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World's cardinals to meet in Rome

All the world's cardinals will gather in Rome May 21-24 to discuss the course the church should take in its third millennium, according to a Feb. 26 Vatican announcement. The conversation will take place in light of the recent papal document Novo Millennio Ineunte, a wrap-up on the Jubilee year of 2000 that called upon the church to "put out into the deep" as it moves into the future.

The document raised some eyebrows for its frank references to the need for greater collegiality, or the sharing of power at various levels of the church, "We need to make our own the ancient pastoral wisdom which, without prejudice to their authority, encouraged pastors to listen more widely to the entire people of God," the pope wrote. John Paul signed the document Jan. 6, during the closing ceremony of the Holy Year.

Novo Millennio Ineunte also urged progress on the ecumenical front. "I pray for a full return to that exchange of gifts which enriched the church of the first millennium," the pope wrote. Some commentators took the comment as a sign that John Paul would be willing to reconsider claims to papal authority that date from later periods.

The May gathering, technically called an "extraordinary consistory," will be the sixth during John Paul's reign. The last came in 1994 to discuss preparations for the Jubilee year. It was marked by sharp debate over the wisdom of a papal apology for past sins of the church, which John Paul eventually delivered in May 2000.

The consistory is open to all 184 cardinals, including those over 80.

Brazilian church decries anti-AIDS Carnival campaign

The Brazilian bishops have criticized an anti-AIDS campaign launched by Brazil's Health Ministry for this year's Carnival festivities. The campaign, which shows two condoms -- one wearing angel wings and the other wearing the devil's tail, with the slogan "No matter which side you're on, wear a condom" -- prompted angry responses from church leaders.

The Brazilian bishops' conference said the campaign mocks the difference between good and evil. "It puts good and evil, honesty and corruption, truth and lies on the same level," said the bishops' conference secretary-general, Auxiliary Bishop Raymundo Damasceno Assis of Brasilia.

Assis said the campaign implies not only that the "devil" pictured in the ad has a conscience and is worried about safe sex just as much as the "angel," but that sex between two consenting but not married adults is what is expected during the four days of Carnival festivities in late February.

The government was distributing more than 22 million condoms in Brazil's major cities, like Rio de Janeiro, Sac Paulo, Salvador and Fortaleza. According to the health ministry, more than 191,000 people are HIV-positive in Brazil.

Police violence against church people condemned

Inchon diocese in South Korea has protested an incident in which police forcibly entered one of its churches, attacked a deacon and parishioners and arrested workers seeking refuge there. The diocesan Justice and Peace Committee said during a news conference Feb. 22 at the Inchon Catholic Center that local police intentionally beat Paul Yang Ju-yong, a deacon, Feb. 20 after he protested their actions at Sankok Church.

About 70 Daewoo Motors workers had sought refuge in the church after some 4,200 police broke up a strike camp at the Daewoo factory Feb. 19. The strike began Feb. 16 after Daewoo, South Korea's second-largest carmaker, announced the dismissal of 1,750 workers to comply with a bankruptcy court order.

According to reports, some 100 riot police who forced their way into the church to arrest the workers attacked Yang and some parishioners who came for evening Mass. …