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Arkansas Catholic
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February 18, 1990     Arkansas Catholic
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February 18, 1990

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DO(IX, NO. 6 DIOCESE OF LFITLE ROCK, AR FEBRUARY 18, 1990 goes fPom Oharged with sexual misconduct (CNS) - At the direction Franciscan superiors, Fr. Bruce has taken temporary leaw from the nationally-famous York shelter for runaway teen- until the order investigates alle- sexual misconduct. decision followed close on the of a front-page story in The New revealing that a third for- House resident in less tWo months has accused Fr. Ritter sexual relations with him. 62-year-old Conventual Francis- denied all the allega- against him. no way of proving my inno- My accusers cannot establish my he said. McHugh, minister provin- of the Conventual Franciscans of NJ, issued a statement Fr. Bruce Rifler (CNS) saying that he and the council had directed Fr. Ritter to remove himself from Covenant House responsibilities and take a rest. He said Fr. Ritter will be on leave from Covenant House until the order completes its inquiry into allegations by Darryl J. Bassile of Ith- See "Ritter," page 15 Vatican- imposed sabbatical IL (CNS) - Dominican Fr. Fox, breaking a 14-month, d sabbatical imposed on his religious superiors, issued a a Conference in suburban Chi- a "people's church." a church, Fr. Fox said, would show "the other face of the church" from "Rome's church." Fr. Fox spoke during the Midwest Conference on Creation Spirituality sponsored by Chicago Call to Action, a group named for the 1976 national Call to Action consultation in Detroit spon- sored by the U.S. bishops. A theologian and the founder of the Institute in Culture and Creation Spiri- tuality at Holy Names College in Oakland, CA, Fr. Fox began his speech: "As I was saying 14 months ago, before See "Fox," page i5 eggspect? These seventh- and eighth-grade "parents" eggsibit "children" during an immaculate Heart of Mary School ned to show kids in Marche how tough it is to be a students were required to stay with their "babies" every minute, r if they wanted a break from their eggs. There were no Cracked eggs, although there were some scrambled parents. By Deborah Hilliard Six days after "D-Day" in 1944, Martha Vroeman landed at Normandy Beach. With her compatriots, she walked single- file up the land-mined beach and pitch'ed her tent. For the next 16 months, World War II was to be her life. "There were 1,000 nurses on the "Queen Mary' when we left Boston Harbor," Vroeman recalls. "I didn't know where we were going until Win- ston Churchill came up and welcomed See "Nurse," page 8 Martha Vroeman, RN, 1942 Fr. George Stallings formalizes break from Catholic Church Washington (CNS) - Fr. George Stallings, Jr., on an episode of the "Donahue" talk show aired nationwide, declared that "the African-American Catholic Con'gregation is going inde- pendent." The 41-year-old black Washington priest said: "We are no longer under the pope or the aegis of the Roman Catholic Church." Eileen Marx, spokesperson for the Washington archdiocese, said Fr. Stallings "bas excommunicated himself" from the Church by virtue of "his very public statements on the Phil Donahue show" and additional comments made during services at his breakaway Imani Temple in Washington. "The public declaration on his part that he is no longer a part of the Roman Catholic Church is the reason for his excommunication," Marx said, "rather than the Church excommunicating him." Fr. Stallings had been under suspen- sion since July by Cardinal James A. Hlckey of Washington after he cele- brated the first Imani Temple liturgies. "My hope is not a reconciliation" with the Church, Fr. Stallings said on the program. But if Church officials wanted to talk, he said, "we'll be more' than happy to sit down at the table of broth- erhood and sisterhood." Suspension and excommunication are "political tactics used by the power- ful, the oppressors, to further enslave and oppress the oppressed," Fr. Stallings said. "Those terms have no significance to" me whatsoever," he added, q cannot be cut off from Jesus Christ. That's the only thing I'm concerned about being cut off from." Asked whether he had taken the is- sue of greater black participation in the Church to the Vatican, Fr. Stallings replied that "because of the hierarchi- cal red tape, it is impossible for a priest to to the Vatican." Fr. Stallings did not tell Washington archdiocesan officials of his plans in advance because he "didn't think they would care," he said. "I exhausted all efforts to make a change through the Church," Fr. See "Stallings," page 14 I Fr. Edward McCormick dies See page 5