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Arkansas Catholic
Little Rock, Arkansas
February 24, 1991     Arkansas Catholic
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February 24, 1991
 

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PAC~ |0 ARKANSAS CA~ FEBRUARY' 24, 1991 Haiti's priest-president faces national problems Port-Au-Prince, Haiti (CNS)- Haiti's priest-president, Rev.Jean-Bertrand AristaMe, began his new political role facing deep economic and political problems in his impoverished country. The president began his term by offer- ing to slash his own salary and demanding the retirement of several top army officers. Aristide, an advocate of liberation theol- ogy who has often dashed with the country's bishops, and who was expelled from the Salesian order because of his political activ- ity, faces major challenges in the Western hemisphere's poorest nation. Haiti's per capita annum income is only around $375, most people are illiterate and the soil is largely eroded. He also faces entrenched corruption in the public and pri~me sectors, and some- times violent opposition from associates of former dictators Francois 'q~apa Doe" and Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier. In one of his first official acts, Aristide presided at a Feb. 8 ceremony at Fort Dimanche, a former army post where po- litical prisoners were held during the re- pressive 29-year Dmalier family dictatorship. The fort, a hated symbol of the Dtrcalie~sts, will be turned into a national museum. Thousands of Haitians .sang, danced and celebrated into the night, jamming the capital city's streets hours after the slender 37-year-old priest vm.s inaugurated Feb. 7. In his speech, the new president called on the army commander to retire most of his top officers. The 37-year-old cleric-poli- tician acknowledged that the constitution gave him no right to order any changes in the army. Instead, he pleaded with the army commander to implement the proposed changes, Most of the officers Arisfide named for retirement are closely identified with the Dtwalier family dictatorship or with subse- quent military regimes that have condoned Duvalierist terrorism. In his speech, Arisfide said he would not accept the president's monthly paycheck of $10,000 and asked the legislature to set a smaller amount in keeping with the state of the impoverished nation's treasury. Controversial Canadian archbishop replaced Ottawa (CNS) - A member of the Cana- dian bishops' ad hoc committee on sexual ab,use has been named to replace Arch- bishop Alphonsus L. Penney of St. John's Newfoundland. Pope John Paul II appointed Bishop James H. MacDonald of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, to replace Penney, who submitted his resignation last summer after an inquiry commission criticized his handling of a series of allegations of sexual abuse against Newfoundland clergy. Penney said he planned to '%ake an ex- tended rest" and hopes eventually to return to pastoral work. SHEET METAL Tile & Slate Roofing 375-8229 Heating & Ventilating Systems IIGutter Work 1508 Scott Street Little Rock STATE FARM INSURANCE COMPA_N_I~.,~ Home Offices: Boomi~gtm. tlinois Mike Van Vranken, CLU, ChFC Member, Christ the King Parish 225-1002 Office or 225-5827 Residence 301 N. Shackelford Rd.Little Rock, AR 72211 k. Structural and Miscellaneous Steel Fabrication ll ll 1023 Rushing Circle Little Rock, AR 72205 Number Catholics grows in U.S. Eastern-rite Catholics swell ranks Washington (CNS) - The number of U.S. Catholics has topped 57 million, according to figures in the 1990 Official Catholic Directory. The total of 57,019,948 Catholics, a jump of more than two million from 1989's figure of 54,918,989, is due largely to the inclusion of Eastern-rite Catholics, according to Jeanne IIanline, managing editor of the directory, published by P.J. Kenedy & Sons of Wilmette, IL. The number of Catholics showed a slight rise to 55,062,842 when Eastern- rite Catholics and Catholics on Puerto Rico, Guam and St. Thomas, Virgin Is- lands, were not taken into account. Eastern-rite statistics had been "sketchy," but this year reporting was much improved, Ilanline said. Before, she said, often "patchwork" reporting came from Latin-rite dioceses in which Eastern-rite parishes are located. Hanline said she can foresee "eventu- ally" proposing a uniform counting method for all dioceses to follow. The 1990 directory is based on ques- tionnaires sent to parishes, schools and other Catholic institutions. The question- naires are returned to the dioceses, who forward them to Kenedy. The published figures are effective Jan. 1 of each year~ Catholics now make up 23 percent of the U.S. population, up from 22 percent. The change is significant, Hanline said, because of the notion "that everyone's leaving the Church. That's not the case." The total number of priests rose slightly. The 1989 figure was 52,948; 1990's was 53,111. The number of dioce- san priests rose from 34,390 last year to 34,553. The last increase was in 1988. Hanline attributed the increase to ordinations, which rose from 482 in the 1989 directory to 641 in the 1990 edi- tion. Religious order priests rose by one, from 18,558 to 18,559. Permanent deacons also rose, from 9,065 to 9,497. The number of sisters and brothers, however, continued its decline. Sisters dropped from 104,419 to 103,269. Broth- ers dropped from 6,977 to 6,743. Statistics show that more people were using many more Catholic institutions than they had the year before. Catholic hospitals and colleges and universities showed marked increases. The 641 Catholic hospitals served an average of 67,718 patients, compared to 640 hospitals serving an average of 63,258 the year before. The 232 Catholic col- leges and universities had an average of 2,675 students compared to 2,377 stu- dents the year before. Other increases were reported in aver- age numbers attending diocesan seminar- ies, parochial grade schools, nurseries, and using special care centers. Average seminary attendance improved from 51 to 60, while grade school atten- dance went up from 262 in the 1989 figures to 264. The number of seminaries also in- creased from 69 to 74, while parochial grade schools increased from 7,268 to 7,273. The number of Catholic nurseries, however, has soared from 245 in 1988 to 496 in 1989 to 606 in 1990. An average of 3,467 people were as- sisted in 1,771 special care centers in the 1990 statistics, compared to an average of 2,778 in 1,803 centers in 1989. Hanline said the number of special t care centers fluctuated from year to year I - 1,542 were reported in 1988 - because "half of the dioceses don't know how to slot this" category. The possibility existS, she added, of "overlap between welfare and education and hospital" institutions in reporting the statistics. There were decreases in the use of religious seminaries, Catholic dispensa- ries, diocesan high schools, private grade I and high schools, and "homes for special I care, once called homes for the aged. I Less than half as many patients went i The change is significant, Hanline said, becattse of the notion "that everyone's lea'C" ing the Church." to the special care homes, with an aver" age of 178 using the 743 homes in 1990, compared to the 369 using the 667 homes in 1989. Baptisms were up from year-before levels, with 1,044,334 reported for 1990 compared to 1,028,712 for 1989. The directory included the number of First Communions and Confirmations for the first time this year because "the Vatican asked the dioceses for this (in- formation) and then the dioceses came to us," Hanline said. The directory reported 697,848 First Communions and 526,845 Confirma" tions. Marriages were up, from 336,915 to 341,356. Deaths, too, were up - fror0 454,521 to 456,413. One potential area for further research, she "said, is "who's running the Church," specifically, "to see how many laypeople are running their parishes in the U.S." [ t t J