Illinois Public Media News
A Republican state senator is pushing for Indiana’s public school students to start the school day by reciting the Lord’s Prayer.
Senate education committee chairman Dennis Kruse of Auburn has filed legislation that would let school districts require the prayer to be recited, but would also grant broad exemptions.
The measure might have little chance of winning approval since the Senate’s leader has assigned it to the rules committee, which rarely advances bills.
But it’s part of a broader push by Kruse and other lawmakers to put religion in Indiana’s public schools.
Kruse sponsored a bill last year seeking to allow schools to teach creationism, the belief that life was created as described in the Bible. This year, he’s seeking to allow questioning by teachers of scientific principles like evolution.
Catholics United is asking Peoria Bishop Daniel Jenky to refrain from using the pulpits of his diocese for partisan messages.
Danville’s only synagogue will close later this month, but its congregation will continue to meet.
The former warden of the federal prison that houses American-born Taliban fighter John Walker Lindh says the facility can't afford to accommodate daily group prayers for Muslim inmates.
Interfaith Vigil Held Following Temple Shooting, Mosque Fire
An interfaith vigil at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign attracted more than 30 people Thursday, who showed their support following two tragedies this week at a mosque and a temple.
Chicago's Cardinal Francis George is apologizing for remarks comparing an annual gay rights parade to a Ku Klux Klan rally.
In a Chicago Tribune interview, George said he is "truly sorry for the hurt my remarks have caused."
George said he has gay and lesbian family members, and his remarks has "evidently wounded a good number of people. I am sorry for the hurt."
The cardinal's initial remarks were prompted by plans by gay pride leaders to route a parade at a time that would have interfered with services at a church on Chicago's North Side. He said it resembled anti-Catholic marches once staged by the Klan. The time of the parade was changed.
Gay rights groups condemned his comments. The Civil Rights Agenda said George should apologize and resign.
A longtime associate of Monsignor Edward Duncan says he has heard from a lot of former University of Illinois athletes, who plan to attend Duncan's funeral mass last week.
Duncan, who died this week in California at age 96, was chaplain at the U of I Urbana campus for more than half a century, from 1943 to 1998.
Jack Hatfield worked at the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics for several years, and he is currently the Director of Advancement at St. John's Catholic Newman Center on the U of I Urbana campus. He said said Duncan's strong social skills made it easy for people to talk to him.
"I think he substantially impacted football players from the '50s, '60s and '70s, when he was in his prime," Hatfield said. "So you got thirty or forty years there of people who really relied upon him as a guide, as a counselor, as an adviser, whatever portion they chose to lean on his for their faith or spirituality."
Hatfield said Duncan rescued the center from near bankruptcy when he first arrived there in the 1940s.
Hatfield said the Newman Center benefited from Duncan's strong business sense, having come from a wealthy family with several business interests. He said the same social skills that helped make him an effective chaplain also made Duncan a popular the dinner guest in Champaign-Urbana society circles.
In addition, Hatfield said Duncan channeled his personal wealth into donations to the U of I, notably the Newman Center, the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts and the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics.
A wake and visitation for Monsignor Edward Duncan will be held in his home town of LaSalle, Tuesday, Jan. 10 from 4 PM to 7 PM at Hurst Funeral Home. Peoria Catholic Bishop Daniel Jenky will celebrate a funeral mass for Duncan at St. Patrick's Parish, also in LaSalle, on Wednesday, Jan. 11th at 11 AM. A memorial mass will be held at a later date on the U of I campus.
Salvation Army units start up their Christmas fundraising campaigns every fall. In Champaign county, the campaign began on Veterans Day.
Bell-ringers, both paid and volunteer will attempt to raise $430,000 by manning the Salvation Army's red kettles at street corners or outside stores.
Salvation Army Envoy Michael Fuqua said the demand for their services increased dramatically with the economic downturn that began three years ago. He said the need has remained steady since then. Champaign County Salvation Army services include providing holiday meals and running a men's shelter in Champaign. But Fuqua said they also help families who may need emergency help with a rent payment or utility bill.
"If you think of whatever somebody's emergency need might be, they oftentimes come to the Salvation Army for assistance," Fuqua said. "You'd be surprised how often we're able to figure something out for them to help them financially, or maybe talk to whoever is after them for those problems."
Fuqua said all of the money raised in the Champaign County bell-ringing campaign goes to Salvation Army charitable work in Champaign County. The bell-ringing season will run until Jan. 1.
Attorneys for Catholic Charities are asking an appellate court to stay a ruling that allows Illinois to stop working with the groups on adoptions and foster-care placements.
An emergency motion filed Friday asks for a stay of an August ruling by a Sangamon County judge.
That ruling sides with the state, which severed work with Catholic Charities after the agency refused to recognize Illinois' civil union law.
Catholic Charities says it developed a "property interest'' in the work after 40 years of state contracts. The agency says it should be able to object to state action. The judge ruled no one has a legal right to a state contract.
The Catholic Charities are affiliated with the Joliet, Springfield and Belleville dioceses.
A response from the state is due Wednesday.
Catholic Charities is delaying its plan to ask a judge to reconsider or stay his ruling that Illinois officials may cut off the nonprofit's state contracts for adoptions and foster care placements.
A hearing had been scheduled Friday in Springfield on Catholic Charities' quest to have a Sangamon County judge rethink or hold off enforcing his recent ruling that favored the state.
A spokesman for the law firm representing Catholic Charities says the hearing has been postponed to give the nonprofit more time to get court papers.
The state Department of Children and Family Services has ended $30 million in Catholic Charities contracts because the nonprofit won't work with unmarried couples in placing children in adoptive and foster homes. Illinois authorities say that violates the state's civil union law.
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