Roman Catholics are dissatisfied with the way the church’s hierarchy is handling the issue of clergy sex abuse. A small new group of parishioners calls itself “Send the Bishops a Message” and wants to do just that.
It’s urging others around the world to withhold financial contributions to the Roman Catholic Church once a month – beginning this Sunday. Spokesman Frank Douglas spoke with reporters today outside the Cathedral of Our Lady of The Angels.
Frank Douglas: “Bishops are still protecting pedophile priests, and what we want to is let the laity know. We want to empower them and give them knowledge that they are not powerless. They fund this church. Ninety-nine percent of the people in the church are lay people and they fund 100 percent of the costs of the church. “
A spokesman for the Los Angeles Archdiocese calls the campaign a bad idea during harsh economic times when there’s a great need for the social services that Catholics support.
- November 10, 2008 3:53 PM
- Categories: Religion/Spirituality
For more than 50 years, federal rules have said a tax-exempt group that endorses a political candidate in public endangers its tax-exempt status. This Sunday, more than 30 pastors from around the country plan to challenge those rules. The aim is to force the IRS to enforce those rules so the ministers can get a case before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Among those who’ll preach politics from the pulpit is Wiley Drake, the well-known conservative Christian minister from Buena Park. Drake told KPCC’s “Patt Morrison” that it’s wrong to restrict him from saying what he wants say to his congregation.
Wiley Drake: “The church will not be endorsing anybody. The church can’t endorse. The church is an entity, not someone that can endorse. But when the IRS and the government says they want to restrict what a pastor can say, they are in violation of the constitution.”
While Drake and other conservative Christian pastors challenge the IRS rules, other religious leaders. including rabbis and imams. have signed a pledge to refrain from political speech.
Nine of California’s Episcopal bishops voiced their opposition today to Proposition 8. That ballot measure would amend the state constitution to prohibit same-sex marriages. KPCC’s Brian Watt was at the Los Angeles Cathedral Center, where Episcopal clergy and laypeople urged voters to reject the proposition.
Brian Watt: A statement from the nine Episcopal bishops says that allowing same sex couples to marry enhances Christian values like monogamy, commitment, love, and mutual respect. Reverend Jon Bruno is the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles.
Jon Bruno: “I must vote no on this effort to rewrite our state constitution with language of exclusion rather than inclusion.”
Watt: His message resonated with Warner Traynham, retired rector of St John’s Episcopal Church in L.A.
Warner Traynham: In this country we used to have laws prohibiting the marriage of blacks and whites. Those laws discriminated against black people and excluded them from the community. We got rid of them as an act of love.
Watt: Proposition 8 will appear on the November ballot. Opponents of the state Supreme Court’s ruling that granted marriage rights to same-sex couples collected enough signatures to put the question to voters. The court’s decision in May overturned an earlier statewide ballot measure against same-sex marriage.
Note: The Los Angeles City Council also weighed in today on the debate over same-sex marriage. The Council unanimously approved a resolution in support of federal legislation that would eliminate language defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman.
Nine Episcopal bishops in California are voicing their opposition to Proposition 8. The ballot measure would amend the state constitution to prohibit same-sex marriages in the state. Reverend Jon Bruno is bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles.
Jon Bruno: “As bishops, we have said we do not believe that marriage of heterosexuals is threatened by same-sex marriage. Christian values of monogamy, commitment, love, mutual respect, and witness are enhanced for all by providing this right to gay and straight alike.”
Proposition 8 will appear on the November ballot. Opponents of the state Supreme Court’s ruling in May that granted marriage rights to same-sex couples collected enough signatures to put the question to voters.
A son of the Nation of Islam’s founder, who led many African-Americans into the faith after breaking with his father’s beliefs, has died. Relatives of W.D. Mohammed said he died in Chicago today at age 74. KPCC’s Shirley Jahad has the story.
Shirley Jahad: The Web site Beliefnet has called Warith Deen Mohammed “perhaps the most influential American Muslim ever.” He was the son and successor of Elijah Mohammed, founder of the Nation of Islam. After his father’s death 33 years ago, the younger Mohammed embraced a more orthodox, scholarly approach to Islam.
In sharp contrast to the fiery Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, W.D. Mohammed described himself as mild-natured… a quiet speaker who didn’t seek the spotlight. The rift between the two men persisted for years, but recently they shook hands in a kind of quiet truce.
By some estimates, 20 percent of the country’s 3-and-a-half million Muslims are African-American. Most are followers of W.D. Mohammed or other orthodox teachers. The head of the Muslim Center in Detroit, where Mohammed spoke to a convention late last month, praised him as a reviver of the faith who “brought a whole lot of people to the correct worship of Islam.”
- September 9, 2008 4:02 PM
- Categories: Religion/Spirituality
Santa Ana police are teaming up with five local churches to try to combat crime and violence in a neighborhood near the Civic Center. Santa Ana Police Chief Paul Walters says church volunteers went along on a three-day crackdown on gang members and other criminals. “Operation Restore Peace” netted more than five-dozen arrests. Walters says involving the churches helps to develop trust.
Paul Walters: “When the people are afraid, the gang members can do anything they want – when they’re afraid to report and be involved. So we want to go in and have people that are non-police, go in along with police support people, to help them. How do you get involved? What can I do? How can I make the neighborhood safe and not be fearful? Because once that fear sets in and the gangsters intimidate people, then they have free rein.”
The church volunteers work and talk with neighbors, and offer support with food banks and tutoring. They also act as go-betweens with police, reporting crimes that people are scared to tell officers about. Church leaders say they hope to reduce crime by generating hope.
A Catholic university in San Diego today rejected a faculty petition to appoint a feminist theologian. KPCC’s Cheryl Devall says the appointment foundered because the professor sits on the board of an abortion rights organization.
Cheryl Devall: Last spring, the University of San Diego appointed Rosemary Radford Reuther to an endowed chair in theology for the fall semester. But it withdrew the offer last month after finding out that Reuther is on the board of Catholics for Choice, an organization that challenges the Roman Catholic position that abortion is a sin.
Faculty at the university presented its administration with a petition bearing more than 2,000 signatures in support of Reuther, who’s a visiting professor of theology at Claremont Graduate School. The petition did not sway the San Diego institution.
Anti-abortion activists had criticized the appointment of Reuther, the author of several books and a columnist for the National Catholic Reporter. Reuther and her advocates say the controversy reflects the tension between academic freedom and conformity with church doctrine on Catholic campuses.
The Libertarian Party candidate for president doesn’t want to be on the outside looking in at Saddleback Church tomorrow. KPCC’s Nick Roman says he’s asked a judge to get him into the Orange County church’s candidates event.
Nick Roman: It’s interesting to watch a less-government-interference-is-better libertarian try to get a federal judge to tell a church what to do. But Libertarian Party presidential candidate Bob Barr is giving it a shot. He’s asked a federal judge in Santa Ana to order Saddleback Church to include him in its Civil Forum on Leadership and Compassion.
The church’s well-known pastor, Rick Warren, will interview Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain separately. They’ll answer the same questions while a few thousand people inside the church listen and a few million TV viewers tune in.
That’s an attractive audience for a minor party candidate like Barr, but it’s hard to see how the former Georgia congressman-turned-Libertarian Party standard bearer can convince a judge to let him in. It’s not a debate. And the event is organized by Saddleback Church, not by a political party or a government-appointed or funded commission.
Saddleback Church in Lake Forest will host a forum tomorrow night with presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama. Mark Affleck is executive director of the Peace Plan, a ministry of the Saddleback Church. He told KPCC’s AirTalk the purpose of the forum is to learn more about the two men beyond the campaign trail.
Mark Affleck: “I believe that the best possible outcome would be that, at the end of this, we would know who they are as men, and who they are and would be as leaders.”
Saddleback pastor Rick Warren is expected to interview the two candidates separately for about an hour. They’ll discuss issues like global poverty, the presidency and the Constitution, and the United State’s role in the world. McCain and Obama will share the stage briefly, but will not debate. It starts at 5 o’clock. All three major cable news stations are expected to air the forum live.
Link: Saddleback Civil Forum
Friends and family today shared fond memories of the eldest son of Christian evangelist Greg Laurie, who died last week in a car wreck. The memorial service for 33-year-old Christopher Laurie was private, but KPCC’s Steven Cuevas says it reached a global congregation.
Steven Cuevas: Only family and friends were invited to the actual memorial at Harvest Christian Church in Riverside. But in a nod to Harvest’s massive worldwide audience, the two-hour service was broadcast on the Web, and on Christian radio station KWVE.
Laurie was the art director at Harvest, and helped coordinated his father’s stadium-filling evangelical revivals across North America. His friend Levi Lusco said Laurie was passionate about the mission.
Levi Lusco (at funeral service): Time is short, life is quick, we have work to do in heaven and I know Chris is involved in the art department of heaven, still making things look better, because that’s how he lived his life and I’m grateful to have been his friend.
Cuevas: Laurie was killed last Friday on the 91 Freeway near Corona when his car collided with a slow-moving Caltrans sweeper. No one else was hurt. The California Highway Patrol is still investigating.
His father, Pastor Greg Laurie, said at times, Christopher could be a “prodigal son” – but he recently had re-dedicated his life to the church.
Greg Laurie (at service): It’s tough for a preacher’s kid; you don’t realize. People expect a lot of them – “The preacher’s kid.” And sometimes kids raised in preachers’ homes, they have a greater struggle than others. If you’re a prodigal son or daughter, your father loves you and he will welcome you home with open arms and forgive you of whatever you have done. (baby cries) That’s how most people feel when I speak. (laugher)
Cuevas: Christopher Laurie leaves his wife Brittany and daughter Stella. The Lauries were expecting a second child in November.
A Los Angeles County Supervisor, angry over the abrupt sale of an East L.A. building home to a nationally known arts group, called today for a meeting with the seller: L.A.’s Roman Catholic Archdiocese. KPCC’s Adolfo Guzman-Lopez has the story.
Adolfo Guzman-Lopez: Supervisor Gloria Molina said it’s an insult to East L.A. that the Archdiocese didn’t inform Self Help Graphics it was about to sell the building the art workshop had occupied for nearly 30 years. To atone, she said, Catholic leaders should help the organization find a new home.
Supervisor Gloria Molina: “This is a valuable educational program in the Latino community. It has inspired Chicano artists throughout our community. I want to continue that program, and I think it’s the Archdiocese’s responsibility to continue the program.”
Adolfo Guzman-Lopez: The Archdiocese sold the building to an L.A.-based private developer last week at the request of the owners, a religious order called the Sisters of Saint Francis.
L.A. Archdiocese spokesman Tod Tamberg told KPCC that Cardinal Roger Mahony will not meet with Molina, because the Archdiocese was only involved in the final process of the sale. Tamberg said he didn’t know the building’s final sale price, but the proceeds, he believes, will be split 50-50 between the religious order and the Archdiocese. He said the Archdiocese may use its portion of the money to help pay off hundreds of millions of dollars to victims in priest sexual abuse settlements.