Tag Archives: Pope Benedict XVI

Cardinal Bergoglio of Argentina elected as first pope from South America


| editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Aibdescalzo

BY MAGGIE HAYES AND TERENCE M. CULLEN

The papal conclave elected Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, the first South American and Jesuit pope, after one of the shortest conclaves in history. He selected the papal name Francis I.

The decision came just a day after the voting began on Tuesday, March 12, following the official end of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s reign at the end of February.

“Let us begin this journey together, this journey for the Roman Catholic Church,” said Pope Francis to a packed-tight crowd in St. Peter’s Square. “It’s a journey of friendship, of love, of trust and faith.”

Pope Francis, 76, was born in Buenos Aires, and was Archbishop of his native city from 1998 until last year. His career, thus far, has been spent solely in Argentina. He is the 266th pope and the first non-European choice in over 1,000 years.

“He’s a very holy and humble man,” said Monsignor Jamie Gigantiello of the Archdiocese of Brooklyn, which also serves Queens. “I think he’s a man who can bring a lot of trust back to the papalcy.”

In Catholic history, St. Francis was a man who came to serve the poor, and there has also never been a pope named Francis.

“It could mean that he’s not looking towards other papacies as inspiration,” said John Heyer, also of the Archdiocese.

Pamela Shea-Byrnes, head of Campus Ministry at St. John’s, said she was impressed by the new pontiff’s name choice – inspired by St. Francis of Assisi.

A champion of helping the poor, the new pope understood the message of Francis, which calls for those who can help to aid those in need, Shea-Byrnes said.

Much like St. Francis, Shea-Brynes said she believes the new pontiff will reinvigorate the church and help rebuild it.

During his first address as Pope, he requested that his followers “always pray for one another,” and asked for the crowd’s blessing, which evolved into a moment of silence throughout the previously rambunctious square.

As a Latin American, he represents nearly half of the world’s Catholic population, according to Heyer. Also as a Jesuit, Pope Francis could possibly bring a new open-mindedness to the church, as Jesuits are seen to be.

“[Jesuits] realize we live in a multifaceted, multicultural world,” said Heyer, who hopes Pope Francis can apply these attributes to the Catholic world.

According to the National Catholic Reporter, Pope Francis is against same-sex marriage, use of contraception and premarital sex. He has been, however, against clerical privilege, and criticized priests who refused to baptize children out of wedlock.

“The church needs to reconcile in many places and build back bridges,” said Heyer. “The Christian message is about love. If that’s the direction we can go in, then I think we’re going towards a good place.”

 

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Queens and the world bids farewell to Pope Benedict XVI as he leaves Vatican


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy The New York Daily News

It’s official: Pope Benedict XVI is now “Pope Emeritus.”

His holiness officially left his post, the first Pope to do so in nearly 600 years, on Thursday, February 28 — as Cardinals from around the world gather to find a replacement.

Catholics in the city, and Queens, will now wait as a new leader of nearly 1.2 million faithful is selected. One of those in the process, and a potential replacement, is Cardinal Timonthy Dolan.

At Saint Nicholas of Tolentine Parish, in Jamaica, Rev. Anthony Nzegwu prayed for the pope and the church during noon mass today.

“God made it possible for us to witness this historic moment,” he said. “He’s given us the opportunity to pray hard for the church. This is not a time to criticize the church.”

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com


TODAY’S FORECAST

Thursday: Overcast with rain showers. High of 46. Winds from the WSW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 50%. Thursday night: Overcast with a chance of rain. Low of 36. Winds from the WNW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 20%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Comedy Show Featuring Lisa Corrao

Middle-school-teacher-turned-comedian Lisa Corrao, who has recently participated in the Women in Comedy Festival, the Boston Comedy Festival, the She-Devil Comedy Competition and Comedy Central’s South Beach Comedy Festival, will headline a show at the Laughing Devil Comedy Club with NYC comics Gabe Pacheco, Lucas Connolly, Miguel Dalmau, Scott Sharp and special guest Gene Harding. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

MLS commissioner Don Garber sets time limit for deal to build soccer stadium in Queens, says league will explore other cities if necessary

Don Garber, commissioner of MLS, warned the city on Wednesday that his soccer league will look elsewhere to expand if it can’t cut a deal with officials for a new Corona Park stadium in a relatively short period. Read more: New York Daily News

Hurricane Sandy aid registration deadline extended

New Yorkers who were affected by Superstorm Sandy now have another 30 days to sign up to get help from FEMA. Read more: ABC New York

Rockaway organizations are calling for farmers markets following Superstorm Sandy

When Superstorm Sandy tore through Rockaway, shuttering grocery stores for months, many locals were left without many food options. Read more: New York Daily News

Kindergartener walks out of school, no one notices

Little Angelo says that no one said anything to him as he walked out of school. It’s very hard to say exactly how Angelo Geremia left his school all by himself Wednesday, but what we do know is that some time after 10:30 a.m. at P.S. 229, the 5-year-old kindergartener pushed open the big doors and walked outside. Read more: ABC New York

Benedict says goodbye to cardinals, promises obedience to successor 

Pope Benedict XVI promised his “unconditional reverence and obedience” to his successor in his final words to his cardinals Thursday, a poignant farewell before he becomes the first pope in 600 years to resign. Read more: CBS New York

U.S. Army says it faces “dire” financial situation as cuts loom

A senior military budget officer said on Wednesday that converging financial pressures could leave the U.S. Army with just $2 billion to spend on operations, maintenance and training this year after it has funded the war in Afghanistan and other security needs. Read more: Reuters

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com


TODAY’S FORECAST

Wednesday: Overcast with rain, then a chance of rain in the afternoon. Fog early. High of 50. Winds from the SE at 5 to 20 mph with gusts to 30 mph. Chance of rain 80% with rainfall amounts near 0.2 in. possible. Wednesday night: Partly cloudy with a chance of rain in the evening, then overcast with a chance of rain. Low of 41. Winds from the WSW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 50%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Port Jeff Brewing Company Tap Takeover

As part of NYC Craft Beer Week, on February 27, Alewife in Long Island City will showcase 11 beers from Port Jeff Brewing Company along with a special dinner menu to pair with the beers. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Police arrest man suspected of robbing school during Sandy clean up 
A construction worker was charged with stealing computers from a Rockaway Beach school during Hurricane Sandy cleanup. Read more: NY1

NYC taxi fleet owners jump into ‘e-hail’ fray

A group of New York City yellow cab fleet owners has jumped into the fray over “e-hails.” Read more: Fox New York

Cops gather at Queens corner to mourn Eddie Byrne, slain by drug dealers 25 years ago in historic crime

Hundreds of cops gathered to mourn Tuesday at the corner of Inwood St. and 107th Ave. in Queens, where 25 years ago, a rookie cop was murdered in an execution that become synonymous with the ravages of the 1980s drug wars. Read more: New York Daily News

New FEMA flood maps for NYC include WTC site

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has released new advisory maps for Manhattan that include the World Trade Center site in the zone seen as most at risk for flooding during a powerful coastal storm. Read more: Fox New York

Tens of thousands bid farewell to Pope Benedict XVI in emotional sendoff 

Pope Benedict XVI basked in an emotional sendoff Wednesday at his final general audience in St. Peter’s Square, recalling moments of “joy and light” during his papacy but also times of great difficulty. Read more: CBS New York

Corporations urge Supreme Court to embrace gay marriage

More than 200 businesses will urge the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday to strike down a federal law that restricts the definition of marriage to heterosexual unions. Read more: Reuters

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com


TODAY’S FORECAST

Monday: Partly cloudy in the morning, then clear. High of 48. Winds from the North at 5 to 15 mph. Monday Night: Partly cloudy. Low of 36. Winds from the NNE at 5 to 10 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: RGB by Satoshi Tsuchiyama

Inspired by his personal experience with the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, artist Tsuchiyama created two multimedia works, RGB and The Flow and the Geometry. His art is a hybrid of photography, video and installation that explores the notion of uncanny and absurdity in the urban dystopian situation. His solo exhibition will last till March 6 at Resobox in Long Island City. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Person struck at Queens subway station

A person was struck by a subway car in Woodside, Queens on Monday morning. Read more: Fox New York

New poll shows Vallone ahead in crowded field of Queens Borough President candidates

City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. is pulling ahead of the pack of Queens Borough President candidates, according to a new poll obtained by the Daily News. Read more: New York Daily News

Man stabbed on subway; at least 3 in custody

A man is in the hospital and at least three people are in custody after a stabbing on the subway. Read more: ABC New York

Trial set to begin in “Cannibal Cop” case

An NYPD officer accused of plotting to cook and eat women is going on trial. Read more: NBC News

“Argo” storms to Oscar victory on night of surprises

“Argo” stormed to Best Picture victory at the Oscars on Sunday on a night of surprises that ended in disappointment for frontrunner “Lincoln” and handed the most overall wins – four – to “Life of Pi.” Read more: Reuters

Pope changes conclave rules; Cardinals can move date

Pope Benedict XVI has changed the rules of the conclave that will elect his successor, allowing cardinals to move up the start date if all of them arrive in Rome before the usual 15-day transition between pontificates. Read more: ABC New York

 

Queens faithful celebrate Ash Wednesday


| editorial@queenscourier.com


BY ANTHONY O’REILLY

In a time when the Roman Catholic church has been thrust into the national spotlight following Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation, local parishioners gathered for the somber celebration of Ash Wednesday— the beginning of the holy season known as Lent.

The 3 p.m. service at Holy Family R.C. Church in Fresh Meadows was packed with faithful of all ages. Despite the fact the day is not a holy day of obligation, Father Casper Furnari couldn’t help but notice the church on this day, and in years past, has been more full than a regular Sunday service.

“Every Lent is a season of renewal and rededication,” he said.

Catholics traditionally attend Ash Wednesday services to have ashes in the form of a cross applied to their forehead. While it is being applied, the priest utters the phrase “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

During Lent, Catholics traditionally sacrifice a material good for the 40 days of the season.

Parishioner Theresa Sheehan said she would be giving up chocolate. Sheehan’s sacrifice, she said, reminds her of how fortunate she is in life.

“It makes me think I am fortunate enough to have all this stuff,” she said. “It makes me appreciate my life more on a daily basis.”

Joseph Healy said instead of giving up something for Lent, he would look to do something positive.

“Doing something positive for someone else, I think, is better than giving something else up,” he said, summarizing the season of Lent as a time to do good deeds. Healy said he hadn’t even thought of a sacrifice until that morning.

Furnari said this Lent would be historical considering the pope’s “shocking” announcement on Monday.

“Pope Benedict celebrated Ash Wednesday but toward the end of Lent we’ll have a new pope, whoever that might be, celebrating mass,” he said.

“It takes humility and courage to make that decision.”

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com


TODAY’S FORECAST

Wednesday: Mostly cloudy with a chance of rain in the afternoon. High of 41F. Winds less than 5 mph. Chance of rain 60%. Wednesday night: Overcast with snow and rain, then snow after midnight. Low of 32 with a windchill as low as 25. Winds from the ENE at 5 to 15 mph shifting to the NNE after midnight. Chance of snow 70% with accumulations up to 2 in. possible.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Queen of Hearts Valentine’s Pop Up Market

Check out the Queen of Hearts Valentine’s Pop Up Market at Veslo in Astoria for a night of fun! There will be shopping, arts, fabulous gifts, a  DJ, complimentary cocktails and yummy cuisine. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Snow alert issued for NYC

Although it will be nothing close to what Nemo brought to the New York City area last week, there is more snow in the forecast. Read more: Queens Courier

New York State pushes banks to release over $200 million in Sandy aid

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday that his administration is working with banks to release nearly $208 million in checks already approved for victims of Superstorm Sandy. Read more: CBS New York

Queens man says video, graphic images prove police used excessive force in his arrest

Robert Jackson said that police caused a scar shaped like a horseshoe on the side of his face. Read more: NY1

Obama urges Congress to make government work for “the many”

U.S. President Barack Obama challenged a divided Congress on Tuesday to raise the minimum wage and make government work for “the many” in a State of the Union speech focused on economic fairness for the middle class as the Democrat takes a more assertive tack in his second term. Read more: Reuters

California fugitive is believed to gave died in blaze after shootout

After a shootout and a forest standoff on Tuesday afternoon, Christopher J. Dorner, the former Los Angeles police officer sought in the region’s largest manhunt, was apparently killed in a cabin as it burned down around him, but officials said they needed time to sort through the rubble. Read more: New York Times

Pope Benedict makes 1st appearance since resignation

Looking tired but serene, Pope Benedict XVI told thousands of faithful Wednesday that he was stepping down for “the good of the church,” speaking in his first public appearance since dropping the bombshell announcement of his resignation. Read more: ABC New York

“Banana Joe” named Westminster’s Best in Show

A five-year-old Affenpinscher from the Netherlands named ‘Banana Joe’ was chosen for Best in Show at the 137th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Read more: NY1

Local Catholic leaders react to Pope Benedict’s resignation


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Catholic News Service

Catholic leaders around the city are reacting with surprise and well-wishes to the news that Pope Benedict XVI will resign as leader of the Catholic Church effective Thursday, February 28.

His holiness, elected to lead the Vatican in 2005, announced early on Monday, February 11 he no longer felt physically or mentally able to guide the church.

Benedict XVI is the first Pontiff to resign since Pope Gregory XII in 1415 — when the Catholic Church faced an internal rift. Traditionally, a pope is elected until his death, after which a new leader is elected by the College of Cardinals.

As Pope, Benedict XVI serves as the spiritual leader of roughly 1 billion Catholics worldwide, as well as the political leader of the Vatican — the epicenter for Catholicism and one of the world’s smallest nations.The Pontiff is also the second consecutive non-Italian pope. Pope John Paul II, who was Polish, became the first church leader who was not Italian elected in 455 years. The incumbent Pope was born as Joseph Ratzinger in the Bavarian region of Germany.

The Rev. Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of the Diocese of Brooklyn, said he found out about the Pope’s decision around 6 a.m. on February 11. DiMarzio said while he was surprised by the news, he was knew Benedict had considered the move for some time.

“Two years ago he indicated that if he could not carry out the responsibilities he would resign,” DiMarzio said. “He prepared us with the eventuality that he might resign.”

Benedict XVI, who will turn 86 this April, was tired by from a combination of his age and his schedule, DiMarzio said.

“I’m sure they’ll elect another Pope,” he added. “Hopefully one with emotional, physical and spiritual qualities necessary to lead the church.”

Parish leaders throughout Queens gave their comments on His Holiness’ decision to resign after succeeding Pope John Paul II almost 8 years ago.

Monsignor Michael J. Hardiman of St. Sebastian’s Roman Catholic Church in Woodside said the Pope’s move would breathe new life into the church and allow for new leadership to spark a revival in the church.

“Pope Benedict [is] going out and saying, ‘We’re a new church again,’ and it’s an opportunity for the church to have new leadership,” Hardiman said. “Personally I think he was probably one of the persons who was closest to Pope John II, and he saw the last months of  his life and how debilitated he became; he wasn’t in charge any longer.”

Father Thomas Brosnan, pastor of Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church in Bayside, said the news was not earth-shattering, but would set a new policy that Popes may be able to step down, should they feel unable to lead the church.

“It had to happen sooner than later with the lifespan of people now,” Brosnan said. “If the Pope gets debilitated, that always has to be faced. It sets a precedent in the future that it’s okay to have a retired Pope.”

Bill Donohue, president of the New York-based American Catholic League, released seven points that the Pope’s legacy would be strongly preserved. During the Pope’s tenure, Donohue said, he was tolerant and tried to strengthen bonds with the rest of the world and create a better understanding.

“The pope reached out to dissidents on the right and the left, seeking to bring them to communion,” Donohue said. “Not all his efforts succeeded, but his attempts were noble.”

President Barack Obama issued a statement a few hours after the Vatican confirmed the news:

“On behalf of Americans everywhere,” he said, “Michelle and I wish to extend our appreciation and prayers to His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. Michelle and I warmly remember our meeting with the Holy Father in 2009, and I have appreciated our work together over these last four years. The Church plays a critical role in the United States and the world, and I wish the best to those who will soon gather to choose His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI’s successor.”

Additional reporting by Alexa Altman, Melissa Chan and Maggie Hayes 

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com


TODAY’S FORECAST

Monday: Overcast with rain. Fog early. High of 45. Winds from the South at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 100% with rainfall amounts near 0.3 in. possible. Monday Night: Partly cloudy with a chance of rain. Fog overnight. Low of 34. Breezy. Winds from the West at 10 to 20 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Forest Hills Celebrates 5,000 Years of Chinese Culture

Wenyi Wang will discuss Chinese history, culture and current events at the Central Queens Y. Light kosher Chinese refreshments will be served. Free with $6 suggested donation. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Pope Resigning on Feb. 28, Conclave in March

Pope Benedict XVI announced Monday he would resign Feb. 28, the first pontiff to do so in nearly 600 years. The decision sets the stage for a conclave to elect a new pope before the end of March. Read more: AP

Queens lawmaker seeks to curb pollution from freight locomotives with influx of state money

A Queens lawmaker is pushing the state to set aside money to alleviate the problem of train pollution that stretches across four counties. Read more: New York Daily News

Mass transit largely back on track following blizzard

Mass transit across the Tri-State Area is getting back to normal. Long Island Rail Road restored weekend service on its Far Rockaway, Long Beach, Hempstead and Oyster Bay branches in addition to the LIRR’s four busiest branches – Ronkonkoma, Huntington, Babylon and Port Washington. Read more: CBS New York

Long Island Expressway reopens after winter storm

Cars are travelling on both directions on the Long Island Expressway Monday, just in time for the morning commute. Read more: ABC New York

Middle Village man found strangled in his room at Queens Boulevard motel

A man was found strangled in his room at a Queens motel late Saturday night, police sources said. Read more: New York Daily News 

Former state Sen. Huntley bought clothes for her dog in taxpayer-funded shopping sprees: source

Looting lawmaker Shirley Huntley loaded up on fancy clothes and spa treatments — and that was just for her pet poodle. Read more: New York Post

Teen births continue to decline in U.S

The number of U.S. babies born to teen mothers dropped to record lows in 2011, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Read more: Reuters

 

Pope publishes first tweet


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Screenshot fromTwitter

Using the Twitter handle @Pontifex, Pope Benedict XVI sent out his first tweet Wednesday, saying “Dear friends, I am pleased to get in touch with you through Twitter. Thank you for your generous response. I bless all of you from my heart.”

As of noon, the pope already had around 834,000 followers.

According to the Vatican, the pope used an iPad to send the message, and it was published after the blessing that concluded Wednesday’s general audience and displayed on a screen installed in the Paul VI Hall.

After sending his first tweet around 6 a.m. EST, he has posted several other messages, using the popular social media dashboard application TweetDeck.

In addition to the English @Pontifex account, he has seven other handles that each translate his tweets to another language—Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, German, Polish and Arabic.

Including those accounts, the pope already has more than a million followers.

So far, his messages haven’t included hashtags or other Twitter handles.

He also won’t be following others, according to Greg Burke, a Vatican communications adviser.

Throughout the day, however, the pope will be responding to three questions from three different continents, said the Vatican.

 

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com


 TODAY’S FORECAST

Wednesday: Overcast. High of 45. Winds from the NNW at 5 to 10 mph. Wednesday Night: Overcast in the evening, then partly cloudy. Low of 36. Winds from the North at 5 to 10 mph.

EVENT of the DAY: Jackson Heights Community Orchestra

The newly-formed Jackson Heights Community Orchestra, launched by conductor Patricia Glunt, has scheduled its first performance for Dec. 12 at the Jackson Heights Community Church. “Jackson Heights is ripe and it’s ready for an orchestra,” said Glunt, a 58-year-old musician who lives in the neighborhood. “The idea is really to explore and showcase the talent that we have in Queens, and use Jackson Heights as the center of that.” Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Vallone officially announces borough president bid

Councilmember Peter Vallone’s holiday surprise wasn’t all that surprising. Vallone announced his bid for Queens borough president at his father’s annual holiday party on Tuesday, December 11, surrounded by friends and family. Read more: Queens Courier

Queens lawmaker proposes local referendum on casino gaming

Local residents should get a chance to weigh in before the state rolls the dice on full-tilt casino gaming, a Queens lawmaker said on Tuesday. Read more: New York Daily News

JFK guards threaten strike, could snarl holiday travel plans

Just in time for Christmas, security guards at JFK Airport are threatening to walk off their jobs and create a holiday nightmare for travelers. Read more: New York Post

Sandy ineptitude catches up with LIPA at Moreland Commission hearing

Officials slammed the Long Island Power Authority Tuesday for its performance in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, during a hearing by a commission exploring how those utilities might be restructured. Read more: CBS New York

First section of WTC spire set to be hoisted

The first section of a spire that will rise atop the World Trade Center’s tallest building is set to be lifted into place on Wednesday. Read more: Fox New York

The Pope, now on Twitter, posts his first message

Pope Benedict XVI sent his first Twitter message on Wednesday, saying, “Dear Friends, I am pleased to get in touch with you through Twitter. Thank you for your generous response. I bless all of you from my heart.” Read more: New York Times

Gunman opens fire at Oregon mall; Suspect, 2 dead

The mall Santa was waiting for the next child’s Christmas wish when shots rang out, causing the shopping mall to erupt into chaos. Read more: AP

 

 

 

Local Monsignor witnessed Dolan’s elevation


| brennison@queenscourier.com


A caravan of worshipers, including many local religious leaders, made the pilgrimage to Rome for the elevation of New York’s Archbishop Timothy Dolan, along with 21 others, to Cardinal.

Monsignor Jamie Gigantiello, director of the Brooklyn Diocese’s Office of Parish Giving and Vicar for Development, attended the February 18 ceremonies in Rome that saw Dolan named Cardinal — the second highest rank in the Catholic Church.

“It was a wonderful experience to be there in Rome, the center of Catholicism,” Gigantiello said of the trip. “In St. Peter’s Basilica, to be there to celebrate Mass with the Holy Father with almost 10,000 people, every time you walk in, it gives you goose bumps.”

On January 6, the Pope announced that Dolan was to be appointed to the College of Cardinals — the exclusive electors of the Pope.

“I am honored, humbled and grateful, but, let’s be frank: this is not about Timothy Dolan; this is an honor from the Holy Father to the Archdiocese of New York, and to all our cherished friends and neighbors who call this great community home,” said Dolan upon hearing of his elevation.

At the consistory, Pope Benedict XVI said, “The new cardinals are entrusted with the service of love: love for God, love for His Church, an absolute and unconditional love for his brothers and sisters.”

As the Archbishop, Dolan is the spiritual leader of the more than 2 million Catholics in New York. Dolan was named archbishop in 2009.

The newly-minted Cardinal presided over his first public Mass on Sunday, February 26 at St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

Gigantiello, who is also the pastor of Mary Queen of Heaven in Brooklyn, praised the youth and diversity on display in Rome during the ceremonies.

“To see cardinals from all around the world celebrating our faith is special,” he said. “It’s good to see the church alive like it is in Rome. There are so many young people taking part in all of the services. It’s very encouraging to see them taking part.”

Aside from enjoying the celebratory nature of the events, Gigantiello is pleased with the choice of Dolan, whom he believes can help the local church reconnect with the community.

“I think [Dolan] was an excellent choice. He is a leader, a theologian, but also has a great charismatic personality,” he said. “He’s approachable, people can relate to him and he can relate to people. He’s very inviting. I think this is what the church needs today.”

Whitney Houston funeral: mourners pay tribute to legendary singer at Newark church


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Whitney Houston funeral: mourners pay tribute to legendary singer at Newark church

The silver casket bearing Whitney Houston glistened Saturday inside her old Newark church, where a star-studded crowd bid farewell to the departed diva with the divine voice.

“What becomes of our broken hearts?” asked her “Bodyguard” co-star Kevin Costner in a moving memorial. “Whitney returns home today to the place where it all began.”

Read More: New York Daily News

 

Timothy Cardinal Dolan receives red hat from Pope Benedict in Vatican City

Timothy Cardinal Dolan says his new red hat from Pope Benedict XVI is a gift for New York.

The city’s newly-elevated Catholic leader was smiling from cheek to cheek Saturday after receiving a gold ring and red silk biretta from the pontiff inside St. Peter’s Basilica inVatican  City.

Read More: New York Daily News
Cocaine found on capsized cruise ship captain’s hair, lawyers for survivors say
A group representing survivors of the capsized Costa Concordia cruise ship say traces of cocaine were found on a sample of the captain’s hair but not within the hair strands or in his urine — which would have indicated he had used the drug.

Italian consumer protection group Codacons said Saturday it has asked prosecutors investigating Captain Francesco Schettino to order another test.

Read More: New York Post

 

DOE To Review 1,000 Cases Against School Staff Following Latest Sex Abuse Charges

The city Department of Education is promising to make major changes in disciplinary policy following a string of arrests of employees for inappropriate acts with children.

Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott outlined the changes in a letter sent home to parents Friday.

Read More: NY 1

 

Spit hits fan in teach spat

 A veteran Queens math teacher was yanked from the classroom yesterday after a cellphone video posted online showed an apparent confrontation with a student.

Department of Education officials said they are investigating 19-year veteran David Pecoraro, a vocal union leader at Beach Channel HS in Far Rockaway, on allegations of corporal punishment.

Read More: New York Post

 

Liu Fundraiser Pleads Not Guilty To Wire Fraud Charges

Xing Wu Pan, a major fundraiser for City Comptroller John Liu, pleaded not guilty to conspiracy and wire fraud charges during his arraignment in Downtown Manhattan on Saturday.

Prosecutors say Oliver Pan told an undercover FBI agent he would use straw donors to funnel $16,000 in over-the-limit contributions to the comptroller’s 2013 campaign.

Read More: NY 1

 

Al Sharpton’s SUV impounded at La Guardia Airport

Can I get a witness?

The Rev. Al Sharpton tried to move heaven and earth yesterday to keep his SUV from being towed at La Guardia Airport — but no amount of preaching could stop Port Authority cops from impounding the vehicle.

An officer rolled up on the 2008 Lincoln Navigator at around 2 p.m. outside the Delta and US Airways terminal as the MSNBC host’s driver waited to pick him up in a clearly marked “no standing” zone, said PA Police spokesman Al Della Fave.

Read More: New York Post

 

Racist headline after Jeremy Lin, Knicks lose prompts quick apology from ESPN

ESPN is apologizing for an offensive headline posted after Jeremy Lin and the Knicks fell to the Hornets Friday night, ending a dazzling 7-game win streak.

The headline, “Ch-k in the armor” was up for about 30 minutes before being pulled down, ESPN said in a statement, as the controversy continued to grow in volume on Saturday.

Read More: New York Daily News

In praise of Dolan


| editorial@queenscourier.com


I would like to praise Pope Benedict XVI for elevating Archbishop Timothy Dolan to Cardinal. I feel Dolan truly is a priest who has served the people. He has been outspoken on important issues like same-sex marriage, abortion, Catholic education and family values. He has not been afraid to speak his mind, communicates from his heart and has possessed the common touch. He feels deeply for the poor and the sick. He has a voice that he has used well to defend and promote the priniciples of the church, and he will be stronger still as a Cardinal.

As a Catholic and a Grand Knight of St. Anastasia Knights of Columbus in Douglaston, I feel this is a very proud moment for many New Yorkers. I firmly believe Dolan can make a profound difference on the Catholic church in America and the world. May God bless you Dolan, and bless you in your work as Cardinal.

 

Frederick R. Bedell Jr.

Glen Oaks Village, N.Y.

New York’s Archbishop Timothy Dolan selected as Cardinal


| brennison@queenscourier.com


New York’s Archbishop, Timothy Dolan, has received the call to a higher service after recently being appointed Cardinal — the second highest rank in the Catholic Church — by the Pope.

“I am honored, humbled and grateful, but, let’s be frank: this is not about Timothy Dolan; this is an honor from the Holy Father to the Archdiocese of New York, and to all our cherished friends and neighbors who call this great community home,” said Dolan, who was among the 22 new Cardinals — the exclusive electors of the Pope — announced by Pope Benedict XVI on Friday, January 6.

He will officially be appointed in Rome on February 18.

“This is wonderful news for the Cardinal-designate and for the entire community of faith that he serves so well,” Cardinal Edward Egan said in a statement.

As the Archbishop, Dolan is the spiritual leader of the more than 2 million Catholics in New York. Dolan was named archbishop by Pope Benedict XVI in 2009, following the resignation of Egan.

The Missouri native was born in 1950, the oldest of five children. Ordained to the priesthood in 1976, Dolan served in his home state, Washington, D.C., Rome and Milwaukee before being named Archbishop of New York.

Queens religious leaders believe Dolan is ready for this calling.

“[Dolan] seems to be somewhat comfortable in the media, which is important,” said Father Gerald Fitzsimmons, pastor of St. Mary’s Gate of Heaven. “He has a role to play not just in New York but for the entire country.”

Father Alfred LoPinto, pastor of St. Helen’s, described Dolan as “warm and personable, outgoing and extremely intelligent, a people’s person and an outstanding church scholar.”

“We’re all going to be praying for him,” Fitzsimmons said, who added he believes Dolan will do well in his new role.

After learning of the news of being elevated to cardinal, Dolan recalled a quote from another Catholic chosen for higher office. John F. Kennedy replied to someone who congratulated him on the honor of the presidency: “Thanks, but I don’t look at it so much as an honor as a call to higher service.”

“My sentiments exactly,” Dolan said. “This is not about privilege, change of colors, hats, new clothes, places of honor or a different title. No, this is about an affirmation of love from the pope to a celebrated archdiocese and community, and a summons to its unworthy archbishop to serve Jesus, his Church universal, his vicar on earth and his people better.”

— Additional reporting by Alexa Altman