Archive for Wednesday, October 23, 2002

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October 23, 2002

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Ohio: Former first lady says she was ordained priest

A former Ohio first lady revealed Tuesday that she was secretly ordained as a Roman Catholic priest earlier this year, then excommunicated.

Dagmar Braun Celeste, 60, ex-wife of former Gov. Richard Celeste, said she was the only American among seven women who were ordained as priests by Bishops Romolo Braschi of Argentina and Rafael Regelsberger of Austria on June 29.

The church excommunicated the women Aug. 5 after warning them to renounce their posts by July 22.

Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone of the Vatican said the ordination attacked "the fundamental structure of the Church as it was wanted by its founder." Church teaching holds that because Jesus chose men to be his apostles, only males can serve in the priesthood.

The women have appealed their excommunication.

Colorado: Three nuns indicted in missile silo protest

Three nuns were indicted Tuesday on federal charges that they cut through a fence and entered a northern Colorado missile site as a peace protest.

All three women are members of the Dominican order. Two are members of Jonah House, a group that advocates disarmament.

According to Jonah House, the women entered the site Oct. 6 near Greeley and used their own blood to paint a cross on the silo and tracks that carry the lid of the silo to its firing position. They also hammered at the silo and tracks.

The nuns have been jailed since their arrest that day.

Yugoslavia: Serb arms dealer sent equipment to Iraq

A state-run Yugoslav arms dealer exported military equipment to Iraq, and Serb experts are helping Saddam Hussein beef up his defenses against U.S. air attacks, a top Yugoslav official said Tuesday.

The military official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the deal came to light during a recent NATO inspection of the Orao arms company in Bijeljina, a town in the Serb-controlled part of Bosnia. He said documents were discovered linking Orao and Yugoslavia's main arms company, Yugoimport, with exports to Iraq.

Late in the day, following an emergency meeting of Yugoslav leaders, the government dismissed Yugoimport's director, Gen. Jovan Cekovic, Serbian television reported. No reason was given.

Before the leadership meeting, Yugoslavia's government denied authorizing military sales to Iraq.

Azerbaijan: Ferry with 51 aboard sinks in Caspian Sea

A ferry carrying 51 people and tons of oil sank in the Caspian Sea on Tuesday after it was caught in a storm. Nine people were rescued, but some 40 others were missing.

The Mercury II was making its way from the port of Aktau, Kazakhstan, heading southwest to Baku, the Azerbaijani capital, when it went down, its owner said. Authorities confirmed one death.

Aidyn Bashirov, president of CASPAR shipping company, owner of the 505-foot vessel, said the ship had eight passengers, 43 crew and a cargo of oil-filled containers. He said the ship was caught in a storm with winds up to 65 mph and 20-foot waves.

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